by Carla OccasoMONTPELIER — The Bridge received a press release in the late afternoon May 24 from a New England Culinary Institute representative refuting a big story that ran in the May 24 issue of the Barre Montpelier Times Argus. It came by email from New England Culinary Institute spokesman Philip Stevens:
“Today, the Times Argus printed a story titled ‘NECI Sold, Seeking New Digs’ on their front page written by Stephen Mills. The article cited as sources Thomas Greene, president of Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier Mayor Jon Hollar, Montpelier City Manager Bill Fraser and Joe Evans, executive director of the Montpelier Development Corporation.”
“This article is based on conjecture and rumor rather than fact. Mr. Mills did not speak with our president, Milan Milasinovic, or any other employee of New England Culinary Institute. It is an unfortunate distraction that Mr. Mills and the Times Argus consider us a target at this time as we plan for graduation. Nearing our 37th anniversary, we continue to look for new opportunities for improvement to benefit our students. If there are such substantive changes to New England Culinary Institute, we will let our neighbors in Montpelier, our staff, our students and our alumni know.”
Attempts by The Bridge to immediately reach either Philip Stevens, communications director for New England Culinary Institute; Stephen Mills, reporter of the story, or Steven Pappas, Times Argus and Rutland Herald editor were unsuccessful.