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Newport man killed in motorcycle crash in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

motorcycle crash newport vermont

DERBY — A 50-year-old resident of Newport was fatally injured on I-91 in Derby last night, after his motorcycle struck another vehicle from behind.

Authorities are saying that Gaetan Delabruere was traveling southbound on I-91 near mile marker 171/55 at around 5:50 p.m., when he struck the right rear corner of a 2011 Subaru Outback, being driven by Joseph Gresser, 65, of Stannard.

Vermont State Police began investigating the crash, and are reporting that Gresser was traveling at around 60 to 65 miles per hour when the motorcycle, a 2003 Yamaha FJR, collided with his vehicle.

According to a statement by police, after impact Delabruere was separated from the motorcycle and slid down the roadway until colliding with a set of guardrails.

The motorcycle slid off the west side of the roadway, and Gresser came to a controlled stop in the passing lane.

The crash is still under investigation, however, police say that the initial investigation revealed that it was raining and the road was wet at the time, with speed and visibility appearing to be factors in the tragic crash.

The Subaru only had minor rear-end damage as a result of the collision, and it appears Gresser was uninjured.

VIDEO: NBC’s “Meet the Press” features Derby Line

in Derby/Derby Line/News/Vermont

meet the press derby line vermont

DERBY LINE — On Sunday, NBC’s “Meet the Press” aired a segment on the possibility of Vermont exploring a Canadian-style health care reform.

The segment was part of the “Meeting America” series, and NBC correspondent Kevin Tibbles talked with residents of Derby and Derby Line. Featured in the segment were locals Buzzy Roy, Steven Wheeler, Jerry Schneider.

If you missed the segment on Sunday, please watch below:

(Commercial airs before video)

Derby Line Community Day to take place August 9

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/Derby Line/News

Derby Line Vermont Community Day

DERBY LINE — The second Saturday of August is upon us, and that means it’s time to come up to Derby Line. The 13th annual Derby Line Community Day and Village Wide Yard sale will be held on August 9.

The event is an old style community day with free music, entertainment, activities from the Montshire Museum and Northwoods Stewardship Center, demonstrations, an antique car show, face painting, bounce houses/inflatable slides for all ages, Disney princesses, Star Wars stormtrooper, and fireworks at dusk.

There will also be lots of vendors to shop from and bingo at the village hall.

Derby Line Vermont Community Day 2

In 2001, Community National Bank celebrated their 160th anniversary by hosting a community day in the town where they opened their first branch, Derby Line.

The village thought the first community day was quite a success and every year since then, they have hosted the Derby Line Community Day and Village Wide Yard Sale in Baxter Park every second Saturday of August.

The community day is organized by volunteers and is funded by generous donations from the Village of Derby Line, Town of Derby and via numerous donations from local businesses.

For all the info about the community day, visit http://myersbethany.wix.com/derbylineday

Newport Area Community Orchestra kicks back into gear with fall rehearsals

NACO 1

NEWPORT — The Newport Area Community Orchestra is ready to begin their fall rehearsals, starting Tuesday, August 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the First Universalist Parish on Main Street in Derby Line.

The orchestra will begin preparing the music for their fall concert which will take place November 1, 2014 at the Goodrich Memorial Library in Newport.

The concert will include the following music:

Concerto for Harp by Handel (Abigail Stockman, soloist)
Concertino for Horns and Orchestra by Witt (Marc Semprebon, Ros Semprebon, and Anna Shelow, soloists)
Nocture for Cello and Orchestra by Tchaikovsky (Thurmond Knight, soloist)
Haydn Symphony No. 100.

This concert will feature the largest orchestra since the orchestra’s inception in February 2011. They will have around 34 members for the concert.

Music Director Ken Michelli, is reminding everyone that anyone is welcome to join in.

If interested, contact them through their webpage at: http://www.newportareacommunityorchestra.org/contact-us.html or call 802-766-3021

Fred’s Plumbing and Heating in Derby catches fire

in Derby/Newport/News/Stanstead

DERBY — Fred’s Plumbing and Heating in Derby had its offices struck by lightning during the thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon, causing the building to go up in flames.

There was a tower on the building that fell during the blaze, which almost hit a Newport City firetruck.

Fire crews from the surrounding areas, including Stanstead, Quebec, were called onto the scene.

These images from the fire were sent in by Margarita Brown:

Picture 15

Picture 14

Picture 13

Picture 9

Picture 8

The following image was taken by Becky Deyo:

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The following photo by Rachel Laplume:

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Dollar Tree being sued for selling jewelry with toxic amounts of lead at Derby/Newport store

in Derby/Newport/News/Vermont

dollar tree derby selling tainted jewelry

DERBY — The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has filed suit against Dollar Tree, for violating a 2010 settlement with the State to stop selling jewelry.

The settlement resolved claims that Dollar Tree sold products containing high amounts of toxic lead and cadmium in violation of Vermont law, and was intended to protect Vermont’s children from exposure to those and other toxic substances.

According to the State’s Consumer Protection Complaint, Dollar Tree violated a provision in the 2010 settlement prohibiting it from selling any items “commonly understood to be jewelry,” by subsequently selling over 30,000 individual items of jewelry, including rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces through its stores in Barre, Bennington, Burlington, Derby/Newport, and Rutland.

The Complaint noted that there was a growing awareness in the United States that many consumer products imported from China and other countries contained toxic substances, especially children’s products, including children’s jewelry.

This awareness led to the passage of federal and state laws regulating the sale of products containing certain toxins, and to law enforcement actions against the companies that sold the products to consumers.

