January 2nd, 2014
ADDISON COUNTY — State and local lawmakers are preparing for a 2014 legislative session that they said will include the familiar task of dealing with a sizeable general fund budget shortfall, as well as ironing out the kinks in the state’s transition to universal access health care, exploring education finance reform, helping citizens deal with drug addiction, and confronting pollution and nuisance aquatic weeds in Vermont’s waterways.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Jan. 7 will attempt to further reduce a proposed 2014-2015 municipal budget of $9,223,799 that would require $6,605,869 in property tax revenue, reflecting a $240,924 increase (3 percent) compared to this year’s spending plan.
ADDISON COUNTY — As a new year dawns across the bleak Vermont landscape, dairy farmers have yet another worry to contend with.
BRISTOL — A Sunday afternoon blaze destroyed a home on Lower Notch Road in Bristol and required dozens of firefighters to extinguish. No one was injured, and firefighters were able to recover two family dogs from the blaze — one of which survived intense heat and flames by hiding underneath the porch.
Homeowner Greg West said he and his family were out of town at a Christmas gathering when the fire started.
VERGENNES — Workers earlier this week were putting the finishing touches on a double solar array near the Vergennes sewer plant that is projected to save the city $4,120 a year on its power bill.
About half of the nearly 500 solar panels are being placed on the plant’s lawn, and the rest sited on a knoll behind the nearby Vergennes-Panton Water District office.
The combined array is rated at 149 kilowatts and is expected to produce 200,000 kwh a year, all of which will be sent directly into the larger Green Mountain Power grid.
VERGENNES — The Addison Northwest Supervisory Union has begun a formal search for a replacement for longtime superintendent Tom O’Brien; his co-superintendent during this school year, Addison Central School Principal Wayne Howe, has confirmed he is a candidate for the full position.
O’Brien, 65, an Orwell resident, announced in late November 2012 he would step down this June, which will complete his 13th year leading ANwSU and his 30th leading school districts in Washington state, Maine and Vermont.
MIDDLEBURY — Three local wrestlers — senior Jake Trautwein and junior Chris Gobbi from Middlebury and senior Kaegan Pearsall of Vergennes — won their weight classes at the 2013 Hubie Wagner Invitational, hosted by Middlebury Union High School on Friday and Saturday.
The wins by the two Tigers, Trautwein at 182 pounds and Gobbi at 220, plus sophomore Nate Gebo’s second-place effort at 106, helped MUHS to fifth place among the 17 teams.
CRAFTSBURY — Frost Mountain Nordic Club skiers posted solid results at the first race of the New England Nordic Skiing Association Eastern Cup, a freestyle event held on Dec. 21 at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.
The late-December event was the first in a series of eight in what is the region’s premier racing circuit for junior skiers and that determines which athletes will represent New England at the Junior National championships.