VERGENNES — An analysis of more than 10,000 traffic stops conducted by Vergennes police between 2015 and 2019 shows that Black, Asian and Hispanic drivers were more likely to be stopped and ticketed, while Black and Hispanic drivers were more likely to be searched even though they were less likely to be found with contraband.  The data was collected by the department, and University of Vermont Professor Stephanie Seguino received and analyzed the information. The heart of the work Seguino provided to the Independent included an analysis of 10,744 traffic stops, including 9,735 white, 417...

NEW HAVEN RESIDENT Ursula Olender welcomes home her dog Tela, who was on the loose for six days last month. Finding the dog was a community-wide effort, including friends, neighbors, fellow dog park users, and work colleagues of Olender and her husband, Jon. The couple also had some help from unusual sources — a dowser who does animal communication work and an unnamed Vermonter who had “insights” about Tela’s location. Paul Dahm, right, and his wife, Carolyn, finally discovered the dog near a swamp on Field Days Road. Photo by Jon Olender
NEW HAVEN — In late August, after their four-year-old English setter, Tela, bolted from a nearby hay field and sallied forth on six days of unknown adventures to undisclosed locations, Ursula and Jon Olender learned what they say was a valuable lesson:  Ask for help and you will receive it. “One of the best pieces of advice we received was to let people help,” Ursula told the Independent. “Don’t do this on your own. Let as many people know as you can, keep updating Facebook, put your posters everywhere, knock on doors.” And it worked. More than 140 people joined a Facebook group called “Find...

MOUNT ABRAHAM UNION High School is the youngest building in the Bristol-area school district, but it is also the one in the most need of repair.
BRISTOL — Even as it celebrates recent successes — well-received community engagement last fall, Essential Persons Child Care and Meals on the Bus this spring, a high school graduation ceremony for the ages, and the reopening of schools this week — the Mount Abraham Unified School District is facing some tough decisions about its future, which will require robust conversations throughout its five member towns. Like many school districts around the state, MAUSD has experienced a steady enrollment decline and sharp increases in health care and other costs. As of Aug. 11, MAUSD projected it...

BAR ANTIDOTE OWNER Ian Huizenga, with help from 3Squares Café owner Matt Birong and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes, is spearheading a new free meals effort that will begin in the city area and could spread wider in Addison County. It will run through at least December and also employ a number of restaurant workers, all thanks to a state-administered federal grant. Independent file photos/Steve James
VERGENNES — A new effort set to begin on Sept. 14 will provide hundreds of free meals to residents in need in the Vergennes area — and possibly beyond at some point. It will also provide jobs to a number of cooks from downtown Vergennes restaurants.  The effort, supported by a $181,000 “Everyone Eats” grant — funds that came from the $5 million awarded to Vermont from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to support the program — will be overseen by Ian Huizenga, owner of city eateries Bar Antidote and Hired Hand Brewery.  Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes interim administrator Cookie...
This story has been updated since it was originally published on Sep. 7. MIDDLEBURY — Several Middlebury College students have been dismissed from campus for COVID-19-related conduct violations, according to an announcement by Director of Health Services Mark Peluso that was posted on the college website Sunday. “While the overwhelming majority of Middlebury students have complied with our health and safety protocols, the Office of Community Standards has also issued a number of sanctions for non-compliance, including several dismissals from campus,” Peluso wrote. The dismissed students were...
The Friends of Mount Abe Fall Musicals is hosting a bottle drive at the Monkton Recycling Center this coming Saturday, Sept. 12, from 8 a.m.-noon to benefit the big show. Organizers aren’t yet sure what this year’s production will look like, but the community’s dedication to the students at Mount Abraham and quality theater productions continues. Anyone with questions should contact Joan Holloway at If you have a large quantity of redeemable bottles and can’t get to recycling this weekend, email her to arrange pick up or bring them to Bristol Beverage and ask them to be...

ROBIN INGENTHRON, CEO of Good Point Recycling, is looking for investors to help his Middlebury company prepare for a veritable tidal wave of new e-recycling business it will secure through a new, five-year contract with the state of Massachusetts. Independent photo/John Flowers
MIDDLEBURY — Good Point Recycling recently signed a major, five-year e-waste contract with the state of Massachusetts that is prompting its ownership to recruit investors to help the 20-year-old company keep pace with an expected doubling of the amount of discarded electronics it will soon be processing. The new pact — covering the Massachusetts cities of Boston, Brockton, Brookline, Cambridge, Quincy, Weymouth and Revere — is triggering Good Point CEO and founder Robin Ingenthron to consider a major increase in his workforce of around 40. Those workers are currently split between the company...
MIDDLEBURY — The results are in for the initial rounds of COVID-19 testing Middlebury College conducted on incoming students. Each of the college’s nearly 2,300 residential students has now been tested at least twice for the disease. Only two have tested positive so far, and both have since recovered, according to the college’s online COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard. Middlebury College now has zero active COVID-19 cases. Middlebury’s first positive COVID-19 test result came out of arrival-day testing conducted on Aug. 26.  The second positive case came out of Day 7 (or round two) testing...

THE UNITED WAY of Addison County recently moved from its previous office on Court Street in Middlebury to a newly opened space on the first level of the Wilson Street home of Middlebury Fitness. Among the amenities of the new space is the John Dale Memorial Conference Room.
MIDDLEBURY — The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily changed the way companies and individuals interact and do business. But the United Way of Addison County (UWAC) officials hope the worldwide virus doesn’t change people’s longstanding generosity when it comes to helping those less fortunate. Still, UWAC leaders aren’t taking any chances: They’re unfurling their fiscal year 2021 fund drive with an emphasis on making it as convenient as possible for people to financially support, and physically help, the Addison County nonprofits that deliver food, clothing, shelter, mental health counseling,...

Workers installing sidewalks in downtown Middlebury remove a wooden form in front of a Merchants Row business Thursday morning. Work on the $72 million downtown rail tunnel project will wrap up next summer, but the 10-week shutdown of down is drawing closer to its conclusion. Independent photo/John S. McCright
MIDDLEBURY — The town of Middlebury, the Vermont Agency of Transportation and Kubricky Construction are organizing a socially-distanced ceremonial opening of the new downtown Middlebury rail tunnel, set for Friday, Sept. 18.  Here’s the scoop, according to Project Community Liaison Jim Gish: On Friday morning, Middlebury will mark the end of this summer’s 10-week shutdown with a ceremonial first train through the new downtown rail tunnel and a ribbon-cutting ceremony to reopen the newly restored Main Street and Merchants Row to pedestrians and thru traffic.  A Vermont Rail passenger train...


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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100