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State Police in Derby looking for 20-year-old man on assault charges

in Derby

DERBY LINE — Police are looking for a 20-year-old man after he allegedly assaulted a woman on Monday.

At around 9:30 p.m. police responded to a report of a domestic assault that had occurred at 1150 Beebe Road in Derby.

Police say the victim stated that Colby Martin, 20, had come to her house and argued with her about custody issues.

The victim stated Martin then assaulted her while she held her 14-month old baby and in the presence of another 7-year-old juvenile, both physically and by threatening serious bodily injury.

Police say he then took her phone from her as she tried to call the police.

Authorities are currently looking for information regarding the whereabouts of Martin, and believe he may possibly be in Derby Line.

A warrant has not been issued for his arrest at this time.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call (802) 334-8881.

  • Screen-Shot-2016-07-27-at-4.13.27-PM.png
    Photo courtesy of Lt. Governor Phil Scott's office.

Bridge in Derby renamed to honor former senator Kermit Smith

in Derby/News

DERBY – The Northeast Kingdom community revealed a well-kept secret on Tuesday by renaming Derby’s Clyde River Bridge in honor of former Vermont State Representative, Senator, and State House Sergeant-At-Arms, Kermit Smith.

Despite legislative action and rigorous planning, Smith’s former constituents managed to keep him in the dark about the honor.

Sen. Bobby Starr, Sen. John Rodgers, Lt. Governor Phil Scott, and Smith’s family and friends held the surprise dedication ceremony on the former “Clyde River Bridge” on Route 105 at 4:30 p.m.

Smith joined them in time to hear the bridge renamed the “Kermit A. Smith Memorial Bridge”.

“As politicians and public servants we’re trained to weather all kinds of storms, so I think a bridge is a very appropriate monument for a Vermonter who built their reputation on rising above the fray and connecting their community with the rest of the state,” said Lt. Gov. Scott. “Kermit Smith reminds us that making an impact starts at home, in our own towns, and finding ways to reach those on the other side.”

The naming was made possible with the Vermont Senate’s passage of Senate Resolution 14 on May 6. Sen. Starr sponsored the resolution, with Sen. Rodgers as co-sponsor.

“I think it’s great that we can start a new tradition of honoring people when we can let them in on the celebration,” said Sen. Rodgers. “Kerm’s done so much for the community up here, it’s right to give something back.”

  • DES-Lallie-with-all-the-4th-graders-and-teachers-2.jpg
    Derby Elementary School fourth graders happily pose as a group with Principal Stacy Urbin (left) to celebrate their success integrating math and science into a community action plan that saw them design, build and sell trellises, plus plant a produce garden for fall harvest.
  • DES-Lallies-holds-cq-2.jpg
    Derby Elementary School teachers Amy Nadeau, Debra Batista, Jennie Davis, Emily Scherer and paraeducator Gloria Loughran join Principal Stacey Urbin and Maire Folan of Green Mountain Farm to School (at right) in presenting a donation from fourth graders for Meals on Wheels prepared by Cornucopia in Newport. Receiving the gift is Lallie Mambourg, NEK Council on Aging’s Nutrition Director, which oversees the delivery program for homebound older Vermonters.

Derby pupils turn ideas into action

in Derby

DERBY – This is a remarkable story that goes way beyond the proverb about teaching someone how to fish for themselves.

It began simply enough. Last November, Derby Elementary School’s fourth-grade teachers and their counterparts at Newport City Elementary applied for a joint $9,000 grant from the state Agency of Agriculture Food & Markets.

With help from Green Mountain Farm to School (GMFTS), the teachers sought funds for an innovative educational program known as “project-based learning,” that, in this case, would connect class work to produce gardening.

In Derby, teachers Amy Nadeau, Jennie Davis and Debra Batista also took note of the depleted shelves in the community pantry where produce supplies were running critically low.

The results so far are extraordinary. According to Principal Stacy Urbin, the teachers came up with a winning combination that engaged the students in a very visible and relevant way.

