Dispatch Media, Author at Newport Dispatch
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Women LEAD initiative launching in Newport at March 25 event

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — A new initiative led by Michelle Tarryk and Barbara Morrow, along with over two dozen women leaders and business owners across the Northeast Kingdom, say they’ve come together to foster leadership in girls and women in the NEK.

The project is called Women LEAD, and the group will launch with a fundraiser at The Eastside Restaurant on Monday, March 25, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Women LEAD is in alignment with recommendations from the recent NEK Collaborative Leadership Development Task Force Action Plan.

Recommendations include creating a NEK Leadership Institute as well as a project focusing on engaging NEK Women in Leadership Learning.

“This project has been an absolute thrill,” Tarryk said. “I am in awe of the women who participated in the calendar and I am also very excited about the leadership opportunities that we will be able to bring to young girls throughout the kingdom.”

The group is inviting those interested to come out for complimentary appetizers, a cash bar, and to hear from several collaborators.

Presenters at the event include Michelle Tarryk of Northeast Kingdom Learning Services, Katherine Sims of the NEK Collaborative, Alice Kitchel, State President of Business and Professional Women’s Club, Sunny Noelle Naughton of the Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network, and Vermont Photographer Mary Claire Carroll.

Newport awarded $35,000 outdoor recreation grant

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative announced that the City of Newport is one of two recipients of the VOREC Community grants to help grow local economies by promoting outdoor recreation.

Newport will receive $35,000 for a critical trail connection project between Prouty Beach and Bluffside Farm as part of the city’s Waterfront Recreation Trail and Lake Access project.

The program awards grants of $10,000 to $100,000 to help Vermont communities fully leverage their local outdoor recreation assets to become “outdoor recreation friendly.”

Newport will serve as a prototype for other recreation-oriented cities and towns seeking to expand their economies.

“This program helps make major recreation projects attainable for communities with support from a diverse group of local experts,” said Governor Phil Scott.

Crash with injury in Newport

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — A woman was injured in a crash involving a tractor-trailer that took place in Newport on Thursday.

At around 6:40 a.m. police responded to a report of a tractor-trailer that had collided with a sedan at the intersection of Access Road and Western Avenue.

The driver of the sedan, a 24-year-old Colebrook, New Hampshire woman, was injured and taken by ambulance to North Country Hospital.

According to police, her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 58-year-old Quebec man, was uninjured.

Police say the initial investigation indicates that the woman failed to stop at the traffic light at the intersection and was struck as a result.

As of Friday afternoon, no charges or citations have been issued and the crash remains under active investigation.

The passenger’s side of the sedan sustained heavy damage and both vehicles came to rest about 50 yards from the intersection.

The intersection was temporarily closed while first responders tended to the injured woman.

Newport police investigating counterfeit $100 bills

in Uncategorized

NEWPORT — The Newport Police Department says they are actively investigating incidents involving counterfeit money, and are encouraging business owners to take care to ensure cash they receive is authentic.

The department, along with the United States Secret Service is actively investigating several cases in which counterfeit $100 bills were provided to area businesses.

Community National Back posted a warning on Facebook last week that the counterfeit money detector pens are not working on these bills.

“Our officers are working in close partnership with the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies to identify whoever is responsible for these counterfeit notes so that they may be held accountable,” Newport Police Chief Seth DiSanto said.

Community National Back says that although the counterfeit bills that are circulating in our area are $100.00 bill denominations, any bill, regardless of denomination, could be fake.

Police: East Charleston man facing attempting to elude and negligent operation charges

in Uncategorized

DERBY — State police say a 65-year-old man from East Charleston is facing charges of attempting to elude after an incident in Derby on Tuesday.

According to the report, Alan Crowe was traveling east on Vermont Route 111.

Police say his blue Chrysler sedan was seen traveling at speeds estimated in excess of 65 miles per hour, passing vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

The speed limit in that area is 35 miles per hour.

Trooper Daniel Lynch says he turned around to pull Crowe over with lights and sirens activated and that he continued west at a high rate of speed.

“The vehicle failed to stop or signal at the stop sign at the Main Street intersection by the Derby Village Store, turning north and continuing without stopping at a high rate of speed, passing residences and North Country Union Junior High,” trooper Lynch said in a statement.

Upon reaching traffic at the intersection of Route 5 and Main Street, Crowe was stopped.

He is being charged with negligent operation, attempting to elude police, as well as civil violations.

Deadlines near to remove ice fishing shanties

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — While locals wait for the ice to go out by watching the vanilla extract mascot placed on Lake Memphremagog​ to sink, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is reminding ice fishing enthusiasts not to play the same game with their shanties.

Vermont state law requires that all ice fishing shanties be removed from the ice before the ice weakens.

