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A new cabinet for crossing signal electronics will be installed at this downtown Vergennes intersection next Monday and Tuesday. VTrans tells drivers to expect delays.
VERGENNES — The final piece of the major Vergennes downtown paving puzzle — almost all of which was completed in 2020 — will be put into place early next week, and Vermont Agency of Transportation officials said it will disrupt downtown traffic for two days. On Monday and Tuesday workers will install a cabinet to house electronics for a pedestrian signal at the central downtown intersection of Main and Green streets. VTrans said in a press release work will begin early on Monday and take “approximately two days.” And, of course, the agency warned, “delays may occur” for traffic along Main...
MIDDLEBURY — After keeping most visitors from the hospital and nursing home for a year to guard against the spread of the coronavirus, Porter Hospital and Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing today are easing some visitor restrictions. It is part of a loosening of constraints across the University of Vermont Health Network’s three Vermont hospital, which also includes the University of Vermont Medical Center and Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin. Based on the latest guidance from the state of Vermont, UVMHN is allowing some fully vaccinated people into inpatient areas at its...

PAUL RALSTON HAS decided to sell Vermont Coffee Company to Maine-based Stonewall Kitchen, a move that the company’s officials said will keep — and grow — local jobs and lead to a new coffee shop in downtown Middlebury. Independent photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — Vermont Coffee Company has been sold to Maine-based specialty food producer Stonewall Kitchen in a deal that will keep VCC in Middlebury, retain (and possibly grow) the firm’s local workforce, and expand the market for its popular coffee products. The transaction will also result in Vermont Coffee absorbing more space within the Carrara complex at 1197 Exchange St., and lead to creation of a new downtown Middlebury café as soon as this fall. “As a purpose-driven company, finding the right home for our brand and the friends I’ve made was of the utmost importance to me,” said...
MIDDLEBURY — As more and more Vermonters get vaccinated against COVID-19 and Middlebury College continues to operate its campus without any major outbreaks of the disease, college officials are planning for an eventual resumption of in-person activities. First up is this May’s graduation ceremony, which has been moved forward a day, to Saturday, May 29, at 2 p.m. “After a year with limited gatherings and holding all-campus ceremonies virtually, we are excited that we are able to bring our graduating seniors together for an in-person commencement, incorporating as many traditions as we can,...

MOUNT ABE EIGHTH-GRADERS Hazel Guillmette, left, and Whitney Dykstra of Monkton were so affected by learning about the Holocaust — and so shocked to discover that Vermont students are not required to learn about this dark period of world history — that they embarked on a campaign to make Holocaust learning a part of the state curriculum. Photo courtesy Whitney Dykstra
MONKTON — In January 1945, just months before the Buchenwald concentration camp was liberated by American forces, 16-year-old Jewish prisoner Elie Wiesel lay silently, fearfully in his bunk as his father was beaten to death in the bunk below. Wiesel’s father was one of 6 million victims of the Holocaust, Nazi Germany’s attempt, from 1941 until it was stopped in 1945, to exterminate all of the Jews under its dominion. Elie Wiesel remained silent about his experiences until the mid-1950s. Then the words started pouring out. He would go on to write 57 books, including “Night,” a landmark of what...

CANOES WILL AGAIN launch — albeit with socially distance paddlers — at Camp Songadeewin this summer. Songadeewin for girls, Keewaydin for boys and Point CounterPoint for young musicians will all be back in session on the shores of Lake Dunmore following a year lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy of Ellen Flight
SALISBURY — The familiar sounds of laughing, shouting, splashing and playing — both the youthful abandon and instrumental varieties — will once again tickle the ears of those living near Lake Dunmore this summer. That’s because three popular camps — Keewaydin, Songadeewin and Point CounterPoint — will reopen to children this summer after a one-year hiatus forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Demand has been high and is coming steadily at this point,” said Camp Songadeewin Director Ellen Flight, who reported the first month at both Songadeewin and Keewaydin is already booked solid, with waiting...

NORDIC SKIERS AT Blueberry Hill’s Outdoor Center make their way across abundant snow on a flat stretch on a trail. Inn co-owner Shari Brown said good conditions was one of several reasons more than twice as many visitors used the outdoor center this winter than the previous season. Photo by Daniel Schechner
RIPTON/GOSHEN — There has been at least one arguably positive side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic: Operators of Addison County’s two Nordic skiing centers report a surge of interest in cross-country skiing during the past winter. They cite factors that included the desire of housebound residents to be active outdoors and good conditions for the sport. “I saw lots of new faces, a big increase in numbers,” said Blueberry Hill Inn co-owner Shari Brown, who is also the director of the Goshen inn’s Outdoor Center, which in the winter focuses on Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. Barney Hodges,...
To families served by Mary Hogan Elementary School: The Middlebury Department of Public Works wants you to know that water main replacement work in nearby Court Square will affect arrival and dismissal of classes for the near future. Because of this work, the crosswalk at Mary Hogan’s north entrance is temporarily closed. If you are walking/biking with your children and need to cross Route 7, you can cross at Cross Street, Mary Hogan’s South Entrance, or Court Square. The water main is underneath the southbound lane of Court Street. The construction will shut down the south lane of traffic...
STARKSBORO — Caleb Elder has resigned from the Mount Abraham Unified School District Board. “At this point, I don’t feel like I am able to continue in this role for the rest of my term,” Elder wrote to board chair Dawn Griswold in a March 10 email tendering his resignation, effective immediately. Elder was one year into a three-year term that’s set to expire in March 2023. “It was just a matter of balancing obligations,” he told the Independent on Thursday. Elder has been wearing several public-service hats lately. In November he was reelected as the Addison-4 (Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton and...

ADDISON COUNTY RIVER Watch Collaborative volunteer Beth Eliason checks the level of a test sample during a 2017 water-sampling project. River Watch is starting a complex season of testing six local watersheds plus other water quality projects. Photo by Craig Zondag
ADDISON COUNTY — Snow is melting and the rivers are flowing, which means it’s time for the Addison County River Watch Collaborative to launch its water-monitoring season. “This is going to be our most complex season yet,” said River Watch Executive Director Matthew Witten. River Watch’s mission is to monitor and assess the condition and uses of local rivers over time, raise public awareness of the values and functions of local watersheds, and support stewardship that improves water quality. The water-sampling season usually runs from about April to September. Despite ongoing complications...

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Addison County Independent