“Their gusto at being able to give something back to their community was tangible,” Urbin said.

Math lessons tied to engineering concepts gave the youngsters’ confidence in their collaborative designs and construction of more than a dozen trellises. Earth science units were applied as hands-on “lab” work on how to till a plot in front of the school’s extensive parking lot.

Pupils also researched plants to discover which ones would best grow vertically. In the fall, math skills will be used to figure out if the trellises helped grow more fresh vegetables than those maturing on the ground.

With community service also a component of this innovative project-based learning curriculum, the teachers invited Maire Folan, GMFTS’s program manager, to speak with the students about additional opportunities beyond stocking the food shelf with fresh autumn bounty.

“It is amazing to see how these teachers are using the garden as a foundation for their classroom work,” Folan said. “The enthusiasm and interest from the fourth grade students to engage in this space, and in their community, is a wonderful model of how farm-to-school can be a catalyst for learning.”

As a registered dietitian, Folan also evaluates the menus prepared by the providers who contract with the NEK Council on Aging to serve lunch in community dining rooms and deliver Meals on Wheels to homebound elderly.

The pupils overwhelming decided to donate the nearly $300 they raised from their trellis sales to Cornucopia in Newport which delivers nutritionally balanced meals five days a week to more than 160 seniors throughout the region.

“This is a remarkable gift from these students to their community,” said a grateful Lallie Mambourg, the Council’s Nutrition Director, about the unique inter-generational project. “The Meals on Wheels participants served by Cornucopia will be touched by their generosity and creativity. My heartfelt thanks to the students, teachers, and principal of Derby Elementary.”

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

in Charleston/Derby

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

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

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

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

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

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

Police: Derby man arrested for manufacturing butane hash oil

in Derby/News

DERBY — A 19-year-old man from Derby was arrested this morning after police raided his home.

The Vermont State Police executed a search warrant at the residence of Shane Goodell, 19, of Derby, at 10:40 a.m.

Police say the raid was conducted after receiving information that Goodell was possessing and manufacturing butane hash oil.

According to police, items recovered during the search warrant included processed marijuana and processed butane hash oil.

Goodell was arrested on two counts of possession of marijuana, and reckless endangerment for manufacturing.

Police say he was lodged at Northern State Correctional facility for lack of $75,000 bail.

Orleans County students bring home prizes from Stanstead College 

in Derby/Derby Line/Irasburg/Newport

STANSTEAD, QC – Orleans County students were among the top prize-winners at Stanstead College’s closing Baccalaureate ceremony held at Centenary Church in Stanstead on Thursday.

Patrick Young of Derby Line won the Ashworth Scholarship, awarded to a deserving local day student who consistently demonstrates effort and excels in some area of activity. He also won the English prize for Grade 9.

Brother Ryan Young earned the Art and English Prizes, the Amaron Prize for French in Grade 7 as well as the Fountain Family Scholarship.

Andrew Bouchard of Derby Line won the Grade 8 prizes for Art, English, Geography, History and Science-Technology and the Sybil Galambos Prize for Francais. He also had the highest overall average in Grade 8.

Connor Fletcher, Grade 12, of Irasburg, won the Bugbee House Prize.

Emily Willis, Grade 9, of Newport, was named the top junior female athlete, winning the Sheila Ferguson Shield. Emily also won the Grade 9 prizes for History, Music and Science.

Mya Daigle of Newport won the Trueman-McFadyen Award, presented to the girl in the senior school with the highest overall average who has played three varsity sports and won a Major S athletic award.

Alissa Bissonnette of Derby and the school’s co-head prefect won the Graham Chandler Sportsman of the Year Award, presented to the athlete who best exemplifies the attributes of character, integrity and sportsmanship.

The guest speaker for this year’s Baccalaureate was aluma Helen White, Class of 2009. Originally from Newport, White is now studying law at Yale and working this summer in a federal prosecutor’s office in Washington, DC.