The shanty must be removed before the ice becomes unsafe or loses its ability to support the shanty out of the water, or before the last Sunday in March, whichever comes first.

That date this year will be on March 31.

All contents, debris, wood, and supports must also be removed so they do not become a hazard to navigation in the spring.

The fine for leaving your ice fishing shanty on the ice can be $1,000, and shanties may not be left at state fishing access areas.

Irasburg to hold town plan hearing March 21

in Irasburg/News

IRASBURG — The Irasburg Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on a proposed town plan at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, at the Irasburg Town Hall.

It will be the first of two hearings to consider adoption of the plan, entitled “Common Ground.”

The Irasburg Selectboard will hold a second hearing in April prior to a Selectboard vote on adoption of the plan.

Back in October of 2015, 421 Irasburg voters petitioned the Selectboard “to develop a town plan that protects all of Irasburg’s ridgeline from industrial wind development.”

Following the petition, the Irasburg Selectboard appointed a five-member Planning Commission charged with writing a town plan to respond to the voters’ mandate.

In Spring 2016, the Planning Commission conducted a survey of Irasburg citizens to ascertain their views and values on a range of issues from preserving Irasburg’s historic village center, promoting agriculture and forestry, to improving telecommunications.

A series of open meetings and frequent consultation with the Selectboard provided ongoing opportunities for input into the planning process.

“The Planning Commission heard many different voices and perspectives as we developed the plan,” said Planning Commission Chair Michael Sanville. “Irasburg voters, the Selectboard, the regional planning commission, the state legislature and state agencies, environmentalists, developers, educators, property owners, neighboring towns—not all of them agreed, but we listened to all of them. Writing a plan that balances all of these different interests is a challenge. Our goal was finding common ground.”

Early in its work, the Commission adopted three basic principles to guide the planning process.

“We developed the Irasburg town plan in accord with the principles of respect for the environment, sound economics, and regard for community values,” said Lori Royer, an Irasburg farmer and member of the Commission. “Every chapter of the town plan is based on these principles.”

Planning Commission member Molly Veysey, director of Orleans County’s Old Stone House Museum and coordinator of the Leach Public Library’s After-School Enrichment Program, noted that adopting a town plan will have many benefits for Irasburg.

“A town plan gives Irasburg standing in state hearings and regulatory proceedings,” Veysey said. “It will allow Irasburg to apply for state, local and foundation grants, and it sets forth a vision for Irasburg’s future based on citizens’ expressed values.”

The Planning Commission is encouraging citizens to review the draft town plan on the Leach Library website at https://www.leachpubliclibrary.org/town-plan-2019.html.

Printed copies are available for review at the Town Clerk’s Office and in the library.

Structure fire in Westmore

in News/Westmore

WESTMORE — Authorities say they are unsure what caused a structure fire at a farm in Westmore on Friday.

The fire broke out at a dairy farm on LaCross Road at around 12:45 p.m.

Heavy smoke and fire could be seen coming out of a large garage and feed barn located behind the main barn for the cattle.

Firefighters managed to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby buildings.

One cow was lost to the fire.

According to the report, the owner/occupant of the property is listed as Roger and Judy LaCross.

Police say one of the owners said they had been utilizing a piece of heavy machinery 15 minutes before the fire and had parked it inside the structure before closing the garage and going back to the house.

Authorities say nobody was injured and the fire is not considered to be suspicious at this time.

The building is considered to be a total loss with an estimated value of approximately $100,000.

Select Jay Peak EB-5 documents to be released following settlement

in Jay/Jay Peak/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Today the State of Vermont and VTDigger announced a settlement in the matter regarding two public records requests by the news organization related to Jay Peak’s EB-5 program.

Under terms of the settlement, the State of Vermont agreed to provide VTDigger the originally requested documents as well as additional agreed-upon Jay Peak records.

“VTDigger remains committed to making sure that the story of Jay Peak is told in its entirety,” Anne Galloway, founder and editor of VTDigger, said.

Galloway says the records released on Friday are long overdue to the public.

VTDigger began covering allegations of fraud at the ski area back in 2014, and has been seeking documents on the public’s behalf since that time.

Due to ongoing litigation, only a few hundred records have been released, with disclosure pending on 1.5 million pages of documents between Shumlin administration officials and Jay Peak developers.

VTDigger’s legal team filed a complaint in January seeking official communications between the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service regarding the projects at Jay Peak Resort.

Requests for the records from VTDigger have been repeatedly denied over the past three years.

“It is refreshing to see the State and its citizens cooperate in the release of public documents,” Tim Cornell, VTDigger’s attorney, said. “This brings us a step closer to finding out how the Jay Peak scandal happened.”

In 2014, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation began an investigation into the fraud at Jay Peak, which ultimately led to federal and state action.

