MIDDLEBURY — Monday night, the parking lot outside of the Fire and Ice restaurant in Middlebury was full. In front of the eatery, Seymour Street was lined bumper-to-bumper with at least 10 large trucks, many with engines running, from Asplundh Tree Expert Co., Green Mountain Power, Northline Utilities and others.
A sign outside the front door read: “Welcome and thank you, utilities workers!”
On Wednesday, Gov. Peter Shumlin did what leaders are supposed to do: he led. He made the tough decision to nix the push to a statewide single-payer health care system because the financial impact was too great a risk to the state’s economy, at this time, and would put too great a burden on individuals and businesses.
CORNWALL — The Cornwall selectboard on Tuesday evening tabled action on a negotiated agreement with Vermont Gas Systems regarding the Phase II natural gas pipeline, following pleas from most of the approximately 25 people who turned out at the board’s meeting to argue the pact was flawed.
The agreement, unveiled this week, calls for Cornwall to drop its opposition to the project in exchange for Vermont Gas making some substantial financial concessions that would collectively reduce local residents’ property taxes by an estimated 4 percent.
MONTPELIER — Gov. Peter Shumlin on Wednesday put the brakes on the state’s multi-year quest to convert to a universal, single-payer health care system, saying the cost and financing scheme of such a plan would be “detrimental to Vermonters, employers and the state’s economy overall.”
MIDDLEBURY — Porter Medical Center administrators and representatives of the nurses’ union announced on Wednesday they had reached a tentative deal on a three-year contract for nurses.
Terms of what would be the first-ever contract for Porter nurses were not included in a brief press release issued by Porter spokesman Ron Hallman on Wednesday. More details will be available after the union members officially ratify the pact, according to Hallman.
That ratification vote is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 22.
VERGENNES — The Vergennes Union High School boys’ basketball team relied on tough defense and a 21-point night from senior guard Liam Hayes to edge visiting South Burlington on Monday, 45-41.
The win over a Division I foe pushed the Division II Commodores to 3-0, with all three victories coming against programs that defeated VUHS a year ago, when the team finished 9-11 and earned a home playoff game.
CHITTENDEN — The Middlebury Union High School Nordic team opened on Saturday with some strong efforts at a seven-team freestyle relay meet at the Mountain Top Inn in Chittenden.
Two skiers on each relay team took turns covering a 1.2-kilometer course twice each, and the Tiger duo of sophomore Nick Wilkerson and freshman Sam Hodges posted the top result, coming in second in the boys’ race in 13:00, 34 seconds behind the winning Woodstock duo and 32 seconds ahead of the third-place Burr & Burton pair.
ADDISON COUNTY — In area high school basketball action late last week, the Vergennes and Otter Valley boys each won, the Middlebury boys split a pair of contests, and the Mount Abe and MUHS girls both dropped home games, in the Tigers’ case despite a record-setting performance. The Otter Valley girls also defeated visiting Poultney on Saturday, 44-10, in a game rescheduled from Friday; details were unavailable.