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Island Pond hosting Farewell to Summer Labor Day Weekend

in Island Pond/Newport/News

ISLAND POND — Island Pond will be hosting its Farewell to Summer Celebration August 30 – September 1, in beautiful downtown Island Pond.

The weekend kicks off on Friday, August 30, with Friday Night Live featuring one of Vermont’s hottest bands, the Party Crashers starting at 6:00 p.m.

The committee is excited to be welcoming back Catamount Arts mobile stage to the park for this week’s concert. The Catamount stage was an incredible addition to this year’s Independence Day Celebration and the committee is excited to have it back for this weekend.

Friday Night Live is part of the getNEKedVT “In Tune Tour.” The getNEKedVT campaign will be giving away free t-shirts and stickers at this week’s concert.

Saturday morning, August 31, kicks off Island Pond’s biggest Market Day ever at 9:00 a.m. in Lakeside Park.

With over 20 vendors already signed up, visitors are sure to find many treasures to take home.

The Farewell to Summer Car Show will be held at the American Legion Brighton Post 80 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Starting at noon, A Flock of Waa Waas will be performing on the Catamount Stage in Lakeside Park.

The VFW Post #2309 will get your Sunday started with their hearty Public Breakfast at 8:30 a.m.

The 13th Annual Pond-a-Thon Fun Run hits the pavement at 9:00 a.m., registration starts at 7:30 a.m. at the town beach.

The Great Island Pond Canoe Race starts at noon at the town beach followed by the Human Foosball Tournament starting at 1:00 p.m.

The weekend ends on a more mellow note with a Wine Tasting at The Hearth & Home Country Store featuring six specially selected wines to enjoy.

Detailed event information can be found at www.VisitIslandPond.com.

The celebration is a joint venture of the Island Pond Renewal Committee, Island Pond Chamber of Commerce, Brighton Community Forum, Brighton Recreation, Town of Brighton and Catamount Arts.

Home explosion in Brownington

in Brownington/Newport/News

BROWNINGTON — Authorities say that an explosion at a residence in Brownington on Friday evening was most likely caused by a grill sized gas tank stored in the basement of the home.

At around 6:52 p.m. the Orleans Fire Department responded to the report of an explosion on Chapdelaine Road.

The explosion caused extensive damage to the building, and a small fire in the basement had self-extinguished.

There was no one home at the time of the incident.

Police say the residence is not habitable due to the structural damage, and a family of five is being assisted by the Vermont Red Cross with temporary housing.

Fie investigators say nine grill size gas tanks were located in the basement, one being used to fuel an instant hot water heater.

The specific source and cause of the gas leak could not be determined, but investigators say the probable ignition of the gas which caused the explosion was an electric water pump located in the basement.

The Department of Public Safety is warning the public of the dangers of storing and using LP Gas tanks/cylinders inside of a building.

The leaking of a tank can result in an explosion.

The misuse of the gas can result in the production of Carbon Monoxide gas, and the presence of a tank that is involved in a fire could cause injury or death of a firefighter.

Vermont Route 191 in Newport reopened

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Vermont Route 191 in Newport, also known as the city’s “access road” to Interstate 91, has reopened.

Crews say during the closure they have completed the full-depth reconstruction of the roadway and replacement of the culvert located approximately 30 feet below.

The closed section of the road which began approximately one mile west of the Interstate 91 interchange and extended approximately 1,450 feet has been reopened to through traffic.

Route 191 will experience daily lane closures with one-way alternating traffic and shoulder closures with two-way traffic maintained throughout the duration of the project.

The project is anticipated to be completed in November 2019.

A combination of layers of rock, groundwater, and poor soil conditions have caused continuous slope movements since the construction of the roadway in 1971.

The Route 191 project was developed to address these conditions and prevent future slope movements from deteriorating the roadway further.

Sheffield man killed in head-on crash

in News/Northeast Kingdom/Vermont

SHEFFIELD — A Sheffield man was killed in a head-on crash on I-89 in Richmond this morning.
 
Police say it happened at around 6:50 a.m. when a 2015 Dodge Ram drifted from the southbound lanes of I-89, into the median, went airborne and struck a 2012 Ford F-350 traveling north head-on.

The driver of the Dodge Ram was identified as 48-year-old Bruce Devenger.

He was transported to UVM Medical Center for his injuries, where he was pronounced deceased.

The passenger of the Dodge was identified as Michael O’Neil, 72, also of Sheffield.

Police say he sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash and was transported to UVM Medical Center.

The driver in the Ford was identified as Kendall Roberts, 55, of Barre.

He sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash and was transported to UVM Medical Center as well.
 
The northbound lanes of I-89 were shut down for several hours while the crash scene was investigated.
 
The Vermont State Police say that alcohol, speed, and inattention are believed to be factors that contributed to the crash.

Driver wanted by authorities after Newport police cruiser crashes during pursuit

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — A Newport Police cruiser was involved in a crash last night following a vehicle pursuit.

At around 10:10 p.m. on Wednesday, a Newport Police officer monitoring traffic on Mt. Vernon Street says he observed two vehicles traveling east in a 25 m.p.h. zone, including an SUV and a red sedan believed to be a Volkswagen Jetta.

