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Archive - 2007

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June 7th

A diploma ... 30 years later

June 7, 2007

By MEGAN JAMES

MIDDLEBURY — After an accident five years ago that severed an artery in his heart, damaged his short-term memory and left him blinded for life, Jim Michaud decided to finish something he started more than 30 years ago: his high school education.

The South Starksboro resident dropped out of Mount Abraham Union High School during his junior year, when his family’s Lincoln home burned to the ground in 1977. At his mother’s urging, Michaud returned twice more to try and graduate. But he had already started a job at Shea Motors in Middlebury, and as he put it, school just “wasn’t for me.”

But this Saturday, on his 47th birthday, having finished the adult diploma program with Vermont Adult Learning, Michaud, complete with cap, gown, dark glasses and a cane, will process with the rest of the Mount Abe seniors to finally get that diploma.

“It’s about the only thing I’ve started and never finished,” he said.

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Here she is ...

June 7, 2007

By MEGAN JAMES

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College junior Rachel Ann Cole entered the Miss Vermont pageant on a whim. Flipping through channels over winter break this year, she happened upon the Miss America pageant and just couldn’t stop watching.

She had participated in a pageant before. At two years old, her mother signed her up for one at the suggestion of a friend.

“I think I cried on stage and never did it again,” Cole said.

But this year, she signed herself up, developed a sturdy platform — “Building Bridges Through Literacy: Closing the Educational Gap” — and followed through.

On Sunday, at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Cole was crowned Miss Vermont 2007, a title that will take her to the Miss America Pageant next January.

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Changes to Mt. Abe busing fall short for the year

June 7, 2007

By CYRUS LEVESQUE

BRISTOL — The school boards from the five Addison Northeast Supervisory Union (ANeSU) towns  of Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro are creating a committee to study the district’s transportation needs and how to accommodate a longer school day at Mount Abraham Union High School.

But at a Tuesday evening meeting, the consensus among school board members was to not go forward in the coming school year with an administration-backed plan to achieve the longer day by doing separate bus runs for high school and elementary students.

“For this year, it’s not going to happen,” said Lanny Smith of New Haven, chairman of the Mount Abraham Union High School board. “The question is, should it be pursued in the future?”

The informal consensus to form a committee was reached during a meeting of the Mount Abe school board on Tuesday night, although members of ANeSU elementary school boards were present as well.

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June 4th

OV budget vote: Round 3

June 4, 2007

By MEGAN JAMES

BRANDON — A slightly slimmed-down version of Otter Valley Union High School’s proposed 2007-2008 spending plan, twice rejected by district voters this spring, will go before those voters again on Tuesday, June 12, for a third chance at approval.

Residents of the six Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union towns — Brandon, Goshen, Leicester, Pittsford, Sudbury and Whiting — will be asked to approve a $10,766,837 spending plan, which they would fund through $8,652,535 in local taxes. That tax figures represents a 0.32 percent increase from the current year’s $8,624,808 tax levy.

Voting will take place at regular town polling places and times, and any time before June 11 voters can pick up absentee ballots from their town offices or call their town clerks to have a ballot sent to them.

full story

Ferrisburgh land purchase

June 4, 2007

By ANDY KIRKALDY

FERRISBURGH — A newly formed Ferrisburgh committee met on Thursday with the new owners of a 34-acre Route 7 parcel that town residents twice voted on whether to buy, and the two sides talked seriously about the town buying some of the land.

The parcel’s owners as of May 18 are Peter and Lisa Denton of Ferrisburgh, in partnership with David Carpenter of Charlotte. Under the name DC Builders and Developers LLC they paid $750,000 for the property, which includes a house and a barn and abuts the town’s elementary school and future town office site.

That purchase price from Clark Hinsdale Jr. of Charlotte was the same amount the town of Ferrisburgh had agreed to pay for the land, which has both the only good soils for in-ground septic systems in the Route 7 village area and local permits for a nine-lot housing subdivision. The town’s easements on the land for septic service for the school and the town office site remain in force.

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Fate of mobile home park to be decided next week

June 4, 2007

By JOHN FLOWERS

MONKTON — June 13 will be an important day for residents of the Vaughan Mobile Home Park in Monkton. That’s the date on which state officials will determine whether to commit $225,000 toward septic system repairs that would allow the mobile home park on Hollow Road to remain open.

The town of Monkton and the Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) are jointly seeking the $225,000 through the Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP). Plans call for the ACCT to borrow an additional $125,000, for a total $350,000 project that would involve replacing the current failing Vaughan septic system with a new one that would be located on land on the other side of Hollow Road.

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May 31st

VUHS keeps German course; other difficulties foreseen

May 31, 2007

By ANDY KIRKALDY

VERGENNES — In a special meeting held on May 22 the Vergennes Union High School board voted against two administrators’ recommendation and preserved the school’s German language program in a decision that may be a preview of future difficult choices that lie ahead at VUHS.

About 25 citizens and staff members came to the meeting to support the German program, which Principal Ed Webbley and Addison Northwest Supervisory Union Superintendent Thomas O’Brien had said should be phased out over the next three years after the retirement of longtime teacher Joy Minns, who will step down at the end of this school year.

O’Brien said he was disappointed by the board’s decision given the school’s scheduling and funding problems, one of many tough calls he said the VUHS board may have to make in the next six years, when enrollment is estimated to decrease by as much as 20 percent.

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Very productive legislative session

May 31, 2007

By JOHN FLOWERS

MIDDLEBURY — Vermont House Speaker Gaye Symington said the state should be proud of what she characterized as a “very productive” 2007 session during which lawmakers passed initiatives that will have a long-term, rather than a short-term, payoff.

Symington, a Jericho Democrat, acknowledged that while the Legislature did not make a lot of big headlines and breakthroughs on issues like property tax reform, she believes lawmakers did take important steps to ensure that Vermonters will have energy savings, a better telecommunications network and stronger farms in the future.

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