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VIOLINIST DAVID GUSAKOV, guitarist Rob McCuen and bassist Jim McCuen play Hot Club-style jazz as the group known as “Swing Noire.” They will perform at Brandon Music this Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m.
Swing Noire will hit the stage at Brandon Music on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m. Swing Noire invokes the energy of a swingin’ jazz club, transporting audiences back to the early days of jazz with their unique take on Hot Swing, making music that “will entrance and surprise you.” They evoke “images of smoky basement speakeasies and slinky cabarets,” says Dan Bolles at Seven Days. The group is the perfect way for Brandon Music to start off their 2019 year of (almost) weekly concerts. Whether it’s called Gypsy Jazz, Hot Swing, Jazz Manouche, or any other idiom, over the last decade, Swing...
MIDDLEBURY — Two 14-year-old Middlebury Union Middle School students have been indefinitely pulled from classes and face juvenile court citations after allegedly cooperating on a plan to shoot someone on campus. Middlebury police are still investigating the case and are withholding the names of the two suspects because they are both juveniles. They are also not disclosing the names of the alleged target(s) in this case, nor the identity of a heroic student who tipped off authorities about the alleged shooting plot. “You had one juvenile making a very specific threat, another juvenile who was...
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury and Weybridge officials have picked a contractor to build more than 2,000 feet of new sidewalk that will link Seymour Street to Otter View Park off Pulp Mill Bridge Road. It’s a $760,000 project that’s scheduled to be completed next summer, according to Addison County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Adam Lougee, who is managing the project for the towns of Middlebury and Weybridge. Once installed, the new sidewalk will provide added safety for walkers and joggers who routinely exercise along what is a scenic, undulating route that includes up-close...

LONGTIME MIDDLEBURY FIREFIGHTERS Pat Shaw, left, and Paul Garrow display the medals of valor they earned for racing into a burning building in an attempt to save its resident. Independent photo/John Flowers
MIDDLEBURY — The incident happened two years ago, but the memories of it are indelibly seared in the memory banks of both Paul Garrow and Pat Shaw. The two veteran Middlebury firefighters and 31 of their colleagues had gathered at their Seymour Street headquarters on Dec. 14, 2016, for an evening of training, food and conversation. Their training was interrupted at 7:40 p.m. for the real thing: A report of a structure fire at 7 Murdock Court. And to make matters worse, someone was trapped in the structure. “The room rapidly emptied as every member was aware of the severity of the call,”...

FERRISBURGH CENTRAL SCHOOL teacher Judy Elson, who was recently nominated for the 2018 LifeChanger award, gets students out of the classroom and learning in places like the school garden. Photo courtesy of Ferrisburgh Central School
FERRISBURGH — Judy Elson, a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher at Ferrisburgh Central School, has always taken her science and environmental education efforts there outside of the classroom. From harvesting vegetables from the school garden in the fall to tapping maple trees in the late winter, Elson provides her students with tangible, hands-on science lessons. Elson said that her teaching is centered on what she sees as the value of getting students outside. “A lot of it is getting kids out of the four walls,” Elson said. “They might be learning about rocks or plants, and instead of sitting at...

FOOD ACTIVIST AMANI Olugbala, left, of Soul Fire Farm, and Abenaki Chief Don Stevens spoke about changes in agriculture and culture at a Dec. 7 panel.
MIDDLEBURY — How do we nourish change in agriculture and culture? Five experts approached the question with a blend of philosophy and science at a recent panel discussion that culminated a Middlebury College class that also interrogated that issue. Aubrey Streit Krug, director of EcoSphere studies at The Land Institute in Salina, Kan., moderated a wide-ranging discussion that dovetailed with students’ classroom investigations into the “Perennial Turn,” a shift toward sustainable practices and thinking. Central to the Dec. 7 discussion, which took place on the Middlebury College campus, was...

ELAINE OROZCO HAMMOND, left, Ellen Whelan-Wuest, and Chelsea Colby have recently been elected to WomenSafe’s Board of Directors. Photo courtesy WomenSafe
MIDDLEBURY — WomenSafe recently announced the election of three new members to its board of directors. New board members are Chelsea Colby, Elaine Orozco Hammond and Ellen Whelan-Wuest. In welcoming the three new board members WomenSafe Executive Director Kerri Duquette-Hoffman said “They each have unique skills, and diverse experiences that will enrich our board and the entire organization.” Chelsea Colby is a Middlebury resident and teacher of first- and second-grade at Cornwall Elementary School. A February 2018 graduate of Middlebury College, Colby was an advocate for MiddSafe for several...
VERGENNES — The Vergennes Lions Club is collecting Toys for Kids to be distributed to needy families in the Vergennes and Bristol area. Collection barrels are located at A & D Automotive, Dollar General, Jackman Fuels-Vergennes, Kinney Drugs-Vergennes, Long Trail on the Falls Physical Therapy, One Credit Union and Sheer Cuts. Cash donations will be used to purchase gift cards for teenagers. Distribution will be made through the Vergennes Community Food Shelf at the Congregational Church in Vergennes on Tuesday, Dec. 18, Thursday, Dec. 20, and Saturday, Dec. 22. If anyone knows of needy...

“NIGHT FIRES” RETURNS to Town Hall Theater at 68 S. Pleasant Street in Middlebury for their annual Winter Solstice celebration, Dec. 21-23.
Note: Since there will not be a Monday edition of the Addison Independent on Monday, Dec. 24, some of the events in this week’s column are being published one week early. Night Fires will be lit once more at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater. There will be additional performances on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 3 and 7:30 p.m., and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 23. Night Fires, Theatre Group, Ltd.’s annual winter solstice pageant or mystery play for our times, as in many performances past, will be a song of celebration for the earth and all who live upon it. With a winding...

PETERSON QUALITY MALT has purchased Nordic Farms, the iconic dairy farm off Route 7 in Charlotte that sold its cows and equipment at auction last March. Independent file photo/Angelo Lynn
MONKTON — Peterson Quality Malt, which opened Vermont’s first malt house in Monkton five years ago, has purchased Nordic Farms, whose big, red-roofed barn stands at a high-profile location off Route 7 in Charlotte, and will move operations there early next year. Peterson and its new equity partner, Hotel Vermont in Burlington, purchased the 583-acre former dairy for $2.4 million. “One of the hardest things was crossing the county line,” malter Andrew Peterson acknowledged. “It’s hard moving from Addison County, where the towns and the county itself have been so supportive, and where we have...

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