Police say the sedan passed the SUV at a speed of 72 m.p.h.

The officer immediately activated his lights and sirens and pursued the sedan onto Pine Hill Road, east onto 191 Access Road and then east onto Schuler Road, where both vehicles lost traction.

Police say the sedan regained control and fled the scene without crashing, while the cruiser left the roadway and crashed into a tree.

The officer was transported from the scene with non-life threatening injuries and has since been released from North Country Hospital. 

Anyone with information about the red sedan involved in this incident is being asked to contact Newport Police at 802-334-6733.

Police investigating after dogs killed in Albany

in Albany/Newport/News

ALBANY — A local family is grieving after their dogs were killed, and state police say they are investigating to find out who may be responsible.

The dog’s names were Tyler and Casper and belonged to a family in Albany.

On Tuesday, August 13, the animals went missing from the family home sometime between 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.

Police say on August 17, two deceased dogs matching those belonging to the victim were found near Town Hill Road near the intersection of Manley Road in the town of Wolcott.

A fisherman and his son found them thrown over a guardrail at the road.

Tyler had been a pet for almost 12 years, and the family had owned Casper for just over 3 years.

Police say both dogs were healthy and did not suffer from medical ailments at the time they were last seen.

Anyone with information in regards to the incident is asked to contact the Vermont State Police Derby Barracks at 802-334-8881.

You can also contact “Justice for Tyler and Casper” at (802) 673-2466, and visit their facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Justice-for-Tyler-and-Casper-111991490162562/

Newport City Promise Community Early Care and Learning Center achieves 3 STARS

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Newport City Promise Community Early Care and Learning Center has been awarded 3 Stars by Vermont’s Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS).

Participants receive recognition for demonstrating quality programming that exceeds licensing requirements by the State of Vermont.

This achievement represents great effort and serious commitment on the part of the center.

“This achievement confirms the Newport City Promise Community Early Care and Learning Center’s commitment to providing quality early childhood programming,” Reeva Sullivan Murphy, Deputy Commissioner of the Department for Children and Families, said.

The STARS program is Vermont’s quality recognition system for registered home providers, licensed programs including children’s centers and school-based Pre-Kindergarten programs, and school-age programs.

Programs are recognized for achievements in five areas:

1. Compliance with licensing regulations.
2. Qualifications and training of program staff.
3. The program’s connections with families and with the community.
4. The practices of the program and its strategies for improvement.
5. The strength of the programs operating policies and business practices.

Awards for achievements in these areas begin at one star and increase to five stars.

The Newport City Promise Community Early Care and Learning Center is located at the United Church on 3rd Street in Newport.

The center serves infants and toddlers and has a full-day preschool program for 3 to 5 years old.

$250,000 awarded to help grow outdoor recreation economy of the NEK

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom/Vermont

NEWPORT — More money and organizational support will be available in 2020 for NEK towns and nonprofits working to expand or improve local trail-based outdoor recreation options.

The assistance comes thanks to a cooperative effort spearheaded by the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative (NEKC) and Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA). 

The federal Northern Border Regional Commission this month awarded $250,000 to NVDA for a multi-pronged effort to grow the outdoor recreation economy in Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties.

The project will assist in marketing the region as a trail-based destination through improved mapping, business tie-ins, and multi-town connections.

One component will distribute sub-grants of $10-40,000 each to support 5 to 10 community-level projects to build trails or supporting infrastructures such as kiosks, parking, and village traffic calming.

“More than twenty towns and organizations came together to develop this project,” said Katherine Sims, NEKC Executive Director. “Cooperation was the key to our success in this highly competitive grant process.”

Last year, a task force convened by the NEKC recommended a focus on connecting community outdoor recreation assets to downtowns and food-based and creative businesses.

That was one of five major initiatives to support regional economic development presented in its report, From Strength to Strength.

Following that, the Collaborative coordinated planning meetings involving towns and other organizations across the region.

Many of them had been working on trail-based projects independently.

“Trails are often what create those connections to our downtowns and businesses, but there are many more projects in the development phase than there is funding available to build them,” said Dave Snedeker, NVDA Executive Director. “This should help address that gap.”

In addition to providing funding for specific local projects, the project will also launch the NEK Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative, a working group facilitated by the NEKC.

That group will solicit project applications this fall with awards to towns and trail networks made in early 2020.

The group will also provide input on plans for marketing of existing recreational assets, as well as share best practices and lessons learned as projects are developed. 

Road closures in Coventry this week

in coventry/Newport/News

COVENTRY — Two roads in Coventry will be closed this week, one starting tomorrow.

Coventry Station Road will be closed for road maintenance from Route 5 to Cotnoir Road, starting Monday, August 19, through Friday, August 23.

In addition, Glen Road will be closed to all thru traffic for culvert replacement starting Wednesday, August 21, through to Saturday, August 24.

Contact the town office for any questions, or for further updates.

Police looking for Coventry man

in coventry/Newport/News

COVENTRY — Police say they arrested a Coventry woman on several active arrest warrants, and are still looking for a 26-year-old man following an incident on Thursday.

At around 4:40 p.m. a Sheriff’s Department deputy attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop on Coventry Street in Newport, after identifying the operator as Tharen Amidon.