The Complaint also states that lead and other toxics have recently been found in children’s products which, like the ones sold by Dollar Tree, were made of plastic, and that although Dollar Tree routinely requires the testing of products it purchases for resale to consumers, its testing protocol does not ensure that all items of jewelry sold in its stores are free of toxic substances.

When children put the tainted plastic products into their mouths, they are exposed to lead entering their bloodstream. Even at low levels, this can cause learning problems, behavior issues, lower IQ, hyperactivity, hearing problems, and anemia.

The State is seeking a court order barring Dollar Tree from offering or selling any items of jewelry in Vermont; appropriate relief to affected Vermont consumers; civil penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation of the Consumer Protection Act; and the award of investigative and litigation costs and fees.

Orleans man airlifted to hospital after crash in Derby this morning

in Derby/Newport/News/Orleans

crash derby newport vermont airlifted to hospital

DERBY — An Orleans man was airlifted to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center following a single vehicle crash on Vermont Route 191 this morning that took place in Derby.

Police are saying that the driver has been identified as Joshua McAllister, age 24, of Orleans.

At 9:50 a.m., Vermont State Police arrived at the scene of the crash. According to a statement issued by police, McAllister was transported to North Counrty Hospital with major injuries.

McAllister was later transported to Dartmouth Hitchcock via D.A.R.T helicopter for further care. The crash is still under investigation.

According to an eyewitness account, McAllister’s vehicle, a 2005 Subaru Legacy, was off the road, flipped over on its roof. Police have said that the car was totaled.

We will update this story as more information is released.

Derby apartment raided, stolen items recovered

in Derby/News

derby vermont stolen items recovered

DERBY — On Tuesday, authorities executed a search warrant at an apartment in Derby, which resulted in the recovery of several stolen items.

Police are saying that Maria Chagnon, 24, was issued a citation for possession of stolen property following the search at her apartment, located on Hinman Settler Road, in Derby.

The search warrant was issued for stolen property as a result of a lengthy investigation. During the search numerous stolen items from a local burglary were recovered.

Vermont State Police, U.S. Border Patrol, and the Department of Fish and Game all took part in the raid.

The investigation is ongoing.

All photos courtesy of Phil White.

Runners exercise freedom in this year’s Harry Corrow Freedom Run

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/Newport
All photos courtesy of Phil White.
All photos courtesy of Phil White.

NEWPORT — This year’s Harry Corrow Freedom Run raised $355 to be split evenly between the Gardner Park Restoration Project and the Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation.

Stan Walden, 20, from St. Johnsbury, “took home the jerky,” and the top honors this year with a blistering time of 1:09:22 in the ten mile run along the Newport / Derby Bike Path, and along the trails of the Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation. A cedarwood “woodal” and a big bag of Breault’s Beef Jerky were his prize.

Close behind in the men’s division were Bruce Schlatter, 49 of Victoria, BC, at 1:10:49, and Matt Breton, 36, of West Charleston, at 1:12:56. They also claimed a bag of jerky for their speed as did all of those who placed in the three races.

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Leading the women in the 10 mile course was Liba Hladek, 49, of East Thetford, with a time of 1:21:50, followed by Lindsey Owen, 30 of Montpelier, at 1:23:17, and Haley Joseph, 52, of Coventry at 1:25:47.

Erin Gallant, 50, of Newport, was the overall winner of the 10K division with a time of 1:01:10.

Mike Moore, 43, of East Haven, led the men with a time of 1:12:15.

The best race of the day had to be the 5K run, with Maggie Auger, 12, of Franklin, IN, winning first place overall by a nose ahead of her cousin David Auger, 17, of Lake St. Louis. MO.

One of the highlights of the day was seeing how many families were participating in the Freedom Run. In addition to The Auger Family, The Waldens of St. Johnsbury, the Luciers, of Woodstock, GA, the Burroughs, of East Montepelier, the Farnhams of Plainfield, the Comes of Newport, the Maurices of Newport, as well as Stan Chop, 64, of Newport, running the 10K with his daughter, Kathryn Nicolai, 30, from Yorktown, VA, all participated.

freedom run newport vermont 3

The youngest runner of the day was Eoin Comes, age four, of Newport, running with his dad in the 5K.

The Freedom Run lived up to its name when several runners chose mid-course to switch it up from the 10K to the 10 Mile course.

“I got through the woods and back to the bike path,” Mary Jo Frawley, of Newport said. “I was feeling great, so I went right instead of left, did the 10 miles, and paid the extra $15 when I got back.

At least three other runners made the same mid-course correction.

freedom run newport vermont 4

Homes in Derby and Troy burglarized on Tuesday

in Derby/News/Troy

home burglary troy vermont derby

DERBY — Two homes were burglarized in Orleans county on Tuesday. Both break-ins occurred during the daytime, but police have not yet said if the crimes appear to be committed by the same subjects.

Police are saying that during the day on Tuesday, unknown subjects entered a residence located at 25 Derby Pond Road, in Derby. Lori Collins, the victim of the crime, discovered that the subjects stole a 48 inch 3D flat screen TV, an older style air conditioner, a PS 3 and accessories, and 5 WII games.

Police responded to another break-in later in the day.

Roland Mayhew, of Troy, called police to report a burglary on the Loop Road, in Troy. The break-in occurred sometime between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to call the Derby State Police Barracks at 334-8881.

