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Police: Driver hit mailbox then fled the scene, Barton

in Barton/News

BARTON — Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying an individual who fled the scene of an accident in Barton last Thursday.

Police say they responded to a crash reported on Hollow Road at around 10:50 p.m.

Christopher Friend told police that his mailbox, as well as shrubbery on his property, had been hit by a vehicle going off the roadway.

Police say the crash occurred sometime between 6:30 a.m and 10:30 p.m.

Friend was not home at the time of the incident, police say.

Anyone who may have witnessed this, or has knowledge of the incident is asked to contact the State Police at 802-334-8881.

Barton native Darren Perron named Vermont Broadcaster of the Year

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — WCAX-TV News anchor and reporter Darren Perron will receive the Broadcaster of the Year award from the Vermont Association of Broadcasters.

Though anchoring takes much of his time and energy, Perron remains one of the top investigative journalists in the state.

His ground-breaking investigation into military burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan this past year shined a light on the lasting health impacts to Vermont guard members and American soldiers from breathing in smoke from those fires.

Perron’s stories helped spawn a congressional investigation and garnered a national Edward R. Murrow Award for Best News Series.

This past year, Perron also led the WCAX news team to a first-ever New England Emmy for outstanding newscast.

“I am truly honored by this,” Perron wrote on Facebook. “Thank you to the Vermont Association of Broadcasters. I am fortunate to live in a state where journalism matters and to be surrounded by many talented journalists in both broadcast and print, who work hard to get at the truth and tell important stories that impact our communities.”

Perron, a native of Barton, attended Lake Region Union High School.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Media Communications from Castleton University and was inducted into the Vermont State Colleges Hall of Fame in 2017.

Glover man dies after crash in Barton last Saturday

in Barton/Glover/Newport/News

BARTON — A 37-year-old man from Glover involved in a car accident in Barton last Saturday has died.

Richard Poginy died at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center today, police say.

Poginy was transported to Dartmouth after the crash and had remained at the hospital since then.

The single-vehicle crash took place on Hollow Road at around 1:30 p.m. on November 2.

Poginy was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

According to the police, his vehicle left the road when traveling south on Hollow Road.

Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.

Single-vehicle crash in Barton

in Barton/Glover/Newport/News

BARTON — Police say a 37-year-old man from Glover may have suffered a medical event prior to a single-vehicle crash in Barton this afternoon.

Rescue workers and the state police responded to the scene on Hollow Road at around 1:30 p.m.

The driver was identified as Richard Poginy, and police say he was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

According to police, Poginy left the roadway when traveling south on Hollow Road.

Poginy was transported to North Country Hospital, and later to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for further treatment.

According to Trooper Ferrier, it is believed he sustained an unknown medical event prior to leaving the roadway.

Police say the investigation is ongoing.

Sacred Heart Alumni Association donates to St. Paul School in Barton

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — As part of its mission to help further Catholic education in Orleans County, the Sacred Heart Alumni Association recently made a donation of $2,000 to St. Paul School’s Tuition Assistance Program.

Contributing to the Tuition Assistance Program will assist more families in sending their children to St. Paul School in Barton.

Pictured above accepting the donation is Rev. Curtis Miller, Pastor of Most Holy Trinity Parish, and Joanne Beloin, Principal of the school.

Representing the Sacred Heart Alumni Association are Jane Forcier, President, and Rosemary Hall, Vice President.

EM Brown & Son in Barton receives Spirit of ADA award

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — The Vermont Governor’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities recently announced the employer award recipients for the 2019 Spirit of the ADA awards.

EM Brown & Son in Barton was one of the employers recognized for hiring and retaining employees with disabilities.

The award was presented to Art LaPlante and Mark Royer

The awards are given to employers who reflect the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act in their employment practices.

Awardees successfully met the following criteria:

1. Recruitment outreach and equal accessibility in the application, interviewing and hiring procedures for people with disabilities.

2. Use of on-the-job accommodations, modifications, progressive employment methods, and/or creative solutions for successful training and employment of people with disabilities.

