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Seven people arrested illegally entering the U.S. in Derby Line

in Derby Line/Newport/News

DERBY LINE — Six people who authorities say entered the U.S. illegally in Derby Line, and the driver who picked them up, were arrested on Wednesday.

According to the criminal complaint, on the evening of May 1, agents at the Newport Border Patrol station learned that a group of people were entering the United States from Canada on foot, near an area known as Goodall Farm.

Agents in the area say they observed six individuals huddled together in a wooded area near the border.

Shortly thereafter, they say an SUV drive up to the group. The vehicle stopped and the six individuals got in. The vehicle was later pulled over.

Authorities say the driver was identified as Francisco Alejo-Medrano, 27, a citizen of Mexico.

The six passengers were all determined to be undocumented Mexican citizens.

All seven people in the vehicle were arrested.

Alejo-Medrano appeared in court yesterday on a charge that he unlawfully transported a group of people entering the United States illegally.

U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss ordered that Alejo-Medrano be detained pending further proceedings.

According to court records, the six passengers are being charged with unlawfully entering the United States.

If convicted, Alejo-Medrano faces up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

Authorities investigating explosion and fire in Holland

in Derby Line/Fire/Holland/Newport/News

HOLLAND — Authorities say that an explosion and fire that took place at a home in Holland on Wednesday is currently being investigated.

At around 2:45 p.m. the Derby Line Fire Department responded to a report of a home explosion and a fire located at 2896 Gore Road North.

Fire personnel found that the residence was completely engulfed and partially collapsed.

According to the report, the homeowners are identified as Mark Newell and Cynthia Merrill.

Police say nobody had been at the home for several days, and there were no reported injuries.

An investigation unit was contacted to try and determine the origin and cause of the incident.

Investigators say that because of the amount of fire damage and consumption of combustible materials, nothing can be determined at this time.

They are requesting anyone with information regarding this incident to contact Det. Sgt. Michael LaCourse at the Derby Barracks at 802-334-8881 or by contacting the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program (VATAP) hotline at 1-800-322-7766.

The VATAP will pay up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

“All Together Now” combines local history, myth and fiction

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — Borderline Players is getting ready to present an original comedy by border humorist Ross Murray, All Together Now. The show promises to be a love letter to the Haskell Free Library, life on the line and a resilient local myth.

Performances are set for May 10-12 and May 17-19.

It’s Labor Day, 1973. In Holland, Vermont, a rock festival is set to begin while, at the Haskell Free Library, rumors begin to fly that the former Fab Four will be meeting there.

But when a mysterious stranger and confused American tourists turn things upside down at the world’s only international library, soon no one knows whether they’re coming or going.

The comedy mixes local characters and history – including the infamous Mac’s Party at Mead Hill, and whimsical fiction in a comedy that doesn’t explain the myth of how the Beatles didn’t come to the Haskell so much as add new layers of possibilities.

“I wanted to create a play that would appeal to local audiences by drawing on actual historical events,” says writer/director Murray. “Other than hearsay, there’s no actual record of this Beatles meeting ever being planned, so it leaves the door wide open to create my own version and mix some fictional characters with the historical ones. No one knows the truth, so why not make up my own.”

In fact, the subtitle of the play is “A Possibly True Story of a Thing That Almost Happened.”

In keeping with the theme of the play, the cast features players from both sides of the border, with Leanne Harple of Glover, Sue Kuzma of Derby Center, Mike Desjardins of Newport, Eric Alexandre of Georgeville, Que., John Young of Newport, Jessi Sackett of Newport, and making their local stage debut Benjamin Tabah of Lennoxville, Que., Crystal Hall of Newport, and Adam Spirk of Stanstead, Que.

Having appeared in a number of QNEK productions and last season’s Fuddy Meers, Ross Murray is directing his original script.

A resident of Stanstead, Quebec, Murray writes a weekly humor column for The Sherbrooke Record and has contributed to CBC Radio and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency among other publications.

All Together Now is his first script.

Show times are Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, May 12 at 2:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday, May 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 19 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets are $15 adults, $12 seniors and students and are available now online through or Catamount Arts.

Tickets are also available at the MAC Center, in Newport, and the Colby-Curtis Museum, in Stanstead.

For more information, contact

Snowmobile crash with injury in Holland

in Derby Line/Holland/Newport/News

HOLLAND — A 49-year-old man from Morgan was taken to the hospital after a snowmobile crash on Tuesday.

At around 9:00 p.m. the incident was reported on VAST trail 105, in Holland.

Members of the Derby Line Fire Department located the male and transported him down the trail to the ambulance.

The operator of the snowmobile was identified as Brian Judd.

According to the report, Judd was traveling east and was unable to maintain his lane of travel around a right-hand corner.

