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THESE WEYBRIDGE WOMEN have joined forces to reshape the school closure debate in the Addison Central School District. Pictured here, left to right, are Amy Mason, Jennifer Phelps and Julia Barry. Independent photo/John S. McCright
01/20/2020
WEYBRIDGE — Three Weybridge women have joined forces to infuse two ingredients they believe have been in short supply thus far in the school closure debate in the Addison Central School District: financial statistics and conversation that prioritizes students’ needs. “We want to be doing what works best for children, particularly our most vulnerable children, and we want that to be at the very heart of our school board’s planning and decision making process,” said one of the women, Julia Barry. She and her friends Amy Mason and Jennifer Phelps have a combined seven children attending either...
01/20/2020
VERGENNES — The Vergennes City Council on Jan. 14 decided to slow its timetable for seeking approval of a new city charter. A public vote probably will not happen until 2021 at the earliest, as council members pointed to the ongoing uncertainty about the city’s boundaries. The council, however, will still hold its public meeting devoted to the proposed charter this Tuesday. That meeting is set for Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Vergennes fire station. Councilor Mark Koenig, who has spearheaded the rewrite effort on behalf of the council, said the meeting should still go on, in part out of fairness...

WILD MOUNTAIN THYME at 48 Main St. in downtown Middlebury will soon close after almost 50 years of continuous ownership by one family. Pictured here, left to right, are store associate Jen Oberkirch, business owner Paula Israel and store associate Kitty Hall. Photo courtesy of Jen Oberkirch
01/20/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Wild Mountain Thyme, Main Street Middlebury’s longest running business under the same ownership, will soon close its doors. Owner Paula Israel — who since 1976 has helmed the 48 Main St. shop featuring a well-curated mix of clothing for women and children, jewelry, art, gifts and décor — said it’s time to move on. Israel playfully cited “old age” as the reason for her decision to close the shop, which in recent days has seen a lot of customers looking to take advantage of deep discounts associated with her going-out-of-business sale. Israel, 65, hasn’t set a specific date for...

FERRISBURGH FIREFIGHTER JIM AVERILL, left, receives the ACFA Senior Firefighter of the Year Award from Bob Patterson. Photo by Mark Bouvier
01/20/2020
FERRISBURGH — The atmosphere was celebratory as almost 200 firefighters from 17 local departments gathered at the Eagles Club for the Addison County Firefighters Association (ACFA) 76th annual meeting this past Wednesday. They took the opportunity to pay tribute to their colleagues who have died, share a few laughs, and celebrate the year’s achievements. Those achievements included organizing the 130th annual Vermont State Firefighters Association Convention and holding the convention in Middlebury this past summer without any cost to the Addison County association, and collectively...
01/20/2020
PANTON — The Panton selectboard on Jan. 14 adopted a proposed 2020-2021 budget that if approved by residents on Town Meeting Day would increase town spending by about 5.7 percent to $660,789. The higher spending could translate to an additional 3.31 cents on the municipal portion of the town’s tax rate to a new figure of 61.07 cents per $100 of assessed property value. The change translates to about $33 per $100,000 of assessed value. According to the budget printout, however, the rate could move in April when Panton’s grand list of property value is made final. The spending increase of $35,...
01/20/2020
NEW HAVEN — Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) has proposed building a backup operations facility in New Haven. The 18,000-square-foot, two-story building, which VELCO hopes to begin constructing this summer, would be located on property it already owns — 760 Main St., just east of its current substation — and would be set back roughly 500 feet from the road, according to the 45-Day Notice of Project Filing the company sent to the Vermont Public Utility Commission (PUC) on Sept. 24, 2019. VELCO presented the project to the town of New Haven on Oct. 7 and has met with the selectboard and...
01/20/2020
LINCOLN — A Florida man has been charged with one count of lewd or lascivious conduct with a child and one count of luring a child, stemming from a Dec. 27 incident in Lincoln, according to a press release issued by Vermont State Police. Walter Hutton, 35, of Palm Harbor, Fla., was arrested by the Pinellas County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 13 and will be extradited to Vermont to face the charges, the press release said. The VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigations received a complaint about the incident on Dec. 28. “As a result of subsequent investigative actions, including multiple...

AMY RICE IS a registered dietician based in Middlebury.
01/20/2020
ADDISON COUNTY — Earlier this month, with “input from a panel of health experts,” U.S. News & World Report released a ranking of “the best and worst diets.” The national media immediately picked up the story, and advocates for popular diets that ranked poorly took to the internet to criticize the “science” behind the rankings. For people struggling to lose weight, regain their health or repair their relationships with food or their own bodies, such rankings may seem to hold out renewed promise for an easy, straightforward solution to their problems. But that promise may just be a false...
01/20/2020
BURLINGTON — Across Vermont and around the world people turned the calendar to 2020 and set new and renewed goals for better health and wellness. The Vermont Department of Health (DOH) wants you to know there are an amazing number of supports and resources available at your fingertips to help you to succeed. From finding healthy weight programs in your community, to getting a flu shot, to help quitting smoking, here are a few of the DOH’s top resources. Find them all at HealthVermont.gov. Each .gov or .org item below is a website; check out the ones that appeal to you. IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH A...
01/20/2020
RiseVT-Addison County is spreading the message that eating together is as a family is good for children and teens. Studies support the lifelong benefits of family meals. Eating as a family leads to healthier eating, and improves children’s learning and well-being, the organization says. The studies show that family meals: • Help children do better in school. Parents are likely to know more about how children are doing in school. • Support social-emotional development. Teens are more likely to have better self-esteem and less likely to experience depression or develop an eating disorder. •...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100