News

07/29/2019
ADDISON — The John Strong Mansion and Museum is open for the season.  The Vermont Daughters of the American Revolution invite all to visit the home of Revolutionary War patriot John Strong. The home was built in 1796 and housed five generations of the Strong family. The tour includes period room displays and the story of a Colonial family’s life in the northern wilderness.  Guided tours are offered from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Special tours are offered by appointment. Adult admission is $5, seniors and students $3, families $10.  The...

Russ Reilly in 1987
07/26/2019
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College has announced the death of the school’s longtime former men’s basketball coach and athletic director Russ Reilly; he died Wednesday, July 24. Reilly worked fulltime for the Middlebury College athletics department for 29 years. In the year before his 2006 retirement, he returned to coaching men’s basketball as a volunteer assistant and continued in that role for the past 13 seasons. “Russ was a pillar of the college and local communities because of his huge heart and equally big smile and laugh,” said Middlebury Director of Athletics Erin Quinn. “He set the...

ANNAJO SMITH IN yellow sunglasses leads her New Haven Fire Department teammates in a water polo contest vs. firefighters from the Vergennes department during the Muster Games competitions that were part of the Vermont State Firefighters Association Convention in Middlebury this past weekend. Independent photo/Steve James
07/25/2019
MIDDLEBURY — More than 150 firefighters representing departments from throughout the state converged on Middlebury this past weekend to associate, learn, compete and honor the best among themselves. It was the 2019 Vermont State Firefighters Association (VSFA) Convention, held July 19-20 at various locations in Addison County’s shire town. The gathering included a memorial service, annual business meeting, guest speakers, the judging of fire apparatus, muster games, live demonstrations of firefighting techniques, an awards banquet and a fireworks display on Saturday evening. Several Addison...

COURTESY OF THE USDA Census for Agriculture
07/25/2019
ADDISON COUNTY — One need only look around to see that the rural landscape in Vermont is changing as the number and type of farms changes. A recently released big-picture look at our farm economy shows that agricultural production appears to be changing faster in Addison County than it is in Vermont as a whole. More giant and tiny farms but fewer mid-size ones, less cropland in production, fewer cows but more milk — all these trends are shown in the latest USDA Census for Agriculture. The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts the census every five years and compiles statistics at the...
Roger Schmidt, massage, voyeur
ROGER SCHMIDT ADDRESSES addresses Superior Court Judge Alison Arms at the courthouse in Middlebury during his sentencing hearing on voyeurism charges on Monday morning. Independent photo/John Flowers
07/25/2019
MIDDLEBURY — It’s just a handful of footsteps from the visitors’ gallery to the prosecutor’s desk in courtroom 1 of the Frank Mahady Courthouse in Middlebury. But it must have seemed like a mile to each of the six women who courageously took their spot before an Addison County judge on Monday to tearfully recount how the man sitting just 10 feet away from them had promised to relieve their physical pain through massage therapy, only to instead condemn them to a lifetime of emotional trauma after having videotaped them in various states of undress during sessions at his Middlebury office. “I...

WHEN A RUNNER saw widespread graffiti, like the painting on the rock above, she realized that someone had invaded a “happy place” cherished by many. Photo by Laura Turner
07/25/2019
MIDDLEBURY/NEW HAVEN — Bummer. Who would do this? This is so wrong. Those were the thoughts that went through Laura Weylman Turner’s head Friday evening when during a run through the woods along the Trail Around Middlebury (TAM) and came upon a massive display of graffiti spray painted in fluorescent colors on trees, boulders and rocks along the edge of Otter Creek. Fortunately some of the painted faces, flowers and undecipherable symbols could be scraped off by a volunteer from the Middlebury Area Land Trust, or MALT, which manages the TAM. But the incident reminded some that we live in a...
07/25/2019
MIDDLEBURY — While many of those directly affected by the Roger Schmidt voyeurism case are fearful the fallout might include fewer people seeking out responsible massage therapy, the aftermath could produce what some believe is an overdue state law that would regulate those who practice that profession in Vermont. Sen. Ruth Hardy, D-Middlebury, confirmed on Tuesday she’s asked the Vermont Legislative Council to draft a bill calling for regulation of the massage therapy industry in the Green Mountain State. Vermont is among a handful of states with no licensure/registration requirements of...
07/25/2019
VERGENNES — After two years of modest tax increases — 2.4 cents in 2018 and 4.25 cents in 2017, or between 1 and 2 percent — Vergennes homeowners are seeing a more dramatic change when they open their tax bills this week. The new overall city tax rate calls for an increase of 20.21 cents, or about $202 of new taxes per $100,000 of assessed value. Of that total, 11.69 cents is due to an increase in the homestead school-tax rate. Declining Addison Northwest School District enrollment, higher fixed costs, and rising health insurance expenses are pressuring the district budget. Residents who pay...
07/25/2019
MIDDLEBURY — Many Vermont building contractors have more business than they can handle right now, and that’s translated into higher-than-anticipated bids to complete a second-floor build-out of Middlebury’s Memorial Sports Center off Buttolph Drive. But here’s the good news — sports center boosters have found budget savings, secured volunteer labor and have been lining up additional grants and donations to the extent that work on the project kicked off three weeks ago and is expected to be done by the time hockey season begins this fall. “We’re making the best of the situation,” Friends of...
07/25/2019
The Shoreham Zoning Board of Adjustment on Thursday, July 25, is slated to review revised plans for a 7,545-square-foot Dollar General store to be built on a 1-acre parcel on the east side of Route 22A. The ZBA gave a conditional approval to the store plan — submitted by Shoreham BTS Retail LLC — back on March 17. But Shoreham officials explained the plan must undergo another review in light of the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s requirement that developers shift the proposed store driveway from the southern end of the lot to the northern end. The ZBA meeting is slated for 6 p.m. at the...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100