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St. Johnsbury crash victim succumbs to injuries

in Lyndonville/News/St. Johnsbury

LYNDON — Almond Fletcher, 66, of St. Johnsbury, who was critically injured in a single-vehicle crash in Lyndon over the weekend, tragically succumbed to his injuries, police say.

On Tuesday police issued a statement saying that Fletcher was pronounced dead on Monday at the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital.

Fletcher was traveling north on Elliot Road in Lyndon on Saturday, July 4, when he left the roadway, collided with a tree, and went down an embankment.

He was ejected from his vehicle during the crash.

State Police, Lyndon Rescue, and Lyndon Fire Department responded to the accident. Fletcher was transported to Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital at the time.

An earlier report by police listed Fletcher as suffering head injuries as a result of the crash, but police said on Tuesday that the accident is still under investigation.

First annual NEKHO Brew Fest this Saturday at Kingdom Brewing

in News/Upcoming Events

NEWPORT — Dr. Les Lockridge and the Northeast Kingdom Hematology Oncology (NEKHO) clinic staff are gearing up for the First Annual NEKHO Brew Fest, which will take place this Saturday at Kingdom Brewing in Newport.

The event will feature brew, food, live music and fun as NEKHO celebrate and work to replenish their Patient Fund, which helps to fill in the healthcare gaps faced by their patients.

All proceeds go directly to patients who need it the most, whether it is a food card, a gas card, or medication and treatment co-pays.

The cost of this event is $17.50, or two tickets for $30. This includes BBQ and lots of side dishes, non-alcoholic beverages, beer sampling, and a custom glass. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Besides live music, there will also be a silent auction, and organizers say “some surprises.”

Excellent beer will be available for purchase from the event sponsors at Kingdom Brewing, which is located at 353 Coburn Hill Road, in Newport.

All are welcome, so come on down.

Fore more information email organizers at: les.lockridge@vtmd.comcastbiz.net or call 802-334-7177.

MAC Center for the Arts celebrates fifth annual Art in Bloom

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — Mark your calendars, because you won’t want to miss this summertime hallmark event. The MAC Center for the Arts will kick off the Fifth Annual Art in Bloom replete with a Vernissage, Thursday, July 23 from 5-7 p.m.

Every third week of July, MAC hosts Art in Bloom, a glorious three day extravaganza of floral decorations created in collaboration with the Four Seasons Garden Club and inspired by works on display at the MAC Center for the Arts.

Art in Bloom takes place all over the country, in venues great and small, where beautiful floral arrangements are matched with visual arts and handcrafts making for an impressive event for gardeners and art lovers alike.

The benefit evening for both the MAC and the Four Seasons Garden Club, will have a few lucky patrons leaving with some fabulous door prizes.

Tickets are on sale at the MAC for $10 or from any participating MAC member or Four Seasons Garden Club member.

The show will run July 24 and July 25, from 10-5 p.m.

As an added bonus, attendees will be delighted to have the distinct opportunity to visit the Downstairs Gallery and enjoy the retrospective artwork by Donna Jean Safford, 25 Years of Painting 1990-2015, on view until September 8, 2015.

Take time out of your busy schedule to smell the roses, come to the Art in Bloom.

The MAC Center for the Arts is located at 158 Main Street, in downtown Newport.

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

All photos courtesy of the MAC Center for the Arts.
All photos courtesy of the MAC Center for the Arts.

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ATV crash leads to arrests near Vermont border

in Essex County/News

CANAAN — Two men were taken into custody by US Border Patrol and processed at the Canaan border patrol station over the weekend, after an ATV crash turned up that they were unable to provide documentation as to their status in the United States.

Authorities say that at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 4, they responded to an ATV rollover crash near the entrance to a campground at Coleman State Park, just across the Vermont border in New Hampshire.

The crash involved a rented ATV, operated by Daniel Aguirre Betancur, 21, who verbally provided officials with an address out of East Boston, Mass, however produced a driver’s license from the country of Colombia.

A passenger riding on the back of the ATV, identified himself as Jose Sanchez, 28, of Lynn, Mass, however he did not provide officers with any physical form of identification.

Betancur and Sanchez both received non-life-threatening injuries as a result of the rollover.

Agents from United States Border Patrol were notified of the situation, as the men were not citizens of the US, and neither was able to provide officers on scene with any documentation as to their status in the United States.

After interviewing the subjects and researching their information, both were taken into custody by US Border Patrol agents, and transported to the border station in Canaan for processing.

Scenes from the Harry Corrow Freedom Run

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport
All photos by Phil White.

NEWPORT — For yet another year, runners in the Harry Corrow Freedom Run celebrated Freedom. Freedom from asphalt, and freedom to choose your distance, even midway through the event.

