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Four dogs killed in fire, Charleston family displaced

in Charleston/Fire/News

CHARLESTON — A Charleston family was displaced by a house fire that also took the lives of four of their dogs on Sunday evening.

At around 6:00 p.m. authorities responded to the fire on Hudson Road.

Police say nobody was inside the trailer at the time, and the unit was fully engulfed when they arrived on the scene.

Firefighters had no trouble fighting the fire, which was under control in less than one hour. They believe the fire originated in the kitchen.

Four family dogs were killed during the incident.

The American Red Cross says they are assisting one adult and two children displaced by the fire. They have met with the residents to ensure they have a safe place to sleep and have food, clothing, and other essentials.

Over the next several days, Red Cross client casework volunteers will stay in contact with the residents and provide referrals as they begin the road to recovery.

In all, about 20 firefighters from Charleston and Brighton responded.

Police: Brownington man arrested for excessive speed, attempting to elude

in Brownington/Charleston/News

BROWNINGTON — Police say they arrested a 26-year-old Brownington man after he attempted to elude police.

On Saturday, at around 7:30 p.m. Trooper Steven Fauteux says he was trying to conduct a traffic stop for excessive speed on a 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse traveling on Vermont Route 105, in Charleston.

“The operator of the vehicle attempted to elude State Police and was arrested shortly after,” a statement issued by Fauteux reads.

The driver was identified as Dylan Dewing, 26, of Brownington.

Dewing was proceeded at the Derby Barracks and lodged at Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport.

DUI rollover crash in West Charleston

in Charleston/News

WEST CHARLESTON — A 26-year-old woman from Charleston was arrested for DUI after rolling her vehicle on Thursday night.

At around 9:30 p.m. the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office responded to a single-vehicle rollover crash on Route 5A in West Charleston.

Police identified the driver as Tyleigh Deslandes, and say she was out of the vehicle when they arrived.

According to the report, Deslandes had been operating the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, registering a BAC of 0.174.

She was placed under arrest and transported to the Derby barracks for processing, before being released to a sober adult.

The vehicle sustained substantial damage to its roof and had to be towed from the scene.

Police say Deslandes was uninjured in the crash.

VSP: Man cited for serving alcohol to underage drinkers at house party in West Charleston

in Charleston

WEST CHARLESTON — A 44-year-old man was cited for holding a house party in West Charleston where alcohol was served to underage drinkers on Saturday.

Police say they were tipped off about a possible underage drinking party at approximately 8:30 p.m.

According to the report, the police, along with members of the U.S. Border Patrol, conducted a search warrant at the residence around 4:15 a.m. and cited the man hosting the party.

Police identified the man as Scott Crowe, 44, from West Charleston.

Authorities say the party had more than 50 people with some individuals under the legal drinking age who were consuming alcohol.

Police issued Crowe a citation for sale or furnishing alcohol to minors and enabling minors to consume alcohol.

Women of NorthWoods Stewardship Center teach cookie-cutting, but not in the kitchen

in Charleston

EAST CHARLESTON — NorthWoods female staffers have been teaching women to use a chainsaw at the Women Can Do Expo at Vermont Technical College for the past six years.

The Expo is an annual event of Vermont Works for Women, a non-profit that helps women and girls achieve economic independence through training in, and exposure to, different fields of work.

This year, Meg Carter and Christine Kim set up two stations, the first being beginners safety and how to get the saw started.

The chainsaw at the first station is a “safe start saw” that has the chain removed. Other protective gear includes chaps and helmets with eye and ear protection.

Kim says that one obstacle is to minimize the intimidation factor some women have, and she has come up with a way to get students to jump right in.

“I encourage women to really rev it up and make some noise,” she said.

After the basic skills and safety lesson, it was on to cookie-cutting at Carter’s station where the women used a fully operational chainsaw to cut tree cookies, a thin horizontal cross section of a tree.

“I love to demystify the use of this equipment because when the women overcome their initial reluctance, they gain a tangible sense of empowerment,” Kim said.

Of course, the tree cookies go home with the “graduates” as souvenirs to remind them of their chainsaw Can-Do experience at the Expo.

Police: Charleston woman charged after overdosing with child in her car

in Charleston/Derby

NEWPORT — A 45-year-old woman from Charleston faces child endangerment charges after police say she overdosed in her car in Derby.

Police say on Sunday evening, at around 6:15 p.m. they responded to Main Street for a medical issue involving a driver in a parked vehicle in the eastbound lane.

Police were informed that a young child was in the car at the scene.

Police say the driver, Savannah Bradshaw, 45, of Charleston, was transported to North Country Hospital where it was determined the incident was in relation to a suspected heroin overdose.

The child was released to family members and was not harmed.

Police say that Bradshaw is facing charges of grossly negligent operation and child endangerment.

