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Meet Dandelion! Dandelion and her twin brother, Claude, were adopted from Homeward Bound by Meg and Daisy Madden and Dan Sullivan in January 2018. A year old now, she is just as kitten-like as the day she found her forever home. She has the tiniest little kitty face, itty bitty pink nose, and a long coat as soft and fluffy as clouds-she’s soooo cute! Dandelion is a bit of a genetic rarity-generally, orange tiger cats tend to be male, but Dandelion is as ginger as they come. Dandelion is a real foodie! She gets so excited when she thinks she is about to get wet food that she meows non-stop and...
MIDDLEBURY — The Hannaford Career Center has announced the Outstanding Students for its first quarter, which ended in early November. Each quarter, HCC instructors select one student as their program’s Outstanding Student. These students and their guests attend an awards breakfast at the school’s restaurant, The Glass Onion, to be honored for their work ethic, creativity, approach to problem-solving, effort and attitude, collaboration, and other aspects of academics and the center-wide Habits of Work. Twenty students were honored between breakfast events on Nov. 14 and 15. At the breakfast,...
BRANDON — Congratulations to the following students, who have been named to Otter Valley Union High School’s Honor Roll for the first marking period. SCHOLARS’ LIST 9th grade: Marissa Connors, Olivia Depatie, Anna Kerr, Lucas Klein, Gunnar Tinsman and Kieran Williams.  10th grade: Sarah Calvin, Joseph Cijka, Grace Coolidge, Melody Henry, Cole Letourneau, Jessica Malbon, Bonnie Moore, Madilyn Morgan, Kinsey Moyer, Mia Politano, Anoushka Pschorr, Brian Thornton and McKenna White. 11th grade: Livia Bernhardt, Lauryl Blanchard, Morgan Daly, Edward Kopp, Carolynn Lafountaine, Morgan LaPorte,...
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard will spend the next two months refining a fiscal year 2020 municipal budget proposal that currently reflects almost $600,000 in new expenses, including two new hires and a $296,119 increase in local infrastructure improvements. A $600,000 increase would drive the need for an 8-cent hike in the municipal tax rate, but that won’t happen. Middlebury Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay is proposing, from the outset, that the town use surplus revenues from the community’s Cross Street Bridge fund to offset the proposed $286,119 bump in capital improvement expenses...
VERGENNES — The newly formed Vergennes recreation committee last week shared with the city council the list of priorities its members created after its first two meetings — and up to $147,000 of work to the city pool was at the top. The committee, founded to advise the council on maintenance of existing facilities and ways to improve recreation offerings in Vergennes, listed obtaining a grant to fund that work as its first of a number of goals it shared with the council. Recreation committee chairman Tim Cook recommended to the council at its Nov. 27 meeting that it pursue a grant from a new...

LINCOLN RESIDENTS MARIA Teixeira, left, and her partner, Travis Herben, gathered a few toys no longer used by their children, 9-year-old Ezaias, right, Micaiah, 7, and Simeon, 1, to exchange at the upcoming Toy Swap at the Lincoln Library. Teixeira and other volunteers organized the swap to bring new life to old toys. Independent photo/John S. McCright
LINCOLN — So profound is the depth of imagination kids summon when they play with toys that it has inspired a special category of storytelling in our culture. From “The Nutcracker” to “The Velveteen Rabbit” to “Toy Story,” we find hope in the notion that our playthings could live separate lives, struggling like we do, fighting our battles, keeping it real when the “real world” intervenes. Integral to many of these stories is the letting go, the heart-wrenching moment when children outgrow their toys and leave them behind forever. It’s nobody’s fault. Children grow up. But the magic is forever...

UVM RESEARCHER ARASH Ghalehgolabbehbahani, shown at a test plot in New Haven growing saffron flowers last month, says that an acre of Vermont land could generate more than $100,000 worth of the precious spice. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
NEW HAVEN — Thanks to a partnership between Peck Electric and University of Vermont, flowers that produce the most expensive spice in the world this fall were blooming in the shade of a few New Haven solar panels. It’s too soon to tell whether saffron, which retails for between $3,000 and $9,000 a pound, will become a viable crop in Vermont, but three years of testing by UVM’s North American Center for Saffron Research and Development have produced promising results. The flowers from which the precious saffron threads are harvested, Crocus sativus, bloom in the agricultural down-time of late...

THE SWING SET and play structure at Lincoln Community School were quiet on Thursday when school in the 5-towns was closed because heavy snow downed power lines. Independent photo/John S. McCright
ADDISON COUNTY — Mount Abraham Unified School District schools were closed all day Thursday because of impassable roads and downed power lines. Other county school districts remained open. Heavy, wet snow over the preceding couple of days had caused widespread damage and knocked out power to tens of thousands of Vermonters. Green Mountain Power announced on Twitter Thursday morning that it had restored power to more than 86,000 customers statewide but had received 550 additional outage reports overnight. At 10 a.m. Thursday 102 Vermont towns were still experiencing power outages, affecting...
NEW HAVEN — A post on the “gofundme” social media website has been created to help a New Haven family whose home was severely damaged in a Nov. 25 fire. The home, owned by Jessica and Matt Friend, is located on Halpin Road, just across the town line from Middlebury. It was at around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25, that firefighters from multiple departments were toned out on a report of a chimney fire at the residence. Firefighters found the fire had spread from the chimney to portions of the first floor and second floor before stopping at the attic, according to Middlebury Fire Chief David...
SALISBURY — Salisbury officials are lining up a Town Meeting Day vote that will ask residents to close their local landfill and join the Addison County Solid Waste Management District (ACSWMD) for the town’s future waste disposal and recycling. Salisbury currently operates the last unlined landfill in the state. “It’s somewhat of a no-brainer,” Salisbury selectboard Chairman Tom Scanlon of the looming decision. “There’s a lifespan to a landfill, and ours is the last unlined landfill in the state. I would rather see it close sooner rather than later, so there are no problems with it in the...

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