News

08/08/2019
MIDDLEBURY — An Addison County investigator of sex crimes against children is now back at work after a two-week hiatus, which began late last month after Addison County Sheriff Peter Newton decided to drop the state-funded post from his department due to its cost and what he said was a decline in cases. But local advocates for the Addison County Unit for Special Investigations (ACUSI) detective’s position took issue with Newton’s statistics and said there’s plenty of work to keep the position busy. The investigator in question, Det. Lt. Ruth Whitney, will now fall under the jurisdiction of...

ILSLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY'S Tricia Allen prepares to ride her bike — in costume — to deliver free books to kids at the free summer lunch at Middlebury's rec park. Independent photo/Megan James
08/08/2019
MIDDLEBURY — Children’s librarians wear many hats. They are storytellers, teachers, mentors, performers, listeners, event planners. Ilsley Public Library’s Tricia Allen wears many literal hats, too. Every Thursday through the summer she dresses up in a homemade costume — sparkly house fly, rainbow unicorn — loads great piles of books into a trailer and lugs them across town on her bike. She calls it the Book Bike. When she arrives at Middlebury’s rec park, children and their caregivers are milling around the entrance to Memorial Sports Center, awaiting the free lunch provided to kids under 18...

MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE STUDENTS Luna Gizzi, left, and Olivia O’Brien worked as Privilege & Poverty interns at WomenSafe this summer. The internship program, funded by the college, provides experiential learning for students and much-needed help for local social service organizations. Photo by Jason Duquette-Hoffman/Middlebury College
08/08/2019
MIDDLEBURY — “When I feed the poor, they call me a saint, but when I ask why the poor are hungry, they call me a communist.” This quote, attributed to Brazilian Catholic archbishop Dom Hélder Câmara, came up last week during a meeting of Privilege & Poverty interns at Middlebury College. In addition to working for social service organizations in Addison County this summer those interns have been navigating the vast gulf between helping people in need and addressing the underlying causes of those needs. “How do you create a society that doesn’t need WomenSafe?” asked Olivia O’Brien, who...
08/08/2019
SALISBURY — An effort to petition Vermont environmental officials to award the state’s highest protections to the Otter Creek Wetland Complex has shifted course, according to Heidi Willis, chair of the Otter Creek Reclassification Steering Committee. The committee, which assembled in early 2019, initially sought a Class I designation under Vermont Wetland Rules for the 1,500-acre complex of swamps running from Middlebury to Brandon. Approximately 500 landowners in seven towns and two counties own private property that abuts the wetland. This past week, the committee announced it would...
08/08/2019
BRISTOL — After seeing a decrease in their tax bills last year, Bristol residents will see an increase for fiscal year 2020, due in large part to decreasing Act 46 school consolidation incentives. The Bristol selectboard at its Monday, Aug. 5, meeting set the FY2020 municipal tax rate at $0.7057 per $100 of assessed property value, an increase of less than a penny, or about 0.9 percent. At the same time, it set the police district rate — which is assessed only to owners of property mostly in the village area — at $0.3135, a decrease of less than a penny, or about 1.5 percent. As a result,...
08/08/2019
It’s time once again for the Green Mountain Timekeepers Society to take up residence on the porch at Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison. Anyone who wants to learn about their historic clock or pocket watch, and perhaps how to get it going again, can stop in at the site on Sunday, Aug. 11, from noon to 4 pm. If preferred, bring a photograph of the watch or clock. This program is included in the admission to the site ($5 for adults, free for children under 15). As school consolidation in Addison Central School District moves forward, a group of concerned citizens has formed to explore...
08/08/2019
NEW HAVEN — The New Haven selectboard has set the 2019 municipal tax rate at $0.4193 per $100 of assessed property value, a 44.5 percent increase over last year. Over a three-year period, however, the increase amounts to only 7.5 percent. In 2016 the municipal tax rate was $0.3902, then decreased two years in a row. Much of this year’s increase can be attributed to voter-approved road projects, said Town Treasurer Barb Torian. The town’s residential education tax rate for fiscal year 2020 increased by 6.5 percent to $1.6978, in part because this year the Mount Abraham Unified School District...
08/08/2019
VERGENNES — The DR Factory Store at 5 North Main St. in Vergennes will close on Friday, Aug. 16, and as of earlier this week had marked down its inventory of DR, Generac and Husqvarna outdoor power equipment. In mid-2018 Generac, which bought DR Power Equipment from Country Home Products in 2015, moved out of its Vergennes plant on Meigs Road. Work that was done there is now being performed in its new headquarters in South Burlington and at its corporate headquarters in Waukesha, Wis. But last year Generac did not shutter the city’s DR store, which is across North Main Street from the...

AFTER SEVERAL HOURS of drenching rain, rides on the midway of the New Haven fairgrounds were relatively empty on the opening night of Field Days 2019. Independent photo/Benjamin Glass
08/08/2019
NEW HAVEN — Opening night of Addison County Fair and Field Days 2019 on Tuesday was met with scattered showers. The wet conditions prompted fair officials to postpone the 8 p.m. opening parade until Wednesday evening. But despite the wet conditions (this was Field Days, after all; what did you expect?), crowds began to form around the Ferris wheel and ticket booth stations around 9 p.m., and many of the tents were still abuzz with group performances and expositions. Under the tent at the bandstand, across from the Field Days center Pavilion, was the “refused-to-be-rained-out Vergennes City...

ANN LAFIANDRA
08/08/2019
MIDDLEBURY — As construction workers prepared to resume work on a massive rail bridges project that will usher in a new chapter for downtown Middlebury, some of the community’s most seasoned citizens gathered on Monday to reminisce about yesteryear’s Main Street and the characters who helped shape it. The event was called “Back in the Day,” co-sponsored by the Ilsley Public Library and a local storytelling group called “Story Matters.” Anyone with recollections of downtown Middlebury between the 1940s and 1980s was invited to join the storytelling exchange held at the Bundle pop-up space at...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100