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Burglary at Verizon store in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — Police say the Verizon store in Derby was burglarized last night.

Police were notified of the burglary at around 11:02 p.m.

A Verizon employee told police that he responded to the store after an alarm activated, and he observed the building to have been forcefully entered.

Police say the employee, Angus Gluck, said that he was contacted at home by his supervisor who was originally alerted to the alarm.

He then immediately contacted state police.

According to the police report, there was Verizon property missing as well as evidence left at the scene.

Police were still investigating this case.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 802-334-8881.

Sarah Barrup promoted to Special Asset Officer at Community National Bank

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — Community National Bank President Kathy Austin recently announced the promotion of Sarah Barrup to Special Asset Officer.

Sarah started her banking career with CNB in 2003 as a Teller in Derby Line and in 2005 she was hired as an Administrative Assistant in the bank’s Finance Department.

In 2008, she took a position in the Loss Mitigation Department as an Assistant and then was promoted to Specialist.

For the past 10 years, Barrup has worked helping customers find ways to avoid foreclosure and establish plans to continue paying obligations.

Sarah attended the Northern New England School of banking in 2015, and she has taken several banking courses.

She makes her home in Derby with her husband Tom, daughter Bella and son Mason.

Burglary at Portland Glass in Derby

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DERBY — Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect who broke into a building this morning in Derby.

Police responded to Portland Glass, located at 32 Community Drive, for the reported burglary at around 6:54 a.m.

Police say forced entry was made into the building sometime overnight.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact State Police at 802-334-8881.

Police were still investigating this case.

NCUJHS, Brighton Elementary join CFES Brilliant Pathways to increase college and career readiness

in Brighton/Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — Two local schools have joined CFES Brilliant Pathways’ growing network of programs across the US and Ireland in support of students becoming college and career ready.

Brighton Elementary and North Country Union Junior High have signed on as CFES schools for the 2019-2020 school year.

They join new schools from Texas, Hawaii, Florida and Pennsylvania and an overall network of 25,000 students in 150 schools from 30 states.

The addition of these schools supports a statewide initiative known as Advance Vermont, focused on 70 percent of working-age residents attaining a postsecondary degree or credential of value.

Launched in 2017 by Gov. Phil Scott, leaders in business, education, government, nonprofits and philanthropy, the initiative addresses a shortfall of qualified candidates to fill the high-growth, high wage jobs over the next decade that the McClure Foundation says will require education or training beyond high school.

Despite having one of the nation’s highest high school graduation rates, only 60 percent of Vermont’s seniors choose to attend college – a college-going rate that ranks last in New England and 42nd nationally.

Relying on research-driven methods and best practices, CFES has sent 95 percent of its students to college or certified training programs.

CFES gives students an opportunity to forge their own route to a bright future that places an emphasis on college and career readiness through a framework that allows schools to customize the implementation of three core practices – mentoring, essential skills (perseverance, agility, goal setting, networking, teamwork and leadership) and pathways to college & career.

“Every student with the desire and ability should have the opportunity to attend college and post-secondary training programs,” said US Senator Bernie Sanders. “I am pleased to learn that more Vermont students will have access to counseling and programs to help them make post-high school decisions.”

Brighton Elementary is currently developing comprehensive plans to engage students in the core practices with support from CFES program directors who will work with staff and students.

Police: Man arrested for hitting two vehicles while fleeing attempted theft in Derby

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DERBY — A Derby man will face a judge tomorrow morning for charges of aggravated assault and driving with a criminally suspended license following an incident that took place earlier in the month.

Police say they received a call from a victim at a residence on Hinman Settler Road on October 10, advising they had an attempted theft at their barn.

The vehicle left the scene after striking both of their vehicles in the process and headed back onto Hinman Settler Road, where they lost sight of it.

The victims were able to identify the operator as 41-year-old Aaron Horner, of Derby.

Horner was taken into custody and released on a citation to appear in Orleans County court tomorrow.

Five retire from Columbia Forest Products

in Derby/Newport

Five Orleans county residents have retired from Columbia Forest Products since early September. Below is a brief bio for each:

Darlene “Winky” Crowe

Friday, September 6, 2019, marked the retirement of Darlene “Winky” Crowe from Columbia Forest Products, after 27 combined years of service. Born in Holland, VT, she attended N.C.U.H.S. and later earned her G.E.D.

Winky held her first job working as a caretaker for an elderly woman for approximately 3 months. She also held the following jobs: laborer at Ethan Allen for 6 weeks, chambermaid at the Border Motel for 6 months, teacher’s aide at the Grace Brethren School in Coventry for 1 year, maintained horse stables at Hob & Knob Farm for 1 year, store clerk at B & B Enterprises for a couple years and also stripped and finished furniture while being self-employed.

