ADDISON COUNTY — As powerful winds swept through Addison County on Wednesday afternoon, Middlebury residents Mike and Marcia Adams kept a close eye on the wind gauge installed at their Munger Street home.
The wind was howling at a pretty steady 50 or 60 miles an hour, Mike Adams said. It was three or four o’clock in the afternoon by then. Outside, trees cracked and shimmied in the wind.
The gusts that plowed through Bennington, Rutland and Addison counties that afternoon toppled trees and power lines, leaving an estimated 19,000 Vermont households without power.
MIDDLEBURY — It was shaping up to be a dismal Christmas for Megan Wood, her partner Robert Costa, and their three young children.
The young family had recently moved back to their native Vermont after some extended time in Florida taking care of Wood’s ailing mother. When Wood’s mom died last year, they had come to a crossroads.
“There was nothing down there for me anymore,” said Wood, 25. “I was in a deep depression and decided I needed to get back with family.”
ADDISON — The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) confirmed on Friday that an Idaho-based firm has been picked to demolish the Champlain Bridge, and that the event will be publicized for safe viewing.
In other related news, work continues on a new ferry service that is being established just south of the Champlain Bridge, and Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) has given more than 2,000 rides to commuters seeking alternative routes across or around the lake since the 80-year-old span closed to traffic on Oct. 16.
MIDDLEBURY — This holiday season, the view through the window of one Middlebury home isn’t just holiday lights. Instead, in the biggest windowsill in the Hathaway house off Halladay Road, 88 nutcrackers of all shapes and sizes are already on display.
Cullen Hathaway, a seventh-grader at Middlebury Union Middle School, owns the large collection. Every December, the 12-year-old pulls the nutcrackers out of their storage boxes in the attic and sets them out on the windowsill.
BRISTOL — The Bristol Planning Commission next week will likely wrap up a months-long march toward a new zoning regulation that would govern gravel pits in town. After that, the commission will shuttle the draft rules off to the selectboard, with an eye toward taking the new rules to the town for a vote on Town Meeting Day.
EAST MIDDLEBURY — As the New Year begins, many people will be turning up the heat in their homes and enjoying the outdoors through the nearest window.
But this winter, Kendra Dempewolff of East Middlebury will spend her days living outdoors — skiing and canoeing the wilderness of New Hampshire and Vermont, sleeping in a handmade cotton tent and making many of the things she needs to survive. She, along with 10 others, is gearing up for Jan. 6, the beginning of a five-month-long program with New Hampshire-based Kroka Expeditions.
MIDDLEBURY — The Fashion Bug women’s clothing store, a fixture in The Centre shopping plaza on Route 7 South for more than two decades, will close its doors by Jan. 31.
The Fashion Bug, along with the Lane Bryant and Catherines stores, are owned by Charming Shoppes Inc.
Company officials said the Middlebury Fashion Bug is one of 25 such stores nationwide scheduled for closing in the near future. The demise of the Middlebury location coincides with the expiration of its lease in The Centre, according to Chris Hunt of Myron Hunt Inc., the company that owns the shopping plaza.
As these 11 days before Christmas loom before us — family is getting together, there are meals to prepare and presents yet to buy — remember to relax and enjoy the rich traditions of this holiday season that make it so worthwhile.
The holiday focus in Middlebury — as in Brandon, Bristol and Vergennes — is about community festivals, contributing to several wonderful community causes through special events, listening to chorus groups ring in the season, and for many it is a season for worship and reflection.