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Out in the neighborhood on a snow day in Middlebury.
The weekend before Christmas, Addison Independent digital editor Megan James and her family hosted a physically distant holiday extravaganza they called the CocoaPort. Inspired by COVID restrictions — and the lack of a downtown hot cocoa hut — they created a series of magical, mechanical contraptions to deliver cocoa fixins to their friends and family at a distance. They also had a miniature donkey named Olaf because, why not? Thanks to Susan Donaldson James, Kathryn Flagg, Carolyn Barnwell and Matt Laux for providing footage for this video.
Buttolph Acres is all lit up for the holidays. Enjoy this tour through the Middlebury neighborhood. Want to show off *your* holiday display — and win some local currency ($50 in Middlebury Money, Bristol Bucks or Vergennes Green)? Send a photo of your decorations to contests@addisonindependent.com before December 20. #vtlightstheway
Phone banking for the election is easier than you think! Bristol resident Sarah Stott walks us through the process in this video by Marin Howell.
On Friday morning, a ceremonial first train took the inaugural journey through the brand-new rail tunnel in Middlebury, marking the end of the 10-week shutdown of downtown. The Addison Independent's digital editor Megan James covered the event live.   Afterwards, Middlebury selectboard chair Brian Carpenter spoke at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Main Street, and a small parade of firefighters, ambulances and other service workers followed.  
In our latest video from the Middlebury construction zone, we talk to project manager John Whitaker about the next big phase: the installation of the precast concrete tunnel pieces.
The removal of Middlebury's Main Street bridge this past Monday marked the beginning of a 10-week intense phase of the rail tunnel construction project. For those who love cranes and dump trucks, it's a 24/7 big-dig show. But if you just want to walk into town and get to the post office... you might have to navigate some new detours. Megan James shows you how! Oh, and in case you were wondering, businesses are still open! 
On Monday, July 13, crews removed Middlebury's Main Street bridge to make way for the construction of a new rail tunnel. The bridge removal marked the start of a 10-week intense period of construction in downtown Middlebury. Businesses remain open!
The Addison Independent is teaming up with Middlebury Community Television this summer to produce weekly video dispatches from the rail bridges project in downtown Middlebury. In the first one, we talk to project manager John Whitaker about the 300-ton crane that was erected last Monday.

CHEDDAR, A BIG orange cat that hangs out at the Middlebury Animal Hospital, is one of several felines that “work” at businesses around Addison County. Homeward Bound, Addison County’s Humane Society, has created a program called “Paws on the Job,” which places hard-to-adopt cats in places where they can be useful. Independent photo/Megan James
MIDDLEBURY — Jackie was a feral stray cat when she arrived at Homeward Bound, Addison County’s Humane Society, two years ago. Severe flea dermatitis made her back almost completely furless. “It took about four months before anybody could even touch her,” recalls feline coordinator Michelle Shubert. Shubert, who is soft-spoken and gentle with the shelter cats, started spending her lunch break with Jackie every day, “slowly befriending her with treats,” she says. Gradually, the cat began warming up. Two years later, she is still at Homeward Bound — she’s been there longer than any other...

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Addison County Independent