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Woman who worked as a local caregiver facing charges

in Brownington/Glover/News
Photo courtesy of the Vermont State Police.
Photo courtesy of the Vermont State Police.
Photo courtesy of the Vermont State Police.

DERBY — Police announced that on Monday, a 29-year-old woman with ties to Orleans County was arrested in Danville, following a 6 month investigation into her activities. The woman is facing numerous charges, some of which relate to her activities within Orleans County, going back to August of 2014.

Police say that Laura E. Duffy, of Richford, was taken into custody after a 6 month joint investigation with the DEA. Authorities say that she worked as a caregiver in the area, working in Brownington and Glover.

According to a statement issued by police, she is being charged with Possession of Regulated Drugs, Petit Larceny, Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of Vulnerable Adult.

Police say she was found in possession of prescription drugs that did not belong to her.

The term “vulnerable adult” has a very specific meaning as defined by Vermont law. A person is a vulnerable adult if he/she is:

1. Age 18 or older; and
2. is a resident of a licensed facility such as a nursing or community care home; or
3. is a patient in a psychiatric unit or hospital; or
4. has received personal care services for longer than one month; or
5. regardless of residence or whether any type of service is received, is impaired due to brain damage, infirmities of aging, or a physical, mental, or developmental disability.
 

Haskell Opera House receives Plum Creek Grant

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/News
Haskell Opera House Director, Lynn Leimer is presented with a $3,000 Check from Plum Creek, by Community Affairs Manager, Mark Doty to assist with the Phase III Technological Upgrade at the Opera House.
Haskell Opera House Director, Lynn Leimer is presented with a $3,000 Check from Plum Creek, by Community Affairs Manager, Mark Doty to assist with the Phase III Technological Upgrade at the Opera House.
Haskell Opera House Director, Lynn Leimer is presented with a $3,000 Check from Plum Creek, by Community Affairs Manager, Mark Doty to assist with the Phase III Technological Upgrade at the Opera House.

DERBY LINE — In 2015, the Haskell Opera House is celebrating 111 years and is trying to keep up with the ever changing needs in the 21st Century. Martha Stewart Haskell had no idea when she built this unique venue that it would require state-of-the-art lighting, technology, and fire retardant theatre drapes. The venue is currently in Phase III of upgrades to the building.

Preserving the integrity of the building and maintaining an attractive rental property for performers are key to this phase. A detailed list of new upgrades prompted Lynn Leimer, Haskell Opera House Theatre Director and grant writer Anita Morin-Mayhew, to set about finding money for these improvements.

Over the years Plum Creek has been generous in supporting the community and the arts in this region. As a result, they recently awarded the Haskell Opera House $3,000 toward the purchase of new stage curtains. Community Affairs Manager, Mark Doty recently visited the Haskell Opera House to present the check.

Plum Creek is among the largest and most geographically diverse private landowners in the nation with more than 6 million acres of timberlands in 19 states. They also operate wood products mills in the Northwest, managing working forests using sustainable practices to benefit Plum Creek’s many stakeholders. Their employees work together to create shareholder value, serve as stewards of the environment, make wood products for everyday use, and build strong communities.

If patrons, businesses or community organizations are interested in assisting with the Phase III Technological Upgrade, they can send a tax-deductible donation to the Haskell Opera House, earmarked Phase III Upgrade, PO Box 337 Derby Line VT 05830.

Please visit www.plumcreek.com for the latest information about Plum Creek.

Derby Line woman to plead guilty to fraud and filing a false tax return

in Derby Line/News

DERBY LINE — The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that it filed charges on Monday against Amy C. Fletcher, of Derby Line, alleging fraud and a false tax filing. According to the charge, while working for Derby Line Ambulance during 2009-2012, Fletcher diverted money from the company to pay personal expenses, and also filed a false personal tax return in 2011.

The charge alleges that Fletcher “engaged in an ongoing practice of diverting funds from DLA for personal use, paying personal credit cards and home and car loans.”

The charge further alleges that over 400 checks were drawn on DLA’s business accounts “made payable to Amy C. Fletcher and others for her benefit. Many of the transfers paid down outstanding balances on 14 credit cards maintained by Fletcher. Such illicit transfers totaled over $250,000.”

According to the separate tax charge, Fletcher “willfully made and subscribed a 2011 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (Form 1040), which was verified by a written declaration,” which understated her actual income and was false.

Also filed on Monday is a Plea Agreement under which Fletcher agreed to plead guilty to both charges. A plea hearing has yet to be scheduled.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. The maximum possible penalty for the two offenses is 20 years in prison.

Fletcher is represented by attorney David Sleigh of St. Johnsbury. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney William Darrow.

Single-vehicle crash in Newport Center early Sunday morning

in Newport/News/Westfield

NEWPORT — Police say that an early morning crash in the town of Newport Center resulted in a vehicle going over an embankment, and getting stuck in a small brook. The driver was uninjured, but police placed him under arrest for suspicion of DUI.

The crash took place at around 4:15 a.m. on Sunday morning. The driver had been traveling south on Vermont Route 100 when his vehicle left the roadway and went over the embankment.