3. Accessible physical structures, buildings, work stations and equipment, and services.

4. Support for the employment of a person(s) with a disability as an overall employment strategy.

Two-car crash in Orleans

in Barton/Newport/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — Police say a 66-year-old woman from Barton suffered minor injuries after a crash in Orleans on Wednesday.

Police responded to the two-vehicle crash on Barton Orleans Road at around 10:53 a.m.

According to the report, Michael Boylan, 65, of Essex Junction, was attempting to make a u-turn when he collided with another vehicle.

The driver of the second vehicle was identified as Sharon Bickford.

Police say Bickford was transported by EMS to North Country Hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Fatal crash in Barton

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — An 85-year-old woman from St. Johnsbury died from injuries after a single-vehicle crash in Barton on Saturday.

Police responded to the intersection of US Route 5 and Kinsey Road at around 4:00 p.m.

The driver, identified as Isabelle Handy, 80, of St. Johnsbury, and the passenger in the vehicle, Marion Handy, both sustained significant injuries and were transported to North Country Hospital by EMS.

Police say the vehicle had left the roadway at a sharp curve and crashed over an embankment.

Marion Handy was life-lighted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Tragically, in the early morning hours, police say Handy succumbed to her injuries from the crash and was pronounced deceased.

Barton woman accused of stealing $50K in gift cards

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — A 60-year-old woman from Barton will have to answer to charges after police say she stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of gift cards from a local store.

Trooper Jeff Ferrier said that management at the C & C Market in Barton called police to report that a former employee had stolen approximately $50,000 worth of gift cards during an extended period of time.

The employee was identified as Kimberly Gosley.

According to Trooper Ferrier, the theft occurred from 2017 through 2019.

On August 16, Gosley was arrested and taken to the Derby Barracks for processing.

She was released on a citation to appear in Orleans County Criminal Court in October to answer to charges of grand larceny/fraud.

Barton Academy and Graded School awarded $25,000 literacy grant

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) has awarded its $25,000 Year of the Book literacy grant to five elementary schools in Vermont, and Barton Academy and Graded School is one of the awardees for the 2019-2020 school year.

The grant will begin tomorrow when Duncan McDougal, the founder of CLiF will provide a short storytelling presentation and share more about what the Year of the Book will bring.

Each student up through grade six will have an opportunity to select the first of their books to bring home.

The Year of the Book grant involves a full school year of exciting programming, including several visits from Vermont authors, illustrators, poets, graphic novelists, and storytellers, family literacy events, special literacy programs selected by each school, funds for classroom projects, and new books for classrooms, the school library, and the local public library, as well as ten new books for each child to choose.

Selected schools demonstrated a commitment to literacy and creative ideas for promoting reading and writing, as well as high percentages of low-income students and students underperforming on reading and writing assessments.

Barton man facing charges after kicking in apartment door

in Barton/Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Truck stolen, damaged in Barton

in Barton/Glover/Newport/News

BARTON — Police say someone took a truck for a joy ride in Barton, causing substantial damage to the vehicle.

At some point on Saturday night, someone stole a truck owned by 62-year-old Paul Labrecque of Barton.

Labrecque’s vehicle, a 2015 Chevy truck, was taken from his driveway located on Glover Road.

Police say the subjects caused substantial damage to the truck and returned it in the early morning hours on Sunday.

According to the report, another vehicle parked in the driveway was gone through and change stolen from inside.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Vermont State Police.

Police are reminding the public to lock vehicles and do not leave keys inside while unattended.

Man facing numerous charges after bizarre incident at Lakehouse Saloon in Barton

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — An East Haven man is facing a slew of charges following an incident at the Lakehouse Saloon in Barton early this morning.

Police say 51-year-old Benjamin Clarke is being charged with aggravated assault on law enforcement, disarming law enforcement officer, impeding public officer, criminal threatening, aggravated assault, unlawful mischief, aggravated disorderly conduct, unlawful trespass, and resisting arrest.

According to police, Clarke entered the bar around midnight and was asked to leave by the bouncers.

Police say he refused and began throwing pool balls at patrons inside the bar, striking one man in the face with them.

He was taken outside by the bouncers where he produced a knife and began threatening them and the other patrons at the bar.

