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Mount Abe bond faces crucial vote

Posted on February 22, 2018 |
By Charlie Mitchell



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BRISTOL — Residents of Mount Abe Unified School District will try for a third time to pass a bond vote to renovate the aging middle-and-high school facility on March 6, Town Meeting Day. This third vote is much like the previous two, with some significant compromises to reflect a 20 percent drop in proposed spending on the renovation.

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Changing demographics prompt question: What does Mount Abe’s future hold?

Posted on February 22, 2018 |
By Charlie Mitchell



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BRISTOL — In 15 years, the student population at Mount Abraham Union High School has dropped 33 percent, from almost 1,000 students to 639. That drop in student numbers is part of the reason that the per capita cost of education per pupil has risen so dramatically over that same period.

Will that trend continue? Not necessarily, but the jury is out.

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Lincoln's Forlenza to run for Vt. House

Posted on February 15, 2018 |
By John Flowers



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LINCOLN — Paul Forlenza has spent the past several years supporting and recruiting Addison County Democrats to run for county and statewide offices.

The longtime Lincoln resident is now ready to place his own name on an election ballot.

Forlenza, former chairman of the Addison County Democratic Committee, confirmed last week he’ll run for one of the two seats representing the Addison-4 district in the Vermont House.

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Budget for Bristol-area schools reflects 1% spending hike, 16 fewer employees

Posted on February 8, 2018 |
By John Flowers



BRISTOL — Five-town voters on March 6 will cast ballots on a 2018-2019 public school spending plan for Addison Northeast that would result in a 1 percent increase in equalized per-pupil spending and spur some significant staffing changes within the newly created Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD).

The proposed MAUSD budget reflects $24,746,279 in education spending to operate Mount Abraham Union middle and high schools; the elementary schools in Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro; and the Addison Northeast central office.

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Ode to Lilly: Starksboro man reflects on the loss of a good dog

Posted on January 15, 2018 |
By Lawrence Jones



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Editor’s note: Lawrence Jones of South Starksboro wrote this piece about Chris Marion’s black Lab “Lilly.”

I am no stranger to death. I have buried many people and honored more in services dedicated to their memories. I have sat with those in their last moments. I have hugged many four-footed companions as they drifted off to sleep, never to reawaken in this world.

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Up to 20 teachers and aides could be cut in Bristol-area schools

Posted on January 8, 2018 |
By John Flowers



BRISTOL — Bristol-area voters on March 6 will field their first-ever unified budget covering all Addison Northeast schools.

The proposed 2018-2019 spending plan now under consideration calls for elimination of 20 full-time-equivalent staff positions — including six full-time teachers — in order to achieve the $1,177,814 in reductions needed to meet the Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) board’s austerity guidelines.

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Top 10, No. 3: Voters reject Mt. Abe bond – again

Posted on January 4, 2018 |
By Addison Independent



Will the third time be the charm?

That’s what proponents of a new bond vote to renovate the Mount Abe Union High School facility are hoping. A third vote among Addison Northeast Supervisory Union district voters is likely to be scheduled for this coming Town Meeting Day in March. That proposal will follow two prior defeats and a year of planning, haggling and anguish over what to do with the nearly 50-year-old building.

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Community input, brainstorming focus of Mt. Abe facilities meeting

Posted on November 30, 2017 |
By Gaen Murphree



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BRISTOL — Close to 60 five-town residents gathered at Monday night’s meeting of the reinstated Mount Abraham Renovation Committee. It was overwhelmingly the largest draw of residents on the subject of what to do with the 49-year-old facility that houses Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School.

Although no final decisions were made — the evening was devoted to public input and collective brainstorming — there was one insistent takeaway for those who participated in the three hours of discussion:

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Noted explorer dies in plane crash in area

Posted on November 27, 2017 |
By John S. McCright



PITTSFORD — An 89-year-old Massachusetts man who led an extraordinary life of exploration and excitement died on Wednesday evening while traveling to see his family in Starksboro for Thanksgiving.

Norman L. Baker of Windsor, Mass., was piloting a four-seat Cessna airplane when it crashed in Pittsford. He was the only person on board.

“My dad absolutely loved flying,” Dan Baker of Starksboro told the Independent on Friday afternoon. “He’d rather fly that plane to see friends and family than drive a car.”

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Starksboro kids get some hands-on lessons in Abenaki ways

Posted on November 22, 2017 |
By Gaen Murphree



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STARKSBORO — It’s the Thursday before Thanksgiving — the day the Robinson Elementary School cafeteria dishes out its holiday meal: roast turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, squash, cranberry sauce, apple crisp. (Also broccoli).

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