Megan James

On Friday morning, a ceremonial first train took the inaugural journey through the brand-new rail tunnel in Middlebury, marking the end of the 10-week shutdown of downtown. The Addison Independent's digital editor Megan James covered the event live.   Afterwards, Middlebury selectboard chair Brian Carpenter spoke at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Main Street, and a small parade of firefighters, ambulances and other service workers followed.  

CHELSEY GIULIANI AND her family have been homeschooling for the last five years in Middlebury.
This story first appeared on We were sitting in the car at A&W, waiting for milkshakes — while our daughters wreaked havoc in the way back — when my husband said, “I think we should think about homeschooling.” It was back in July. Back before we knew about Mary Hogan’s hybrid plan for the fall. When all we had was the Vermont COVID-19 guidelines for K-12 schools. Reading that document made me weep, but I still wanted my daughters to go to school. Daniel couldn’t stand the waiting — the not knowing exactly what school would be like, and the fear that a second COVID wave might...
The other day my 3-year-old, Frankie, told us a story.  “Once upon a time Daddy was in the middle of the road,” she began. “On the yellow line.” My husband, Daniel, older daughter Joni, and I waited expectantly.  “And then a car came and crashed into Daddy.” We laughed. “What happened next?” one of us asked. “Then,” Frankie paused (she’s got decent comedic timing), “Daddy fell in a hole.” Joni was cackling now, and it made all of us giggle. “What happened next?” we asked. “Daddy couldn’t get out. And the monsters came. And they ate Daddy’s head.” *hysterical laughter* Daddy had been...
In our latest video from the Middlebury construction zone, we talk to project manager John Whitaker about the next big phase: the installation of the precast concrete tunnel pieces.

DANIEL AND SIX-year-old Joni arrange kindling in the firepit under a vibrant rainbow at our lean-to site at Bomoseen State Park this month. We were thankful to have the lean-to for shelter during the big thunderstorm that passed through earlier that afternoon. Independent photo/Megan James
This story first appeard on At the beginning of the month my family went camping — twice. I had never camped with my children before. I loved camping as a kid, but the idea of sleeping in a tent with a baby or toddler seemed … unpleasant. Then the pandemic happened. Everything was canceled or closed. Suddenly camping seemed like the perfect (only) thing to do to make summer feel special. And now that my kids are 6 and 3, we’re all feeling a little more flexible about sleep. So, inspired by a friend who has been camping with her two young kids almost every week this summer, we...
The removal of Middlebury's Main Street bridge this past Monday marked the beginning of a 10-week intense phase of the rail tunnel construction project. For those who love cranes and dump trucks, it's a 24/7 big-dig show. But if you just want to walk into town and get to the post office... you might have to navigate some new detours. Megan James shows you how! Oh, and in case you were wondering, businesses are still open! 
The Addison Independent is teaming up with Middlebury Community Television this summer to produce weekly video dispatches from the rail bridges project in downtown Middlebury. In the first one, we talk to project manager John Whitaker about the 300-ton crane that was erected last Monday.
Something special happened in Middlebury last weekend. Folks in Buttolph Acres and at EastView were drawn out of their homes and into the streets by an old-fashioned traveling show. Created by Town Hall Theater’s Courageous Stage and performed on a mobile platform, "Doc Lyle Sol's Medicine Show" encouraged pan-banging, music-playing, and cheering from audiences — who were appropriately spaced out and masked — along its route. The original work is a modern twist on the 1800s medicine show, as Doc Sol, a classic “snake-oil salesman,” pulls out all the stops to sell the crowd a miracle cure for...

TOM HANLEY, EMERGENCY management director for the town of Middlebury, stands with his sister Meg Meyer, who is a Registered Nurse at Porter Medical Center. The two are actively contending with the COVID-19 pandemic in different roles.
If you’re on the town of Middlebury mailing list, you probably feel like you’ve gotten to know Emergency Management Director Tom Hanley pretty well over the last couple months. Hanley, who is also the Middlebury police chief, is responsible for those very informative, very readable, sometimes pretty entertaining daily bulletins about our local response to the coronavirus crisis. Each one of Vermont’s cities and towns is required by state law to have an emergency management director. Back in the ’90s, Hanley recalls, the Burlington Free Press did a big article outing the towns that didn’t have...

TWO MEDICAL ASSISTANTS at Porter Medical Center’s by-appointment-only drive-through test center smiled for a picture after swabbing a five-year-old’s nose to test her for COVID-19. Independent photo/Megan James
Let me start by saying this: Please don’t just drop into the drive-through test center at Porter Medical Center. If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 — fever, a dry cough, shortness of breath — please call your primary care physician first. The test center is by appointment only. My kids started coughing on Sunday. By Monday, 5-year-old Joni’s cough was deep and hacking and… terrifying. When she developed a fever that night, it was hard for her dad and I to stay calm. We gave her Tylenol, put her to bed and planned to call her pediatrician in the morning.  Around 8 a.m. we tried calling...


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Addison County Independent

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