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Dispatch Media has 2237 articles published.

Dropped Cigarette Lighter Causes Accident on I-91 Friday Evening

in Feature/News

COVENTRY — On Friday at approximately 6:41 p.m. the Vermont State Police responded to an accident on Interstate 91. The two vehicle collision happened near mile marker 168 in the northbound lane.

Robert Cote and his wife Patrice Cote, both of Albany, were traveling in a 2003 Ford Taurus, when they were struck from behind while traveling north on the Interstate.

Alexandra Rooker, 23, of Fair Haven, was traveling in a 2004 Toyota Corolla when she rear ended the Ford.

Troopers then spoke with Rooker who advised she grabbed for her lighter that fell and when she looked up she hit the rear of the car in front of her.

Rooker was issued a Vermont Civil Violation Complaint for following to closely. Orleans Rescue was on scene.

Picture 23

3 Men to be Charged in Pat O’Hagan Murder

in Uncategorized

ST. JOHNSBURY — Authorities are saying they believe that they now know who killed Pat O’Hagan, the 78 year old Sheffield resident who was abducted from her home in September of 2010.

State police say Keith Baird, 33, will be charged with first-degree murder, burglary and kidnapping.

Richard Fletcher, 27, will face first-degree murder, kidnapping and burglary charges.

Both men are currently serving prison terms for other offenses.

Michael Norrie has also been implicated in the murder, however, he is serving a 56 month jail sentence outside of Vermont on a federal firearms charge.

Norrie told investigators that the three men had attempted to rob O’Hagan while they were high on crystal meth, and wanted the money to buy more drugs. Authorities believe that they killed O’Hagan that night during the attempted robbery.

Court documents state that all three suspects made partial confessions in the O’Hagan murder. Conflicting stories and a lack of evidence had kept state prosecutors from filing charges against the men until now.

At age 78, O’Hagan went missing from her Sheffield home in 2010. Police investigators concluded that she had been abducted. Two weeks later her body was discovered in a wooded area in Wheelock, about 10 miles from her home.

[VIDEO] Vermont Sen. Leahy Introduces Dalai Lama on the Floor of the U.S. Senate Today

in Vermont

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy introduced the Dalai Lama on the Floor of the United States Senate today as the Guest Chaplain, before he offered today’s Senate invocation.

Leahy, long a champion of the Tibetan people, has visited often with the Dalai Lama and also introduced him during his address at Middlebury College on Oct. 12, 2012.

Only about a dozen senators were in the chamber when the Dalai Lama offered the opening prayer in the Senate on Thursday morning.

The chamber’s only Buddhist was Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, touched foreheads with the Dalai Lama before he began what he called his “favorite prayer.”

Helicopter Shuttle to Jay Peak and Full U.S. Port of Entry Planned at Newport State Airport

in Feature/Newport

NEWPORT — As plans continue to move forward with the expansion project at the Newport State Airport, Jay Peak Resort is planning to operate a helicopter shuttle from the airport to the resort. It is also expected that the airport will eventually become a full Port of Entry into the U.S.

The helicopter shuttle service will serve customers who travel to Jay Peak via Newport State Airport. This service would eventually be extended to Q Burke Mountain when development is completed over the next several years.

According to a report that came out in February, the current airport terminal building is small, outdated, and inadequate to accommodate current aviation demand and any future growth.

There are also no customs services offered at the existing airport terminal. To support the demand for customs service from Canada and other foreign countries, the report goes on to state that the Vermont Department of Transportation has been pursuing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to service Newport State Airport.

It’s anticipated that the Customs service will start out as a fee-for-service operation and become a full Port of Entry, with full-time staff stationed at the Airport in several years as use increases.

Adding customs service to Newport State Airport is expected to increase use of the airport by aircraft from Canada and will provide utility to AnC-BIO and other local businesses involved in foreign trade. An increase in jet usage at Newport State Airport due to U.S. Customs availability is also expected.

Brian Smith Elected: Municipal Budget Approved Despite Increase

in Feature

DERBY — Selectman Brian Smith was elected back into office on Tuesday. Smith, the board chairman, defeated challenger Robert Ovitt. The total vote was 570 to 167.

Ovitt had expected to challenge Selectmen Steve Gendreau, making the race a bit of a foregone conclusion. Nevertheless, Ovitt stated that he would run again in the future.

Voters also overwhelmingly approved the updated town plan that will pave the way for Walmart developer Jeff Davis to file for local permits for the store, which will be located on Route 5 in Derby. The total vote for the updated town plan was 595 voters in favor, 129 opposed.

The municipal budget was approved for $2.5 million. This was an increase from last year, where the budget was approved for $2.29 million. Selectmen have stated that there will be no increase in the municipal tax rate.

Maryann Tetreault received 520 votes to be elected delinquent tax collector, winning out over Ann M. Jones, who received 233 votes.

Thomas Roberts was elected lister, receiving 512 votes on Tuesday. Diana Mengel, who challenged Roberts for the spot, came way with 186 votes.

Wilson and Morrissette Elected – Newport Police Chief Gets Two Officer 24 Hour Patrols

in Feature/Newport

NEWPORT — Out of 3,280 registered voters, only 495 came out to vote on Tuesday, approving the city municipal budget of $3 million. Included in the budget is the hiring of another police officer, which will allow the city to have two active patrols on duty 24 hours a day.

Richard Wells, who works part of the year at North Country Union High School, will still work as the school resource officer, with the school board paying his salary and benefits.

The city council race was close, with John Wilson and Neil Morrissette being elected. In a vote of 369 for Wilson, and 286 for Morrissette.

Corey Therrien, who was running for city council, lost by only 61 votes. Therrien was elected to represent Newport on the NCUHS board, receiving 338 votes.

A budget of $5.29 million was approved for the Newport City Elementary school.

There will be a technology fund set up at the request of the school board, which passed by a vote of 328 to 170. In total $24,565 will go to this fund.

All other appropriations were approved.

21 Horses Rescued from Starvation and Neglect in Lyndonville

in Vermont

LYNDONVILLE — On Saturday night 21 horses were rescued from the Bona Ranch in Lyndonville, following a rescue organized by the Elizabeth Brown Humane Society.

The Caledonia County Sheriff’s Department had been made aware of the situation at the ranch before, responding to reports of lack of proper food and water. After a complaint came in Friday night about a dead horse located on the grounds, a search warrant for the Bona Ranch was issued.