He traveled off the trail and into several trees.

Judd was transported to North Country Hospital.

Police say the crash is still being investigated, and that no information about his injuries is available at this time.

Photo by Tanya Mueller.

Shape note sing and potluck in Derby Line January 5

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/News

DERBY LINE — A group of singers from Vermont and Quebec gathers every month to sing shape note or sacred harp music at the Unitarian Universalist Church Hall in Derby Line.

The group sings from the songbook The Sacred Harp, and the sing is followed by a potluck.

An upcoming sing will occur at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 5, with the potluck at 5 p.m.

Shape note music is sung without instruments in four-part harmony, without a leader and with the singers sitting in a square with the four parts facing each other.

Traditionally, this was the music taught by itinerant singing school teachers traveling around small New England towns in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The tradition then moved south and has seen a resurgence in recent years across the country.

Notes are written in shapes as well as on a staff to assist those unfamiliar with reading music.

The lyrics are often related to early Protestant religions.

Often heard at Village Harmony concerts in the area, it’s great fun to sing and organizers say that newcomers are always welcome and encouraged to come.

Borderline Players to hold auditions for 2019 spring, summer shows in Derby Line

DERBY LINE — After a highly successful debut season, Borderline Players will hold auditions for its spring and summer productions on Friday, January 4 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m and Saturday, January 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the First Universalist Parish Hall in Derby Line.

The first show of the season will be All Together Now, an original comedy written and directed by border humorist Ross Murray.

It’s Labour Day, 1973. In Holland, Vermont, a rock festival is set to begin, while at the Haskell Free Library, rumors begin to fly that the former Fab Four will be meeting there.

But when a mysterious stranger and confused American tourists turn things upside down at the world’s only international library, soon no one knows whether they’re coming or going.

Roles for All Together Now are available for 5 males, 4 females and one small role for a child (5-10).

Two male roles and one female role are for actors age 18-30.

Another male role is ideal for a francophone male (40-60) who can perform in English.

Performances are May 10-12 and 17-19.

The summer production will be the popular Abba musical Mamma Mia.

On a small Greek island, Sophie dreams of a perfect wedding — one which includes her father giving her away. The problem? Sophie doesn’t know who he is! Her mother refuses to talk about the past, so Sophie decides to take matters into her own hands.

She secretly invites her three possible fathers to the wedding, convinced that she’ll know her father when she sees him.

But when all three turn up, it may not be as clear as she thought.

This production will be directed by Mary Hoadley and features multiple principal and feature roles along with ensemble roles for men and women age 16+.

Singing and dancing men especially sought. Performances will run August 9-11 and 16-18.

A fall production, scheduled for October 18-20 and 25-26, is yet to be finalized.

Play and character details are available at

To book an audition time and receive audition script sides, contact Borderline Players at

Drop-ins are also welcome.

Derby Line Port of Entry construction completed

in Derby Line/News

DERBY LINE – The $33 million construction project at the Derby Line Port of Entry is now complete.

The new building, located on Interstate 91, is expected to improve efficiency at one of busiest crossings in Vermont.

Construction started in the summer of 2016.

The building supports the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations.

The U.S. General Services Administration says improvements will bring long-term operational, public safety, and security benefits.

Major elements of the project included a new main port building that includes administrative offices, processing and immigration services spaces, as well as officer work areas.

There is also five new inspection booths and lane configurations.

Caswell Avenue bridge in Derby Line open

in Derby Line/News

DERBY LINE — The Caswell Avenue bridge over I-91 at the U.S. – Canadian border is open to traffic once again.

At this time the bridge is open to two-way traffic, however, over the next couple of weeks, there will be one-lane closures with alternating one-way traffic as the work is completed.

Construction at the bridge started back in April.

Workers replaced the bearings, structural steel, deck, pavement, and railing on the existing bridge.

The construction project cost around $5.23 million.

The bridge is 315 feet in length and 38 feet wide and includes two travel lanes as well as a sidewalk on the north side.

Agatha Christie’s classic The Mousetrap opening at the Haskell October 12

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Newport/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — One of the most popular plays of all time, the classic Agatha Christie murder mystery, The Mousetrap, will be showing at the Haskell Opera House October 12-14 and 19-21.

This Borderline Players production of The Mousetrap is directed by Thomas Perry, who most recently directed the troupe’s sold-out summer production of Little Shop of Horrors.

The cast includes Marianna Barrett, Jim Cross, Leanne Harple, Sue Kuzma, Shannon Quinn, Jessi Sackett, Jim Young, and John Young.

First produced in London’s West End in 1952, this “whodunnit” has been running continuously ever since, making it the longest running show in history.

A group of strangers is stranded in a boarding house during a snow storm, one of whom is a murderer.

