MARK STEPHENSON SPENDS five months a year at Happy Valley Orchard in Middlebury, where he picks fruit and works the cider presses. On Nov. 1 he’ll return home to Mandeville, Jamaica, where he has four children. This year’s apple season in Addison County is expected to be about average. Independent photo/Steve James
ADDISON COUNTY — This year’s apple crop so far is looking fairly average. That’s a good thing, suggests Eric Boire, president of the Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association. “Non-headline-making crops provide stability,” Boire told the Independent in an email. “Bumper crops are almost always followed by down years.” Because of a slow, late start to spring, Boire added, some orchards opened a week after their typical Labor Day start, but overall the crop around the region looks good. “Apples are maturing and ready for picking,” he said. DOUGLAS ORCHARD Down in Shoreham, Bob Douglas is...

PORTER PLANT OPERATIONS Director Doug Frary, center, inspects the new Porter Hospital front entrance and ramp with architect Ashar Nelson. The new entrance and ramp opened and were available for use late last week. Photo courtesy of Ronald G. Hallman
MIDDLEBURY — Porter Medical Center leaders have drafted a five-year vision for the county’s hospital that among other things calls for new services, including women’s breast care and a pain clinic, a new medical office building, and a concerted effort to attract and retain workers in what is a particularly challenging labor market. Dr. Seleem Choudhury, Porter president, discussed the strategic plan and his organizational aspirations during a Monday interview with the Independent. It’s a potentially transformational time for Porter Medical Center, which encompasses the hospital, Helen Porter...

BRISTOL SELECTMAN TED Lylis resigned last week.
BRISTOL — Bristol is looking for a new member for its selectboard since Selectman Ted Lylis resigned last week. In his Sept. 2 resignation letter, which selectboard chair Joel Bouvier read aloud at the board’s Sept. 2 meeting, Lylis did not offer a reason for his sudden departure. “Please accept this as a notification that I will be resigning my position on the Bristol selectboard, effective at the end of this meeting, September 2, 2019,” Bouvier read. When reached by the Independent Lylis declined to comment. “My resignation was made on a personal level and I intend to maintain it on a...
United States Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., is coming to Middlebury next week to talk with constituents. He will be available to answer questions at a special appearance on Monday, Sept. 16, at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society meeting house at 2 Duane Court. The Addison Independent is sponsoring the gathering, slated for 5-6:15 p.m. Welch will deliver roughly 20 minutes of comments to open the meeting and will then take questions from the audience. His appearance is free and open to the public. Please use the nearby Middlebury Union High School parking lot if the CVUUS’s limited...
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury residents will be asked at an Oct. 29 meeting to advise town leaders on what to do with the more than $2 million in local option tax surplus that has accrued since the special 1-percent assessment on sales, rooms, meals and alcohol took effect around 11 years ago. Residents approved the local option taxes in 2008 as a means of covering the town’s annual share of $600,000 in debt service (over 30 years) for the $16 million Cross Street Bridge project. Middlebury College agreed to cover an equal share of the debt load for the span, which opened Oct. 30, 2010. But the...

THE UNITED WAY of Addison County on Sept. 19 will formally launch a $635,000 fund drive for 2019. Leading that effort will be, from left, UWAC Marketing & Development Director Amy Bodette Barr, 2019 campaign chairperson (and United Way board Vice Chair) Abby Blum, and Helena Van Voorst, the organization’s executive director. Independent photo/John Flowers
MIDDLEBURY — United Way of Addison County (UWAC) next week will officially launch its 2019 fund drive with a $635,000 goal and new optimism, fueled in part by the organization’s outreach to a new generation of prospective donors. This year’s $635,000 goal is $25,000 less than last year’s target of $660,000. An eleventh-hour surge in donations — spurred by three separate pledges to match dollar-for-dollar donations up to an amount of $10,000 — allowed the United Way to leverage an additional $31,000 before closing the books on the 2018 campaign last spring with a grand total of $615,000. The...

SURVEILLANCE VIDEO FROM the Lincoln General store shows an image of the person who robbed the store early Monday morning.
LINCOLN/FERRISBURGH — Vermont State Police are investigating what they termed as “several incidents where convenience stores and gas stations have been burglarized and property has been taken.” They specifically cited burglaries at the Lincoln General Store on Monday, Sept. 9; at the Jolley Convenience Store on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh on Tuesday, Sept. 10; and at the at the Starry Night Café, also on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh, on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Police said the Lincoln store was broken into before 3 a.m. Monday morning. A suspect stole “multiple items” before leaving, according to police....
BRANDON — A fire destroyed a single-family home in Brandon this past Sunday, Sept. 8, apparently due to combustibles near a water heater. No one was injured. Sandy Cram of Wallingford owns the home where her son Eugene Cram lives. Eugene had been outside the house working, authorities said, and when he approached the house at approximately 7:45 p.m. he could see fire through a window. He attempted to put the fire out with an extinguisher, but was unable to do so. He got out of the house with his dogs and called 911. The Brandon Fire Department arrived on scene shortly after 8 p.m. and found...

LORRAINE PATTERSON AND her granddaughter Lena Jones take a breather while having fun biking on Lincoln’s Quaker Street, which recently were made more friendly to bikers and pedestrians thanks to painting of “advisory lanes” that create more room along the sides of the road. Courtesy photo
LINCOLN — Lincoln’s roadways aren’t exactly ideal for bike or pedestrian lanes. “Our roads are very narrow (22 feet in many areas) with ditches and culverts on the sides and no room for the (Vermont Agency of Transportation) requirement of bike lanes that must be four to five feet in width,” said Lincoln selectboard member Ellie Bryant. Still, Bryant has been working for more than a year to find a solution. Now, thanks to an “Advisory Bicycle Lane Design Guide” and a $1,500 RiseVT Amplify Grant, one phase of that solution is at hand. The grant will cover the expense of painting advisory lanes...
BURLINGTON — Students in grades 7-12 can get their hands dirty learning about soils, geology and other earth science topics at a free VTeen 4-H Science Pathways Café on Saturday, Sept. 28, in Burlington. The café, which includes free pizza and drinks, will take place from 5-7 p.m. in the Mansfield Dining Room at the Dudley Davis Center on the University of Vermont (UVM) campus. Through discussions and interactive activities participants will look at New England’s history from a geological perspective and discover how soil properties such as color, texture and porosity affect soil fertility...


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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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