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Steelhead runs happening now in Orleans, Coventry

in coventry/Orleans/Outdoors

ORLEANS — One of the state’s premier wildlife watching opportunities is happening right now in Orleans. The steelhead rainbow trout have started their upstream migration, leaping up waterfalls in a spectacular display of determination on their way to their spawning grounds.

The best place to spot steelhead is at Willoughby Falls just outside downtown Orleans. Another great place to see migrating steelhead is Coventry Falls on the Black River in Coventry.

“When people think of wildlife watching, they typically think of moose or birds, but I would guess that most people don’t think of fish,” said Jud Kratzer, fisheries biologist for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. “This is a rare opportunity to watch fish in nature. Images of salmon or trout hurling themselves up scenic waterfalls are typical from places like Alaska, but many people may not realize we have these same wildlife viewing opportunities right here in Vermont.”

Steelhead can be spotted moving up the falls during warmer days in mid to late April and sometimes into early May during years with late winters. The best times to spot the fish leaping the falls are in the late morning and early afternoon as the sun is hitting the waters.

Willoughby Falls and a section of river upstream are closed to fishing until June 1 to protect the fish while they are spawning, although there are great fishing opportunities a short way downstream from the falls.

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    Photo by Jax Willey.

Teenager taken to hospital following Thursday morning crash in Coventry

in coventry/Newport/News

COVENTRY — A 16-year-old driver from Newport Center was taken to the hospital yesterday after a single-vehicle crash in Coventry.

The accident took place on Route 14.

Police say Andrew Matten was headed toward Alderbrook Road in a 2004 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck when the vehicle left the roadway.

The truck slid and hit a tree, causing it to roll and come to rest on its roof.

According to a statement issued by police, Matten had his seatbelt on and suffered lacerations to his head and arm.

He was transported to North Country Hospital, where he was treated, and later released.

Newport City Fire and Newport Ambulance, as well as the Newport City Police Department, were all at the scene Thursday morning.

The vehicle was totaled in the crash.

Man rescued in Coventry after trying to save his dogs from burning home

in coventry/Fire

COVENTRY — A man was rescued from his home in Coventry after he passed out trying to save his dogs during a house fire early Thursday morning.

At around 2:00 a.m. the Newport City Fire Department was dispatched to a fully involved structure fire on Main Street.

While en-route the fire department learned that a resident, identified as Douglas Rounsevelle, was still inside the home.

Capt. Kevin Lacoss and firefighter Ryan Abel found Rounsevelle passed out on the kitchen floor and managed to pull him out to safety.

He was transported to North Country Hospital, where he was treated for smoke inhalation and a few other minor injuries.

State police say that after getting out, Rounsevelle re-entered the building to try and rescue his three dogs. All three dogs died in the fire, but authorities say that some cats managed to escape.

“The amount of fire throughout the house made it difficult to gain entry, so defensive operations were done to extinguish the fire,” a statement issued by the Newport City Fire Department reads.

The fire was under control by 4:00 a.m. and fully extinguished at 11:30 a.m.

The Orleans Fire Department and Irasburg Fire Department were called in for mutual aid.

There is no word as to what caused the fire, but it is not deemed to be suspicious at this time.

VSP: Woman caught in Newport driving with BAC almost three times over the legal limit

in coventry/Newport/News

NEWPORT — A 56-year-old woman from Coventry is facing charges after police said she was driving Thursday evening near Newport with a blood-alcohol level almost three times over the legal limit.

At around 5:00 p.m. police say they observed a Subaru Outback commit a motor vehicle violation on Coventry Street in Newport City and conducted a motor vehicle stop.

The driver was identified as Sheila Macfarlane, 56, of Coventry.

“While speaking with the operator, I noticed she had bloodshot watery eyes and her speech was slurred,” VSP trooper Pohlman said.

Pohlman said he asked Macfarlane to perform field sobriety exercises, and she willingly provided a sample of her breath.

According to police, her BAC was .201 percent.

She was placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI and taken to the Vermont State Police Derby barracks where she was processed, fingerprinted, and photographed.

Macfarlane was issued a citation and released.

Police car hit by mailbox thrown from overpass on I-91 in Coventry

in coventry

COVENTRY — A police cruiser was hit Monday night by a mailbox still attached to the wooden post and cement block after it was thrown from an overpass on I-91.

Deputy Tyler Jacobs was headed north on I-91 in Coventry when he saw a man with the object throw it off of the overpass and onto I-91 below as he approached.

