STARKSBORO — A member of the learning community at Robinson Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19. Mount Abraham Unified School District officials received the news on Nov. 23, according to an announcement Monday afternoon by Superintendent Patrick Reen. “We have been working closely with the Vermont Department of Health,” Reen said. “Anyone who may have been exposed has been notified and is currently expected to be in quarantine.” School officials did not specify whether the person who tested positive was a student, staff member or other member of the community. The patient may...

SEVEN-YEAR-OLD FOOTBALL FAN Dylan Hicks of Monkton watches the Middlebury College big boys practice on a beautiful late afternoon day earlier this month. Panther football and sports at the college in general provided unexpected experiences for students athletes this fall. Photo by Karl Lindholm
Katharine DeLorenzo’s Middlebury College field hockey team has won three NCAA Division III championships in a row with an overall won-loss record in that time of 62-4. This fall season, however, they didn’t win a single game! The Middlebury football team, under Bobby Ritter, was the NESCAC champion last year with an unprecedented 9-0 record (the league went from a schedule of eight to nine games just three years ago), only the third undefeated team in the last 120 years of Middlebury football history.  The Panther football team likewise didn’t win a game this fall, though Ritter said he...
VERMONT — As the state grapples with the spike in COVID-19 cases that Vermont has seen in the past two weeks, Gov. Phil Scott and other officials are explaining how they came to the decision to severely limit social interactions among Vermonters just as the holidays arrive. In a press conference, Scott cited the large number of social gathering-related cases as justification for the new limit on those gatherings he imposed on Friday. He said that 71% of cases since Oct. 1 were linked to such gatherings.  “It’s mostly adults, from multiple households, getting together with friends, inside and...

NEW ROOTS STUDENT embrace the snow. Photo courtesy of Caetlin Harwood
MONKTON — This summer, when Addison County Schools announced their plans to reopen with a hybrid of remote and in-person learning, Willowell Foundation Administrative Director Tasha Ball started getting a lot of email. “Parents were looking to us to pull something together for their children’s days off,” Ball told the Independent in a phone interview last month. Willowell, which occupies 230 acres in Monkton, operates Wren’s Nest, a nature-based program for preschool children, and the Walden Project, an outdoor alternative public education program serving students in grades 10-12. Last winter...

THE MOVIE PROJECTORS at the Marquis Theater in downtown Middlebury have been silenced by the pandemic but owner Ben Wells has plans to reopen as soon as next spring. Independent photo/Angelo Lynn
MIDDLEBURY — At least one Main Street business in Middlebury has been inactive during the pandemic, but continues to survive with the prospect of reopening next spring: The Marquis Theater. Ben Wells, owner of the Marquis, was forced to close the theater and lay off his staff when the pandemic hit last spring. He did secure a grant through the first round of the federal CARES Act that he said will keep the Marquis dormant-but-solvent through the end of this year. The unplanned hibernation has allowed Wells to make some improvements to the theater space, which offers some live shows in...
Gov. Phil Scott’s decision this past Friday to ban inter-household gatherings, while allowing schools to remain open and limited access to restaurants and bars, prompted rare public pushback among Vermonters who have been model-citizens in obeying the dictates Vermont has successfully imposed since the pandemic’s outbreak in March. Numerous letters on this page and others in today’s paper attest to that displeasure. We agree the complete ban of inter-household gatherings is stringent and may invite disregard of the state order, rather than the compliance Vermonters have demonstrated for the...
The American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, Vermont Academy of Family Physicians and Vermont Medical Society join Governor Scott and the Vermont Department of Health in calling on Vermonters to refrain from any social gathering in order to protect and prioritize essential services like schools, child care, and health care as we see rates of community transmission of COVID-19 rise.  The new restriction on multi-household gatherings is based on epidemiology or systematic observations of how the virus is spreading in our communities. Since October 1, 71% of cases associated with an...
I have been a strong supporter of Gov. Scott’s efforts to curb COVID-19 in Vermont. But with his most recent dictum, something has gone awry. I hope the governor and his team will consider another approach. It makes zero sense to me that under the new dictates, I can still go into a marginally ventilated restaurant and hang out with unmasked strangers while eating and drinking as much alcohol as the restaurant is willing to serve me in a marginally ventilated indoor space for the entire evening. Or I can go into a gym with others who are exercising and pump iron and exhale vigorously for...

Gov. Phil Scott and Health Commissioner Mark Levine. Photo courtesy of
Gov. Phil Scott on Friday said the state is “at a tipping point” with the recent influx of COVID-19 cases. He announced a ban on inter-household gatherings, the closure of bars and social clubs, and the cancellation of recreational sports leagues as the COVID-19 case count rises in Vermont. The governor said that too many Vermonters have not been following the state’s guidance on social distancing and limiting in-person gatherings. He, also indicated that Halloween parties contributed to the current rise in coronavirus cases. “Given our recent case growth, we have no choice but to restrict...
MIDDLEBURY — As COVID-19 cases rose to record levels in Vermont, Middlebury College announced Thursday evening it will move to a mandatory campus quarantine beginning 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, and continuing until students depart for the year on Saturday, Nov. 21. “Simply put, while we currently have no known cases of COVID-19 on campus, it is now imperative that we take ... steps to ensure the safest possible departure for students and to protect the entire community,” wrote Chief Health Officer Mark Peluso, Environmental Health & Safety Officer Jen Kazmierczac and Acting Dean of Students...


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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100