Police say Amidon has active arrest warrants.

According to the report, Amidon failed to stop and a pursuit ensued.

The pursuit ended in Coventry, where all occupants of the vehicle bailed out on foot into the woods.

Newport Police Officer Lillis and his partner K-9 Ozzy conducted a track from the vehicle which led to the discovery of Beatrice Amidon, 46, of Coventry.

She was arrested and lodged on several Vermont warrants and a New Hampshire no-bail warrant.

Police say efforts to locate Tharen Amidon were unsuccessful.

The Sherriff’s Department is asking anyone who has knowledge of Tharen’s whereabouts, to contact law enforcement.

Orleans County residents arrested in statewide drug sweep

in coventry/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Vermont Drug Task Force announced a multi-week arrest sweep that has concluded with the arrests of numerous people accused of dealing drugs throughout Vermont, including six Orleans county residents.

According to police:

Monica Capron, 40, of Newport is charged with sale of fentanyl x2,
  
Meagan Blake, 31, of Coventry, is charged with sale of crack cocaine x5, sale of heroin x1  

Kayla Wright, 25, of Newport, is charged with sale of Heroin x1, sale of crack cocaine x1 

Kassandra Medellin-Oliver, 32, of Newport, is charged with sale of heroin x3.

Justin Morgan, 27, of Newport, is charged with sale of crack cocaine x2.

Erik Polite, 39, of Newport, is charged with sale of crack cocaine x1.

Corey Green, 45, of Orleans, is charged with sale of Crack Cocaine x2, Sale of Heroin x1.

Ashley Penniman, 35, of Newport, is charged with sale of Sale of Crack Cocaine x1.

Allen Marsh, 50, of Newport, is charged with Sale of Crack Cocaine x4.

During the past several weeks, the Vermont Drug Task Force arrested 59 suspects on charges of selling and distributing heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and crack cocaine. 

The investigations resulted in 53 individual charges of selling heroin, and 43 individual charges of selling crack cocaine, among other charges.  
 

New exhibit “AOENOIC” by sculptor Sterling Trail opening at the MAC

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts will be opening a new exhibit, ANECHOIC, by sculptor Sterling Trail.

The opening reception takes place on August 23, from 5-7 p.m. in the Downstairs Gallery, located at 158 Main Street, in Newport.

A truly unique title, ANECHOIC, defined as free from echo, artist Sterling Trail describes his work as ”focused on aesthetic.”

“Aesthetic is how an object is made, the choices made by the maker to uncover a cohesive form,” Trail said. “I hope that my works capture a balance. I hope that the reader will either find an understanding in my work or an aesthetic enjoyment.”

Trail’s work is distinctive and one of a kind. His art is the reimagining, repurposing, and redesigning of hardscapes.

“I see discarded machines, their vacant husks laying scattered, partially submerged in the annual sediment of the summers now past. These machines are the corpses of function, returned to the earth, devoid of a conduit beyond the artist’s appreciation for their form. I can’t tell you what these forgotten things will be tomorrow or the day after, all I can tell you is what they were made from,” he explains.

“I have made the journey down the old road, through trees and shallow puddles to another world that is divided by an intersection. The world I seek is obscured by a vacancy of necessity; it was left behind by its previous stewards who only dealt in abandonment. Now all that remains of the ritualistic discarding of functionless articles are the remnants of machines and structures, submerged under accretions and deposits made annually by the silent sentinels of the forest.”

This sculpture exhibit is a first for the MAC Center for the Arts and celebrates emerging artists.

Curated by Victoria Mathiesen, Andrea Strobach and Arlene Goldberg, MAC has hosted several exhibits this season by touring artists, members, and invited artists.

These exhibits are free and open to the public.

Stop in to see this extraordinary display of modern art. ANECHOIC runs through September 22.

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

Burglary at Auto Pro Gas in Derby

in Derby/News

DERBY — Police say that a business in Derby was burglarized over the weekend. 

On Monday morning police received a report of a burglary at Auto Pro Gas, located at 205 US Route 5.

Police say someone forced entry into the store and stole a large sum of cash and a DVR with the video surveillance footage.

Police say the incident took place sometime between the evening of Saturday, August 10, and Monday morning.

Anyone with information about this incident is being asked to contact the Vermont State Police in Derby. 

Police: Missing Stanstead man’s death not considered suspicious

in Uncategorized

STANSTEAD, QC — A body that was discovered in a field in Stanstead on Sunday has been identified as 70-year-old Garry Ellis, police say.

According to SQ Information officer Aurélie Guindon, an autopsy was performed on Monday, and at this time his death is not being considered suspicious.

Ellis was a resident of Stanstead and was last seen at around 6:00 a.m. on August 6, at a bank in town.

He was found dead in a field off Rue Dufferin on Sunday, August 11, at around 1:00 p.m.

Guindon says that police have spoken with several individuals regarding the case, and the investigation is still ongoing.

During a phone interview on Tuesday, Guindon said that police are still investigating the circumstances that led up to his death in that particular location.

Red Cross blood drive at Elk’s Lodge in Derby tomorrow

in Uncategorized

DERBY — An American Red Cross blood drive will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, August 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Newport Elks Lodge.

