A NORTHERN LEOPARD frog. Photo by Jim Andrews
SALISBURY — Since early July, Vermont State Herpetologist Jim Andrews’ inbox has been flooded with emails, phone calls and reports of what some Addison County residents are calling “Frog-ageddon.” According to Andrews, thousands of frogs have recently appeared along the Otter Creek floodplains of Cornwall, Leicester and Salisbury. “Landowners report not wanting to mow their lawns, pool owners have reported hundreds of small frogs in their pools and drivers report the tremendous carnage on the road surface,” wrote Andrews in an email to the Addison Independent on July 12. Determined to see the...

DR. LINN LARSON, right, pauses for a moment with two nurses in the medical clinic at the Casa Alitas migrant shelter in Tucson, Ariz. The Middlebury Family Health physician recently volunteered her medical expertise at the converted monastery that is helping new immigrant families at the southern border. Photo courtesy of Linn Larson
MIDDLEBURY — Dr. Linn Larson has treated scores of migrant farm workers during her two decades as a volunteer with Middlebury’s Open Door Clinic. Concerned about the growing crisis at the United States’ southern border, Larson recently spent a 10-day “vacation” continuing her volunteer health care efforts — this time at a former monastery in Tucson, Ariz., that is providing essential services to hundreds of migrants each week who are fleeing violence and oppression in their native lands for the chance at a better life in America. “I’ve gotten more interested in migrant health through my work...

CICILIA ROBISON, A recent Middlebury College graduate and AmeriCorps volunteer, has been named new executive director of Addison Central Teens, which runs youth programming and after-school activities at its center at 77 Mary Hogan Drive. Independent photo/John Flowers
MIDDLEBURY — Cicilia Robison has for the past year served the Addison Central Teens (ACT) center and its programming as an AmeriCorps member. On Aug. 1, she’ll become the executive director of that nonprofit organization, which offers safe, supervised after-school and summertime activities for Middlebury-area teens at 77 Mary Hogan Drive. Robison, a recent Middlebury College graduate, succeeds former ACT Executive Director Zoe Kaslow, who stepped down this past winter in order to take a job with Planned Parenthood. Devon Karpak agreed to step in as interim leader while the ACT board conducted...

AMY AND MICHEL Djordjevic in late May purchased the 14-room Strong House Inn on West Main Street in Vergennes. They hope to enhance the establishment’s already solid financial footing and reputation by hosting more events, sprucing up the rooms and grounds, and possibly adding a new building within in the next few years. Independent photo/Steve James
VERGENNES — The new owners of the Strong House Inn in Vergennes conducted a multi-year, multi-continent search for the right lodging property before buying the 14-room, 4.9-acre bed-and-breakfast on West Main Street on May 24. And Amy and Michel Djordjevic went ahead and spent $800,000 for the multi-building inn, anchored by the 1834 Strong House, despite first seeing it in the dead of winter — they came to Vergennes from Rhode Island to have a look at the property in January. What was it about the Strong House Inn that struck their fancy? To start with, the couple wanted a larger bed and...

FRED POGMORE LOOKS over a flock of Canada geese at a previous year's bird-banding event. Photo by David Sausville
ADDISON — On July 2, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department (VFWD) was forced to cancel a bird banding event at Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area which was scheduled for July 3. As many as 70 volunteers were registered for the event. The department canceled when the birds disappeared from their usual haunts in the 2,858-acre preserve. “We don’t know for certain at this point where they went, but we are confident that they are somewhere in the wetland complex.” said David Sausville, Migratory Game Bird Project Leader for VFWD. Each June, hundreds of Canada Geese settle in wetlands and ponds...
BRISTOL — Two major construction projects slated for downtown Bristol have been merged into one, which is likely to reduce both cost and disruption to the town. The town’s Main Street lighting and sidewalk project, which had been tentatively scheduled to begin this fall — and would have posed significant challenges for downtown businesses at their busiest time of year — has been combined with a state project to pave Route 116 through downtown Bristol. Bristol will still pay for the lighting/sidewalk portion of the merged project, currently estimated at $334,275, and the Vermont Agency of...

MORE THAN 40 Middlebury area walkers gathered this past Tuesday on a 30-day campaign to walk a mile a day. The initiative is a cooperative effort by Porter Hospital, RISE Vt and Neighbors, Together to not only get daily exercise, but also to realize how close to downtown shopping area parking lots are.
MIDDLEBURY — On Tuesday, July 16, over 40 people gathered in the Mary Hogan parking lot to go on an evening stroll. But this was not just any walk; led by President of Porter Medical Center Seleem Choudhury, participants walked to launch the 30/30 Walking Challenge. Specifically, the goal is to walk 30 miles in 30 days. That is the commitment Neighbors, Together is asking of Middlebury townspeople. Between July 16 and Aug. 14, participants will walk at least one mile every day, and record their total mileage in booklets available at Ilsley Public Library and the National Bank of Middlebury....

CAMPERS AT HANCOCK’S Camp Killooleet have a variety of physical activities during their seven to eight weeks of camp. Photo courtesy of Camp Killooleet
HANCOCK — Whoever was going to marry Kate Seeger knew that they weren't just getting her, they also had to be ready to take on a hundred or so 9-14 year old kids and 300 acres in the Green Mountains every summer. Kate and tiny Hancock’s Camp Killooleet were a package deal. Luckily, Seeger found the perfect partner-in-crime (partner-in-camp?) in Dean Spencer, and the two have been happily directing the summer camp for almost 30 years. Kate represents the second generation of Seegers to run the camp. The camp was founded in 1927 by Margaret Bartlett and Toni Taylor. Kate’s parents, John and...

Peter Welch
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) has concluded that President Donald Trump should be impeached. “I do not arrive at this conclusion lightly,” he wrote in a statement released Thursday morning. “The power of impeachment granted to Congress by our Founding Fathers should not be casually employed. In our democracy, every deference should be given to the outcome of every election.” The statement comes a day after the U.S. House of Representatives voted 332–95 to table an impeachment article submitted by Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.), which cited the president’s racist tweets and...
PANTON — As manure runoff from a Panton dairy farm mixed with snowmelt and found its way into Lake Champlain this past March, a wrinkled brown crust formed on top of the water. For a moment during Panton resident Eben Markowski’s video footage of it, the crust looked like a moonscape or a desert. The illusion was broken when Markowski dipped a plastic cup into the water and held it in front of his camera. A brown-gray sludge clung to side of the cup. When he poured it back, it hit the water with a chunky blurping sound. In subsequent video, which showed foamy brown water rushing past,...


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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100