According to an eyewitness account, the horses rescued Saturday were so hungry, they had started to eat a wood fence located at the ranch. Other reports stated that there were as many as six dead horses located during the rescue. The horses were described as dehydrated, as well as being covered in body sores.

The investigation is ongoing, and nobody knows the reason why the ranch had neglected the animals. What is known is that the owner had passed away about a year ago, and that his son had taken over operations.

No charges have been been filed yet, but criminal charges will most likely be issued.

Spring Hill Horse Rescue in Clarendon assisted in the effort to relocate the horses.

Lowell Voters Oppose Anti-Wind Resolution

in Feature/Vermont

LOWELL — Town Meeting Day voters in Lowell voted against an article opposing Green Mountain Power’s Kingdom Community Wind project.

The anti-wind resolution was passed over in 2012, and was brought back this year after resident Ed Wesolow took the issue to the Vermont Supreme Court.

In a vote of 110 to 27, voters showed their support of the 21 turbines of the Kingdom Community Wind project that are producing electricity. The taxes paid by Green Mountain Power are supplementing the town budget.

Before being built in 2010, 75 percent of residents at Town Meeting Day voted in favor of the project.

The Lowell wind project generated opposition from opponents who felt it would take away from the beauty of the ridgeline. They also felt that it did not provide any real environmental benefit.

In 2010, Wesolow and others petitioned to place an anti-wind article on the Town Meeting Day agenda. The proposed article accused the wind project of violating private property rights, destroying stream headwaters and depressing real estate values.

Removal of Trees in Coventry by State Highway Department Angers Some Residents

in Feature/News

COVENTRY — A number of Coventry property owners along Route 5 have voiced their concern over the removal of trees that were damaged during the ice storm in December by state highway workers. Some residents are claiming that they were robbed of firewood that they feel was rightfully theirs.

After the ice storm the state highway department was working to clean up storm damaged trees, broken limbs, branches and brush from damaged vegetation, as well as eliminate all overhead hazards due to broken limbs and branches. A large section of Route 5 needed to be cleared. During the cleanup, some wood was removed without notifying the property owners because it was an emergency project. Now, a few of those property owners are upset that they were not offered some of the burnable timber.

“We like to be good neighbors,” Scott Rogers, Director of the Vermont Agency of Transportation Operations Division, said. “The way we like to do things is to work with the property owners that are adjacent to the right-of-way, and it gets a little confusing in terms of the legality because some of the rights-of-way we own, and some we have a highway easement that controls the property. Typically, what we do is talk with the property owners in advance and offer to work with them. A lot of times that includes providing them some of the wood if it’s burnable, but in a lot of cases it’s not.”

Rogers stated sometimes property owners do retain certain residual rights, but the state can remove certain materials such as timber from the right-of-way for highway use.

“We can’t sell the wood to third parties, and we can’t take it for personal use,” Rogers said. “Along those lines it’s legitimate for us to use the timber to heat the state highway garage. But, we couldn’t use it to heat the local school for example.”

The Route 5 stretch in Coventry was especially tricky to make safe after the storm. Rogers explained that the situation needed to be addressed quickly, which resulted in the lack of notification to property owners.

“We were concerned with the potential for additional timber to fall given that we were expecting more storms. The district wanted to get it cleared out quickly. Even after we got the wood that was across the road cleared, there were still areas with some steep banks with trees above that could come down.”

On Wednesday at the Coventry Community Center there will be a meeting at 6 p.m. with Dale Perron, the manager of the Agency of Transportation District 9, and Coventry residents, to discuss the issue. For now, Perron says that if land owners want the wood back, they will work with them to resolve the issue.

Rogers expressed his commitment to working with Coventry landowners to resolve the issue also.

“We understand that people are struggling with the cold winter, and any type of heating assistance is an understandable request, so we are sympathetic to anyone who would have liked to use the material for firewood,” he said.

Vermonters Paying the Price for Propane Shortage Caused by Midwestern Farming Practices

in Feature/News

NEWPORT – If you are heating your home with propane, you already know it’s costing you more than usual this winter. What you might not know is that you’re paying the price for a propane shortage that has nothing to do with cold temperatures in the Northeast. The problem lies in the Midwest, and the way that farmers dry their corn crops.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average price of residential propane in Vermont during the month of February was $4.36 per gallon. That’s an increase of $1.15 per gallon since October.

This increase is a result of a propane shortage which started in the fall of 2013, when farmers in the Midwest used around 300 million gallons of propane to dry their corn crops. This was much more than usual. How much more? About 235 million gallons more.

The reason for such a dramatic spike in propane use is blamed on wetter-than-normal corn from the 2013 harvest. Part of the reason that the corn did not dry in the field was that it was planted late.

When corn does not dry in the field, grain elevator operators use propane-fueled heaters to get it to a lower moisture level so it can be safely stored.

According to the National Propane Gas Association, more than 660,000 farmers use propane for irrigation pumps, grain dryers, standby generators and other farm equipment. Besides crop drying, propane is used by farmers for fruit ripening, water heating, and food refrigeration.

The other major factor causing an increase in propane prices is the export market. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, by January 2013 U.S exports of propane were at 168,000 barrels per day. By October, exports had jumped to 408,000 barrels per day.

Vermont Senators Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy, and Congressman Peter Welch asked U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker in February to use emergency powers to temporarily restrict exports of propane.

They pointed out that prices for the fuel have risen over 30 percent in just three months.

Bill Passes to Ban Smoking in a Car with Children

in Feature/Vermont

MONTPELIER — On Friday the Vermont House passed a bill that would ban smoking in partially enclosed locations, including smoking tobacco in a car where a minor is present.

According to a press release, smoking would be banned inside locations at schools, workplaces, hotels, and places of public access.  

“This public health measure continues to protect Vermonters from the impacts of tobacco,” Speaker of the House Shap Smith said in a statement. “In particular, I am pleased that we are putting in place safeguards to protect our young Vermonters from the impacts of second hand smoke on their long-term health and wellbeing.” 

An amendment to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco in Vermont from 18 to 21 was withdrawn after some heated discussion. The House Democratic leadership promised that it would be taken up separately later in the year.

