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Voters approve first Addison Central unified school district budget

Posted on March 8, 2017 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — Addison Central Supervisory District (ACSD) voters overwhelmingly approved their first-ever unified, K-12 budget on Tuesday by a 1,363 to 466 margin.

The $37.2 million spending plan reflects $30,428,802 in net, local education spending for the ACSD schools serving Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Ripton, Salisbury, Shoreham and Weybridge. That’s around 2.17-percent less than what was budgeted for the combined ACSD schools this year.

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Time quickly dwindling for local school boards: Final 10-month terms lack takers

Posted on March 6, 2017 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — Town Meeting Day business is most often about beginnings — the start of a political career, the minting of a new budget or the launching of a new program.

But Town Meeting Day ballots in the seven Addison Central School District (ACSD) towns on Tuesday will signal an end of what has been, in some cases, a centuries-old tradition of local school boards.

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Middlebury officials reject call to replace rail bridges

Posted on March 6, 2017 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — The town of Middlebury has rejected a local attorney’s call for immediate replacement of the community’s two deteriorating downtown rail bridges, arguing the state owns the spans and is already poised to fix them through a four-year, $52 million project.

On Tuesday, Feb. 28, attorney Peter Langrock sent a letter to the Middlebury selectboard. In the letter he asserts that the Main Street and Merchants Row rail bridges are insufficient, dangerous and that the town should begin replacing them within “72 hours.”

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Rail bridge repair costs rise; impact report in the works

Posted on March 2, 2017 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — The estimated cost of replacing downtown Middlebury’s Main Street and Merchants Row rail bridges has grown 30 percent, from $40 million to $52 million, Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) officials confirmed on Monday. The increase is largely associated with the anticipated expenses of detouring Vermont Rail trains during the height of construction.

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Students get unexpected lessons in generosity

Posted on March 2, 2017 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — Mary Hogan Elementary School students Dahlia Harrison and Nell Brayton learned a couple of important lessons during the past month that can’t be taught in the classroom.

First, they received proof positive that the Middlebury community’s generosity knows no bounds.

Second, they learned about the power of federal officials to derail that generosity from its intended target — in this case, Syrian refugees.

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Board ends Gaucher contract early: Says program fell short of targets

Posted on March 2, 2017 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday informed Jamie Gaucher, executive director of the town’s Office of Business Development & Innovation, that he will be out of a job effective June 30.

The board voted 6-1, with Selectman Nick Artim opposed, to end Gaucher’s employment four years into what had been envisioned as a minimum five-year stint coordinating the town’s economic development efforts through the Middlebury Business Development Fund (MBDF).

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Middlebury plans fix for holes in downtown bridges

Posted on March 2, 2017 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — Downtown shoppers and merchants will experience roughly two days of traffic-related inconvenience next week when work crews install a large steel plate over a deteriorating section of the deck of the Merchants Row rail bridge, bordering the St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church property.

Matt Cram, head of the Middlebury Public Works highway division, explained the 20-foot-by-18-foot steel plate will cover previous patchwork and a new, one-foot-diameter hole reported last Friday in the sidewalk portion of the bridge, next to the church.

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Orwell prepares for its third vote on school unification

Posted on February 27, 2017 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — Supporters of a plan to merge school governance in the six-town Addison Rutland Supervisory Union are hoping the third try will be the charm in getting support from the lone community that has consistently opposed the idea — Orwell.

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Middlebury Mountaineer moves to Main

Posted on February 27, 2017 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — It’s been a 19-year climb for Middlebury Mountaineer, but it has finally reached its desired summit of a prime retail location on Middlebury’s Main Street.

Middlebury Mountaineer co-owner Steve Atocha said on Thursday the store will soon move from its current spot at 2 Park St. to its new home at 56 Main St., recently occupied by Clementine. The new storefront will give Middlebury Mountaineer greater visibility and more walk-by traffic, Atocha said.

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Big repairs loom for bridges in Bridport

Posted on February 27, 2017 |
By John Flowers



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BRIDPORT — Bridport now can rightfully lay claim to the nickname of “Bridgeport.”

That’s because the community is confronting repairs to no less than four of its local bridges, beginning this March with the Sunderland Bridge on Crown Point Road.

Bridport residents on Town Meeting Day will be asked to spend up to $325,000 in town surplus funds to repair the 52-foot-long Sunderland Bridge, which straddles the western branch of Dead Creek on Crown Point Road, near its intersection with Basin Harbor Road.

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