According to the report, Clarke stated several times he was going to blow up the towns of Barton and St. Johnsbury.

He then crawled across the parking lot and slashed a woman’s tire.

Shortly after slashing the tire, police arrived on the scene.

The bouncers told police that they believed Clarke had taken several doses of LSD or PCP.

Police say Clarke began to attack them on the scene by punching a trooper in the head, attempting to disarm the trooper, and threatening to kill them.

Clarke was ultimately taken into custody and transported to North Country Hospital for treatment and evaluation.

He was remanded to the custody of Vermont Corrections however remained at North Country Hospital for evaluation.

He was held on lack of $75,000.00 bail.

Driver hit 111 mph on I-91, according to police radar

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — A 31-year-old man from Quebec has been charged with excessive speed after being clocked traveling 111 miles-per-hour on I-91, police said.

Police say they were patrolling northbound traffic on Interstate 91 in the town of Barton on Tuesday when they observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed.

The vehicle speed was captured by stationary radar at 111 mph.

Police stopped the vehicle for the speed violation and the operator was identified as Michael Mercurio, of L’ile Bizard, Quebec.

Mercurio was cited into Orleans County Court and released.

Woman convicted of killing husband in intentional crash, arrested for domestic assault

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — A 52-year-old woman from Barton on furlough for manslaughter charges connected to a 2009 crash that killed her husband, was arrested for domestic assault.

Police say Christine Billis was involved in a physical altercation on Main Street in Barton on Friday.

According to the report, Billis and the victim had been in a relationship for several months.

“After speaking with several witnesses it was determined a criminal offense had occurred,” trooper Abigail Drew wrote in a statement.

Billis was arrested and taken to Northern State Correctional Facility for revocation of her furlough.

Back in September of 2009, Billis was driving with her husband Charles in Charleston, when her car suddenly swerved into a tree.

She was treated for minor injuries, but her husband was badly injured and pronounced dead at the hospital.

Less than a year later, Billis registered with an online dating service and allegedly confessed to a man she was corresponding with that the car crash was deliberate.

She allegedly told the man that her husband was not wearing his seatbelt and that she had slammed the car deliberately into the tree.

The man wore a recording device at their first face-to-face meeting, and Billis repeated her confession.

The man took the tape to police who began their own investigation. Police say they obtained confirming confessions at subsequent meetings on police wires.

In June 2011, she was arrested for first-degree murder in the killing of her husband.

She was sentenced to serve 7-15 years behind bars.

Her minimum sentence to serve ended in June of last year.

Police: Barton man arrested with 60 bags of heroin

in Barton/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Police say a 29-year-old man from Barton was arrested in Newport with 60 bags of heroin inside his vehicle.

According to police, Jordan Medley is currently facing charges of possession of heroin and violation of conditions of release.

At around 1:00 p.m. on May 16, police say they stopped Medley on Central Street for a number of motor vehicle violations.

At the time, Medley was taken into custody as a result of an ongoing investigation by the Newport Police Department.

According to the report, police located 60 bags of heroin in the truck.

Medley is currently on several active pre-trial conditions of release and was found to be in violation of three of those conditions.

He was lodged at the Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport.

Circle K in Barton robbed

in Barton/News

BARTON — The Circle K in Barton was robbed late Tuesday night.

Police responded to the robbery at around 11:45 p.m.

According to the report, the suspect entered the store threatening that he had a weapon and demanded that the store clerk hand over the money from the cash register.

The suspect is described as a Caucasian male, approximately 5’6” to 6’ tall with a medium build and possibly in his mid to late 20s.

He was wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt which covered his face and dark colored pants.

After receiving an undisclosed amount of money the offender fled the scene on foot.

Anyone with information regarding this case is being asked to contact the call 802-334-8881.

Truck crashes into 2 parked vehicles in Barton

in Barton/News

BARTON — Police responded to a crash in Barton yesterday after a truck smashed into two parked vehicles.

At around 2:50 p.m. police say a 2015 Ford F-150 was headed north on Maple Hill Road when the driver lost control of his vehicle.

The driver was identified as David Macwhirter, 52, of Barton.