Ms. White encouraged the graduates to focus on growth, build community, and embrace difference, skills that they had, in fact, already learned at Stanstead College.

“Stop focusing on being the best and start focusing on being better than you were yesterday,” she said.

Drawing on her own experience of being supported as a student and supporting her peers, she added, “Having a community matters because they help you reach your highest hopes and help you through your toughest times.”

Police clock driver doing 117 mph on I-91 in Derby

in Derby/News

DERBY — Vermont state police have charged a man with excessive speed after they say they clocked him driving 117 mph on Interstate 91, in Derby.

Kodey Carminati-Renfrew, 24 of Orange, was arrested at around 10:00 a.m. this morning, after being stopped by police while headed north.

He was traveling in a 2015 Kia Optima Turbo at the time.

Carminati-Refrew was stopped without further incident, police say.

He was released on a citation and is awaiting arraignment in August.

Two dead, two injured after tragic accident in West Charleston

in Charleston/Derby/Derby Line/Newport/News

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

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

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

The vehicle traveled off the north side of the road.

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

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

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

Cole also suffered head injuries from the crash.

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

The accident remains under investigation.

Police looking for missing Derby man

in Derby/News

DERBY — Police are looking for a 62-year-old man from Derby who has been missing since Friday night.

Authorities say Peter Gaudreau, 62, of Derby, was last seen at his residence on North Derby Road on Friday night.

Police say he left his residence without his phone and he does not have access to a vehicle.

Gaudreau’s family is very concerned for his safety and wellbeing as he has health concerns, they say.

Anyone who has had contact with Gaudreau since Friday, or who has any information about his whereabouts is being asked to contact Vermont State Police at 802 334-8881.

Community National Bank hosting online business workshop in Derby

in Business/Derby

DERBY – The Vermont Small Business Development Center and Community National Bank (CNB) have joined together to host a public workshop series called “Online Business Done Right the First Time,” that will present information about website construction and targeting online marketing strategies for small business owners.

This workshop will be held at CNB’s main office in Derby on June 22, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. until noon.

Establishing a robust online presence for small businesses is essential to a successful future. Today’s customers expect to find businesses quickly and easily when they look online.

It can be challenging to determine where to focus your energy with the various website building tools and options, social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other online tools.

That, coupled with time and budgeting constraints, make it easy to make a wrong turn when it comes to decisions about the online business strategy for your business.

This workshop will help you learn the options, costs and risks associated with various digital platforms and website building strategies, as well as what online marketing tools to consider once your online presence has been established.

We will cover website building, social media, paid online marketing, analytics and more.

The workshop costs $25.00. To register for the workshop visit the “Training” tab at www.vtsbdc.org or call the VtSBDC office at 802-728-9101.

Two vehicle crash on Route 5 in Derby

in Derby/News

DERBY — A 54-year-old woman from Derby was taken to the hospital this morning after an accident that took place on Route 5 in Derby.

The crash happened at around 11:30 a.m.

Police say that Lynn Pion was transported to North Country Hospital for evaluation after being hit by another vehicle that was turning out of the Shaw’s parking lot.

The driver of the second vehicle was Patricia Leonard, 48, of Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Police say that Leonard made an improper left turn onto Route 5 from Shaw’s, and was ticketed for the accident.

Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.

Derby man sentenced 4-12 years in prison for assault charges

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — A 28-year-old man from Derby will have to serve four to 12 years in prison on two assault charges committed back in the spring of 2014.

Nicholas Brock was sentenced after pleading guilty back in December to one charge of aggravated assault, and no contest to a charge of aggravated domestic assault in the first degree.

Brock was arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend back on March 6, 2014.

According to an affidavit written by Senior Trooper Clark Lombardi, later that same day Brock committed another assault, this time on a 31-year-old man from Troy who was helping retrieve some of his things from his ex-girlfriend’s home.