Derby man found dead after police respond to a fight in Newport

in Derby/Newport/News

NEWPORT — A Derby man was found dead in Newport on Saturday after police were called out to the scene regarding a fight.

On July 5, at approximately 1:27 p.m., the Vermont State Police in Derby received several 911 calls regarding the fight at 123 Lake Road in Newport. Members from the Vermont State Police, Newport Police Department, and the U.S. Border Patrol were dispatched immediately.

Upon arrival officials found Isaac Hunt, 35, of Derby, deceased.

At the request of the Newport Police Department, members of the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation responded to investigate the incident. Hunt’s body was transported to the Vermont Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

Police are saying that there were three people involved in the altercation, and that they are interviewing them as they continue to investigate Hunt’s death. No names have been released as of yet.

The Vermont State Police have assumed primary in the investigation in conjunction with Newport Police Department. Investigators are working closely with the Orleans County State’s Attorney’s Office.

At this time there is no indication of an increased risk to public safety.

No other information is available at this time, but authorities are saying that more information will be released in the coming days.

Echo Lake Road Race and Lake Region Century Ride to continue

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/News

Echo lake 4

DERBY — The Echo Lake Road Race and the (Claussen) Lake Region Century Ride, will continue thanks to an agreement between Orleans County Citizen Advocacy and Kingdom Games.

“We had had some operational issues, some decreasing participation, and shrinking revenues,” said Board President Ann Stannard of OCCA. “We had not planned to run these events this year. Then we decided to ask Phil White of Kingdom Games if he was interested in taking over these events and he agreed.”

Kingdom Games will be donating 20 percent of all registration fees related to these two events to OCCA and facilitating additional fundraising to support its mission.

“Connie Daigle is one of my heroes. She quietly, and without fanfare, helped start OCCA back in 1989,” Phil White said. “When I knew she was behind the request, there was no way I could say no.”

The Echo Lake Road Race will be run on Saturday August 23. The run and walk will be held in the morning. The double loop bike event will be held in the afternoon.

Plans are in the works for an all new swim on Echo Lake on Sunday, August 24, for the benefit of the Echo Lake Association. Taken altogether, participants will have the opportunity to enter just one event or do all three as a staged triathlon.

“One of the things that makes this weekend very exciting is the opportunity to partner with Tom Wagner and The Echo Lake Association on Sunday’s swim,” White added. “Echo is a great body of pristine water. Sunday’s Echo Lake Swim should be wonderful on its own. And, it means that the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association is now able to offer fifteen swims in the legendary lakes of Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, over the course of the summer.”

Kingdom Triathlon is now able to expand its multi-sport offerings with this staged triathlon. They now include, The Willoughby Tri on July 26, Aquaman and Ollie Even-Up and Sprint on August 2, and Echo Lake Stage Tri on August 23-24.

As to the Lake Region Century Ride, it will be incorporated into the Tour de Kingdom’s five-day Fall Foliage Tour which will offer a Double Century Gran Fondo timed event on the weekend of September 27 and 28, as well as shorter, more leisurely options that are so well liked.

On line registration for Echo Lake Road Race and Swim will be open soon at www.kingdomgames.co.

Online registration for the Tour de Kingdom Fall Foliage Tour, including the Lake Region Century Ride, is now open at www.tourdekingdom.org.

For more info contact phil@kingdomgames.co or by phone at 802-249-9100.

Motorcycle collides with trailer on Beebe Road in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

Motorcycle accident Derby Vermont

DERBY — A motorcycle collided with a trailer in Derby on Friday morning, leaving a man with minor injuries and damage to his bike.

Kevin Renaudette, 32, of Beebe Plain, Vermont, was riding his 1994 Harley-Davidson on the Beebe Road in Derby, when he struck a utility trailer that was being pulled by Gareld Burnor, 69, of Newport.

According to police, Burnor had been backing up the trailer in the south bound lane of travel, when Renaudette, who was also traveling south on the Beebe Road, collided with it.

Although Renaudette only suffered minor injuries, his bike had damage to the front brakes, rims, windshield, forward controls, handlebars, clutch, and saddlebags.

The trailer had damage to the left wheel and fender.

Burnor was ticketed for backing up the south bound lane of travel in an unsafe manner, interfering with traffic.

The accident took place at 8:39 a.m.

Two-vehicle crash outside Shaw’s this afternoon

in Derby/Newport/News

car accident newport vermont news

DERBY — Two vehicles sustained damage and had to be towed from the scene of an accident on U.S. Route 5 in Derby this afternoon.

Natasha Tynio, 21, of West Charleston, was driving a 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer while exiting the parking lot of Shaw’s supermarket located off Route 5.

According to police, Susan Johns, of Newport, was driving a 2007 Suzuki SX4 south on Route 5 when her right turn signal accidentally activated.

Tynio failed to yield right-of-way to Johns when entering the intersection, attempting to make a left hand turn.

The collision occurred in the southbound lane of U.S. Route 5.

Both vehicles were towed from the scene by Ray’s Auto out of Newport.

Both Tynio and Johns were wearing their seatbelts and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Water system upgrade underway in Derby Line

in Derby/Derby Line/News

derby line water line project

DERBY LINE — The water system upgrade that voters in both Derby Line and Derby voted to bond for in January has been underway over the past few weeks. The project was needed because there was not enough water flow to aggressively fight a fire at the Derby Elementary School if one ever broke out.

At a meeting last Tuesday, the trustees reported that the project is going great and residents are happy with the way the construction is going.

The Elm Street paving will take place after the water project in that area has been completed.

