MIDDLEBURY — As construction workers prepared to resume work on a massive rail bridges project that will usher in a new chapter for downtown Middlebury, some of the community’s most seasoned citizens gathered on Monday to reminisce about yesteryear’s Main Street and the characters who helped shape it. The event was called “Back in the Day,” co-sponsored by the Ilsley Public Library and a local storytelling group called “Story Matters.” Anyone with recollections of downtown Middlebury between the 1940s and 1980s was invited to join the storytelling exchange held at the Bundle pop-up space at...
VERMONT — The Vermont Open Farm Week takes place from Aug. 9-15 this year at farms across the state. It is the fifth year for the event, which is designed to make connections between local farms and those who enjoy what they offer or want to learn more. It’s a chance  to get a behind-the-scenes look into Vermont's vibrant working agricultural landscape. Participants can meet the farmers, plants, and animals that bring high-quality Vermont products to the table. Every farm is unique. Milk a cow and harvest a carrot at one farm, stroll through a hop field and sample local brews at another. Four...

A PORTION OF Main Street in Middlebury was closed last August for the town’s second annual Block Party, during which kids of all ages played lawn games on sod that was rolled out across the Battell Bridge. Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury’s Main Street will temporarily transform from a busy asphalt artery to a verdant sod playground for a three-hour period on Wednesday, Aug. 14, during which visitors will be able to play with giant dice, take a flying leap at a Velcro wall, eat good food, take advantage of discounts at local stores, and even submerge their favorite public official in a tankful of water. We’re talking about the third annual Downtown Summer Block Party, designed as both a three-hour showcase of what downtown Middlebury has to offer, as well as a community building event while construction...

MEMBERS OF THE Ferrisburgh Central School’s first graduating class gathered recently for a reunion. They include, from left, front row: Cathy (Husk) Whately, Karlene DeVine holding Buster, Caroline (Coyle) Bitler, Henry Kandzoir; and, back row: Jane (Larrow) Nimblett, Sidney Jewell, Laura (LeClair) Laflech, Kristine (Bull) Larson, Gene Jewell, Lorraine (Gebo) Whittemore, Margaret (Cushman) Schelley, banjo player Alan Curler, Paula (Mercy) Forgues, David Scott, Barbara (Raymond) Bordeaux, Jeanie LeClair, Joe Rivers Sr., and Sylvia Hallock Photo courtesy Karlene Devine
FERRISBURGH — Fifty-five years ago, movie tickets were $1.25, the New York World’s Fair opened and Congress passed and President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That same year, 38 students at Ferrisburgh Central School (FCS) graduated from eighth grade on June 5. Twenty-one of those graduating students had walked into FCS on its first ever day in September 1956. In 1966, FCS began sending 7th- and 8th-graders to the middle school in Vergennes. A 55th reunion of the FCS Class of 1964 was held Saturday, July 27, at the home of Karlene DeVine to share memories, life accomplishments...

TWIST O’ WOOL Guild member Nancy Smith demonstrates sock making at the 2018 Addison County Fair and Field Days. Photo courtesy Twist O’ Wool Guild
NEW HAVEN — This week the Twist O’ Wool Fiber Guild celebrates 40 years as a guild and 40 years of demonstrating at the Addison County Fair and Field Days. The guild was organized by Eleanor Boutcher of Shoreham, Ellen Leone of Bristol and Shelagh Smith of Monkton in May of 1979. They created a mailing list of about 50 people, put advertisements in the papers, and posters were put up to inform folks about the initial meeting. About 30 people showed up at the Ilsley Library in Middlebury and they filled out questionnaires about what they hoped would be accomplished with the guild. Their first...

REV. GEORGE KLOHCK, shown here in front Middlebury’s United Methodist Church, will serve as interim pastor at the East Middlebury United Methodist Church until a new permanent pastor is found. Independent file photo/John S. McCright
EAST MIDDLEBURY — The members of the East Middlebury United Methodist Church will welcome the Rev. George Klohck on Sunday, Aug. 11, as their interim pastor. Pastor Rev. Bob Bushman, who has served the church for the past six years, gave his final sermon on Sunday, July 28. Rev. Klohck will serve in August and September until a new pastor is appointed. This church is not new to the Rev. George and Margaret Klohck, since Rev. Klohck served the United Methodist churches in Middlebury, East Middlebury and Ripton from 1984 to 1989. The Klohcks are happy about this opportunity. On Aug. 11 the...
MIDDLEBURY — An anonymous donation of more than $1.1 million will be divided between the UVM Health Network-Porter Medical Center and the UVM Foundation as the result of a collaborative proposal to an Addison County supporter of both entities. The donation will provide $575,000 for a new air handling system at Helen Porter Rehabilitation and Nursing in Middlebury, as well as $98,000 for a new nurse-call system at Helen Porter, for a total gift of $673,000 to Porter. The balance of the donation, $500,000 will support the Frank Ittleman, MD Endowed Chair in Cardiac Surgery at the UVM Medical...

MARIE AUDET OF Bridport is being inducted into the Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame as a notable agricultural innovator. Independent photo/Steve James
BRIDPORT — On Aug. 28, Marie Audet of Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport will be inducted into the Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame. Audet is being honored for her work as an agricultural innovator and for “bringing new energy, ideas and opportunities to Vermont’s working landscape.” Audet spoke humbly when asked about her nomination. “I’m just reflecting what this family is doing,” she said. “All I’m doing is providing the opportunity to learn about what they do because they’re all too busy farming.” Modesty aside, Marie Audet has been a potent spokesperson for Blue Spruce Farm and its on-farm...

A NEW ASSISTED Living program for adults with special needs, called the Yellow House, is taking shape in Middlebury at 29 Seminary St. Pictured here are (top row, left to right) Jodi James, Pierce Murray, Elise Haydon, Sam DeMatties and Joel Pyfrom. Seated at Andrea Murray and Elizabeth Brown. Independent photo/John Flowers
MIDDLEBURY — Most parents nurture their children in hopes they will, some day, make the jump to self-sufficiency — or will be able to find the supports they need to live independently. But that can be an impossible dream for the parents of special needs children. “We lie awake at night asking ourselves, ‘How will our children live healthy, happy and meaningful lives when we are not here to navigate and advocate for them?’” said Andrea Murray, whose 18-year-old son Pierce has special needs. In an effort to get some peace of mind for themselves and other families sharing the same concerns,...

THE NEW “WALGREENS” sign appears prominently on the drug store in Brandon, but the outlines of the former “Rite Aid” sign that it replaced last week still shows through. Middlebury and Bristol Rite Aid stores also got new Walgreens signs. Brandon Reporter photo/Russell Jones
ADDISON COUNTY AND BRANDON — The effects of a $4 billion business deal announced in 2017 are just now rippling through our part of Vermont. Rite Aid stores in Brandon, Bristol and Middlebury last week hung signs or banners announcing the new name of the retail drug store — Walgreens. Under the agreement made between Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid, Walgreens last year purchased 1,932 stores and three distribution centers from Rite Aid for an all-cash purchase price of $4.3 billion on a cash-free, debt-free basis. Though this was a large merger, with plenty of cash on the table, it...


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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100