ON JULY 26, while filming anti-racism protests, freelance photojournalist Trip Jennings (depicted on this sign) was shot in the face by federal agents in Portland, Ore. His father, Howard Jennings (left), and stepmother, Sarah Stott, who live in Bristol, have been speaking out about the incident. This photo shows them at last Friday’s Bristol Peace Vigil on the town green.
Photo courtesy of Sarah Stott
BRISTOL — On July 26 photojournalist Trip Jennings, whose father and stepmother, Howard Jennings and Sarah Stott, live in Bristol, was shot in the face by federal agents in Portland, Ore.
The Trump administration had sent agents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Federal Protective Services to the city in early July — despite loud objections from the local and state officials who did not want them there — to quell demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter.
Before he was shot, Jennings and the protestors...
MONKTON — In an effort to ease some of the financial burdens brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Monkton selectboard voted on July 13 to reduce the projected municipal tax rate by 4.89 cents, or about 11%, from 43.58 cents per $100 of assessed property value to 38.69 cents.
“We’re trying to minimize property tax impact during a national emergency,” selectboard chair Stephen Pilcher told the Independent during a phone interview last week.
The reduction amounts to a projected savings of $48.90 per $100,000 in property value. A typical property tax bill on a home valued at $270,000 would...
BRISTOL POLICE CHIEF Bruce Nason, right, responds to a question during Monday night’s Community Conversation on Safety, Security and Policing, which was convened in Holley Hall and via Zoom. Nearly 60 Bristol residents participated in the two-hour discussion, which was moderated by Bristol resident Sen. Christopher Bray.
BRISTOL — Many of the nearly 60 people who participated in Monday night’s Community Conversation on Bristol Policing expressed support and appreciation for the Bristol Police Department.
Many also came with questions and concerns for Bristol Police Chief Bruce Nason, who was there, as he said, to listen and answer questions.
Topics during the roughly two-hour discussion — which was convened both in person and via Zoom, and was moderated by Sen. Christopher Bray, D-Bristol — ranged from de-escalation and bias training to police funding to policing alternatives.
One participant, Maura...
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College President Laurie Patton is so confident in the work the college has done to prepare the campus for a safe reopening this fall that she is planning to step into the classroom herself and teach an in-person course.
“We believe that, if it is safe for the campus and wider community, colleges and universities have a mission and a responsibility to educate,” Patton wrote in a July 21 letter to the college community. “Living and learning in a pandemic will shape our leaders of the future. The lessons we learn and the partnerships we form will influence our responses...
GOV. PHIL SCOTT, shown earlier this summer, says wearing face coverings will help Vermonters protect the progress we’ve made against coronavirus as COVID-19 explodes elsewhere.
Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
VERMONT — Maura Donnelly, who owns the Bristol children’s shop Simon Says on Main Street, was pleased that Gov. Phil Scott has mandated Vermonters to wear masks in public beginning Aug. 1.
“I think it’s awesome,” she told the Independent on Monday. “Very late, but I’m glad to see it.”
Earlier this month, a couple of Donnelly’s teenage employees were accosted by an adult customer who refused to wear a mask in the shop, even though a sign outside clearly indicated it was required.
Donnelly detailed the incident, which had upset her employees, in a July 12 letter to the Bristol selectboard, and...
ADDISON COUNTY — Thanks to the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), Addison County businesses have received tens of millions of dollars in assistance over the past few months, but recent data analysis at the national level has called some of that information into question.
The federal government established the business loan program as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help businesses, nonprofits and the self-employed continue paying their workers during shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Small Business Administration (...
BRISTOL — Bristol will host a community discussion about its police department on Monday, Aug. 3, at 7 p.m.
With assistance from Northeast Addison Television (NEAT) the town is hoping to convene the meeting simultaneously in Holley Hall and via Zoom, though details are still being ironed out.
Sen. Chris Bray, D-Bristol, will facilitate the event, which the selectboard at its July 27 meeting characterized as “an opening conversation.”
“This is a chance for us to listen,” said Bristol Police Chief Bruce Nason. “I want to hear from the public. If there is information we need to get back to them...
SHOREHAM — Two popular Shoreham orchards have come together under one owner.
On July 8 Bill Suhr and Andrea Scott of Champlain Orchards announced that they had purchased Douglas Orchards and Cider Mill from Bob and Scott Douglas.
“For the past 21 years I have been emulating our neighbors ... as they care for their family farm and orchards,” Suhr wrote in announcing the deal. “After years of discussions, we were able to officially purchase the 180-acre farm, allowing Bob & Terry, and Scott & Sue Douglas to officially begin a well-earned retirement.”
Bob and Scott Douglas are the fourth...
VERMONT — The state of Vermont has announced a new grant program aimed at helping dairy farmers and businesses that produce dairy weather the economic fallout from COVID-19.
Of the $35 million in federal funding the state has set aside for the Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program (VCAAP), $21.2 million will be available as direct payments to eligible dairy farmers and $3.8 million is allocated for eligible dairy processors, to cover losses and expenses incurred because of the pandemic, according to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM).
“These dollars are...
BRISTOL POLICE CHIEF BRUCE NASON
BRISTOL — Bristol residents who wish to learn more about the policies, practices and culture of the Bristol Police Department will soon get the chance to share their questions and concerns with BPD Chief Bruce Nason and other town officials.
The selectboard has not yet set a date and time for the community discussion, but it is likely to take place via Zoom sometime in early or mid-August.
“We should probably do something sooner than later so we can get communication going with the public,” Nason told the selectboard at its July 13 meeting.
U.S. law enforcement has faced intense scrutiny in...