In January, voters in Derby voted to borrow $410,000 needed to help split the cost with the village of Derby Line for the new waterline to the Derby Elementary School. The town agreed to contribute to the cost of the new waterline extension because it was a safety issue.

The village of Derby Line voted to bond for the $1.2 million needed for the entire cost of the project.

The average Derby Line resident pays about $370 per year for water. The village portion of the annual loan payment will be around $53,000, increasing the water rate an extra $85 dollars per year.

Water line project derby line vermont

Derby woman arrested for domestic assault and resisting arrest

in Derby/News

arrest derby vermont

DERBY — A 27-year-old woman from Derby was arrested early this morning after police received a report of a domestic disturbance. The woman is reported to have kicked officers while they attempted to place her under arrest.

Police arrived at the scene and met with the victim at around 12:30 a.m. They observed bite marks and cuts on the victim and obtained a statement advising Nicole Columbia had bit the victim in the arm and punched the victim in the face several times.

Upon waiting for her to return, police observed Columbia drive into a parking lot from off U.S. Route 5. When speaking with her, police say that the odor of intoxicants was detected and field sobriety exercises were issued.

After completing field sobriety tests, Columbia was informed she was being placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI and Domestic Assault.

According to police she became upset when troopers tried to explain the situation and even attempted to leave. They are also saying that Columbia began kicking the troopers and thrashing her body.

She was taken into custody and transported to the Derby Barracks, where she was processed for DUI, Resisting Arrest, and Domestic Assault.

She is being held at Northern State Correctional Facility on lack of $750.00 cash or surety bond, and is scheduled to appear in Orleans County Court on June 10, 2014.

Derby man crashes into utility pole and flees the scene on foot

in Derby/News

arrest derby Vermont

DERBY — A 29-year-old Derby man was arrested Monday evening after his vehicle collided with a telephone pole outside the entrance of the Derby Trailer Park.

Following the crash, Tyrell Sykes was charged with Driving While License Suspended, Careless and Negligent Operation, and Leaving the Scene of an Accident. The incident took place at around 5 p.m.

Police were first informed of a black car driving erratically on I-91 in the Coventry/Derby area after someone following behind called police to report that they had seen a black car drive off the interstate several times, colliding with several guard rails.

The driver was able to get the vehicle, a Ford Fusion, back onto the road each time he drove off. The driver who called police continued to follow the car, staying on the phone with them and relaying information regarding the location of the vehicle.

The driver followed as the black car got off I-91 at Exit 28 in Derby, traveling on US Route 5 toward Derby Center. Outside the Derby Trailer Park, the vehicle again traveled off the road, this time striking a telephone pole.

The driver then fled the scene on foot, running behind the Champlain Equipment store.

Shortly after the crash, Orleans County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived at the scene. Sykes was taken into custody by Deputy Kyle Ingalls, after he was located running near the wood line off the west side of the Beebe Road.

Sykes required medical treatment for injuries relating to the crash. Newport Ambulance was called to transport him to North Country Hospital.

The utility pole at the entrance of the Derby Trailer Park sustained extensive damage and will need to be replaced.

Walmart could be open in Derby by November 2015

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — The Walmart Superstore that Burlington developer Jeff Davis has been trying to bring to Derby just got one step closer. On Thursday, Davis filed an application for site plan approval with the town. Davis would like to see the store open by November 2015.

Davis’s Company, Shattuck Hill Investments, owns 17.64 acres between Route 5 and Shattuck Hill Road, the site of the proposed Walmart. An access road between Route 5 and Shattuck Hill would have to be built if the project goes forward.

site of proposed Walmart Derby Vermont

The store is estimated to cost around $16.75 million to develop, with a footprint of 160,000-square-feet, and 75 feet tall. The parking lot is estimated to hold 657 vehicles.

Walmart Supercenters are hypermarkets that stock everything a Walmart discount store does, and also include a full-service supermarket, including meat and poultry. The Derby store would also have a garden center, pet shop, and pharmacy.

Hypermarkets, like other big-box stores, typically have business models focusing on high-volume, low-margin sales. They generally have more than 200,000 different brands of merchandise available at any one time.

It’s expected that the store would create 260 new jobs. The people of Derby and Newport in 2010 voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Walmart.

According to a traffic study submitted by Davis, on a regular weekday, the site would see an increase of about 6,000 vehicles. This would result in the need for traffic signals and turning lanes to be built at the Route 5 entrance to the parking lot.

Davis has said that he is willing to pay for this, as well as partially pay for traffic signals to be installed at the entrance onto Route 5, coming off of I-91

Dunkin’ Donuts seeking site plan approval in Derby

in Derby/News

dunkin donuts derby vermont news

DERBY — The Town of Derby Planning Commission will host a public meeting on Monday, June 2, at 7 p.m. to consider two proposals from businesses that want to build in Derby.

One is Dunkin’ Donuts, the other is a financial institution.

Applying for approval under the business name Abbott Equities, the site plans include a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant that will seat 28 people. The location of the proposed Dunkin’ Donuts would be at 4584 Route 5. See the map below:

Site of proposed dunkin donuts derby vermont

The other proposal that will be considered at the public meeting comes from Yankee Farm Credit.

The company plans to open a branch on Commerce Way in Derby.

Austin Giroux, third place male overall and winner in the 12 and under category on the 10K course. All photos courtesy of Phil White.

