News


STEVE HOLMES
10/06/2019
RIPTON — Teacher Steve Holmes has joined the ranks of the school faculty at The North Branch School in Ripton. Homes will teach seventh, eighth and ninth grade math to its students. In addition, Rose McVay, longtime NBS math and science teacher, will assume the additional role of associate head of school while continuing to teach the three-year science curriculum. “Along with teaching math with enthusiasm, expertise, and humor, Steve brings a great number of interests and skills — from robotics, rocketry, drawing, coaching, juggling, computer programming, 3-D printing, photography, animation...
10/06/2019
BURLINGTON — Let’s Grow Kids (LGK) plans to award $400,000 in grants in 2020 to fund 15 to 20 Vermont childcare projects of various sizes across the state through its Make Way for Kids program. Those interested in applying are encouraged to participate in informational calls on Oct. 3 or Oct. 15 for details on eligibility and how to apply. As part of its mission to ensure affordable access to high-quality childcare for all Vermont families who need it by 2025, LGK is working to increase the number of high-quality childcare spaces in the state. The Make Way for Kids program — launched in 2018...
10/06/2019
MONTPELIER — Tree stands get hunters out of sight and smell of wary deer, but they can also get hunters into trouble. Here are some tips from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department to help stay safe and get the most out of your tree stand hunting experience: •  Choose a live, straight tree. •  Buy smart. Only use stands certified by the Treestand Manufacturers Association (TMA). •  Inspect them each time you use them.  •  Know the rules. On state lands, it is illegal to place nails or other hardware into trees or to build permanent structures. On private lands, you must have landowner...

SKIMMER HELLIER OF Stark Mountain Woodworking holds a stingray hide to finish custom cabinets. Stingrays are farmed commercially, Hellier noted. Photo by Anne Wallace Allen/VTDigger
10/06/2019
NEW HAVEN — It’s not every day you need stingray hide to finish a cabinet. But if you’re building high-end interior cabinets, it’s actually not that uncommon either, says Skimmer Hellier, who keeps a stack of the hides in a drawer at work. Hellier owns and runs Stark Mountain Woodworking with partner Louis DuPont, whom he met while the two were on a construction crew together in the 1990s. They’ve since expanded their company to 18 workers and operate out of a three-story, 70-year-old former chicken barn in New Haven. The building and many additions include about 12,000 square feet on the...
10/06/2019
BRISTOL/BRANDON — Homeowners are invited to several local meetings where they will learn to prepare their abodes for winter to lower energy bills, make living spaces more comfortable, and reduce carbon emissions. Heating buildings is the second-largest source of carbon emissions in Vermont behind transportation. More than 50 towns across Vermont are participating in this year’s Button Up Vermont campaign.  Ready to stop burning money? Weatherizing your home is often one of the best financial investments you can make. These workshops will help get you started. Meeting leaders will answer these...

FARMER ERNIE AUDET (left) talks about state regulations with Sen. Ruth Hardy, D-East Middlebury, (center) Sen. Brian Collamore, R-Rutland, (right) and others in a barn at Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport during a legislators farm tour last month. Independent photo/Abagael Giles
10/03/2019
WEYBRIDGE — “Day after day, we get up and go to the barn to make no money,” Roger Scholten told state officials and legislators at his farm in Weybridge on Sept. 18. “I lie awake at night thinking about how I felt 15 years ago, before I made the move to go organic. That’s how I feel now.” Scholten and his wife Patty operate Scholten Family Farm, a 250-cow organic dairy just over the town line from Middlebury. They’ve been in business for 25 years and have diversified their dairy farm over that period — first by making the transition organic and, since 2008, by making cheese, which they age at...
10/03/2019
FERRISBURGH/ADDISON — After Tuesday night not only the future of Addison and Ferrisburgh central schools is uncertain, but so also is the future of the planned votes on whether to close them. The Addison Northwest School District Board had asked selectboards in both towns at their Tuesday meetings to warn Nov. 5 school closure votes. The board has said closing the two schools is the best way to provide educational equity for all ANWSD students; maintain programs, especially at Vergennes Union High School; and avoid a tax increase that residents likely would not support a year after its...

MOUNT ABE INTERIM Principal Shannon Warden says she feels “rooted” at her new school — in part because it’s leading the way in proficiency-based learning, a curriculum she helped implement at her last school, and partly because she has worked previously with Superintendent Patrick Reen and Assistant Superintendent Catrina DiNapoli. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
10/03/2019
BRISTOL — As Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School Interim Principal Shannon Warden walked through the crowd after last month’s homecoming football game, she encountered a young Eagle football player who earlier in the evening had competed in the middle school exhibition scrimmage. “You’re my principal, right?” he asked her. “Yes I am,” she said. “DID YOU SEE MY INTERCEPTION?!” Warden recalled his excitement in an interview with the Independent. “And then he fist-bumped me and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is why I do what I do.’” Such moments can change relationships forever, she said. “The...

NURSE PRACTIONER LAURA Wilkinson, left, and Dr. Jessica Rouse have joined forces to form a new family health practice called Village Health, which will soon open in downtown Middlebury’s Star Mill building. Independent photo/John S. McCright
10/03/2019
MIDDLEBURY — Nurse Practitioner Laura Wilkinson and Dr. Jessica Rouse have been good friends for years. Now the pair will be professional colleagues in a new private family health practice office called Village Health, to open later this month in the former Junebug location at 5 Park St. in the Star Mill building. Village Health will be a membership-based family care practice, caring for patients from infancy to their senior years. Services will include preventative care, treatment for common illnesses, care for chronic conditions, health screening, and laboratory services.  And starting in...

JAMIE MONTAGUE AND Caleb Basa, executive director and programs coordinator, respectively, of the Middlebury Area Land Trust, display an example of the 17 new informational signs that will adorn the Trail Around Middlebury. The community will celebrate the popular 18-mile footpath’s 30th birthday at WhistlePig Farm in Shoreham on Oct. 10. Independent photo/John Flowers
10/03/2019
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Area Land Trust (MALT) has added new staff, new education programming and new signs to celebrated its Trail Around Middlebury (TAM), which this year is marking its 30th birthday. Established in 1987 as the “Middlebury Land Trust,” the small nonprofit has had great success conserving environmentally significant farmland and forestland in and around Addison County’s shire town. But the organization’s crowing achievement has been the TAM, a more than 18-mile footpath that encircles Middlebury village and links several hundred acres of municipal land, conserved...

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