The run showcases the Newport — Derby Bike Path and the wonderful trail system of Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation. Runners had a choice of 10 mile, 10K, 5K and 1 mile distances.

Runners in the 10K and 10 mile courses repeatedly said how much they loved the mix of the bike path and the MSTF trails, especially the single track loop just added by Bob Primeau to give runners a clean 3.5 miles within the MSTF part of the course.

In the 10 Mile Run, Stuart Jensen, 51, of Lyndonville, with a time of 1:14:39, and Dot Martin, 54, of Montpelier, with a time of 1:19:57 took home first place.

Mark Howard, 53, of Marshfield, (1:30:41) and Jeremy Smith, of Jacksonville, Florida (1:33:09) finished second and third among the men, while Lisa Whitney, 42, of St. Johnsbury, (1:30:08) and Mary Hennessy, 61, of Burlington, (1:30:28) took second and third place among the women.

All photos by Phil White.
All photos by Phil White.

Paul Chambers, 25 of Island Pond grabbed first place in the 10K course with a time of 0:45:42, while Janet Grimes, 52, of Shelburne Falls, Mass, was first among the women with a time of 1:19:57.

Bill Brown, Jr. 35, of Newport Center, and Kevin Gill, 38 of Island Pond, took 2nd and 3rd place among the men.
Former Falcon cross country star, Andrew Franklin, 18, of Newport, took the 5K run with a blistering time of 0:21:20. James Cilwik, 11, of Derby, and Andrew Drageset, 13, finished second and third among the men with ties of 0:26:51 and 0:28:46 respectively.

On the women’s side of things, Rachel Petzoldt, 16, of Westfield, claimed first place (second overall) with a time of 0:28:51, while Eliza Farber of Montclair, New Jersey, and Olivia Berthiume,14, of Westfield brought in times of 0:30:39 and 0:31:13.

The One Miler saw Rachel Farber, 14 and Grace Melville, 13, both of Montclair, New Jersey, both take first place with shared times of 0:09:41.

Next runs by Kingdom Games: A 2.5 mile trail run from South Beach of Lake Willoughby on July 18th and the 5 and 10 mile runs at the Echo Lake Road Race & Swim on August 22nd.

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Man ejected from vehicle during crash in Lyndon

in News/St. Johnsbury

LYNDON — A 66-year-old resident of St. Johnsbury was involved in a single-vehicle crash that took place in Lyndon on Saturday afternoon.

Police say that Almond Fletcher was traveling north on Elliot Road at around 2:10 p.m., when he left the roadway, collided with a tree, and went down an embankment.

Fletcher was ejected from the vehicle during the crash.

State Police, Lyndon Rescue, and Lyndon Fire Department responded to the accident.

Fletcher was transported to Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital for his injuries.

A statement issued by police says that Fletcher suffered head injuries during the accident.

Former Stantstead College security guard sentenced to 6 years in prison

in Eastern Townships/News/Stanstead

STANSTEAD, QC — Sylvain Bergeron, 44, of Ogden, was sentenced by an Illinois judge to serve six years in prison after he was found in possession of a large quantity of cocaine back in 2014.

According to court records, Bergeron was charged with possession of more than 900 grams of cocaine with intent to sell.

Bergeron, a former night security guard at Stanstead College, was stopped by Illinois State Police on January 10, 2014, for improper lane use and talking on his cell phone while driving.

A police dog assigned to the officer making the traffic stop detected the scent of drugs.

Officers later found a red duffel bag in the back seat containing the cocaine. Bergeron has been held at the Will County Jail in Joliet, Illinois since his arrest.

He pleaded guilty on Thursday to the charges and received the mandatory minimum sentence of six years imprisonment with no possibility of probation, avoiding the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

[VIDEO] Weekend des arts Bleu Pastel at the Bleu Lavande farm in Fitch Bay, Quebec

in Arts and Entertainment/Eastern Townships/Quebec

The video above was shot during the Weekend des arts Bleu Pastel at Bleu Lavande farm in Fitch Bay, Quebec.

FITCH BAY, QC — More than 50 artists participated in the third annual Weekend des arts Bleu Pastel, held at the Bleu Lavande farm in Fitch Bay, Quebec.

The exhibition ran from June 27-28, kicking off the summer season at Bleu Lavande.

Artists, photographers and craftspersons of the region and throughout Quebec had their work set up on display for visitors, held amidst the beautiful 100,000 lavender plants on site.

Bleu Lavande is recognized as one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Eastern Townships.

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Police looking for driver after hit-and-run in Orleans

in Barton/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — Police are looking for the driver involved in a hit-and-run that took place in Orleans on Wednesday afternoon.

The crash happened on Vermont Route 58 in the Village of Orleans.

