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MIDDLEBURY RESIDENT ANDY Dosmann has founded TripHeroes.org, a nonprofit travel website. Dosmann said it functions like other well-known travel-booking websites and trips can be arranged at a low cost, with the added bonus that local charities will be kicked back funds every time a customer uses the site. Photo courtesy of Elisabeth Waller Photography
MIDDLEBURY — One Middlebury resident has figured out a way to make flying the skies friendly to charities. Andy Dosmann, an evolutionary biology professor who teaches online college courses through San Francisco’s The Minerva Schools, has created a travel website that when used to book flights or hotels kicks back money to local nonprofits. Dosmann has been working for a couple years to create and work out the bugs for his site, TripHeroes.org, which he is now taking public in partnership with the international booking site JetRadar.com. According to Dosmann, the process is not complicated....
BRISTOL — Bristol’s Town Wide Police District Committee wants to know what town residents think about the idea of expanding the current police district to encompass the entire town. To that end the committee has created a brief survey, which it hopes town residents will fill out and return by Oct. 21. A link to the survey can be found on the Bristol town website, bristolvt.org, along with a map of the current police district. The Bristol selectboard decided in August that it was time to revisit the idea of expanding the Bristol Police Department’s coverage area to include the entire town....
If you’re thinking of taking a shortcut through Halpin Road next Monday, think again. The road at the 200 address will be closed to through traffic on Oct. 21 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in order to replace utilities in the road. Motorists are asked to please seek an alternate route. Call the Middlebury Department of Public Works at 388-4045 with questions or for more information. Hay bales, festive games and creative costumes galore will be on display at the 12th Annual Middlebury Spooktacular on Sunday, Oct. 27, on the town green in Middlebury. Come at 1 p.m. for games, music, dancing and...
VERGENNES — The Addison Northwest School District will host two voter information meetings on Monday, Nov. 4 — the night before elementary school-closure votes in Addison and Ferrisburgh. The first meeting will be held at 5 p.m. at the Addison Central School and the second at 7 p.m. at the Ferrisburgh Central School. The next day, Tuesday, Nov. 5, ANWSD will ask Addison and Ferrisburgh voters to approve its plan to close those two schools on June 30, 2020. The district has suggested that because of declining enrollment and increased costs, keeping the two schools open would require program...
MIDDLEBURY — A 14-member committee has begun the search for a new Middlebury Union High School principal whom they hope to appoint this coming January. The new administrative leader will succeed longtime MUHS Principal Bill Lawson. Lawson, who took the helm of MUHS in 1995, announced his retirement plans this past August in order to give Addison Central School District officials ample time to recruit his replacement. MUHS, and indeed all schools in the Addison Central School District, are transitioning to the International Baccalaureate program. That switchover is slated to be done by next...

THIS IMAGE FROM the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows zebra mussels clinging to a native mussel.
LEICESTER — The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Lakes and Ponds Program has confirmed the presence of adult zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha), an aquatic invasive species, in Lake Dunmore. A member of the Lake Dunmore Public Access Greeter Program submitted an inquiry, and, in quick response, Lake Dunmore Fern Lake Association contracted divers to remove the estimated 100-200 adult specimens. Zebra mussels are a small freshwater mollusk that can reproduce rapidly and cause serious harm to the ecological systems. They also cause an economic burden, requiring long-term...

MARIE AUDET OF Bridport’s Blue Spruce Farm is a founding member of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition.
PANTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week launched a multi-year study to examine how much conservation projects are improving water quality in two Addison County watersheds. The project, funded at $2 million through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Conservation Effects Easement Project (CEAP), will examine the Dead Creek Watershed and the Headwaters of Little Otter Creek. NRCS will, in partnership with the University of Vermont Extension, temporarily accelerate and enhance on-farm conservation practices in the Dead Creek Basin but not in the Headwaters of the...

FARMER GRANT RECIPIENT Jordan Kramer of Winnegance Oyster Farm in Maine will share his experiences with the program in an Oct. 23 webinar hosted by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.
BURLINGTON — The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program is seeking applications for 2020 Farmer Grant projects. Proposals are due online by Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. Funded projects will be announced and may begin in late February 2020. Farmer Grants provide research funds for commercial farms to explore new ideas in almost any aspect of production, marketing and other topics that influence successful farming in the 12 Northeast states and the District of Columbia. Reviewers look for innovation, potential for improved sustainability and results that will be useful to...
BRANDON — The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is taking public comment on its 2019 Draft Otter Creek Tactical Basin Plan. The agency seeks public feedback on the plan at an informational meeting in Brandon next week and will take written or electronic comment through Nov. 8. The plan covers portions of Bennington, Rutland and Addison counties and all lakes, rivers and wetlands within the Otter Creek, Little Otter Creek and Lewis Creek watersheds. The plan provides an assessment of the health of the basin and identifies 55 water quality strategies across the following sectors: agriculture...
MIDDLEBURY — RiseVT has awarded The Blueprint for Health, in partnership with Porter Hospital, a $1000 grant to offer free cooking classes as part of the Blueprint’s Diabetes Prevention Program. The cooking classes will take place once per month for 12 months immediately following the one-hour-long Diabetes Prevention class. The cooking class will be led by Hannaford Career Center’s Culinary Arts Instructor Woody Danforth. More than 1 in 3 people have a condition called prediabetes. This means their blood sugar levels are too high, but not yet high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes....

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Addison County Independent