In April 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the State of Vermont charged the developers of Jay Peak Resort with 52 counts of fraud and the misuse of $200 million in foreign investor funds.

The developers’ “Ponzi-like” scheme was perpetrated over an eight-year period from 2008-2016, during which the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development administered the EB-5 program.

Monette re-elected as Newport City Mayor

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Paul Monette was re-elected as Newport City Mayor on Tuesday.

Mayor Monette hung on to claim victory by just two votes, edging out challengers John Wilson, and Dan Ross.

Monette received a total of 193 votes, and Wilson, a former city council president, received 191.

Monette, who has served as Mayor since 2009, said he believes that it may have been the closest election in the city’s history.

Oddly enough, Ross, who finished third in the race for mayor, was re-elected to his position as alderman.

Wilson, who also ran for alderman, was defeated by Melissa Pettersson.

Pettersson received 296 votes, and Ross finished with 262, enough for a seat on the city council.

James Merriam finished with 254 votes, and Wilson finished last with 245.

Snowmobile crash with injury in Holland

in Derby Line/Holland/Newport/News

HOLLAND — A 49-year-old man from Morgan was taken to the hospital after a snowmobile crash on Tuesday.

At around 9:00 p.m. the incident was reported on VAST trail 105, in Holland.

Members of the Derby Line Fire Department located the male and transported him down the trail to the ambulance.

The operator of the snowmobile was identified as Brian Judd.

According to the report, Judd was traveling east and was unable to maintain his lane of travel around a right-hand corner.

He traveled off the trail and into several trees.

Judd was transported to North Country Hospital.

Police say the crash is still being investigated, and that no information about his injuries is available at this time.

Eight NEK farmers write nutrient management plans

in News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Over six weeks this winter, eight NEK dairy producers who enrolled in the UVM Extension course, “Digging In – A Nutrient Management Course for Farmers,” wrote their own nutrient management plans (NMPs).

Farmers in the class, held at Sterling College in Craftsbury, received technical assistance from the Orleans, Caledonia, Essex, and Winooski Conservation Districts through a USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) grant.

Through the RCPP program, farmers are offered technical assistance in preparing a Land Treatment Plan (the foundation of an NMP), taking soil and manure samples, and one-on-one help throughout the UVM course.

A nutrient management plan is a working document that combines scientific data with the farmer’s knowledge of their land to create a plan that determines crop needs and allocates nutrient spreading by field.

The goals of a nutrient management plan are to improve soil health, maximize yields, improve efficiency, and minimize the impact on natural resources.

The UVM Extension course includes lectures on soil science, crop yields, water quality and meeting the RAPs.

The course also incorporates time for farmers to write their own NMP using the UVM-developed online goCrop™ software.

Because a nutrient management plan is a working, living document, it should be updated yearly.

To this end, the Orleans County Conservation District, in collaboration with UVM Extension, will be holding a free, one-day goGraze™ training and update class open to all NEK producers with a UVM goCrop™ account.

This class will take place on Wednesday, March 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Eastside Restaurant in Newport.

Lunch will be provided, and the class will introduce participants to a relatively new addition to the goCrop™ software, goGraze™.

The new software allows producers to create a grazing plan and keep detailed records throughout the grazing season.

The format for the class will be instruction in the morning, lunch, and time in the afternoon for participants to work on updating their nutrient management plans or apply the skills they learned in the morning.

Pre-registration is required. Contact Emily Irwin to sign up or with questions at 802-334-6090 ext. 7008 or emily.irwin@vt.nacdnet.net.

Sugarhouse in Glover destroyed by fire

in Glover/Newport/News

GLOVER — A sugarhouse was found destroyed by fire yesterday in Glover.

The incident took place at 760 Young Road.

Police say Merle Young Jr. arrived at the property at 9:00 a.m. to find the building completely burned.

Young had been at the property on March 3 with family members attempting to thaw frozen water pipes.

He left at approximately 7:00 p.m.

Police say during the night the building caught fire, going unnoticed and completely burning until it self extinguished.

Glover Assistant Chief Jobe Breitmeyer contacted the Department of Public Safety Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit to request assistance with an origin and cause investigation.

Authorities say the cause of the fire could not be determined because of the complete destruction and consumption of all combustible materials.

Police say the fire is not considered suspicious at this time.

Police looking for suspect who shot up VEC equipment in Essex County

in Essex County/Lemington

LEMINGTON — Police are seeking the public’s help in locating a vandal who fired a few shots into some Vermont Electric Co-Op equipment.

At around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, State police were notified of vandalism reported in the town of Lemington.

VEC crews told police they discovered a damaged controller located on Vermont Route 102, a few miles north of Coderre Hill Road.