Patrick Ferland, 69, of Barton, told police that while he and his young grandson were traveling west, a turquoise color older Honda sedan with a hatchback was traveling eastbound toward them and had crossed over the double yellow lines, into their travel lane and “side swiped” Ferland’s truck, causing damage.

The operator of the greenish blue or turquoise colored Honda that caused the damage took off without stopping and exchanging information or checking to see if any of the occupants had sustained any injuries.

The Honda left behind the driver’s side mirror as well as other parts that were located at the site of the crash.

Police say the Honda they are looking for, along with missing the driver’s side mirror, would have damage to the driver’s side front end.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is being asked to contact Senior Trooper Amy Borsari of the VSP at 802-334-8881.

Towels to blame for small fire at Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Investigators say that towels that were used for cleaning and stored in a bag spontaneously combusted inside the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center in Newport on Monday night.

The Newport City Fire Department was notified of smoke inside the building at around 11:55 p.m.

When they arrived on the scene, they found that the building was full of smoke. Once inside the firefighters found a shopping cart containing a bag of towels that was smoking. They pushed the cart outside where it burst into flames.

They were quickly able to extinguished the fire, and removed the smoke from the building.

On Tuesday a fire investigation unit was sent to the Tasting Center to conduct an investigation. They determined the cause of the fire as spontaneous heating.

Authorities say the the fire was caused because the towels, even though they were laundered, had chemical residue still on them, and once stored in a bag set off a chemical reaction that led to their combustion.

“Please remember to store rags and towels that have oil or grease or other chemicals on them in an area that would allow good ventilation, and do not keep them in a bag or other container that would provide insulation and allow for spontaneous heating,” Paul Cerutti, Assistant State Fire Marshal said.

The damage is estimated at $5,000.

Memphremagog Watershed Association hosts Blueberries for Blue Waters Workshop

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — For the second year the Memphremagog Watershed Association (MWA) held a “Blueberries for Blue Waters Workshop.”

MWA members Ginnie & Bob Bowman hosted the event on June 27. The workshop included a presentation by Perry Thomas, Manager for Lakes and Ponds Management about the nearshore ecology and relationship to shorelands.

Perry also invited participants to view some of the lake shore critters via a dissecting microscope. 

Judy Davis of the Federation of Vermont Lakes and Ponds (FOVLAP) provided information about planting and caring for blueberries and discussed the benefits of vegetative buffers.

All participants received four mature blueberry plants, a variety to promote healthy pollination, soil amendments, handouts to support “Lake Wise” best practices and a shoreland management buffer pledge.


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For the past few years, Vermont lake associations and homeowners wishing to learn more about managing their properties for lake health have had the opportunity to receive workshops, educational materials, and plants to help defray the cost of planting buffers.

Through the Buffers for Blue Lakes program, lake associations invited local homeowners to attend a workshop where they learned about lake ecology and the role that shoreland buffers play in creating healthy shallow water ecosystems.

In addition to the workshop and educational materials, homeowners on each lake received blueberry plants, soil amendments, and technical support for planting their blueberries.

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Two Newport residents arrested while trying to steal a boat

in Derby/Newport/News
Photos courtesy of the Vermont State Police.

DERBY — Two Newport residents are behind bars after a bizarre incident that took place at a home in Sunset Acres on Sunday morning.

Police say that Spencer Lucas, 25, and Danual Morrow, 42, are accused of going on a crime spree along the Newport bike path, that ended in the two trying to steal a boat from a residence.

A witness to the incident says that they had the boat running, and were attempting to get it off of the lift, when the boat owner came out and asked what was going on.

They are reported to have said that they were repossessing the boat, and then came up on the property and started looking around the tool shed. The boat owner asked again what they were doing, when one of the suspects replied, “we’re looking to see what else you got.”

It’s alleged that at some point they threatened to kill the boat owner. Both are said to have resisted arrest.

Through investigation police say it was determined that they attempted to steal several boats and caused various damage during the crime spree. Police say Lucas and Morrow were found in possession of stolen property and Lucas was in possession of a controlled substance.

Photos courtesy of the Vermont State Police.
Photos courtesy of the Vermont State Police.

Both were lodged at Northern State Correctional Facility for violations of their probation and parole.

They are facing charges of theft, unlawful mischief, unauthorized use of boat, and possession of narcotics.

A statement issued by police lists the victims as Gerald West, Donald Chapdelaine, and David Dahl.

Your guide to Fourth of July fireworks, events in Orleans County

in Barton/Derby/Island Pond/Newport/News/Westmore

NEWPORT — The Fourth of July falls on a Saturday this year, which seems extra conducive to a celebration. Pack the family, the lawn chairs and blankets, and head out to watch some fireworks, hear some live music, or take in a boat parade on this annual rite of summer.