Currently there are two bills that increase the age for purchasing tobacco in the House Human Services Committee. One raises the age to 21, while the other does the same with an exception for members of the armed forces. They would still be able to purchase tobacco at 18.

The bill will now head to the Vermont Senate. 

Cows Killed During Barn Fire in Morrisville on Friday

in Feature/News

MORRISVILLE — About six cows were killed on Friday as a fire ripped through a barn owned by Dwayne Lamphear of L&L Farms in Morrisville.

The fire was reported by a passerby who saw smoke coming from the 340 foot cattle barn located on the property. The Morrisville Fire Departments responded to the scene at 742 Fitzgerald Road. Upon arrival, the front portion of the barn was fully in flames. High winds made it difficult for firefighters to battle the blaze, which quickly grew, pushing through the barn.

Mr. Lamphear arrived and was able to get most of the cattle out of the barn before the entire roof structure collapsed, however, some of the cows could not be saved. The structure was a total loss, with damages estimated to be in excess of $800,000.00. No one was at the barn at the time of the fire so there were no injuries.

The Morrisville Fire Department contacted the Vermont State Police and requested a fire investigation be conducted. Detectives from the State Police Fire Investigation Unit and an investigator with the Division of Fire Safety began the investigation.

After conducting a partial scene investigation, as most of the building had completely collapsed, the fire cause is deemed to be undetermined at this time and not suspicious. However, investigators believe that the fire was most likely related an electrical issue.

In His Own Words: Corey Therrien for Newport City Council

in Feature/Newport

NEWPORT — Corey Therrien, who is running for Newport City Council, sat down for an interview with Newport Dispatch last night at Montgomery Cafe, to talk about why he decided to run, and what makes him the best choice for the job.

Newport Dispatch has put together some of the conversation to introduce Mr. Therrien to Newport voters as they head into Town Meeting Day on Tuesday, March 4. Please listen to the interview below:

Newport Area Community Orchestra Adds 9 New Members

in Arts and Entertainment/Feature

NEWPORT — The Newport Area Community Orchestra is growing. Just this year, they have added nine new members to the orchestra.

The newest members of the orchestra are (left to right in photo) Momoko Takaoka, Bob Chen, Akimasa Takeda, Pengyi Huang, Morgan Ireland, Paul Teng, (not pictured) Sue Ireland, Judy Hurd, and Laura Barr.

The group is continuing to work toward two spring concerts to be held on May 3, at the Goodrich Memorial Library, and on May 11, at the Haskell Opera House. The program for the concerts include:

Spring Concert at the Goodrich Memorial Library – May 3, 2014

Concerto for Alto Saxophone by Binge (2nd Movement – Peter Storrings, Soloist)
Colorscape for Orchestra, Op. 3 by Ken Michelli (Julia Whitney, Solo, Howie Arzt, Solo)
Waltz No. 2 from Suite for Variety Stage Orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich
Rhapsody in Blue for Orchestra arranged by Bob Cerulli (Paul Gavin, Solo)
Clarinet Concerto No. 1 by Carl Maria Von Weber (Howie Arzt, Soloist)

Quintessential Classical’s Concert at the Haskell Opera House – May 11, 2014

Concerto for Alto Saxophone by Binge (2nd Movement – Peter Storrings, Soloist)
Colorscape for Orchestra, Op. 3 by Ken Michelli (Julia Whitney, Solo, Howie Arzt, Solo)
Waltz No. 2 from Suite for Variety Stage Orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich
Rhapsody in Blue for Orchestra arranged by Bob Cerulli (Paul Gavin, Solo)
Clarinet Concerto No. 1 by Carl Maria Von Weber (Howie Arzt, Soloist)

Be sure to mark your calendars for these upcoming performances.

Weather-Related Accident in Irasburg on Wednesday

in Feature/News

IRASBURG — The strong winds and blowing snow yesterday afternoon led to an accident in Irasburg. At around 2:20 p.m. the Vermont State Police responded to a single car crash on Vermont Route 58, near Houston Heights.

Lawrence Monfette, 52, of Newport, was driving a 2004 Jeep Liberty when he lost control of his vehicle in a patch of snow that had blown across the road.

Monfette tried to gain control by steering toward the right, causing his vehicle to face east in the westbound travel lane. The vehicle then slid off the north side of the roadway where it flipped onto its driver’s side.

Monfette did not suffer any injuries. The Jeep had damage to both front quarter panels, the front lower
bumper area, and the driver’s side door.

Ray’s Auto towed the vehicle from the scene of the accident.

Vermont Businesses Call for Passage of GMO Labeling Legislation

in Feature/Vermont

MONTPELIER — Today, business leaders representing a broad cross section of Vermont’s food industry, including suppliers, manufactures, and retailers, gathered at the Statehouse in Montpelier to urge lawmakers to pass mandatory GMO labeling legislation, H.112.

Representatives from Ben & Jerry’s, Two Guys in Vermont, New Chapter, Black River Produce, Healthy Living, Liz Lovely, and VBSR, all called on the legislature to make Vermont a leader in food freedom and transparency.

The group noted that Vermonters have a reputation for taking food seriously. They identify with food, and are passionate about knowing where it comes from, and what’s in it.

“Food companies should be proud to tell consumers what’s in the products they are selling,” Chris Miller, Activism Manager at Ben & Jerry’s said. “And if they don’t want to share that information, then people should really wonder why?”

Ben & Jerry’s is in the process of labeling all of their products, which will be complete by mid-2014.

“We’ll label all of our products without effecting the price fans pay for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s,” Miller added.

Opponents of GMO labeling have suggested that H.112 would increase the cost of food for consumers.

“Food companies make changes to labels all the time without raising prices,” Jeff Weinstein, Founder of Vermont specialty food company Two Guys in Vermont said. “New ingredients or recipes changes, marketing and branding changes, as well as an ever-changing regulatory landscape are just a few reasons we might make a change to our label. It’s not a big deal to label GMO’s. Minor label changes are just a cost of doing business”.

Non-GMO labeled food is one of the fastest growing trends in the food industry, and retailers nationally and in Vermont have been advocates on behalf of their shoppers for transparency in the food system. The national grocery chain Whole Foods Market announced that it will require labeling of all items sold in their stores by 2018.

Here in Vermont, many food retailers are supporting the call for GMO labeling.

