John Flowers


THESE WEYBRIDGE WOMEN have joined forces to reshape the school closure debate in the Addison Central School District. Pictured here, left to right, are Amy Mason, Jennifer Phelps and Julia Barry. Independent photo/John S. McCright
01/20/2020
WEYBRIDGE — Three Weybridge women have joined forces to infuse two ingredients they believe have been in short supply thus far in the school closure debate in the Addison Central School District: financial statistics and conversation that prioritizes students’ needs. “We want to be doing what works best for children, particularly our most vulnerable children, and we want that to be at the very heart of our school board’s planning and decision making process,” said one of the women, Julia Barry. She and her friends Amy Mason and Jennifer Phelps have a combined seven children attending either...

WILD MOUNTAIN THYME at 48 Main St. in downtown Middlebury will soon close after almost 50 years of continuous ownership by one family. Pictured here, left to right, are store associate Jen Oberkirch, business owner Paula Israel and store associate Kitty Hall. Photo courtesy of Jen Oberkirch
01/20/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Wild Mountain Thyme, Main Street Middlebury’s longest running business under the same ownership, will soon close its doors. Owner Paula Israel — who since 1976 has helmed the 48 Main St. shop featuring a well-curated mix of clothing for women and children, jewelry, art, gifts and décor — said it’s time to move on. Israel playfully cited “old age” as the reason for her decision to close the shop, which in recent days has seen a lot of customers looking to take advantage of deep discounts associated with her going-out-of-business sale. Israel, 65, hasn’t set a specific date for...

TODD STONE, OWNER of G. Stone Motors, is finalizing a deal to acquire Foster Motors, thereby ensuring both Middlebury dealerships will continue to be owned by a local family. Pictured here, left to right, are G. Stone Motors General Manager Travis Romano, Todd Stone, and Foster Motor co-owners Scott and Dave Foster. Independent photo/Angelo Lynn
01/16/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Todd Stone of G. Stone Motors will soon close on a deal to buy Foster Motors, thus ensuring two of Middlebury’s largest vehicle dealerships will remain under local family ownership. While the transaction is huge, the changes — from a consumer’s standpoint — will be relatively small, according to the Stone and Foster families. G. Stone Motors, at 36 Boardman St., will continue to be a Ford dealership, under the same name. Foster, at 2149 Route 7 South, will be renamed “Stone Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram,” featuring the same four automotive brands that the Fosters have offered for...
01/16/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury residents this March will be asked to authorize $2.5 million in water main replacement work in the Court Square area during the next few years. The town selectboard on Jan. 28 will finalize a payment plan for those project costs that will have the least impact on property taxpayers and water rates. The work is slated to start this fall after the new downtown railroad tunnel is installed, and will dovetail with the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s 2021 repaving of Class 1 highways in Middlebury, including Routes 30, 125 and 7, according to Middlebury Public Works...
01/16/2020
MIDDLEBURY — This year’s Middlebury town meeting warning will include funding requests for major infrastructure projects, including a new passenger rail platform, water main replacements, flood mitigation work in the Middlebury River, and the repurposing of some of the former wastewater treatment plant buildings for storage. The good news for Middlebury taxpayers is that town officials are seeking to substantially fund these projects using surplus from the local option tax (LOT) fund. It was on March 20, 2008, that Middlebury voters endorsed a 30-year local option tax of 1 percent on sales,...
01/16/2020
MIDDLEBURY —  The imminent purchase of Foster Motors by Todd Stone, owner of G. Stone Motors, signals a start of a new era for two dealerships that have a lot of history. Gardner Stone, the patriarch of the business, is a self-proclaimed “motorhead” and self-made success story. Born and raised in Middlebury, he earned a degree in aircraft maintenance technology from Wentworth Institute in Boston, but found little market for his skills in his hometown. “You couldn’t buy a job in 1962,” Gardner told the Independent during a 2017 interview. “I got a job peddling milk on Lake Dunmore.” He loved...

MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT Clinician Amy Kittredge and Dr. Will Porter confer in Mountain Health Center’s mobile medical van, which offers a variety of health care services to area residents with transportation barriers. The van can accommodate six people at one time and currently sets up shop in the St. Mary’s School parking lot in Middlebury. Independent photo/John S. McCright
01/13/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Mountain Health Center is based in Bristol, but its reach and care extends well into Middlebury, thanks to a mobile medical van stationed every Tuesday and Thursday in the parking lot of the former St. Mary’s Catholic School building off Shannon Street. Dr. Will Porter is in the driver’s seat of the new service, with two essential colleagues riding shotgun — medication assisted treatment Clinician Amy Kittredge and Medical Assistant Kelly O’Keefe. The trio hit the road last August and have been seeing as many as 25 patients from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each of the two days they spend...
01/13/2020
Editor’s note: Addison Independent reporter John Flowers contributed to this report. MONTPELIER — After climate change protesters were cleared from the Vermont House chamber at the start of Gov. Phil Scott’s annual State of the State address this past Thursday, Scott raised familiar themes in his speech: affordability and demographics. The governor said he plans to propose initiatives in his forthcoming budget to protect the environment “without making Vermont less affordable for families and businesses.” But he set the course for a clash with Democrats on their top climate initiatives, which...

FRANK SWENTON IS a Mary Hogan parent and co-author of a petition to the ACSD board in favor of merging the district's elementary schools.
01/09/2020
MIDDLEBURY — The Addison Central School District (ACSD) board has for many months been hearing a “don’t close our small schools” message from a coalition of Ripton and Weybridge residents organized under the banner of “Save Our Schools.” Now ACSD directors are hearing from a group of Middlebury residents who are urging the board to do the opposite. They’re arguing limited education tax dollars are being funneled away from the district’s largest elementary school — Mary Hogan Elementary in Middlebury — in order to extend a lifeline to the smaller learning centers they contend are unsustainable...
01/09/2020
MIDDLEBURY — The ongoing transition to an International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum and the potential shuttering of one or more local school buildings are among the issues driving re-election bids by all four of the Addison Central School District board members whose terms are due to expire this March. The ACSD board members who will seek new three-year terms are Victoria Jette and Mary Gill of Middlebury, Suzanne Buck of Bridport, and Jennifer Nuceder of Salisbury. All four were elected without opposition back in 2017. ACSD includes the elementary schools in Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100