Lee J. Kahrs

02/20/2020
BRANDON — The Dunmore Hose Company is currently without a fire chief. Brandon Fire Chief Roman Wdowiak has resigned citing internal policy disputes and philosophical differences with the fire department membership. Wdowiak submitted a letter of resignation to Brandon Fire District No. 1 Superintendent Ray Counter following the annual district meeting on Jan. 13 and asked Counter to submit copies to the district’s prudential board. Reached for comment Tuesday morning, Wdowiak said the decision was clear to him. “It’s quite simple,” he said. “It came down to philosophical differences about what...
02/20/2020
BRANDON — A group of all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts is working to create a better trail system in Brandon and legitimize ATV riding in the area. The goal is to engage private landowners and the town and use land and small sections of public road to form an ATV trail system in and around Brandon. Organizer Stacey Mohan said the idea stemmed from a petition she and her fellow ATV enthusiasts circulated in an attempt to get an article on the Brandon Town Meeting ballot. But that effort led to misinformation and rumor, she said. The town of Newport in the Northeast Kingdom approved a measure...

LAURIE HART OF Crooked Tails Farm and Rescue in Pittsford holds a one-footed duck that was rescued from the Hegarty farm on Kimball Road in Brandon. Hart spent a full week with Erika and Mark Gutel of Kinder Way Animal Sanctuary rounding up roughly 275 ducks, geese, turkey and chickens at the farm. Photo by Erika Gutel
02/20/2020
BRANDON — The number of animals relocated from a troubled farm in Brandon has risen to 400. Police executing a warrant on Jan. 31 initially seized 125 animals on the farm owned by William M. Hegarty, 54, and cited him for animal abuse. Animal welfare officials, including Erika and Mark Gutel of Kinder Way Sanctuary, and volunteers last week wrapped up a couple weeks rounding up more animals — many of them fowl — on the Kimball Road farm. The police affidavit in the case and accompanying photos illustrate horrific conditions at the farm. “There were so many hiding, it took days to get to them...

A LINE OF cars and trucks towing livestock trailers wait outside the Hegarty farm on Friday as Brandon Police, assisted by local and state agency officials, executed a search warrant. One hundred and twenty animals were seized by authorities.
02/06/2020
BRANDON — More than 100 animals were seized from a farm on Kimball Road this past Friday, and the property owner has been charged with animal abuse. The farm has been the subject of animal abuse investigations in the past, and neighbors said the most recent raid was a relief. On Friday, Jan. 31, Brandon police executed a search warrant at the Hegarty property located at 671 Kimball Road, assisted by the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. The search resulted in the removal of 120 farm and domestic animals from the property over two days....
01/30/2020
PITTSFORD – The Pittsford selectboard has unanimously supported a resolution making the Sunshine Village a gun owner sanctuary. The resolution claims the right to nullify, or invalidate, laws that infringe on what a gun rights organization calls “the lawful use of firearms.” The five-member board approved the move last week; but residents of Pittsford won’t be voting on it. The original request came at the board’s regular meeting Jan. 22 from Florence resident Brian Wood, who asked the selectboard to approve a Town Meeting Day ballot resolution. “It doesn’t have a real, legal standing, but it...
01/23/2020
BRANDON — The Otter Valley Unified Union school district board last week approved a proposed $20,377,427 fiscal year 2021 budget that would increase spending over the current year by 2.22%. Board members call it a modest increase as the district handles the ever-shifting demographics that influence staffing at each school, student population numbers, and the individual needs of those students. The state doles out education funding money based on the number of students a school educates, and OVUU is seeing positive trends in enrollment that are keeping costs in check. Education spending per...
01/23/2020
BRANDON – In a world where advocates are hard to find and harder to keep, where the most vulnerable are keen for guidance and support, there is New Circle Mentoring. The program launched by the Safer Society Foundation in Brandon is entering its third year, but Executive Directive Mary Falcon said a new direction requires outreach, and mentors and donations are needed for the program to fulfill its mission. For the last 30 years, the nonprofit has quietly published books, journals and other materials for clinicians and professionals on the prevention and treatment of sexual abuse and social...

DERRICK COUNTER LOOKS over the burnt remains of his family’s mobile home off Route 7 in Leicester after a Jan. 2 blaze destroyed the home. The family escaped safely, but several pets perished. Brandon Reporter photo/Lee J. Kahrs
01/09/2020
LEICESTER — The Counter family of Leicester lost everything in a Jan. 2 fire that consumed their mobile home and killed several animals, but they are heartened by a community that is rallying in support. The mobile home was located toward the back of the property next to Champlain Beverage off Route 7 near the four corners by Leicester Central School. The blaze began in the area of a woodstove operating on an exterior porch just before 2 a.m. this past Thursday morning. The mobile home was owned by Derrick and Tonya Counter, who also own and operate Mountain View Automotive on the same...
01/02/2020
BRANDON — Brandon-area schools are taking “See something, say something” to the next level in handling student threats to schools and classmates. That’s good news for parents concerned about procedure and Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union school officials who can’t share specific information due to privacy policies. In January, schools across the district are rolling out a new threat assessment preparedness program called PREPaRE. It is a national, team-based risk and threat assessment program that RNeSU Superintendent Jeanne Collins said allows school officials to be more preemptive in...
12/23/2019
BRANDON — The move from Division II to Division III may be more of a lateral move for the Otter Valley Union High School girls’ basketball team this year. While they will no longer have to travel to Brattleboro and Mount Anthony, they will have to deal with strong teams in Lake Region, Windsor and Thetford. Still, shorter bus trips to away games can’t hurt. Third-year coach Kelley Trayah has all of his starters back this year, including five seniors and four juniors. “It will definitely help, especially with travel,” Trayah said. “When you have to travel two and a half hours, it takes a lot...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100