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April 25th, 2011
On Friday, the Vermont Senate passed a $24.3 tax package as part of its $4.68 billion budget plan to fund state government next year. The increased taxes, which passed by a vote of 20-8, includes a controversial 53-cent tax hike on a pack of cigarettes as well as several taxes Vermonters will not see directly. We expect the House to tinker with it, but on the whole this proposal will sail through and get the governor’s signature. But what of next year? Will Vermont again mostly cut its way to a balanced budgets, or raise taxes?
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police are confronting a new drug threat — methamphetamine — that they fear could soon be joining prescription narcotics and heroin on the list of top illicit substances among addicts.
Methamphetamine, aka meth, is a highly addictive psycho-stimulant that can be injected, smoked or snorted. It is made from reducing, or cooking, some very common over-the-counter cold medicines that include ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, such as Sudafed.
WEYBRIDGE — An off-duty Middlebury police officer played a vital role in the capture of an alleged burglar in a Weybridge home on April 20.
Middlebury police Officer Kristine Bowdish was off-duty in her personal vehicle in Weybridge when she noticed another vehicle traveling in a suspicious manner on Field Days Road, according to Vermont State Police.
VERMONT — The Vermont chapter of the Northeast Organic Farmers Association and farmer advocacy group Rural Vermont have jumped aboard a class-action lawsuit that aims to prohibit Monsanto Company from suing farmers whose crops have been contaminated by the company’s patented Roundup Ready seed.
GOSHEN/HANCOCK — Goshen residents last Thursday evening received some unexpected news: after years of waiting, their town was wired for broadband Internet service.
At a community broadband meeting at the Goshen Town Hall, FairPoint Communications representatives Beth Fastiggi and Sabina Haskell announced that, starting on Friday, town residents would be able to subscribe to high-speed Internet services.
And Fastiggi, vice president of FairPoint Communications in Vermont, said broadband coverage to parts of Hancock also went live that day.
FERRISBURGH — A Ferrisburgh resident who works to help Vermont businesses grow will receive a national award next month in Washington, D.C. that recognizes not only his career accomplishments, but also his extensive community service and his work in Montpelier on behalf of small businesses.
The Small Business Administration recently named Fresh Tracks Capital LC co-founder and managing partner Cairn Cross its “National Financial Services Champion.”
MONTPELIER — Vergennes Union High School sophomore Kaitlin Leroux-Eastman on April 14 won the title of Vermont Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year, becoming the fourth member of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes in the past five years to claim that honor.
Leroux-Eastman, 15, was the youngest of the half-dozen local clubs’ Youths of the Year vying last week in Montpelier for state recognition. She and her competitors were judged on club and community service and their personal character and poise.
MIDDLEURY — As director of the Rokeby Museum, Jane Williamson knows a lot about how slaves moved covertly from South to North via the Underground Railroad.
But as the nation prepares to mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War that would end slavery, Williamson wants people to know what Addison County residents — and national figure Frederick Douglass — did overtly in an effort to end indentured servitude before hostilities began on April 12,1861.