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TRAVELERS AT BEIJING Capital International Airport wore facemasks to guard against transmission of a novel coronavirus. The spread of the illness prompted Middlebury College, like many other institutions, to cancel its three programs in China. Photo by Benjy Renton
01/30/2020
BEIJING, China — Middlebury College junior Benjy Renton may have been a little disappointed after the college cancelled his study abroad program to China this week due to the expanding outbreak of the coronavirus, but he was surely too busy to show it. An experienced traveler in China, Renton swung into action, helping his fellow students put their affairs in order, book travel to their home countries and evacuate the country where most had planned — some for years in advance — to study for at least the coming few months. “Our partner for programs in China just cancelled their spring programs...
01/30/2020
VERGENNES — After months of intense public debate over how to address sharply rising costs and steadily declining enrollment, the Addison Northwest School District board has proposed a fiscal year 2021 budget that would reduce spending by more than 1% over the current year, avoid programming cuts, minimize education property tax increases and close Addison Central School (ACS) for use as an elementary school. On Town Meeting Day, March 3, ANWSD residents will be asked to approve $21,842,595 in spending for next year, which is nearly $300,000 less than the amount voters approved for the...
01/30/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury-area voters on March 3 will be asked to approve $39,507,837 in public education spending for the 2020-2021 school year, a budget that reflects a 3.74-percent increase that would essentially allow the Addison Central School District to maintain current programming for children in pre-K through grade 12. If approved by voters in the ACSD-member towns of Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Ripton, Salisbury, Shoreham and Weybridge, the budget would result in education spending of $18,885.85 per equalized pupil, which would represent a 7.76% increase. The ACSD includes...
01/30/2020
VERGENNES — Barring a write-in campaign, there will be only one contested race for the top deliberative panels in the five communities of the Vergennes area, although there will be new faces on the Vergennes City Council and the Ferrisburgh selectboard. The contest comes in Vergennes, where four candidates filed for three seats on the city council: Deputy Mayor Lynn Jackson Donnelly, Alderman David Austin, and two seeking to become councilors for the first time, Tara Brooks and Rebecca Rey. Both Brooks and Rey have civic experience. Brooks, now the Addison Northwest School District...
01/30/2020
Soon the spring will bring bare Middlebury sidewalks — all the better to view a poem that will be permanently etched into the sidewalk at the bottom of the front steps leading into the Ilsley Library. The poem, written by Ted Scheu, is the first winner of a “Word on the Street” contest spearheaded by the Middlebury UndergrounD group. David Hohenschau was key coordinator of a competition that led to the selection of Scheu’s poem, titled “My Place to Fly.” If your poem didn’t make the cut this first time, there will be more opportunities. Other poems will adorn Middlebury’s sidewalk-scape....
01/30/2020
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) board on Tuesday, as expected, agreed to warn a roughly $31.4 million budget for the 2020-2021 school year that, if approved on Town Meeting Day, would increase the five-town district’s spending by 1.45%. The district has estimated it would spend $18,746.76 per pupil, just $13 short of an amount that would trigger a state-imposed dollar-for-dollar penalty on district taxpayers. But the tax impacts of that budget are now unclear because the district on Wednesday received new data from the Department of Education (DOE) that showed...

SHANNON WARDEN
01/30/2020
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Unified School District board on Tuesday unanimously agreed to hire Interim Principal Shannon Warden as the new Mount Abraham Union High and Middle School principal. Warden had been serving as the interim principal at Mount Abe since July 1, when Superintendent Patrick Reen appointed her to the position following a survey of the school’s faculty and staff. Her appointment followed the June resignation of former principal Jessica Barewicz to take a job in Barre, a move that gave MAUDS little time to find a new leader for its high school. This time Reen said a mid-...
01/30/2020
PITTSFORD – The Pittsford selectboard has unanimously supported a resolution making the Sunshine Village a gun owner sanctuary. The resolution claims the right to nullify, or invalidate, laws that infringe on what a gun rights organization calls “the lawful use of firearms.” The five-member board approved the move last week; but residents of Pittsford won’t be voting on it. The original request came at the board’s regular meeting Jan. 22 from Florence resident Brian Wood, who asked the selectboard to approve a Town Meeting Day ballot resolution. “It doesn’t have a real, legal standing, but it...
01/30/2020
SHOREHAM —  In 45 B.C., Julius Caesar and his astronomer, Sosigenes, calculated the need for a leap year every four years to make up for the discrepancy between the lunar and solar calendars. While he was at it, he chose to rename the month of Quintillis after himself, so now we have July. AROUND TOWN Platt Memorial Library holds preschool activity time Monday mornings from 10:30 to 11 a.m. and a drop-in craft from 9 a.m. to noon every Saturday. If you know of someone unable to leave their home this winter that would appreciate a tea and cookie visit from our friendly St. Genevieve/Bernadette...
01/30/2020
ADDISON — The stories of Vermont naval history and commercial shipping have been well documented by generations of historians. However, the traditions of small boat building from throughout our state have remained untold. The Addison Town Historical Society plans to remedy that  when they host “From Skiffs to Sail Ferries: The Story of Vermont's Small Boat Traditions” on Sunday, Feb. 23. The bulk of the state’s historic boatbuilding traditions involve Vermonters building their own boats, whether for pleasure or commercial use. The historical record illuminating this subject resides today...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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