The Lodge is located at 3736 US Route 5, in Derby.

The drive is being hosted by the Newport Elks, with the meal sponsored by Fred’s Energy. 

To encourage participation, all donors are eligible to enter to win a $100 gift certificate, a pair of ceramic mugs, or a T-shirt from Fred’s Energy.

The gift certificate is good for products or services from Fred’s Energy, not redeemable for cash. 

Fred’s Energy is connected to the community, providing top-quality heating and plumbing services for over 45 years. 

They continue to give back, actively supporting community organizations and events that have a positive and lasting impact on our local communities. 

Body found in Stanstead

in Stanstead
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STANSTEAD, QC — The Sûreté du Québec have located a body in a field off Rue Dufferin in Stanstead.

Police say the cause of death is unknown at this time.

The body has not been identified yet, but police in the area have been looking for a 70-year-old man who went missing on August 6.

Authorities in Quebec have been asking the public for help in locating Garry Ellis, a resident of Stanstead.

Ellis was last seen at around 6:00 a.m. on August 6 at a bank in Stanstead.

Investigators were on scene and collecting evidence at around 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Out of the Darkness Walk to fight suicide September 7 in Newport

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Volunteers from around the Northeast Kingdom are joining the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention.

The annual Out of the Darkness Walk will be held at Gardner Park at 10:00 a.m. on September 7.

This walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education, research and support programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide 20 percent by the year 2025.

“Suicide touches one in five American families,” Mary Butler, AFSP Vermont Board member, said. “We hope that by walking we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.”

The Out of the Darkness Walk is one of more than 550 Out of the Darkness, Community, Campus, and Overnight walks being held nationwide this year.

The walks are expected to unite more than 300,000 walkers and raise millions for suicide prevention efforts.

Last year, these walks raised over $21 million for suicide prevention. Locally, the walk raised over $15,000 and had over 200 participants.

“These walks are about turning hope into action,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight the science is only going to get better and our culture will get smarter about mental health.”

You can register to walk, start a team, or donate by visiting www.afsp.org/Newportvt

If you want to support the walk but unable to be there on the 7th, join everyone at the Eastside at 6:00 p.m. for a benefit dinner. Tickets are $25/person and available from Lillian Bathalon at 802-744-2493.

Congratulations local Vermont High School Completion Program graduating class of 2019

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

LYNDON — Last week Northeast Kingdom Learning Services (NEKLS) celebrated their Vermont High School Completion Program graduating class of 2019.

Master of Ceremonies was Chris Hardy, who welcomed the large crowd of family and friends and introduced the 15 of 58 graduates who chose to attend the cap and gown ceremony.

Local graduating students in attendance included:

John Mayhew Sr. of North Troy, Silas Worthington of Island Pond, Abigale Jordan of Troy, Skye Wheeler of Morgan, Rashonda Cherry of St. Johnsbury, Celine Gibson of St. Johnsbury, Kamrin Ivone of Orleans, Tyler Ivone of Orleans, Amanda Farley of Charleston, Christina Deslandes of Barton, Tammy Cornell of Newport, Christina Bennett of Orleans, Dante Letzelter of Glover, Lyla Gilbert of Craftsbury, and Caleb Cerutti of Woodbury.

Jodi Woodard, NEKLS Board of Directors Chair, congratulated the graduates on achieving a goal that would set them on the path to the next steps in their lives.

The featured guest speaker was Jess DeCarolis, director of Student Pathways at the Vermont Agency of Education, who gave an inspiring speech urging the graduates to believe in themselves and to pursue their dreams.

Student speakers were also featured at this year’s ceremony.

Frank Sawicki, NEKLS Learning Center Manager in Canaan, read an essay from Canaan graduate Steven Bashaw, who was unable to attend graduation.

St. Johnsbury Learning Center graduate Celine Gibson performed a rendition of “Mr. Tambourine Man” on her ukulele, which she had learned to play as part of her High School Completion Program plan.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of diplomas to the graduates by High School Completion Plan managers Tricia Musgrove, Suzanne Pelletier, and Sarah Roy, as well as by Learning Center managers Frank Sawicki and Joseph Sylvain.

Applause and cheers filled the room when the graduates turned their tassels and opened the door to their next adventure.

Police say fire in Newport considered suspicious

in Fire/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Investigators say that a fire that broke out in Newport early this morning is considered suspicious.

The structure fire took place at a residence on Prospect Street at around 1:23 a.m.

Authorities say that the fire started in a room on the first floor of the two-story structure.

The windows in the room broke from heat and pressure, and the fire began to exit the building through the windows and extend towards the second floor.

Fire personnel were able to suppress the fire quickly, preventing any subsequent fire spread or further damage to the building or other surrounding structures.

The building contained two separate apartments.

The second-floor apartment had been vacant for some time and the tenants in the first-floor were in the process of moving out and not currently residing there. 

Witnesses told police they’ve seen people entering and exiting the first-floor apartment on a regular basis, and several people were seen entering and exiting the apartment shortly before the fire was reported. 

There were no reported injuries, however, the building sustained extensive first-floor fire, smoke, and water damage.  

