KIZZIE AND VANCE Carpenter wave at a Ferrisburgh Fire Department truck as it passes their Shellhouse Mountain Road home during Wednesday evening’s Clang and Bang Parade in Ferrisburgh. The parade traveled along 10 town roads. Photo courtesy of Jessica James
FERRISBURGH — Sirens and horns blared and lights flashed throughout much of northern Ferrisburgh during the evening of Wednesday, April 29, but even though the loud cavalcade came in response to an emergency — not a fire or a car accident, but a global pandemic — it was welcomed with smiles, waves and even more noise.  A half-dozen Ferrisburgh Fire Department and rescue vehicles, plus a Vergennes Area Rescue Squad ambulance, led a parade of cars and SUVs that Ferrisburgh Selectboard Chairwoman Jessica James said probably peaked at a dozen-and-a-half. The parade, organized largely by the...
Gov. Phil Scott on Monday announced that Vermont’s hospitals may reopen for some elective procedures and non-essential visits, if they follow a long list of conditions. Hospitals had to cancel non-essential visits and elective surgeries on March 20 as part of Vermont’s efforts to reorient the healthcare system to focus on COVID-19 care. Hospitals can now restart “non-essential outpatient clinic visits, diagnostic imaging and outpatient surgeries and procedures,” according to a statement from Scott’s office. Scott called Monday’s announcement the first phase of restarting Vermont health care...
MIDDLEBURY — Work on the rail tunnel construction project in downtown Middlebury will restart this week after being on hold for a month and a half on account of the social distancing order from Gov. Phil Scott. “So we got some good news,” said Jim Gish, the town’s community liaison with the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans). “We heard from VTrans Chief Engineer Wayne Symonds that Middlebury’s rail and bridge project has been given the green light to restart construction this week.” Gish told the Independent that strict protocols will be in place to manage the health and safety of both...
MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Women’s Fund late last month distributed $292,000 to nonprofits and initiatives delivering invaluable services that safeguard Vermont’s women and girls during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. In addition to grants made to agencies that serve Vermonters across the state, the fund made grants to two Vergennes-based organizations. John Graham Shelter, which provides services to homeless people and others with housing insecurity in Addison County, received $10,000. Also, the Early Care and Learning Partnership in Vergennes received $5,000 to help it provides services...
ADDISON COUNTY — After closing their doors to outside visitors more than a month ago, local municipal clerks have been slowly opening up to more an more services. But restrictions still apply, and clerks urge everyone to call before coming to their town offices. And don’t forget your mask. In Vergennes, City Clerk Morgan Kittredge is ready to handle title searches, notarize documents, and provide marriage licenses, but as of late this week only by appointment and with at least a day’s notice. “It’s just call and find a time,” Kittredge said. City office workers can provide most or all of the...

Gov. Phil Scott at a press conference on March 20, 2020. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
If Vermont’s low rate of COVID-19 infection continues, the state’s manufacturing, distribution and construction companies will be able to reopen for business May 11 under new health and safety restrictions, Gov. Phil Scott said on Friday. Scott opened the door for those businesses to increase the number of people allowed to work together from five to 10, effective on May 4. And on May 11, “manufacturing, construction, and distribution operations may restart with as few employees as necessary to permit full operations while continuing to maintain health and safety,” the governor said in an...

Dr. John Brumsted, University of Vermont Health Network VTDigger file photo by Erin Mansfield
The University of Vermont Health Network expects to lose $152 million this fiscal year because of the coronavirus crisis. Porter Medical Center in Middlebury is a member of the network. The UVM Health Network outlined a series of steps to fill the gap Friday, including reducing salaries and eliminating retirement benefits for leadership, freezing new hiring, reducing doctors’ pay, and halting new capital projects. Those measures will save $25 million for the network, which is composed of UVM Medical Center and five other hospitals in New York and Vermont. In a release, Health Network CEO John...

ECONOMISTS JEFF CARR, from right, and Tom Kavet, deliver their economic revenue forecast to the State Emergency Board at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. File photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
The Vermont Legislature’s economist projects revenue losses from the COVID-19 crisis will triple in the upcoming fiscal year and that the state could see tax receipts drop by $430 million. Lawmakers are already contending with a massive budget gap in the current fiscal year, with the state expected to lose $144 million in revenue across all of its funds by the end of June. But the economic strain from the virus is only expected to deepen in fiscal year 2021, which begins July 1, according to an initial forecast. Tom Kavet, the Legislature’s economist, this week said that state revenues and...

MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE PRESIDENT Laurie Patton last week said students in the coming year would likely see a “hybrid model of education” that meant some students and faculty would be on campus while others would participate remotely. Independent file photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — In an effort to keep the campus community up-to-date during the COVID-19 health crisis, Middlebury College officials have established a timeline for making key decisions about college programs for the rest of the year. “Our scenario planning considers a variety of situations,” said President Laurie Patton in an April 30 memo posted on the college website. Regardless, she said, it’s likely “that life at Middlebury will be different than it was. Even in the best-case scenarios we are projecting some hybrid model of education, a blend of in-person and remote learning with the strong...

IN AN ADDISON Northwest classroom Jessie Husk James, left, along with her son, Tara Brooks and Julie Basol help unload and organize boxes of donated toys by WowToyz to 7,000 Vermont children. Photo courtesy of Julie Basol
VERGENNES — By the end of this week thousands of children throughout Addison County — and their parents and guardians — will have gotten welcome surprises. Thanks to donations from Vergennes educational toy distributor WowToyz, kids stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic will each be receiving two or three age-appropriate toys through their schools, care providers and other sources that even include police departments. About 7,000 children, including about 1,000 in Burlington, will have new toys by the end of the week, according to WowToyz Vice President for Sales Jody Pierce.  The...


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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100