He swerved into the passing lane but was unable to avoid hitting the mailbox.

The police cruiser sustained damage to the undercarriage and front tire, but Jacobs was uninjured.

Both the north and southbound lanes of I-91 were littered with debris from the incident.

Police say the mailbox was reported stolen on Monday.

Anyone with information on this incident should call the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department at 802-334-3333.

Newport man passed out inside vehicle in Coventry arrested for DUI and DLS

in coventry/Newport

COVENTRY — A 52-year-old man from Newport was arrested on Wednesday when police say they found him passed out drunk inside a vehicle in Coventry.

At around 7:00 p.m., police were dispatched to a report of an unresponsive male in a motor vehicle on Maxwell Road.

Police say their investigation indicated that the driver, identified as Donald Rockwell, 52, of Newport, had been operating the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

According to the report, he blew a BAC of 0.129 percent at the scene.

Rockwell’s license was also found to be criminally suspended.

He was placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI and DLS.

He was transported to Derby where he was processed and released with a citation to appear in court.

Car crash in Coventry sends two to hospital

in coventry/News/Troy

COVENTRY — Two people were injured during a car crash in Coventry this afternoon.

At around 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, police were dispatched to the two-vehicle crash on Vermont Route 105.

Both drivers, Rose Blais, 75, of Troy, and Shirley Kasanoff, 67, of Troy, were headed east, when police say Kasanoff decreased her speed to enter a parking lot.

According to the report, Blais rear-ended Kasanoff in the eastbound lane.

Both drivers were transported to North Country Hospital to be treated for what police describe as “minor injuries.”

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    All photos courtesy of Heather Matten.
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Two injured during crash in Coventry this morning

in coventry/News

COVENTRY — A section of VT-105 was closed for a short time after a crash took place this morning that sent two people to the hospital.

The accident happened at around 10 a.m. in the area of Petit Road.

Police say Judith Boucher, 61, of Newport, and Beverly Minnie, 47, of Newport Center, were transported to North Country Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Boucher had her 2006 Subaru Legacy totaled in the crash.

The other vehicle, driven by Amy Lepage, 30, of Troy, had significant front end damage.

Due to the positioning of both vehicles, a small section of VT-105 was closed for a short amount of time.

Judith Jackson of Irasburg announces candidacy for Vermont house

in coventry/Irasburg/Newport/News/Troy

IRASBURG — Judith Jackson, a member of the Irasburg Planning Commission, announced on Thursday her candidacy for the Vermont House of Representatives to represent the citizens of Irasburg, Coventry, Newport Town, Newport City, and Troy.

Jackson, running as a Democrat, joins her neighbor and fellow Irasburg Ridge Alliance (IRA) organizer Dr. Ron Holland on the ballot for State Representative for the district of Orleans.

“I’ve seen the huge impact of policies and decisions made in Montpelier on almost every aspect of life in Vermont towns,” Jackson said. “With our Northeast Kingdom towns facing so many critical issues, from energy siting to education to our economy, it seemed like a good time to speak up.”

Before moving to Irasburg with her husband Peter Limon in 2010, Jackson spent most of her professional life as the communication director for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory located near Chicago and dedicated to research in particle physics, the science of the fundamental nature of the universe.

“From the western suburbs of Chicago to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont was quite a change,” Jackson said. “My work at Fermilab took me to countries all over the world. However, I grew up on a Vermont dairy farm, so moving to Irasburg felt like coming home. I do know from personal experience the effect of the price of milk on a farm family’s livelihood. Now I’d like to put my Vermont heritage and a lifetime of experience in communication to work on behalf of my neighbors in Orleans County. ”

Besides serving as the clerk of the Irasburg Planning Commission, Jackson is a trustee of Irasburg’s Leach Public Library and a founding member of the Irasburg Ridgeline Alliance, a citizens’ group dedicated to the responsible development of renewable energy and the preservation of Irasburg’s ridgelines.

She is the mother of three children, including her daughter Annie Jackson, who lives at Heartbeet Lifesharing in Hardwick.

Dr. Ron Holland of Irasburg announces candidacy for Vermont House of Representatives

in coventry/Irasburg/Newport/News/Troy

IRASBURG — Dr. Ron Holland, the senior emergency physician at North Country Hospital, announced his candidacy for the Vermont House of Representatives to represent the citizens of Irasburg, Coventry, Newport City, Newport Town and Troy.

