ADDISON COUNTY — Sid Claflin and his sisters last month signed the papers on a sale that will permanently protect 200 acres of land on their family’s Monkton farm from development.
The parcel of the family’s 325-acre farm is now protected by a conservation easement held by the Vermont Land Trust, which permanently protects the land from development and subdivision.
BRANDON — The Otter Valley Union High School Board’s biggest challenge is not coming from state officials this budget season, but from students. Or lack thereof.
A continuing decline in the student population has left the board with a much greater budgetary test than meeting state’s Challenges for Change target of cutting spending by 2 percent.
The cuts may result in the termination of the School Resource Officer (SRO) position currently held by Brandon Police Officer Anne Bandy, one science teacher and two English teachers.
BRANDON — Many of the 16 people who attended the Nov. 17 meeting of the Otter Valley Union High School board voiced their support for Brandon Police Officer Anne Bandy and the position of School Resource Officer (SRO). The board is expected to cut the position in its 2011-2012 budget, netting a savings of $38,000.
Social Studies teacher Judy Dardeck has been at OV for 37 years and said she definitely feels an SRO is needed.
CORNWALL — The new Lemon Fair Bridge on Route 125 in Cornwall officially opened to traffic on Nov. 23 — substantially ahead of schedule, though the project won’t be fully completed until next spring.
Vermont Agency of Transportation resident engineer Joe Knipes noted the project hadn’t been scheduled for completion until Nov. 4, 2011. But contractors — Montgomery-based A.L. St. Onge — were able to give extra attention to the project this summer and fall as a result of the challenging economy and good weather, according to Knipes.
FERRISBURGH — After visiting the proposed Route 7 site of a Dollar General store and later taking testimony last Wednesday evening, the Ferrisburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment decided to continue its public hearing next month.
The third hearing on the proposal to build the store on a 9.9-acre parcel at the junction of Route 7 and Monkton Road will take place Jan. 6 at 7:05 p.m.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College women’s hockey coach Bill Mandigo said after Saturday’s home game vs. Williams he didn’t believe his team had played its best.
But the Ephs might need a little convincing: The Panthers outshot Williams, 33-10, in a 3-0 win that ended their first semester. Middlebury, ranked No. 7 in the most recent NCAA Division III poll, improved to 6-0, 5-0 NESCAC, while the Ephs fell to 1-4 overall and in the league.
MIDDLEBURY — Crosswalk signals that tack on extra time when walkers need it, bike lanes with strategically painted lines and symbols, along with pedestrian “refuges” — all of these could soon be integrated into a downtown near you.
Jon Kaplan of the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) recently presented to the Addison County Regional Planning Commission these and other ways Addison County could implement European bicycle and pedestrian safety strategies into local roadways.
Editor’s note: This story was provided by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Whitney Hughes.
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan — When U.S. Army Warrant Officer Caitlin Purinton lifted up the thin blue cloth of the burka, she would not have been surprised to see despair in the eyes of the woman underneath who spends most of her life hidden under the garment that conceals her from head to toe.