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Island Pond man killed in single-vehicle crash

in Brighton/Island Pond/Newport/News

BRIGHTON — A 52-year-old man from Island Pond was killed during a single-vehicle crash in Brighton on Saturday.

At around 7:30 p.m. police were notified of the crash, which took place along Route 105 near the intersection with Basil Hill.

The driver, identified as Nathan Wilcox, died as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash.

Police say Wilcox went off the road in a 1977 Jeep while attempting to negotiate a turn.

Burglary in Brighton leaves residence damaged

in Brighton

BRIGHTON — A burglary in Brighton caused considerable damage to a home after it was left exposed to freezing temperatures.

Police say on Frady they responded to a report of a burglary at a home on Middle Street.

The investigation revealed within the last month, an unknown amount of people forcefully entered the residence and stole several bottles of liquor.

Police say when the burglars fled the scene, they left a few exterior doors to the residence open, causing several pipes within to freeze and burst.

The residence suffered major water damage to the floors and the basement.

Police are asking anyone with information regarding the identification of the subjects that broke into the residence, to call 802-334-8881.

Brighton man appointed to Fish & Wildlife Board

in Brighton/News/Northeast Kingdom

BRIGHTON — Governor Phil Scott recently appointed Mike Kolsun of Brighton to represent Essex County on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board.

The fourteen-member board is a group of Vermont citizens that enact fish and wildlife regulations for hunting, fishing, and trapping.

Members serve six-year terms.

Kolsun is a self-proclaimed “late-onset hunter.”

He took up hunting in his early twenties, learning about safety, ethics, and respect for the sport through good friends and mentors.

Kolsun was inspired by these mentors to give back and has been a hunter education instructor for 30 years, in addition to being a certified bowhunter and trapper education instructor.

He also instructs for the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow program and helped develop Vermont’s “Let’s Go Fishing” program.

“The Fish and Wildlife Board members bring a strong level of personal experience to the job of setting Vermont’s hunting, fishing, and trapping regulations,” said Gov. Scott.

“We’re glad to welcome Mike to the board,” said Kevin Lawrence, Fish & Wildlife Board chair. “Board members are charged with the complex task of setting fishing, hunting, and trapping regulations after evaluating the scientific recommendations and legal advice from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, along with the input from the state’s hunters, anglers, trappers and wildlife watchers.”

Truck hits Kingdom Market in Island Pond

in Brighton/Island Pond/News

ISLAND POND — Icy conditions this morning caused a tractor-trailer to hit a store in Island Pond.

At a little after 7:00 a.m. police received a call that a crash had occurred in the parking lot of Kingdom Market, located at 12 Railroad Street.

Police say the driver, 48-year-old Francis Gagnon of Quebec, had turned into the parking lot at a slow rate of speed and attempted to stop. Due to the parking lot being icy and untreated, he was unable to stop or steer the truck.

The rig collided with the south side of the building.

According to the report, moderate damage was sustained to the building and the truck had a dent in the moose rack on the front of it.

There were no reported injuries during the incident.

Police in Orleans County looking for mailbox vandals

in Brighton/Charleston/Holland/Morgan

HOLLAND — Local police are seeking the public’s assistance after a number of mailboxes were vandalized in five towns over the weekend.

On Friday, police were alerted to several mailboxes that were vandalized and a few that were missing from the Holland, Morgan, and Charleston towns sometime during the night.

Then on Saturday, police responded to several more reports that mailboxes were vandalized in the Newark, Brighton, and Charleston areas.

The victims say they thought they heard something at around midnight.

The Vermont State Police is asking for the public to assist in solving these crimes.

Mailboxes are considered federal property, and federal law makes it a crime to vandalize them. Violators can be fined up to $250,000, or imprisoned for up to three years, for each act of vandalism.

If anyone has any information about the individuals or vehicles involved, or perhaps someone was able to capture something on their surveillance or game cameras, contact the Derby Barracks at 802-334-8881.

Lyndon State College men’s basketball team tours local schools

in Brighton/Charleston/coventry/Troy

NEWPORT — The entire LSC men’s basketball team met with junior high students at Coventry Village School, Troy Elementary School, Brighton Elementary School and Charleston Elementary School last week.

They met with over 263 students and talked about the transition to college, moving away from home, financial aid, scholarships, the recruitment process and the importance of working hard in school so they are prepared for college.

Coach Dave Pasiak talked with students about focusing on academics in high school and their own personal development to strive to be a good teammate, family member, and community member.