He filed the required petition with the District Clerk in Newport yesterday.

“I’ve been practicing medicine since 1972, and every day I see both the successes and failures of the health-care system,” Holland said. “A revolution in healthcare is impossible. Instead, we need a health care system that can learn and gradually decrease costs and increase effectiveness. With my years of experience in both medicine and policy analysis, I have decided that it is time to reframe the debate so that health care providers, not politicians, can improve the system.”

Dr. Holland began practicing medicine in Orleans County in 1979. After completing an Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Vermont, he opened a primary care practice in Barton.

Since 1989 he has practiced emergency medicine and completed a graduate program in health policy at Harvard University and a National Library of Medicine Fellowship in decision and policy analysis at Tufts University.

He has professional publications on the cost-effectiveness of health care interventions.

His analysis on the placement of dialysis facilities in Vermont was the basis for state approval for the “Ron Holland, M.D. Community Dialysis Facility” at North Country Hospital that garnered federal, state and community support.

The facility celebrated its tenth anniversary this week.

He also performed a cost-effectiveness analysis of the Lowell Wind Project that demonstrated that this project is eight times more costly than other options to reduce carbon emissions.

He says ridgeline wind projects generate generous profits for developers but are far too expensive as options for meaningful carbon emission reduction, even without consideration of the damage they do to ridgeline ecosystems.

Dr. Holland and his wife Laurie live in Irasburg. Their family includes four children, Abe, Larson, Jesse, and Althea.

He also has five horses, two dogs, and a barn cat.

Steelhead Rainbow Trout runs are happening now at Willoughby Falls

in coventry/Orleans/Outdoors

ORLEANS — One of the state’s premier wildlife watching opportunities is happening right now in Vermont. The steelhead rainbow trout have started their upstream migration, leaping up waterfalls in a spectacular display of determination on their way to their spawning grounds.

The best place to spot steelhead is at Willoughby Falls just outside downtown Orleans in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Other places to see migrating steelhead include Coventry Falls on the Black River in Coventry and Lewis Creek Falls in North Ferrisburgh, though Willoughby Falls remains the best viewing opportunity.

“When people think of wildlife watching, they typically think of moose or birds, but I would guess that most people don’t think of fish,” said Jud Kratzer, fisheries biologist for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. “This is a rare opportunity to watch fish in nature. Images of salmon or trout hurling themselves up scenic waterfalls are typical from places like Alaska, but many people may not realize we have these same wildlife viewing opportunities right here in Vermont.”

Steelhead can be spotted moving up the falls during warmer days in mid to late April and sometimes into early May during years with late winters. The best times to spot the fish leaping the falls are in the late morning and early afternoon as the sun is hitting the waters.

Willoughby Falls and a section of river upstream are closed to fishing until June 1 to protect the fish while they are spawning, although there are great fishing opportunities a short way downstream from the falls.

“Watching these fish move upstream is a great way for people to connect with nature,” said Kratzer. “But it’s also a powerful reminder of the importance of habitat for fish and other wildlife. Fish need places to spawn, to hide, and to feed, and they need access to these resources at the appropriate time. We’re looking to continue to conserve these resources so future generations can continue to witness this incredible fish migration each spring.”

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    Andy Titus age 5. All photos by Diana Poulin.
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    Brianna and Kailee Herman with mom, Melissa Herman.
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    Carter Vallieres age 3.
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    Bianca Davis.

MAC Center for the Arts works with local school

in Arts and Entertainment/coventry

COVENTRY — The Memphremagog Arts Collaborative recently participated in the creative adventures at Coventry Elementary School called “Dabble Day,” sponsored by Building Bright Futures with the support of area businesses and organizations.

Children up to the second grade and their favorite adult companions were invited to enjoy a day filled with activites. Many youngsters “dabbled” with Diana Poulin and Patty Oliver-Smith from the MAC to make unique, colorful and imaginative fish puppets.

These puppets were made to tie in with the presentation of “Swimmy,” based on the book by Leo Lionni, a story about a little fish who shows his friends, with ingenuity and teamwork, how to overcome danger.
NEKPA and Community National Bank presented a puppet show by PuppeTree, an Artist-in-Residency program through the Vermont Arts Council.

PuppeTree is a nontraditional puppet theater company that was created by Ann Legunn in which various community venues, from school to senior centers, become active participants in all aspects of theatre arts.