Winky joined Columbia Forest Products on July 18, 1983, as a splicer operator of which she held until May 10, 1984. She rejoined Columbia on June 8, 1993, as a part-time pre-sorter. She later held the following jobs: splicer operator, grader/piler and panel grader. Winky held the marker job for the last 7 years, up until her retirement.

Winky lives in Newport. She raised 2 daughters; Jessica and Killey and was blessed with four grandchildren; Kendra, 17; Holly, 15; Hunter, 14 and Aron, 12 and one great-granddaughter, Gracie, 11 months old!

She enjoys watching the Hallmark channel, wine-tasting parties, working with animals, furniture stripping, maintaining her flower gardens, attending country auctions, swimming and walking. She plans to travel to Virginia to visit her daughter.

Gary White

Friday, September 20, 2019, marked the retirement of Gary White from Columbia Forest Products, after 37 combined years of service. Born in
Newport, VT, he graduated from L.R.U.H.S.

He held his first job working on the family logging business for a couple of months.

Gary joined Columbia Forest Products on July 16, 1982, as a janitor until he quit in February ’93. He relocated to Florida and worked the night shift at Burger King for 2 months, after which he decided to return to VT.

Gary rejoined Columbia Forest Products on April 23, 1993, as a part-time janitor. He also held the following positions: piler, overhead crane operator, salvage clipper operator, jointer operator, booker, pre-sorter, jointer service, drag saw operator and debarker operator. Gary held the lathe operator position for the last 14 years, up until his retirement.

Gary lives in Derby, VT. He raised two daughters; Amanda and Cassandra and has 6 grandchildren; Hailey, 9; Baylin, 6; Lukis, 6; Kallie, 4; Dawson, 1 and Levi, 2 months old.

His retirement plans are to continue his part-time umpire job for baseball and softball games of which he’s done for 10 years. He also will continue to officiate soccer games of which he’s done for 6 years.

During his first several years at Columbia, he played on the company softball team along with his brothers; Brian, Bruce, Jerry, Paul and Randy. He is an avid Dallas Cowboys, Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins fan. Gary plans to purchase a camper and visit his brother, Wayne in Marion, NC. He will continue to enjoy his time in the Dominican Republic.

He hopes to purchase a Spyder motorcycle to enjoy rides with his sister, Brenda.

Henry Pion

Friday, September 20, 2019, marked the retirement of Henry Pion from Columbia Forest Products, after 34 years of service. Born in Newport, VT, he graduated from N.C.U.H.S.

He held his first job as a sander at Ethan Allen for 6 months, then relocated to Manchester, NH where he held the following jobs; a utility doffer (extracted bobbins of yarn from a spinning machine) at Waumbec Mills for 8 years, then to Velcro USA where he held the utility job for 4 years and crew leader for 1 year. During this 5 year stint he also worked part-time at K-Mart in the following jobs; sales/utility, merchandiser and temporary Assistant Manager.

Henry joined Columbia Forest Products on July 23, 1985, as a piler of which he held for a couple of years. He also held the following positions: jointer operator, patcher, round-up and booker. Henry held the unspliced grader position for the last 16 years, up until his retirement.

Henry lives in Derby. His retirement plans are to take up exercising again, complete some much-needed home improvements and to go back to sugaring in the Spring. He enjoys vegetable gardening, hunting, fishing and raising chickens. Henry is an avid New England’s Patriot and Red Sox fan. He also enjoys woodworking crafting birdhouses & feeders, nature walks, cutting firewood and maintaining the forest lands.

Laurette Riendeau

Friday, September 6, 2019, marked the retirement of Laurette Riendeau from Columbia Forest Products, after 20 combined years of service. Born in Chesterville, Quebec, and graduated from N.C.U.H.S.

Laurette held her first job as a seamstress at Slalom Skiwear in Newport for approximately 3 years until she was needed at home to raise her family. She later decided to return to work as a seamstress at Bogner’s Skiwear in Newport for 5 years.

Laurette joined Columbia Forest Products on April 9, 1979, as a grader for 5 months, until she decided to stay at home to raise her family. Laurette rejoined Columbia Forest Products on June 11, 1999, as an unspliced piler. She also held the following positions: booker, marker/helper, break giver, defect clipper operator and utility. She held the panel grader position for the last 5 years, up until her retirement.