Runners gather for the 6th annual Dandelion Run

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/News
Austin Giroux, third place male overall and winner in the 12 and under category on the 10K course. All photos courtesy of Phil White.
Austin Giroux, third place male overall and winner in the 12 and under category on the 10K course. All photos courtesy of Phil White.

DERBY — With a tornado warning passing the night before, and rains letting up just one hour prior to the start, nothing was going to get in the way of another successful Dandelion Run. This year marked the 6th time the annual event has taken place.

On Saturday, runners from age 6 to 70 took to the back roads of Derby, Holland, and Morgan. This year the youth let their feet do the talking as they laid down some strong times. The two person Falcon relay team of Andrew Franklin, 17, of Newport, and Travers Parsons-Grayson, 17, of Lowell, set the fastest time of the day, finishing the half marathon course in a time of 1:22:56. 

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This year’s solo winner was Chip Pierce, 53, of Newport. Pierce posted a winning time of 1:27:13.

The overall female winner was Janelle Ralph, 32 of Gold Hill, OR, with a time of 1:39:13. Vermont is the 43rd state in which she and her husband, Benjamin Ralph, have run a half marathon. She even wore bib number 43 as she posted her winning time.

Four youth took on the half marathon distance as solo runners, led by Sophia Webb, 16, of Hinesburg, with a time of 1:49:40. Sophia has been running the half marathon as a solo each year since she was 12. She says the Dandelion Run is her favorite course.  

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Leading the boys was Andreya Zvonar, 15, of Boston, MA, with a time of 1:50:58.  Andreya and his 23 year old brother, Ivan, ran solo as their parents teamed up for a two person relay.

Elena Doty, 16, of Westford, came in second among the girls and third among the youth with a time of 1:58:43. Rounding out the youth, Daniel Bevacqui, 14, of Fayston, posted a very respectable time of 2:09:06. 

The 10 K course was flooded with youth relay teams from Troy, Newport, Brighton, and Derby Elementary School, as well as relay teams posted by North Country Union Junior High, and Turning Points. 

All in all, there were 22 youth relay teams competing in the 10K course, with just about 100 youth running either solo, in relays, on both courses.

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Music at each of the relay stations and throughout the weekend was made possible by the support of Newport City Renaissance Corporation.

Over $1,000 was raised to support Umbrella and $94 was raised for the Christian Vachon Foundation from Canadian registrations. 

Runners travelled from California, Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and all over Vermont. International runners came down from Quebec City, Montreal, and the Eastern Townships.

Field Marshall Kristian Pearson and a core staff of Peter Channell, Faith Landry, Howie Lockamy, worked the event with the help of over 30 volunteers and 15 youth chaperones, who made this year’s Dandelion Run possible. 

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Derby Line Man Cited in Manure Truck Crash in Derby

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manure truck spill derby vermont

DERBY — According to the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, the driver of the manure truck that crashed in Derby on Thursday morning is facing charges for leaving the scene of the accident.

In a release issued by police, Jason Jewer, 33, of Derby Line, was issued a citation to appear in court on charges of leaving the scene of an accident and driving while his license was suspended.

Police are also saying that Jewer was treated and released from North Country Hospital for a concussion he suffered as a result of the accident.

The 1994 Western Star manure truck was carrying a load of liquid manure that spilled after the truck rolled over at around 11:35 a.m. on Thursday. The accident happened on Elm Street, near the Beebe Road in Derby. There have been three similar accidents involving commercial trucks in the last two years in this location, due to the steepness of the hill.

Manure and diesel fuel spread downhill toward a waterway that runs along Beebe Road, reaching a local driveway and lawn in the process. The spill had to be dammed up with dirt that was brought in.

The Derby Line Fire Department worked with the Agency of Natural Resources and a hazardous materials team to control the spill.

Manure truck crash in Derby causes spill, driver flees the scene

in Derby/News

manure truck spill derby vermont

DERBY — The Orleans County Sheriff’s Department is looking for the driver of a truck carrying liquid manure that crashed Thursday morning on Elm Street in Derby, just up the road from the intersection with Beebe Road.

The driver fled the scene, and has yet to be located by police.

According to a press release issued on Thursday, police are following a possible lead in the case, but are not able to locate the suspect. They are not saying that they have identified anyone involved, just that they are searching for someone they think may be to blame.

The vehicle, a 1994 Western Star manure truck, was owned by Gray’s Farms. It was carrying a load of liquid manure that spilled after the truck rolled over.

Manure and diesel fuel spread downhill toward a small waterway that runs along Beebe Road, reaching a local driveway and lawn in the process. The spill had to be dammed up with dirt that was brought in.

Area firefighters worked with a hazardous materials team to control the spill.

Authorities are asking that anyone who has any information regarding the accident contact the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department at 802-334-3333.

Three Charged for Assault Outside Troy General Store Plead Not Guilty

in Derby/Feature/Newport/News/Troy

NEWPORT — Three men who were charged in an assault that took place outside the Troy General store on March 6, were in court on Tuesday. All three pled innocent to the charges.

Jonathan J. Degre, 19, of Newport Center, pled innocent to a felony charge of aggravated assault.

Casey Wheeler, 38, of Derby, and Daniel Beaumont, 25, of Newport, each pled innocent to aggravated assault and disorderly conduct by fighting.
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Domenic’s Story: Helping to Build a Digitally Literate Community

in Derby/Feature

DERBY — When Hurricane Sandy hit in October of 2012, Domenic Laurenzi lost everything. For nearly a month he found himself living in his car. He was working for someone who flat out refused to pay him, and finally the heater in his car went out. He spent the next five days grinding it out, sleeping in the cold, and trying to decide what to do.