The driver was uninjured in the crash.

Vermont State Police say that they spoke with the driver, a 21-year-old resident of Westfield, and detected a strong odor of intoxicants. They had him perform field sobriety exercises.

Police say he was subsequently arrested for suspicion of DUI, after providing a preliminary breath sample of .164.

Vermont walleye fishing season underway

in Outdoors/Vermont
Photo taken at Lake Seymour, by Tanya Muller.
Photo taken at Lake Seymour, by Tanya Muller.
Photo taken at Lake Seymour, by Tanya Muller.

NEWPORT — With some of the best walleye fishing in New England in the Northeast Kingdom, the Vermont walleye fishing season is underway. The season officially opened on Saturday. The Northeast Kingdom offers walleye fishing opportunities in Salem Lake, Island Pond, Clyde Pond, and the Clyde River.

In all waters of Vermont except Lake Carmi, Chittenden Reservoir and the Connecticut River, walleye and sauger have an 18” minimum length requirement and three-fish daily limit. The open season runs from May 2 to March 15, 2016.

output_uuBvWA“We expect walleye fishing may be good this spring in some of the Lake Champlain tributaries because the cold spring temperatures and late runoff have delayed spawning, which ultimately means more walleye will be in the rivers than we’d see during a normal spring,” said Chet MacKenzie, fisheries biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “Though it’s always difficult to predict, we’d expect the Winooski, Lamoille and Missisquoi Rivers to provide the best chance for anglers to connect with walleye early in the season.”

A number of other rivers and lakes across Vermont offer quality walleye fishing opportunities as well, though anglers should be aware that regulations may vary depending on the waterbody they are fishing.

Lake Carmi has a slot limit for walleye because of the lake’s high rates of natural walleye reproduction and high fishing pressure. The minimum length is 15 inches, and all walleye between 17 and 19 inches must be released. The daily limit is five walleye, but only one may be over 19 inches long. The season is open May 2 through March 15.

Chittenden Reservoir has special walleye regulations in order to produce large walleye that can help control its over-abundant yellow perch population, and provide anglers with an opportunity to harvest a trophy walleye. The minimum length is 22 inches, the daily limit is two, and the season is open June 1 through March 15.

Connecticut River walleye fishing rules are set by New Hampshire. No walleye between 16 and 18 inches may be kept and the daily limit is four fish, of which only one may be longer than 18 inches.

Vermont’s state record walleye weighed 14.55 lbs. and was caught in Lake Champlain by Richard Levesque of Swanton in 2010.

To learn more about fishing in Vermont or to purchase a Vermont fishing license, visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com.

Foreign Trade Zone expanded to include all of Lamoille County

in News/Vermont

MORRISVILLE — The Northeastern Vermont Development Association has officially been granted approval to expand its Foreign Trade Zone service area to include all of Lamoille County. NVDA first received its FTZ designation from the US Department of Commerce in March, 2013.

NVDA has since worked with the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation to make the FTZ program available to a greater number of Vermont businesses.

Businesses and industries within Lamoille, Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans Counties that import foreign goods or components into the region are now eligible to apply for reductions or eliminations in tariffs, duties and custom fees. 



NVDA and LEDC are available to meet with businesses interested in the program to discuss FTZ opportunities and benefits.

For more information or to schedule a visit you should contact:

David Snedeker at dsnedeker@nvda.net
John Mandeville at john@lamoilleeconomy.org

GMUW promotes 23rd annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive

in Vermont

NEWPORT — On May 9, 2015, the 23rd Annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive for the benefit of local food shelves will take place. This event, which happens across the U.S., is significant in Vermont where over 13 percent of families are considered food insecure and nearly 20 percent of children do not have enough nutritious food to eat on a daily basis.

Last year, nearly 32,000 pounds of food were collected in the Green Mountain United Way five counties and distributed to 20 of our food pantries at a time when their shelves are close to being empty after a hard winter.

GMUW helps to coordinate this very important food drive and are asking everyone to participate. On the morning of Saturday, May 9th, place your non-perishable food items in a bag at your mailbox and your letter carrier will be happy to pick it up for delivery to the food shelf nearest you. If you do not have a letter carrier, simply bring your donated items to your post office and they will take care of the delivery.

Please do not donate any outdated items as they will just be thrown away as per government regulations. Please also try to give useful items like cereal, peanut butter, canned vegetables and fruit, rice, and beans.

Let’s all take part in the biggest one-day food drive that takes place each year and brings in over 70 million pounds of food across our country. We can all make a difference by helping to Stamp Out Hunger.

For more information about GMUW, please visit www.gmunitedway.org.

Police: North Troy business, Derby residence burglarized

in Derby/Newport/News/North Troy

DERBY — Police are reporting that a business in North Troy, and a home in Derby were burglarized over the last several days. In both incidents tools were reported stolen, but police have not said if the crimes appear to be related.

Police say they were contacted by Scott LeBaron, 57, of Newport, reporting several tools had been stolen from a residence he was renovating at 76 Main Street in the Town of Derby. Scott advised the burglary occurred between the hours of 6 p.m. on 04/22/2015 and 3:30 p.m. on 04/23/2015.

