RABBINICAL STUDENT TAL Braude and Rabbi Binyamin Murray, co-director of Chabad of Middlebury, stand in front of a mobile sukkah that they towed through various Addison County communities this month. The sukkah is a rudimentary three- or four-sided hut, towed by a vehicle, that provides spiritual nourishment and a snack to people during the Jewish holidays. Independent photo/John Flowers
MIDDLEBURY — One can see some interesting vehicles traveling Addison County roads during the fall. A trip along Route 116 from Middlebury to Bristol on a sunny afternoon can offer fleeting sights of a 1972 Camaro, a shiny new John Deere tractor and a sleek Mercedes Benz, all humming through a steady flutter of golden leaves begrudgingly surrendered by the weather-beaten boughs above. But every once in a while, you see something you’ve never seen before. Such as last week when Rabbi Binyamin Murray, co-director of Chabad of Middlebury, took to the roads with a mobile sukkah that he and his...

ADDISON RESIDENTS AND Rural School Alliance members Kelly Wellings (kneeling), Ashley Paquette (in white) and Caetlin Harwood (in cap) painted signs in Addison on Monday morning encouraging town voters to oppose closing Addison Central School. The Addison Northwest School District has proposed closing ACS and the Ferrisburgh Central School to save money. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
ADDISON — On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Addison voters will head to the polls to decide the following issue: “Shall the voters of the Town of Addison agree to the Addison Northwest School District’s plan to close the Addison Central School for use as an elementary school on June 30, 2020?” Voters in Ferrisburgh are warned to decide the same issue for the Ferrisburgh Central School. The ANWSD has explained to voters that because of declining enrollment and increased costs, keeping the two schools open would require program cuts at the high school or tax increases it assumes district residents would find...

VERGENNES CITY MANAGER Matt Chabot gave notice on Oct. 15 that he will leave the position he has held since Aug. 31, 2018. Chabot, then a Vergennes alderman, stepped forward with an extensive managerial résumé after two searches failed to produce a candidate to replace longtime former city manager Mel Hawley. Chabot will return to the private sector. Independent photo/Steve James
VERGENNES — After a little more than a year on the job, Vergennes City Manager Matt Chabot informed the city council on Oct. 15 that he would be stepping down. Chabot’s contract calls for 90 days notice, but Mayor Jeff Fritz said he is optimistic a new manager can be found more quickly this time around despite the challenges a year ago in finding a replacement for then City Manager Mel Hawley (see related story.) Chabot, 54, said he has agreed to return to Vergennes property management and development firm Burchfield Management Company LLC. Chabot previously worked at Burchfield for company...

FORMER VERMONT EDUCATION Secretary Rebecca Holcombe has her sights set on the governor’s office. The Norwich Democrat took her campaign to Addison County on Monday. Independent photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — Just two years ago, Rebecca Holcombe was working for Gov. Phil Scott as Vermont’s Secretary of Education. She’s now campaigning to succeed him as the state’s chief executive, and is doing so on a platform of decreasing health care costs and creating an action plan for climate change. Holcombe, a 52-year-old Norwich Democrat, announced her bid for governor this past summer. She stopped by the Addison Independent on Monday to share her vision for the state at this early stage of her campaign. She said the experience of traveling around the state and chatting with voters has been “...

VERGENNES CITY CLERK/Treasurer Joan Devine will step down on Feb. 28 after more than 38 years. She is the longest serving clerk in Addison County. Vergennes has formed a Succession Planning Committee officials hope can find a replacement for both Devine and City Manager Matt Chabot. Independent photo/Steve James
VERGENNES — The Oct. 15 resignation of Vergennes City Manager Matt Chabot, effective no later than Jan. 15, means the city council will be attempting to fill two key positions in the next four months. Longtime City Clerk Joan Devine, who earlier this year informed the city council she would step down sometime in 2020, recently confirmed to Mayor Jeff Fritz she will retire on Feb. 28. Chabot, then an alderman, was hired as manager on Aug. 31, 2018, after the failure of two searches to find a replacement for longtime City Manager Mel Hawley. He is leaving to return to work for his previous...

BUILDING ON THE success of previous classes, Hannaford Career Center students Sam Klingensmith (left), Roza Stewart and Adin Girard, along with their classmates Ileigh Aube and Eben Clifford (not pictured), will spend the year helping develop a meter to measure maple sap flow. Their project was recently chosen for a $10,000 InvenTeams grant from the Lemelson-MIT Program. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
MIDDLEBURY — After years of development by successive student teams at the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury, an invention called the “maple meter” has won some major recognition. Yesterday the HCC received a $10,000 InvenTeam grant from the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “I am impressed by this year’s InvenTeams and their commitment to solving important problems in society,” said Stephanie Couch, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program, in an Oct. 23 press release. “By drawing on many different disciplines, the InvenTeam initiative...
If you notice area law enforcement officers sporting whiskers during the next several weeks, there’s a good reason for it. It’s the annual “deer camp beards for kids with cancer” fundraiser for Camp-Ta-Kum-Ta, a South Hero-based camp that provides respite, fun activities and support to children afflicted with cancer, and their families. Participating officers with the Bristol and Middlebury Police departments, along with deputies with the Addison County Sheriff’s Department, have agreed to donate $50 or more to Camp-Ta-Kum-Ta. This allows them to temporarily sport facial hair, which they...

MIDDLEBURY — Steve Brown was doing business at the Addison Independent offices a few weeks ago when something caught his eye. A black-and-white photo of a smiling teen on the front page of an Oct. 10 issue of the newspaper. He recognized the face, even though it had been almost 48 years since he had last seen it. It was Lynne Schulze, the Middlebury College student who disappeared from campus on Dec. 10, 1971. “I blurted out, ‘It’s another article about her,’” said Brown, who — like Lynne — was a member of the Middlebury College class of 1975. Unlike Schulze, Brown went on to receive his...
BURLINGTON — An undocumented immigrant from Mexico, who has been caught six times unlawfully in the United States, is back behind bars after being found in Addison County, according to federal authorities. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said agents arrested the local farmhand, Floriberto Gomez-Garfias, 39, as he walked out of a grocery store in Vergennes last week. Gomez-Garfias admitted he had no legal status in the United States and maintained to investigators he had been removed only once from the country about 11 years ago, a federal court affidavit noted. Immigration documents...
BRISTOL — How can community members step up and care for the key parts of our local environment that we all share? That’s the question behind a community gathering to be hosted by Vermont Family Forests in Bristol on Saturday, Nov. 2.  In Caring for our Home Grounds: A Commons Conservation Congress for Vermont’s Center-West Ecoregion, participants will explore tangible actions citizens can undertake to care for air, water, and wildlife here at home.  “We’re in a time of climate crisis,” said Vermont Family Forests Executive Director David Brynn. “and our local forests, rivers, lakes, and...


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Addison County Independent

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