Here are some of the events in Orleans County you won’t want to miss on Independence Day:

NEWPORT

Gardner Park will feature an afternoon and evening of music, bed races, hula hooping competition, vendors and more. Classic rock band The Hitmen will be one of the featured bands at this year’s festivities, with fireworks starting at 9:45 p.m.

The Farmers’ Market will even be open from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m, featuring music, vegetables, and fresh grass fed beef for those burgers.

DERBY

A parade on Main Street will start at 10 a.m.

NORTH TROY

A parade will start at 11 a.m., followed by a chicken barbecue.

ISLAND POND

The 4th of July celebration in Island Pond will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 3rd – 5th. Fireworks will be on Friday night at dusk. There will be events held throughout the weekend. The annual parade will be on Saturday at 11 a.m.

WESTMORE

The annual 4th of July Boat Parade will line up off Crescent Beach on Lake Willoughby at 3:45 p.m. Come out and relax on the beach and enjoy the show.

BARTON

The Barton fire Department and Orleans County Fair Association, in partnership with community sponsors, will bring the July 4th parade to Barton once again. The parade will start at 2 p.m. and will proceed from Main Street to Glover Street, Elm Street, Park Street, Roaring Brook Road and end at the fairgrounds.

The fireworks will be held at the fairgrounds at dusk.

ORLEANS COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

An Independence Day Celebration will take place at Orleans County Fairgrounds in Barton during the day on Friday, July 4th. Activities will include antique/farm tractor pull, horse & pony pull, gymkhana, horseshoe competition, games, food and more.

GREENSBORO

Friday July 3rd – FIREWORKS – at dusk off Lake Shore Road. A good place to watch is the baseball field or public beach.

Saturday July 4th – PARADE – line up starts at 9:15 a.m. – walkers and antique cars will line up at the new fire station, everyone else on Lake Shore Road – all are welcome to be in the Parade.

The Parade starts promptly at 10 a.m. and ends at the Town Hall Green where there will be music and activities for children.

You can purchase a Chicken BBQ lunch including coleslaw, roll, beverage and dessert from the UCC for $10.00, please call 802-533-2223 to reserve your meal.

Saturday July 4th – SQUARE DANCE – in the Tent on the Town Hall Green, from 7 – 9 p.m. The Caller is Robin Russell with music by Pete’s Posse.

Admission is $5.00, children under 12 free. Sponsored by Greensboro Arts Alliance and Residency

Craig Lenning completes 25 mile swim from Newport to Magog

in Magog/Newport/News
Lenning and kayaker Don Houghton Jr. of Craftsbury in Derby Bay heading north.

NEWPORT — Craig Lenning, 36, from Denver, Colorado and his wife, May Spengler, came to town to quietly take care of some unfinished business. A 25 mile international swim between Newport, Vermont and Magog, Quebec.

Twice denied in September of 2014, first by a thunderstorm and then by a sudden illness, Lenning was able to pass in his third attempt at this 25 mile international swim.

Leaning battled 10 to 15 mile headwinds during miles 4 through 8 and again at 10 through 12. Once he passed Georgeville they turned to crosswinds. The skies were sunny and fair most of the way, with water temperatures ranging from 62 to 66 degrees.

Things were looking good until mile 19, when nausea began to take over. Boat fumes from a shifting wind were a contributing factor.

Lenning faced off a difficult final 6 miles, but was not to be denied, finishing in a time of 15 hours and 5 minutes. A light shower and a brilliant double rainbow greeted him as he passed by the Three Sister Islands, two miles out.

Lenning, his wife and crew May Spengler, and Don Houghton, Jr. at the City Dock at the start. All photos by Phil White.
Lenning, his wife and crew May Spengler, and Don Houghton, Jr. at the City Dock at the start. All photos by Phil White.

Lenning showed serious determination to finish just as the sun was setting.

Don Houghton, Jr. of Craftsbury, kayaked for him the entire swim, with Phil White and May Spengler providing support from a pontoon boat generously provided by Fran Azur and Melanie Gefert.

  Lenning and kayaker Don Houghton Jr. of Craftsbury in Derby Bay heading north.
Lenning and kayaker Don Houghton Jr. of Craftsbury in Derby Bay heading north.
Lenning swimming by Georgeville.
Lenning swimming by Georgeville.

18-year-old man airlifted to hospital after car accident in Troy

in Derby/News/Troy/Westfield

TROY — An 18-year-old man from Westfield was airlifted to the hospital after a serious accident that took place near Troy on Friday.

Authorities have not released much information about the accident, but say that Cody Rosenberger, 18, of Westfield was traveling south on Vermont Route 101 toward the village of Troy, when he crashed his truck into the back of a Jeep. The incident took place at around 5:40 p.m.

