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BRISTOL — A second party in the Mount Abraham Unified School District has filed a formal request under Vermont’s public records law for data, documents and other information related to Superintendent Patrick Reen’s Dec. 7 proposal to consolidate the district’s elementary schools. Timothy Lueders-Dumont, Karen Lueders and James Dumont of Lincoln have asked for information Reen shared only with the MAUSD school board behind closed doors. “On Dec. 22 during an Executive Session of the MAUSD School Board, financial information that related to (Reen’s proposal) was apparently revealed to school...
This is part of the package of COVID-related stories produced by Middlebury College students in Professor Lindsay Repka's biochem class during the fall of 2020. Read the rest here. A COVID-19 vaccine is likely the most efficient way to fight the coronavirus pandemic and return to normalcy. However, vaccines typically require years of development before wide distribution. The fastest vaccine development prior to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was that for mumps, which took four years. The typical vaccine takes about a decade or longer (12 to 14 years). Researchers expedited development of a COVID-...

RON REDMOND
VERGENNES — Vergennes has hired the longtime executive director of Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace to be its new city manager. Ron Redmond, 65, will take over for Interim City Manager Renny Perry on Jan. 18. Perry said he would leave as Redmond came aboard, but would “come in if Ron needs me” afterward. Perry took over as interim on Nov. 13, when former manager Dan Hofman left. Hofman and the city council agreed to part ways after Hofman said he wished to leave the post he had held since January. This search proved more efficient than each of the city’s previous two managerial searches...
If you’ve been to a holiday gathering, perhaps it’s time to get tested for COVID-19, in the event you became infected, notes Middlebury Police Chief and Emergency Management Director Tom Hanley. The idea is so that you won’t inadvertently infect anyone else and so you can get medical treatment sooner if you need it. There is plenty of available time for the tests noon-8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, at the town’s recreation facility off Creek Road. Here’s the link to register: healthvermont.gov/covid-19/testing/where-get-tested. The Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center in Goshen is collaborating...

PETER KELLERMAN IS leaving the top administrative post at Vergennes-based John Graham Housing & Services after leading the nonprofit through seven eventful years. Photo courtesy Peter Kellerman
VERGENNES — Chronologically, Peter Kellerman has served seven years as executive director of John Graham Housing & Services (JGH&S), a Vergennes nonprofit that runs a homeless shelter, transitional housing, and programs that help people transition to permanent accommodations. But with all the stress and hard work that goes into transforming people’s lives, you’ll understand if Kellerman feels like he’s worked at JGH&S much longer. The last year probably seems like 20 to him, given the challenges of safely housing folks during a pandemic that has required social distancing — a...
MIDDLEBURY — The latest 2021-2022 budget draft for Addison Central School District calls for $40.3 million in spending — less than a 1% boost compared to this year — but would require homestead education property tax rate hikes ranging from 11 cents per $100 in property value in Shoreham to 25 cents in Salisbury, according to district officials. The board is likely to use surplus funds to soften the impact of the budget on local property tax rates. Board members continue to debate exactly how much of the district’s $1,173,744 fund balance (unaudited) from fiscal year 2020 it should use....
MIDDLEBURY — Addison Central School Board members agreed on Monday to delay their decision on possible elementary school closures until the end of this academic year. The board had been slated to make that major decision at its annual meeting on Feb. 23, but decided to postpone the vote in order to give more time for public feedback. The board also will get the full results of a transportation study that will give officials a better sense of how transitioning from the current seven elementary schools to four would affect the duration of student bus rides. The ACSD panel is currently leaning...
VERGENNES — After a divided Vergennes City Council on Tuesday night supported her effort to return to her seat on the council through March 2022, Mayor Lynn Donnelly on Wednesday morning announced she would not seek to retain the two-year term to which she was elected in March 2020. Donnelly, a longtime councilor, was chosen as deputy mayor by the council shortly after her election. She took over as mayor when then-mayor Jeff Fritz resigned in July. The issue at an at-times contentious Tuesday council meeting — one that drew criticism from some attendees for its tone and outcome after it was...

MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE STUDENT Megan Job is shown at a Black Lives Matter protest in New York City this past summer. Job, left, and the others are wearing masks, which studies showed likely reduced the spread of coronavirus at BLM protests this past summer. Photo by Karen Yi courtesy of Gothamist/WNYC
This is part of the package of COVID-related stories produced by Middlebury College students in Professor Lindsay Repka's biochem class during the fall of 2020. Read the rest here. MYTH: Rurality protects communities from COVID-19 In the beginning of the pandemic, it was suggested that living in a rural area could protect people from COVID-19. Most of the initial COVID-19 hotspots were in cities like New York City. It was thought that since populations are less concentrated in rural communities, it should be easier to physically distance there. However, rural locations have also seen surges...

THE 50-SOMETHING-YEAR-OLD “green barn” is the largest building on the Bristol Department of Public Works site. The town is studying how it can be replaced, possibly with space for the Bristol Police Department as well.
BRISTOL — The town of Bristol has begun to plan for the possibility of two new buildings — one for the Department of Public Works (DPW) and one for the Bristol Police Department (BPD). And depending on how things go, those two building could end up attached to each other. Because of COVID-19, the Bristol selectboard is a few months behind the schedule it had hoped to follow this year, but one major phase has been completed: a building site and needs analysis, which was conducted by Bread Loaf Corporation and presented to the board. The study was originally intended to focus on providing new...

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