Fire investigators responded to the scene later this morning and began an origin and cause investigation.

According to a statement issued by investigators, the cause remains under investigation and is considered suspicious. 

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Michael LaCourse at the Derby Barracks at 802-334-8881, Sgt. Charles Moulton at the Newport City Police Department at 802-334-6733 or by contacting the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program(VATAP) hotline at 1-800-32-ARSON(1-800-322-7766).

The VATAP will pay up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Barton man facing charges after kicking in apartment door

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — A 21-year-old resident of Barton is facing numerous charges following an incident early this morning in Newport Center.

Police say Zackery Champagne is being charged with burglary, unlawful trespass, simple assault, and resisting arrest.

The incident took place at around 5:45 a.m. when police received a call from a 45-year-old woman at an apartment in Newport Center, who stated that Champagne had kicked her door in, causing the door to hit her in the head as she was standing in the doorway.

She advised police that Champagne fled into the field behind the apartment building.

Police say when they arrived, Champagne was seen in the bushes behind the building and fled from police.

A K9 track was set up with the assistance of the Newport Police Department.

US Border Patrol was also in the area to assist and located Champagne walking along Vermont Route 105 in Newport Center.

He was taken into custody for the incident, as well as an active arrest warrant out of Orleans county.

68-year-old swimmer sets record on Lake Memphremagog

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — A 68-year-old mother of two and grandmother of three swam the 25-mile length of Lake Memphremagog between Newport, Vermont, and Magog, Quebec in 24 hours and 8 minutes.

In doing so, Pat Gallant-Charette, of Westbrook, Maine, became the oldest person to swim the length of Lake Memphremagog in compliance with the general standards for channel crossing and open water marathon swimming.

She set off from the EastSide Restaurant in Newport at 10:11 p.m. on July 31, and cleared the water in Magog at 10:19 p.m. on August 1, 2019. 

She also set the record for the longest time to complete a swim the length of the lake. 

As she stepped ashore in Magog, she became the fourth person to complete the Triple Crown of Lake Monster Swims, swimming the length of Loch Ness on August 19, 2018, and the length of Lake Tahoe on August 8, 2018, both when she was 67-years-old. 

Gallant-Charette already had an extraordinary record of accomplishment, including swimming the English Channel twice, the Catalina Channel, as well as Tsugaro Strait, North Channel, Kaiwi Channel, all completed after she turned 60 years old.

She earned her induction into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Swimmer earlier this year.

During this swim, she was escorted by Phil White, Director of Kingdom Games, piloting a pontoon boat named Lucky, and her sister-in-law, Jean Murdoch-Gallant, who has crewed for most of her storied swims.

The swim is part of a series of expeditions and solo swims the length of Lake Memphremagog known as “In Search of Memphre,” organized and hosted by Kingdom Games.

Water temperatures were 74 F the length of the lake. The air temperature was in the high 50s at night and rose to the mid-70s during the day. Winds were 2 to 5 mph from the south during the first few hours of the swim. 

As the sun rose, the winds shifted and varied from light to up to about 10 mph.

At about 2/3 of the way into the swim, she experienced an injury to her lat which prevented her from lifting her right arm out of the water. 

She tried backstroke and breaststroke to loosen herself up, but she could not resume a full crawl and she had slowed down considerably. 

Making matters worse, Gallant-Charette encountered the pull of the River Magog at the northeast end of the lake during the last mile.

After her swim, she called the swim “a beast,” and “one of the five toughest swims” she has completed.

Ex-guard sentenced to 3 months for smuggling Buprenorphine into Newport prison

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Grant Vance, a former correctional officer at Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport, was sentenced to three months of incarceration.

On the same day, the judge also sentenced Gregory Paradis, an inmate with whom Vance conspired, to 15 months of incarceration.

According to court records, between 2003 and 2018, Vance was employed as a Correctional Officer at Northern State Correctional Facility (NSCF) in Newport, where Paradis was an inmate.

During the summer of 2017, administrators at NSCF began an investigation into the smuggling of controlled substances into the facility.

Administrators spoke with six confidential informants who all stated that Vance was smuggling buprenorphine.

Vance routinely brought the buprenorphine into the facility on Thursdays, obscuring it within a hollowed-out marker of the same type used by prison staff.

On Thursday, June 28, 2018, a federal search warrant for the defendant was executed as he arrived at work.

In Vance’s possession was a marker containing 61 buprenorphine strips.

According to inmates, a single strip of buprenorphine could be sold for as much as $600.

Vance received the buprenorphine by mail from former inmates and family of current inmates.

Postal records detailed seven packages being sent to his P.O. Box during the year leading up to his arrest.

After smuggling the buprenorphine, he gave it to Paradis, who then distributed it to other inmates.

According to court records, Vance also smuggled cigarettes and marijuana into the facility.

Newport man sentenced to 90 months in jail

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — A Newport man will spend 90 months behind bars for burglarizing a pharmacy as well as several firearms offenses.

Daniel Greenwood, age 43, was sentenced to 90 months in jail.

Greenwood had previously pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon in October 2017 and to a burglary of the Kinney Drugs in Cambridge that same month.

At the time of offenses, Greenwood had absconded from state supervision and was a fugitive during late 2017.