The suspects include the newly married couple who run the house, and the suspicions in their minds nearly wreck their perfect marriage.

Others are a spinster with a curious background, an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef, a retired Army major, a strange little man who claims his car has overturned in a drift, and a jurist who makes life miserable for everyone.

Into their midst comes a policeman, traveling on skis. He no sooner arrives, when a second murder occurs.

To get to the rationale of the murderer’s pattern, the policeman probes the background of everyone present, and rattles a lot of skeletons.

This production of The Mousetrap is underwritten by North Country Hospital.

Showtimes are Friday and Saturday, October 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee Sunday, October 14 at 2:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, October 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m., with a second matinee Sunday, October 21 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets are $15.00 for adults, $12 for students (under 17) and $12 for seniors (55+).

They are on sale in Newport, at the MAC Center and Madam Archetype’s Panoply, and in Stanstead at the Colby-Curtis Museum.

You can also get tickets online at, or at the Haskell box office one hour before the show.

Derby Line hit with string of car break-ins

in Derby Line/News

DERBY LINE — A series of car break-ins taking place in Derby Line has police seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspects.

On Sunday, police received multiple calls of thefts occurring from motor vehicles in the area of Kingsbury Avenue.

Police say overnight, multiple vehicles had been entered and various items were stolen.

It was reported that two revolvers, as well as multiple debit and credit cards, were taken from vehicles in the area.

In the area of Elm Street, police say someone opened several unlocked car doors, stealing numerous wallets and purses.

“Any residents of the areas who may have surveillance footage that may be used in an attempt to identify the subjects, is urged to contact the Vermont State Police Derby Barracks-Trooper Ferrier at 802-334-8881,” a statement issued by police reads.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra fall tour coming to Derby Line, Greensboro

DERBY LINE — Kicking off the start to another colorful Vermont autumn, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra (VSO) will be traveling across the state beginning Sept. 27 to celebrate the many sounds and sights of the season.

The ​Made in Vermont Statewide Tour​ will reach six communities throughout the state, sharing well-loved classics as well as an original, unconventional collaboration with the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival.

The tour will reach Orleans County with a visit to the Haskell Opera House on September 30, and the Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro, on October 7.

The Made in Vermont Statewide Tour will surprise and delight attendees this fall as the VSO welcomes trumpets, timpani, and film to the stage.

Following another successful year of collaboration with the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, a world premiere composition by the VSO’s Matthew LaRocca will accompany filmmaker Robin Starbuck’s “How We See Water,” making for an unforgettable multisensory experience.

Internationally-renowned violinist Soovin Kim will both conduct the orchestra ensemble and lead listeners through Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 1, opening each of the tour’s performances.

Kim is noted as an active recording artist who is dedicated to the Vermont arts community, having spent 5 years playing in the Vermont Youth Orchestra and founding the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival.

Mexican citizen picked up in Derby on human smuggling charges sentenced

in Derby/Derby Line/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Salmen Hernandez-Ayala, 48, a citizen of Mexico, was sentenced this week for transporting three people without permission into the United States, after being picked up in Derby back in May.

Hernandez-Ayala has been in custody since the arrest.

According to court records, Hernandez-Ayala hired a taxi in New York City and traveled to a location near the border, where he picked up three individuals who had illegally crossed into the U.S.

At around 3:00 a.m. border agents stopped the taxi on U.S. Route 5 in Derby and determined that Hernandez-Ayala, who was in the front passenger seat, as well as three people in the rear seat, were all illegally inside the United States.

Eliezer Esteban Gamez-Saban, 21, a citizen of Guatemala, was charged with illegal reentry into the United States after having previously been removed from the United States, a felony offense.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to time served.

Jorge Campos-Navarro, 21, a citizen of Mexico, and Bryan Antonio Cruz-Salvador, 20, a citizen of Mexico, were charged with illegal entry into the United States, a misdemeanor offense.

Both pled guilty and were sentenced to time served.

Hernandez-Ayala was sentenced this week to time served as well.

Quebec man sentenced for smuggling guns through Haskell Free Library

in Derby Line/News

DERBY LINE — A Quebec man was sentenced to 51 months imprisonment for smuggling over 100 handguns to Quebec, some of which passed through the Haskell Free Library in Derby Line.

Alexis Vlachos, 41, of Montreal, previously pled guilty to conspiring to export, and actually exporting, firearms from the United States to Canada without a license.

According to court records, Vlachos agreed that from July 2010 to April 2011, he and defendants Annette Wexler and Jaime Ruiz executed a plan to smuggle the guns purchased in Florida by way of northern Vermont and northeast New York.

As part of the conspiracy, Vlachos would usually take custody of the firearms in Quebec, where he sold many of them.

Some of the firearms smuggled were first brought to the Haskell Free Library in Derby Line, by Wexler and Ruiz.

