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JASMINE LITTLE WAS one of the four local youths to paddle the length of Lake Champlain recently in a Lake Champlain Maritime Museum summer program. Her sister Kaitlynn was also on the trip. The sisters were junior leaders of the group. Photo by Nick Patch
On Monday, July 6, a group of nine intrepid teens along with Lake Champlain Maritime Museum trip leaders Mandy Smith and Ally Tanaka departed from South Bay, just north of Whitehall, N.Y., on an epic journey to paddle the length of Lake Champlain in sea kayaks. In an ordinary year this is an ambitious goal but with COVID-19 looming large in all of our lives, this voyage presented significant challenges. Among the nine teens were locals Jasmine and Kaitlynn Little of Vergennes and Kade DeVries and Josiah Barnes of Addison. Traditionally, this teen expedition run by the museum is a hybrid...

USE INDEX CARDS and your imagination when creating a Three-Card Theater, this week’s Make It Together activity.
Join a digital book discussion. The Vermont Humanities Council continues its digital offerings with a book discussion of “Refugees,” by Viet Thanh Nguyen on Friday, July 31, at 4:30 p.m. Part of the Border Crossing series. “Refugees” is a book of short stories, a memoir, and two novels bringing us to a present-day consideration of migration, immigration and refuge. For information, contact Kimberly Hotelling at khotellingbml@gmail.com.   Attend a digital art lecture.  Thanks to the Vermont Humanities Council, “Bearing Witness and Endurance of Voice: The Legacy of Lucy Terry Prince” will be...

SUSAN SMILEY OF New Haven assesses the bags of produce awaiting distribution through ACORN’s Farmacy: Food is Medicine program. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Berk
MIDDLEBURY — ACORN’s Farmacy: Food is Medicine program began its second season of “healthcare CSA shares” on July 9, delivering farm fresh produce to 65 families. The program, a partnership with Porter Medical Center, the Vermont Department of Health, Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op, Rise VT, Village Health and three area farms, provides patients and families with 12 weeks of fruit and vegetables, increasing the availability of nutrient-dense foods to prevent diet-related illness and food insecurity. New Leaf Organics of Bristol, Lester Farm and Market of New Haven and Firefly Fields of New...

STUDY, SELFIE, GRAPHITE on paper, Courtney Clinton. Courtesy of Rokeby Museum
FERRISBURGH — What does the age of social distancing look like for visual artists? Musicians are live streaming, authors are tweeting and Montreal artist Courtney Clinton is currently navigating a remote arts residency with the Rokeby Museum. As she dives into the archives of a young artist’s 19th-century correspondence course, Clinton is producing her own modern-day correspondence class, which will be made available to the public July 27-Oct. 5. While remote education is a hot topic in our current pandemic context, this project looks at a history of remote arts education to see how art...
LINCOLN — The MAUSD Expanded Learning Program Summer Adventure Camp presents “BOTS!” a new children’s musical starring the ELP Summer Musical Theater Group on Friday, Aug. 7 at 8:30 p.m. This drive-in theater event will be held in the MAUHS parking lot. Rain date is Thursday, Aug. 6. Come celebrate these amazingly talented kids. FROM PAUL FORLENZA, CHAIR, LDC  The Lincoln Democratic Committee will meet via Zoom to nominate candidates for Justice of the Peace on Monday, Aug. 3, at 7 p.m. Some duties of a JP include helping conduct elections, hearing taxpayer appeals and performing marriages....
BRANDON — Due to COVID-19 issues, the 32nd Annual Great Brandon Auction will be taking place in a very non-traditional way this year. Organizers have had to “Think Outside The Tent” and decided to move into a downtown storefront. Because pandemic restrictions rule out an auction under the tent at Estabrook Park, a donation from Heather and John Bierschenk has allowed auction organizers to stage it in the former Brown’s Gift Shop location at 6 Park Street. For two weeks, Aug. 1-Aug.15, the site will be open for at least four to five hours a day and manned by volunteers.  There will be various...
With summer weather at its height and many people with more time on their hands out on the roads 50 years ago this week, Addison County saw a substantial number of car crashes. In just one week, eight crashes in Addison, Ferrisburgh, Middlebury, New Haven, Vergennes, and even on the Champlain Bridge left nine people with mild injuries.  Here are some of the top stories that appeared in the July 30, 1970, edition of the Independent: •  The county suffered a heat wave with high humidity and temperatures in the 90s for over five days, forcing thousands of residents to seek out lakes, ponds,...
SALISBURY — A 72-year-old woman was killed Saturday afternoon when the car she was a passenger in was involved in a two-car crash on Route 7 in Salisbury. Joan Dayton, 72, of Londonderry was declared deceased at Porter Hospital that afternoon. Vermont State Police report that at around 1:13 p.m. on July 25, Brian Davidson, 37, of New Haven was driving a 2006 Cadillac DTS eastbound on West Salisbury Road toward Route 7 at what police described as “well over the posted speed limit.” Witnesses told police that Davidson’s Cadillac failed to stop at the stop sign and continued on into Route 7. At...
District leaders began releasing plans last week for bringing students back this fall. But their proposals for reopening the state’s preK-12 schools diverge in significant ways, and some fear Vermont’s uncoordinated approach will require officials to go back to the drawing board. “Under the guise of local control and the need to respond flexibly to the differences in each district, leaders were told by state officials to basically go figure it out,” Harwood Unified School District Superintendent Brigid Nease wrote in an open letter that has caught fire on social media. “Many superintendents...

Local school superintendents, clockwise from top left, ANWSD's Sheila Soule, Mount Abe's Patrick Reen, RNESU's Jeanne Collins and ACSD's Peter Burrows
UPDATED to include the new opening date for Vermont schools. ADDISON COUNTY & BRANDON — It will be “back to school” in the truest sense of the phrase in Addison County this fall, albeit with a few twists. The Addison Central, Addison Northwest and Mount Abraham unified school districts confirmed on July 22 that they’ll use a “hybrid instruction model” this fall that will see students return to their respective campuses for two days of in-classroom instruction each week, while learning remotely the other three days of the week. All three will also offer all-online learning options for...

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Addison County Independent