“What brought us around on the issue was one simple sentence, that people deserve to know what’s in their food,” Eli Lesser-Goldsmith, of Healthy Living Market said. “We have agreed with that since the day we started Healthy Living Market almost 30 years ago, and today we still believe in that”.

Fire Destroys Home in Greensboro on Sunday

in Feature/Vermont

GREENSBORO — On Sunday morning the Greensboro Fire Department responded to 800 Eligo Lake Road for a reported structure fire. First responding fire personnel reported that there was heavy smoke within the residence upon their arrival and the home quickly engulfed in flames when forced entry was made through the front door.

Mutual Aid was requested and the fire was quickly suppressed. However, the structure is considered a total loss with an estimated value of $200,000 dollars.

The homeowners were not home at the time of the incident and nobody was injured.

A request was made to the Vermont State Police Fire Investigation Unit for an origin and cause investigation. An investigator with the Division of Fire Safety concluded today that the fire was not suspicious in nature and is being classified as accidental.

QNEK Productions Ready for 21st Season

in Arts and Entertainment/Feature

DERBY LINE — Casting is complete for the 21st season at QNEK Productions. This year QNEK, the international theatre company in residence at the Haskell Opera House, will stage four shows, starting May 2 with the production of Boeing, Boeing. The season will conclude October 18 with Wait Until Dark, directed by Susan-Lynn Johns.

QNEK hosted their first ever Meet and Greet the Press Reception on Saturday evening at the United Universalist Church Hall in Derby Line. The event offered those in attendance the chance to meet the cast and crew who will be working to make the 2014 season its best yet.

This season will see some new faces, as well as some returning to the stage after taking a break for a few years. Kim Prangley, who will play Judith in Boeing, Boeing, is returning after a ten year hiatus. Ross Murray will be seen in his first acting role in 25 years, when he plays Roat, in Wait Until Dark.

The season will also consist of Oliver, starting July 25, and Suds, starting September 12.

QNEK Productions treated everyone on Saturday to a musical medley from Suds, the rocking 60’s musical soap opera. To hear the performance from Saturday, press play in the audio player below.

“The whole cast is awesome, and we’re really excited to have Kim Prangley back this year,” Jenny Dunne, director of Boeing, Boeing, said. “Boeing, Boeing, is a really funny and a really physical comedy, so it’s going to be great working with everyone.”

“The play is a farce, so there’s a lot of general mayhem, which is a role I’ve performed many times with QNEK as well as others,” Kim Prangley said. “It’s a very popular form of theatre.”

Prangley auditioned for the role over SKYPE while she was traveling in Vancouver.

Making his acting debut in May playing Robert in Boeing, Boeing, is Chris Planetta, a teacher at the Stanstead College.

“I’m a little nervous, but I keep telling myself, I’m not an idiot,” Planetta said. “I’m a fan of theatre, and I’ve gone to everything QNEK has put on for the last twelve years, so I’m excited.”

For a full 2014 show synopsis and character breakdown, click here.

Photos by Tanya Mueller

Cast of
Cast of Boeing, Boeing which starts May 2, 2014
Cast of "Oliver," starting July 25, 2014.
Cast of “Oliver,” starting July 25, 2014.
Cast of "Suds," starting September 12, 2014.
Cast of “Suds,” starting September 12, 2014.
Cast of "Wait Until Dark," starting October 10, 2014.
Cast of “Wait Until Dark,” starting October 10, 2014.

Coventry Woman Arrested for Suspicion of DUI After Rollover Crash in Westmore

in Feature/News

WESTMORE — On Saturday at around 6:30 p.m. State Police responded to a motor vehicle rollover crash on Vermont Route 5A in Westmore.

Michaela Palmer, 23, of Coventry, identified herself as the operator of the vehicle.

Palmer told police that she hit a patch of ice just before the crash. She stated that the car rolled over while she was driving through a sharp curve in the road.

Trooper Debra Munson of the Vermont State Police spoke with Palmer during an investigation at the scene of the accident, and determined that intoxication may have been to blame for the crash. She had Palmer perform a field sobriety test.

Palmer was subsequently transported to the Derby Barracks where she was processed for suspicion of DUI, and refusal to take a chemical intoxication test.

Vermont, like all other states, abides by Implied Consent Laws, which means that anyone who chooses to operate a vehicle is automatically subject to state chemical testing for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Because a breath test is the only chemical intoxication test that can be administered on the roadside, it is the most commonly used, and therefore, the most commonly refused test.

Despite the Implied Consent Law, drivers still have to agree to testing before a breath test can be conducted. So technically, a driver can refuse testing, but the consequences for doing so are harsh and sometimes far outweigh a DUI conviction in and of itself.

Kevin Paquet Movie Review: The Lego Movie

in Opinion

“The Lego Movie” is rated PG, and is now showing at Waterfront Cinemas in Newport.

by Kevin Paquet

When children’s entertainment fails, it’s usually because the people telling the story started with a tale for adults and then stripped away the objectionable bits until only the most inoffensive and disjointed components remain. A good work succeeds because it sets its own terms from the start and lives entirely within them. “The Lego Movie” is such a work, but it’s more than that – it might just be definitive of what good children’s cinema can be.

On the face of it, a movie about the little plastic people who come packaged with many Lego sets is ridiculous, but the first and most critical twist is that the movie knows this and plays to it with gleeful abandon. Our protagonist, Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt), is introduced as he starts his day – indeed, as he starts every day – in Bricksburg, a Lego city. He lives life, with unwavering joy, in accordance with instructions that pop up on a plastic tablet he carries with him. He gets up, showers, eats breakfast, spends some quality time with housemates – here the narrative deliberately falters, because Emmet’s only housemate is a houseplant – and then heads off to work, where he’s a construction worker tearing down and erecting buildings in accordance with the instructions that govern his life and that of everyone around him.

This is all as commanded by Lord Business (Will Ferrell), head of the Octan Corporation, burgeoning supervillain, and self-styled President Business of Bricksburg. On the “infinitieth floor” of his office tower, Lord Business has a collection of “artifacts” – rather generic items from our world, such as a Band-Aid that he believes to be a cloak – and the most sinister of these is the “Kragle,” which is in fact a tube of Krazy Glue. With this he will freeze the world in the form that most pleases him.

Emmet falls into the mix when he accidentally uncovers the Piece of Resistance – the one thing that can stop the Kragle. He is then captured and harshly interrogated by Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), who believes Emmet to be part of a secret organization. He isn’t, but once he’s freed by the improbably named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) he’s sucked into a world of fantastic and ridiculous intrigue.

