BRISTOL — Imagine a high school curriculum that takes a science lesson out of the lab and into nearby fields and forests, or an art class that requires students to take photos in their communities rather than in a classroom studio. Consider a physics unit that does away with textbooks in favor of rebuilding a car’s engine, or a music lesson that requires a student to build an instrument in addition to playing one.
Last week, area and state legislators sent a letter to Gov. James Douglas recommending that the state set aside up to $1 million of the $8.67 million federal economic stimulus money to help Addison County businesses affected by the closing of the Champlain Bridge. The initiative was spearheaded by Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Shumlin, D-Putney, and House Speaker Hap Smith, D-Morristown, and though it had the support of most Addison County legislators, the proposal was laden with political overtones.
BRANDON — If the Mount Abraham Union High School girls’ basketball team is going to win in the early going, the Eagles will probably rely on the formula they used to knock off host Otter Valley on Thursday, 49-41, in both teams’ opener.
The Eagles’ four veterans all contributed, notably junior point guard Jen Loyer, who tossed in 28 points and added nine steals, six assists and five rebounds.
ADDISON — State and local lawmakers on Tuesday urged Gov. James Douglas to dedicate $1 million in federal stimulus funds to help Addison County businesses — including farms — that have taken a financial hit since the Champlain Bridge was closed on Oct. 16.
Douglas quickly endorsed the $1 million request, but said the money should be spent in the broader context of statewide, $8.6 million economic development package that includes some initiatives the Legislature rejected last session.
BRISTOL — The John Graham Emergency Shelter on Monday closed a deal for a $198,000 home in Bristol, which the Vergennes-based homeless shelter intends to covert into three units of transitional housing.
The deal comes at a time of rising demand for the homeless shelter’s services. It marks a ratcheting up of the organization’s efforts to use transitional housing to give families and individuals a place to get back on their feet while they hunt for a permanent residence that is away from the hubbub of the shelter but under the umbrella of a support system.
MIDDLEBURY — Bridgewater Corners-based Long Trail Brewing Co. is on the verge of acquiring Middlebury-based Otter Creek Brewing and Wolaver’s Certified Organic in a deal expected to make the Exchange Street brewery more financially stable and competitive.
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union High School board of directors Tuesday continued taking tentative steps toward a draft spending plan that reflects a zero-percent increase in educational spending — a goal that board chair Lanny Smith said leaves the board “between a rock and a hard place.”
“We don’t have anything left to cut,” said Smith.
Last year, voters in the five towns that feed into Mount Abe approved a roughly $12.8 million spending plan, down just less than 1 percent from spending in 2007-2008.
MIDDLEBURY — UD-3 school board members will consider cost cuts and the use of a fund balance to reduce the property tax impact of a draft 2010-2011 budget that includes a 3.2 percent increase in spending. The increase in the $16,025,483 spending plan is overwhelmingly driven by anticipated surges in special education expenses.