Laurette and her companion, Art Lucas live in Coventry. She raised 4 children; Chantal, Paul, Marc and Robert and has 4 grandchildren; Reagan, 10; Liv, 8; Waylon, 5 and Weston, 4.

She enjoys sewing, building wood projects in her workshop, maintaining her flower and vegetable gardens, playing cards and lots of fishing! She hopes to spend more time with her family.

Shelley Sargent

Thursday, September 5, 2019, marked the retirement of Shelley Sargent from Columbia Forest Products, after a combined 40 ½ years of service. Born in Newport, VT, attended N.C.U.H.S. and later earned her G.E.D.

Shelley held her first job working part-time at A&W Snack Bar and Ames Dept. store while attending high school. She later babysat for multiple families for several months.

Shelley initially joined Columbia Forest Products on November 5, 1976, as a Diehl splicer operator for 3 years, then was rehired on June 10, 1981 and worked for 6 months, later was rehired on Jan. 28, 1982 and worked 1 year, rehired again on February 15, 1983, and worked 1 year.

She quit each time to try to be a full-time stay at home mom, but it didn’t work out. She was rehired again on July 16, 1984, as a splicer operator and during this most recent stint, she held the following positions: piler, patcher and unspliced grader, Drying Dept. Crew leader Assistant position for 1 ½ years, Splicing Dept. crew leader for 13 years. She held the special order line position for the last 10 years, up until her retirement.

Shelley and her husband, Richard live in Newport Center. She raised 2 children; Nathan and Megan and has 3 grandchildren; Grace, 12, Gwen, 10 and Benny, 2. Shelley belongs to the Faith Lighthouse Assembly of God church.

Shelley’s retirement plans are to work on some home improvements and cleaning, help family members with house chores and hopes to get back into attending more church activities such as singing. She enjoys maintaining her flower gardens, camping and going for walks. She plans to spend more time with her grandchildren and hopes to visit her sister in Tennessee and her brother in Florida.

Two killed in motorcycle-bus crash on Shattuck Hill Road, Derby

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DERBY — Two Orleans county residents were tragically killed in a motorcycle crash in Derby this afternoon.

Emergency workers responded to Shattuck Hill Road after a call came in regarding a two-vehicle crash at around 3:11 p.m.

Police say 23-year-old Ronald Kennedy of Newport was traveling west on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle before the crash.

Steven Lawson, 64, of Newport, pulled out of the Derby Trailer Park in a bus and was turning east on Shattuck Hill Road when Kennedy struck his vehicle on the driver’s side.

Kennedy was pronounced dead on the scene, police say.

Kyra Birchard, 20, of Derby, was transported to North Country Hospital by EMS, and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police say the investigation into this tragic incident is still ongoing.

Shelly Morey joins Community National Bank as Community Circle Director

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DERBY — Community National Bank President Kathy Austin recently announced that Shelly Morey was chosen to serve as the next Community Circle Director and bank Officer, as the bank prepares for the upcoming retirement of current Director Linda Cloutier.

Morey is a native of the Northeast Kingdom and attended Lake Region Union High School.

“I’m grateful to join a great organization with such strong community ties, and I am excited to meet and get to know the Community Circle members,” Morey said. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve the bank and the club’s members.”

During high school and after graduation in 1986, she was employed by Vermont Travel Service where she booked leisure and business trips for individuals and groups, including Community Circle.

In 2002, she took an Administrative Assistant position at North Country Hospital, and, for the last 10 years, worked as the Executive Assistant to the President.

Morey makes her home in Newport with her husband Michael.

Driver leads police on high-speed chase through Derby

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DERBY — A 39-year-old man is facing charges after leading police on a high-speed chase through Derby yesterday afternoon.

James Castrogiovanni, of Derby, is being charged with driving with a criminally suspended license, attempting to elude a police officer, negligent operation, and excessive speeds.

The Sherrif’s Department says at around 1:30 p.m. Corporal Jacobs attempted to pull over Castrogiovanni on Hinman Settler Road for a motor vehicle violation.

Castrogiovanni failed to stop and a vehicle pursuit was initiated.

The pursuit reached speeds in excess of 100 miles-per-hour.

Corporal Jacobs pursued Castrogiovanni onto Route 105 in Derby where Castrogiovanni continued to travel at a high rate of speed in an attempt to flee from law enforcement officers.

Castrogiovanni eventually stopped on the Salem Derby Road where he was then taken into custody.

Castrogiovanni has a criminally suspended license in the State of Vermont for multiple prior operating under civil suspension convictions.

He was later transported to court where he was then ordered into the custody of the department of corrections for lack of bail.