The junior high students had the opportunity to ask the players questions about their majors, why they chose Lyndon State, and how they developed their skills as basketball players.

While at Brighton Elementary School, the LSC student-athletes also met with younger students in preschool and third grade.

There will be free admission for students and their families to attend the LSC home game on January 20, when they play Husson University.

The women play at 1 p.m. and the men play at 3 p.m.

Free supper and community forum tomorrow night in Island Pond

in Brighton/Island Pond

ISLAND POND — The public is invited to gather with other people who care about families and children in Island Pond tomorrow, at the Brighton Elementary School.

Supper will begin at 5:30 p.m. Preschool to fourth graders will have a separate program, while older children and adults participate in the facilitated conversation that will set priorities for supporting families and kids.

Organizers are seeking input from parents, children, and other community members and will use the ideas generated to guide planning and bring additional services to the community.

Questions to be considered will include:

What services and activities would help local families and support the healthy development of children and teens in the community? What problems or concerns need to be addressed to make this a better community to grow up in? Would it be helpful to have the school be a more of a center for services and activities in the community? How could services and activities be set up to provide the most useful support for families and children?

The Brighton Recreation Committee and Brighton Elementary School are sponsoring this program through the Roadmaps Action Acceleration Grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

This event is part of a response to the Community Forums held last fall by gathering input from people in our area about what would best meet their needs and improve their lives.

This information will be used to tailor what is offered in the future to meet community needs. There is no charge for any part of the program.

This is the final Community Café in this series and next steps include convening service providers and defining steps forward, based on the ideas and information that has been gathered.

Swimming lessons offered in Island Pond this summer

in Brighton/Island Pond/News

ISLAND POND — This summer, the Brighton Recreation Committee, and NEK Swim are teaming up to provide swimming lessons in Island Pond.

Lessons will run for two weeks, Monday through Friday, from August 7 through August 18.

The cost is $40 for the first child and $30 for any additional child.

You can visit to register, as well as the Brighton Recreation on Facebook.

The deadline to register is Tuesday, August 1, so anyone interested should sign up soon to reserve a spot.

Brighton Elementary School students treated to “cultural buffet”

in Brighton/Island Pond

ISLAND POND — The Vermont Community Foundation recently awarded a grant the Brighton Elementary School to engage its middle school students in a “cultural buffet.”

The school received the $1,000 grant to help further its mission of promoting lifelong learning and an appreciation for diversity by giving students cultural exposure and opportunity.

Thanks to the grant, Brighton students recently toured the Orozco murals at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., as well as attended a matinee at the Flynn Theater in Burlington.

Some students even tasted Thai food for the first time.

“This grant from Vermont Community Foundation is so appreciated, as it supports opportunities for curious young students to step outside their daily experience in rural Vermont to experience the sights and tastes of unknown cultures,” Principal Denise Russell said. “These are the moments when imaginations are cultivated and dreams are born.”

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Burglary, vandalism at Brighton Elementary and Glover Community schools

in Brighton/Glover/News

GLOVER — Two local schools were vandalized over the weekend.

Police responded to the Brighton Elementary School on Easter Sunday at around 8:00 a.m. after being notified that a burglary had taken place.

They say the suspects entered the school and caused property damage once inside.

According to the report, forced entry was not used in this incident.

On Monday morning police received another report, this time from staff at Glover Community School, regarding an incident of vandalism that occurred between 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, and 7:00 a.m. on Monday.

In this incident, a handicap parking sign was used to break an exterior window at the school.

Police say both investigations are ongoing, and anyone with information regarding either incident is being asked to call State Police in Derby at 802-334-8881.

Brighton Assistant Fire Chief commended for helping save family from trailer fire

in Brighton/Fire

BRIGHTON — Just after midnight on Sunday, Ronald Horton of Brighton was awoken to the sound of his smoke detector going off. He looked up and saw a portion of his trailer had just caught fire.

Horton managed to wake the children, ages 1, 5, and 6, and remove them from the house before the building became fully engulfed in flames.

Just days before, Brighton Assistant Fire Chief Walt Driscoll had contacted authorities with concerns for the welfare of the children residing in this house.

Driscoll had learned the unit was not equipped with working smoke detectors. He had also learned there had been some electrical issue that involved flickering lights.

Concerned for the welfare of the children, he decided to contact DCF.

Investigators from DCF, along with Investigator Tim Angell from the Division of Fire Safety, conducted an inspection of the home.