PuppeTree is unique in that the participants not only build the puppets, but are encouraged to handle those made by Ann Legunn, the way you would handle props, costumes and scenery.

For more information about MAC Center for the Arts, a local non-profit, visit or call 802-334-1966.

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Coventry Chefs compete in Kid’s Cook-off

in coventry

COVENTRY — A mix of delicious aromas filled the air of the Champlain Valley Exposition Center on Saturday, as over 50 teams of middle school and high school students competed in the Jr. Iron Chef competition run by Vermont Food Education Every Day.

Plates of locally sourced, vegetarian dishes were being chopped, sautéed, and baked into existence by students, as young as sixth grade, that had spent weeks practicing and perfecting their culinary skills.

The Coventry Chefs, sixth through eighth graders at Coventry Village School, were coached by Herb Page, a farm-to-school coordinator with Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) who works in the school, and had spent one and half hours a week the past seven weeks learning and perfecting their culinary skills.

The students were also responsible for carefully testing and honing their recipe they hoped to win with, a root vegetable shepherd’s pie featuring beets, maple glazed onions, carrots, parsnips, and potatoes.

A majority of ingredients were donated from local farms and producers in the area such as Couture’s Maple Shop/B&B, Joe’s Brook, and Pete’s Greens.

“I am excited and a little nervous,” said Page the week before the competition, “Iron Chef practice is definitely one of the highlights of my week and I think the competition is going to go well. As long as the kids have fun and show good teamwork it will be a successful day.”

In just an hour and a half, Averi Morse, Natasha Bowen, Isabelle Brown, Cole Royer, and David Davis-Moulton of the Coventry Chefs sliced, diced, and produced, to the awe of their proud parents and a small cheering section of GMFTS supporters who came out for the afternoon, a mouthwatering version of their root vegetable shepherd’s pie.

“As a farm-to-school coordinator with GMFTS, it’s inspiring to see so many kids cooking and using all those local ingredients,” said River Ostrow, who came out to support the Coventry Chefs and take in the whole competition.

While, the team didn’t take home any honors this year, everyone on the team walked out of the competition area with a smile and was greeted by high fives and hugs.

Page admits that this year, since it was the first year Coventry Village School participated, had a slight learning curve but he hopes to return again next year even more prepared.

“The school has been incredibly supportive and all the middle school staff seems to be excited about the students participating,” he said. “Hopefully we are laying the groundwork, finding a model, and building the interest for Coventry to participate again in future years.”

Police say Derby man charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after road rage incident

in coventry/Derby/News

DERBY — A Derby man was taken into custody this week and is facing charges after having a run-in with a local game warden.

John Paul Lemay, 68, is facing charges for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and impeding a public officer.

The charges are the result of an investigation stemming from multiple incidents that occurred at the end of 2015 in Derby and Coventry, one of which police say was a road rage incident in which Lemay displayed an AR-15 assault rifle at another motorist.

The motorist happened to be Vermont State Game Warden Jason Dukette, 42, of Derby, who was off-duty at the time.

Police say Dukette noted the make and model of the vehicle, and a few days later while on-duty, spotted Lemay at a gas station in Derby. Police say Dukette also saw the firearm inside the vehicle at the time, and opened an investigation to see if the weapon was loaded.

Police say that Lemay impeded the investigation, but that the firearm in question was determined to be a pistol due to the short stock. As a result, Vermont law regarding loaded rifles did not apply.

Lemay was taken into custody without incident after being picked up on Monday for an outstanding warrant related to both incidents.

He posted bail and was released on conditions.

Derby woman tragically killed in early morning crash on I-91

in coventry/Derby/News

DERBY— A 26-year-old woman from Derby was tragically killed in a car accident on I-91 early this morning in Coventry.

Police say that Danielle Carpenter, 26, of Derby, was pronounced deceased at the scene by Newport Ambulance.

At 6:11 a.m. the Vermont State Police responded to the single vehicle accident on I-91 north at mile marker 166.

Police say Carpenter was the only occupant in the vehicle.

At this time police say it appears that Carpenter was traveling north when her vehicle, a 2009 Mazda MZ3, crossed the rumble strips in the passing lane. 

The vehicle then slid out of control and flipped over, coming to an uncontrolled rest in the median.

Police say that the crash is still under investigation at this time.

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.

[VIDEO] Northeast Kingdom International Airport ribbon cutting celebration

in coventry/Newport/News

The Northeast Kingdom International Airport Committee held a ribbon cutting celebration today in Coventry for the completion of the runway extension of 1,000 feet, the new taxiway, as well as the name change to Northeast Kingdom International Airport.