LeBaron told police several drills and a nailer were stolen from the residence and the garage.

The second burglary took place at Paddie’s Snack Bar, located at 193 East Main Street in the village of North Troy. Patricia Pyne, 72, of Marshfield, told police someone broke into the garage at the business and stole a Jonsered chain saw.

The burglary occurred between the hours of 7 p.m. on 04/26/2015 and 1:30 p.m on 04/27/2015.

Police are requesting that anyone who has information about one or both of the burglaries, to contact the Vermont State Police Derby Barracks.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont announces presidential run

in News/Vermont

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 12.18.36 PM

NEWPORT — The independent Vermont senator Bernie Sanders announced this morning that he is running for president. Sanders made the announcement in an email he sent to supporters and the media early Thursday morning. He will be running as a Democrat, and will provide Hillary Rodham Clinton with her first rival for the party’s nomination.

BELOW IS A COPY OF THE EMAIL THAT SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS SENT TO HIS SUPPORTERS

I am writing to inform you that I will be a candidate for President of the United States. I ask for your support.

Add your name to support my campaign.

For many months I have been traveling from coast to coast across our country, and have had the opportunity to meet with thousands of good, hard-working, and remarkable people. Like you and me, they are deeply concerned about the future of our country.

They wonder why they are working longer hours for lower wages. They worry about whether their kids will be able to afford college or get decent jobs. They fear that they may not have the savings to retire with dignity and security.

The challenges facing our country are enormous.

It’s not just that, for forty years, the middle class has been disappearing. It’s that 99% of all new income is going to the top 1%, and the grotesque level of wealth and income inequality today is worse than at any time since the late 1920s. The people at the top are grabbing all the new wealth and income for themselves, and the rest of America is being squeezed and left behind.

The disastrous decisions of the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case and in other related decisions are undermining the very foundations of American democracy, as billionaires rig the system by using their Super PACs to buy politicians and elections.

And the peril of global climate change, with catastrophic consequences, is the central challenge of our times and our planet.

The middle class in America is at a tipping point. It will not last another generation if we don’t boldly change course now.

After a year of travel, discussion and dialogue, I have decided to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president. But let’s be clear. This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It’s about a grassroots movement of Americans standing up and saying: “Enough is enough. This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.”

Our movement needs people like you involved to help it succeed. Add your name now to say you support my campaign for president.

I run not to oppose any man or woman, but to propose new and far-reaching policies to deal with the crises of our times. And I run because I know we must change course now, or risk losing the future for so many to the interests of so few.

A successful national campaign is a massive undertaking, especially when we will be heavily outspent. It will require the active participation of millions of Americans in every community in our country. In fact, it will require nothing less than a political revolution which combats the demoralization and alienation of so many of our people from the political process.

Let me be very honest. It may be too late to stop the billionaire class from trying to buy the Presidency and Congress. The forces of greed already may be too powerful.

But we owe it to our children and grandchildren to try. We owe it to them to make the fight and, through the power of our numbers, turn back this assault on the foundation of our democracy and our future.

We are at a moment of truth. We need to face up to the reality of where we are as a nation, and we need a mass movement of people to fight for change.

I believe America is ready for a new path to the future.

On May 26th I will formally launch our campaign at the City Hall in Burlington, Vermont, where I served as Mayor.

I ask you to join with me in our campaign for President of the United States.

Sincerely,

Senator Bernie Sanders

Scenes from opening weekend of QNEK’s 23rd season

in Arts and Entertainment/Quebec/Vermont

Photos by Tanya Mueller

QNEK Productions kicked off its 23rd season with the dark and delightful comedy Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring. Newport Dispatch photographer Tanya Mueller captured these photos during Sunday’s performance. If you missed the shows last weekend, be sure to come up to the Haskell Opera House to catch one Friday or Saturday at 7:30 p.m., or Sunday at 2 p.m.

The fantastic cast features founder and Artistic Director Lynn Leimer, and favorites from both sides of the border, including:

Susan Lynn Johns – Derby
Mike Desjardins – Newport Center
Chris Planetta – Stanstead, QC
Ross Murray – Stanstead, QC
Doug Flint – Newport
Andrea Webster – Barton
Mark Rumery – Derby Line
Calvin Longe – Morgan
Jim Cross – Island Pond
Lonn Stewart – Newport
Ron St. John III – Newport

Newport Prison still under lockdown amid Baltimore protests

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Inmates at Northern State Correctional Facility (NSCF) in Newport are still under a “modified lockdown” after officials received an anonymous letter warning that some of the inmates might be planning some sort of disruption in support of the protests taking place in Baltimore.

On Tuesday, all seven of Vermont’s prison facilities were placed on lockdown following the threat, but only Newport and the Northwest State Correctional Facility in Swanton remained under the tightened security measures into Wednesday.

Newport residents who live close to NSCF received automated calls alerting them that the prison was in lockdown on Tuesday afternoon.