They found multiple bullet holes in the controller causing it to malfunction.

Police say an investigation into the matter is ongoing and anyone with information related to the vandalism is being asked to contact the Vermont State Police in Derby at 802-334-8881.

Business booms in Newport area with Winter Swim and other weekend events

in Newport/News
Photo by Patricia Przybylinski.

NEWPORT — Last weekend, Newport came alive with the Winter Swim Festival, Wright’s Ice Fishing Derby, and the Ryan Coulter Pond Hockey Tournament.

Businesses reported seeing what some called a record week. Most restaurants had waiting lines and area hotels were packed.

Darrick Granai from Newport City Inn and Suites plus Derby 4 Seasons Hotel cites the many events in the area as to why it was so busy.

“There were hockey players in town for a tournament, the international swimmers, a fishing tournament, skiers, snowmobilers and fat bikers,” Granai said. “If we had more events, more often, we’d have this kind of business every week,” Granai reported.

Also in the area were families participating in and watching the Rotary Basketball Tournament with teams from far and wide across northern and central Vermont, which contributed to the crowds.

Steve Wright and crew at Jay Peak were working hard as Jay hosted almost 10,000 visitors Saturday between skiing, the water park, the ice hockey tournament, and Jay’s climbing center.

With 10,000 visitors just twenty minutes from Newport, many businesses reported that a number of the Jay visitors came in and explored Newport and establishments on the Derby Road in the evening.

Frank Richardi from restaurants Lago Trattoria and The Warehouse Pub said he was very happy with the business over the weekend.

“We did have a waiting line at times, but we were fortunate to get people in, seated, and made them very happy,” Richardi said. “The pub at the Warehouse was full and our billiards tables were filled all night long. It was a great atmosphere.”

Getting a table on Friday night was tricky at some restaurants, and the crowds were larger Saturday.

Jaspers Tavern had a full house of revelers, attached to the international swim, from mid-afternoon to closing. The fun party atmosphere in a traditional-style pub was enjoyed by the international crowd.

The Eastside Restaurant and its Quarter Deck Pub were in full swing from lunch til closing with food, drinks, and entertainment.

At the Winter Swim Festival, weather on Saturday was sunny with light winds and air temperatures in the upper 20s and into the mid-30s.

Sunday was generally cloudy with a bit more wind and slightly lower temperatures which rose as the day progressed and, after the festival had concluded, turned to rain.

As Granai summed it up, “the bottom line is events bring in the dollars to local businesses.”

Jed’s Maple gearing up for open house weekend March 23 & 24

in Derby/News

DERBY — Jed’s Maple Products of Derby will be hosting their 20th Annual Sugar on Snow Party and Maple Open House on March 23 and 24 this year.

The event will be held in conjunction with the Vermont statewide Maple Open House.

The Wheeler family says they are excited to once again open their doors to friends, family and the community to celebrate maple sugaring time in Vermont.

Doors will open at 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days.

This free family event includes sugar on snow, wood-fired maple pizza, maple specialty food sampling, tours of the eco-friendly sugarhouse and the maple museum.

There will also be storytime with sugarmaker Steve, and lots of other activities.

Most activities take place outside, so please dress accordingly for the weather.

Jed’s Maple Products is a certified organic sugarmaker.

They use high-pressure steam in their evaporator rather than wood or oil.

The maple museum is housed in the sugarhouse that Steve grew up sugaring in and allows visitors to take a step back in time to explore the local area’s maple history.

Jed’s Maple is also a proud participant in Audubon’s Bird Friendly Maple Program.

They will be sharing information throughout the weekend about how they help the migratory songbirds that nest in their woods during the spring and summer months.

‘Auddie’, the Jed’s Maple Bird Ambassador, will be making appearances both days!

Jed’s Maple Products is located at 259 Derby Pond Rd. in Derby.

Irasburg man facing charges after shooting at family members, dog

in Irasburg/Newport/News

IRASBURG — A 33-year-old man from Irasburg is facing numerous charges after an incident that took place on Wednesday.

Police responded to Simino Lane for a report of an escalating incident in which a man was intoxicated and fighting with family members.

The suspect was identified as Joshua Hall.

Police say Hall began shooting a shotgun at family members. State Police arrived at the scene moments later and led the victims to a safe location.

According to the report, Hall was highly intoxicated and shot several shotgun rounds at the victims and at the dogs.

Police began informing neighbors of the incident and contained the area.

After speaking with Hall over the phone police were able to take him into custody after a short period without further incident.

