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New musical is a family affair, with major support from The Grift

Posted on March 26, 2015 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — Local playwright Dana Yeaton has a lengthy history of creating funny and inspiring dramatic productions.

He probably never imagined that he would help create the talent to act out his words on stage.

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Shumlin cites costs, quality as reason to reform school funding system

Posted on March 26, 2015 |
By John Flowers



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VERGENNES — Gov. Peter Shumlin on Monday called on lawmakers to help him contain what he called one of the state’s top cost-drivers — education— in an effort to make Vermont more fiscally solvent and attractive to job creators. He also made a pitch for efforts to slow the growth of spending on health care (see related story).

Shumlin made his remarks before a crowd at the Vergennes American Legion hall during a legislative luncheon sponsored by the Bridport Grange and Addison County Farm Bureau.

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Police explain Durst's possible link to missing Middlebury College student

Posted on March 24, 2015 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police said an unsolicited phone tip in 2012 about Robert Durst’s past ownership of a now-defunct local health food store led them to consider the New York real estate scion’s link to a Middlebury College student who disappeared in 1971 after having purchased some dried prunes at Durst’s business.

Meanwhile, the Addison Independent has learned that Durst lived in Ripton during his brief residency in Addison County, and the newspaper is reaching out to local people who knew him.

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Updated: Police following link between Durst and Middlebury College student missing since 1971

Posted on March 23, 2015 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — News of the arrest on March 15 of New York City real estate heir Robert Durst on a first-degree murder charge is reverberating to Middlebury, where Durst owned and operated the health food store “All Good Things” in the early 1970s.

Middlebury police are making note that this was around the same time that Middlebury College student Lynne Schulze disappeared on Dec. 10, 1971.

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Middlebury planner steps down

Posted on March 23, 2015 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury had gone more than 30 years between hiring new town planners when Eric Blair was appointed to that position in December of 2013. He succeeded Fred Dunnington, who had retired earlier that year following a career that began during the early 1980s.

Eric Blair, we hardly knew ye.

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Work to kick off on new Middlebury buildings

Posted on March 23, 2015 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — A group of Middlebury officials will gather at a now-vacant 77 Main St. site at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, to turn the first ceremonial spades of earth, thus beginning what will be a year-long effort to erect the community’s new municipal building.

Also this week, work crews will prepare for demolition of the former Middlebury American Legion building on Creek Road, a ramshackle structure that will be replaced by a new 11,500-square-foot recreation facility that will include a team-rooms addition for Middlebury Union high and middle schools.

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Boy's heartfelt gift helps soothe the dying

Posted on March 23, 2015 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — It was during a warm July day last year that a grief-stricken, 10-year-old boy came into Porter Hospital clutching a coin-filled Ziploc baggie. He walked up to the front desk, handed the baggie to a volunteer, and simply walked out the door.

The volunteer took the money over to the hospital’s development office, where the mysterious $6.19 donation was counted and recorded. But the question remained — who gave the money and for what purpose was it to be used?

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Shap Smith: Health care reforms a top priority

Posted on March 19, 2015 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — Education finance reform and the estimated $112 million revenue shortfall continue to get the most attention in Montpelier, but Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith said he and his colleagues are committed to passing health care reforms aimed at closing the cost-shift in Medicaid funding and recruiting more primary care physicians to the state.

Smith was speaking on health care issues at Porter Medical Center’s annual meeting on Monday at Middlebury College’s McCardell Bicentennial Hall.

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State budget deficit: How deep should cuts be?

Posted on March 19, 2015 |
By John Flowers



BRISTOL — Citizens who attended the weekly Legislative Breakfast on Monday heard from lawmakers about their struggle with the fiscal year 2016 general fund budget, which is facing a projected $112 million revenue shortfall.

Among the proposed cuts under consideration to shore up the budget are two of the Vermont Department of Public Safety’s four Public Service Answering Points (PSAPs) — better known as E-911 dispatching centers — in Derby and Rutland.

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Lawmakers, citizens debate renewable energy's future

Posted on March 19, 2015 |
By John Flowers



BRISTOL — Renewable energy policy — particularly subsidies to firms that produce energy from renewable sources — was a point of debate among lawmakers and citizens at Monday’s legislative breakfast in Bristol. The event at the American Legion Hall also began with a moment of silence for the late Dr. Alan Ayer, who died suddenly on Friday, and was the husband of Sen. Claire Ayer (see story, Page 3A).

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