Wyldstyle takes Emmet to meet Vitruvius (voiced by Morgan Freeman, who has never been in finer form making fun of his own voice). Vitruvius speaks of a prophecy that the finder of the Piece of Resistance will be the one to save the world. This is standard “chosen one” stuff, but the movie riffs on it with gusto. First we find out that the only thing Emmet has ever made by himself – without instructions – is a double-decker couch. Later, he travels to meet a council of Master Builders – the people he’s supposed to lead – and launches into a speech built around the cliché that he lists nothing but bad things about himself before getting to the “but” that will turn the tide. Except that it doesn’t work; the bad things make him sound so hopeless and inept that nobody wants to work with him.

Held apart from the movie itself, Emmet verges on being a disappointment. He’s a stock character by design, and the handful of distinguishing characteristics we get about him are fairly damning. Most tellingly, during their escape from Bad Cop, Emmet slo-mos the lecture Wyldstyle is giving him and rewrites the words in his head to make her sound more like a girl playing hard to get. It’s funny, and it’s clear that the sexism is a part of the character, not the movie as a whole, but the narrative never gets around to refuting it and a number of other shortcomings he has. It’s left on the goodwill of the viewer to decide whether or not Emmet is a changed man by the time the credits roll.

Oddly, the characters who get smaller amounts of screen time are actually better developed. Wyldstyle’s boyfriend is none other than Batman (Will Arnett, in a pitch-perfect parody of Christian Bale), who has an abiding affinity for loud music and plays Emmet a song he wrote (“It’s about how I’m an orphan!”) while they escape yet again. The ranks of Master Builders also include Benny (Charlie Day), a spaceman with a busted helmet who desperately wants to build a spaceship, and Princess Unikitty (Allison Brie), a cat-unicorn creature who rules Cloud Cuckooland and has repressed rage issues. In each case the characters are a mix of good and bad traits that, while highly cartoonish, are also grounded in reality – which, of course, only makes them funnier. The scene at the end where Benny finally gets to build a spaceship is one of the most beautiful pieces of cinema I’ve ever seen.

The story goes out of its way to play with the oddities inherent in a universe made of Legos: One of the first people Emmet meets when he steps out of his apartment is a neighbor who has loads of cats, and Emmet knows all their names, despite the fact that they are absolutely identical in appearance and only one of them meows differently than the others. Flame, smoke and water are all rendered in solid Lego pieces, making their appearances both surreal and strangely beautiful (my personal favorite was a mushroom cloud).

The only way visuals that ridiculous can work is if the dialogue and music rise to meet then, and by God they do. The story often pauses its breakneck pace to consider oddities: Emmet starts his workday while the movie’s theme song, “Everything Is Awesome,” plays in the background and he gushes that he could listen to it for hours – at which point we jump forward five hours and find that it is, in fact, still playing. Later, while being rescued the first time, he asks Wyldstyle if it says “Wyldstyle” on her birth certificate.

“The Lego Movie” can get away with such compound insanity because of its surreal setting – Lego people can suffer mishaps that would kill an actual human being and just walk away, leading to a kind of stylized mayhem that reminded me strongly of the Muppets at their best.

It’s worth noting that a funny story told through goofy toys doesn’t automatically work. A decade ago, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of “South Park,” made an R-rated puppet film called “Team America: World Police” that, to be perfectly honest, was painful. This combination of quick-fire dialogue and injury-free slapstick seems to require a certain purity of spirit in order to work, and, for all its subtle (and unsubtle) jokes about personal disorders and life’s injustices, “The Lego Movie” believes in the goodness of people the whole way through. I haven’t seen a movie that made me this happy in years.

© 2014, Kevin Paquet

Keep Exits Clear of Ice and Snow

in Vermont

NEWPORT — Director Michael Desrochers of the Vermont Division of Fire Safety reminds all building owners and property managers to keep exit doors and fire escapes clear of ice and snow accumulations.

The heavy snows we have already seen this winter, and the likelihood of further snowfall, requires greater vigilance to insure that these critical secondary paths are available for escape or rescue in an emergency.

Schools, apartments, restaurants, nightclubs and other buildings often have secondary exits that may become blocked by ice or snow during the winter months. Building owners are responsible to maintain required exits, and to clear ice and snow or other obstructions as quickly as possible.

Safe, useable exits are fundamental to maintaining a reasonable level of fire safety in all buildings.

Building owners are requested to provide a high level of scrutiny of their exits during this winter period, and throughout the year.

Addressing Homelessness and Housing Issues in Newport

in Feature/Newport

NEWPORT — Wednesday night at the monthly Community Commons meeting at the Gateway Center in Newport, the topic was housing. The meeting was a way to bring together the facts, to identify the need, and to come together to try and come up with a solution.

When it comes to addressing the issue of homelessness in the Northeast Kingdom, one of the problems is that it tends to be invisible. However, the numbers are shocking.

On Tuesday, Community Health Integration in St. Johnsbury saw 24 people who needed shelter for the night. In Newport, Home Team, a group of residents trying to help by offering overnight kits for those in need, have issued 20 kits so far. The kits include such basic necessities as a hat, gloves, and space blanket. It is also estimated that at least 20 veterans are homeless in the Northeast Kingdom.

The current state of affordable subsidized housing tells another story. There are 420 people in the area currently on a waiting list to have access to such facilities. The waiting list at Newport Senior Housing is 30 people.

And then there is the issue of housing affordability. If you spend less than 1/3 of your income on housing related expenses, it is considered affordable. However, in Orleans county, we pay more than 50 percent of our income for housing, a number which demonstrates that people do not make enough money in the area to afford to live in the housing that is available.

photoParticipants on Wednesday night, assembled in a circle, sat for over 2 hours to address these housing issues.

“Today we’re identifying a need,” Patricia Sears, moderator of the Community Commons gathering said. “If we work together, we can find a solution.”

In order to find the solution, it was important for the group to identify not only the need, but some of the obstacles that get in the way of making the positive changes that the group would like to see happen.

Here again, the facts are shocking. It appears one of the biggest issues to opening a homeless shelter in the area is insurance. For a local church to offer an overnight facility, they would need to buy an additional liability insurance that most could not afford.