He was arrested in late 2017 in Massachusetts and charged in connection with another burglary offense for which he is currently serving a sentence.

The firearms possession charge relates to a burglary of a residence in Thetford, on October 21, during which Greenwood attempted to steal the homeowner’s hunting rifle.

The homeowner, however, arrived home during the burglary and forcibly took back his rifle as Greenwood was fleeing the scene.

Greenwood has a prior federal firearms conviction, according to the charges.

The pharmacy burglary charge is a federal crime because Greenwood is alleged to have stolen over $500 in controlled substances during the burglary, which occurred on the night of October 15 when the pharmacy was closed.

AOT reports low fatality rate on Vermont highways in 2019

in Newport/News/Vermont

NEWPORT — According to a new report by the Agency of Transportation (AOT), Vermont has seen a low number of fatalities on the state’s highways for the year to date.

Statistically, Vermont experiences approximately 25-35 fatalities on its highways through the end of July.

This year, there have been 13 fatalities.

“While the reduction in the fatality rate so far this year is worth noting, we must be mindful that thirteen people lost their lives,” said Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn. “One fatality is one too many.”

The report suggests that there are several possible reasons for the lower fatality rate so far this year.

One predominant reason is that motorists are making better decisions.

AOT highway safety experts believe that there is greater public awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“We need to be vigilant with our highway safety efforts to continue moving toward our goal of zero deaths,” said Keith Flynn, Manager of the Behavioral and Data Units in the State Highway Safety Office.

While the number of fatalities fluctuates from year to year, the low 2019 fatality date is noteworthy.

Through the end of July, in 2018, there were 36 fatalities; in 2017, there were 31; and in 2016, there were 36.

Lowering the fatality rate and reaching the goal of zero fatalities is a common effort. Each driver’s behavior affects everyone else on the road.

The AOT is asking all motorists to commit to one another and keep lowering fatalities by slowing down, putting phones away when we drive, and not driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

Youths compete in Orleans and Essex counties 4-H dairy show

in Essex County/Newport/News/Orleans

BARTON — A total of 56 “4-H’ers” from ten area 4-H clubs took part in the annual Orleans and Essex Counties 4-H Dairy Show, recently held at the Orleans County Fairgrounds in Barton.

The youths, ages 8 to 18, competed for ribbons and championships in both fitting and showmanship and conformation contests.

The show judge was Shayne Brus from Ayers Cliff, Quebec.

In fitting and showmanship, the focus was on the exhibitors and how well they handled their animal.

Isabel Hall was named the Senior Fitting and Showing Champion. The Junior Fitting and Showing Champion was Christin Haynes. Both 4-H’ers are from East Montpelier and are members of the Udderly Crazy 4-H Club.

Capturing first in their respective fitting and showmanship contests, arranged by age, were:

Novice (age 8 and first year in 4-H): Talon Michaud, East Hardwick

Novice (ages 9-13 and first year in 4-H): Ryder Curavoo, Berlin

Junior (ages 9-10): Cash Mosher, Derby

Junior (age 11): Cristin Haynes, East Montpelier

Junior (ages 12-13): Livi Russo, Lunenburg

Senior (ages 14-15): Caroline Kirby, East Montpelier

Senior (ages 16-18): Isabel Hall, East Montpelier

In the conformation classes, organized by age and breed of animal, the judge looked at the physical structure, condition, and appearance of each animal.

Championships were awarded as follows:

AYRSHIRE:

Senior Champion and Grand Champion: Abagail Hurd, Hardwick, with her two-year-old cow.

Junior Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Livi Russo, Lunenburg, with her winter calf.
Junior Reserve Champion: Abagail Hurd, Hardwick, with her spring yearling.

BROWN SWISS:

Junior Champion and Grand Champion: Olyvia Fortin, Newport, with her spring calf.

Junior Reserve Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Olyvia Fortin, Newport, with her fall calf.

GUERNSEY:

Junior Champion and Grand Champion: Cody Trudeau, Hardwick, with his spring yearling.

Junior Reserve Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Cody Trudeau, Hardwick, with his winter yearling.

HOLSTEIN:

Senior Champion and Grand Champion: Ryanne Nadeau, Derby, with her three-year-old cow.

Senior Reserve Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Cash Mosher, Derby, with his two-year-old cow.

Junior Champion: Isabel Hall, East Montpelier, with her fall calf.

Junior Reserve Champion: Ryder Hoffman, Berlin, with his summer yearling.

JERSEY:

Senior Champion and Grand Champion: Livi Russo, Lunenburg, with her two-year-old cow.

Senior Reserve Champion: Zoe Young, West Glover, with her two-year-old cow.

Junior Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Abel Brown, Sutton, with his winter calf.

Junior Reserve Champion: Lane Pickard, Derby, with his winter yearling.

MILKING SHORTHORN:

Junior Champion and Grand Champion: Nora Demaine, West Glover, with her fall calf.

Junior Reserve Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Max Demaine, West Glover, with his summer yearling.

To learn more about the 4-H dairy program in Essex and Orleans Counties, contact Lindy Birch at (802) 334-7235, ext. 481.

