Gov. Phil Scott, left, and Health Commissioner Mark Levine. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
Bars and restaurants with counter seating will be allowed to serve customers, under new guidelines announced Friday by Gov. Phil Scott, and lodging facilities can open to 100% capacity. Bars will be required to maintain a six-foot separation between customers and have barriers in place between servers and customers. Lodging facilities can open to full capacity, a move Scott said was critical as fall foliage season approaches. Visitors who come from areas with a low rate of cases will not be required to follow a 14-day quarantine, unlike  others who come from higher-rate areas. “Now, we’re...

CHRIS AND SAMANTHA MORRISSEY, owners of Cool Motion Outdoor Sports, are putting the final touches on their 900-square-foot bike and ski shop, which is located in the Rockydale neighborhood of Bristol, just east of Hogback Mountain Brewery. In addition to providing rental and repair services, the couple hope to create a community-focused outdoor adventure center. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
BRISTOL — Growing up in Bristol, Chris Morrissey got into BMX culture — ramps, half pipes — and tinkering with bikes. “We used to order parts from BMX magazines,” Morrissey told the Independent. “And we would get really excited when we saw the UPS truck driving around.” He bought his first mountain bike at age 13 and would “ooh” and “ah” when the Vermont Bike Tours (VBT) van passed by, he said. Knowing he eventually wanted to work with bikes and skis, he spent his high school Senior Career Day at Middlebury Bike & Ski (now Frog Hollow Bikes). Eventually, Morrissey landed a job in VBT’s...
The Vermont House voted Thursday to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act, legislation that would legally require the state to meet carbon emission reductions targets in the coming years, and allow individuals to sue the government if it fails to do so. Two days after the governor vetoed the bill, H.688, the House overturned Scott’s decision on a vote of 103-47 — surpassing the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto. Rep. Jim Harrison, R-North Chittenden, said he was disappointed that the House was ending its special legislative session with an override,...

U.S. REP. PETER WELCH / Photo by Benji Renton
WASHINGTON — Rep. Peter Welch on Friday introduced legislation to extend the deadline for state and local governments to use funds appropriated by the CARES Act. Currently, the state and local relief funds from the CARES Act must be used by Dec. 31, making it impossible to complete long-term recovery projects. Rep. Welch’s bill would fix that by authorizing the use of these funds through Sept. 30, 2021. “Our state and local communities need help to get through this unprecedented and challenging time,” Welch said in a press release. “But implementing the changes needed to cope with the...
BRISTOL — Because of the pandemic, Bristol will not be holding its annual Harvest Fest this year, but it will host a Harvest Sidewalk Sale on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participating Bristol businesses will be offering great buys, end-of-season sales and previews of early fall and holiday merchandise, according to the event’s Facebook page. There will be various surprises from Main Street businesses, so shoppers are encouraged to check tables on both sides of the street. In accordance with state-mandated public health precautions, shoppers are asked to wear face masks while...

ORWELL VILLAGE SCHOOL kindergarten teacher Josh Martin leads story time for his students in a rustic outdoor learning space. The Orwell community partnered with its school to create the outdoor classrooms as a way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Independent photo/John Flowers
ORWELL — Teachers have been busy these past few months ordering classroom supplies for the first in-school classes since mid-March. A lot of chalk, erasers, desks, chairs and photocopier paper, right? Nope. The Orwell Village School’s supply list has included wood chips, large stones, tree stumps and tarps — the new “normal” classroom décor during this era of COVID-19. Orwell parents, educators and business leaders have joined forces to create an outdoor learning environment until a vaccine, or Mother Nature, sends students and teachers back into the school building. “It’s just another...
MIDDLEBURY — Brandon resident Bashiru Abdulaziz on Sept. 3 met up with the two Middlebury police officers who had ordered him to “raise your hands” during their investigation of a false report they’d received about an armed Black man detaining a woman at gunpoint off Mary Hogan Drive on June 22. This was an opportunity for the officers and Abdulaziz to metaphorically shake hands and chart a new path for community policing. As previously reported by the Independent, Abdulaziz was approached by Middlebury Police Officers Bill Austin and Jared Harrington and a police dog at the town recreation...

THESE IMAGES SHOW Vergennes Residential Care at 34 North St., with a dwelling at 40 North St. back to the left, and what it could look like if Daniel and Rebecca Hassan’s plans to expand the business with a new building and renovation project are completed, with the second building removed. Neighbors have appealed the city permit for a senior assisted-living project that could also pump economic life into downtown Vergennes, and the Hassans say their plans are in jeopardy.
VERGENNES — In early July the Vergennes Development Review Board unanimously approved Charlotte residents Daniel and Rebecca Hassan’s plans for a major expansion of Vergennes Residential Care, their 34 North St. senior assisted-living home. The future of that project, projected to be an economic boost for Vergennes, is now in question after neighbors appealed the DRB’s decision to Vermont Environmental Court. They allege the project is out of scale for the neighborhood and does not comply with all zoning laws. Now the Hassans say their central problem is the time it takes for Environmental...

MIDDLEBURY — Like many institutions of higher education around the country, Middlebury College is navigating a fine line in its compliance with changes in the federal rules concerning sexual assault allegations on campus, and its own rules that try to minimize harm done to assault survivors. At stake if the college fails to abide by the new rules: federal funding. “Failure to comply with the regulations could lead to the loss of all federal dollars, including federal financial aid for students,” said Marti McCaleb, Middlebury Civil Rights and Title IX Officer. “Middlebury’s approach to...

CUSTOMERS OF THE Marble Works Pharmacy in Vergennes, as well as branches in Bristol and Middlebury, got only a few days notice before the drugstore closed late last month, causing hardship for some in need of medication. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
ADDISON COUNTY — The sudden Aug. 31 closure of the Marble Works Pharmacies in Bristol, Middlebury and Vergennes, and the transfer of patient information to local Walgreens pharmacies, has generated public outcry and may have violated state regulations. And it is seen by some as a local sign of a national trend that is driving community drug stores out of business and could endanger Vermonters’ access to essential medicines. “The Vermont Board of Pharmacy has very specific rules regarding pharmacy closures, the most important of which requires the closing pharmacy to notify its patients of the...


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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100