Castrogiovanni was also issued multiple traffic tickets as a result of the incident.

Fire in Derby caused by smoking material placed in an aluminum can

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — Authorities say smoking materials placed in an aluminum can is what caused a fire that broke out at a single-family home on Main Street in Derby yesterday.

The fire was noticed at around 6:20 p.m.

The home was being used as an Airbnb rental and was occupied by three people, but nobody was home at the time of the fire.

Firefighters say they were able to quickly extinguish the fire on the porch and were successful in limiting the fire’s extension into the house.

The home sustained significant damage to the front and side porch and smoke and heat damage to the interior.

Derby Line Fire Chief Craig Ellam contacted fire investigators to demine the area of origin and the cause.

The investigation concluded that the fire began on the side porch in a sitting area where there were a table and some chairs.

“The cause of the fire was smoking materials placed in an aluminum beverage can,” Paul Cerutti, Assistant State Fire Marshal, said in a statement.

Cerutti says that the house did not have working smoke or CO alarms.

“I found the bases where the alarms had been, but no alarms,” he said.

The Derby Line Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Newport City Fire Department.

Crash on I-91 in Derby caused by 6-point buck

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DERBY — A 79-year-old man hit a 6-point buck crossing the southbound lane of I-91 on Sunday evening.

At around 6:26 p.m. police say they responded to the single-vehicle crash just south of Exit 28.

Police say the driver, Fernand J. Pomerleau, of Goffstown, NH, was traveling at around 65 miles-per-hour when the buck ran out from the woods and directly into the path of his vehicle.

Pomerleau’s vehicle sustained extensive front end damage and was unable to be driven from the scene.

Ray’s Auto had to remove the vehicle, and the Derby Line Fire Department assisted in cleaning up fluids from the roadway.

Police say there were no injuries during the incident.

Police: Derby man arrested for threats against NEKHS, Derby Village Store

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NEWPORT CITY — Police say a Derby man was arrested after he attempted to buy a gun through a neighbor and threatened to kill everyone at Northeast Kingdom Human Services as well as the Derby Village Store.

According to a statement issued by State Police Trooper Joshua Mikkola, on Friday, August 23, police received a report from an employee at North East Kingdom Human Services, that 38-year-old John Barclay called and made threats to harm staff. 

During the investigation, police say they spoke with Barclay both on the phone and in person. 

“In conversation, Barclay divulged to the troopers his intent to harm others as well, to include staff at the Derby Village Store,” Mikkola said in a statement.

Police also say that Barclay attempted to buy a gun through his neighbor.

Barclay was placed under arrest and transported to the Derby Barracks for processing.

He was later lodged at Northern State  Correctional Facility. 

Burglary at Auto Pro Gas in Derby

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DERBY — Police say that a business in Derby was burglarized over the weekend. 

On Monday morning police received a report of a burglary at Auto Pro Gas, located at 205 US Route 5.

Police say someone forced entry into the store and stole a large sum of cash and a DVR with the video surveillance footage.

Police say the incident took place sometime between the evening of Saturday, August 10, and Monday morning.

Anyone with information about this incident is being asked to contact the Vermont State Police in Derby. 

Bonvechio promoted to Executive Vice President and CFO at Community National Bank

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DERBY — Community National Bank President and CEO Kathy Austin recently announced the promotion of Louise Bonvechio to Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Cashier and Corporate Secretary of Community National Bank and Treasurer and Corporate Secretary of Community Bancorp.

Bonvechio has worked for Community National Bank for over 25 years.

“Louise is very deserving of this promotion as she competently manages all aspects of the Bank’s fiscal functions while providing outstanding leadership for the organization,” Austin said.

This year she completed the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and earned a Leadership Certificate from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Bonvechio is very involved in serving the local communities.

She is Board Chair of Rural Edge, a Director and Treasurer of the Emory Hebard State Office Building Condo Association and a member of the ReNewport Catamount Arts Creative Hub committee.

She recently served as a Trustee and Treasurer of the Goodrich Memorial Library and chaired the ReNewport Community Visit, a Vermont Council on Rural Development program.

Other recently held positions include a member of the Regional Advisory Board for the North Country Career Center and a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston’s Member Advisory Panel.

Bonvechio was presented with the Vermont Bankers Association’s Outstanding Community Service Banker Award in 2017.

She and her husband Brian make their home in Newport.

Derby man held without bail after alleged assault

in Derby/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Police say they arrested a habitual sex offender earlier this week after he allegedly assaulted a local woman.