The MAC Center to present “Yves Klein: The Man Who Invented Blue”

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — As a special presentation on the final weekend of the MAC Center’s stunning exhibition “Blue: an Exploration of the Colour,” local artist, filmmaker, and MAC Center member Bradleigh Stockwell will present a lecture about “Yves Klein: The Man Who Invented Blue.”

This event will take place on Saturday, August 17, at 2:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

When he died in Paris in 1963 at the age of 34, Klein was a successful artist and poised for international fame.

In his brief career, he created many of the performance and artistic techniques which would become standard practices in the decades to come.

Among his most notorious was creating art in front of an invited audience as musicians performed.

More important was his creation of a special type of blue paint, now known as International Klein Blue.

Klein made it his artistic signature, applying it to large canvases, sponges, sculptures, massive murals, and even models who became, in his words, “living paintbrushes.”

The MAC Center exhibition includes a large work created with “IKB.”

Mr. Stockwell’s lecture will include a live demonstration of this hue.

Also on the program: a fascinating filmed interview with Klein’s widow, Rotraut.

This film is being shown by special arrangement with Denmark’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark.

Please note that this half-hour film contains brief, artistic, but explicit female nudity.

Gallery hours at the MAC are Mon-Sat 10-5 and Sun 10-6.

For more information visit http://www.maccenterforthearts.com or call 802-334-1966.

Fatal shooting in St. Johnsbury

in Uncategorized

ST. JOHNSBURY — Police are investigating a fatal shooting that took place in St. Johnsbury on Wednesday.

Yesterday at 9:48 p.m. police responded to 170 Pearl Street for a report of a shooting.

Police located a deceased man inside an apartment at that address.

Investigators with the Vermont State Police were called to assist with the investigation. Authorities say this case is being investigated as a homicide.

According to witnesses, at least two vehicles were seen fleeing the area after the shooting.

A clear description of the vehicles is not available.

Police have not yet identified the victim.

According to a statement issued by police, this incident appears to be isolated and not a threat to the public.

Two men arrested after boat theft in Newport

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Police arrested two individuals following the recovery of a stolen boat early yesterday morning.

Kyle Lowe, 34, of Newport, was arrested and given a citation for operation without owner’s consent and resisting arrest.

Robert Ingram, 35, also of Newport, was arrested and given a citation for operation without owner’s consent.

At 12:04 a.m. on Tuesday, police say they responded to the East Side Restaurant on a report that two men had stolen a boat with an outboard motor from the adjoining marina.

Police spoke with a witness and located the boat in the middle of the lake.

Newport Police subsequently began coordinating with Border Patrol agents, who launched their own vessel after Lowe jumped into the water and began to swim while Ingram allegedly rowed further away.

When he reached the shore, Lowe was located underneath a gazebo and officers attempted to take him into custody.

Police sat he actively resisted through the arrest.

Ingram was taken into custody after the stolen boat was intercepted by Border Patrol agents on the lake.

Ingram was given a citation to appear in court at a later date and held overnight due to his alleged intoxication.

Lowe was cited for his alleged violations and held on three unrelated arrest warrants.

ABBA musical Mamma Mia! opens August 9 at the Haskell

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — The crowd-pleasing musical Mamma Mia! comes to the Haskell Opera House in Stanstead and Derby Line, on August 9-11 and 16-18.

Featuring over 20 songs by the Swedish pop phenomenon ABBA, the musical centers around Sophie, whose dream of a perfect wedding includes her father giving her away.

The problem? Sophie doesn’t know who he is. Her mother, Donna, refuses to talk about the past, so Sophie secretly invites her three possible fathers to the wedding, convinced that she’ll know her father when she sees him. But when all three turn up, it may not be as clear as she thought.

“After years of waiting for Mamma Mia! to be available for community theatres, this production is a dream come true for me,” said director Mary Hoadley. “It has personal meaning for me, but it’s truly a fun and uplifting show. You simply can never hear enough ABBA, and our cast is so abundantly talented that it just makes it that much better.”

The cast features local stage veteran Ruth-Ann Fletcher as Donna and Holly Lillis as Sophie.

Potential dads are played by Mike Desjardins, James Merriam and Todd Cubit, joined by Sarah Comtois and
Tiffany Quinn as Donna’s former bandmates along with a large supporting cast from both sides of the
Canada-US border:

Meghan Corbett, Jessi Sackett, Lourdes Ortiz, Thomas Alexandre, Shannon Quinn, Roderick Owens, Jaime Comtois, Amy Nadeau, Autumn Cubit, Debbie Bishop, Dayna Alexandre, Emmie Wilkie, Dorothy Moffatt and Charli Kellaway.

Choreography is by Hope Guisinger.

The performances will include the live band last seen backing last summer’s hit production of Little Shop
of Horrors and will once again be led by musical director Mark Violette on keyboards, with Gideon Yellin,
guitar; Lloyd White, bass; and Alex Lepanto, drums.

Showtimes are Friday and Saturday, August 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee Sunday, August 11 at 2:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, August 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m., with a second matinee Sunday, August 18 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets (at par) are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors and are available at the MAC Center for the Arts in Newport and the Colby-Curtis Museum in Stanstead or online (U.S. funds only) at https://borderlineplayers.org.

