Bristol

BRISTOL — Average water customers in Bristol will see a modest increase on their bills in the coming year. The Bristol selectboard at its Monday, June 8, meeting voted to increase the water budget by 8%, which translates for the average user into a rate hike of about $5.42 per quarter, or $21.68 per year. Town Treasurer Jen Myers had initially proposed a 6.6% increase (about $4.07 per quarter), but several selectboard members expressed concerns about the aging system and the future cost of upgrades and repairs. In the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, the water system has exceeded its...

Mount Abraham Union High School senior John Bent chose an iconic form of transportation for graduation on Saturday. Bent and fellow members of the Class of 2020 received their diplomas, to great fanfare, in a socially distanced drive-up ceremony that treated every senior like a rock star. Photo by Buzz Kuhns
BRISTOL — Eighty-one days after their school building was shut down to help prevent the spread of a deadly pandemic — 81 days of remote learning, separation from their friends, canceled extracurricular activities, and anxiety over the fate of their communities and indeed the world itself — the Mount Abraham Union High School Class of 2020 made a triumphant return to campus on Saturday to participate in what will turn out to have been one of the most memorable graduation ceremonies in the school’s history. In addition to the family and friends who accompanied them in the one vehicle they were...

ADDY HARRIS
BRISTOL — Four graduating Mount Abraham Union High School seniors have been awarded scholarships by the Tari Shattuck Education Foundation, which gives scholarships to students planning to pursue a degree in Education. Owen Darling of Bristol, Addy Harris of Starksboro, Alexis Kouwenhoven of Bristol, and Mae Peterson of Bristol were all recipients of this year’s award. Owen Darling is planning to attend the University of York in England, and looks to use his study abroad to enrich his understanding of the world. This year, Darling took a class at Castleton University, and while there,...

Hundreds of people marched in downtown Bristol Tuesday afternoon to denounce the police killing of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis on May 25, and to express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. It was the second day in a row that people have gathered at the town green for a vigil. Independent photos/Christopher Ross.
BRISTOL — More than 350 people attended a peaceful vigil on the Bristol town green Tuesday afternoon to express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and to mourn the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed on May 25 by a white Minneapolis police officer as he lay handcuffed on his stomach in the street. “We gather today to honor the validity and value of Black lives and to organize around the dismantling of white supremacy,” said one of the vigil’s organizers, who addressed the crowd from the Bristol bandstand. Wearing face masks, carrying signs and chanting, “...
BRISTOL — The Bristol Town Band has canceled its June and July concerts because of COVID-19 concerns. At this time it’s still possible that performances could resume in August, but a decision about that will be made at a later date. “We will really miss playing on the green on Wednesday nights, and we appreciate all the support that the Town and Rec and Police Departments have shown for our band and larger community,” wrote band representative and Bristol Recreation Department staffer Alex Mihavics in Front Porch Forum post announcing the cancellation last weekend. Officials made the decision...
BRISTOL — Emily Beattie’s 7th grade English class at Mount Abraham Union Middle School began reading “The Diary of Anne Frank” before they began remote learning. “As we have been sheltering in place, we have discussed and written about the similarities and differences between Anne’s life during the Holocaust and our lives right now,” Beattie said. Beattie offered student Rory Hendee’s piece as an example of the students’ writing on this subject:   My class recently read “The Diary of Anne Frank,” a story about a Jewish girl and her family being forced into hiding during the Holocaust. While I...
BRISTOL — It's official — Bristol's wonderful Fourth of July parade and fireworks will not be held. The Bristol Fourth of July Committee was scheduled to meet Wednesday evening and, as reported by the Independent, the group decided to cancel this year's event because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the latest of many summer festivals and events in Addison County that have been called off. On Friday morning the Bristol committee released the following statement:    With heavy (patriotic) hearts and deference to public health, the Bristol Fourth of July Committee has made the hard decision to...

CREWS AND HEAVY equipment have taken over downtown Bristol as the long-awaited Paving and Sidewalk/Lighting Replacement projects get started. The projects, which have merged under the supervision of the Vermont Department of Transportation, were supposed to be completed Oct. 9, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the end date is now up in the air. Independent photo/John Flowers
BRISTOL / VERGENNES — After a couple of slow and quiet months, downtown Bristol is suddenly abuzz with activity — great yellow machines, masked workers with helmets, excavation, grading, upgrading. The Bristol paving and sidewalk/lighting replacement projects, which were delayed for a month because of the pandemic, are finally under way. The same contractor has also begun work on a paving project in Vergennes — milling a portion of Route 22A/Main Street this week. Workers are closing one lane at a time, with flaggers onsite to direct alternating traffic on the one open lane.  The project will...
Katie Bauer, who wanted to help in the current public health crisis, drops off groceries for two Bristol residents who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19. The couple’s doctor connected Maryann and Keith Corkins with Bauer. Bauer picks up a list, drops off the groceries outside their house and refuses any money for her trouble. “Katie does a great job and has been a real hero to us,” Keith said.

HELLEN GATHONI KIHORO, a WMI scholar and medical student battling coronavirus in Kenya, provides hand-washing resources and information in her community. The project was funded by the Wells Mountain Initiative, which also helps fund Kihoro’s education. Photo courtesy of WMI
BRISTOL — With grant money she received from the Wells Mountain Initiative (WMI), Hellen Gathoni Kihoro this week launched a project in her home village of Gitogothi to increase pandemic awareness and provide hygiene resources. “It was hatched so as to emphasize the information that is being recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization) and (Kenya’s) Ministry of Health on matters of prevention of COVID-19,” Kihoro told the Independent in an email. Kihoro, 30, studies medicine at Mount Kenya University and is one of several WMI Scholars — whose educations are funded by the Bristol-based...

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Addison County Independent