News

03/27/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Gov. Phil Scott on March 25 issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order limits in-person operations for all “non-essential” businesses. But what does that really mean? The Scott administration clearly spells out what it deems to be essential and non-essential businesses in 10-page list that can be found by clicking here. Enterprises exempt from the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order include – but are not limited to – health care operations; retail serving essential human needs, like grocery stores, pharmacies and hardware stores; fuel products and supply; maintenance of critical...
03/26/2020
VERMONT — Governor Phil Scott today directed schools to remain dismissed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Districts will close schools for in-person instruction and be required to implement continuity of learning plans for remote learning. This extends the Governor’s previous directive dismissing PreK-12 schools from March 18 to April 6.  This decision was made in consultation with the Vermont Department of Health and the Agency of Education in the continued effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. To minimize disruption to students’ learning, the Governor’s order directs school...
03/26/2020
MIDDLEBURY — In its COVID-19 newsletter on Thursday, Porter Medical Center said that it was now accepting hand sewn mask donations. We have been so grateful for our community’s outpouring of support to Porter Medical Center in response to the Center for Disease Control's guidance that fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted. While we currently have enough supplies on hand to care for our community right now, in order to build a strategic reserve we are now accepting donations of hand sewn masks. Donated masks can be dropped off at the Round Robin...
03/26/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Work on the downtown Middlebury rail bridges project won’t begin on Monday, March 30, as had previously been reported. Instead, that work won’t be permitted to kick off until April 15, as prescribed by Gov. Phil Scott’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order that took effect on Wednesday, March 25. Jim Gish, Middlebury’s liaison to the rail bridges project, had initially reported that work on this and other critical transportation infrastructure would be exempt from Scott’s order. So the Independent reported in its Thursday, March 26, edition that work would kick off on March 30...

Dr. Amanda Young, left, confers with Porter Plant Operations staff during the installation of a new tent in the parking lot adjacent to the Porter Hospital Emergency Department on Wednesday.
03/26/2020
UPDATE: On Friday afternoon, the Department of Health announced that the number of COVID-19 cases in Addison County now totaled 13. Of the 2,261 people tested for COVID-19 in Vermong, 184 tested positive and 10 died. MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Department of Health today, Thursday, March 26, reported that a total of 12 Addison County residents had tested positive for COVID-19, up from the nine confirmed cases yesterday. Statewide, 158 Vermonters have tested positive for the coronavirus thus far. Nine Vermonters have died from the disease. Another 325 patients are being monitored. The Vermont...

PORTER MEDICAL CENTER Director of Environment Services Carol Aines stands next to the first barrel of locally made hand-sanitizer. Three businesses in Middlebury’s industrial park are providing the resources to make sure the county’s hospital has enough hand sanitizer. Photo courtesy of Porter Medical Center
03/26/2020
MIDDLEBURY — What do you do when a global pandemic tightens the market for your product so much that it forces you to pare back on manufacturing? If you’re the leaders of three Middlebury businesses, you plow your resources into making a hand sanitizer, a critical tool for area hospitals to prevent the potential spread of said pandemic, COVID-19. Appalachian Gap Distillery, Aqua ViTea and Vermont Soap have pooled their equipment, raw materials and manpower to make a hand sanitizer that will be distributed, initially in 55-gallon drums, to all hospital affiliates within the University of...
03/26/2020
ADDISON COUNTY — The United Way of Addison County (UWAC) and four anonymous donors have launched a new fundraising push to help the county nonprofit and the agencies it supports aid those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.  UWAC Executive Director Helena Van Voorst said the donors and UWAC are teaming up on the Addison County Responds initiative in which the donors collectively will match every dollar raised before April 1 up to $50,000.  In an email, Van Voorst said UWAC will put the proceeds toward:  • Providing emergency funds “to individuals who need support beyond what local, state,...
03/26/2020
ADDISON COUNTY — Sanderson Wheeler, co-owner of the Bobcat Cafe in Bristol, is just happy to be in his restaurant’s kitchen. “Being in here and cooking feels great,” he said. “It helps me keep my mind off of things.” These days Wheeler and his partner (and spouse), Erin, like restaurateurs everywhere, have a lot on their minds. After Gov. Phil Scott ordered the March 17 closure of Vermont’s eateries and bars — except for takeout and delivery — the Wheelers had to lay off the Bobcat’s entire staff. Then Sunday night, after the Wheelers had regrouped and restructured the Bobcat’s menu so they...

NORTH BRANCH SCHOOL seventh-grader Finn Myers communicates with his science teacher, Rose McVay (onscreen), and his classmates (in video boxes at the bottom of the screen), from his Middlebury home Friday morning. North Branch suspended on-campus classes March 12. Students and teachers are staying connected to one another, visually, by using Google Hangouts and Zoom. Photo by Caitlin Myers
03/26/2020
RIPTON — The North Branch School may have suspended on-campus classes for a while, but its 28 students, now learning from home, still observe a daily school routine that connects them to their teachers and classmates. “We try to replicate a school day,” said North Branch founder and head teacher Tal Birdsey in a phone interview this past Thursday. “We start at 8:15, have a (meeting), and have work time. Our feeling is kids are going to need some structure.” Located in Ripton, North Branch is an independent school with grades 7–9.  On March 12, in an effort to protect the school and local...

SCHOOLS ARE DELIVERING school lunches and breakfasts to many children in all Addison County school districts because many students rely on school food as an important source of nutrition. A student in the Addison Central School District received this lunch on Monday. Independent photo/Bridget Sullivan
03/26/2020
ADDISON COUNTY — After a couple days of planning late last week, Addison County’s unified school districts went into distance-learning mode on Monday — with an emphasis, at least through the end of next week, on what school officials called maintenance of education. Addison Central, Mount Abraham and Addison Northwest superintendents reported in emails a smooth start for efforts that included delivering meals to many students who rely on school food as an important source of nutrition, as well as creating a new system for educating students. MAUSD eighth-grader Grace Orvis noted the...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100