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April 28th, 2011
Editor’s note: Our guest columnist this week, Theresa Gleason, and her husband Ben own Gleason Grains in Bridport, where Ben has grown wheat and milled flour since 1980. Theresa baked and sold Gleason Grains bread at the Middlebury Farmers Market and Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op for several years. She currently helps out on the farm and is a psychotherapist in private practice in Middlebury.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury officials’ hopes of seeing a speedy replacement of the deteriorating railroad bridges at Main Street and Merchants Row have been dealt a serious blow by tight state and federal finances.
Both of the bridges were built in 1920, and both are showing substantial signs of wear and tear as they continue to bear heavy traffic loads traveling through downtown Middlebury.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College softball team clinched first place in NESCAC West on Friday, when the Panthers swept a doubleheader from second-place Amherst, 3-2 in nine innings, and 5-0.
For good measure, the Panthers added an 8-0 win in a rainy six-inning game on Saturday, pushing their record to 22-4, their league mark to 11-1, and their winning streak to a program-best 15.
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.