FARMER ERNIE AUDET (left) talks about state regulations with Sen. Ruth Hardy, D-East Middlebury, (center) Sen. Brian Collamore, R-Rutland, (right) and others in a barn at Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport during a legislators farm tour last month. Independent photo/Abagael Giles
WEYBRIDGE — “Day after day, we get up and go to the barn to make no money,” Roger Scholten told state officials and legislators at his farm in Weybridge on Sept. 18. “I lie awake at night thinking about how I felt 15 years ago, before I made the move to go organic. That’s how I feel now.” Scholten and his wife Patty operate Scholten Family Farm, a 250-cow organic dairy just over the town line from Middlebury. They’ve been in business for 25 years and have diversified their dairy farm over that period — first by making the transition organic and, since 2008, by making cheese, which they age at...
FERRISBURGH/ADDISON — After Tuesday night not only the future of Addison and Ferrisburgh central schools is uncertain, but so also is the future of the planned votes on whether to close them. The Addison Northwest School District Board had asked selectboards in both towns at their Tuesday meetings to warn Nov. 5 school closure votes. The board has said closing the two schools is the best way to provide educational equity for all ANWSD students; maintain programs, especially at Vergennes Union High School; and avoid a tax increase that residents likely would not support a year after its...

MOUNT ABE INTERIM Principal Shannon Warden says she feels “rooted” at her new school — in part because it’s leading the way in proficiency-based learning, a curriculum she helped implement at her last school, and partly because she has worked previously with Superintendent Patrick Reen and Assistant Superintendent Catrina DiNapoli. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
BRISTOL — As Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School Interim Principal Shannon Warden walked through the crowd after last month’s homecoming football game, she encountered a young Eagle football player who earlier in the evening had competed in the middle school exhibition scrimmage. “You’re my principal, right?” he asked her. “Yes I am,” she said. “DID YOU SEE MY INTERCEPTION?!” Warden recalled his excitement in an interview with the Independent. “And then he fist-bumped me and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is why I do what I do.’” Such moments can change relationships forever, she said. “The...

NURSE PRACTIONER LAURA Wilkinson, left, and Dr. Jessica Rouse have joined forces to form a new family health practice called Village Health, which will soon open in downtown Middlebury’s Star Mill building. Independent photo/John S. McCright
MIDDLEBURY — Nurse Practitioner Laura Wilkinson and Dr. Jessica Rouse have been good friends for years. Now the pair will be professional colleagues in a new private family health practice office called Village Health, to open later this month in the former Junebug location at 5 Park St. in the Star Mill building. Village Health will be a membership-based family care practice, caring for patients from infancy to their senior years. Services will include preventative care, treatment for common illnesses, care for chronic conditions, health screening, and laboratory services.  And starting in...

JAMIE MONTAGUE AND Caleb Basa, executive director and programs coordinator, respectively, of the Middlebury Area Land Trust, display an example of the 17 new informational signs that will adorn the Trail Around Middlebury. The community will celebrate the popular 18-mile footpath’s 30th birthday at WhistlePig Farm in Shoreham on Oct. 10. Independent photo/John Flowers
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Area Land Trust (MALT) has added new staff, new education programming and new signs to celebrated its Trail Around Middlebury (TAM), which this year is marking its 30th birthday. Established in 1987 as the “Middlebury Land Trust,” the small nonprofit has had great success conserving environmentally significant farmland and forestland in and around Addison County’s shire town. But the organization’s crowing achievement has been the TAM, a more than 18-mile footpath that encircles Middlebury village and links several hundred acres of municipal land, conserved...

THIS “SPIRIT PHOTO” from 1886 shows Weybridge “mesmeric physician” Soloman W. Jewett surrounded by apparitions. This photo is part of a Sheldon Museum exhibit titled “Conjuring the Dead: Spirit Art in the Age of Radical Reform.” Photo courtesy Sheldon Museum
MIDDLEBURY — Solomon Jewett (1808-94) of Weybridge kept a very impressive guest list. Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Prince Albert of England. The Virgin Mary. Oh, and since they were all deceased, Jewett didn’t even need to open his door; as spirits, they all drifted in through the walls and hovered above his head. And he had the photos to prove it. Jewett’s “spirit photos” and other otherworldly keepsakes are now on display at Middlebury’s Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History. They’re part of an exhibit titled, “Conjuring the Dead: Spirit Art in the Age of Radical...

WORKERS LATE LAST week frame a new outdoor deck at the Stone Mill building in Middlebury’s Frog Hollow, which by the end of October will host retail, restaurant, office and lodging services for locals and visitors. Independent photo/John Flowers
MIDDLEBURY — Extensive interior renovations to Middlebury’s Stone Mill building are nearing completion, with current plans calling for the historic Mill Street structure to open its menu of businesses, workspaces and lodging — and the Mad Taco Restaurant — by the end of October. Business partners Mary Cullinane and Stacey Rainey of Community Barn Ventures sat down with the Independent on Thursday to discuss the latest news on the Stone Mill, which they acquired late last year from Middlebury College. They’re investing considerable time and expense in making the building a downtown hub for...
CORNWALL — Eleven months after Bridport, Cornwall and Middlebury leaders urged the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) to “immediately” make major safety improvements to a notorious stretch of Route 125 near Cider Mill Road the road remains untouched. On Nov. 7, 2018, local officials made the plea to fix the road where a Shoreham man was killed following a collision with a fire truck on Sept. 13 of that year. While VTrans officials are promising installation of some short-term safety measures by next summer — including rumble stripes along the centerline of the road and more signs — no...

THE CHIPMAN HILL House designed by McLeod Kredell Architects shares the same footprint as the 1940s ranch house it replaced. Features like the large, central skylight, below, earned it a Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture. Photos by Susan Teare
MIDDLEBURY — After more than five years, the “Chipman Hill House” in Middlebury still attracts admirers. “A lot of folks come up the hill to look at the house and enjoy it,” said Sven Lapiner, who lives there with his wife, Janet, and their three children. His family enjoys it, too. “It’s unique in the landscape,” Lapiner said. “It’s nice to have a modern house in a non-modern-house neighborhood.” Designing and building their house came with a number of challenges, however, starting with the fact that when they purchased the property there was already a house on it. “It was a little ranch...
The St. Ambrose Knights of Columbus is hosting a Knights in Italy spaghetti dinner on Friday, Oct. 4, at St. Ambrose Church in Bristol. Proceeds from the dinner will go toward assisting those affected by recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Dorian. The menu includes all-you-can-eat spaghetti with sauce, garlic bread, salad, beverages, and dessert. The cost for the meal is $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under, and $25 for a family. If you’re unable to make the dinner but would still like to contribute to the Knights’ efforts, checks can be mailed to the St. Ambrose Rectory at...


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Addison County Independent

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