Timothy Souliere, 56, of Derby, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with lewd and lascivious conduct, unlawful restraint, simple assault, and habitual offender.

He was arraigned yesterday in Orleans District Court and was held without bail.

On Tuesday, July 16, police say a woman reported that she had been attacked by Souliere on July 11, in a hallway of an apartment building on Governor Drive.

Police say Souliere was known to the woman.

According to a statement issued by police relating to the incident, an investigation indicates that Souliere assaulted the victim while she was walking to her apartment.

Souliere is a registered sex offender and is on the Vermont Sex Offender Registry for life.

He is a habitual offender with two felony convictions of lewd and lascivious conduct in Vermont as well as a felony conviction of sexual assault in Arizona.

Police: Derby woman charged following assault on officer at hospital

in Derby/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Newport Police Department says they arrested a woman over the weekend on multiple charges, including assaulting a police officer.

Makayla Belmore, 19, of Derby, is facing charges of assault on a law enforcement officer/protected professional, obstruction of justice, and aggravated disorderly conduct.

Early Sunday morning police say they responded to North Country Hospital to have an officer on standby after Belmore, who had an active trespass notice, had come to the emergency room as a patient.

The responding officer and a member of hospital security entered her room after hearing yelling coming from inside.

Police say when they entered the room, she threw a cup full of liquid that struck the officer.

“She then resisted the officer and staff’s efforts to restrain her, attempting to sit up and strike both the Newport Police officer and the security officer,” a statement issued by police reads.

Police say Belmore at one point kicked the security officer in the face and twice spit in the face of the police officer while continuing to violently resist efforts to restrain her.

They say she also made repeated verbal threats against both officers.

She was placed under arrest and subsequently arraigned yesterday and released with conditions.

Brownington, Derby women arrested in Massachusetts for allegedly trafficking cocaine

in Brownington/Derby/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Two women from Orleans county are facing drug trafficking charges after police in Massachusetts allegedly found 63 grams of cocaine in their car after a traffic stop early Sunday morning.

Police say they stopped a 2007 Ford 500 sedan on I-91 northbound, in Greenfield, Mass, for motor vehicle violations at 3:00 a.m.

As a result of an investigation, the four occupants of the vehicle were allegedly found to be in possession of approximately 63 grams of cocaine.

The driver was identified as Kimberly Lawrence, 41, of Brownington, and one of the passengers was identified as Kitty Godin, 38, of Derby.

Police say Lawrence and Godin were charged with trafficking in cocaine, and conspiracy to violate drug law.

They were held on $50,000 bail each and were scheduled for arraignment in court on Monday.

A youth session in PROSPER’s after-school Family Program at Lyndon Town School in Lyndonville, Vt. Working with a group of sixth graders are PROSPER Family Program facilitators Dakota Fournier, seated at the table, and Lynzy Guyer, standing, both teachers at the school. (Photo: Anthony Willey)

Grant awarded to fund youth risk reduction programs in Newport, Derby schools

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NEWPORT — The University of Vermont Extension will expand a program proven to reduce risky behavior in youth, including substance misuse, called PROSPER, to schools in Newport and Derby.

The program, named PROSPER, for Promoting School-Community-University Partnerships to Enhance Resilience, was developed jointly at Iowa State University and Pennsylvania State University in 2001 and has been implemented in communities around the country since then.

Its effectiveness has been demonstrated in nearly 80 published research studies.

The two-year program targets sixth and seventh graders.

“We’re honored and pleased to be able to expand the PROSPER program to three communities in the Northeast Kingdom,” said Chuck Ross, director of UVM Extension. “The program has generated impressive results nationally and in the three Vermont schools where it’s in place. We have every reason to expect similar success in St. Johnsbury, Newport and Derby.”

The PROSPER expansion to St. Johnsbury and Newport will be funded with a $599,124 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within USDA.

Funding for the Derby expansion is coming from Iowa State.

The program will be implemented at Newport City Elementary School in Newport, and Derby Elementary School and North Country Union Junior High School in Derby, which serves both Newport and Derby.

The PROSPER program in Newport launched on July 1, with Derby following three months later.


The PROSPER program builds competency and confidence in sixth and seventh graders and improves family functioning as bedrock strategies for preventing behavior problems in youth.

In sixth grade, PROSPER engages families in an after-school program called Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth Ages 10-14.

The program shifts to an in-school focus during seventh grade with the delivery of Lifeskills programming.

During both years, teachers and counselors in the school deliver a set curriculum that research has shown to be effective.

Critical to the program’s success is the work of a team of eight to ten community members, including parents, teachers and other school personnel, Department of Health representatives and community members.