Derby man arrested for fatal West Charleston crash

in Charleston/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Police arrested the driver in a fatal crash in West Charleston that took the lives of two Orleans County residents on May 29.

Police say after a lengthy investigation Joshua Cole, 30, of Derby, was arrested at 4 p.m. today.

He is charged with two counts of driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or other substance with death resulting and serious bodily injury resulting. He also is charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter-reckless endangerment and one count of grossly negligent operation.

Cole was taken to the VSP Derby barracks and processed.

His bail was set at $50,000. He will be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.

Esperanza Robles, 29, of Derby Line, and Ryan Coulter, 26, of Newport, were killed in the crash that happened on Vermont 105 in West Charleston.

Amanda Letourneau, 27, of East Charleston, suffered head and leg injuries, and Cole also suffered head injuries from the crash.

Two dead, two injured after tragic accident in West Charleston

in Charleston/Derby/Derby Line/Newport/News

WEST CHARLESTON — Two people from Orleans County were tragically killed in a single-vehicle crash that took place in West Charleston on Sunday.

Police say Esperanza Robles, 29, of Derby Line, and Ryan Coulter, 26, of Newport, were killed in the crash that happened on Vermont 105, at around 4:40 p.m.

According to a statement issued by police, Joshua Cole, 30, of Derby, was operating a 1994 Honda Prelude traveling west in the town of West Charleston, when he lost control while exiting a sharp corner.

The vehicle traveled off the north side of the road.

Cole’s vehicle then struck a large tree off the side of the roadway.

Police say the three passengers were all ejected from the vehicle, and that no one in the car was wearing a seatbelt.

Amanda Letourneau, 27, of East Charleston, suffered head and leg injuries.

Cole also suffered head injuries from the crash.

“Alcohol and speed are factors contributing to the accident,” a statement issued by Sgt. Sean Selby of the Vermont State Police reads.

The accident remains under investigation.

Police: West Charleston man facing slew of charges

in Charleston/News

DERBY — A West Charleston man is facing numerous charges after an incident that took place last month in Derby, police say.

On Sunday, Bradley Chase, 42, was cited into Orleans Court with charges of domestic assault, disorderly conduct, interfering with access to emergency services, and leaving the scene of a crash.

Police say the case goes back to April 15, 2016, when they were called to investigate an incident that happened on US Route 5 in Derby.

According to the police report, Chase chased the victim of the incident, knocking them to the ground, and had a brief altercation with a bystander rendering assistance to the victim.

Chase fled the scene and later crashed the vehicle he was driving.

Police say he failed to report the crash.

On Sunday he was cited into Orleans County Court to answer charges relating to the incident.

Fatal accident in Coventry

in Charleston/coventry/News

COVENTRY — A 35-year-old woman from Charleston was killed this morning in a crash that took place in Coventry.

The accident happened at around 7 a.m., Monday morning.

Police say that Sheri Poulin was headed south on Airport Road, when she struck a tree.

According to a statement issued by police, she was traveling in a 2007 Jeep Compass Sport, when the vehicle left the east side of the roadway, hitting the tree.

Poulin was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police have not said what may have caused the crash. No more information is available at this time.

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.

A crowd gathered at the Northwoods Stewardship Center in Charleston on Sunday. Photos courtesy of Penny Thomas.

Northwoods art exhibit celebrates 26 years of stewardship

in Arts and Entertainment/Charleston

A crowd gathered at the Northwoods Stewardship Center in Charleston on Sunday. Photos courtesy of Penny Thomas.
A crowd gathered at the Northwoods Stewardship Center in Charleston on Sunday. Photos courtesy of Penny Thomas.

CHARLESTON — A large crowd enjoyed the opening of the Winter Water Woods Art Show featuring 26 Vermont artists from the Northeast Kingdom and beyond at the Northwoods Stewardship Center in East Charleston on Sunday.

This show celebrates Northwoods 26th anniversary for two weeks, running February 22 through March 8, and featuring oils, watercolors, photographs, sculptures in stone and wood, and a lighted outdoor ice sculpture.

The festivities and art show opened with a wine and cheese reception, with the artists present to show and discuss their work. Each of the show’s artworks reflect the artists’ view of winter, water or woods. Snowy landscapes, wildlife, icy brooks and tree silhouettes make up a part of the subject matter.

A lighted, outdoor ice sculpture created by staff and student artists, greets visitors to the center and offers an igloo experience for the adventurous. Lighting is partially solar-powered and adds a whimsical feel to the sculpture.

Raffle tickets are on sale for a hand-carved walking stick or a woodland oil painting. The first ticket drawn has first choice of the walking stick or the painting. Winners will be announced on March 8 on the Northwoods website.