Police say that the Jeep was being driven by Adam Judd, 30, of Derby, who was attempting to turn left onto Starrs Drive.

Both Judd and Rosenberger were the only occupants in their vehicles.

Rosenberger was transported to North Country Hospital, and subsequently transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center via helicopter for the injuries he sustained in the crash.

There is no information as to the nature of his injuries, and police have not said if Judd was injured during the accident.

Both vehicles were totaled during the incident.

West Burke man injured after motorcycle hits deer

in Burke/News/Sutton

SUTTON — A 72-year-old man from West Burke was transported to the hospital today after his motorcycle collided with a deer.

Police say that Robert Hallett was traveling south on Vermont Route 5A in the town of Sutton when a deer ran out in front of his motorcycle.

Hallett hit the deer causing the motorcycle to go down on its side.

According to a statement issued by police, Hallett was transported to the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital after the crash.

At this time the extent of Hallett’s injuries are unknown.

Pianist Michael Arnowitt to play Beethoven piano sonatas this Sunday in Newport

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — He’s been called one of the most creative and imaginative musicians of today. This Sunday, as part of the Now Playing Newport Music Series, Pianist Michael Arnowitt will be in town to perform the last three Beethoven piano sonatas.

Arnowitt is well known for his beautiful and sensitive touch at the keyboard, for the clarity and elegance of his musical ideas, for his abilities to find new articulations and colors from the piano, and for his innovative and thought-provoking concert programs.

“Beethoven & Arnowitt VIII” is Michael Arnowitt’s final concert in his 26-year long odyssey to perform the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas.

Starting in 1989 when he was 26 years old, Michael Arnowitt began a series of eight concerts, matching up his age as he performs the various sonatas with Beethoven’s age as Beethoven composed them. 2015 marks the end of this novel study into the psychology of aging and development with a program of Beethoven’s final three piano sonatas op. 109, 110, and 111, universally regarded as among the most spiritual and transcendent music of all time.

The program will take place on Sunday, June 28, beginning at 4 p.m., and will be followed by a reception for the artist.

Tickets are $10 and are available in advance.

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Vermont adds nine species to threatened and endangered list

in News/Vermont

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources recently added nine species to the list of state threatened and endangered species. The listing included four plants, three bumble bees, one amphibian, and one bird.

Three pollinators listed were the rusty-patched bumble bee, yellow-banded bumble bee, and Ashton cuckoo bumble bee. Pollinators such as bees, moths, and butterflies are critically important to Vermont’s agriculture, but many are in decline nationwide. According to a survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, beekeepers reported losing 42 percent of their honeybee colonies between April 2014 and April 2015.

Vermont’s bumble bee species appear to be in decline due to a parasite infestation. Another concern for pollinator conservation is the widespread use of a group of systemic insecticides referred to as ‘neonicotinoids.’ These pesticides are used on agricultural crops, and are also used in concentrated doses on home gardens, lawns, and ornamental trees. Several types of neonicotinoids are highly toxic to bees, in addition to making them more susceptible to parasites and pathogens.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency is currently considering legislation that would limit the use of these chemicals.

“Pollinators are essential to our farms and also to our meadows and wild orchards,” said Deb Markowitz, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. “Adding them to the endangered species list is only one of many steps we can take to help protect them. Additional techniques, such as integrated pest management and planting more native flowering plants, are others.”

The bumble bee listings do not come with restrictions against currently legal activities such as applying pesticides in accordance with state and federal regulations, although the Secretary may notify a landowner that a permit is required in cases where one of these bumble bee species is likely present.

More information on pollinators, including a list of pesticides for homeowners to avoid, is available on The Xerces Society’s website at www.xerces.org.

In addition to pollinators, the Fowler’s toad and rusty blackbird were listed as endangered in Vermont.

The Fowler’s toad is dependent on scoured sand banks along the Connecticut River, a limited habitat type in Vermont, and has always been extremely rare in Vermont. However, the toad had been detected in the state with infrequent regularity until 2007 when the toad was last heard.

Rusty blackbird populations have declined regionally by more than 90 percent during the past five decades, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Vermont is at the southern edge of the bird’s boreal forest breeding habitat.

Four plant species were also listed as endangered in Vermont. These include the dwarf birch, tulip tree, whorled milkweed, and green mountain quillwort. These plants were previously not thought to exist in the wild in Vermont, but single specimens or single populations of all four species were found recently in the state.

“While we are delighted to have located these rare species, their endangered status reminds us that many of these plants can only survive where there is habitat to support them,” said Markowitz. “We are fortunate in our state that Vermonters value the bees, birds, and plants that enrich our experience of nature and have worked to conserve lands so that future generations might enjoy them as well. It is critical that we continue to protect not only endangered species but the places where they thrive.”