Originally from Long Island, Domenic had family living in the Newport area, and he had spent some time here earlier, studying massage therapy at the Community College of Vermont. When the program was dropped, he went back to New York.

Sick of sleeping in his car, Domenic called a relative and asked if he could come back up to Vermont. They were happy to help. On November 17, 2012, Domenic was back in the area, and he immediately decided to continue his studies at CCV. He switched his major to Business.

It was a difficult start for Domenic, but he never let the obstacles he had to face get in his way. As the new guy in town from the big city, he persevered. He has gone on not only to excel as a student, but to give back to the community that welcomed him in.

photoDomenic now runs a digital literacy program offered through the state of Vermont, where he provides free computer help to anyone visiting the library during designated hours. Anyone needing assistance can make an appointment, or just come in during the hours that Domenic is there. He can help you with the most basic issues, or tackle more technical problems if needed.

“It all started at CCV,” Domenic said. “I was taking a class that needed an internship, and it just so happened that the libraries needed someone to help them with their computers.”

The internship led to the digital literacy grant, which has been recognized as a huge success.

“Once the grant went through, and the state saw that people were utilizing this system that was put in place, that people were learning and benefiting from it, they decided to keep it going through July of 2014.”

While offering his services, Domenic has seen the full spectrum of computer related issues pass through the program.

“Things have ranged. From the most basic steps like how to use a tablet, to just the other day I helped someone set up a mobile hot spot from his Samsung Galaxy phone.”

Coming from New York, there are things about the area that have been a bit foreign to Domenic, but he has embraced most of it.

“Everything is so different up here,” he said. “Coming from New York, I’m used to being able to get anything I want, anytime of day. But, it’s absolutely beautiful, and there is no traffic up here which is nice.”

The computer help Domenic provides is available for anyone who needs it, and with the extension, Domenic encourages anyone who needs his services to come out to the library during the following hours:

The Goodrich Memorial Library

Monday – 10:00 to 12:30
Thursday – 3:00 to 5:00

The Dailey Memorial Library
Tuesday – 10:00 to 12:00
Saturday – 1:00 to 3:00

The Haskell Library
Thursday – 12:00 to 2:30
Saturday – 10:00 to 12:30

Domenic will graduate from CCV this summer, and although he will not continue on with the digital literacy program, it will most likely continue past July.

[AUDIO STORY] Discovering Mary Cofran with the Derby Historical Society Museum

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/Feature

Newport Dispatch came out to the old-fashioned Christmas celebration at the Derby Historical Society Museum, and put together this audio story, where we learn about a resident of Derby who in 1940 drew a series of prints on muslin cloth of local buildings. It was like stepping back into 1940. To listen, press play below.

Please enjoy the photography below while you listen. All photos by Tanya Mueller.

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Snowmobiling is Alive and Kicking in the Northeast Kingdom

in Derby/Feature/News

DERBY — Every few years it happens that hunting season ends on Sunday, and snowmobiling season begins on Monday. With hunting season over, yesterday was the first day the trails were officially open. The Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club, which serves 62 miles of trail in the Derby, Holland, and Morgan area, spent opening day out on the trail with their groomer, getting ready for what should be a great season.

“We haven’t sent our groomer out on the first day of the season in a few years,” Roger Gosselin, Vice President of the Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club, said Monday night. “So, we’re off to a great start. The temperatures are down and the snow is here.”

Gosselin started maintaining the trail on Monday using the tracks of the groomer to pack down the snow that has accumulated. It froze overnight, and should provide a good base.

The Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club out packing snow on Monday in the Holland area. All photos courtesy of Roger Gosselin.
The Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club out packing snow on Monday in the Holland area. All photos courtesy of Roger Gosselin.

For snowmobile trails, a snow grooming machine works by pulling what is called a “drag,” behind it. However, at the start of the season, you have to make sure the conditions are right before using it.

“You usually don’t bring the drag out first because you don’t want to literally drag the snow off,” Gosselin said. “At the start of the season, what you want to do is just pack the existing snow down. Once you have a well established trail, then the drag works really well.”

The rule is that you need a four inch base of packed snow to start snowmobiling. Currently, parts of the local network at higher elevations have that already. Gosselin believes that all the early signs indicate that this year should be a good season.

“The upper elevation areas of the trails are open, but they are hard to get to,” he said. “Give us a couple of days. We’re supposed to get more snow, and that will put most areas into better shape.”

Snowmobiling in the area has recently had some bad press, being called a “dying sport,” by a local paper. For Gosselin, and many who have been involved in the sport for nearly a lifetime, statements like that are the result of not looking at the big picture.

“First of all, snowmobiling is a large part of our economy. Yes, some years are better than others, but, if you go through and look at the trends over the years, a few bad years are generally followed by great seasons.”

The groomer owned by the Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club based out of Derby, out on the trail packing snow on opening day.
The groomer owned by the Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club based out of Derby, out on the trail packing snow on opening day.

When it comes to the sport of snowmobiling in the area, Gosselin has paid his dues. He has been involved as a director of the Drift Dusters since 2003, having previously held the position of president for the maximum term of four years, and served as vice president off and on since.

The Drift Dusters are also one of the top clubs in the state. Started in 1970, the group usually has between 800 and 1100 members. In August they were awarded the Vermont Snowmobile Club of the Year. Previously they have won awards for best groomed, and best signed trails.

“This year it was a combination of good grooming, good signing, and a social media presence that is much more active than other groups in the state,” Gosslin said. “It was a big achievement for us.”