The community team helps fine-tune the messaging of the program to the specific needs of the school, does fundraising to ensure the program is sustainable after the five-year grant expires, conducts outreach to the community about PROSPER and oversees the program’s implementation via monthly meetings.

Three-car crash with injuries in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — A three-car crash in Derby on Friday sent two people to the hospital, police say.

The crash took place in the westbound lane of U.S. Route 5, in front of the Vianor Tire and Sears Store parking lots.

According to police, Linda Kudla, 65, of Derby, was stopped, signaling to turn left into the Sears Store parking lot, waiting for traffic to clear so she could proceed across the eastbound lane.

Police say Chelsey Christino, 24, of Newport, was also traveling west and stopped in traffic behind Kudla.

According to the report, the third vehicle was being operated by Tucker Crowe, 17, of Island Pond.

Police say by the time Crowe noticed the two cars were stopped, he was unable to stop and collided with Christino’s vehicle.

The force of the impact caused Christino to collide with Kudla.

Christino and her passenger, Tristin Webb, 20, of Newport, were transported to the North Country Hospital by the Newport Ambulance.

Police say Kudla’s vehicle was able to be driven from the scene.

NEKLS Prevention Services works with local schools to combat youth vaping epidemic

in Derby/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among middle and high school students in Vermont, and new data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey has shown that there is an alarming number of students in Orleans county who report trying electronic vapor products.

In an effort to combat that growing statistic, Lake Region Union High School collaborated with NEKLS Prevention Services and held a parent informational night as well as educational sessions for students.

The goal of the two events was to inform parents and students of the growing concerns around these products. E-cigarettes come in many different sizes, colors, and types.

Tobacco companies have even designed products to resemble small electronic devices that are compact and allow for discreet carrying and use. Lake Region administration and staff say they are seeing an increase in e-cigarette devices that look like USB sticks and other everyday items.

“We believe that it’s critical parents talk with their children about these products to let them know that vaping is not safe and that long term impact of the use of e-cigarettes is unknown,” Sharon Gonyaw, Vice Principal, and Andre Messier, Principal, of LRUHS said in a joint statement.

Health officials say that kids need to know that nearly all e-cigarettes contain nicotine.

Research has not only shown that nicotine is highly addictive and is harmful to a developing adolescent brain, but most concerning is that exposure to nicotine can lead to addiction and disrupt attention and learning.

NEKLS Prevention Services has also closely collaborated with North Country Union Junior High School health educator, Julie Gunn and SAP, Pat Gelo, on educating students.

This outreach has come through class presentations, “Kick Butts Day” activities, and getting updated Vermont Dept of Health substance-free signage posted around the school grounds and fields.

“I often challenge students to think about what they want to control their lives when it comes to nicotine addiction,” Julie Gunn said. “I enjoy sharing information and helping them in making good decisions around being nicotine free.”

Most recently, NEKLS Prevention Services attended NCUJHS’s Parent Night and offered several mini E-Cigarette presentations to parents, beginning with a 5-minute video from VOX Media, “How Juul Made Nicotine Go Viral” followed by a brief presentation and Q&A.

“I would say the most important thing we need to do is educate everyone, students, parents and community members about the dangers of vaping,” Pat Gelo said. “Knowledge is power.”

Messier and Gonyaw say that the community must work together to provide children with the knowledge and support to help them make a healthy decision when it comes to vaping.

Below are facts and resources from the Vermont Department of Health to help raise awareness about the vaping crisis and nicotine addiction.

◙ E-cigarettes, which frequently contain nicotine, are never safe for youth and young adults.

◙ E-cigarette use among youth increased by 75% from 2017 to 2018 [National Youth Tobacco Survey].

◙ Youth use of e-cigarettes increases the future risk of smoking traditional cigarettes and can be just as addictive.

◙ Customizable e-cigarette devices can be used to deliver non-nicotine substances, such as cannabis extract or honey oil.

◙ According to a study by Environmental Health Perspectives, 75% of fruit-, candy- and cocktail flavored e-cigarettes, which attract youth, contained diacetyl, a chemical linked to lung disease.

◙ E-cigarette aerosol can contain harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals like lead, volatile organic compounds and cancer-causing chemicals [John Hopkins School of Public Health].

◙ Since launching in 2016, JUUL has become the most popular e-cigarette on the market. Its design, which looks like a USB flash drive, makes it easy to conceal.

◙ All JUUL products contain nicotine; one pod delivers the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes.