A statement regarding the incident issued by Trooper Joshua Mikkola reads:

“The investigation revealed Hall and a victim had been arguing earlier that evening after Hall had been consuming a large amount of alcohol. When family members arrived to help the victim leave the residence, Hall became upset and would not allow another victim to call 911 for help. During the struggle over the phone to call for help, Hall knocked over a small child causing the child to receive a facial injury. The incident then escalated when the victims began leaving. Hall exited the residence with a shotgun and began shooting at the victims and then the dogs. Nobody was injured by the projectiles, however, Hall approached a victim and struck the victim in the face with the buttstock of the shotgun. The victims were able to escape as Vermont State Police arrived at the residence.”

Hall was held at Northern State Correctional Facility and appeared in court today to answer to the charges of first degree aggravated domestic assault, second degree aggravated domestic assault, aggravated assault with a weapon, interference with access to emergency services, reckless endangerment, and cruelty to a child.

Police: Missing Derby woman found dead in Peacham

in Derby/Newport/News

PEACHAM — The search for a missing woman from Derby ended tragically today, after police say she was found deceased.

Cecile Aubin, also known as Cecile LaClair, was located in the town of Peacham.

Police have not released much information, but say her death is not suspicious at this time.

Authorities say the cause and manner of her death is pending an autopsy.

It was reported that Aubin left a residence on Pine Hill Road in Derby sometime around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 21.

She was last seen leaving the residence in her orange Subaru Impreza.

Police say there is no more information available at this time.

Celebrate the Arts in March at First Universalist Parish of Derby Line

in Uncategorized

DERBY LINE — First Universalist Parish of Derby Line’s March line up of speakers and events focus on celebrating what the arts bring to the human experience.

Each Sunday service begins at 10:00 a.m.

On Sunday, March 3, Andrew Bouchard, the producer/promoter of Borderline Entertainment will explore the importance DIY music has on creating community, supporting people in finding meaning and direction in life, and at times inciting the next musical revolution.

On Friday, March 8, at 6:00 p.m., the film Reinventing Power will be shown in the Fellowship Hall.

The film takes viewers across the country to hear directly from the people making our clean energy future achievable.

The Sierra Club and Lt. Gov. Mark Zuckerman will be in attendance to facilitate the discussion and answer questions following the 50-minute film.

Dinner will begin at 6:00 p.m.

On Sunday, March 10, service will be a celebration of the artists within the community, whether that is writing, song, poetry, baking, pottery, photography, or carving.

Many different artists will share their work and inspirations in a gallery setting.

Sunday, March 17, guest speaker Ceilidh Galloway-Kane from WonderArts in Greensboro, will speak about how WonderArts works to provide access to arts and culture and how these enable community members to connect, reflect, inspire, and thrive.

Finally, on Sunday, March 24, there will be two special events.

First, at 10:00 a.m. there will be a children’s service.

This service will have the youngest members of First Universalist Parish taking the lead in song, story, movement, crafts, and cooking.

Second, on the 24, at 4:00 p.m., Mark Violette will be showcasing some of his music intertwined with his musical musings as a pianist.

This concert is open to the public and admission is by donation.

Donations are going to support the ongoing efforts of concerts in the NEK as well as support the introduction of a new concert worthy piano in the hall.

Everyone is invited to come join in the dialogue, soak up high-quality music, and celebrate the arts all month long.

Programming for youth occurs during each Sunday service.

For more information, visit www.derbylineuu.org.

NEK Young Professionals making inroads in region

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT – The Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network has launched a number of new initiatives and hosted a number of successful events this past year, significantly increasing the numbers of its organization region-wide.

The board reflects the geographic diversity of the region, with Maire Folan, the program manager of the Green Mountain Farm-to-School office in Newport, serving as committee chair.

Patrick Sodums, the YPN vice chair, brings a hospitality background to the group, as he works as the conference and corporate sales manager of the Burke Mountain Hotel & Conference Center in East Burke.

Rounding out the board is Sarah Chadburn, the group’s treasurer, who serves as a credit analyst at Community National Bank in Newport.

“The vision of the NEK YPN is to be a network for young professionals living and working in and around Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom,” Folan states. “We hope to provide valuable leadership, relationship, and education opportunities through collaboration with community partners.”

The group has held successful social events, or mixers, to bring people together.

It hopes to soon roll out some new programs that will welcome new folks to the area and provide more leadership opportunities.

The Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network was re-energized two years ago by Geoffrey Sewake after having been established by then-Northeast Kingdom Chamber President Hannah Manley in 2011.

The main purpose of the group is to serve the needs of young professionals, employees, leaders, and entrepreneurs of the tri-county region, who are hoping to find networking and social opportunities with others in their area.

“We recognize the word ‘young’ to be dynamic, not static, and ‘professional’ to be inclusive, not exclusive,” Folan noted. “We welcome all to this group.”

In the past two years, the NEK YPN has sponsored a number of events in the Northeast Kingdom and partnered with similar groups in northern New Hampshire in an attempt to reach out to more young professionals throughout the North Country.