Gosselin also serves as the website administrator for the Drift Dusters. Their website was one of the first ever to sell trail passes through the internet. He has been working to creatively engage snowmobile enthusiasts online, as well as keep everyone informed of trail conditions through the website and social networks. Through Twitter, he even started an account for the Drift Dusters’s groomer.

Gosselin, along with Scott Jenness, who serves as president of the club, working with all the club’s directors, have made the 62 miles of track they maintain a spot that brings in riders from all over New England.

For more information about the Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club, visit them online. If you are on Twitter, you can follow the club at: @DriftDustersSC and at Facebook.com/driftdusters

Below is a killer promotional video that the club put out, which just goes to show that snowmobiling is not a dying sport. It is alive and well, and with the season underway, and clubs like the Drift Dusters working hard to keep the trails maintained, Newport Dispatch hopes all riders have a safe and fun winter.

Photos by Tanya Mueller

Community Dinners Thanksgiving Day in Derby Make it a Special Holiday for Many in the Area

in Derby/News

All photos by Tanya Mueller, unless otherwise noted.

DERBY — The Church of God and the Elks Lodge in Derby both hosted community dinners Thanksgiving Day, making it a special holiday for many in the area. Both offered turkey dinner for anyone who wished to eat with the community, and both offered take out packages as well.

Church of God Pastor Laurence Wall poses with Julie Chase following Thursday's community dinner.
Church of God Pastor Laurence Wall poses with Julie Chase following Thursday’s community dinner.

The day before Thanksgiving, The Church of God delivered 145 meals throughout the area. Hayes Ford of Newport donated the 13 turkeys which were prepared by church members. The community dinner that they hosted on Thanksgiving Day was thanks to Julie Chase, who not only had the idea for the dinner, but cooked a turkey that she raised herself. About 50 people came out Thursday for the meal.

“This is the first time that we have hosted a community meal on Thanksgiving Day,” Pastor Laurence Wall of Church of God said. “It was a good turnout, and it’s all thanks to Julie.”

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The Elks Lodge served 225 people who came out Thanksgiving Day for the community dinner. They also served 300 take out meals throughout the day. This was the eighth year that the Elks Lodge in Derby has hosted the dinner.

Frances Dewing cooked the majority of the food, and the North Country High School Culinary Arts Program donated 69 pies for dessert. The potatoes served were thanks to George Weller of Stanstead.

“George did all the potatoes,” Ms. Dewing said. “Tuesday night they had a potato peeling party at his house, where they peeled all the potatoes. They cooked them this morning, and transported them here.”

Photo courtesy of Frances Dewing.
Photo courtesy of Frances Dewing.

The event was awarded a $2,000 Beacon Grant from the Elks National Foundation which paid for most of the food. With community donations in advance, both cash and in-kind, they raised a total of $3,000 before dinner was even served Thursday.

The money raised goes to the food and fuel fund for the Northeastern Vermont Area Agency on Aging

“It will be a Thanksgiving that continues throughout the season,” Lisa Viles, the executive director of the Northeastern Vermont Area Agency on Aging, said following Thursday’s event.

Northeastern Vermont Area Agency on Aging works to assist individuals who are in crisis for food and fuel throughout the year. They take donations to support their work online at NEKseniors.Org

Frances Dewing in the kitchen at the Elks Lodge in Derby Thursday afternoon.
Frances Dewing in the kitchen at the Elks Lodge in Derby Thursday afternoon.

Nelson Farms – Highest Recipient of Dairy Subsidies in Orleans County

in Derby/Derby Line/News

DERBY — According to the Environmental Working Group Farm Subsidy Database, Nelson Farms, who was recently ordered to stop polluting two local waterways, is the highest recipient of Dairy Program subsidies in Orleans County. According to the database, they have also received the third highest amount of Dairy Program subsidies in the State of Vermont.

The Environmental Working Group Farm Subsidy Database tracks $256 billion in farm subsidies from commodity, crop insurance, and disaster programs, as well as $39 billion in conservation payments, between the years of 1995-2013.

Nelson Farms was recently taken to court by the State of Vermont Agency of Agriculture and the Agency of Natural Resources for discharging waste into the Clyde River and the Crystal Brook.

Last week, the Attorney General’s office announced a win in the water quality case against Nelson Farms. A preliminary injunction order was handed down by Orleans County Superior Court Judge Howard VanBenthuysen against Nelson Farms on November 6. The injunction states that farm operators are not allowed to discharge manure and other agricultural waste into the waterways.

The state alleges Nelson Farms allowed manure and other dairy operation drainage to overflow and discharge directly into the Clyde River from its farm in Derby Center, as well as directly into the Crystal Brook from its Derby Line location. According to a press release from the Attorney General’s office, the Nelson’s Clyde River farm has 450 dairy cows, and 200 heifers, and the Crystal Brook location has 575 dairy cows.

Between 1995-2013, Nelson Farms received $540,986 in dairy program subsidies, the highest in Orleans County.

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The amount ranks third highest overall in the state of Vermont.

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“Vermont farmers are stewards of the land and provide many environmental and economic benefits to our state. However, it is not acceptable for farmers to allow barnyard waste to pollute our waterways,” Attorney General William Sorrell said in a press release. “Although an acre of farm land produces less phosphorus than an acre of urbanized land, excess phosphorous in our waterways from any source deprives freshwater fish and plants of essential oxygen.”