During lockdown inmates are confined to their cells, with movement limited to medical care and meal services. It has been reported that authorities planned to use the situation as an opportunity to interview inmates, and collect information regarding their opinions about the ongoing situation in Baltimore.

So far there have been no incidents relating to the information authorities say they were tipped off about.

Westfield Concert Series will host Vermont duo “Mayfly” this Saturday

in Arts and Entertainment/Westfield

WESTFIELD — The Vermont duo “Mayfly,” will be performing at the First Congregational Church of Westfield on Saturday, May 2, at 7 p.m. The show is part of the The Westfield Concert Series.

Katie Trautz & Julia Wayne form Mayfly, a Vermont based Americana duo that performs old-time, New England and Appalachian music, as well as original songwriting on guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and vocals.  

Mayfly has been performing for over 12 years, touring throughout the United States and Canada. The ladies have three albums, one of which won ‘Best Traditional Album of the Year’ in Vermont.  

Mayfly intersperses close harmony vocals with strong instrumentals influenced by blues, ballads, and American roots music.

Saturday, May 2nd, at 7 p.m.
First Congregational Church of Westfield
Suggested Donation is $10
Pot-luck Dinner at 6 p.m.
For more information visit www.mayflyvt.com or call 802-734-8940.

Vermont Virtuosi coming to Newport this Sunday for music series

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — On Sunday at 4 p.m. the Now Playing Newport music series presents Vermont Virtuosi with Clarinetist Karen Luttik, Pianist Claire Black, and Flutist Laurel Ann Maurer. The show will take place at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, located on Second Street in Newport. Tickets are $5 and the program will be followed by a reception.

Vermont Virtuosi is Vermont’s dynamic concert series celebrating chamber music in innovative forms. The trio has played throughout Vermont receiving critical acclaim.

Selections include “The Dolly Suite” (1896), Gabriel Fauré (transcribed by Michael Webster) for flute, clarinets, piano, “Sonata” for Clarinet and Piano (1962), Francis Poulenc, “Euphonicum Tangenturis” (2010), David Gunn for flute, B-flat clarinet, and piano, “Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune” (1894), Claude Debussyfor flute and piano, “The Giant Pecking Sparrows” (2000), David Gunn for flute and B-flat clarinet, and “Carmen Rhapsody” (1997), Michael Webster for flute, B-flat clarinet, and piano.

VT VIRTUOSI

About the musicians:

Flutist Laurel Ann Maurer has been lauded by The New York Times as “a secure technician and an assured communicative interpreter.” According to Fanfare Magazine, she is “superb in every way.” Ms. Maurer studied with Julius Baker, Jeanne Baxtresser, and Samuel Baron, and participated in master classes of Marcel Moyse. Among her 12 commercially released CDs are “More American Flute Works” and the Jeff Mannokian “Flute Concerto,” both of which were nominated for a Grammy Award. She was principal flutist of the Salt Lake Symphony for 12 years, and has more recently performed with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Clarinetist Karen Luttik has been praised for her “musicality and innovative performance.” Since returning to the U.S. in 2008, Karen has performed with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Cape Cod Symphony, Symphony N.H., Granite State Symphony, the Longfellow Festival Orchestra, Aliento Chamber Players, and Classicopia.

Pianist Claire Black has performed extensively as a soloist and collaborator throughout North America. Her deep interest and commitment to chamber music includes many years of performance tours with the Cialde Quintet and with her cello/piano Elegua Duo. She has established a private piano studio in South Burlington and freelances as a choral and solo accompanist. Claire also accompanies the Burlington Choral Society.

Theater group to engage youth and community in substance abuse prevention tomorrow

in Newport

NEWPORT — The 2013 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey reports that 28 percent of high school students in Newport replied that they were offered, sold, or given an illegal drug on school property in the past year, which is a rate ten percent higher than other schools around the state.

It is often difficult to engage youth in thinking about the potential problems associated with substance use. That’s why HealthWorks Coalition is bringing the Improbable Players Theater from Boston. They plan to engage youth from around the region with a creative approach to education for prevention.

There will be a free performance at the Goodrich Memorial Library on April 28th, at 7:00 p.m. The Improbable Players will also do two shows at the high school in Newport, performing for seven hundred students and leading a question and answer session afterwards.

In the afternoon, youth can participate in a free theater improv workshop to create skits and perform them in the evening. Participation is open to all youth between the ages of 12 and 22, and they are encouraged to contact HealthWorks/NEKLS Coalition to sign up.

The name of the Improbable Player’s show is “I’ll Never Do That,” and it refers to situations where kids have an intention not to use drugs or drink alcohol, and explores how things can happen to challenge that intention.

For more information call 802-334-2725.

Wintry weather to blame for rollover crash in Lowell this morning

in Derby Line/Lowell/News

LOWELL — A late-season snow last night left roads snowy and ice covered, causing hazardous driving conditions that were to blame for a single-vehicle rollover crash in Lowell at around 5:30 a.m. this morning.

Police say that Gary Bowen, 36, of Derby Line, was traveling west on Vermont Route 58 in Lowell, when he lost control of his vehicle.

Bowen ran off the right side of the roadway, striking a culvert and rolling the vehicle.