Police say he traveled off the east side of the roadway striking two vehicles parked in a driveway.

According to the report, the parked vehicles sustained a moderate amount of damage.

Macwhirter’s truck was heavily damaged and had to be towed away from the scene.

According to police, no injuries were reported during the incident.

Police say road conditions at the time were slick and snow covered, with some freezing rain taking place.

DUI crash with injury in Barton

in Barton/Newport/News/Orleans

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

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

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

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

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

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

Both vehicles were unable to be driven from the scene.

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

Christmas trees stolen from farm in Barton

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — Police are investigating the theft of brush and Christmas trees from a tree farm in Barton, and the owner is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

The owner of the farm told police that an unknown individual or individuals had gained access to his property on Fulton Lane through a locked gate by cutting the lock, sometime around November 23.

“The toughest part of the whole thing is that most people don’t know how much time and effort it takes to grow a Christmas tree,” owner Greg Dowd said. “Trees only grow about one foot a year, so it takes seven to ten years to have a nice seven or eight-foot tree. And that’s if everything goes well.”

Dowd says those responsible stole several thousand dollars worth of Christmas trees and brush from his property, as well as a game camera which he was using for security purposes.

He is offering the $1,000 reward to help find out who did this.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to please the Sheriff’s Department at 802-334-3333.

“It’s very discouraging when something like this happens,” Dowd added.

Police: Driver failed to stop, crashed into snowbank

in Barton/Newport/News

NEWPORT — A 37-year-old woman from Barton will have to answer to charges after police say she failed to pull over during a traffic stop in Newport.

At around 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department attempted to stop a dark-colored sedan.

The driver was identified as Sherllynn Cote.

Police allege Cote accelerated rapidly and failed to stop at the intersection of 191 and Western Avenue In Newport.

The vehicle turned onto Clyde Street where it lost control and struck a snowbank.

Newport Police assisted the Sheriff’s Department when conducting the stop.

The occupants of the vehicle were detained while the investigation was completed.

Cote was issued a citation in Orleans Superior Court for a later date. 

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Barton native breaks the ice aboard Coast Guard ship

in Barton/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

When Shannon Eubanks graduated Lake Region Union High School in Barton, Vermont, she did so surrounded by people she had grown up with for years.

During her childhood, the small New England town was Eubank’s playground for a myriad of outdoor activities, such as snowboarding and hiking; and often times, her middle school class would take breaks to ski during the school day.

As Eubanks would describe it, Barton was the kind of small town where everyone knew each other. Little did she know at the time, she would later surround herself with a similar close-knit group of people on a polar icebreaker in the Arctic Ocean.

The youngest of three, her parents met and married while they were waiting to go to school to become radiomen in the U.S. Coast Guard After serving 10 years, her mother left the service, and her father retired after serving 20.
It would only seem fitting for Eubanks to follow in her parent’s footsteps. It eventually happened, but she ended up having to seek out the opportunity, rather than feeling the pressure to continue her parents’ tradition.

“I never thought I was going to join the military,” Eubanks said. “I didn’t even give it much thought growing up. My parents liked to keep their work life separate from their personal life. They never pressured me into joining the Coast Guard, but when I started thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, I began asking them questions.”

She considered the other military branches, but the Coast Guard appealed to her because of their lifesaving mission. Once she made the decision to enlist, Eubanks traveled six hours to visit the nearest recruiting office.
At 19 years old, Eubanks raised her right hand, took the oath of enlistment and headed to basic training in Cape May, New Jersey.

Three years later, Eubanks is now a third class petty officer stationed aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy – a 420-foot polar icebreaker homeported in Seattle and one of only two icebreakers in U.S. service. Each summer, Eubanks deploys in the Arctic with a team of scientists to assist them in conducting scientific research.

As a boatswain’s mate aboard the ship, she is in charge of piloting the ship’s small boats, standing watch on the ship’s bridge and supervising a small workforce of enlisted members. With the lives and safety of her fellow shipmates at stake, it’s a responsibility Eubanks doesn’t take lightly, and it often takes her out of her comfort zone.