In this video, Bill Stenger, President of Jay Peak Resort, talks about the steps forward as the project enters another phase.

Casella Waste Systems office in Coventry hit in weekend burglary

in coventry/News

COVENTRY — Police say that Casella Waste Systems in Coventry was burglarized over the weekend.

The incident happened sometime between the late night hours on Saturday, and early Sunday morning.

The burglars gained entry into the main office of Casella Waste Systems on the Airport Road.

They made off with a Sentury safe inside the office that contained an undisclosed amount of money.

The subjects also stole paperwork belonging to the business.

The investigation is ongoing, and police are asking that anyone with information about the burglary to contact Sgt. Sean Selby, at the Derby barracks.

Tractor trailer drives off road in Irasburg Tuesday morning

in coventry/Irasburg/News

IRASBURG — A tractor trailer was involved in a single vehicle crash in Irasburg on Tuesday morning.

The accident took place on Vermont Route 14 at around 9:20 a.m.

Police say that the driver, Nicholas Cote, 35, of Coventry, was hauling water in the truck when he was forced to drive off the road to avoid colliding with another vehicle.

Cote told police that the other vehicle had stopped in the roadway attempting to turn, and that he had to intentionally steer the rig toward the embankment to avoid the crash.

Police say the accident is still under investigation, and that the truck, once back on the roadway, was able to be driven from the scene with only moderate damage.

There were no injuries during the incident.

Police looking for men who conducted fake traffic stop in Coventry

in coventry/Irasburg/News

COVENTRY — Police are investigating an incident in which a motorist was pulled over by two men pretending to be law enforcement officers. The men tried to get the driver to exit the vehicle during the fake traffic stop.

The incident happened at around 10 p.m. on Monday night on US Route 5, near the Coventry Village School.

The vehicle, a silver sedan with LED head lights, fog lights described as having “a unique appearance,” and flashing blue strobe lights mounted near the headlights, was occupied by two men who conducted the fake traffic stop on a passing motorist.

The motorist pulled over, but was suspicious of the stop when two male voices ordered him to put his hands up and step out of the vehicle.

When the motorist got on the phone to call 911, the car sped off at a high rate of speed south on Vermont Route 14 towards Irasburg Village.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Vermont State Police in Derby.

Two Orleans County men charged in deer poaching case

in coventry/Greensboro/News

NEWPORT — Vermont state game wardens say they recently charged two Orleans County men for allegedly poaching several deer during March and April.

On June 22, game wardens executed a search warrant at the residence of Shawn Bell, 37, of Greensboro, and based on evidence gathered during the investigation charged him with taking deer in closed season during the spring of this year. Arraignment for Bell will be on July 20 in Caledonia Superior Court.

On July 7, Kasey Ainsworth, 22, of Coventry was arrested and charged with possessing and transporting deer taken in closed season. Arraignment for Ainsworth will be held on August 4 in Orleans Superior Court.

Authorities say that additional arrests are anticipated as a result of the investigation.

Each big game violation carries with it the potential for up to 60 days in jail, a minimum fine of $400, $1000 maximum, and an additional $2000 restitution for each of the illegally killed animals.

If convicted, the men will lose their rights to hunt, fish and trap in Vermont and 43 other states for a period of three years and would be required to pass a remedial outdoor ethics course prior to reinstatement.

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

Local students earn top prizes at Stanstead College

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flood warning issued as Barton River rises

in Barton/coventry/News

NEWPORT — The National Weather Service in Burlington issued a flood warning for the Barton River in Coventry.

At this point the warning is in effect until Wednesday evening. Officials say at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, the stage was 7.9 feet, with a flood stage being 8.0 feet.

The river is expected to rise to 9.0 feet by Tuesday evening. The river should then fall below flood stage by Wednesday afternoon. The warning brings the possibility of extensive field and lowland flooding.

Officials say Maple Street and River Road between Orleans and Coventry Station are the areas most likely to flood.

The National Weather Service issued the following warning:

“If you live or travel near streams and rivers seek higher ground immediately at first signs of rising water. Obey all road closure signs, they are there for your safety. Do not attempt to drive through flooded areas, most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Turn around, don`t drown!”

Stay tuned to developments.