According to a statement from police, Bowen sustained a “minor shoulder injury,” but he refused medical treatment.

Rockwell Towing responded for Bowen’s car, a 2005 Ford Taurus. It was totaled in the accident.

A release issued by police lists weather conditions as snowing, with roads snow and ice covered.

Financial Finesse by David W. Thompson, MSAA

in Sponsored Content

ZN3A9864-2_FotorThis sponsored post was written by David W. Thompson, MSAA. He is the principal agent and financial advisor of Thompson Insurance & Financial Services. He has been working in the insurance and financial services for over 16 years helping Vermonters to secure their future. For more information please visit him at: WWW.THOMPSONVT.COM

FIVE MONEY MOVES FOR THE 5 YEARS BEFORE RETIREMENT

What you do in the five or ten years before you retire can make a major difference in the quality of your retirement life. No matter how much you have saved and prepared, you will still need to tick items off your retirement planning checklist. Here are five last minute retirement maneuvers that can change everything for the better.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR LAST CHANCE TO IMPROVE YOUR 401K/403B RETIREMENT PORTFOLIO

If you feel for any reason that your retirement portfolio will be inadequate for the retirement you hope to have-or if you would like a little bit extra-now is the time to make it happen. By this time you probably have fewer expenses, especially if your children have completed college and your mortgage is paid in full, which means you have more money to save. The money that was going to these major expenses can now be redirected into retirement savings.

MAKE SURE YOU ARRIVE AT RETIREMENT DEBT FREE

Debt payments represent a direct reduction in retirement income. If you have outstanding balances on credit cards, installment loans, car loans and even your mortgage, make it a priority to get them paid off in the next few years. Paying down debt is one of the most cost effective maneuvers you can make at this point.

LOOK FOR OTHER WAYS TO TRIM YOUR LIVING EXPENSES

Take a look at any expenses you have for goods or services that you probably won’t need when you retire and start to eliminate them. You can pick just one or two expenses each year and by the time you retire you’ll have a chunk out of your living expenses.

PLAN TO REDUCE THE RISK IN YOUR RETIREMENT PORTFOLIO, 401K/403B AS WELL AS YOUR IRAS AND OTHER RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

As you are nearing retirement, you can begin reducing risk. One of the easiest ways to figure out where you should have your retirement assets allocated is to use a color system. I utilize a simple way for you to categorize your retirement assets into Red, Yellow and Green Money.

RED: These assets are risky. There is good growth opportunity but you need to make sure you are aware of the risks. Red doesn’t mean they are bad, it just means you should stop, look both directions and proceed with caution.

YELLOW: These assets are safer than red but still need to be examined. There are unique growth opportunities but not as much risk as red assets. You may not have as much upside opportunity, but you don’t need to come to a complete retirement stop before you proceed.

GREEN: These assets have safety and guarantees. Their growth potential is less than red and yellow money, but you can move comfortably through retirement knowing your assets are safe and available to provide the income stream you need.

MAKE GETTING AND STAYING HEALTHY A LIFESTYLE

Many people begin to develop chronic health related conditions in their 50s and early 60s. Not only will these conditions interfere with your ability to enjoy retirement, but they can also cost you in the form of higher medical expenses.

If you do not feel that your retirement is quite where you want it to be, take advantage of the last few years before you retire to make the kind of maneuvers that can change everything for the better.

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Exploded mailboxes in West Glover have police on alert

in News/West Glover
newport vermont news

WEST GLOVER — Police are investigating a series of bizarre vandalism incidents that occurred early Thursday morning in West Glover. One mailbox was set on fire, and another blown up at around 1:30 a.m.

Police are saying that early this morning they were dispatched to West Glover after someone called in a complaint that a mailbox was on fire on West Shore Road, near Parker Lake.

Moments later a second concerned citizen reported what sounded like gunshots coming from County Road approximately a mile from where the complaint of the burning mailbox was. Both callers described a loud exhaust system coming from a vehicle at the time of the incidents.

Police say that the mailbox that was set on fire was done with an accelerant such as gasoline or kerosene placed in a plastic bottle inside. There were tire tracks leading to and from the burnt mailbox that were mud terrain type tires.

The second mailbox had been broken into pieces from what police say appeared to be an explosion from inside the mailbox. There were mud terrain type tire tracks going to and from that mailbox as well.

Vermont State Police are looking for any tips that may lead to the apprehension of those responsible, and are requesting the public to contact the Derby Barracks if they have any information.

East Main General Store burglary suspects enter not guilty pleas

in Newport/News/North Troy

NEWPORT — Three of the four men who were arrested after an attempted burglary at the East Main General Store in Newport were in court on Tuesday. All three pleaded not guilty to numerous charges, while one of the accused has not yet been arraigned. All four men are from North Troy.

John Libbey, 42, and Herbert Jacobs, 63, were charged with burglary, possession of burglar’s tools and unlawful mischief. Jacobs pleaded not guilty and was released on $5,000 bond.

Due to scheduling conflicts, Libbey was not arraigned, but is being held on an existing 15-year sentence. He is expected to answer to the charges against him soon.

