John Flowers


PORTER HOSPITAL Oliver Parini photo, courtesy of Vermont Integrated Architecture
MIDDLEBURY — Porter Medical Center President Tom Thompson is asking his managers to be frugal during the coming months in an effort to reduce a budget deficit produced in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent email to the PMC community, Thompson noted the organization has seen a $93,000 loss during the first four months of fiscal year 2021. By contrast, Porter officials had been counting on a $413,000 gain at this point He attributed the red ink to the fact that some potential patients continue to postpone medical care out of concern over the coronavirus. As was the case with hospitals...

ANNA BENVENUTO
MIDDLEBURY — Porter Medical Center is adopting a new leadership structure that will invite more physicians input into management of the county’s hospital, nursing home and a dozen affiliated provider practices. It’s a move that Porter administrators believe will lead to smoother operations and better services for patients. And PMC’s switch from a hierarchical management system to a team-based model will be closely watched by University of Vermont Health Network officials, who could choose to replicate the new system if it pays dividends for Porter. PMC is an affiliate of UVM Health Network....

MARY JANE NOTTONSON
MIDDLEBURY — There’s never been a better time for some people to enter the health care field if they live in Addison County. Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing and the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center are collaborating on a new course offering aspiring Licensed Nursing Assistants (or LNAs) not only free tuition, but also a paycheck while they’re studying and a guaranteed job after they graduate. It’s called the Licensed Nursing Assistant Training Program, and enrollment is open through April 1 for the six-week course, which begins April 7. Classes are 3 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays,...

HOLMES JACOB OF Two Brothers Tavern on Main Street was happy to get the unexpected infusion of cash from Table 21.
MIDDLEBURY — Congregational Church of Middlebury pastor Andy Nagy-Benson knows what it’s like to lead a donation drive. Asking folks to give money, even for super-worthy causes, can be challenging — particularly during a pandemic. But Pastor Andy recently got a chance to give away some money himself — through a new nonprofit cause called Table 21. In all, 19 ailing restaurants and farms in the Middlebury area received grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000. They’ll use those resources to eat into shortfalls they’ve experienced during COVID-19 restrictions that have hammered restaurants and...

PHILANTHROPIST WILL JACKSON is donating this beautiful, 130-acre parcel of land to the town of Lincoln. The property, located off River Road near the Lincoln Community School, will be accessible to the public for hiking, cross country skiing and other passive recreation. The Middlebury Area Land Trust is facilitating the donation and future care of the property. Photo by Josh Hummel
LINCOLN — People traveling up Lincoln’s River Road have undoubtedly seen a nondescript dirt pull-off that fronts a gated dirt road. It’s right before you get to the Lincoln Community School. Unbeknownst to many, that dirt road leads to 130-acre jewel of a property strewn with trails, meadows, forestland and what Middlebury Area Land Trust Executive Director Jamie Brookside calls “an incredible, sweeping view” of Mount Abraham. “It’s breathtaking,” she said during a recent interview. “I’ve been to a lot of incredible places in Vermont, and this is up there.” Owned by Cornwall resident Will...
MIDDLEBURY — Hundreds of Addison Central School District educators will get access to COVID-19 vaccinations at a special clinic to be offered at Middlebury Union High School on Tuesday, March 16. The Vermont National Guard will coordinate the event, which will be the only vaccination site for the ACSD, according to district Superintendent Peter Burrows. “They will be administering the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and we will have a follow-up clinic for the second dose three weeks later,” Burrows told the Independent. “At this time, eligible staff include all full-time staff, part-time...
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury Union Middle School will have a new principal come July 1 to help navigate the school through one of its most eventful years ever. His name is Michael Dudek, and for the past eight years he has served as principal of Blackstone Millville Regional High School in Blackstone, Mass. Dudek will succeed former MUMS Principal Kris Francoeur, who had hoped to resume her duties this fall after taking a one-year sabbatical to care for her husband, Paul, who is living with Lou Gehrig’s disease. But Francoeur resigned in January in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the...

DEB WESLEY, CEO of Addison County Home Health & Hospice, dispenses a COVID-19 injection to Middlebury resident Pat Durfee last week. ACHH&H is in its third week of vaccinating homebound seniors, most of whom see the COVID shot as a passport to reconnecting with family members they haven’t seen during the year- long pandemic. Photo courtesy Maureen Conrad
NEW HAVEN — It’s early Thursday morning, and the spacious Addison County Home Health & Hospice (ACHH&H) headquarters off Route 7 in New Haven is almost empty. The vast majority of the agency’s 60 clinical staff has already been dispatched to all corners of the county, caring for patients too sick or frail to travel during this, the winter of COVID-19. But two ACHH&H officials remain inside the building, their eyes darting tensely between a clock and a window view of the parking lot outside. They’re waiting for the delivery truck that will signal the start of what will be a 15-hour...

AN ARTISTIC STATUE seen in the Cornwall village on Town Meeting Day holds one of the “Brave Little Town” signs seen around the Addison Central School District urging residents to allow Ripton to leave the district. The effort prevailed. Independent photo/Steve James
RIPTON — The town of Ripton’s quest to withdraw from the Addison Central School District will now advance to the State Board of Education. This comes after the Ripton’s bid to become its own independent school district earned an endorsement on Tuesday from each of the six other ACSD-member communities: Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Salisbury, Shoreham and Weybridge. These are the results from those towns: •  Bridport — 189 yes, 58 no. •  Cornwall — 425 yes, 67 no. •  Middlebury — 1,180 yes, 312 no. •  Salisbury — 174 yes, 45 no. •  Shoreham — 210 yes, 32 no. •  Weybridge — 217 yes, 40 no....
MIDDLEBURY — Residents in four local towns on Tuesday voted in favor of sending a message to entrepreneurs that their municipalities will consider applications for cannabis retail stores in the future. Vermont’s Act 164, which legalized recreational marijuana, requires a municipality to “opt in” before a retailer selling marijuana can open in that community. That can only be done via a Yes/No vote of town residents. More than a dozen Vermont municipalities held an “opt-in” vote on Town Meeting Day. Locally, Middlebury (by a vote of 951-546 ),Vergennes (387-185), Salisbury (118-105) and...

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Addison County Independent