Vermont

ADDISON COUNTY — The Vermont Department of Health (DOH) today, Tuesday, April 13, is reporting four new cases of COVID-19 in Addison County since yesterday. The county has logged a total of 972 confirmed cases since the pandemic began 13 months ago, and 58 new cases during the past two weeks. The DOH provides limited data on town-by-town coronavirus cases. According to that data, most recently updated on April 7, Middlebury has reported 148 cases, up three cases since the last DOH town-by-town update on March 31; Vergennes 142 (up one); Bristol 99 (up two); Shoreham 64 (unchanged); Brandon 99...
MONTPELIER — After a computerized sorting snafu sent the wrong 1099 tax forms to thousands of Vermonters earlier this year, the Vermont Department of Labor is once again facing another error that appears to have sent erroneous invoices to Vermont businesses for underfunding unemployment accounts in the fourth quarter of 2020. Middlebury-based Addison Independent publisher Angelo Lynn received such an invoice Friday morning and, after a half hour of research and a few calls between the company’s bookkeeper and payroll service, discovered that the invoice was another error made by the Vermont...

Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine at Friday's press conference stressed that Vermonters need to keep up their efforts to prevent transmission of the coronavirus despite the fact that all Vermonters will be able to sign up for COVID-19 vaccination by April 19.
VERMONT — Gov. Phil Scott on Friday announce that all Vermonters will be eligible to sign up for COVID-19 vaccinations by April 19. At his semi-weekly press conference, Scott released the order in which the rest of the Green Mountain State residents will be allowed to get in line for a vaccine. The order is based on age. Here is when Vermonters will be allowed to begin signing up for COVID-19 vaccinations: Age 60+ …... March 25 Age 50+ …... March 29 Age 40+ …... April 5 Age 30+ …... April 12 Age 16+ …... April 19 Human Services Secretary Mike Smith urged Vermonters to create an account online...
BURLINGTON — University of Vermont Extension recently received a $68,438 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to work with farmers interested in trying “solar corridors” in their corn silage fields. The project will be led by Heather Darby, a UVM Extension agronomist based in St. Albans and head of the UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Team. Over the past decade the team has worked with farmers to adopt cover cropping projects across the state. This new research project looks to enhance the conservation benefits of cover crops on Vermont...

Dwindling ice cover is seen at Lake St. Catherine State Park in Poultney. Photo credit: Laura Dlugolecki
MONTPELIER —The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is asking Vermonters to report when lakes and ponds lose their ice cover, also known as the “ice-out date.” Once a lake or pond is completely free of ice from shore to shore, DEC scientists can begin their spring water quality sampling efforts. The ice-out data also helps scientists track the effects of climate change in Vermont. “We need the public’s help to alert us to ice-out information to better time our data collection,” says Oliver Pierson, Lakes and Ponds Management and Protection Program Manager. “The more data we...
A judge ruled against the owner of a former UPS franchise Friday in Vermont’s first legal test of the state mask mandate, ordering him to comply with masking rules if he wants to keep running his store. The civil decision against Andre “Mike” Desautels — who drew controversy in recent months for his defiance of the state’s mask mandate — came after a several court hearings in the last week. “Desautels stated clearly at the hearing that his intent is to not wear a mask,” Orleans County Judge Mary Miles Teachout wrote in the decision. “There is no evidence that he will not be continuing...

CONNIE MILLER OF Bridport receives her first shot of COVID-19 vaccine from a Vermont state employee at the American Legion Hall in Middlebury on Jan. 28. Miller, age 77, has since got her booster shot and sounds ecstatic to have her vaccinations complete. She said the first shot went fine, but 12 hours after she received the second shot she experienced nausea, dizziness and headache for about 12 hours, but she has been fine since then. Her husband, Paul Miller, a first responder, got his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in January. Photo by Paul Miller
Gov. Phil Scott announced at Friday’s press conference that effective March 5, people who are vaccinated can gather with other vaccinated individuals at their homes. “For example, if eight fully vaccinated individuals wanted to get together at someone’s house for dinner, they’re now able to do so,” Gov. Scott said. “This can also include one other household that is not vaccinated.” Gov. Scott acknowledged this will likely lead to other questions, and he expects to have further announcements next week. The governor on Friday said he expects his administration’s restart team will be ready to “...
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Taxes has created an education property tax estimator tool for the 2021-2022 property tax year (FY22). The tool was created to help taxpayers understand the impact of their budget vote on Town Meeting Day and to help school board members and district officials understand the impact of proposed budgets on taxpayers based on their combination of property value and household income, officials announced in a press release on Monday. Figures produced by the tool are estimates only and final tax amounts will depend on the “Yield” amount enacted at the end of...
ADDISON COUNTY — School taxes are going to be lower across the board than initially projected back in January, according to lawmakers and local school district officials. Several factors have combined during a winter that made the state tax rate, upon which local rates are based, difficult to project, according to experts recently interviewed by the Independent. Rep. Peter Conlon, D-Cornwall, a House Education Committee member, described the bottom line in a Feb. 4 piece in the Independent. In it, Conlon shared the good news about what is known as the “Yield Bill,” upon which statewide...
UPDATE: In just the first 15 minutes that reservation phone lines for 70-year-olds were open the Vermont Health Department received more than 7,000 calls from people making appointments to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, Department of Health officials said on Tuesday morning. "People may experience long wait time (and some are getting all circuits are busy) as the call center works full bore to schedule appointments," said Ben Truman, Public Health Communication Officer. "Given this call volume, the Department suggests people go online at healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine to make their appointments...

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Addison County Independent