Kenneth Carriero, 39, pleaded not guilty to the charge of aiding in the commission of a felony. He was released on $10,000 bond.

Christopher Carriero, 44, also pleaded not guilty to the charge of providing a false report to authorities.

The attempted burglary took place at about 1:30 a.m. and was caught on surveillance video, Newport Police Sergeant Charles Moulton said in an affidavit. Two masked figures were seen inside the store near the cash register and ATM machine, and the soundtrack picked up banging noises, later identified as the sound of them trying to pry open the ATM machine.

The affidavit states that clothing worn by the two is clearly visible in the recording. The video also captured a car driving by and honking its horn before the two individuals fled.

A witness who called police during the crime told police that a dark colored Saab had honked its horn before he saw the men run out of the store, and he believed that it was involved in the crime.

A 2003 black Saab was stopped shortly after the crime, with the four suspects inside. The affidavit states that Christopher Carriero was driving, with his brother riding up front, and Libbey and Jacobs in the back seat.

Carriero refused police permission to search the vehicle, but police obtained a search warrant the following day.

The affidavit goes on to say that inside the vehicle clothing and gloves matching those seen in the surveillance video were found, along with crowbars and pry bars.

The affidavit lists other evidence from the investigation leading to the arrest of the four men charged in the crime, including the fact that Libbey had tampered with a GPS monitor he was wearing as part of his probation on the night of the burglary.

Libby is the suspect in other area burglaries, and Moulton wrote in the affidavit that during each burglary there was tampering with his GPS locator.

Police: East Charleston woman injured after car crashes into barn

in Charleston/News

BURKE — Police are saying that a 64-year-old woman from East Charleston was involved in a single-vehicle crash that happened today at around 11:00 a.m. The accident took place on Vermont Route 114 in Burke.

According to a statement issued by the Vermont State Police, Linda Harlow was headed south when she lost control of her vehicle. She was driving a 2002 Buick Lesabre.

Police say that Harlow initially traveled off the west side of the roadway, and after trying to steer the car back onto the road, traveled off the east side of Route 114.

The vehicle then stuck a barn where it came to rest.

Harlow was transported to Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital by Lyndon Rescue.

At this time Harlow’s injuries are unknown.

Rockslide in Royalton closes lane on I-89

in News/Vermont
Photo courtesy of the Vermont State Police.

Photo courtesy of the Vermont State Police.
Photo courtesy of the Vermont State Police.
ROYALTON — A rockslide on I-89 in Royalton created a traffic hazard and caused delays in the southbound lane, Vermont State Police reported on Tuesday. The incident took place at around 11:00 a.m.

The slide blocked the travel lane and part of the passing lane. Crews responded and set up signs keeping the road open to one lane.

Nobody was injured during the incident.

“We were going by northbound and saw it let go,” Janis Carrier, who witnessed the slide wrote. “Immediately called VSP. Very glad we were on the other side of the interstate and that no cars were present when that ledge let go. It was a big cloud of smoke through the air.”

Rockslides can be some of the most dangerous forms of deformation because of the way that large rocks are traveling quickly down slope; this large material can cause massive damage to anything in its path.

Photo courtesy of the Vermont State Police.
Photo courtesy of the Vermont State Police.

Report: Vermont is losing forestland

in News/Vermont

MONTPELIER – Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder unveiled a new report to the legislature last week that addresses the fragmentation of Vermont’s forests and makes recommendations for how to protect their integrity. The study shows that Vermont is losing forestland, while existing forests are being broken into fragmented parcels.

Last year, the legislature asked the commissioner to prepare the report.

The report describes forest fragmentation as:

“The breaking of large, contiguous forested areas into smaller pieces of forest, typically by roads, agriculture, utility corridors, subdivisions or other human development. It usually occurs incrementally, beginning with cleared swaths or pockets of non-forest within an otherwise unbroken expanse of tree cover. Then, over time, those non-forest pockets tend to multiply and expand and eventually the forest is fragmented and reduced to scattered, disconnected forest islands.”

It states that the general effect of fragmentation is the reduction in overall forest health. It also degrades habitat quality, leading to long-term loss of biodiversity, increases in invasive plants, pests, and pathogens, and reduction in water quality.

Snyder called on lawmakers to come back with plans to address what policy changes are needed locally, regionally, and statewide to protect forest health and integrity. He also gave the following suggestions:

Educate and engage Vermont landowners, schoolchildren, municipalities and land-use decision makers (e.g. realtors and developers) about the economic and ecological benefits of large forest blocks and the connectivity among smaller forest blocks.

Continue to invest in land conservation and strategically target investments to focus on areas that have the greatest ecological and economic values and are most at risk.

Support existing landowners to keep their land forested and to encourage new growth in existing settlements and near existing roadways to avoid incursions into high value forest blocks.

Consider additional tools for local governments and the state to discourage development that converts blocks of forest to other uses and requires mitigation when such development occurs.

Ensure that forest landowners can get value from their forested land through sustainable forestry practices and develop and create markets for Vermont forest products.