The man suffered a concussion, back injuries, as well as damage to his elbows and knees during the attack.

Brock was picked up again on December 27, 2014, after leading police on a high-speed chase through Newport Center.

Police say he failed to stop and began fleeing at high rates of speed before crashing the vehicle at the intersection of Cross Road and Searles Road. He then took off on foot into a field, before being captured by police.

Following that incident, he was charged with attempting to elude a police officer, careless and negligent operation, driving with a criminally suspended license, DUI, and violations of conditions of release.

Charges from the police-chase incident were dropped in the plea agreement on the two assault charges.

During sentencing, Judge Howard VanBenthuysen issued Brock credit for time served.

Derby and Newport schools awarded farm-to-school grant

in Derby/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Derby Elementary School and Newport City Elementary School are joining forces to champion farm-to-school in the Northeast Kingdom through a joint farm-to-school grant provided by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and Markets. The two town teamed up with Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) to apply for the competitive Farm-to-School Grant Program, eventually being awarded $9,000 to implement a variety of farm-to-school programs between the schools.

“I am ecstatic that Derby and Newport Elementary received a farm-to-school implementation grant,” says Caroline Aubry, the farm-to-school coordinator with GMFTS that works with both schools and helped them apply for the grant. “The grant is going to allow them to expand their programming so more children will have access to fresh, healthy produce and be able to receive more nutrition and agriculture education.”

Through the farm-to-school implementation grant, which provides funding through May 2017, Derby Elementary School and Newport City Elementary will work to accomplish several objectives. The objectives were agreed upon and will be implemented by a joint farm-to-school committee comprised of administrators, teachers, and parents from both schools.

They will work to increase the amount of local food being served in the school food program by five percent by planting more food in the school gardens and incorporating popular taste tests of new vegetables into the menu. The schools will also explore composting initiatives and build infrastructure to comply with Act 148, the Universal Recycling Law.

Each school will also purchase a mobile cooking cart to streamline cooking activities with students, invest in tools to maintain the school gardens and clean and process vegetables grown in them for the cafeteria, and purchase garden kits for classes to utilize the garden space to promote Next Generation Science Standards.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to teach kids about where their food comes from and how important it is to grow your own local food as well as have access to more fresh local vegetables,” says Stacey Urbin, principal, Derby Elementary School. “We are looking forward to our students continuing to be involved with farm-to-school programming and having some added pieces. The teachers are very excited to be using the garden as a teaching space, particularly with science lessons.”

Derby Elementary School began working with GMFTS last year to bring farm-to-school programming to their students through a similar farm-to-school grant while Newport City Elementary has been working with GMFTS since 2010. Both schools grow their own vegetables in school gardens, celebrate Vermont Harvest of the Month through monthly, school-wide taste tests, and provide nutrition and agriculture lessons.

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.

Deadly batch of “Hollywood” heroin seized from unresponsive motorist in North Troy

in Derby/News/North Troy

NEWPORT — Police say they were called to assist ambulance services after a 20-year-old man from Albany was found unresponsive in a car that was stopped partially in the travel lane on Vermont Route 105 in North Troy on Christmas Eve.

The man was found at the time in possession of white glassine packets stamped “Hollywood.”

The incident happened at around 10:45 a.m., when Jesse Breault, 20, was found unresponsive seated in the driver’s seat of his vehicle when emergency services arrived. He was transported to North Country Hospital by ambulance.

Newport Police Officer Richard Wells also responded to the hospital to assist in the investigation. 

On Friday, police say Breault was cited for DUI and possession of narcotics after test results from the packets came back positive for Fentanyl.

Officials have said that heroin laced with Fentanyl, specifically that labeled as “Hollywood,” has caused numerous overdose deaths across New England.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic painkiller, and the discovery of this batch of heroin has officials in northern Vermont concerned.