The Haskell Free Library building straddles the international border of Derby Line, Vermont and Stanstead, Quebec.

On at least two occasions, Wexler and Ruiz worked together to stash several firearms contained in small backpacks inside the trashcan of the library bathroom.

Wexler then coordinated with Vlachos, who had entered the library from Quebec, to retrieve the firearms from the bathroom.

Vlachos then transported the firearms to Quebec, where he sold many of them.

Annette Wexler previously pled guilty to conspiring to make false statements to licensed gun dealers and unlawful exportation. She was sentenced to time served and two years of supervised release.

Ruiz also pled guilty to two offenses relating to this smuggling conspiracy. He passed away due to an illness, and the charges against him were dismissed.

Vlachos was originally charged with these offenses in January 2015, but the process of extraditing him to the United States took over two years to complete.

Vlachos faced a maximum possible term of imprisonment of twenty years.

What’s new at the Caswell Avenue bridge in Derby Line?

in Derby Line/News

A quick update on the Caswell Avenue Bridge project in Derby Line:

The contractor completed the second of three concrete pours for the bridge surface.

Early next week, they will complete the final concrete pour for the new bridge deck.

The contractor will continue installing foundations for overhead signs through next week.

Traffic will continue to follow the signed and signalized detour.

Occasional one-lane closures will continue on I-91 with at least one lane in each direction open at all times.

The project is expected to be completed in October.

Little Shop of Horrors opens at the Haskell August 10

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Newport/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — If you like your musicals with a little bite, then you won’t want to miss Borderline Players’ production of Little Shop of Horrors, playing at the Haskell Opera House August 10-12 and 17-19.

Based on the 1960 low-budget film of the same name, Little Shop was written by Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken, debuting off-off-Broadway in 1982 and quickly becoming a popular staple of American musical theatre.

In 1987, a film version was produced of the musical starring Rick Moranis.

The comedy tells the story of Seymour Krelborn, a meek and dejected assistant at a floral shop who happens upon a strange plant, which he affectionately names “Audrey II” after his crush at the shop.

Little does he know that this strange and unusual plant will develop a soulful R&B voice, a potty mouth, and an unquenchable thirst…

This Borderline Players production is directed by Thomas Perry.

In keeping with the international theatre and the international company, the cast consists of a cast of American and Canadian talent, including Shelly Bourgeois as Audrey, Allen Cubit as Seymour, Ron St. John III as Orin, Tristan Slicer as Mr. Mushnik, Sonia Patenaude as Audrey II, and Maggie Anderson, Emmie Wilkie and Jessi Sackett as Chiffon, Crystal and Ronnette.

Rounding out the cast are Nicki Campbell, Debbie Bishop and Addie Poginy.

In the band are Mark Violette, keyboard; Gideon Yellin, guitar; Lloyd White, bass; and Alex Lepanto, drums.

Showtimes are Friday and Saturday, August 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee Sunday, August 12 at 2:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, August 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m., with a second matinee Sunday, August 19 at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets (at par) are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors and are available at the MAC Center for the Arts and Madame Archetypes Panoply in Newport and the Colby-Curtis Museum in Stanstead.

Tickets also available at the door.

You can also purchase tickets online at in US funds.

Several cars damaged after hit-and-run in Derby Line

in Derby Line/News

DERBY LINE — Police are looking for the driver in a hit-and-run incident that took place in Derby Line on Tuesday night.

At around 10 p.m. the Vermont State Police received a report that a vehicle struck several parked cars before leaving the scene on Main Street.

Witnesses say it was possibly a white SUV.

A GMC grill was located in the debris at the scene.

Anyone with information in regards to a white GMC SUV or its operator is asked to call the Vermont State Police Derby at 802-334-8881.

The vehicle should have damage to the passenger side front end and maybe have blue paint transfer on its own front bumper.

Two men plead guilty to smuggling 14 illegal aliens in Derby

in Derby/Derby Line/Newport/News

DERBY — Two men have pled guilty to the smuggling and transporting of fourteen illegal aliens who traveled on foot from Quebec to Derby in October 2017.

The two defendants are Alberto Alvarado-Castro, 30, a Mexican citizen, and Hector Perez-Alvarado, 25, a citizen of Honduras.

According to the complaint affidavit and the statements made at the recent hearings, late in the evening of October 7, 2017, Alberto Alvarado-Castro guided the fourteen aliens through the woods on the border to a van parked in Derby, which was driven by Hector Perez-Alvarado.

In multiple trips, Perez-Alvardo drove the aliens to a motel in Derby, where, on the last trip, they were all apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol.

Eleven of the smuggled illegal aliens were Guatemala citizens and three were Mexican citizens.