Much of the meeting Wednesday night focused on this need for a local warming shelter, and served as the starting point for this newly formed coalition.

When members of the Newport City Council were asked by a group of local church leaders as to some of the other hoops besides insurance that would need to be jumped through in setting up a shelter, they were told that there are also zoning issues, state safety issues, as well as building codes.

Merton Bangemann-Johnson of Rural Edge, the Northeast Kingdom’s affordable housing non-profit, said that it is cheaper to build a shelter from scratch, than it is to retrofit an existing building.

After some heated discussion, there was some consensus that unfortunately it does comes down to economics, and that those issues need to be addressed early on in the planning of how the group will move forward to address the issue.

“We don’t have the funds,” Newport Mayor Paul Monette said. “We can maybe work with you, but we’re trying to keep our tax rate down and promote development. We also don’t have the land in Newport, which is another issue.”

“It’s easy to throw stones, but the real problem is that we’re poor,” City Manager John Ward said. “People come here to live, and they don’t have jobs, and we can’t afford to maintain them.”

The meeting concluded by focusing on the importance of staying connected, and networking with people interested in helping work toward tackling some of the issues which were brought up. The Community Commons meetings are designed to facilitate such connections.

“The numbers we went over tonight really tell a story,” Scott Libby, pastor of the Grace Brethren Church, said after the meeting. “I’m also really interested as to what the liability insurance would cost at our church to set up a shelter, because I just don’t know.”

One local church leader who did not want his name mentioned in this article stated that he felt the need to organize an effort to open a homeless shelter was clear, and that he and his colleagues would look into the issue, but, he felt that City Council members who attended the meeting did not seem to offer any hope toward it becoming a reality.

“It’s one thing for us to try to come up with a location, and to organize the effort, but tonight the City Council members didn’t have one positive thing to say as far as making it seem even remotely possible,” the church leader said. “You need some reassurance when you start a project like this, and you saw tonight that we didn’t really get any.”

The Community Commons gatherings are held from 6 to 8 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month. There is an optional pot luck dinner, and all are welcome.

Vermonters Urged to Check Snow Loads on Roofs

in Feature/Vermont

NEWPORT — The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Department of Public Safety, and Department of Health are urging farm and home owners to diligently monitor their roofs and clear off snow if necessary and if it can be done so safely.

Rain and mixed precipitation forecast for parts of Vermont on Thursday night and Friday are expected to add weight to snow pack. That extra weight could add extra pressure to house and barn roofs, and in some cases cause a roof collapse.

If there is a concern for personal safety while clearing a roof, a professional contractor should be called in to inspect the roof, or to clear the roof of snow.

Guidance for what constitutes a safe load of snow on your roof is based on a number of factors and is not the same for every dwelling or structure. It depends on the age of the roof, the amount of snow on the roof, and the weight of that snow.

Strange noises, cracking, or visible movement of rafters should be signs that your roof is headed for a collapse. However, those signs won’t necessarily present themselves before a collapse.

The following steps are provided by Vermont Fire Safety and the Agency of Agriculture when dealing with roofs.

All of the mentioned actions should only be performed by able-bodied adults, as the snow is heavy, and roofs and other surfaces may be slippery. Protective headgear and eye protection is recommended.

Try to plan an escape route before you begin and keep safety the first priority.

If roof snow can be removed with the use of a snow rake (available at most hardware stores), do so. Use caution, as metal snow rakes conduct electricity if they come into contact with a power line. Also be careful not to let large amounts of snow fall on you.

Try to avoid working from ladders, as ladder rungs tend to ice up. Snow and ice collect on boot soles, and metal ladders.

On Barns:

When clearing snow from a roof, work to ensure an even unloading from both sides at a time. Always work in pairs and use a safety line when clearing steep pitched roofs.

The center of the rafters and the center of the building are the weak points. It is advised to keep some 4×4 or 6×6 poles on hand to place under every fourth rafter, or along the center of the roof line. This will provide additional strength to the roof.

Not Your Neighborhood Police Vehicle: VSP Acquire Military Surplus

in Feature/Vermont

NEWPORT — The Vermont State Police is one of over 160 law enforcement agencies across the nation that recently acquired an armored tactical vehicle through the Defense Department’s national military surplus program.

With the ending of the Iraq War, and the winding down of the war in Afghanistan, the Pentagon has 11,000 heavily armored vehicles that it has no use for, and one of them just came to Vermont.

The vehicle is a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. They are designed to protect against AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and IEDs. According to a statement released by the VSP, it “can provide lifesaving support to local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies across the state during armed confrontations or other critical incidents.”

“It’s a platform that will help troopers get close to and help defuse a dangerous situation without exposing them to life-threatening danger,” said Colonel Tom L’Esperance. “It’s a great piece of equipment, however we hope we never need it.”

Colonel L’Esperance submitted the request for the MRAP and received the vehicle in mid-December.

On learning about the new tactical vehicle Representative Donna Sweaney said, “It is imperative that Vermont is prepared for every type of crisis and we look forward to housing it at Windsor Armory. Having a tactical vehicle in the southern part of Vermont will help ensure a rapid response to critical incidents.”

But not everyone fully supports the idea of military surplus ending up in the hands of local law enforcement. In New Hampshire, State Representative J.R. Hoell, a libertarian Republican who represents Dunbarton, NH, recently introduced a bill called the Police Equipment and Community Engagement (PEACE) Act, in the state legislature.

The bill would bar state and municipal agencies in New Hampshire from buying or even accepting free offers of “military style equipment,” including MRAP’s, for police use, except with the approval of the assembled citizenry at a public town meeting.

Hoell says that we’re seeing an over militarization of the police force, and that it doesn’t lead to a better relationship between citizens and the police.

In Concord, New Hampshire, 1500 residents last fall signed a petition opposing their town’s use of a $258,000 federal Homeland Security grant to purchase a vehicle similar to the MRAP recently acquired by the VSP.

Mayor Monette Working to Have Newport City Council Meetings Streamed Live Online

in Feature/News

NEWPORT — If you’ve been meaning to attend a Newport city council meeting but just can’t spare the time to get out to one, there’s some news you’ll be happy to hear. Mayor Paul Monette is working to have them streamed live online.

“The idea of streaming our meetings live on the web was my idea to allow people, who are not able to attend, to view them live via the Internet,” Monette said.