Separate Heroin Arrest in Derby

In a separate and unrelated incident that took place the day after Christmas, U.S Border Patrol stopped a suspicious vehicle on the Crawford Road in Derby. They requested the Vermont State Police to assist, and a search of the vehicle found heroin and Suboxone.

The two occupants in the vehicle, Shawn Gardner, 30, and Laura Brasseur, 28, were cited for possession of narcotics.

Police say that Gardner was also issued a civil violation for possession of marijuana.

450 bags of heroin seized following the arrest of two Newport residents on Sunday

in Derby/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Police say they have taken 450 bags of heroin off the streets following the arrest of two Newport residents over the weekend.

The first arrest came early Sunday morning, at around 12:37 a.m., when police say they stopped a white Buick Rendezvous in the town of Derby, after it crossed the center lines on Route 5, near Crawford Road. The passenger in the vehicle was identified as Antonio Matos, 19, of Newport.

Police say they smelled marijuana on Matos. While searching him, they say they located a total of 410 bags of heroin in his pockets and socks. He was arrested for heroin trafficking and processed for the charge.

The second arrest was made at 9 a.m. on Sunday, when State Police, along with assistance from Newport Police and Border Patrol, executed a search warrant at the residence of Erin OConnell, 31, of Newport.

OConnell was subsequently arrested for possession of a total of 40 bags of heroin and 26 pills of a stimulant drug. She was was processed for possession charges.

Both Matos and OConnell are scheduled to appear in Orleans County Court on Monday.

Anthony J. Bolio, 29, of Derby, and Melissa Leonard, 28, of Derby, were picked up in Derby Line on Tuesday. Police say a surveillance photo of the vehicle used in the robbery led to numerous tips in the case. All photos courtesy of the Vermont State Police.

Derby residents arrested in connection with armed Thanksgiving Day robbery

in Derby/News

DERBY — Two Derby residents are being charged in connection with an armed robbery that took place in Eden on Thanksgiving Day.

Police say that Anthony J. Bolio, 29, of Derby, and Melissa Leonard, 28, of Derby, were picked up in Derby Line on Tuesday.

On Thanksgiving Day, a man entered Uncle Bills Mini Mart in Eden, waving a knife and demanding cash. The man left with an undisclosed amount of cash in a black Ford Escape with a Vermont registration. Surveillance photos of the vehicle were released by police, who say that numerous tips came in regarding the vehicle.

Today, detectives and troopers executed two search warrants simultaneously. While in the process of the warrant execution, Bolio and Leonard were observed driving by the residence.

The vehicle was subsequently stopped in Derby Line, and both were taken into custody without incident.

At the time of the stop, Bolio had numerous active arrest warrants for attempting to elude law enforcement, careless and negligent operation, driving with a criminally suspended license, and violation of conditions of release.

A third occupant in the vehicle also had an active arrest warrant and was taken into custody as well.

The suspects were brought to the Derby barracks. Boil was processed for assault and robbery, and Leonard was processed for accessory to assault and robbery.

Anthony J. Bolio, 29, of Derby, and Melissa Leonard, 28, of Derby, were picked up in Derby Line on Tuesday. Police say a surveillance photo of the vehicle used in the robbery led to numerous tips in the case. All photos courtesy of the Vermont State Police.
Anthony J. Bolio, 29, of Derby, and Melissa Leonard, 28, of Derby, were picked up in Derby Line on Tuesday. Police say a surveillance photo of the vehicle used in the robbery led to numerous tips in the case. All photos courtesy of the Vermont State Police.

Orleans man facing numerous charges

in Derby/News/Orleans

DERBY — Police say a 46-year-old man from Orleans is facing multiple charges, after they began an investigation several months ago regarding a vulnerable adult and a family member who they say was taking advantage of him.

The arrest took place on Friday in Orleans.

Police say Dennis Crawford, 46, is facing charges of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, grand larceny, abuse neglect of a vulnerable adult, and false information to a law enforcement officer.

The investigation started back in August, when police were tipped off about the case.