Alberto Alvarado-Castro pled guilty to smuggling aliens for financial gain, which carries a three-year mandatory minimum sentence and a ten-year maximum sentence.

The parties agreed that Alvardo-Castro’s sentence should be three years, which is still subject to the Court’s approval.

Hector Perez-Alvarado pled guilty to transporting aliens for financial gain, which carries a ten-year maximum sentence.

The parties have not agreed to a specific sentence for Perez-Alvarado.

United States Chief Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford will conduct both sentencings which are currently scheduled for September 27 in Rutland.

Both defendants are detained and in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Derby Line man sentenced to 1-5 years

in Derby Line/Newport/News

NEWPORT — A 22-year-old Derby Line man will serve 1-5 years behind bars after facing sentencing last Thursday.

In court, Jacob Roy pled guilty to one count of 1st degree aggravated domestic assault, one count of domestic assault, and one count of reckless endangerment.

According to court records, Roy changed his plea to guilty on the morning his jury trial was set to begin.

The case was investigated by Detective Jennifer Harlow of the Newport Police Department.

According to court records, Roy was accused of physically abusing someone he was in a relationship with, on one occasion punching her in the eye.

During a separate incident, while arguing with the victim he allegedly accelerated his truck at high speeds, reaching 72 mph between BAART and Columbia Forest Products. In an affidavit filed by Detective Harlow, the victim stated at that time she was terrified and scream at Roy “not to kill her.”

The victim told police the abuse would occur at a minimum once a week, describing Roy’s anger as “instant rage.”

Roy has no previous criminal record.

The Orleans County State’s Attorney’s Office is reminding the public if you’re in a violent relationship and would like to make a report to law enforcement, call Newport Police Department (334-6733), Orleans County Sherriff’s Department (334-3333) or the Vermont State Police (334-8881).

If it’s an emergency, call 911.

The Advocacy Program at Umbrella (334-0148) provides resources and support to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Borderline Players presents dark comedy Fuddy Meers at the Haskell starting May 11

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — Borderline Players, a new theater company registered in Vermont and Quebec, will present Fuddy Meers at the Haskell Opera House stage for four performances on May 11, 12 and 13.

Written by American playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, Fuddy Meers tells the story of an amnesiac, Claire, who starts each morning with no memory, her husband and teenage son having to fill her in daily about her life.

When she is kidnapped, Claire – and the audience – must piece together the ensuing mayhem.

The original Broadway production was described by The New York Times as a “dark, sweet and thoroughly engaging comedy.”

Performance times are Friday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 12 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 13 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets are only $15 and available by calling the Haskell Opera House box office at 819-876-2471, ext. 205 or 819-873-3022, ext. 205.

You can also grab tickets at:, through Catamount Arts, or at the door.

Please note that this play contains adult language and themes and is not recommended for young children.

The Borderline Players’ production of Fuddy Meers is directed by Kim Prangley, a veteran of QNEK productions during the company’s 25-year run as the Haskell as the resident theater company, a tradition that continues in 2018 with the debut of the new community-based company.

Prangley also takes on the role of Claire, accompanied by local actors from both sides of the border including Calvin Longe, Ross Murray, Chris Planetta, Mark Rumery, Pamela Frohn and Susan Neumann.

Set design is by Bradleigh Stockwell.

Caswell Avenue bridge in Derby Line closed

in Derby Line/Holland/News

DERBY LINE — The Caswell Avenue bridge over I-91 at the U.S. – Canadian border is closed.

Motorists using Caswell Avenue to cross I-91 are being directed down the on-ramps to a temporary traffic signal, before crossing the interstate and continuing on toward Holland or Derby Line.

The Caswell Avenue bridge project will replace the bearings, structural steel, deck, pavement, and railing on the existing bridge.

Construction is scheduled to last until October.

The bridge will remain closed during this time.

Expect delays as I-91 bridge into Derby Line set to close

in Derby/Derby Line/Holland/Newport/News

DERBY LINE — Work on the Caswell Avenue bridge connecting Derby Line and Holland over Interstate 91 is set to start April 2, and the state is warning motorists to expect delays.

Construction is scheduled to last until October. The bridge will remain closed during this time.

Traffic using Caswell Avenue to cross the Interstate will be directed down the I-91 on-ramps to a temporary traffic signal.

The signal will periodically stop north and southbound traffic on I-91 to allow cross traffic from Caswell Avenue to proceed.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation says during construction, left turns from I-91 entering the on-ramp toward Derby Line will not be allowed. Northbound I-91 traffic traveling to Derby Line will need to use exit 28 and follow detour signs along US Route 5.

Likewise, southbound traffic along I-91 traveling from Canada to Holland will also be detoured to exit 28 and I-91 north.

Uniformed traffic officers will be on hand to help motorists negotiate the detours during the first few days of construction.