Investigator Angell discovered there were no working smoke or CO detectors within the house. He also documented several other areas of concern pertaining to power in the house.

Angell informed the homeowners they needed to install working smoke and CO detectors and make arrangements for an electrician to inspect the house. He requested that the owners provide photographic proof to him once the detectors had been installed.

Thankfully, this installation had been completed, and following Sunday’s fire Driscoll and Angell are both being commended for their quick actions.

“It is clear in this case had the Brighton Assistant Fire Chief not reached out to vocalize his concerns regarding the welfare of these children, the outcome could have been much worse,” said Detective Sergeant Larry Smith.

After requesting an origin and cause investigation be conducted for Sunday’s fire, authorities say these recently installed detectors going off ultimately resulted in the saving of four lives.

The fire was blamed on electrical problems.

“These individuals should be commended for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to public safety,” Smith went on to say.

Brighton/Island Pond community ready to work together to set direction for the future

in Brighton/Island Pond

BRIGHTON — Members of the Brighton/Island Pond community are being invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas and develop a concrete action plans for the future of the town.

The event will take place on October 4, 2016.

This first step in this Community Visit Process will be “Brighton Community Visit Day,” an opportunity to come together to discuss assets, challenges, and opportunities for action within six focus forums being held throughout the day.

“Come engage in an exciting conversation about the future of our town and enjoy a free community dinner with your neighbors,” said Brighton resident and Selectboard Chair Doug Niles, who has stepped up to serve as the chairperson of the Community Visit Process.

The Brighton Community Visit Day will include focus groups on six different topics at meeting rooms in the town and a free community roast pork and ham dinner at the American Legion.

There will be free childcare and activities available for kids ages 3 and up provided by the Northwoods Stewardship Center at the Island Pond Library during the forums.

Forum topics were decided by a town steering committee representing people from varied occupations and parts of town.

The topics they set as starting points for the forums on October 4 include transportation and infrastructure, addressing substance abuse and mental health, growing the economy, revitalizing downtown, the future of their school, and recreation and natural resources.

“There is no better way for townspeople to express their opinions and volunteer their ideas than VCRD’s Community Visit Program,” said Town Administrator Joel Cope. “This event will provide the opportunity for involvement of the public to visualize the town’s future and to learn about and connect with resources available to help realize that vision.”

Island Pond woman to face charges following deadly crash

in Brighton/Island Pond/News

ISLAND POND — The driver in a single-vehicle crash back in August that took the life of her 3-year-old child, is now facing involuntary manslaughter charges.

On Monday, Vermont State Police say that after the completion of an extensive investigation, Christina Deslandes, 25, of Island Pond, was cited into Essex County Court to answer the charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, criminal negligence, gross careless and negligent operation, and cruelty to a child.

The accident took place on Vermont Route 114 in Brighton, just after 12 p.m., on August 16, 2015.

Police say that Deslandes was traveling northbound when her vehicle crossed both the centerline and southbound lane of travel, where it collided with a telephone pole.

According to police, both Deslandes and the child were not wearing a seatbelt. Police say that the child was in the front seat, and not restrained or seated in a child seat or booster.

Both were transported to North Country Hospital to be treated for their injuries.

Police say that the child was pronounced deceased at the hospital as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.

Brighton woman facing embezzlement charges

in Brighton/News

ST. JOHNSBURY — A 52-year-old woman from Brighton is being charged with embezzlement from the St. Johnsbury Center branch of Passumpsic Bank.

Police say that on Monday, Janet Katalina was charged with two counts of embezzlement.

On August 20, Passumpsic Bank Officials from the St. Johnsbury Center Branch reported to the Vermont State Police that she embezzled money from the Bank’s own accounts, not a customer’s account. 

Katalina held the position of Accounting Analyst and Payroll Specialist. She was terminated from the bank on August 19, 2015. 
Bank Officials determined and police say the investigation confirmed that Katalina first embezzled $734.00 on December 19, 2014, by cashing in her annual leave without actually adjusting her annual leave balance. She oversaw this data as the payroll specialist.

Police say the investigation revealed that Katalina took steps to hide what she had done, including not filing certain forms with the bank’s human resource office. 
According to a statement issued by police, she also paid $27,781.36 toward her personal credit card using a Passumpsic Bank Treasure’s Check. The money was from one of the bank’s own account and not from any customer accounts. They say she took steps in hiding this embezzlement by transferring funds from several of the bank’s own accounts. An audit done by the bank uncovered both embezzlements. 
She has an arraignment date of November 9, 2015.

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