Such meetings have not only allowed more professionals to network with each other but also helped the committee determine what the needs of young professionals are in the Kingdom.

“An important priority of the NEK YPN is to reach every corner of the Kingdom and help and assist young professionals, as they are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but, in many cases, today’s leaders as well,” said Darcie McCann, executive director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber. “We as a chamber, as well as other chambers throughout the Kingdom, are striving to work as closely with the group as possible to ensure we give them the support and skills they need to succeed.”

Memoir and poetry workshop coming to the MAC Center March 16

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts will be holding a writing workshop, Saturday, March 16, from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

The workshop is called “The Power of the Personal Metaphor: A Memoir and Poetry Workshop.”

Come discover how personal metaphors inspire the creation of poetry and memoir.

Whether your interest is in writing poetry or prose, this workshop will delve into the ways metaphor and figurative language work to express the power of our individual experiences and emotions.

In the workshop, the group will use short writing exercises and spend some extended writing time to explore, develop and extend metaphors into poetry or prose.

This workshop will also be relevant for visual artists who use metaphorical imagery in their work.

The workshop will conclude with volunteers sharing their work.

The workshop is limited to 15 participants, ages 14 years and older.

Pre-registration is suggested by March 13.

Registration forms can be found online or by stopping in at the MAC Center for the Arts.

For more information, call 802-334-1966, or visit the website www.maccenterforthearts.com

You can also email pattyos@earthlink.net

Woman reported missing in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — Police are looking for a woman from Derby that went missing last week.

Cecile Aubin, also known as Cecile LaClair, left a residence on Pine Hill Road in Derby sometime around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 21.

It was reported that Cecile has not reached out to any family members, which is highly unusual for this long.

She was last seen leaving the residence in her 2010 orange Subaru Impreza, with Vermont registration FTB220.

The vehicle is registered to Cecile.

She is described as a white female, 5’6″, 120 lbs, hazel eyes with black shoulder length hair.

Police are asking anyone with any information about her whereabouts or the location of her vehicle to call 802-334-8881.

Fire destroys barn in Coventry

in coventry/Newport/News

COVENTRY — The Newport City Fire Department responded to a structure fire in Coventry this morning.

A large, two-story barn at 862 Heermanville Road was fully engulfed in flames at around 9:20 a.m.

The barn was no longer in use as a dairy barn and used primarily for storage.

It was completely destroyed by the fire, however, no person or animal was injured.

Newport City Fire Chief Jamie Leclair contacted authorities to request assistance with an origin and cause investigation.

An investigation was initiated and initial investigation efforts suggest that the fire appears to be electrical in nature and non-suspicious.

First witnesses on scene noticed the fire in the southwest corner of the building.

Anyone that may have witnessed the fire is asked to contact Detective Sgt Michael LaCourse at 802-334-8881.

Railway fined for mismanaging hazardous materials at Newport maintenance facility

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Central Maine & Quebec Railway, owner and operator of a railroad maintenance facility in Newport, was fined $12,000 for improperly managing hazardous materials and releasing hazardous materials to the environment.

During a May 2018 compliance inspection, DEC personnel found absorbent materials contaminated with petroleum in open, unmarked containers, at its Glen Road facility and railyard.

DEC officials also discovered petroleum in the soil, indicating that petroleum from railway maintenance activities had been released onto the ground.

The company was also keeping unidentified hazardous waste in a service building at the facility.

Hazardous waste contains dangerous chemicals. These chemicals can harm public health and the environment.

“Hazardous releases can be prevented by following storage and management practices outlined in Vermont’s hazardous waste management rules,” says Emily Boedecker, DEC Commissioner. “To avoid dangerous spills, companies need to identify hazardous materials and keep them in sealed containers in dry storage spaces. This is the law, and these common-sense practices will keep workers safe and prevent hazardous materials from reaching our soil and water.”

Following the inspection, DEC directed the company to clean up contaminated soils and implement proper storage and labeling practices for all hazardous materials on the property.

Central Maine & Quebec Railway US Inc. completed a remediation effort in July 2018 that removed over 10 tons of oil-contaminated soil and hazardous materials from the property.

The company also agreed to pay a $12,000 fine for the violations.

The Environmental Division of the Vermont Superior Court approved the agreement between DEC and the company in an order dated February 15, 2019.

Agricultural and natural resource meeting March 15 in Newport

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Orleans County Conservation District, in cooperation with Natural Resources Conservation Service, is hosting a meeting to receive input from the public and our partners regarding natural resource priorities in the area.

NRCS administers several programs funded through the Federal Farm Bill.

These programs are designed to assist farmers, forest owners, and other landowners implement projects that benefit soil health, water quality, wildlife habitat, and other natural resource concerns.