On Friday a search warrant was executed at Crawford’s residence with the help of Border Patrol, K-9 Units, VSP Computer Crimes, and local BCI personnel to look for further evidence of the crimes.

Police say the victim in the case is Theodore Ackley, 86, of Derby.

Crawford was arrested for the violations, and was released on conditions.

Local elementary school children learn cross country ski skills at the after school Bill Koch Youth Ski League at MSTF.

Local MSTF trails are open for four season fun

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/Newport

NEWPORT — Just a few short steps across a wooden bridge from the bike path and into the Primeau Woods as they are sometimes called, the Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation (MSTF) trails are open for activities throughout the year.

These 100 acres located between the Beebe Spur Rail Trail and Darling Hill Road, provide a four season playground for hiking, mountain biking, cross country skiing, or just a quick get away from the hustle and bustle for a quiet walk in nature.

They are only minutes from downtown Newport or Derby but create a feeling of being a million miles away, and are easily reached when parking at North Country Hospital or MSTF parking off Darling Hill Road.

The trails are carefully groomed in winter with cross country ski tracks and during this past summer a team of local volunteers have been cutting new single track trails for mountain bikes, maintaining existing multi use trails, building bridges, and doing what needs to be done to keep the woods in top condition for the community that enjoys them.

Recently the trails have been host to several large-scale, regional cross country meets as the home ‘track’ of North Country High School.

During the winter months the trails are also used for North Country High School ski team.

The Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation trails, although on privately owned property, have been generously opened up for the community, however winter use of these trails requires MSTF membership.

Maintaining and grooming them is expensive so every year MSTF holds a membership drive. For more information visit mstf.net or email mstfnek@gmail.com.

Local elementary school children learn cross country ski skills at the after school Bill Koch Youth Ski League at MSTF.
Local elementary school children learn cross country ski skills at the after school Bill Koch Youth Ski League at MSTF.

[VIDEO] Walmart coming to Derby, groundbreaking ceremony

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — After more than a decade of rumors that a Walmart was coming to Derby, a groundbreaking ceremony was held on Tuesday, marking the start of construction to take place on the new store.

The Walmart Supercenter will be located on Route 5, and will be open 24-hours a day.

The District 7 Environmental Commission issued a Land Use Permit to construct the 165,000 square foot building with a parking lot that will fit 657 cars, as well as a 1,500 foot access road.

Construction should take about one year to complete.

Turnout at the groundbreaking ceremony was high.

VSP give local boy a very special day

in Barton/Derby/News

DERBY — Today was a very special and busy day for Bennett Stenger.

Bennett has been struggling with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a rare type of cancer.

When Make-A-Wish Vermont contacted his family asking what he might like to experience, they said he loved the Vermont State Police, and would like a ride-a-long.

When VSP commanders heard about this, they decided to kick it up a notch.

Bennett and his brother Chase were made honorary Troopers today. They received uniforms, rode in a cruiser, and took a cruise aboard a marine unit on Lake Memphremagog.

Later in the day they had the privilege of working with the bomb squad to blow up pumpkins, even getting to control the bomb squad robots.

VSP troopers said they were thrilled to give Bennett, his brother Chase, and family a very special day. Photos from the day are below:

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All photos courtesy of the Vermont State Police.
All photos courtesy of the Vermont State Police.

Jed’s Maple Products gearing up for Fall Open House event this weekend

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby
All photos by Rick Desrochers with Northern Dreams Photography.
All photos by Rick Desrochers with Northern Dreams Photography.

DERBY — For the last few years, Jed’s Maple Products has been steadily growing as a local business and brand. With over sixty different products, eco-friendly production methods, and a vision for the future focused on building community around their beautiful property in Derby, this is an exciting time for the local family run business.

Starting this Saturday, Jed’s Maple Products will be hosting a weekend Fall Open House. The event will allow visitors the opportunity to stop in and see all the recent development that has been taking place. For owners Steve and Amy Wheeler, it’s like pieces to a big puzzle that are starting to come together.