Vermont currently has 51 state threatened and endangered animals, and 163 state threatened and endangered plants. Three well known birds were removed from the list in 2005, the peregrine falcon, osprey, and common loon, following the birds’ recovery as a result of conservation efforts.

Sterling College helps veterans launch farms with $10,000 grants

in Craftsbury/News

CRAFTSBURY COMMON — Building on the growing interest of veterans in farming at a time when the Department of Labor reports that the nation’s farmers are nearing retirement with an average age of 56, Sterling College has announced the creation of the Veteran College-to-Farm Program.

Sterling was among the first institutions in the United States to focus on sustainable practices in agriculture. Starting this fall, veterans that complete a degree in Sustainable Agriculture or Sustainable Food Systems at the Vermont college will receive a $10,000 grant to launch a farm or food business.

“We are proud to launch this first-of-its-kind program and enlist veterans in furthering a more sustainable future for farming,” said Sterling College President Matthew Derr. “With these grants, Sterling will help start the post-service careers of veterans who will redesign the nation’s food system into one based in environmental stewardship that is more just, healthy, and doesn’t exacerbate climate change.”

Eligibility to join the first cohort is limited to veterans who are admitted and enroll at Sterling College for September 2015. Assistance with post-graduation careers in food entrepreneurship will be augmented by continued support from the Center for an Agricultural Economy and Yankee Farm Credit.

The Center for an Agricultural Economy, based in Hardwick, will offer business and technical services for farm and food businesses started by veterans. Through its multi-use shared food business incubator, the Vermont Food Venture Center, veterans will have access to food safety training and regulatory assistance, industrial production kitchens, and specialized food business advising, such as marketing, nutritional labeling, and more.

“With our shared-use food hub facility, we’ve worked with over 200 specialty food and farm products in the past four years,” said Sarah Waring, Executive Director of the Center for an Agricultural Economy. “The range of services can be tailored to meet the needs of each veteran’s specific enterprise. With this new program, we’re thrilled to partner with Sterling to provide support as the next generation of agricultural entrepreneurs is fostered in Vermont and beyond.”

In collaboration with Sterling’s partners at Yankee Farm Credit’s Farm Start program, each veteran who meets the criteria of the program will also be provided with access to business and finance planning consulting and management development programs. Additionally, based on creditworthiness, qualified participants will be eligible for the FarmStart program which includes up to a $50,000 working capital investment, a personal Farm Start advisor, and a written business plan.

“Yankee Farm Credit is enthusiastic to collaborate in the launch of the Veteran College-to-Farm Program at Sterling,” said George Putnam, President and CEO of Yankee Farm Credit. “We are proud to work with America’s farmer veterans and look forward to this partnership to help support the transition from service to college and then to launching farm businesses where veterans will continue to serve their neighbors and communities.”

This new program will enroll five students for September 2015. Priority will be given to those who apply by July 15, 2015.

Local students earn top prizes at Stanstead College

in coventry/Derby Line/Holland/Irasburg/Montgomery/Newport/Orleans
Jacob Hochstrasser-Borsari (middle right) shares the Pitcher Prize with Julia Gilpin, presented by College board chairman Jonathan Cowen (left) and guest speaker George Diamondoupolis, Class of 1994.

STANSTEAD, QC — Jacob Hochstrasser-Borsari of Holland was the major prize-winner at Saturday’s Baccalaureate and Prize-Giving Service for Stanstead College, held at Centenary United Church.

In addition to winning the Grade 12 prizes for Chemistry, Physics and the highest Term 3 average, Jacob won the Choir Award, the Technology Prize, the Community Service Award, the Spofforth Trophy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics, the Arthur E. Curtis Jr. Award for the top student entering an engineering program, the Bowman Hall Award for a major athlete with the highest average, and the Birks Silver Medal for the highest overall average in Grade 12.

To top it all, Jacob shared the Pitcher Memorial Prize with fellow head prefect Julia Gilpin of Wemindji, Quebec. This is the school’s top prize, awarded to the student who has exerted the greatest influence for good. Headmaster Wolfe said the tie was a result of a dead heat in the voting. This is the first time since 1970 that the award has been shared.

Jacob will be studying electrical engineering at McGill University in Montreal this fall.

Jacob Hochstrasser-Borsari (middle right) shares the Pitcher Prize with Julia Gilpin, presented by College board chairman Jonathan Cowen (left) and guest speaker George Diamondoupolis, Class of 1994.
Jacob Hochstrasser-Borsari (middle right) shares the Pitcher Prize with Julia Gilpin, presented by College board chairman Jonathan Cowen (left) and guest speaker George Diamondoupolis, Class of 1994.