The show’s closing reception is on Sunday, March 8 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. with hot chocolate, a blazing fire and sledding provided.

Gallery hours: M-F, 3:30 – 6:30, | Sat. – Sun. 1:00 – 4:00 or by appointment.

Participating artists include:

Ben Barnes, oil on canvas
Diane Brown, photography
Michael Clookey, stone sculpture
Deborah Crane-Foote, oil on board
Cam Devereux, iron and rock
Kenneth Foote, acrylic on paper
Byron Geigel, oil on canvas
Doug Gimler, photography
Arlene Goldberg, stoneware
Kathleen Kolb, oil on canvas
Marjoire Kramer, oil on linen
Laura LaCroix, needle-felted wool
Rebecca Laughlin, pastel drawing
Kathryn Lipke, photograph with text, enhanced with colored pencil
Jim Maas, intricate bird carving painted in oils
Victoria Mathiesen, oil on canvas
Janet McKenzie, oil on board
John Miller, archival ink-jet print
Elizabeth Nelson, acrylic on canvas
Ashley Thompson, wood carving
Barclay Tucker, digital painting
Gustav Verderber, photograph
Kristen Wilson, digital photograph.

Fire destroys trailer in Charleston early Monday morning

in Charleston/News

fire Charleston Vermont

CHARLESTON — Authorities say the fire that took place in Charleston on Monday caused roughly $35,000 in damages, and that preliminary findings do not suggest the cause of the fire was suspicious in any way.

The incident took place at around 5:20 a.m., at 349 Vermont Route 105. When the Charleston Fire Department arrived, the trailer was fully engulfed in flames. Mutual aid from Derby was requested.

“The fire fighters made their initial attack of the fire on the west side of the structure where the heaviest fire was showing,” police said in a statement. “A secondary attack made through the main entry door was made when more responding fire fighters arrived.”

A large portion of the structure was still standing, but the trailer was considered a total loss. There was nobody home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.

Fire chief Duane Moulton called State Police requesting that an origin and cause investigation be conducted. On Tuesday, investigators from the State Police Fire Unit and the Division of Fire Safety arrived to conduct the investigation.

They are reporting that the preliminary findings do not suggest it was a suspicious fire in any way.

Rusty DeWees and Cindy Pierce visiting local schools Thursday and Friday

in Arts and Entertainment/Brownington/Charleston/coventry/News

Picture 11COVENTRY — Rusty DeWees, aka The Logger, and Cindy Pierce, well-known comic storyteller, will bring their humor and wisdom to local schools over the next few days.

DeWees is a household name to Vermonters, celebrating all that makes rural Vermont and its people so cherished. The Stowe High School graduate earned a degree from Champlain College before heading off to a career of acting, writing, music and comedy. But Rusty says his time working with Vermont youth to promote positive and heartfelt choices is particularly gratifying.

“Young Vermont students are an alert, focused and engaging lot,” said DeWees. “That’s what I’ve found when presenting to them … always. My presentation is not only for students, parents will be invited to share the evening presentations with their kids. Working with GEAR UP to gear up young Vermonters and their parents for education beyond high school is a worthy effort. We’ll all learn and have fun. No joke.”

Cindy Pierce, who is an innkeeper in Etna, N.H. and mother of three teenagers, keeps her skills sharp – and hilarious – with stories about finding the way through everyday life. She is particularly inspiring in helping kids connect with their “healthy crew” and tap into their inner compass. Pierce holds a master’s degree in education from Antioch New England.

“These days, young people are exposed to information and issues earlier than most adults would consider addressing those issues,” Pierce said. “I believe that information is power. With humor and honesty, I hope to give kids some tools and information to help them find focus and withstand inevitable speed bumps while navigating life.”

The schedule over the next few days is as follows:

Thursday, October 2

Brownington Central School
8 a.m. Arrive at school and meet with Elaine and staff as available
8:45 Presentation to middle school
10/10:15 Schedule open to visit classrooms as invited
11 a.m.– depart for Coventry

Coventry Village School
12 noon Arrive at school and meet Matthew and staff as available
12:45 Presentation to middle school
2/2:15 Schedule open to visit classrooms as invited
3 p.m. Break (unless Rusty checks out afterschool programs/sports)

Coventry Village School
6-6:45 p.m. Dinner hosted by Brownington and Coventry
6:45-8 Rusty presentation to parents and families

Friday, October 3

Brighton Elementary School
8 a.m. Arrive at school and meet with Denise/Judy and staff as available
8:45 Presentation to middle school
10/10:15 Schedule open to visit classrooms as invited
11 a.m. – depart for Charleston

Charleston Elementary School
12 noon Arrive at school and meet Jessica/Sharon and staff as available
12:45 Presentation to middle school
2/2:15 Schedule open to visit classrooms as invited
Break (unless Rusty checks out afterschool programs/sports)

Charleston Elementary School
6-6:45 p.m. Dinner hosted by Brighton and Charleston
6:45-8 Rusty presentation to parents and families

Charleston woman taken to hospital after rollover crash

in Charleston

rollover accident newport vermont

CHARLESTON — A 60-year old woman was taken to the hospital on Thursday after rolling her vehicle on the Hudson Road in Charleston.

