News

03/03/2020
On the national scene tonight: Biden and Sanders will likely be neck-and-neck at the end of Super Tuesday with Texas and California likely to split for Sanders, and Biden carrying the southern states, Massachusetts and Minnesota. That is: Biden wins: • North Carolina with 61 percent reporting, 39% to Sanders 24%;, Bloomberg, 14 and Warren 10%. • Tennessee with 72 % reporting, 38% to 25% for Sanders; Bloomberg 17 and Warren, 9 % • Virginia, 99% reporting, 53% to Sanders’s 29%, Warren 10%, Bloomberg, 9%; At 10 p.m., Biden is leading in: • Minnesota, with 22% reporting, 35.9% to Sanders’s 32%;...

TOM THOMPSON IS settling in as the new interim leader of Porter Medical Center. Independent photo/John Flowers
03/02/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Tom Thompson began his career as a healthcare administrator more than three decades ago serving short-term stints as the CEO of small hospitals in the Midwest. This primed him for future, long-term leadership roles at medical institutions from South Dakota to Tennessee. And now Porter Medical Center becomes the beneficiary of his experience, as Thompson’s career comes full circle to the kinds of temporary posts that built his career foundation. Porter’s new interim president took some time on Thursday to discuss his stewardship plans for Addison County’s healthcare hub, which...

DAVID SHARPE, ADDRESSING the Monkton town meeting during his last year as a state representative in 2018, is running for the Mount Abraham Unified School District board as a write-in candidate in Bristol. Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
03/02/2020
BRISTOL — A retired veteran Vermont legislator and former Bristol selectboard member has emerged in the 11th hour as a write-in candidate for an open Bristol seat on the Mount Abraham Unified School District board. David Sharpe, who for four years served as chairman of the Vermont House Education Committee, went public with his candidacy at the MAUSD annual meeting on Feb. 25. Sharpe, a Bristol resident since 1970 and nine-year member of the Bristol selectboard, also served on the Bristol Planning Commission and represented the town on the Addison County Solid Waste Management District. He...

PATRICIA HANNAFORD CAREER Center student Parker Chester shows her winning design for a new Paradiso Coffee bag with Steve Colangeli, owner of Paradiso. Career Center student competed to create the packaging for coffee beans from the East African nation of Burundi. Independent photo/Steve James
03/02/2020
MIDDLEBURY — It’s 7,025 miles from Middlebury to Burundi in East Africa. And one could argue the economic gulf between the two areas is even wider still. Well, two local educators and a Charlotte-based business recently made an effort to bridge that gap in at least a small way, through a scholastic competition that helped participating Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center students learn about the geography, culture and natural resources of Burundi, and financial hardships that its citizens endure on a daily basis. The assignment not only enlightened the students, it will also contribute to...

CO-OWNERS KEVIN “MULE” Murray, left, Rick Carroll and Bernard Quesnel are the self-described two country boys and a farmer behind Ripton Mountain Distillery in Brandon. They are standing in front of the new maple and copper still in which Murray will distill moonshine. Brandon Reporter photo/Lee J. Kahrs
03/02/2020
BRANDON — The owners of Ripton Mountain Distillery were simply drinking their own moonshine almost two years ago when someone suggested they go into the distilling business. Co-owner Rickey Carroll, 56, said it made perfect sense to him and his cousin, distiller Kevin “Mule” Murray, 30. “Instead of just sitting here drinking it, we figured why don’t we just make it?” Carroll said. “So, a farmer and two country boys set out to make the finest spirits in Vermont.” Carroll and Murray are the two country boys, Bernard Quesnel of Middlebury is the farmer, an investor and part owner of Ripton...
03/02/2020
VERGENNES — The Addison Northwest School District and the Addison Northwest Support Staff Association are hoping that a neutral mediator will help them cross the finish line in their contract negotiations. The two sides have met seven times since October, but disagreement remains over two issues: salaries and the conditions surrounding the use of personal leave time, according to a press release issued late last week by ANWSD Superintendent Sheila Soule. ANWSD has 54 support staff, including paraeducator, custodian, food service and secretarial positions. They represent about 26% of total...
03/02/2020
VERGENNES — After months of contentious public conversations about how to solve the increasingly dire problems of decreasing enrollment and increasing education costs, the Addison Northwest School District made the difficult decision to close one of its elementary schools next year. Then, in an effort to preserve programming while keeping tax increases to a minimum, the board crafted a $21,842,595 fiscal year 2021 budget that involved spending less money next year than was spent this year. With that decision in hand, the district printed its 2019–20 annual report. As the report went to press...
03/02/2020
Dear Homeward Bound, My friend has a bunny that messes up her house and her mom says it needs to go outside and live in a hutch. We don’t think her mom is right and are wondering what we can say to convince her to keep the bunny in the house. Do you have any advice? Curious Dear Curious, It’s great that you are advocating for the bunny. Animals need us to be their voice. In this case, I agree with you. It’s not so much that a rabbit shouldn’t be outdoors and in fact supervised outdoor time is really important for bunnies to be able to run and jump and nibble. The problem with hutches is that...
03/02/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Everyone interested in reducing the amount of plastic in our environment — and anyone else who uses disposable plastics in Vermont — is invited to a program called “A Campaign to Stop Single Use Plastics: A Forum on Next Steps in Combating Plastic Pollution.”  The forum will take place Thursday, March 5, from 5-6 p.m., at Ilsley Public Library, 75 Main St., in Middlebury.  Join the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG) and Keep Middlebury Beautiful for a presentation on how Vermont passed the nation’s toughest ban on single-use plastics and how the state can continue the...
03/02/2020
ORWELL — The Fortnightly Club of Orwell, a member of the General Foundation of Women’s clubs of Vermont (GFWC-VT, has announced the availability of scholarships for Vermont women beyond the traditional college age seeking to further their education or training or to upgrade their skills in preparation for advancing in the workplace.  The scholarships range from $500 to $1,500. GFWC-VT has been awarding this financial aid, which is funded through contributions from state federated clubs and from individuals, for many years.  The scholarship is named for Barbara Jean Barker, late of Poultney,...

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Addison County Independent

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