The Caswell Avenue bridge project will replace the bearings, structural steel, deck, pavement, and railing on the existing bridge.

One of the supporting piers will be removed and the cap beams on the remaining three piers will be rebuilt. The existing abutments will be retained.

The current bridge was constructed in 1962.

The new bridge will be a paved concrete deck supported by un-painted steel girders. There will be two travel lanes and two wide shoulders for pedestrian and bicycle use.

The project is expected to cost over $5 million to complete.

Police: Suspected DUI driver crashes into garage in Derby Line

in Derby Line/Newport/News

DERBY LINE — Police say a 38-year-old Holland woman is facing charges after she drove into someone’s garage early Friday morning.

At around 2:15 a.m. police responded to 1479 Holland Road in Derby Line, for a report of a motor vehicle crash.

Police identified the driver as Christy Carey.

According to police, Carey was headed eastbound when she left the roadway and crashed into a nearby garage.

“Carey then proceeded to leave the scene of the crash and travel in her vehicle a short distance before it was inoperable,” Trooper Jeff Ferrier said.

She was placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI and LSA and transported to the Derby barracks for processing.

Fire at the Border Motel

in Albany/Derby/Derby Line/Fire/News

DERBY — A fire broke out at the Border Motel in Derby on Friday night.

At around 11:20 p.m. the Derby Line Fire Department responded to a report of a fire in an occupied room on the second floor at the hotel, located on Route 5.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames and keep the fire contained to the room.

There were no reported injuries from the fire, however, another tenant was transported to North Country Hospital for an unrelated medical emergency.

After his initial scene examination, Chief Craig Ellam requested the assistance of the Fire Investigation Unit.

Investigators say they were able to confirm that the fire originated on a couch in the room. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Police say the occupant of the room, Romuld Kuczek, 60, of Albany, was placed into protective custody due his level of intoxication.

The motel room sustained significant damage and is considered a total loss. Other nearby rooms sustained smoke and water damage and several tenants had to be relocated.

There are no criminal charges at this point, however, police say the case remains under investigation.

Border Patrol apprehends 11 illegal aliens near Derby Line

in Derby Line/News

DERBY LINE — U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Newport station apprehended seven Romanian citizens and four French citizens as they attempted to illegally enter the United States in Derby Line.

During the early morning hours of March 3, authorities received a report that two vehicles had crossed the international border by driving over the sidewalk west of the Haskell Free Library.

Agents located the vehicles and stopped them after they exited Interstate 91 at exit 27 in Newport.

Inside the two vehicles were four French citizens, two adults and two children, and seven Romanian citizens, four adults and three children.

During questioning, the adults in the vehicles admitted that they were not citizens of the United States and that they did not possess any immigration documentation allowing them to enter or remain in the United States.

Agents arrested the six adults and transported the vehicles’ occupants to the Newport Border Patrol Station for records checks and processing.

After processing, agents turned all 11 illegal aliens over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for removal proceedings.

Arrests made following attempted robbery at Barton Circle K

in Barton/Derby Line/Newport/News

BARTON — Police say they have arrested two men in connection with an attempted armed robbery at the Circle K gas station in Barton.

State Police, with the assistance of the Newport Police Department, took Zachariah Rathburn, 21, and Hezekiah McCullough, 22, both of Derby Line, into custody.

Rathburn has been charged with assault and robbery, and was lodged at the Northern State Correctional Facility (NSCF) for lack of $10,000 bail.

McCullough has been charged with accessory aiding in the commission of a felony and was also lodged at the NSCF for lack of $75,000 bail.

At around 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday, police responded to the gas station after a man entered the store brandishing a handgun and demanding money from a store clerk.

The clerk did not turn over any money and chased the robber from the store.

Both men are due in Orleans Criminal Court today at 12:30 p.m.

Police say the investigation is ongoing, and anyone with further information is asked to contact State Police Derby barracks or the Newport Police Department.

Borderline Players to hold auditions for spring comedy

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — Auditions for Borderline Players’ premiere production, Fuddy Meers, will take place on Saturday, January 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the First Universalist Parish Hall in Derby Line.

Performances are scheduled for May 4-6 and 11-13, 2018 at the Haskell Opera House.

Written by American playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, Fuddy Meers tells the story of an amnesiac, Claire, who starts each morning with no memory, her husband and teenage having to fill her in daily about her life.

When she is kidnapped, Claire–and the audience–must piece together the ensuing mayhem.

The Borderline Players’ production will be directed by Kim Prangley, a veteran of QNEK productions during the company’s 25-year run as the Haskell as the resident theater company, a tradition that continues in 2018 with the debut of the new community-based company.