Ryan Fletcher, a graduating Grade 12 student from Irasburg, won the first-ever Ashworth Scholarship, awarded to a deserving local day student who consistently demonstrated effort and excelled in some area of activity. Ryan also won the Grade 12 French and Philosophy prizes, as well as the Jazz Band Award.

Ryan will be studying physics at St. Lawrence University in the fall.

Ryan Fletcher receives the first Ashworth Scholarship from former teacher Peter Ashworth.
Ryan Fletcher receives the first Ashworth Scholarship from former teacher Peter Ashworth.

Kaylee Bowen, a Grade 10 student from Orleans, won the Faculty-Staff Award, presented to a student who is deemed most likely to benefit from returning to the College and who exemplifies the qualities of health, wisdom and integrity. She also won the Leonard McGilton Memorial Award, presented to a senior returning local student.

Andrew Bouchard of Newport was the top student in Grade 7, winning prizes for Art, Geography, History, Math, Science and French. He also had the top overall average in Grade 7.

Emily Willis of Newport cleaned up in Grade 8, earning prizes for French, Geography, History, Math, Music, Science and the highest overall average.

Alexander Bimm of Montgomery had the highest average in Grade 9 and won the class prize for French, Math and Science. He also earned the E. Harper Junior Debating Trophy, the Thespian Shield for Acting and the Banting Award, presented to a returning local student for academic achievement.

Ian Kemp, a Grade 12 student from Coventry, won the John T. Hackett Trophy for Senior Debating. He will be studying political science at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia.

Sadie Smith, Grade 11, of Montgomery earned the Billy Huckins Memorial Award for dedication, hard work, achievement and courage. Her sister Annawon the English prize for Grade 10.

Finally, Patrick Young, Grade 8, from Derby Line, won his class English prize, while the Grade 7 English prize went to Francesca Richardi of Newport Center. Elizabeth Gaudreau of Newport won the Grade 9 Music prize.

In all, 59 students graduated with a Grade 12 diploma, including five Vermont day students.

Shaw’s Natural Spring Water recalled due to possible E. Coli contamination

in News/Vermont

DERBY — Shaw’s announced that Niagara Bottling is issuing a voluntary recall of certain bottled water products, including Natural Spring Water sold under the Shaw’s brand name, due to concerns that one of Niagara’s spring sources is contaminated with E. coli.

E. coli bacteria were found in the water supply on June 10, 2015. No illnesses have been reported to date. The recall affects multiple retailers in the region and was issued out of an abundance of caution. 

People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk if contaminated water is consumed. People with specific health concerns should consult their physician if they have questions.

Presence of E. coli bacteria indicate that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms.

The following bottled water products sold at Shaw’s in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont have been recalled.

The recalled products have Best By dates of 08DEC2016 through 16DEC2016 (December 8, 2016 through December 16, 2016).

SHAW’S Natural Spring  Water (24) PACK
16.9oz Bottles
UPC Number on Case Packaging – 4567421415
UPC Number on Individual Bottles – 4567452952

SHAWS  Natural Spring Water (35) PACK
16.9oz Bottles
UPC Number on Case Packaging – 4567453026
UPC Number on Individual Bottles – 4567452952

SHAWS Natural Spring Water
(12) PACK
8.0oz Bottles
UPC Number on Case Packaging – 4567452217
UPC Number on Individual Bottles – 4567452217

Consumers who purchased these products should discard them or return them for a full refund. These products have been removed from sale.

For more information, please call Niagara Bottling, LLC Consumer Service, (877) 487-7873.

Food drop in Barton set for this Thursday

in Barton/News

BARTON — The Barton Ambulance Squad, Northeast Kingdom Faith In Action, E.M. Brown, and the Barton Fire Department are teaming up again this year for another food drop.

This year’s food drop will take place on Thursday, June 25, starting at 12 p.m. at the Barton Fire Department, located on Main Street in Barton.

Volunteers will arrive at 10 a.m., ready to distribute over 10,000 pounds of food.

Organizers are advising everyone to bring a basket or a tote, and that disptibution will not start until noon, so no early bird specials.

Last year, the group gave away over 40,000 pounds of food. The events, hosted 3-4 times per year, draw large crowds, making it hard to find a place to park sometimes, with volunteers having to direct traffic.

“We expect to do the same or more this year,” Luke Willard, Captain of Barton Ambulance and the organizer of the food drop, said. “We expect to give away about 10,000 pounds in just a couple hours. We even deliver to a growing number of seniors and disabled who are unable to make it to the give away. The event is completely organized and manned by volunteers. We enjoy the opportunity to help folks out and we try very hard to make it as smooth as possible.”