The Fall Open House will be held on October 10 and 11, and will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The weekend event will feature free sugar on snow and wood-fired maple pizza.

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“We’re just so excited right now because there is so much momentum going on at this point,” said Steve Wheeler. “We keep telling ourselves let’s steady the course, and keep doing what we’re doing.”

One of the pieces of that puzzle is the Wheeler Family Maple Museum. The building was dedicated in the Spring, and has recently expanded to include two buildings full of sugaring memorabilia, antiques, and much more.

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During the Open House the Wheeler Family Maple Museum will be open for tours. A newly built walking path leads visitors up to the museum, winding past a large bonfire pit, another new addition to the property. The Wheeler’s hope in the near future to bring live music to the tranquil setting, and make it into a real community space.

The Wheeler’s have also been working hard to keep their maple production and property development from impacting the local wildlife. The location has recently been listed as a bird friendly maple project by Audubon Vermont.

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The modern production sugarhouse, which features an eco-friendly evaporator that uses high pressure steam created with used vegetable oil, will also be open for tours.

Rick Desrochers, the general manager at Jed’s Maple Products, says that the formula to keeping the momentum going as the business continues to grow is developing relationships with the customers, keeping a positive attitude, and working hard.

“The question we always ask is why do people want to come out here?” Desrochers said. “We care about our products, we care about the people that come here, and we work hard to make awesome products.

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This weekend there will be a maple specialty food tasting, and with so many products to choose from, it will allow visitors the chance to pick out their favorite items.

Jed’s Maple is located at 259 Derby Pond Road, and is open six days per week year round. They offer daily specials including ½ price creemees on Mondays, Maple Candy Seconds on Tuesdays, Maple Creemee Pies on Wednesdays, Maple Sugar Cookies on Thursdays, and Fresh Maple Donuts every Friday.

Be sure to come on out for the Fall Open House, running Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information contact Jed’s Maple at (802) 766-2700 or visit them on the web at www.jedsmaple.com.

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Overturned tractor trailer in Derby

in Derby/News

DERBY — A tractor-trailer that was towing a manure spreader overturned in Derby this afternoon.

The single vehicle accident took place on U.S. Route 5 in the Town of Derby, at around 11:25 a.m.

Police say that the driver, Michael Judd, 72, of Derby, was wearing his seatbelt at the time and not injured in the crash

A report issued by police states that their investigation determined that due to the speed of the tractor-trailer unit, Judd was forced to drive partially off the roadway in order to avoid colliding with another vehicle.

The soft ground caused the unit to overturn.

The scene was cleared within a few hours.

Derby native Nick Fortin to lead state’s deer management program

in Derby/Newport/Vermont

DERBY — Vermont Fish & Wildlife has hired a new biologist, Nicholas Fortin, to lead the state’s deer management program.

Fortin grew up in Derby, and is a 2001 graduate of North Country Union High School in Newport.

He has an associate’s degree in fish and wildlife technology at Paul Smiths College in New York, a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife ecology at the University of Maine, and his Master of Science degree in natural resources-wildlife at the University of New Hampshire.

Fortin is currently conducting disease research for both the Washington and Idaho Departments of Fish and Wildlife.

“I’m super excited to get this job, being able to return to my home state of Vermont and working on a wildlife species, white-tailed deer, that I am passionate about,” said Fortin. “This is a great opportunity to work for the Fish & Wildlife Department and interact with the state’s hunters and others who care about deer.”

He will start work in Vermont on September 14.

Fortin has previously done research and assisted in management of moose and deer in New Hampshire, mule deer and moose habitat in Wyoming, and deer wintering areas in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

“We look forward to having Nick Fortin join our team of wildlife scientists in doing research and management to help conserve Vermont’s wildlife and their habitats,” said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter. “Nick will be the lead person on the deer project with collaboration from other biologists on the big game team and from different regions.”

nick fortin

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