Seven roles are available; 4 male and 3 female. They are Claire (about 40, generally sunny woman with amnesia); Richard (about 40, chatty, friendly, sometimes nervous man); Kenny (17, a troubled teen); limping man (about 40, a limping, lisping, half-blind, half-deaf man with secrets); Gertie (60s, a clear-headed lady who’s had a stroke); Millet (30s or 40s, an odd man with a puppet alter ego); and Heidi (30s or 40s, tough woman in a uniform).

No appointments are necessary for auditions, and scripts will be available at the hall.

For more information, contact Kim Prangley at

Auditions for the summer and fall productions will be announced at a late date.

Police looking for driver after high-speed chase in Derby Line / Holland

in Derby Line/Holland/Newport/News

HOLLAND — Police are looking for the driver of a pickup truck involved in a high-speed chase near the Derby Line and Holland border on Saturday.

Troopers were on patrol on the Valley Road in Holland at around 6:00 p.m. when a pickup truck was observed traveling east on Valley Road from the Derby Line/Holland town line, near Twin Bridges Road.

Police say the truck was clocked at 93 MPH in the posted 50 MPH zone and was observed crossing the center line.

As the trooper turned around and activated his emergency lights and siren, the truck failed to stop and continued east on Valley Road at a high rate of speed, continuing to operate recklessly while passing other vehicles.

The trooper was eventually forced to reduce speed and discontinue for safety reasons and lost sight of the truck on Valley Road.

Police say a follow-up investigation is being conducted, and the vehicle is described as a new model GMC pickup truck, likely a 2016 Sierra 1500, dark in color.

Anyone with information regarding the identity of the driver or the pickup truck, including those who may have witnessed the incident, are encouraged to contact VSP-Derby at (802) 334-8881.

Police looking for flasher in Derby Line

in Derby Line/News

DERBY LINE — Police are looking for a man who exposed himself to a child at a playground in Derby Line.

On Friday, at around 4:30 p.m., police took a report that a male had approached a mother and her young child at the Derby Line playground near Main and Elm Street.

Police say the man then made inappropriate comments to the mother and exposed his genitals to her.

The mother was able to fend the male off after he attempted to grab her by striking him.

Police say they believe that the suspect has been frequenting the playground and area of the school recently.

The suspect is described as a white male approximately 60 years of age, approximately 5’9” and slightly chubby, with gray hair, possibly brown eyes, an older, faded black ink tattoo possibly of a dog’s head on his forearm, and was at the time wearing jeans and a black T-shirt.

Police say the man has been seen operating an older-model black Chevy Blazer with Vermont plates and a rust spot on the front passenger door and on the date of the incident was seen leaving to the west on Elm Street.

The suspect is also believed to have a blackened or injured right eye resulting from the encounter.

Anyone with information which may assist in identifying the suspect is strongly encouraged to call police at (802) 334-8881.

Free Vermont Symphony Orchestra Halloween concert coming to Haskell Opera House

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — The Haskell Opera House recently announced they will host a kid-friendly, free Halloween concert on Sunday, October 29, at 2:00 p.m.

The concert includes an introduction of the instruments and several seasonally spooky selections.

The highlight of the performance is a narration with music based on the book, “A Symphony of Whales,” by Steve Schuch, taking its inspiration from a true story about whales stranded in the Siberian Sea, and the heroic efforts by villagers and a Russian icebreaker to free them.

Music plays a key role in the heartwarming rescue, and audience members get to participate in a crucial decision.

Organizers are inviting everyone to wear Halloween costumes, join the parade of costumes and take home treats afterward.

Free tckets are available the MAC Center for the Arts in Newport and the Haskell Free Library, in Derby Line.

Seating is limited.

For more information, please contact,, or call 802-873-3022 (x205).

Authorities bust 15-person smuggling attempt in Derby Line

in Derby/Derby Line/Newport/News

DERBY LINE — Three individuals have been charged in connection with a fifteen-person human smuggling attempt in Derby.

Hector Ramon Perez-Alvarado, 25, a Honduran citizen, has been charged with transporting illegal aliens inside the United States.

As part of the investigation, the U.S. Border Patrol took into custody a total of sixteen illegal aliens, including Hector Ramon Perez-Alvarado, the alleged driver.

Eleven of the illegal aliens are Guatemalan citizens and four are Mexican.

On Saturday night, U.S. Border Patrol agents identified a Nissan van, with a license plate not affiliated with any state, making multiple trips from Beebe Road near the Canadian border to the Four Seasons Motel in Derby. Additional Border Patrol agents stationed in the vicinity spotted several male subjects on foot heading south from the border in the same area indicating a possible smuggling attempt.

Just after midnight on Sunday, Border Patrol agents pulled the van over in the motel parking lot and questioned the driver, Hector Ramon Perez-Alvarado, who had no legal status in the United States.

The van also contained six passengers, none of whom had legal status in the United States.