◙ Signs of addiction to nicotine include trembling, nausea and frequent e-cig use. Watch for behavior such as frequent trips to the bathroom, reports of illness or hand-to-mouth activity.

◙ Youth can receive help in quitting e-cigarettes from their pediatrician. School nurses can assist by recognizing symptoms, discussing these with the student and parent and referring to 802Quits, Vermont’s 24/7 quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) for ages 13 and older. For more, visit

◙ It is illegal to sell any tobacco product to minors, including e-cigarettes, yet underage teens are obtaining devices, often from older students or family and friends.

◙ E-cigarettes are called “tobacco substitutes” in Vermont’s state statute. Use of e-cigarettes is banned – except for vape shops – wherever lit tobacco products are restricted, including on school grounds, at school events and while being transported.

◙ It is important for parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of using e-cigarettes, including JUUL and other commonly-used products such as Suorin, Justfog Minifit and MarkTen.

Below is a list of resources curated by NEKLS Prevention Services for parents who would like to learn more about this issue.

VDH: E-cigarettes, vaping and JUUL Resource 2019

Stanford Medicine Tobacco Prevention Toolkit: E-Cigs and Vape Pens

Truth Initiative E-Cigarettes Fact Sheet

The U.S. Surgeon General’s Fact Sheet

Parent Tip Sheet

Concerned parties are also encouraged to contact Allyson Howell from NEKLS Prevention Services, through email at or calling 802-334-7506.

  • Screen-Shot-2019-06-07-at-5.28.26-PM.png
    Rugby Major S Emily Willis, Newport, with coaches Eryn Hessian and Emily Norris
  • DSC_5679-2.jpg
    Patrick Young, Derby Line, (second from left) earned a Major S for rugby
  • DSC_5662-2.jpg
    Andrew Bouchard, Newport, (centre) was the top male points earner on the SC tennis team
  • DSC_5664-2.jpg
    Bradley James “BJ” Roy, Derby, (right) earned the Sportsmanship Award for lacrosse
  • DSC_5676-2.jpg
    Ryan Young, Derby Line, (second from left) earned a Senior S for rugby

Local student-athletes honored at Stanstead College

in Derby/Newport/News/Stanstead

STANSTEAD, QC — A number of local student-athletes were honored for their achievements during a recent athletic assembly at Stanstead College.

Patrick Young, grade 12, was a first-time “Major S” winner for senior boys rugby.

Emily Willis, grade 12, of Newport, won her first “Major S” for senior girls rugby and her second of the year, having earned one in basketball the season prior.

Andrew Bouchard, of Newport, was awarded a “Senior S” for tennis and was the Tennis Shield male winner.

BJ Roy, of Derby, received a Sportsmanship Award for lacrosse.

Alison Barlow, of Newport, was given a Sportsmanship Award for senior girls rugby.

Also honored during the assembly, was Ryan Young, of Derby Line, who received a “Senior S” for rugby.

Truck thefts land Newport man 3-8 years behind bars

in Derby/Newport/News

NEWPORT — A 27-year-old man from Newport was sentenced to serve three to eight years behind bars for stealing two vehicles.

David Fletcher appeared in court for a sentencing hearing on May 16 after being convicted by a jury on felony charges of grand larceny, two counts of vehicle operation without owner consent, and a misdemeanor charges of careless or negligent operation.

Back on October 18, 2017, police responded to a report of a stolen truck from the Eastside restaurant. Hours later, police were dispatched to another report of a stolen truck from a home in Derby.

The victim in Derby told police that he had picked up two hitchhikers and gave them a ride back to what he believed to be their truck, which was partially submerged at the Derby Fish & Game Club pond.

He was unable to help them remove the vehicle from the pond, and dropped them off at the Border Motel.

Within the hour his truck was stolen.

Fletcher admitted to taking both vehicles on a cell phone video that was later turned over to police.

At the time that both crimes were committed, Fletcher was on furlough for burglary, and assault charges.

“The State requested a more significant jail sentence because of this defendant’s record and the fact that he was on furlough at the time of the offenses,” State’s Attorney Jennifer Barrett said. “The court imposed a sentence that deviated below the State and Department of Correction’s recommendations.”

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Photo gallery: Dandelion Run raises over $1,000 for Umbrella

in Derby/Holland/Newport/News

DERBY — On Saturday, about 150 runners, walkers, and bikers gathered at the Eleventh Annual Dandelion Run.

The event raised a little over $1,000 for Umbrella and its advocacy and support of victims of this kind of violence.

It was cold and cloudy with hardly a dandelion in sight, but that didn’t stop everyone as they celebrated the slow-coming of Spring in the Kingdom.