If you have any questions about this years food drop, call Luke at Barton Ambulance at (802) 525-3637.

Below are scenes from last years event, distributing over 40,000 pounds of food:

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Cornucopia to receive $5,000 through People’s United Community Foundation

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The People’s United Community Foundation, the philanthropic arm of People’s United Bank, announced that it has awarded $5,000 to Umbrella of St. Johnsbury.

The funding from People’s United Community Foundation will go to support Cornucopia, a transitional job-training program in the culinary and hospitality fields.

Cornucopia is a dual-purpose social enterprise that addresses both hunger and unemployment, offering a weekly community meal to 50 older adults in Newport, in addition to 670 meals per week to 120 individuals in Orleans County.

“Cornucopia could not succeed without the support of community partners and we are thrilled that the foundation recognizes how essential the program is in helping local women gain the skills necessary to secure stable employment as they move towards economic independence,” said Renee Swain, Executive Director of Umbrella.

Umbrella offers safety, support and options for self-determination to women and families throughout Caledonia, Orleans and Essex Counties. Services provided by four primary programs include domestic and sexual violence crisis and prevention, child-care resource and referrals, a family center, and vocational training.

“Job training programs and other support services are critical in helping individuals transition to self-sufficiency,” said Michael Seaver, Officer, People’s United Community Foundation and President of People’s United Bank in Vermont.

“Umbrella does an incredible job of breaking down the barriers for low-income women and providing the necessary skills to be successful.”

Son of a Swim kicks off open water swimming season on Memphremagog

in Newport/Outdoors

NEWPORT — The Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association kicked off its summer season with the first round of Son of a Swim. Seven swimmers took to the waters of mighty Lake Memphremagog from Prouty Beach, swimming 2, 4, or 6 miles.

They travelled from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Stowe and Norwich to swim in 65 degree water and prepare for the swim season ahead.

The day was sunny and although it started out cold, it eventually warmed up. Wind from the south started at about 5 mph but rose to about 15 to 20 mph, giving swimmers the perfect opportunity to practice in some mild but decent chop.

Son of a Swim is intentionally small, capped at 10. It is intended to allow swimmers to “stretch” and qualify for longer distances at Kingdom Swim.

Interest has grown to the point where organizers have added the second day on June 27, with 10 swimmers signed up so far.

Next up will be Son of a Swim II on June 27, the Willoughby Tri on July 18, and Kingdom Swim on July 25.

Deadline for registration for the long courses at Kingdom Swim is July 1, 2015. Deadline for the 1 mile, ¼ mile, and 100 yard courses is July 15, 2015.

So far, 135 swimmers have signed on for Kingdom Swim, traveling from Scotland, Saudi Arabia, and 20 states and Canadian provinces.

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Community National Bank donates flag to Northeast International Mutual Aid

in Eastern Townships/Troy
Troy Fire Department Chief and North East International Mutual Aid (NEIMA) member Bobby Jacobs accepting a new U.S. Flag from Community National Bank Vice President Cindy LaGue.

TROY — In a recent show of respect and admiration, Community National Bank Vice President of Branch Administration Cindy LaGue presented a 25 by 40 foot U.S. Flag to Troy Fire Department Chief and Northeast International Mutual Aid (NEIMA) member Bobby Jacobs.

The flag is a gift from the bank to NEIMA to replace the current flag that has been used for many years at various ceremonial events and local firefighters’ funeral services.

NEIMA is a nonprofit association made up of numerous fire departments across two countries.

Member departments include Albany, Ayer’s Cliff, Barton, Brighton, Charleston, Craftsbury, Derby Line, Glover, Irasburg, Jay, Lowell, Mansonville, Newark, Newport, Newport Center, North Troy, Orleans, Stanstead, Stanstead Township, Troy and Westmore.

The organization permits member departments to work together when extra resources are needed during an emergency, at no extra cost to the requesting department.

NEIMA also serves as a voice for its member departments when conversing with state officials on issues of interest to all of the members.

Each year, NEIMA hosts a regional fire school open to member and nonmember departments with course offerings to beginners and experienced firefighters to ensure safe and effective techniques are being used.

Troy Fire Department Chief and North East International Mutual Aid (NEIMA) member Bobby Jacobs accepting a new U.S. Flag from Community National Bank Vice President Cindy LaGue.
Troy Fire Department Chief and North East International Mutual Aid (NEIMA) member Bobby Jacobs accepting a new U.S. Flag from Community National Bank Vice President Cindy LaGue.

Most of the firefighters serving our communities are volunteers.

“Community National Bank thanks all departments and their members for their dedicated service,” a statement issued by the bank reads. “We appreciate all of your efforts.”

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