The driver, Hector Ramon Perez-Alvarado, gave the Border Patrol agents the key to his motel room at the Four Seasons and requested that the agents recover his personal items. When Border Patrol agents entered the motel room, they found nine additional persons, none of whom had legal status in the United States

If Hector Ramon Perez-Alvarado is convicted of transporting illegal aliens, he faces a maximum sentence of five years, potentially for each alien transported, and a $250,000 fine, potentially for each person smuggled.

According to court records, in addition to the smuggling charge against Hector Ramon Perez-Alvarado, two people were charged with re-entering the United States after previously being removed.

Authorities allege that Noe Perez-Ramirez, 33, of Mexico, and Alberto Alvarado-Castro, 29, of Mexico, both were removed from the United States on multiple prior occasions. Court records allege that Alvarado-Castro has multiple prior felony burglary convictions in the United States.

If Noe Perez-Ramirez and Alberto Alvarado-Castro are convicted of re-entry after removal from the United States, they each face a maximum sentence of two years and a $250,000 fine.

Hector Ramon Perez-Alvarado, Noe Perez-Ramirez and Alberto Alvarado-Castro all appeared in United States District Court in Burlington, on Tuesday for an initial appearance.

On the motion for pre-trial detention, the judge ordered that all three be detained pending trial and remanded them into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

This matter is being investigated by the United States Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations.

“This case is an excellent example of the dedication and hard work put forth by Border Patrol agents to keep our country and communities safe,” said U.S. Border Patrol Swanton Sector Chief Patrol Agent John Pfeifer. “Our agents did an outstanding job thwarting this smuggling attempt.”

Wood and Belsher return to the Haskell Opera House this Sunday

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — Fiddle and guitar duo Wood and Belsher will return to the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line on Sunday, October 8, for a 7:30 p.m. show.

Richard Wood, Prince Edward Island fiddler, artist, composer, and entertainer, has come full circle, not just in his musical career, but from the sheltered innocence as a child prodigy to learning life’s lessons the hard way.

Joining Wood on stage again this year is Gordon Belsher.

With a gentle charm that has become his trademark, Belsher’s versatility, engaging personality, and exceptional musicality have earned him the prestigious Music PEI 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Whether playing before festival crowds or intimate folk settings, his talent is extraordinary.

Derby man facing arson charges

in Derby/Derby Line/Fire

DERBY — A fire destroyed a home in Derby on Wednesday, and police say that a local man is facing arson charges.

Shawn Flynn, 50, of Derby was arrested following the incident.

At around 3:00 p.m. the Derby Line Fire Department responded to a report of a fully engulfed structure fire at 56 Quarry Circle in Derby.

Fire Chief Craig Ellam contacted the Fire Investigation Unit to conduct an origin and cause investigation.

Investigators say they began an examination of the scene, bringing in a state police K9 accelerant detection team.

“It was determined that the cause of this fire was due to direct human involvement,” a statement issued by police reads. “The classification of this fire is incendiary.”

Police say as a result of the investigation and interviews conducted, it was determined that Flynn, the homeowner, played a primary role in the causation of the fire. The presence of an accelerant was identified.

Flynn was arrested and released on a citation to appear in Orleans County Superior Court, due to extenuating circumstances.

Police say other potential charges pertaining to collateral damages that occurred to adjoining properties are being investigated.

Derby Line man facing charges after police say he punched trooper

in Derby/Derby Line/Newport/News

DERBY LINE — A 60-year-old man from Derby Line is facing charges after police say he punched a State trooper in the head.

Paul Scalzo faces aggravated domestic assault, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, and resisting arrest charges following the incident, which took place on Monday.

At around 5:45 p.m. police responded to a report of an assault at a residence in Derby Line.

The complainant advised two children were assaulted by Scalzo and that he was highly intoxicated.

Trooper Daniel Lynch responded to the residence and met with the complainant at the door.

Lynch says the complainant advised he was still inside the residence with the children present, his mood escalating, and there were firearms in Scalzo’s presence.

Trooper Lynch says he entered the residence and encountered Scalzo, and while informing him he was under arrest, Scalzo refused to comply.

According to the report, trooper Lynch began to take Scalzo into custody when he resisted arrest and subsequently punched Trooper Lynch in the head as well as grabbed him by the throat.

Trooper Lynch overcame Scalzo and successfully took him into custody.

Police say their investigation revealed Scalzo had assaulted two children by grabbing them around the throat and chest areas causing them significant pain.

Scalzo was treated at North Country Hospital for his injuries and lodged at Northern State Correctional Facility on lack of $1,500.00 cash or surety bond.

Trooper Lynch was also treated at North Country Hospital for minor injuries.

The children were seen by Derby Line Ambulance Services at the scene.

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