Tickets also available at the door.

Reserve in advance by contacting Borderline Players via email borderlineplayers@outlook.com or Facebook.

Area students kick off shadowing week at North Country Hospital

in Health/Newport/News

NEWPORT — This year marks the thirteenth year that North Country Hospital has supported Medquest, the week-long healthcare job shadowing program.

High school sophomores in northeastern and central Vermont have to apply for this special opportunity to participate in a structured, educational healthcare program.

They will be learning about medical careers while shadowing health professionals, acquiring basic medical skills, and exploring career and educational goals all while making new friends.

The students will travel to several hospitals in the northern part of the state.

The program is sponsored by Northeastern Vermont Area Health Education Center.

Attempted burglary in Brownington

in Brownington/Newport/News

BROWNINGTON — Police are seeking the public’s help in locating two men who tried to break into a home in Brownington early this morning.

At around 12:30 a.m. police say they received a report of two male subjects who attempted to gain entry into a residence on West Road.

The subjects were seen on surveillance cameras with their t-shirts over their heads, however, faces were still partially visible.

One subject walked up to the front door and attempts to open it.

The door was locked at the time.

The homeowners told police that their vehicle had been rummaged through, but nothing was taken.

Anyone who may have information regarding this incident, or possibly recognizes the men in the photo, is being asked to contact the Vermont State Police Derby Barracks at 802-334-8881.

125 years at the Westmore Community Church celebration

in Vermont/Westmore

WESTMORE — The Westmore Community Church is inviting the community to join in for the 125-year anniversary celebration of the construction of the church building.

The event will take place on Sunday, August 4, with the church service beginning at 9:00 a.m., followed by a reception.

The church theme will be 1890s music, including attire and fellowship.

Ladies are encouraged to wear attire from the 19th century.

If men don’t have a top hat, one will be provided as you enter the church. The hat can be placed under the seat in the church, specifically designed during the 1894 construction to store top hats during the service.

Rev. Jay Sprout will lead the special church service.

Mark Violette and a group of talented musicians will perform favorite hymns and song of yesteryear.

The Westmore church was built in 1894.

The church lot was purchased for $25.

Grant awarded to fight aquatic invasive species throughout Memphremagog watershed

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom
Photo by Tanya Mueller.

NEWPORT — The Memphremagog Watershed Association (MWA) has been awarded a grant to provide oversight services for multiple regional aquatic invasive species prevention and control projects.

The grant award of $83,673 covers 12 projects through the Memphremagog watershed at the following locations:

Shadow Lake, Island Pond, Maidstone Lake, Lake Memphremagog, Salem Lakes, Seymour Lake, and Lake Willoughby.

Funded projects include greeter programs, invasive species management programs as well as a project that will focus on an international message between the United States and Canada regarding invasive species spread prevention.

Greeter programs focus on inspecting watercraft and the education of boaters to the importance of limiting the risk of spreading invasive species.

In waters that are impacted by invasives, the health of the water body is impacted by increased biomass and ecological food chain anomalies, which can lead to limited recreational uses that effects fishing, swimming, and boating.

In some cases, toxic algal blooms are more likely due to the impact of invasive plants on the ecosystem.

The MWA says the rule of thumb is “clean, drain, and dry.”

It’s important for individual users to help out and inspect their own watercraft by checking the trailer, motor, wells and fishing equipment for aquatic plants that may be hitchhiking.

This doesn’t just help out the waterbodies but could prevent a person from receiving a ticket for transporting aquatic plant or animal material.

The transport of all aquatic plants, plant, parts, or other aquatic invasive species to or from any Vermont surface water is illegal.

You can be fined up to $1,000.

Many area lakes have been impaired with at least one invasive species, with Eurasian Milfoil being the most prevalent.

The plant invasives are a nuisance due to the fact that they out-compete native species and overgrow the system.

Boating and swimming can be seriously impacted in areas where Eurasian Milfoil and other invaders have taken hold.

In Lake Memphremagog, four invasive species can be found. The three plant invasives include Eurasian Milfoil, Curly-Leaf Pondweed, and Starry Stonewort.

The animal invasive found in Lake Memphremagog is the notorious Zebra Mussel.

Zebra Mussels are very tiny and sharp. They will cog pipes and attach to any solid surface at densities of up to 800,000 individuals per square meter.

They are very resilient and can survive in stagnant conditions for up to 30 days out of the water.

The reproductive part of the lifecycle, called a veliger, is microscopic. The microscopic veligers can be found in the cooling water of boat motors, live wells or any standing water.

Decontamination with hot water of 140 degrees F is the only known way to fully clean exposed equipment.

If you’re leaving Lake Memphremagog and launching in another lake, a 30-day drying out period is recommended, or undertake a hot water decontamination.

The following area lakes have decontamination stations:

Lake Memphremagog at the Gateway Center, Shadow Lake, and Seymour Lake.

In addition to the greeter programs, several area waterbodies have also received funding for invasive species management.

This can take the form of cutting and harvesting with a hydrorake, suction harvesting, and benthic barriers.

While individual waterbodies have programs to prevent or manage invasive species, it will take everyone who uses these waterbodies to pitch in.

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