The meeting will be held on Friday, March 15, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the USDA Service Center Conference Room at 59 Waterfront Plaza in Newport.

The public is welcome and strongly encouraged to attend this meeting.

Organizers ask that anyone interested RSVP by March 8.

To RSVP, or for further information, contact the Orleans Conservation District at 802-334-6090 x 7008.

United Christian Academy’s Bronze Ambassadors head to Florida

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Bronze Ambassadors of the United Christian Academy in Newport are headed south for a series of performances.

Now in its twenty-second year of community service and music performance throughout the country, the ensemble will travel to central Florida from February 26 through March 5.

During the week-long tour, the Ambassadors will visit a prison for teens in Gainesville, an orphanage in Lakeland, a children’s museum in Tampa, and a children’s hospital in Orlando.

They will also visit a church in Melbourne, where they will participate in a Catholic mass.

Over the years they have rung at national venues in New York and Washington D.C. and frequently perform locally at hospitals and churches.

Winter Swim Festival this weekend in Newport

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom/Outdoors

NEWPORT — This weekend, 85 winter swimmers supported by 35 volunteers, will be competing in a two-lane, 25-meter pool cut in the ice on Lake Memphremagog.

Swimmers are traveling from all over the United States for the event, as well as internationally from South Africa, Scotland, Spain, and Quebec.

They will be swimming 25-meter, 50-meter, 100-meter, and 200-meter events, starting with a fiercely competitive 25-meter “Hat Competition,” starting at 9:30 a.m.

Newport offers the only 25-meter, two-lane winter swim pool cut in the ice, in all of North America.

The pool is cut by Michael Booth and Josh McCoy.

Four youth will be competing, including Margaret Rivard, of Springfield, NH, age 11, her older sister Vera Rivard, age 15, Esme Kimber, age 12, of East Corinth, and Denis Graham, age 17, of Verona, WI.

On the other end of the spectrum are two septuagenarians, Ginny Peck, 73, of North Campton, NH, and Kathleen McDonnell, 71, of Toronto, ON.

There are 10 others in their 60s taking part in the swim.

Approximately 35 volunteers will be supporting the weekend event, some traveling from Maryland, Quebec City, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Magog.

Cutting of the pool will begin on Wednesday.

A ribbon cutting and opening ceremony with potato gun salute will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Friday.

The first swim starts at 9:30 a.m.

Spectators are welcome to come out and watch these remarkable swimmers.

The Winter Swim Festival is organized by Kingdom Games which holds over 20 days of highly acclaimed running, biking, and swimming events in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the Eastern Townships of Quebec.

Orleans County Conservation District staff attend Industrial Hemp Conference

in News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Last week, district manager Sarah Damsell and Land Treatment and Nutrient Management Specialist Emily Irwin attended the University of Vermont’s first Industrial Hemp Conference.

The 2018 Farm Bill defined hemp as an agricultural commodity and removed it from the list of controlled substances.

Each state will eventually be required to submit a plan to monitor and regulate the production of hemp.

Hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the same species, Cannabis sativa L.

To be considered hemp, the crop must contain less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.

Hemp can be grown for CBD oil, a cannabinol found in hemp and typically used in health supplements, fiber, or seed.

CBD has several purported health benefits, including relief from inflammation, pain, and seizures.

Many agricultural producers in Orleans County see industrial hemp as a new market opportunity.

The conference was geared towards growers, and sessions focused on topics such as breeding and selection of CBD hemp, pest management, and fertility management.

To grow hemp for high-value CBD production, the hemp plant must be managed as a specialty crop, and given the nutrients and attention it needs to thrive.

Conference sessions also covered other emerging markets for hemp products, including fiber and grain.

There were several representatives present at the conference from state and federal agencies.

Growers wishing to cultivate or process hemp must register with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, and provide appropriate maps, GPS locations, and applicable fees.

More information on the registration process, as well as instructions for how to register online, can be found at http://www.agriculture.vermont.gov/public-health-agricultural-resource-management-division/hemp-program.

There are also federal cost-share programs available to farmers through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), including funding available through NRCS for building seasonal high tunnels.

In terms of risk coverage for hemp, the Farm Services Agency (FSA) does not yet have the guidance or authority to apply current FSA programs to hemp.

However, interested growers should stay in touch their local FSA and NRCS representatives, as guidance is still changing.

Vermont Organic Farmers, the certifying arm of the Northeast Organic Farmers Association in Vermont, can certify industrial hemp that is used exclusively for industrial purposes, including fiber and seed.

Hemp oil, consisting of stalk, leaf, seed, or hemp meal intended for human or livestock consumption, cannot be certified organic.

