John Flowers

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury-area secondary school-age students on Monday, May 3, will begin attending in-person classes four days a week, instead of the current two. Addison Central School District Superintendent Peter Burrows announced the transition in a Wednesday, April 15, email to the school community. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, middle- and high school students have been attending in-person classes on either Mondays and Tuesdays, or Thursdays and Fridays, with the balance of their studies conducted online. Now those students will attend in-person classes each day of the week...
MIDDLEBURY — U.S. Rep. Peter Welch figuratively applied a little salve to Middlebury’s municipal and educational pandemic wounds on Tuesday evening with news of federal recovery grants: $2.57 million for the town, and $3.14 million for the Addison Central School District. That money is Middlebury’s cut from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was aimed at helping the nation rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken a financial toll on municipalities, schools, businesses and individuals. The Vermont Democrat delivered the good news during a 15-minute Zoom...

AN ADDISON COUNTY resident named Annie is among a handful of sexual and domestic violence survivors who lent their stories to a new report on the economics of abuse. The Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence prepared the report. Independent photo/John Flowers
MIDDLEBURY — Annie initially decided she’d to try to forget she’d been raped, rather than report it to police and risk having to relive the traumatic episode over and over again. “I tried to forget, but I was having nightmares almost daily,” the Addison County resident recently related to officials at the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (Vermont Network). “My anxiety level was through the roof.” But she mustered the courage to not only report the incident, but also to recount her experience during two trials. The first proceeding resulted in a mistrial. The defendant was...

THE MIDDLEBURY STUDIO School has hired its first-ever executive director, Sarah Briggs, and is searching for a downtown location to supplement its thriving space on Route 7 south.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Studio School, growing in popularity even through the coronavirus pandemic, has hired its first-ever executive director and is looking to expand programming into a downtown location. “We really want to have a presence in town and to be a part of an art community, and make Middlebury more of a destination for the arts,” said Mary Lower, president of the studio school’s board. The Middlebury Studio School was founded in 2009 by staff, instructors and friends of the former Frog Hollow Craft Center. George Dorsey acquired the former craft center space that same year...

THE REV. ANDY Nagy-Benson, pastor of the Congregational Church of Middlebury, is an architect of “Table 21,” a nonprofit created to evaluate applications from businesses seeking a portion of the donated money to mop up red ink and make payroll.
MIDDLEBURY — The unofficial guardian angel of small, struggling Middlebury-area businesses has made another huge donation — this time for  $350,000 — to help those that have taken a financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. The anonymous benefactor — who lives overseas but has ties to Middlebury — has now given a total of $650,000 this year to help area farms, restaurants, and now stores that are barely making ends meet during a pandemic that just marked its grim one-year anniversary. The Rev. Andy Nagy-Benson, pastor of the Congregational Church of Middlebury, is an architect of “Table 21,”...

WEYBRIDGE RESIDENT SUSAN Humphrey has written a book called “The Path to Fernglade,” which charts the tragic death of her son and her grieving process through 10 years of letters she wrote about the experience. Photo courtesy Susan Humphrey
MIDDLEBURY — Dan Humphrey packed a lot of living in his 26 years. Educator, teacher, musician, athlete, husband. He was an inspiration to his family, friends and many others who marveled at his ability to face a terminal illness with bravery, dignity and at times, a touch of humor. His mom, Weybridge resident Susan Humphrey, is keeping her son’s memory alive with a book that not only eulogizes and celebrates Dan, but also provides emotional nourishment for those dealing with mind-numbing loss. The book, “The Path to Fernglade,” contains reminiscences, poems and letters that Susan sent to...

ANNE SEVERY, RIGHT, poses with MUHS choral teacher Liz LeBeau and members of the Tiger marching band at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City in 2017. After four decades bringing out the best in young musicians, Severy will retire at the end of this school year. Photo courtesy Anne Severy
MIDDLEBURY — Legendary Middlebury Union High School music teacher Anne Severy is playing the final notes of a 40-year career symphony — but don’t be surprised if she returns to the stage for an encore in a substitute role. She’s decided to retire this June and has this to ponder: She’s been in school — as either a student or educator — every year of her life since 1964. Severy, who grew up in Connecticut, comes from a family of teachers. Both her parents were educators — her mom at the college level. Her oldest brother was an art major who became a phys ed instructor, and her sister recently...
MIDDLEBURY — A new incentive program aimed at filling Middlebury’s downtown storefront vacancies has thus far wooed five aspiring entrepreneurs, and organizers were thrilled to report on Monday that Kick Start Middlebury now has $110,000 with which to assist new business ventures. Thanks to two recent gifts, that’s more than twice the initial $50,000 in seed money provided by the town. “After a $10,000 donation from the Rotary Club of Middlebury last week and now Table 21’s match to the town’s initial $50,000 investment, we are absolutely thrilled to offer interested businesses a sizeable...
WEYBRIDGE — Weybridge residents thought they’d dispensed with their 2020 tax bills last October. But the taxman cometh again, this time requesting retroactive payment of taxes that were understated last fall due to what local officials are calling “incorrect education tax rates incorporated in the 2020 tax bill.” “In August 2020, the Department of Taxes changed the procedure for publishing tax rates for individual towns,” reads a notice sent to Weybridge taxpayers recently. “The town made an error in translating the information. The result of the error is that the property tax rate for...

WORKERS HAVE BEGUN to mobilize at Middlebury’s Court Square for a massive water main replacement project that will involve a sizable section of Court Street. It’s one of several projects that will take place in Addison County’s shire town this summer and will include repaving of portions of Routes 7, 30 and 125. Independent photo/William Haig
MIDDLEBURY — While the finishing touches are about to be made to the downtown Middlebury tunnel project, other construction and paving in and around the village could pose challenges for drivers starting next month and run through the summer. Those traveling through Middlebury are already noticing work in the Court Square area. It’s a major effort to replace an antiquated, failing water main with new conduit — 12-inch ductile iron pipe. Local residents last year approved a bond of up to $2.5 million to finance the water main improvements on Court Street, between Court Square and Cross Street...

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Addison County Independent