Community coming together to help local family in need

in Brownington/coventry/Newport/News

NEWPORT — This Saturday at Parker Pie Wings, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., a fundraiser is taking place to help a local family who have been struggling to start over after a kitchen fire left them losing a family pet, and their home needing a complete overhaul.

John Snyder and his wife Wendy Little built the house themselves in 2005. John used to work in restoration carpentry. On January 7, 2015, John came home early from work and saw black smoke billowing out of the house. He called 911.

A short in the dishwasher was to blame. A water pipe melted which helped to control the fire itself, but the smoke damage destroyed almost everything else.

Their dog, Higgins, survived the incident, but they did lose their beloved cat, Elijah.

John is a math teacher at the Stevens School, and Wendy is the manager at Newport Naturals. Their nine year old daughter attends Brownington School.

The fundraiser is Saturday at Parker Pie Wings. There will be local entertainment, including comedy, singing, a band, and even Wendy’s brother-in-law, Trevor the Games Man. A $10 donation at the door will help the family as they have been displaced as the house gets a complete overhaul. There will also be a silent auction for items donated from local businesses. All proceeds go directly to the family.

You can also help out by donating to a GoFundMe Page set up for the family by clicking HERE

Accident in Coventry leaves four injured on Saturday

in coventry/Irasburg/Jay/News

car accident newport vermont newsCOVENTRY — A two-vehicle crash in Coventry over the weekend left four people injured.

Police say that on Saturday at around 12:45 p.m., Connie Savage, 49, of Jay, was headed south on Vermont Route 14 when her pickup truck slid sideways into the northbound lane, striking the front end of another truck being driven by Kenneth Hall, 61, of Irasburg.

After the initial collision, Savage’s truck continued sliding, hitting Hall’s truck a second time. Hall’s vehicle then tipped sideways on its passenger side, coming to an uncontrolled rest against a rock ledge.

According to a statement issued by police, four people were taken to North Country Hospital for the following injuries:

Connie Savage of Jay – back pain.
Duane Ruggles of Jay – back pain.
Kenneth Hall of Irasburg – back pain.
Beverly Hall of Irasburg – leg and back pain.

Both vehicles were towed from the scene, which was near the intersection of Route 5.

Police say that snow covered roadways were a contributing factor in the crash.

Irasburg man leads police on high-speed chase

in coventry/Irasburg/News

Irasburg Vermont police chaseIRASBURG — Police are saying that a 20-year-old man from Irasburg led them on a high-speed chase yesterday afternoon on Route 14.

The Orleans County Sheriff’s Department issued a statement saying that one of their deputies was out on patrol Wednesday at around 1:40 p.m., when he was passed by a blue Ford F-250, travelling at 82 miles-per-hour in the village of Irasburg. The deputy turned to pursue the suspect north on Route 14.

The statement goes on to say that the operator of the truck exceeded speeds of 90 miles-per-hour, refusing to pull over.

The chase lasted for around five miles, between Irasburg and Coventry, when the driver eventually stopped.

The driver was identified as Derrick Carroll. Carroll was taken into custody, and charged with Negligent Operation, Excessive Speed, and Eluding Police. He later posted bail.

Carroll will have to answer the charges in Orleans County Superior Court on November 25.

First snowfall causes single-vehicle crash on I-91

in Barton/coventry/Newport/News

Picture 35COVENTRY — The first real snowfall this season was the cause of at least one accident in Orleans County on Friday, after a 33-year-old woman from Barton lost control of her vehicle on I-91.

Police are reporting that they responded to a single-vehicle accident northbound on I-91 in Coventry at around 3:25 p.m.

They say that Tiffany Quinn was driving a 2004 Toyota Sienna van, when she lost control of her vehicle on the slush covered road.

Quinn left the east side of the roadway where she ended up striking a ledge. The front of the vehicle sustained extensive damage.

Neither Quinn, nor her passengers suffered any major injuries. All were treated at the scene.

Police say they were tipped off before I-91 heroin bust

in coventry/Newport/News

Heroin bust Newport, Vermont

NEWPORT — According to court documents, police were tipped off that the two women from the Newport area who were arrested in Brattleboro with over 900 bags of heroin, were making a trip to Hartford, Connecticut, to pick up a substantial amount of heroin that would be resold in Vermont.

State Police Sgt. Eric Albright wrote in an affidavit that he was informed on Friday before the bust of the names of the suspects, Ashley Geoffroy, 26, of Newport, and Kirby Davis, 30, of Coventry. He was also aware of the description of the vehicle being used in the run, a red Subaru Impreza hatchback with a distinctive “taxi” sticker on the car.

