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MIDDLEBURY — The ongoing transition to an International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum and the potential shuttering of one or more local school buildings are among the issues driving re-election bids by all four of the Addison Central School District board members whose terms are due to expire this March. The ACSD board members who will seek new three-year terms are Victoria Jette and Mary Gill of Middlebury, Suzanne Buck of Bridport, and Jennifer Nuceder of Salisbury. All four were elected without opposition back in 2017. ACSD includes the elementary schools in Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury...

THOMAS THOMPSON
MIDDLEBURY— The UVM Health Network Porter Medical Center Board of Directors has hired a Wisconsin man with decades of experience running hospitals to lead Porter on an interim basis. Thomas R. Thompson is the new interim president/chief operating officer for Middlebury’s PMC, which encompasses a hospital, nursing facility and physicians’ practices. He replaces Dr. Fred Kniffin, who took over leadership of Porter on a temporary basis after Porter President and COO Seleem Choudhury abruptly resigned his position following complaints that he plagiarized parts of some Porter newsletters. Kniffin...
Attention basketball fans: A panel discussion featuring Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe, and longtime Sports Illustrated writers Jack McCallum and Addison County’s own Alexander Wolff will take place Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. in room 216 of the McCardell Bicentennial Hall on the Middlebury College campus. The highly decorated participants on this panel have a combined total of nearly 200 years of covering basketball. Listen to them address the state of the game, swap stories and take questions during this free event. The Middlebury Community Players will hold...

LONGTIME OTTER CREEK Bakery owners Ben and Sarah Wood, right, are passing the proverbial rolling pin to Ned Horton (second from left) and his manager, Chiyo Sato. Independent photo/John Flowers
MIDDLEBURY — Thirty-three years after creating and operating the Otter Creek Bakery in downtown Middlebury, Ben and Sarah Wood are ready to retire their aprons and cook up some new adventures. But worry not, those who have long been beguiled by the bakery’s intoxicating aromas and decadent pastries. The business will continue to do what it does best under new ownership. Addison County resident and coffee aficionado Ned Horton has purchased the bakery and will retain its workforce and eclectic menu. “It was time to do something new,” Sarah said of the couple’s decision to move on. “Ben has...
ADDISON COUNTY — The annual Addison County Legislative Breakfast series will kick off on Monday, Feb. 3, and will convene on an almost-weekly basis through April. The legislative breakfasts were established around 40 years ago and offer a weekly opportunity for Addison County residents to network with area lawmakers about goings-on at the Vermont Statehouse. The Monday breakfasts begin at 7 a.m., then the discussion starts at 7:30 a.m. and lasts until 8:45 a.m. Breakfast will be available for purchase at all venues. The ensuing discussion is free. The breakfast series is sponsored by Bridport...
MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Public Utilities Commission (PUC) during the coming months will review plans for a proposed resource recovery center at 183 Industrial Ave. that would transform industrial wastewater into energy and potentially provide a low-cost heating source to businesses within Middlebury’s industrial park. At issue are plans for a Middlebury Resource Recovery Center that would be built by Salem, N.H.-based PurposeEnergy Inc. The centerpiece of the plan is an anaerobic digester that would extract energy from organic wastewater generated by a handful of Middlebury industrial park...

DERRICK COUNTER LOOKS over the burnt remains of his family’s mobile home off Route 7 in Leicester after a Jan. 2 blaze destroyed the home. The family escaped safely, but several pets perished. Brandon Reporter photo/Lee J. Kahrs
LEICESTER — The Counter family of Leicester lost everything in a Jan. 2 fire that consumed their mobile home and killed several animals, but they are heartened by a community that is rallying in support. The mobile home was located toward the back of the property next to Champlain Beverage off Route 7 near the four corners by Leicester Central School. The blaze began in the area of a woodstove operating on an exterior porch just before 2 a.m. this past Thursday morning. The mobile home was owned by Derrick and Tonya Counter, who also own and operate Mountain View Automotive on the same...
MIDDLEBURY — How are Scandinavia and Iceland confronting the challenges of climate change? Is there something about the culture or political structure that has put them at the forefront of efforts to reduce human impact on the climate? Learn the answers in “Climate Action and Social Democracy — Lessons Learned from the Nordic Countries.” The presentation will be held Thursday, Jan. 23, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Ilsley Library. Last fall local climate activists Fran and Spence Putnam went on a five-week, self-designed study tour of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland for a first-hand look at their...
ADDISON COUNTY — Our Jan. 6 story about business composting and Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law inspired some feedback and questions from Addison County Solid Waste Management District residents.  ACSWMD’s Public Outreach Coordinator Jessie-Ruth Corkins took a moment to offer some additional information and clarification.  “People have called wondering how to handle meat scraps because they’ve heard meat and bones shouldn’t go in home compost piles,” Corkins said in an email to the Independent.  This is correct, she confirmed.  Residents and businesses practicing backyard composting are...
Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve, and connects them with authentic audiences in newspapers, before live audiences, and online. YWP also publishes an annual anthology and The Voice, a digital magazine with YWP’s best writing, images, and features. More information is available at youngwritersproject.org, sreid@youngwritersproject.org or 802-324-9538. The following poems were written for a general writing prompt:   Crystal Lake   Majestic mountains tower over crystal-clear water. Sky-scraping evergreens border the rocky shore,...

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