The platform Monette has chosen to use is Livestream. Livestream, formerly known as Mogulus, is a live streaming video platform that allows users to view and broadcast video content using a camera and a computer through the internet. The company offers a free ad-supported service and multi-tiered premium services.

In the future, anyone with an Internet connection can watch the meetings live on a computer or mobile device. Users will also be able to access archived meeting videos as well.

Since the project is just getting going, there are still a few bugs to work out.

“The first time I did a test was actually via my cell phone which I had setup as a hotspot,” Monette said. “This worked okay, but I need to get a better connection in the council room.”

Monette says that he still plans on taping them for rebroadcast on NEK-TV.

Vermont Electric Cooperative Sounds Alert On Scam

in Feature/News

JOHNSON — Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) is warning consumers about a telephone scam that preys on utility customers. Like other cooperatives across the country, VEC has received reports from customers who are being contacted by scammers asking for credit card information.

The scam involves a phone call to a consumer by a perpetrator posing as a VEC employee seeking immediate payment for service. Consumers are threatened with having service disconnected within 30 minutes unless they make a credit card payment by phone.

VEC does not make calls to customers seeking personal data like credit card account numbers, and is reminding customers to be suspicious of calls asking for any type of payment information. If a suspicious call is received, customers should hang up and contact their local law enforcement agency.

“If you have any doubts, we ask that you call VEC directly to verify if the call is legitimate,” said CEO Dave Hallquist.

The number is 1-800-832-2667.

“We’ve received reports of criminals taking advantage of utility customers in other states. Unfortunately, we’re learning that Vermont is being targeted, as well.”

AARP Vermont Announces Community Action Grant Winners in Newport

in Newport

NEWPORT — As AARP Vermont continues to support efforts to make Newport a more “age-friendly” city, they have announced the winners of their 2014 Community Action Grants. The winners are:

Fresh Start Community Farm, Jennifer Black ($2,000)
Newport Dispatch, Bryan Marovich ($2,000)
Cornucopia Program/Umbrella Inc., Lynne Rublee ($1,000)
The Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Ayeshah Raftery ($1,000)

In partnering with AARP Vermont, Newport has committed to embrace the changing demographics of an aging population by focusing on safe, walkable streets, better housing and transportation options, access to key services, and community engagement opportunities for all ages. These Community Action Grants support that direction by funding small, grassroots organizations that are working to advance the Age Friendly movement.

AARP officials conducted the selection process along with Patricia Sears of Newport City Renaissance Corp. and community leader Pam Ladds.

“This was an eye-opening experience,” said Sears. “It was encouraging to see so many good ideas out there that enrich our community in different ways. We are very grateful to have AARP as a partner — to not only fund these grants, but to work with us on ways to improve Newport for all ages.”
 
Ladds indicated how difficult it was to choose winners.

“We are fortunate to have such great energy in Newport around community development, but it made for a very difficult selection process,” said Ladds.  “I wish we could fund them all!”
 
“We are very pleased to extend support to these projects as a way to foster local community development initiatives in Newport,” said Greg Marchildon, state director at AARP Vermont.  “We received a broad range of proposals to consider this year and we hope these modest grants will inspire and support dedicated grassroots groups that have a vision for Newport and how it can be enhanced. We are committed to working with our partners and officials in Newport as they develop future plans and we expect to continue this program next year as well.”

AARP Vermont Outreach Director Kelly Stoddard Poor was also part of the selection committee.

Below is a summary of each organization:

Fresh Start Community Farm — Fresh Start Community Farm was started in 2011 with a mission to provide access to fresh food while also building a strong community. It now operates four sites and is completely volunteer based. Last year, the farm produced over 4,900 pounds of food and donated 2,100 pounds to the community. It also launched an Adopt-a-Grandparent program which pairs elderly and younger volunteers who garden together. With the AARP grant, Fresh Start will expand its programs by purchasing raised beds which will provide wheelchair access for volunteers who need it.

Newport Dispatch — This independent online news site is focused on Newport and surrounding towns featuring human interest, arts and entertainment news. Launched in October 2013, the aim is to provide an additional resource while engaging more people in community activities and issues. The AARP grant will support Newport Dispatch’s effort to provide strong citizen journalism for NEK residents and fund more advanced audio equipment.

Cornucopia Program / Umbrella Inc.
— A non-profit serving the Northeast Kingdom by providing advocacy services for women and families who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Cornucopia is an Umbrella program that helps those in unsafe living situations as they move into more secure and independent arrangements. Partnering with Vermont Works for Women, it provides meals to low-income and homebound seniors and these meal sites also serve as a place for those over 60 to access Umbrella’s domestic violence and sexual violence services. The meal sites have proven to offer great meals and a place for seniors to connect with one another and learn about vital community services. This grant will help Cornucopia to extend its job training initiatives for vulnerable female citizens.

The Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (VABVI)
— Established in 1926, VABVI works to help blind and visually impaired Vermonters become independent. Operating across the state, they hold regular Peer Assisted Learning and Support (PALS) classes providing a place for participants (mostly seniors) to discuss how their impairments affect their lives and how to cope with them. The PALS group in Newport, led by Harriet Hall, helps seniors in the area on issues ranging from learning to make meals, continue socializing, coping with vision loss, assistive technology and awareness. The AARP grant will provide a resource the Newport PALS group to secure guest speakers, provide food and materials as well as to organize community awareness events.

Three St. Johnsbury Academy Sophomores Take First Place in Statewide Visual Media Competition

in Vermont

ST. JOHNSBURY — A team of three sophomores from St. Johnsbury Academy placed first in the statewide 2014 Vermont Entrepreneurship Education Visual Media Competition. This year’s theme was “Spreading the Spirit of Entrepreneurship.” The team consisted of Joseph Uyanik, Emma Foley, and Tinky Ding.

Lisa Gosselin, Vermont State Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development, announced the winning team at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Montpelier on February 6 in observance of National Entrepreneurship Week. The students received a cash award for their winning entry.

The winning video is a fast-paced 90-second montage of scenes featuring the shops and shop owners of downtown St. Johnsbury. Hand-lettered signs remind the viewer, “Entrepreneurs inspire a whole community,” and “Follow your dreams.”