State troopers were watching for the vehicle on I-91 north, when it was spotted at around 1 p.m. Friday. Albright wrote that he saw the car weaving between lanes, as well as the tires crossing over the fog line.

“Had I not observed this or any other motor-vehicle violations, I would have stopped the vehicle to investigate the reported drug activity,” he wrote.

Police say that Davis was the driver and Geoffroy was the passenger. According to the affidavit, Davis claimed that she had picked up Geoffroy as a taxi passenger in Connecticut. Geoffroy allegedly told police while being interviewed separately that she was asked to take a ride with Davis, leaving from Newport in the morning.

Police say they found 910 bags of heroin, wrapped in two packages, in the trunk of the vehicle. Court documents also say that Davis was found with 14 bags of heroin in her pocket. Vermont State Police say the amount of heroin seized has a street value of $13,650.

Davis faces one felony count of heroin trafficking, and Geoffroy faces a felony count of heroin trafficking and one misdemeanor count of violating her conditions of release.

The two women both appeared in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division on Monday for their arraignment, where they both pled not guilty.

They are not currently in custody, however, they are not allowed to be in contact with each other, as part of the conditions of release imposed by the court.

Newport and Coventry residents arrested with over 900 bags of heroin

in coventry/Newport/News

newport vermont drug arrests sweepNEWPORT — Two residents of Orleans County were arrested in Brattleboro on Friday after police discovered they had over 900 bags of heroin in their possession.

Police are reporting that Kirby Davis, 30, of Coventry, and Ashley Geoffroy, 26, of Newport were both arrested and lodged at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield.

The arrests happened at around 1 p.m. Friday, when the two were pulled over for a minor traffic violation on I-91 North, at exit 2, Brattleboro.

After the traffic stop, the trooper discovered they had over 900 bags of heroin in the vehicle.

They were arrested and charged with possession of heroin, trafficking heroin, and importation of heroin.

The two will appear in Windham County court on Monday, October 6.

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

Coventry farmer agrees to pay $33,000 for agricultural water quality violations

in coventry/Newport/News

Orleans County Superior court Newport Vermont

NEWPORT — Richard M. Nelson, a dairy farmer in Coventry, has admitted to violations of Vermont’s water pollution law and agricultural practice regulations and has agreed to pay $33,000.00 in civil penalties for the violations.

“Vermont’s laws and regulations relating to agricultural water quality help keep our state waterways clean,” said Attorney General William H. Sorrell. “Farmers should know that when those requirements are not met, the State will pursue enforcement claims in State court.”

The agreement ends a case that was filed by the Attorney General’s Office in August of 2012 alleging that Mr. Nelson’s farm was discharging agricultural runoff from the farm’s bunker silos into a stream near the farm. Under the terms of the court-approved settlement, Mr. Nelson admitted to liability for violating Vermont’s accepted agricultural practices and statutory prohibition on discharges to state waters at the Coventry farm at various times between 2009 and 2011.

Mr. Nelson implemented corrective actions to eliminate the discharges to state waters to the satisfaction of the State agencies.

“We know that agricultural operations can be a contributor of pollutants in our lakes, ponds, streams and rivers,” Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner David Mears said. “We expect medium farm operations such as Mr. Nelson’s will follow best management practices to prevent these discharges, however we will continue to work together to ensure the rules for agricultural water quality pollution are adhered to.”

Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross stated that “our Agency is committed to taking meaningful enforcement actions when farms have demonstrated their unwillingness to follow the rules. Farmers have to understand that water quality protection is vital to keeping agricultural operations sustainable into the future.”

The settlement was approved by the Orleans Superior Court.

Photo by Mica Collier.

Bee causes accident in Coventry on Saturday

in coventry/Newport/News
Photo by Mica Collier.
Photo by Mica Collier.

COVENTRY — A 19-year-old man from Barton was involved in a single-vehicle crash yesterday in Coventry, after a bee flew inside his window.

According to a statement issued by Vermont State Police, Watson Gunnar was traveling south on US Route 5, when he becme distracted by a bee that flew into his vehicle.

Watson veered off the right side of the roadway, and collided into the rocky hillside.

Newport Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene. Watson was uninjured in the crash.

Watson was driving a 2000 Ford Expedition, which sustained damage to the front end and rear passenger side. The vehicle had to be towed from the scene.

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