Police say that Alessandra Nichols, of Charleston, was traveling north when she failed to negotiate a left hand corner. Her vehicle left the roadway off the southbound lane of travel, going over an embankment.

The vehicle rolled over and onto its roof.

Nichols was transported to North County Hospital. According to a release issued by Vermont State Police, she was treated for minor injuries.

The vehicle, a 1997 Jeep Cherokee, was totaled, with side, front end, hood, and roof damage.

All photos by Phil White, Director of Kingdom Games.

Echo Lake Road Race goes on despite logistical challenges

in Arts and Entertainment/Charleston
All photos by Phil White, Director of Kingdom Games.
All photos by Phil White, Director of Kingdom Games.

CHARLESTON — Two glorious summer days greeted athletes and their families as they took part in the 22 Annual Echo Lake Road Race over the weekend.

The format this year was changed a bit to add a swim on Sunday, and the bike race in the afternoon so that athletes had a chance to do both.

Russell Primeau, 23, of Derby, won the 10 mile run with a time of 1:10:45. His run reflected the spirit of the day. He registered for the 5 mile run, but was feeling so strong after 5 miles he continued on to the second loop and paid his additional registration fee on the way to the winner’s podium.

Jo Ellen Cameron, 51, of Conway, Mass, registered for the 10 mile run on the morning of the race, and put up a winning time of 1:17:48.

Winning the 5 mile run was Matt Bretton, 37, of West Charleston, with a time of 0:35:14, and Hayley Joseph, 52, of Coventry, with her time of 0:41:58.

Bretton went on to win the 5 mile bike race with a time of 0:19:15, and a collective time of 0:54:29 to win the 5/5 “biathlon.”

Winning the 5 mile bike race among the women was Merine Morse, 16, of East Charleston.

Fastest time for the 10 mile bike was 0:31:05, posted by Brian Irwin, 43, of Morrisville, riding for Team Fit Werx. Laura Dolgin, 51, of Derby, claimed the winning time for the 10 mile bike at 0:39:21. Her collective time for the 5/10 biathlon was 1:29:57.

Picture 67

The kids showed up in force, the youngest being Riley Dagesse, 6, of West Charleston, completing the 5 mile bike in 0:37:11. Michael Hyde, a 12-year-old from New York City, came in 3rd overall in the 10 mile bike race, and 4th overall in the 5 mile run. On Sunday, he won the 1 mile swim with a time 0:28:48, being one of only two racers to do all three legs of this newly configured stage triathlon option.

The other was his 10-year-old brother Andrew, who won the 3 mile swim outright on Sunday with a time 1:14:41, fending off several experienced adults.

Andrew was guided by Mark Witt, of New York, who has escorted 11 swimmers in the 28 mile marathon swim around Manhattan. Mark set a straight and true course that made a big difference, but it was Andrew’s gritty determination in the finish of the race that clinched the deal.

The event was at risk of not occurring as Orleans County Citizen Advocacy goes through some strategic regrouping this year. Kingdom Games was asked by OCCA to organize and host the event, with 20 percent of all registration fees for the road races going to OCCA. With the addition of the 1 and 3 mile swims on Sunday, 20 percent of those fees go to support The Echo Lake Association and its effort to keep the lake free of invasive species such as Milfoil.

Picture 69

The Road Races raised $448 for O.C.C.A. The swims raised $72 for the Echo Lake Association.

“We were very pleased with the turnout, given that this event wasn’t on the calendar as recently as two months ago.” Phil White, Director of Kingdom Games, said. “I’m confident that this classic event will rebuild over the coming years, that this new format will be popular, and that the swim will grow like all of our other swims.”

The event was hampered logistically because it had to find a new location for the start and finish of the road races and coordinators were told they could not use the beach at the access to launch the swim.

Thanks to Anne and Sarah Mallary, the event was moved to their field for the road races, BBQ picnic, and parking. Mike Vinton and Tom Wagner were helpful in identifying the swimming area on the other side of the bridge by the outlet. The bridge itself became the start and finish of the race and it made for a unique and memorable swim. The pristine waters of Echo Lake made this swim one of the favorites during the recently completed Swim the Kingdom Week, and Sunday was no different.

A wonderful lake, some great roads, good people, and perfect weather all made for a memorable day at this Echo Lake classic.

Picture 66

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