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January 5th, 2012
MONTPELIER — Local lawmakers kicked off the 2012 legislative session Tuesday seeking, among other things, to make further strides in health care reform and to craft a tight state budget that will be further stressed by road, bridge and culvert repair bills racked up because of Tropical Storm Irene.
MIDDLEBURY — Addison Central Supervisory Union (ACSU) schools should try to offer second-language instruction for all children in grades kindergarten through 7, according to a committee report, provided officials can hash out current transportation and class scheduling obstacles.
ADDISON COUNTY — The good news, according to local appraisers, is that unlike many areas of the nation the bottom has not fallen out of the Addison County real estate market in the past three or four years.
The bad news? Well, just because the county is not as poorly off as say, overbuilt foreclosure centers like Nevada or Florida does not mean the market is booming.
Ferrisburgh appraiser Charlene Stavenow said sales indicate that prices in most segments are no more than holding their own.
BRISTOL — Deadlocked over where to draw the boundaries for a zone where gravel extraction would be prohibited, the Bristol Planning Commission on Tuesday decided to throw out the conflicting maps they had been working on and restart the process of defining the zone.
ADDISON COUNTY — Feeding students local food is all well and good, but how can they be encouraged to participate in food and agriculture efforts outside of the cafeteria?
For the Addison County Relocalization Network, the answer is the new Farm to School Entrepreneur Awards, which this year will honor students working on food-related projects. ACORN AmeriCorps staffer Hannah Mueller, who is coordinating the awards, hopes to see projects boosting everything from agriculture and farming to nutrition and food awareness efforts within schools.
SHOREHAM — In the burgeoning homegrown Vermont wine market Shoreham Winery is the newest player.
But the business, which acquired its commercial winery license last year and debuted at this fall’s Tour de Farms bike event, has been percolating for seven years now, ever since owner Greg Borah planted his first vines.
“You plant the grapes and then you realize, ‘In three years’ time, I’m going to have a harvest. I’d better know what to do with it,’” Borah said.
ADDISON COUNTY — It’s a new year, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency late last month said it will be working well into 2012 to help individuals, towns and the state recover from damage wrought by two major weather events in 2011.
Between last spring’s record flooding and Tropical Storm Irene in late August, FEMA received 8,418 registrations for disaster aid throughout Vermont in 2011, including 178 Addison County individuals and families that requested aid after Irene.
BRANDON — The polished but ancient wood floors creaked with familiarity last Saturday as old friends and customers stopped by the Briggs Carriage Bookstore in downtown Brandon one last time.
Erin Keyes, 18, considers Briggs an integral part of her life. Having grown up in Brandon, some of Keyes’s earliest memories are set in the bookstore.
“Just seeing something I’ve grown up with end, it’s like part of my childhood going away,” she said, as she sat in the bench nook of the children’s section with her mom, Laura King.