Participants took to the back roads and were joined by scores of high-spirited volunteers and musicians along the course and back at the Derby Beach House.

James Cilwik, 15, of Derby, was the overall winner of the Dandy Half Marathon with a blistering time of 1:22:15.

His time was less than three minutes shy of the course record of 1:19:29 set by Christian Vachon of Magog, Quebec back in 2013.

Cindy Chaffee, 56, of Barton, Vermont, won the Last One Back to the Barn Award finishing the Half Marathon in 3:28:25. 

Last Fall Chaffee registered for her very first half marathon after she suffered a serious injury in an accident. 

The most “mature” participant was Annette Pion, 79, of Colchester, and the youngest runner was Pip Dreher, 6, of Newport.

The biggest team of the day was the Community Circle Team fielded by Community National Bank, which underwrites The Dandy, and also staffs most of the support tables out on the course.

The largest youth team was the Canaan Boys Running Club, coached by David Herr. The team won ski tickets to Burke Mountain.

Also winning Burke tickets were “The Brownies” for fielding the “most fluid team” and the runners from our newest sponsor Barr Hill by Caledonia Spirits for fielding the “most high-spirited team.”

Caledonia Spirits Raw Honey was distributed to three teams, the Merry Macksters for being the largest out of state team, the Quebecsters for being the largest international team, and The Dartmouth Dandies for the love of the run.

Others were awarded prizes of Brault’s beef jerky, Couture’s maple syrup, Caledonia Spirits RAW Honey, as well as Burke Mountain ski passes.

Participants honored and remembered Terri Weed, who was killed by her boyfriend on May 21, 1981.

The Dandy is underwritten by Community National Bank and is supported by Jay Peak, Burke Mountain, Barr Hill at Caledonia Spirits, Untapped, Kingdom Trails, and the Derby Village Store.

Next year’s Dandy will be held on Saturday, May 23rd, 2020.

Kingdom Games hosts two more runs this year. The Harry Corrow Freedom Run on July 4, and Fly to Pie – Kingdom Marathon on September 29.

Online registration is open at

Great Blue Heron at Eagle Point. Photo by Doug Gimler.

Eagle Point in Derby ranked one of Vermont’s top 10 birding hotspots

in Derby/Newport/News/Outdoors

NEWPORT — With the arrival of longer days and warmer temperatures, Vermont’s bird lovers are looking to the fields and woods for a flit of color in the bushes or listening for an overhead chirp, whistle, squawk or honk as birds engage in their annual spring migration.

Some of Vermont’s best bird-watching opportunities are at the state’s 99 wildlife management areas, or WMAs.

Eagle Point in Derby was recently recognized by Vermont Fish & Wildlife as of the top 10 birding hotspots in the State.

Eagle Point WMA is a 420-acre parcel located along the eastern shore of Lake Memphremagog on the United States-Canada border.

The WMA is located approximately five miles north of Newport City on the Eagle Point Road.

The property consists of nearly a mile of lakeshore habitat, numerous wetlands, large meadows, hemlock, and mixed forest.

It supports a great diversity of wildlife including aquatic mammals, waterfowl, grassland birds, and many other wetland and terrestrial species.

Eagle Point WMA is an important waterfowl production and migration
area, particularly for black ducks, mallards, and wood ducks.

It’s also an important grassland bird production area.

Short hay crop rotations and habitat loss to development throughout Vermont elevate the importance of the 200+ acres of grassland habitat on the WMA.

Grassland species include bobolink, savannah sparrow, field sparrow, and possibly vesper sparrow.

Also present are a variety of raptors including the northern harrier, osprey, bald eagle, kestrel, red-tailed hawk, barred and great horned owls.

Eagle Point also provides excellent opportunities to see a variety of wetland and marsh species.

Herons, bitterns, snipe, pied-billed grebes, rails, common moorhens, and marsh wrens make up a large portion of the species you will most likely encounter in the marshes of the WMA.

Visit for more photos like the one above from Eagle Point taken by photographer Doug Gimler.

Rollover crash on I-91 in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY – A 68-year-old woman from Derby was involved in a rollover crash on I-91 on Wednesday.

Police say the vehicle was resting on its roof in the median when they arrived on scene.

The driver, identified as Louise Harris, was headed north when she struck the guardrail and overturned the vehicle.

Harris was wearing a seat belt at the time, and no injuries were reported.

By the time police arrived, they say Harris had already been helped by a good Samaritan who stopped to assist.

The passing lane of I-91 North was temporarily shut down while the vehicle was removed.

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