News


HELEN PORTER NURSING & Rehabilitation is Addison County's largest nursing home. Independent photo/Angelo Lynn
09/24/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Porter Hospital officials on Tuesday, Sept. 29, will lobby the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) to reconsider its recommendation to pare back the hospital’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget request because it, in part, subsidizes operations at Helen Porter Nursing & Rehabilitation — Addison County’s largest nursing home. Porter Medical Center officials are warning that the GMCB’s failure to reconsider its budget directive could have catastrophic impacts on both the hospital and Helen Porter. “Porter Hospital’s budget was submitted in complete alignment with established guidelines and...
09/24/2020
MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Department of Health (DOH) today, Thursday, Sept. 24, reported a total of 83 Addison County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 thus far, same as yesterday. Middlebury College has thus far reported two confirmed COVID-19 cases as part of its on-campus testing program, which has administered 6,371 tests.  The DOH provides limited data on town-by-town coronavirus cases. According to that data, Vergennes has reported 14 COVID-19 cases thus far, Bristol and Middlebury have recorded eight, Orwell seven, and New Haven and Ferrisburgh six. None of Addison County’s 18...

VERMONT SECRETARY OF Transportation Joe Flynn cuts the ribbon before the ceremonial first train traveled through Middlebury's new rail tunnel on Friday. Independent photo/Steve James
09/24/2020
MIDDLEBURY — More than four years of planning, dozens of often contentious meetings, a 10-week burst of around-the-clock construction and $72 million in state and federal funding all came down to a seven-minute train ride on Friday, Sept. 18, that ceremoniously signaled the completion of a massive new rail tunnel and the reopening of downtown Middlebury. Scores of facemask-wearing spectators lined the route of the “first train” with eight rail cars that hosted various municipal and Middlebury College dignitaries; representatives of Kubricky Corp., VHB Engineers and the Vermont Agency of...

THE COUNCILORS, LEFT to right: Ian Huizenga, Jill Murray-Killon, Mel Hawley and Dickie Austin
09/24/2020
VERGENNES — In what officials said was strong turnout for a special election, Vergennes voters on Tuesday chose three political newcomers and former longtime city manager Mel Hawley, out of a field of 14 candidates, to fill four vacancies on the Vergennes City Council.  Joining Hawley as councilors are city restaurateurs Dickie Austin and Ian Huizenga and contract administrator Jill Murray-Killon. Hawley won by a single vote over former councilor David Small, however, and a recount looms on Friday. Dickie Austin is a lifelong city resident who for the past 15 years has managed restaurants,...
09/24/2020
ADDISON COUNTY — Tuesday’s announcement by Secretary of Education Daniel French that Vermont schools would move on Saturday into Step 3 of their pandemic reopening will not necessarily mean immediate changes, but schools will have more options on the table that could soon be put in place.  The most immediate effect will be the resumption of interscholastic sports competition this weekend. The most dramatic impact over the next few weeks could be a push to return kindergarten through 6th grade to full-time, in-person learning.  In his televised remarks, French emphasized the decision to do so...
09/24/2020
VERMONT — Vermont farmers who go above and beyond state and federal regulations for reducing phosphorus runoff will soon be compensated for that extra work. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) is launching the Vermont Pay-for-Phosphorus Program (VPFP), thanks to a $7 million grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The program, which was funded in the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills, will pay out $4.9 million over five years. Eligible farmers would receive direct payments for verified phosphorus load reductions in agricultural crop fields that exceed...
09/24/2020
Town offices are slowly starting to open up for person-to-person business, following a lengthy suspension of such services due to COVID-19.  Bristol town offices this past Monday announced open hours on Monday and Wednesday mornings, from 8 a.m. to noon. Like Bristol, most town offices are imposing the following health/safety rules: Only three customers allowed in the lobby at any given time, six feet minimum distance must be kept between people, mask wearing is mandatory, and of course don’t come in if you’re not feeling well.  Middlebury’s Ilsley Public Library is one of 48 libraries...

MATT BIRONG
09/24/2020
ADDISON COUNTY — All of Addison County’s incumbent state senators and representatives will run for re-election Nov. 3, and many challengers have stepped up to make sure there will be competition for the two state Senate seats representing Addison County, Huntington and Buel’s Gore, as well as in five of the county’s six House districts. Over the next few weeks, as part of its election coverage, the Independent will publish a series of legislative candidate Q&As, grouped by contest. We asked each candidate the same six questions and offered them space for additional comment. For a list...

LLOYD KOMESAR, LEFT, MNFF founder and producer, and Jay Craven, MNFF artistic director, say this year's virtual festival was a success.
09/24/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Organizers of this year’s Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF) didn’t know what to expect for viewership, after having had to quickly pivot to a first-ever online format after the COVID-19 pandemic made the usual in-person event impossible in Middlebury. But early returns show the sixth annual festival more than held its own, with this year’s crop of 26 feature films and 33 shorts garnering a combined total of more than 5,000 hits through the CinseSend platform. Instead of viewing the films at a handful of Middlebury venues during the usual multi-day event, this year,...
09/24/2020
VERGENNES — The Addison Northwest School District board said it will use a recently completed study of ANWSD’s demographics, facilities and options for the future to inform both its planning for the years ahead and its work to educate district residents about the choices and challenges ANWSD faces.  The recently completed study was performed by the New England School Development Council, or NESDEC, an independent nonprofit from Marlboro work that routinely performs more than 200 such studies a year for schools and districts around New England. NESDEC at the same time produced a similar study...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100