VTDigger


THIS MAP CREATED by the Vermont Center for Geographic Information shows that many Vermont towns had very little population change between 2010 and 2020, but in Addison County, Middlebury saw an increase of 656, or 7.7%, to 9,152. cgi.vermont.gov/data source: U.S. Census
VERMONT — Chittenden County’s population grew 7.5% between 2010 and 2020, the most of any county in the state, according to newly released 2020 census data. The new numbers, the first local-level results of the 2020 decennial census collection, form the basis of Vermont House and Senate seats — signaling that Chittenden County could be in for more representation in the Vermont legislature. “There’s been virtually no growth in any part of the state outside of the Chittenden County area,” said Peter Nelson, professor of geography at Middlebury College. Chittenden’s population growth was...
BRANDON — A Brandon man is facing charges of illegally possessing firearms just weeks after his neighbor penned a USA Today commentary about “assault-weaponed bullies” in the town of about 4,000 people. Federal and local authorities raided Eric Grenier’s home on High Pond Road on Friday following a several-week investigation into complaints that he was allegedly engaging in threatening behavior toward other residents, including displaying a handgun in early July while screaming at the author of the commentary. Michael Shank, a former state Senate candidate from Rutland County who also lives...

VISITORS CHECK OUT some of the outbuildings on the grounds of Ferrisburgh’s Rokeby Museum, which is getting preservation upgrades this month thanks to a gift of $20,000 in construction work from PC Construction of South Burlington. Independent photo/Steve James
FERRISBURGH — The Rokeby Museum urgently needed repairs to its 200-year-old home in Ferrisburgh. PC Construction Co., an employee-owned business in South Burlington, was looking for a good project for its annual plan of community giving and involvement. And so, they’re partners. PC Construction will complete $20,000 worth of repairs this month — adding accessible handrails, replacing deteriorated porches, fixing the grainery, and removing and replacing plaster on some interior walls. “We hope this partnership will help broaden the museum’s reach, allowing more Vermonters and visitors to learn...
BRADFORD, Vt. — The pilot of a hot-air balloon was killed after falling out of its basket Thursday in Bradford, according to Vermont State Police. Post Mills Airport owner Brian Boland, 72, died in the incident, state police said in a news release. His body was being taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death. Bottom of Form Justin Galenski of Bethel, a longtime friend and former neighbor of Boland in Post Mills, said Friday afternoon that Boland got into ballooning decades ago following the death of his son.  “He...
With a warmer and wetter climate in Vermont’s future, severe weather events are projected to increase in frequency, and the property and casualty insurance industries may face new challenges as a result, says a report issued Monday by the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation. Michael Pieciak, the department’s commissioner, said he hopes the report will spur conversations involving the state’s insurance industry, but he also highlighted how findings could affect everyday Vermonters. Pieciak said severe weather accounts for “the vast majority” of property damage claims in Vermont — and...
Health Commissioner Mark Levine told Vermonters on Tuesday that the best way to create a wall of protection against COVID-19 this fall and winter is to get vaccinated — and to talk to their family members about getting the vaccine, too. Roughly 82.4% of Vermonters ages 12 and older have started the vaccination process. But Levine is still concerned about the remaining 18% and the best choices for their health. “If you are a parent or a grandparent of someone who is not vaccinated … have a conversation with them, but don’t take [your] role as having to convince them,” he said at Gov. Phil...
On July 15, most Vermont parents will begin to receive a new monthly payment from the federal government, as part of the COVID-19 relief signed into law in March. This new monthly payment system is a revision to the existing child tax credit, which was first enacted in 1997. Usually, parents have received a lump sum in their spring tax returns. The per-child credit was previously scaled on a bell curve, dependent on household income, with lowest-income and highest-income families receiving the smallest returns. Until this year, the maximum credit was $2,000 per child. The American Rescue Plan...
MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott last week signed an expansive $7.35 billion state budget that, buoyed by federal Covid-19 relief funds, invests heavily in broadband, affordable housing projects and measures to fight climate change. This year’s spending package benefited from a financial windfall produced by the federal American Rescue Plan Act, providing the state with more than $1 billion and the flexibility to use the money to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and fund infrastructure projects. The budget allocates $599 million of those federal funds, including $150 million for broadband...
MONTPELIER — Universal mail-in voting is now a permanent feature of Vermont’s general elections, under legislation that Gov. Phil Scott signed Monday.  Now, local officials will be required to mail ballots to all registered voters in the weeks leading up to the November general elections, as they did in the fall of 2020.  The state decided to automatically send ballots to voters before last year’s election to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the polls. But after the change helped drive record voter turnout in November, lawmakers moved to make it permanent.  While announcing he had signed the...
MONTPELIER — For nearly 15 months, Gov. Phil Scott has led Vermont through the COVID-19 crisis, relying on immense executive powers granted through the declaration of a state of emergency. Since March 13, 2020, Vermont’s emergency status has served as a vehicle for Scott to implement drastic measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus — limiting Vermonters’ travel, shutting down in-person business operations, directing residents to quarantine and issuing a statewide mask mandate. Over time, the governor has rolled back restrictions, slowly reopening the state. But as virus cases...

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Addison County Independent