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.
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,...
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...
MIDDLEBURY— Governor Phil Scott and Lindsay Kurrle, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, recently announced the distribution of $2.5 million in federal CARES Act funding for Restart Vermont Technical Assistance. This funding will deliver robust support to Vermont businesses impacted by the economic downturn due to COVID-19. The funding, allocated by the Vermont General Assembly in Act 137, leverages existing statewide and regional assets to reach a broad range of companies in every sector and region.
The Regional Development Corporations of Vermont (RDCs of VT)...
MONTPELIER — Last week the Vermont Department of Labor distributed $21.6 million to 25,675 claimants through the Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) program. Paper checks were mailed directly to claimants who certified their employment had been impacted by COVID-19 for the weeks ending Aug. 1, Aug. 8, and Aug. 15, 2020.
“Since receiving funding for this program, our team has been hard at work developing and implementing necessary requirements to issuethissupplementalbenefitpayment to Vermonters as expeditiously as possible,” said VDL Commissioner Michael Harrington. “Additionally, claimants in...
MONTPELIER — With the seventh month of the coronavirus pandemic approaching, the lenders who helped thousands of Vermont businesses obtain Paycheck Protection Plan loans last winter are now delving into the business of seeing those loans converted to grants.
About 12,740 Vermont businesses received loans worth $1.2 billion from the PPP, a program Congress and the U.S. Treasury put together in the early days of the pandemic in March to assist businesses hurt by the economic shutdown intended to prevent the spread of the virus. The PPP, part of the $2 trillion federal coronavirus relief bill,...
THE URBAN FAMILY spent a sweltering day this summer installing the new pollinator garden at Bristol Elementary School.
BRISTOL — Bristol Elementary School (BES) now boasts a pollinator garden on its campus. It took a village to create a natural space for Bristol children to explore. Parents, inspired by the joy their children experienced during the school’s Forest Days, wanted to build on it. Thus the pollinator garden idea was born. Parents and school administration began meeting to remove hurdles to students being outdoors. The focus of the effort became:
• Outdoor classroom space to facilitate classroom-based learning outdoors
• Natural playscape to encourage engaging with and observing the natural world...
MONTPELIER — Secretary of State Jim Condos distilled his election guidance to three words Monday. “Seal, sign, and send!” he said in a statement announcing the start of the early voting period for the Nov. 3 election.
All Vermonters can expect to receive a ballot before Oct. 7. I you don’t, Condos advises “the voter should contact their Town or City Clerk to ensure they receive a ballot.”
All voters had the option of mailing in their ballot during the primary early voting period, but in the general election every eligible voter should automatically receive a ballot.
MIDDLEBURY — COVID-19 will try to impersonate the Grinch during the upcoming holiday season, but the nonprofit organization Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects (HOPE) is committed to providing free Christmas treats to children in low-income households even though the pandemic is forcing it to suspend its seasonal gift shop.
HOPE has historically hosted the holiday gift shop at its headquarters at 282 Boardman St. in Middlebury. Coordinated by Kate Selby and staffed by several tireless volunteers, the shop has received, sorted and displayed a myriad of gift options for children up to age 18 who...
VERMONT — 4-H At Home offers a smorgasbord of programs and activities for kids of all ages with topics ranging from veterinary science, civic engagement and environmental leadership to gardening and nutrition, babysitting and learning to code.
This University of Vermont Extension 4-H website serves as a clearinghouse for learning opportunities designed to teach youths new skills, share information on age-appropriate topics and challenge them to think about important issues. All are open to both 4-H members and non-4-H’ers. In addition, there are links to activity sheets for various livestock...