Nikki Bowdish, a baker who lives on Peterson Terrace in Middlebury, recently started a small home bakery and has joined in the “Bakers Against Racism” bake sale. Caroline Corrente, whose Haymaker Buns is in Middlebury, has also signed on with the 1,000-plus bakeries worldwide that are selling cookies, cakes and other baked goodies to fight racism. Businesses participating Bakers Against Racism will give 100% of the proceeds to specific causes and organizations: Bowdish to Black Trans Travel Fund and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Corrente to Black Lives Matter and The Equal...
MIDDLEBURY — Managers of the downtown Middlebury rail bridges project have tentatively picked July 13 as the starting date for a 10-week closure of both Main Street and Merchants Row, during which a 360-foot-long concrete tunnel will be installed in place of what were two 1920s-era rail spans.
Jon Griffin, project manager for the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), disclosed the date at a recent Middlebury selectboard meeting. The 10-week closure will also result in the temporary detouring of Vermont Rail freight traffic.
“There’s some possibility (the start date) could flex a little...
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the past six months since the novel coronavirus first reached the United States, about 115,000 Americans have died and roughly 36 million have lost jobs.
Meanwhile, Congress has struggled to keep up with the nationwide devastation despite passing four bills authorizing $3 trillion in aid for coronavirus relief, including more than $1 billion for Vermont.
As the nation faces recession and lawmakers debate over the scope and goals of the next relief package, here’s a breakdown of how the congressional response to the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Vermont and what work...
MIDDLEBURY — After half a decade closed to most motorized vehicles, Middlebury’s Creek Road could reopen to cars and trucks by the end of this week.
The Middlebury selectboard this past week gave its final approval to a Creek Road reopening plan that’s contingent on installation of guardrail at nine key locations.
Creek Road runs from Court Street on its north end to Three Mile Bridge Road on the south end. The road has been closed to through traffic for the past five years, due to flood-related damage. It’s currently gated at two locations, with access granted to farmers and the few...
RIPTON — Middlebury College has canceled the 95th annual Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference because of ongoing concerns over COVID-19.
The conference had been scheduled to take place on the college’s Bread Loaf campus in mid-August.
“All of us here at the conferences feel tremendous regret that the pandemic will prevent us from joining together in person this summer, but we are eager to do our part to protect the writers we serve from possible exposure or transmission of the coronavirus,” wrote BLWC Director Jennifer Grotz in a June 15 email to the conference community.
September’s Bread Loaf...
SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS for the COVID-19 pandemic forced a new kind of graduation ceremony at Middlebury Union High School and other secondary schools throughout the land. Students on Saturday rolled up in decorated vehicles to pick up their diplomas from a makeshift stage in front of the MUHS building.
Independent photo/John S. McCright
MIDDLEBURY — Four fruitful years at Middlebury Union High School this past Saturday came down to one last meander down the horseshoe driveway fronting a building that had become home away from home for the more than 127 members of the class of 2020.
It was a chance to drive off into the sunset, and each student took full advantage this past Saturday.
One-by-one, they rolled up to a makeshift stage in sleek coupes, revving Jeeps, powerful trucks and classic autos, most of them decorated with the black-and-orange colors of MUHS and bearing bright signs announcing each matriculating senior....
NEWLY MINTED OTTER Valley graduate Alia Edmuns gives a shout out from the family vehicle after OV’s socially distance graduation on Saturday.
Independent photo/Lee J. Kahrs
BRANDON — It’s amazing what we can get used to.
For decades each June, graduating seniors and their families, teachers and school officials packed Otter Valley’s gymnasium for the area’s biggest coming-of-age event of the year, high school graduation. It was usually very warm and close in OV’s House of Noise, but that never seemed to dampen the enthusiasm for the day.
Then came 2020, the year of an unprecedented coronavirus pandemic that forced the closure of school buildings three months ago and ushered in a “new normal” of face masks and social distancing.
As a society, we have adapted,...
MIDDLEBURY UNION MIDDLE School Guidance Counselor Jeff Murawski is retiring this month after 31 years helping students make the transition from elementary to secondary school.
Independent photo/John S. McCright
MIDDLEBURY — Jeff Murawski might be 65 years old, but he feels like he’s still in his 30s.
No, the Middlebury Union Middle School guidance counselor hasn’t found the fountain of youth.
It’s his students that have kept him young.
“I’ve always liked my job and I’ve always enjoyed going to work,” Murawski said during a recent phone interview. “The great thing about kids this age is they come every year as 12-year-olds and leave you at 14, and they’re always the same age. It makes you feel, in some weird way, like you haven’t gotten older. I’ve really enjoyed that part.”
After 31 years of helping...
ETIRING ADDISON CENTRAL School reading specialist Sheryl Thurber and school guidance counselor Alyshia Murphy (left) pose with young Addison residents at a recent kindergarten screening at the school. Thurber is retiring from the Addison Northwest district after 44 years, the last two decades
ADDISON — Longtime Addison Central School reading specialist Sheryl Thurber shares a background with many others who have chosen education as their careers.
There’s family tradition.
“There are a lot of teachers in the family,” said Thurber, 63, who is retiring this spring after 44 years as an Addison Northwest School District employee.
And parents who read to her.
“My mother was a teacher. She was a kindergarten teacher and read to us all the time,” said the longtime Bristol resident who grew up in Vergennes.
And a love of reading.
“We come from a long line of readers, so I was always a...
ONE OF THE VUHS morning meeting groups of seniors sends their mortarboards flying on Friday evening, June 12, after VUHS Principal Stephanie Taylor announced they have earned their degrees.
Independent photo/Andy Kirkaldy
VERGENNES — It wasn’t a typical graduation evening for the Vergennes Union High School Class of 2020.
But then what has been typical over the past four months for the class’ 68 seniors, months filled with distance learning and isolation and uncertainty?
Friday evening’s festivities saw a parade through Vergennes organized by parents and community members that followed a socially distanced ceremony held in front of the school.
The ceremony saw seniors grouped by the dozen — they were sorted by their morning meeting home rooms. The stars of the show were driven up to a stage at the back of...