News

FERRISBURGH — The town of Ferrisburgh and the owners of Vorsteveld Farms LLC have reached a settlement in the legal dispute over their 2017 cutting of more than 2,000 trees in the town’s right of way on Arnold Bay Road. The agreement required the farm’s owners, brothers Gerard, Hans and Rudolf Vorsteveld, to pay a $30,000 settlement to the town of Ferrisburgh. It does not require them to perform any restorative work along the 0.75-mile stretch of road running north from the Panton town line. The deal became official last week when Addison County Superior Court Judge Mary Miles Teachout signed...
UPDATED: The VA will be vaccinating vets in Middlebury with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.   MIDDLEBURY — The White River Junction Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System and Middlebury College are partnering in the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. On April 10 the VA will be administering doses of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine at Middlebury College’s Athletics Complex on South Main Street. This clinic is for Veterans and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees by appointment only.   “Partnerships within our communities across Vermont and New Hampshire are the key...
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police and firefighters, along with the Middlebury Regional EMS ambulance, were called to a Painter Road home on Friday afternoon after an apparent tornado toppled a tree onto a house, injuring a teenage boy. The youngster was taken to Porter Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. An adult at a nearby home also reported minor injuries but declined to be transported to the hospital. Middlebury authorities received a 911 call at about 1:54 p.m. on March 26. A Painter Road resident reported that her house had been damaged by a windstorm and her child injured as a...
MONTPELIER — After a computerized sorting snafu sent the wrong 1099 tax forms to thousands of Vermonters earlier this year, the Vermont Department of Labor is once again facing another error that appears to have sent erroneous invoices to Vermont businesses for underfunding unemployment accounts in the fourth quarter of 2020. Middlebury-based Addison Independent publisher Angelo Lynn received such an invoice Friday morning and, after a half hour of research and a few calls between the company’s bookkeeper and payroll service, discovered that the invoice was another error made by the Vermont...

SHAWN KIMBALL, A resident of Bristol Village Cohousing who grew up sugaring in Monkton, led the community last weekend in tapping four maple trees and in boiling the sap down to syrup on a fire pit. Photo by Jim Mendell
ADDISON COUNTY — It’s been cold in Addison County over the past several months. It’s almost as if we had a proper Vermont winter. It was so cold, in fact, that sugaring got off to a late start this year. Many maple sugarmakers had become accustomed over the past few years to starting in February, but this year, because of the persistent freezing temperatures, boilable sap didn’t make an appearance in many places until the first week of March. “We started very late, more so because the snow in the woods was unbelievably deep,” said Don Gale of Twin Maple Sugarworks in Lincoln. “And the wind-...

Congressman Peter Welch
VERGENNES — Vergennes will soon receive the first half of $756,383 in federal COVID-19 aid from the American Rescue Plan Act, Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., told the Vergennes City Council on Tuesday. The Addison Northwest School District will also receive $1.76 million, Welch told the council.  There are strings attached on how that money can be spent, Vermont’s Congressman added. Spending has to be related to the impact on the community related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Welch said, and there are components related to helping nonprofits and supporting water, sewer and broadband projects. “You are...

WORKERS EARLY NEXT month will begin the final phase of construction on the downtown Middlebury tunnel project. The work, to conclude Aug. 17, will include expansion of Triangle Park between Merchants Row and St. Stephen’s Church. Independent photo/John S. McCright
MIDDLEBURY — After more than five years of planning and construction, Middlebury residents can finally see a light at the end of the downtown tunnel project. Construction workers early next month will kick off the final phase of work on the $72 million plan to replace the Main Street and Merchants Row rail bridges. The centerpiece of the project —a 360-foot-long concrete tunnel — was painstakingly assembled last summer during a 10-week sprint. The marathon portion of the undertaking will resume during the week of April 5 and conclude Aug. 17. Specific chores will include further landscaping...

CLINT BIERMAN, LEFT, and Craig Maravich performed “Doc Lyle Sol’s Medicine Show” on a mobile stage in Middlebury last spring. Created by Town Hall Theater’s Courageous Stage, THT officials said the show helped the theater see how it could expand its offerings. Independent photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — The prospect of a COVID-resistant population by July is inspiring leaders of the county’s two entertainment hubs to start planning for a return to in-person entertainment later this year. Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater will begin offering outdoor events in the sprint and plans to resume its traditional theater education programs this summer and restart in-person performance late summer and in the fall. For its part, the Vergennes Opera House is planning its typical fall lineup of shows and prepping for the easing of COVID-19 restrictions so it can again offer the Main Street...

VINS RESEARCH COORDINATOR Jim Armbruster holds Goodrich, a red-tailed hawk that has just been equipped with a GPS transmitter, before setting it free. VINS has been tracking red-tailed hawks in Addison County this winter. Photo courtesy Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences
ADDISON COUNTY — This past weekend, to the delight of its trackers, a red-tailed hawk nicknamed Obi-Wan, which had been out of range for months, passed a cell tower and transmitted GPS data showing his recent movements. And Obi-Wan has been getting around. A map posted on Facebook Monday by the Quechee-based Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences (VINS) shows Obi-Wan visiting nearly 100 distinct spots in our area, from Middlebury (where he was caught and banded in January) to Shoreham, New York state, Addison and Ferrisburgh. “He now seems to be making a beeline north, perhaps on his way to...

SKIERS AND RIDERS catch a ride up the Sheehan Lift at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl this winter during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the number of college students using the facility was diminished because classes were held remotely from late November through late February, thousands of local residents and area visitors flocked to the Bowl as an escape from being homebound the pandemic, providing an invaluable service to the community, said General Manager Michael Hussey. Independent photo/Steve James
HANCOCK — Last March, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Middlebury College Snow Bowl to shut down early with the hopes of returning to normal the following winter. Nine months later, uncertainty still loomed in the air around opening the ski mountain. On a brisk December morning, the Snow Bowl started spinning it’s lifts again — but with the knowledge that this season would have to be unlike any other. “Sometimes you deem a successful season in how much money you make, how the college ski team did, or how many lessons we had. There are so many phases of gauging what a successful season is,”...

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Addison County Independent