John Flowers


MICHAEL McAULIFFE, PRESIDENT OF Friends of Middlebury Hockey, stands in the facility’s new, heated second-floor space that provides a wonderful view of the rink below. The new space, which includes restrooms, a multi-purpose room and an elevator, opened to spectators two weeks ago. Independent photo/John Flowers
12/05/2019
MIDDLEBURY — Visitors to Middlebury’s Memorial Sports Center have developed a new perspective of the blossoming, community-driven recreation facility at 296 Buttolph Drive. That new perspective comes from now being able to view the hockey action from a warm space some 20 feet above the ice rink. Workers on Monday were putting the finishing touches on the center’s new second floor space, made possible through the generosity of local businesses, civic groups and individual donors. “The amount of love this community has for Memorial Sports Center and for the families who use this facility year-...

THE ORWELL TOWN Hall, right, could be demolished to make way for a cafeteria/gym addition to the adjacent Orwell Village School. That project is part of a $60 million capital improvement bond for the SVUUSD that includes major upgrades to Fair Haven Union High School and a new middle school in Fair Haven. Independent file photo/John S. McCright
12/05/2019
ORWELL — Residents of the six towns in the Slate Valley Unified Union School District (SVUUSD) will vote as soon as this coming spring on a massive, $60 million capital improvements bond issue that would, among other things, pay for a new 8,200-square-foot addition for the Orwell Village School. Recommendations of the SVUUSD Innovation Committee call for construction of a new middle school in Fair Haven and major upgrades to both Orwell Village School and Fair Haven Union High School. The SVUUSD serves children in Orwell, Castleton, Benson, Hubbardton, West Haven and Fair Haven. Orwell merged...
12/05/2019
MIDDLEBURY — Professional arena football at Middlebury’s Memorial Sports Center moved closer to reality on Wednesday with confirmation that its home team — the “Vermont Brew” — has been admitted to the Elite Indoor Football League, known as EIF. The Independent first reported the nascent Vermont Brew’s interest in the Memorial Sports Center back in January of 2018. Brew Assistant General Manager Mike Mazzella at the time confirmed an agreement in principle to use the sports center for its home games. With a venue secured, Brew officials began sorting out other issues — including filling out a...

PEOPLE HELD PLACARDS to draw attention to the plight of the homeless in Addison County during a candlelight vigil in Middlebury last December. The John Graham Housing and Services’ Sleep Out to End Homelessness will take place again this Saturday night in Middlebury. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Ready
12/02/2019
Editor’s note: This is the most recent in an ongoing series of stories on homelessness in Addison County, including "After hitting rock bottom, a woman gives back" (November 28, 2019); "A local woman tells her story of homelessness" (November 21, 2019); "Middlebury police struggle with homelessness surge" (October 17, 2019); and "Homeless shelter readies for a busy winter" (September 30, 2019). MIDDLEBURY — A growing homeless population continues to strain the limited resources of the Middlebury Police Department, to the extent that the local selectboard is asking legislators to devote more...

THE TOWN OF Middlebury recently concluded a five-day “Planapalooza” to create its first-ever downtown master plan, which will include ideas on how development could responsibly occur in a downtown that is already substantially built out. Seen here is the notion of a “pocket neighborhood” surrounding St. Mary’s School off Shannon Street. Graphic courtesy of Town Planning & Urban Design Collaborative LLC
12/02/2019
MIDDLEBURY — A “pocket neighborhood” surrounding the former St. Mary’s School off Shannon Street and a reimagined economic development initiative off Bakery Lane are just two concepts for the future of downtown Middlebury as brainstormed by participants at a flurry of recent planning sessions. Middlebury officials and a town-hired consultant will spend the coming months processing a variety of comments and concepts offered by dozens of residents during a five-day “Planapalooza,” a series of events aimed at shaping the community’s first-ever downtown master plan. A draft of that plan — which...

MARY CHAPMAN WAS homeless just four months ago. Now she’s a board member of the organization that helped her secure a home, and she will be among those participating in a Dec. 7 sleep-out at the Otter Creek Falls to raise money for the homeless in Addison County. Independent photo/Steve James
11/27/2019
Editor’s note: This is the most recent in an ongoing series of stories on homelessness in Addison County, including "A local woman tells her story of homelessness" (November 21, 2019); "Middlebury police struggle with homelessness surge" (October 17, 2019); and "Homeless shelter readies for a busy winter" (September 30, 2019). MIDDLEBURY — Four short months ago, Mary Chapman was homeless. And while she’s now got a place of her own, Chapman is actually looking forward to spending another night in the cold — at Middlebury’s Otter Creek Falls on Dec. 7. That sleep-out will be part of a...

JOANNA DORIA
11/27/2019
MIDDLEBURY — A group of Middlebury-area residents is circulating a petition aimed at forcing two major changes to the Addison Central School District charter that they said would give voters in the seven ACSD-member communities more power in preserving their local elementary schools if they are targeted for future closure. The group has dubbed itself “Save Our Schools ACSD” and is largely made up of residents from Ripton and Weybridge — two of the ACSD’s smallest (by enrollment) elementary schools. The ACSD includes the grade schools in Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Ripton, Salisbury,...
11/27/2019
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard is urging the town’s legislative delegation to provide more resources to communities facing increased expenses caring for people who are homeless and are battling addiction and/or mental illness. That issue topped a list of concerns the board conveyed to lawmakers at a Nov. 19 meeting with Sens. Chris Bray, D-Bristol, and Ruth Hardy, D-Middlebury; and Middlebury Reps. Robin Scheu and Amy Sheldon, both Democrats. The meeting was called to allow for an exchange of ideas as legislators prepare to return to Montpelier in January for the 2020 session. The...
11/25/2019
MIDDLEBURY — The scheduled 10-week closure of Middlebury’s Main Street and Merchants Row is still around six months away, but town officials have already mapped out and approved a plan for temporarily re-routing traffic and reconfiguring parking spaces during what will be a tumultuous construction period for the downtown. Closure of the two key roads is currently slated for May 27 to Aug. 5, during which contractors will be installing a 360-foot-long concrete tunnel that will supplant the Main Street and Merchants Row bridges. That tunnel is the centerpiece of the $72 million project, which...
11/25/2019
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury business owners are hoping to bank a lot of the “green stuff” this holiday season. And we’re not just talking about cash. Local retail boosters are encouraging shoppers, diners and merchants to put more “Middlebury Money” in circulation. Launched around a decade ago, Middlebury Money is a check that can be used for transactions anywhere in Middlebury. It is drawn off a bank account at National Bank of Middlebury that is owned by the Better Middlebury Partnership. The BMP is a civic organization dedicated to the economic vitality of Middlebury’s downtown and the...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100