Vermont’s K-12 schools will open for in-person instruction this fall, state officials announced Wednesday. Students and staff will undergo a health questionnaire and temperature checks every day, and the state will prepare alternatives for remote learning if schools need to close. “We’re learning more every day” about controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus, said Vermont Gov. Phil Scott at his regular COVID-19 press conference. “We know more about this virus now and have the tools to help prevent the spread today that we didn’t have three months ago, which helps us prepare for this...
SPONSORED CONTENT Across our network, we’re welcoming back patients for non-urgent and elective appointments and procedures, including procedures requiring a hospital stay. We’re starting with those that had been postponed by COVID-19. I want you to know that we are taking every possible step to make sure you and your families are safe when you see us again. As part of our commitment to safety and high-quality patient care, we’d like to introduce some of the changes you’ll experience during your next appointment.  

Mount Abraham Union High School senior John Bent chose an iconic form of transportation for graduation on Saturday. Bent and fellow members of the Class of 2020 received their diplomas, to great fanfare, in a socially distanced drive-up ceremony that treated every senior like a rock star. Photo by Buzz Kuhns
BRISTOL — Eighty-one days after their school building was shut down to help prevent the spread of a deadly pandemic — 81 days of remote learning, separation from their friends, canceled extracurricular activities, and anxiety over the fate of their communities and indeed the world itself — the Mount Abraham Union High School Class of 2020 made a triumphant return to campus on Saturday to participate in what will turn out to have been one of the most memorable graduation ceremonies in the school’s history. In addition to the family and friends who accompanied them in the one vehicle they were...

HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE marched in downtown Bristol Tuesday afternoon to denounce the police killing of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis on May 25. Around 1,000 people turned out around the region at various protests. Independent Photo/Christopher Ross
ADDISON COUNTY — Fed up with ingrained racism in America, nearly 1,000 people in Addison County took part in public marches and demonstrations in the past week. It’s a number that seems to be growing locally since protests began around the country after a white Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, a Black man, on May 25. People rallied, waved homemade signs and took a knee in silence at various demonstrations in Vergennes, Bristol and Middlebury in the past seven days.  While hundreds of people turned out at several events, one of the most intimate gatherings took place at Porter...

DINERS ENJOY A meal from Two Brothers restaurant in a properly spaced, outdoor seating area in front of Otter Creek Bakery. Two Brothers on the roundabout in downtown Middlebury has almost no outdoor seating, but the neighbors at Otter Creek Bakery came up with a generous solution. Independent photo/John S. McCright
ADDISON COUNTY — Whether you are an avid restaurant goer, or prefer to cook at home, it is hard to not feel concern for the restaurants and lodging services that have taken a serious financial hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some restaurants were able to shift their services to takeout and have remained flexible as regulations have lifted, others had closed completely and have just recently reopened under limited circumstances. Those circumstances were updated this past Friday, June 5, by Gov. Phil Scott, as he announced restaurants were allowed to open 25% of their indoor seating in...

DURING FILMING OF the short film “A Mother” in Addison County this past August, Art Director Nina Macintosh and Director of Photography Arlene Mueller work behind the scenes to prepare a shot of protagonist “Agnes,” played by Chérie Celeste Malone, cooking in her kitchen.
MIDDLEBURY — A short film shot entirely in Addison County by local filmmaker Natasha Ngaiza has been officially selected to take part in two important film festivals and, because the pandemic has nixed in-person festivals, will be screened online next week. The film, titled “A Mother,” grapples with what it means to be a Black mother in the United States. Ngaiza teaches film production and African cinema courses at Middlebury College and has worked on several projects pertaining to Black motherhood.  She says she prefers to draw from personal experience to tell compelling stories. She is a...
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday unanimously endorsed a coronavirus-related resolution directing all people to wear face coverings in public settings (or outdoors) in Middlebury where it isn’t possible to maintain a 6-foot buffer between the next closest person. The resolution wasn’t forceful enough for the approximately 20 people who had urged the board to pass an ordinance requiring the wearing of face coverings or be subject to police action. But board members argued they had heard from other merchants and residents who believed an ordinance would be too heavy-handed, and...
VERGENNES — After hearing from about 20 residents on Tuesday, the Vergennes City Council took the first steps toward forming a citizen review board to work with and oversee the Vergennes Police Department.  The decision also followed a June 2 forum in which dozens discussed policing with Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel, particularly in light of the recent national outcry over systemic racial bias in policing and the increase in city police spending in recent years. Councilors after discussion backed unanimously the concept and agreed that Mayor Jeff Fritz should appoint a committee...
Gov. Phil Scott is accepting applications from those interested in serving on a newly created Vermont Racial Equity Task Force. The Task Force will among other things evaluate structures of support for racially diverse populations, including a focus on the racial disparities in health outcomes highlighted by COVID-19; review current state and federal law on hate speech and freedom of speech while considering changes to state law to clarify the path for prosecuting harassment, hate speech and other bias-motivated crimes; and study and present options to encourage Vermonters from diverse,...
When Trayvon Martin was killed in Florida in 2012, Joanna Colwell’s daughter was 11 years old. Just old enough, Colwell recalled, to walk by herself to the store in East Middlebury for a Snapple. “It was not in my consciousness that she could be the victim of violence,” Colwell said. “And that is what it is for Black parents.” Seventeen-year-old Trayvon had been walking back from a convenience store when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. “I was very in my bubble,” Colwell acknowledged. “But, as a mom, that murder just got to me and activated me.” Since then, Colwell, who runs the...


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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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