“I am very pleased with the efforts of this team,” Sarah Emery, coach of the winning team, said. “I opened this competition to all of my first semester Sales and Marketing Classes, and these three students rose to the occasion. I am especially proud of their creativity and their initiative in speaking to and interviewing local business owners in St. Johnsbury.”

You can see the winning video below.

The video will be used to promote future Vermont Entrepreneurship Weeks, and will remain on the Vermont Entrepreneurship website for one year.

Watch “Organic Matters,” the New Film by NOFA Vermont

in Vermont

RICHMOND — The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA) announced the release of a short film, Organic Matters. The film highlights the importance of organic food and agriculture to human and environmental health.

The 9 minute film features certified organic farmers across Vermont talking about why they believe in certified organic, how it defines their approach to their land and to food production. It also points out why organic is important to the overall food movement.

Organic agriculture is the fastest growing sector of the U.S. agricultural economy and is the only gold standard of purity for the consumer who wants food grown without herbicides, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics or GMOs. Yet, only about 1 percent of this nation’s cropland and 3 percent of its dairy cows are certified organic.

The film is a response to the need expressed by NOFA members for more outreach to consumers about why organic matters, what the certified label means, how farmers wrote and uphold the standards, how organic food benefits human health, and how the practice of organic farming can have far-reaching and long-term benefits.

Organic Matters intends to celebrate the practices and rewards of organic farming and to inspire the next generation of organic farmers who will be needed to secure a healthy food future.

Scenes from Penguin Plunge Newport 2014

in Feature/Newport

NEWPORT — “It was a lot colder getting out,” Matt Smith said. “It almost felt like your skin was freezing.

Mr. Smith was one of the brave souls who faced single digit temperatures on Sunday as they jumped into Lake Memphremagog to raise money for Special Olympics Vermont.

The Penguin Plunge is a three-part event series that reaches 1,500 brave participants across Vermont and the surrounding states. The highly anticipated fundraising event now attracts school groups, sports teams, businesses, families, and law enforcement.

“It was not as bad as I thought it would be,” Ms. Hardin, who jumped in with a team from North Country Hospital Rehab Services, said. “Our team was ready for this, and I think we’re all in for next year.”

Newport Dispatch has put together the following video from the event, as well as some photos taken by Tanya Mueller.

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Newbury Man Arrested for Cruelty to Animals, Illegal Trapping

in Vermont

NEWBURY — A Newbury man was arrested on charges of illegally setting a trap in which he captured and then shot a neighbor’s dog.

State Game Warden Mark Schichtle and State Trooper Chuck Schulze responded to a complaint on Tuesday, February 11 from Amy Emerson of Newbury. Ms. Emerson reported that her dog had gone missing and she followed the animal’s tracks to her neighbor’s property. She found the dog caught in an illegally set trap, having been shot and killed.

Following a joint investigation, Richard Martin, 45, was charged with cruelty to animals and four separate counts of illegal trapping.

Martin is scheduled to appear in Orange County Court on March 19, 2014 to answer to the charges. He has previously been cited for trapping violations.

“Vermont has strict trapping regulations on the books, and trappers are generally skilled at selecting trap sites that do not have the potential to harm pets,” said Major Dennis Reinhardt. “On the very rare occasion that a dog does get caught in a trap, the trapper is almost always able to release the animal unharmed. The shooting of this dog was very unfortunate.”

“Trapping is a highly regulated activity in Vermont,” said Reinhardt. “The trap that captured this dog was illegally set out of season.”

Changes Taking Place in Rock Island but Stanstead Will Still Have a Florist

in Feature

STANSTEAD, QC — There’s a sea change taking place in the Rock Island section of Stanstead. It started in December when Les Terrasses Dufferin opened up where La Vielle Douane used to be. And now, as Boutique Fleurs & Passion closed its doors Friday night, a slight shuffling around between a few Stanstead businesses will bring about another change.

Former owner of Boutique Fleurs & Passion, Sylvain Roy, who for over 20 years has been doing business in Stanstead, sold his licenses to sell his popular Crabtree and Evelyn products as well as the Colonial Cape Cod candles to the Familiprix pharmacy. Starting March 3 he will be working with Familiprix to help with the transition. Anyone who is still looking to get these products will find them there.

But Stanstead will still have a florist…and a place to buy candy…and a place to rent a movie…and even a place grab a scoop of ice cream. Amazingly enough, all in the same store. In the future you will even be able to get a tan there as well.

In the final stage of this shuffling around, Vidéo Frontière will be moving down the road from 694 rue Dufferin, their current location, and taking over the store where Roy’s Boutique Fleurs & Passion was located. Nick Houle, who has owned Vidéo Frontière since October 2012, will be bringing in Brian Reynolds as co-owner of the new store.

“We’re doing everything fifty-fifty,” Houle said.

They will be taking over the florist, which will be a new addition to the video store and ice cream parlor that Houle has been running. The plan is also to have a tanning bed up and running soon.

“We’re shooting to have everything moved in by the first of March, and then hopefully open the ice cream parlor on the first of April,” Houle said.

He also said that although the new store will not necessarily be bigger, it’s more open and feels like it has more space. He also likes the location better, saying it is more of a tourist area.

Sylvain Roy agrees that the store is a great spot.

“I did very well in this location,” Roy said. “This was the best location that I had over the years.”

School Bus and Dog Thief Changes Plea to Guilty

in Feature/News

NEWPORT — Adam Page, 23, of Newport, the man who on May 17, 2013, stole a school bus and then crashed and totaled it in Holland, pled guilty in Orleans Superior Court on Thursday.

He was facing multiple charges from the incident.

Vermont State Police originally became involved with the investigation of a stolen school bus from Newport. They discovered the bus totaled and abandoned on the Valley Road in Holland. Page had fled the scene after the crash.

A dog was recovered in the bus.

While investigating, the VSP learned that Page had broken into a house belonging to Heather Murphy, and had taken her chocolate lab, the same dog recovered in Holland. Page had stolen the bus and drove to Murphy’s home in Morgan.

Page then attempted to take a 2003 Toyota truck from Zach Alix from Toad Pond Rd. When he could not steal this truck he then stole a 1995 Ford truck belonging to Robert Durfey of Morgan. Durfey’s truck was located later in Derby.

Page was arrested on 3 counts of operating without owners consent, leaving the scene of an accident, driving on a criminally suspended license, and burglary for illegal entering Murphy’s house and stealing her dog.

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