Author: Michelle Monroe

Judge: Georgia must pay $230,000

Additional reporting by COURTNEY LAMDIN The town of Georgia has been ordered to pay John Rhodes $232,800 in a case that has taken more than a decade and has twice reached the Vermont Supreme Court, a judge ruled last week. Georgia’s Selectboard met Monday night with town attorneys and its insurance carrier, the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. After four hours, there’s no clear path, Town Administrator Deb Woodward said, noting she couldn’t say much more. “There’s still questions and concerns that the board has, the legal team has, and there are options and alternatives for both sides...

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Priest wins lawsuit award

The Rev. Daniel Lokanga prevailed in his lawsuit against Red Barn Storage and Warehouse owners Paul and Jane Barrenger. On December 20, Franklin County Superior Court Judge Dennis Pearson ruled the company owes Lokanga $13,634 plus legal costs for removing and selling or discarding items from a full shipping container meant for a humanitarian aid in Lokanga’s native Congo. Lokanga’s claims against Al Belval, the Barrengers’ co-defendant and previous Red Barn owner, were dismissed with prejudice, meaning they can’t be brought again. The container included a Dodge Durango, two medical grade microscopes, 10 hospital beds, school supplies, clothes, electric...

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Public opposes Calendar 2.0

A proposal to make changes to the school calendar drew more than 200 parents and teachers to Bellows Free Academy last Thursday night. Most of the input received last night was against making changes as proposed by the Champlain Valley Superintendents Association (CVSA), including reducing summer vacation by 2.5 weeks and adding more vacation time during the school year. Calendar 2.0 would be shared Franklin, Addison, Chittenden and Grand Isle county schools. The group, however, has backed off implementing it next year. Under state law, school districts with technical centers must have 175 education days and five days for...

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Pricey EPA rules in works

The federal government’s new pollution limits on Lake Champlain will most likely entail changes to local ordinances and agricultural practices and require additional stormwater treatment within urban areas. The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed change would require Vermont to reduce the amount of phosphorous reaching the lake each year by 39 percent, or 188 metric tons. Who will pay and how much are the questions Vermonters will have to resolve in the next few months, but it is already estimated customers of stormwater treatment facilities could be forced to pay millions in new fees. “There’s something in this for everybody...

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Federal shutdown hits home

The federal government shut down Thursday morning after the U.S. Senate rejected a budget bill approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives that would have delayed the Affordable Care Act requirement that individuals purchase health insurance. Speaker of the House John Boehner declined to allow a vote to let the government continue operating while a new budget was passed, drawing ire from Vermont’s Congressional delegation. “People may disagree about the Affordable Care Act, but it is wrong for right-wing Republicans to ignore the results of the last election and hold the American people hostage by threatening to shut down...

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