At the same time, many Vermont conservation, forestry, and recreation organizations noted the critical importance of Vermont’s forests and presented the legislature with a letter calling for a stakeholder process to develop recommendations to maintain the integrity of Vermont’s forests into the future. 
  
Representatives from several Vermont conservation organizations offered the following comments relative to the report’s release:

Audubon Vermont

“Forests are the reason Vermont has some of the highest diversity of breeding birds in the country. It is no wonder then that Vermont leads the nation in wildlife watching adding $288 million to our economy. Audubon members are concerned that forest birds have declined by 32%, due in part to the loss of forest habitat. We believe that Vermonters’ collective creativity can come up with effective ways to stem the declines in both birds and the forests they breed in.” — Jim Shallow, managing director of Audubon Vermont.

The Nature Conservancy of Vermont

“Intact, connected forests are integral to a thriving Vermont economy, healthy wildlife habitat, climate resiliency and recreation. Through science, policy, and land protection, The Nature Conservancy represents Vermonters who know that our forested connections are critical to sustaining a rich diversity of wildlife that’s essential to our culture and economy. We strongly endorse a stakeholder process so that Vermonters have an opportunity to share their ideas about protecting the forests that belongs to all of us.” — Heather Furman, Vermont state director of The Nature Conservancy.
 
The Trust for Public Land

“Vermont’s forests are the backbone of the rural landscape and tourism economy of our state, including such powerful places at the Long Trail, Camel’s Hump State Park, The Green Mountain National Forest, and many, many more.  Our forests provide outdoor classrooms for our children, places to hunt, fish, and hike, and jobs for thousands of people, all of which are threatened or altered by fragmentation.  The Trust for Public Land looks forward to continuing to work with Commissioner Snyder, the legislature, and other partners to protect Vermont’s forests, for now and future generations.” — Rodger Krussman, Vermont state director for The Trust for Public Land.
 
Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club

“Forest fragmentation is one of the greatest threats to the economic and ecological health of Vermont’s forests. The natural legacy we leave future generations of Vermonters depends on the steps we take now to develop sound policies that protect our forestlands.” — Rachel Stevens, chair of the Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club Forest and Wildlife Committee
 
Vermont Land Trust

“Forest owners share a personal commitment to enduring, responsible land management and they know well how their stewardship contributes to our economy, to environmental health, and to our citizens’ chance to enjoy the outdoors. If the forests that are not yet conserved lose their integrity, we worry about the impact on the woodland we have worked so hard to protect over the last 38 years.” — Gil Livingston, president of the Vermont land Trust.

Vermont Natural Resources Council

“Our forests define our state and provide an underpinning to our economic and environmental wellbeing. Quite simply, the importance of our forests cannot be overstated, but increasing land fragmentation is compromising their integrity. Today, sixty diverse organizations and individuals representing conservation, forestry, and recreation interests voiced their support for Vermont’s forests. It is time to be proactive, and we thank Commissioner Snyder and the legislature for working to keep our forests healthy and intact into the future.” — Jamey Fidel, forest and wildlife program director, Vermont Natural Resources Council

Police looking for suspect in Vermont shooting death

in News/Vermont
Police say that Allen Smith, 30, of Springfield, is being sought for 2nd degree murder.
Police say that Allen Smith, 30, of Springfield, is being sought for 2nd degree murder.
Police say that Allen Smith, 30, of Springfield, is being sought for 2nd degree murder.

SPRINGFIELD — The Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit say that they have secured an arrest warrant for a man they believe is connected to a recent shooting death in Springfield. The investigation team says that Allen Smith, 30, of Springfield, is being sought for 2nd degree murder charges relating to the death of Wesley Wing, also of Springfield. The shooting took place on April 18, 2015.

On Monday the Vermont investigation team joined forces with New Hampshire’s Keene Police Department as the investigation led them to that area as a possible location of Smith.

A search warrant was executed at a residence in Keene, but police say Smith had fled the area previously.

At that time the 2011 black Infinity allegedly operated by Smith during the shooting was seized by the Keene Police Department.

It has been learned that Smith is now operating a white 2004 Buick Rendezvous bearing NH registration 3364095.

The vehicle also has a pink “NY” symbol on the rear window and a “zebra heart” decal on the left rear passenger side window.

Smith is last believed to be wearing blue jeans/black shirt/grey and lime running shoes/NY Yankees hat with lime green/white lettering.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Springfield Police Department at 802-885-2113, any Vermont State Police barracks, or 911.

GMFTS pilots fresh produce coupon program at local stores

in Barton/Craftsbury/Irasburg/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Vermont Harvest, a new program piloted by Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS), will allow families receiving federal SNAP benefits, known in Vermont as 3SquaresVT, to purchase $75 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables at local NEK grocery stores.

The primary goal of the program is to increase the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers participating in SNAP by providing incentives at the following retail locations:

C&C Supermarket in Barton
Ray’s Market in Irasburg
Craftsbury General Store in Craftsbury
Vista Foods in Newport

Beginning in August, SNAP participant households in Orleans and Essex counties will receive information about the program and instructions for redeeming their coupons, which will arrive beginning in September and remain valid through February 2016.

