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BARNET — On April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. stood in the pulpit of the Riverside Church in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and delivered one of the most important and powerful speeches of his life. Despite counsel from many of his allies, King condemned in no uncertain terms the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, linking the ultimately ill-fated military effort to racism and poverty. On April 4, 1968, assassin James Earl Ray took King’s life on the balcony of a Memphis, Tenn., motel, one day after another momentous speech, his “I’ve been to the mountaintop” address. On April 4, 2021, the...

UNITED WAY OF Addison County officials are working on multiple fronts to get resources to people in need — including those directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, three anonymous donors have pledged to match, dollar for dollar, contributions made to the UWAC by April 15. Pictured, from left, are Lee Bilson, Tim O’Toole, Helena Van Voorst, Steve Wilson, Alex Larrow and Erin Reed (missing are Jesse Brooks and Jessica Hellyer).
MIDDLEBURY — Addison County residents and businesses are demonstrating their trademark generosity at a time when it’s most needed, according to managers of the United Way of Addison County’s (UWAC), whose latest annual fund drive continues to face the formidable headwind of a pandemic. Still, even with an unprecedented demand for services by neighbors whose incomes have been decimated by COVID-19’s economic fallout, UWAC is just $77,000 short of reaching its 2020-2021 campaign goal of $635,000. A majority of these funds will be used to support two-dozen local nonprofits that deliver food,...
VERGENNES — Like other school districts in the county, state and nation, the Addison Northwest School District has received and will continue to receive federal funding to help the district — and its students and staff — recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. But according to ANWSD Superintendent Sheila Soule it remains unclear exactly how the strings attached to the funding will allow the district and other districts to spend the money, which in ANWSD’s case will total about $1.76 million over the next couple years. Soule responded in emails to questions about the latest and...

ON TUESDAY A couple dozen neighbors came to the site of the tornado off Painter Road and helped homeowners clean up their property and recover what could be salvaged. Independent photo/Megan James
MIDDLEBURY — After a tornado tore across a mile of the Painter Road neighborhood in Middlebury this past Friday afternoon, one youngster went to the hospital with minor injuries and another young woman was shaken up after the twister roughed her up a bit, but no serious injuries were reported. The same can’t be said for the damage to a few structures and the landscape. But overall, the incident seemed to be about a some measure of physical damage and another measure of fear. “What I’m thankful for is that I have a roof over my head,” said Cheryl Werner, whose home was in the path of the...

SALISBURY COMMUNITY SCHOOL teacher Bruce Ingersoll and school cook Sheri Sullivan package the meals in containers at the school cafeteria. About half of the school’s student body is eligible and participating in the program. Independent photo/Brooke Rubright
SALISBURY — A refrigerated truck parked behind the Salisbury Community School belongs to the Addison Central School District and comes as a result of grant money to be put toward food security. The truck houses frozen meals prepared during the week, to be sent home on Fridays as part of the “Green Backpack Food Program.” Each student who has opted to receive food from the program is sent home with four balanced meals, and pints of locally sourced milk. When long weekends occur, the student is provided an additional two meals for the extra day. “Food security is an important issue, especially...
BRISTOL — After putting out the word last week that it was seeking community-developed proposals for long-range planning, the Mount Abraham Unified School District received 12 responses by its March 30 deadline. “MAUSD is developing a long-range plan to improve outcomes for students in a way that addresses the challenges of rising costs, declining student population and aging facilities,” the school board announced last Tuesday. Strong proposals, the board said, would improve educational outcomes for all 5-Town students over the long term, be financially and legally viable, and align with the...
MIDDLEBURY — The sale of Vermont Coffee Company to Maine-based Stonewall Kitchen should pay dividends to Addison County for years to come. Not only will the transaction preserve and grow local jobs (see related story), it will result in the creation of a what Vermont Coffee founder Paul Ralston called a “new social venture” called Little Village Enterprises that will tackle food insecurity in the county. Staffed by former Addison County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sue Hoxie, Little Village Enterprises, according to Ralston, will do “research and planning to try to address food...
VERMONT — Grants of up to $3,500 are now available through the Samara Fund, a community-directed fund that helps to ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender,andqueer (LGBTQ+) Vermonters are connected, healthy, appreciated, safe, and empowered. The Samara Fund will accept applications for projects or organizations that serve Vermont’s LGBTQ+ communities or support HIV/ AIDS services or prevention for LGBTQ+ Vermonters. Organizations that are not LGBTQ+ or HIV/AIDS focused may apply for support for projects that directly serve Vermont’s LGBTQ+ communities. Priority is given to projects that...
LINCOLN — The Library is busy planning activities for this spring and summer that will introduce social interaction in ways that allow each individual to choose the level of interaction with others. A new tool borrow board will be available where you can post a tool that you are looking to borrow or a tool that you would like to loan out. There will be no tools on site at the library. This is purely a means for connecting people and tools. Please email lincolnlibraryvt@gmail.com if you would like to participate. Another project in the works is the Human Library. The idea of a Human Library is...
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...

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Addison County Independent