News

03/19/2020
ADDISON COUNTY — While Addison County residents this week continued to adjust to health-and-safety restrictions to avoid contracting COVID-19, dozens of area businesses began suffering the economic impacts of a disease that on Wednesday afflicted its first local patient. Gov. Phil Scott earlier this week issued a series of executive orders that closed schools, bars and substantially curtailed operations at restaurants and child care centers. All of this was aimed at enforcing a new expressions that’s enveloped our lexicon — “social distancing” — in an effort to inhibit a disease that as of...
03/19/2020
Be advised, folks looking to do business at their local municipal offices: Many of those offices in Addison County have closed for in-person visits due to the coronavirus. Municipal workers will still be on the job, albeit behind closed doors. Transactions will need to be done electronically, by phone, fax or mail. Check ahead before heading out to your town office. Attention Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association (now known as Middlebury Regional EMS) alumni: This November the MVAA will celebrate its 50th anniversary providing emergency medical services to 10 towns in Addison County. The...
03/19/2020
MIDDLEBURY — The list of restaurants, inns and businesses that have closed — or have dramatically changed their business plans — continues to grow by the day (see related story). But closing is not an option for many local nonprofits, who will only see demand for food, clothing and debt relief grow as the coronavirus transitions from threat to reality in our region. Officials at Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects (HOPE) and Addison Community Action/Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (ACA/CVOEO) anticipate a surge in assistance requests from a growing number of area residents who...
03/19/2020
ADDISON COUNTY — Addison County school districts are organizing efforts to feed children while classes are out of session due to the coronavirus. Many low-income families depend on school breakfasts, lunches and snacks to nourish their children while relieving financial burden. All public schools in Vermont were ordered closed by Wednesday, March 18 — most Addison County Schools closed on Tuesday. This raised concerns about the nourishment void this might create for children. As the Independent went to press on Wednesday, here are the efforts the Addison Central, Mount Abraham, Addison...
03/19/2020
ADDISON COUNTY — State lawmakers and officials have already taken a number of steps to provide financial relief to workers, businesses and families affected by the novel coronavirus crisis, and are working on more. Rep. Matt Birong, D-Vergennes, said bureaucrats and lawmakers are teaming up in Montpelier as quickly as possible in an unprecedented situation to respond to Vermont residents’ needs. “Everybody’s been working extremely well together,” said Birong, who is both a small business owner (3 Squares Café in Vergennes) and a legislator. “Nobody’s got a playbook for this, right? We’re free...

KIANA FRENCH, GREENHOUSE manager at Last Resort Farm in Monkton, sorted purple Peruvian fingerling potatoes for market this past week. Like many farmers around the state, Last Resort faces a number of uncertainties because of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo courtesy of Silas Doyle-Burr/Last Resort Farm
03/19/2020
MONKTON — Like farmers everywhere right now, Silas Doyle-Burr of Last Resort Farm in Monkton is struggling with a lot of uncertainty as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds. “We’re really just getting started in terms of growing,” he told the Independent Wednesday morning. “We have greens in our greenhouses and we’re doing micro-greens. We have value-added products and still have some roots in storage.” The Burlington Farmers Market closed its March and April events, which has left Last Resort with fewer options for selling its produce. And yet, Doyle-Burr explained, “We’ve seen a significant...
03/19/2020
MIDDLEBURY — In an effort to do its part in the coronavirus crisis, Middlebury College is removing the ice from the Kenyon Arena hockey rink so the space — if needed — can be used to deploy a “portable hospital” for COVID-19 patients. Middlebury President Laurie Patton emphasized that there is no immediate need at this time to erect the portable hospital. The college is just making sure the space will be ready if needed.  “In the Kenyon Arena and other parts of our athletic structure, town and college citizens come together to watch games, to share stories, and just be together,” Patton said...
03/19/2020
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Labor, overwhelmed with claims for unemployment benefits and questions from business owners and workers during the COVID-19 crisis, has increased its staff, added a second phone line, and created an electronic form for initial unemployment claims, according to a Wednesday afternoon press release. Those actions follow persistent problems reported about the DOL being unable to answer its main unemployment insurance claims line due to the volume of calls.  The electronic form, created in conjunction with the Agency of Digital Services, will allow workers to...

THE ADDISON INDEPENDENT is modeling best practices for avoiding the spread of coronavirus by nearly emptying our office and having people work from home. Staff photo
03/19/2020
MIDDLEBURY — The Addison Independent has swung into coronavirus mode. We’ve created a special Coronavirus Electronic Newsletter that we’ve sent out four times in the past two weeks and that we’ll keep running as long as needed through this current health crisis. It includes staff-written and breaking news stories on how this pandemic is affecting Addison County residents, what to do if you’re feeling sick, best practices to avoid infection, and how area residents and businesses are coping with the disruption. We have essentially turned our newsroom in a coronavirus headquarters with daily...

DANIEL COOPERIDER, Interfaith Climate Action Network; Lee Dowgiewicz, Co-op Insurance; Ben Marks, Acorn Energy Co-op board; Peter Lynch, Shoreham selectboard; Edwina Ho, landowner; and Nils Behn of Aegis cut the ribbon of Acorn Energy’s new solar array in Shoreham this past Saturday. Photo/Greg Pahl
03/19/2020
SHOREHAM — After years of delays, the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Acorn Energy Solar 2 (AES2), the community solar project developed by the Acorn Renewable Energy Co-op of Middlebury, was held on Saturday, March 14, at 869 Watch Point Road in Shoreham. In addition to a large number of individual project participants and supporters, the ceremony was attended by representatives of the four main participating groups: Co-operative Insurance Companies of Middlebury, the Town of Shoreham, the Acorn Energy Co-op of Middlebury, and the Addison County Interfaith Climate Action Network (ICAN). ICAN is...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100