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ELECTRIC FENCING AND other precautions can diminish predators like bears, foxes, fishers and others from raiding the chicken coop VTF&W photo/John Hall
04/30/2020
UNDERHILL — Keeping a small flock of chickens at home to provide eggs and meat has become increasingly popular, but many first-time small-scale poultry farmers are discovering that several species of wildlife like the taste of chicken as much as we do. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department urges poultry owners to use electric fencing and follow other precautions to protect their birds from predation. “We have had a dramatic increase this spring in the number of complaints about bears, foxes, raccoons, fisher, coyotes, skunks, and bobcats preying on chickens,” said Colonel Jason Batchelder...
04/30/2020
MIDDLEBURY — The Addison Central School District board on Monday pressed “pause” on a facilities master planning process that could ultimately lead to the closure/consolidation of one or more of the ACSD’s seven elementary schools. The board made its decision in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has temporarily put a lid on public gatherings. Past meetings about the future of Middlebury-area school facilities have drawn big crowds, and ACSD officials realize those kinds of meetings can’t be held virtually through Zoom or other social media platforms. But while the pandemic is suspending...

AREA EARLY CHILDHOOD educators are pooling together their resources to launch a community arts and crafts project for families stuck at home during the pandemic. Most of the projects can be completed with materials easily found at home. Here's the first one: Create a "homing" pigeon.
04/30/2020
Got Switchel? How about Bluebirds? The Makery at Hannaford Career Center continues to offer online workshops via the eMakery. The latest additions include a Switchel workshop and Bluebird house construction.  Learn about the history of switchel, a historic drink from early America, popular with farmers during haying seasons of the past. On Thursday, May 7, from 5-6 p.m., Amy Mincher, historian and museum professional, will demonstrate how to make a few popular variations including a fermented version. Recipes will be provided in advance so that you can follow along during the class. There are...
04/30/2020
FERRISBURGH — While the Vorsteveld Farm LLC tree-cutting case in a Ferrisburgh road right-of-way that dates back three years and theoretically could involve a $1 million fine awaits an Environment Court date, another smaller similar case has cropped up this spring in the town. On May 5 the Ferrisburgh selectboard will discuss whether to fine Ferrisburgh resident Bernie Dam up to $500 for cutting down a tree within the town’s Button Bay Road right-of-way late this winter without first seeking permission. Ferrisburgh Tree Warden Clifton Mix made that recommendation to the board in a March 4...
04/30/2020
VERGENNES — Two decades ago the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) said it would no longer compensate Vergennes for hosting Northlands Job Corps, despite a 1978 agreement that the DOL and the property owner — the state of Vermont — would do so.  Last month Vergennes officials launched a new effort to convince the state to do more for the city. They argue that Northlands serves a regional good, and not the city in particular. The center is an economic engine that employs between 100 and 120 people, who provide career training for, house and feed up to 270 economically disadvantaged young people....

THE FRONT PAGE of the Addison Independent 50 years ago.
04/30/2020
While many of us today stay in our homes and practice social distancing, Addison County residents 50 years ago were out and about enjoying warm weather deemed perfect for spring cleaning. However, the week also brought an unusually high number of crimes to the area. Here are some of the top stories that appeared in the April 30, 1970, edition of the Independent: •  A “brass or copper” urn bearing the inscription “Rupert C. Field—1937” was stolen from the Munger Street Cemetery in New Haven. •  Fourteen-year-old Marion Johnson of Brandon, who had been reported missing, returned home after four...
04/27/2020
LINCOLN — At least one state representative is reaching out to her constituents and offering help in navigating the currently difficult process of filing for unemployment insurance. Rep. Mari Cordes, D-Lincoln, this week sent out a message to people in her Vermont House district — which encompasses Lincoln, Starksboro, Monkton and Bristol — recognizing the fact that many of them are still struggling with the Vermont Department of Labor unemployment application process. The system was overwhelmed with tens of thousands of Vermonters filed claims when they lost their jobs due to social...

Middlebury College Parton Health Center Staff express their thanks for the donation of masks by a group of parents from China. Pictured are Allison Farr, Jasmine Parks, Zara Daly, Sandy Robinson and Nancy Rosenberg.
04/27/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College Physician Mark Peluso received a welcome delivery on April 15 — a donation of 10,000 surgical masks from 79 families of Chinese students who attend Middlebury. When Peluso first learned about the donation in early April, his reaction was one of gratitude. “I thought, how considerate, how kind of people so far away dealing with their own COVID-19 challenges in China to think of us here in Middlebury,” he said. Middlebury will keep 6,000 of the masks to meet immediate and possible future needs on campus. The college will donate the remaining 4,000 to help with...

ADDISON COUNTY HOME Health & Hospice CEO Deb Wesley sports a homemade face shield and brandishes a swimming noodle during a recent interview with the Independent. The face shield protects ACHH&H workers from potential COVID-19 exposure, while the swimming noodles are a playful way agency workers make sure there’s six between feet them and their nearest colleague. ACHH&H has thus far cared for nine COVID-positive patients. Independent photo/John Flowers
04/27/2020
NEW HAVEN — When you see one of those roadside signs thanking healthcare workers for their massive contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic, make sure your positive thoughts extend beyond the Porter Medical Center campus and into the very homes of the patients. That’s where you’ll find a lot of unsung heroes — Addison County Home Health & Hospice (ACHH&H) workers — who are helping COVID patients recover from the disease where they live. ACHH&H’s 107 full- and part-time aids, nurses, social workers, speech therapists, personal care assistants, homemakers and other professionals...
04/27/2020
On March 29, pilot Kirk Walters got a call from Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mike Schirling with bad news: A flight from Logan airport to Minnesota had been canceled. It wasn’t any flight; it was supposed to carry COVID-19 test samples from the University of Vermont Medical Center to the Mayo Clinic Laboratories in Minnesota for processing. “This is about saving lives,” Schirling told Walters. At Schirling’s request, Walters and Martti Matheson, co-owners of JV Air, agreed to fly their private plane from Burlington to Minnesota that Saturday, then again each day for the next 10...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100