“This project will not only improve access to healthy food for residents but also it will open up new markets for our local food producers,” said Katherine Sims, Executive Director of GMFTS.

While Sims noted that the program won’t require participants to buy only locally grown food with their coupons, GMFTS will work to help retailers stock more local food through its distribution program, Green Mountain Farm Direct and directly from local farmers.

Vista_Newport_11.7.14

Leo Piette, Owner of Ray’s Market in Irasburg, said that he often encourages people to choose fruits and vegetables when they shop, but that having Vermont Harvest’s coupons will make buying fresh produce an easier choice for SNAP participants.

“They’ll have to use the coupons,” he said.

Vermont Harvest has been generously funded by a $93,000 grant that is part of $31.5 million in Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grants announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Vermont’s congressional delegation, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.), wrote a letter in support of the program to USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack in December.

“SNAP is a helping hand to many families trying to stretch their food budget so that they can put three meals on the table every day,” Senator Patrick Leahy said. “But a helping hand is more than just putting food on a plate, it is offering healthy options to help form healthy lifestyles. Pairing this program with incentives to use local Vermont fruits and vegetables makes sense, and it’s a winning scenario for everyone. I am proud that Green Mountain Farm-to-School has been selected to continue its extraordinary work of connecting our children, farms and communities throughout the state.”

QNEK’s Arsenic and Old Lace opening next weekend

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead
Photo featuring: Jim Cross, Mike Desjardins, Doug Flint, Susan Lynn Johns, Lynn Leimer, Calvin Longe, Ross Murray, Chris Planetta, Mark Rumery, Ron St. John III, Lonn Stewart, and Andrea Webster.

DERBY LINE — QNEK Productions kicks off its 23rd season with the dark and delightful comedy Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring.

Set in the late 1930’s, Arsenic and Old Lace draws the audience into a day with the kookily sinister Brewster family, who have two sweet aunts that love to welcome charity case lodgers into their home…but it seems no one ever leaves after a sip of their homemade Elderberry wine.

Come and spend a night with the sweetly disastrous Brewster clan for a delightful evening at the Haskell Opera House, opening Friday, April 24.

This fantastic cast features founder and Artistic Director Lynn Leimer, and favorites from both sides of the border, including:

Susan Lynn Johns – Derby
Mike Desjardins – Newport Center
Chris Planetta – Stanstead, QC
Ross Murray – Stanstead, QC
Doug Flint – Newport
Andrea Webster – Barton
Mark Rumery – Derby Line
Calvin Longe – Morgan
Jim Cross – Island Pond
Lonn Stewart – Newport
Ron St. John III – Newport

Photo featuring: Jim Cross, Mike Desjardins, Doug Flint, Susan Lynn Johns, Lynn Leimer, Calvin Longe, Ross Murray, Chris Planetta, Mark Rumery, Ron St. John III, Lonn Stewart, and Andrea Webster.
Photo featuring: Jim Cross, Mike Desjardins, Doug Flint, Susan Lynn Johns, Lynn Leimer, Calvin Longe, Ross Murray, Chris Planetta, Mark Rumery, Ron St. John III, Lonn Stewart, and Andrea Webster.

Arsenic and Old Lace is directed by Phil Gosselin, with Assistant Director Jenny Dunne.

The set was built with Master Carpenter Rick Gosselin, along with construction assistance from Tom Rooney, and the North Country Career Center Building Trades.

Come and enjoy a haunting, harrowing, and hilarious night at the Brewster house alongside the quirky cast that surrounds them.

QNEK Productions will present Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring on April 24th – May 3rd, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are available by calling the QNEK Box Office at 802-334-2216, reserving by email at qnek.com, by advance purchase online or by phone at catamountarts.org and the Catamount Arts Box Office at 888-757-5559, and by advanced purchase at the MAC Center for the Arts in downtown Newport.

The Brewster house has a vacancy and a glass of wine waiting, won’t you check in?

Local students win at statewide history contest

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Four local students were winners in the Vermont History Day education program, a statewide program where students study history and create a project based on their chosen topic.

Vermont History Day is an education program that encourages students to study history and expand their knowledge. It provides the opportunity to share the knowledge they have gained from their historical research by creating projects for the state contest.

The program is open to Vermont students in grades five through twelve and home study students ages 10 to 18.

Working individually or in small groups, students picked a topic related to the National History Day annual theme. The topic can relate to Vermont history or US history or world history.

The four local winners were:

A Bannach & G Hinton

Arne Bannach and Giddieon Hinton from North Country Union Junior High School took third place in the Junior Group Website category for their project  “Attila the Hun.”

S Haugwitz, A Hamby

Sophie Haugwitz and Anika Hamby from North Country Union Junior High School took second place in the Junior Group Exhibit category for their project “Genghis Khan.”

Students conducted research in libraries, museums, and historical societies, as well as interviewing experts on their topic. Using their new knowledge and incorporating primary sources, the students developed their projects in the format of their choice: exhibits, websites, documentaries, performances or papers.

The entries were then judged by local historians, educators, and other professionals at the state program. This year’s state contest took place on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at U-32 High School in East Montpelier.

 

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