“Military service can be a bit of a challenge,” Eubanks said. “At times, you have to take on different personalities you wouldn’t normally display. You also have to force yourself to be more responsible because you have a more responsible role.”

Despite the serious nature of her job, Eubanks’ personality is hard to miss. She’s often heard before she’s seen by singing Simon and Garfunkel tunes or 90s rock hits, and she wears a smile as if it were a uniform requirement. In fact, her bubbly personality earned her the nickname Giggles – a name that is memorialized on the back of her hard hat in thick, black lettering that reads “Gigls” for short.

“She’s a very bubbly person, and it radiates to those around her,” Eubanks’ supervisor, Chief Petty Officer Nathan Poppink, said. “It has a cascading effect on everyone she works with.”

However, below that infectious personality lies an ambition and drive, and her hard work has not gone unnoticed.

“She’s very passionate and proactive in her work,” Poppink said. “In the year and a half I’ve known her, she has really improved, and she is ready to make that next step to be a second class petty officer and beyond.”

Whether she blasting a 90’s chart-topper or piloting a small boat through the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean with a team of scientists in her boat, Eubank’s bubbly personality and drive only serve to highlight her future ambitions.

She plans to apply to Officer Candidate School at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and hopes to be a rescue pilot where she can continue to work toward the very goals that attracted her to the service – to save lives.

Story and Photos by NyxoLyno Cangemi, U.S. Coast Guard.

210 hemp plants stolen in Barton

in Barton/Brownington/Newport/News

BARTON — Police are investigating the theft of a large amount of hemp in Barton.

On Wednesday morning, police were notified that approximately 210 drying hemp plants were taken along with various power tools, from the location.

Police say the loss is estimated to be in excess of $15,000.

According to the report, the victim was identified as Robert Butterfield, of Brownington.

It’s believed the offenders may have transported the plants out of the area by truck and trailer on Wednesday.

The victims are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the offenders.

Anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident is asked to contact Trooper Drew at 334-8881.

Police investigating second incident involving a man approaching a juvenile

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — Police are investigating a suspicious incident that occurred today in Barton, in which a juvenile was approached by an adult male.

The incident took place on Route 16 in Barton, near Roaring Brook Road.

Police say a 16-year-old juvenile male reported he was walking to work at around 10:00 a.m. when he was passed by a maroon colored Chrysler Sebring convertible with Vermont plates.

The driver sounded his horn and then drove by again, this time stopping, rolling down his window and asking if the juvenile needed a ride.

The juvenile declined, and the male exited the vehicle, opened the passenger door, and grabbed the juvenile forcefully by both his arms, asking again if he wanted a ride.

The juvenile was able to break free and run to his place of employment.

Police say the person of interest was last seen traveling south on Route 16, towards the I-91 on-ramps.

The man was described as being a white male in his late 50s or early 60s, with salt and pepper hair, thin in build and approximately 5’09”, wearing blue jeans, eyeglasses and a long-sleeved shirt.

This incident took place after a similar incident was reported yesterday in Newport.

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident, the vehicle or person of interest, or who may have information regarding the individual’s identity is asked to contact police at 802-334-8881.

Police: Barton man assaulted officers

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — An incident in Barton closed down a section of Vermont Route 16 and Roaring Brooke Road late this morning, leaving a 38-year-old man facing charges.

Police say Anthony Sirois of Barton is being charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and assault of a law enforcement officer.

The incident started at around 11:20 a.m. when 911 calls started coming in of a man with a handgun walking in the area of Roaring Brook Road.

When troopers arrived, the man was identified as Sirois.

Police say they encountered him at the intersection of Roaring Brook and Vermont Route 16, along with a female companion.

Due to the nature of the complaint, Sirois was taken into custody, when police say he exhibited “profane, disorderly and tumultuous behavior, resulting in his arrest for disorderly conduct.”

During his arrest and attempts to secure him in the patrol car, he allegedly resisted and became assaultive towards the arresting troopers, striking them.

Sirois was ultimately secured but police say both he and the arresting troopers sustained minor injuries.

The incident caused the intersection of the two roads to be closed for a brief period.

According to the report, no firearm was located on any person or in the area, and police say there is no further evidence there is one outstanding at this time.

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