The Orleans County Natural Resources Conservation District will be holding an informational workshop in the next few months that will cover the ins and outs of growing industrial hemp.

Taste of the Kingdom event February 27

in Jay Peak/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — The 11th Annual Taste of the Kingdom, a fundraising event held by Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS), will take place at 6:00 p.m. on February 27, at Jay Peak Resort’s Foeger Ballroom.



Guests will enjoy small plates and sample beverages from over 20 Northeast Kingdom food and drink producers.

This year’s Farm & Food Partners include the Highland Lodge, Barn First Creamery, Goob’s Brews & BBQ, Sterling College’s kitchen and many more.

The evening will also include live music, a silent auction featuring NEK-area businesses, and a raffle for a 2-night stay for 4 people at Jay Peak Resort. 



“This event is an annual celebration of our local food economy,” said Sophie Westover, communications and development coordinator at GMFTS. “It’s a chance to interact with some of our region’s best farmers, chefs, distillers, and brewers, all while supporting GMFTS and our work to connect farms, schools, and communities.”


All proceeds from the event will go to benefit GMFTS and its programming.

DUI crash with injury in Barton

in Barton/Newport/News/Orleans

BARTON — Police say that a 60-year-old man from Barton was charged with DUI after a two-vehicle crash on Sunday sent a man to the hospital.

At around 8:00 p.m. rescue workers were notified of the crash that occurred on US Route 5 near the intersection of Kinsey Road, in Barton.

Police say Ed Seadale exhibited signs of intoxication and was ultimately arrested and processed for DUI.

Roger Pray, 80, of Orleans, was the driver in the second vehicle and was immediately transported to North Country Hospital for treatment for minor injuries.

According to the police report, Seadale was traveling south and Pray was traveling northbound.

“Evidence at the scene indicated Seadale operated his vehicle left of the centerline and collided with Pray in the oncoming lane,” a statement issued by Sgt. Andrew Jensen reads.

Both vehicles were unable to be driven from the scene.

Barton/Orleans Fire Department, as well as Orleans EMS, assisted at the scene.

Truck through the ice on Willoughby

in Newport/News/Westmore
Photo from Facebook by Danielle Lucas.

WESTMORE — A truck partially went through the ice on Willoughby this afternoon.

At around 3:00 p.m. Orleans Ambulance and Westmore Fire Department responded to the scene. All occupants of the truck were out and safe by the time they arrived.

The truck was approximately 50 feet from the Willoughby fishing access, partially submerged.

The driver was identified as Travis Cady, 30, of Wheelock.

Cady told police after driving on the ice, he was returning to shore when the truck hit a large bump in front of the access.

When the truck struck the ice after the bump, the front end sunk through the ice and became lodged.

Police say Cady’s ability to operate a motor vehicle in the State of Vermont was under criminal suspension.

He was issued a citation for the charge of criminal DLS.

Wrights towing responded and removed the vehicle from the ice.

Anyone accessing Lake Willoughby from the Willoughby access area is cautioned about the large hole in the ice approximately 50 feet from the access area.

Westmore Fire department marked the location where the truck fell through, however, caution in the area is stressed.

Newport City Candidates Forum coming February 21

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Vermont’s North Country Chamber of Commerce will host a Newport City Candidates’ Forum on Thursday, February 21 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Goodrich Library

The forum is open to the public to attend, and will be broadcast live on local radio station WIKE 103.1 FM / 1490 AM and recorded for future broadcast on community accesses cable.

The forum will be moderated by chamber president Bruce James.

Five people are running for various top-level city offices including Mayor and City Council.

In the race for City Mayor are Paul Monette, Dan Ross, and John Wilson.

Running for City Council are James Merriam, Melissa Pettersson, Dan Ross, and John Wilson.

The top two vote-getters for the City Council will be elected.

Ross and Wilson are running for both mayor and city council and have said if they are elected mayor, they will turn back the council position, which would then be filled by appointment or special election.

Many people think Newport City is as at a crossroads, with its future in the balance.

Questions over ownership and future of the boardwalk along the lake, water quality issues for Lake Memphremagog, what steps the city could take, if any, to improve the downtown economic climate, growing the city’s grand list, and the ever-present tax issues are some of the questions expected to be presented.

The forum will be held on the second floor of the Goodrich Library and is open to the public to attend.

Police investigate threats at North Country Junior High School

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — Police were called out to North Country Junior High School in Derby this afternoon after they say a juvenile made several verbal threats.

At around 12:50 p.m. Vermont State Police responded to NCUJHS.

According to a statement issued by police, they investigated the incident and found the threats made were not credible.

“Vermont State Police stress this is an isolated incident and at no point was there any threat to students or staff,” a statement issued by Sgt. Sean Selby reads.

Police say that the investigation is ongoing.

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