Between 1995-2013, Nelson Farms received a total of $1,213,303 in USDA subsidies.

derby Vermont arts and Crafts fair

Dailey Memorial Library’s Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair a Success

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/News

DERBY — “Looking to the future while preserving the past.” These are the words guiding the capital campaign for the expansion project of the Dailey Memorial Library. With some of the proceeds from this years Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair going toward the expansion project, Saturday’s event both looked toward the future of the library, while preserving the past, marking the 22nd time that the annual event has taken place.

1 derby Vermont arts and Crafts fairInside the gymnasiums of North Country Junior High, visitors were treated to an eclectic mix of products that showcased the rich tradition of arts and crafts throughout the region. There were 33 vendors involved this year, selling a range of products.

Riley Brooks, of B3 Balsam, brought out a line of products made from ground up balsam firs. The pleasing smell of the soft, fir stuffed pillows, were a popular seller Saturday morning. According to Mr. Brooks, the fir scent of the pillows will last for many years.

“We were at a craft expo when we found Maine Balsam Fir Company, the supplier who we buy our dried firs from,” Mr. Brooks said. “We bought a pound that night, and since we had a fir pillow that was 16 years old and still smelled nice, we decided to try and make our own. B3 Balsam started that night using a 1940 Singer Straight Stitch machine.”

Mr. Wambach, from Nic & Wambach Creative Arts based out of Red Hook New York, said he visits his sister once a month in Vermont, and enjoys drawing the state’s picturesque scenes. His display showcased some of these works.

derby Vermont arts and Crafts fair 1“I enjoy the beauty of Vermont, and it’s a place with a phenomenal amount of history,” he said.

One of his favorite Vermont scenes to draw are covered bridges.

I plan to do as many of the covered bridges as I can. There are 138 in the Northeast Kingdom, and I’d like to draw all of them,” he said.

His work can be found at the East Side gift shop, or visit them online.

Richard and Vera Long, of Long Branch Wooden Bowls, brought out their entire inventory of wood turned bowels.

To make the bowls, the couple haul the logs in from their property in Holland. It takes about ten to twelve months for each piece to be finished. Mr. Long starts with a rough cut, then shelves and dates each piece. Once dry, they are put back on the lathe for a final shaping. The bowls are finished in walnut oil and beeswax.

IMG_9293“I hand sign each piece with a wood burning tool,” Vera Long said. “Because they are heirloom gifts, many customers want them for a wedding present. I put the name of the couple with the date they were married on the back.”

Jim Hutchins, of Hutch and Ricka Custom Leather Carving, displayed an assortment of handcrafted leather and hardwood items made in Newport Center. A sign which read, “little hands welcome to touch,” was posted above the display, encouraging the curiosity of the many children who came out Saturday. Their work is part of the Wooden Horse Arts Guild, and can be viewed online.

Kimberly Covert, from Covert Essentials of Enosburg Falls, was busy selling personal care products. She started her own line of products after working for an all natural skin care company in New York. Covert Essentials started making soap, but has evolved into much more.

Her biggest seller has been her deodorant products.

IMG_9265 (2)“I wanted a natural deodorant that actually works,” she said. “Using a combination of organic coconut oil and beeswax forms a nice barrier, and combined with some powder, keep you dry for a really long time.”

Her products can be found in Stowe, but should soon be available in the Newport area.

Saturday’s craft fair lasted until 2 p.m. Although the event draws many people every year, this year was especially steady. The money raised will go to the operating fund of the Daily Memorial Library, as well as the capital campaign for the expansion project.

To see a video of what the new library will look like, please watch the video below.

Nelson Farms Ordered to Stop Polluting the Clyde River

in Derby/Derby Line/News

DERBY LINE — The Vermont Attorney General’s office announced a win this week in a water quality case against two farms owned by the Nelson family. The preliminary injunction order was handed down by Orleans County Superior Court Judge Howard VanBenthuysen, against Nelson Farms on November 6. The injunction states that farm operators are not allowed to discharge manure and other agricultural waste into the Clyde River, or the Crystal Brook.

The state alleges Nelson Farms allowed manure and other dairy operation drainage to overflow and discharge directly into the Clyde River from its farm in Derby Center, as well as directly into the Crystal Brook from its Derby Line location.

According to the press release from the attorney general’s office, the Nelson’s Clyde River farm has 450 dairy cows, and 200 heifers, and the Crystal Brook location has 575 dairy cows.

Nelson Farms has until Dec. 15 to present plans to the state as to how both locations will permanently eliminate any potential waste runoff entering the brook or the river. They also must allow inspectors on site to inspect the farms anytime between 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.

“Vermont farmers are stewards of the land and provide many environmental and economic benefits to our state. However, it is not acceptable for farmers to allow barnyard waste to pollute our waterways,” Attorney General William Sorrell said in the press release.

“Although an acre of farm land produces less phosphorus than an acre of urbanized land, excess phosphorous in our waterways from any source deprives freshwater fish and plants of essential oxygen.”

“The State’s agricultural water quality laws and programs are designed to assist farmers to help keep our waterways clean,” Sorrell said. ”When voluntary compliance efforts fail, however, the Agency of Agriculture, the Department of Environmental Conservation and my Office will work cooperatively to take enforcement action.”

Click to download the injunction (PDF)

Click to read the Attorney General’s press release.

Penn’s Fish House of Vermont Grand Opening – Making You Rethink Fried Food

in Derby/News

DERBY― After eating at Penn’s Fish House of Vermont, you will realize that there are two types of fried food. There is the over-battered, usually deep frozen variety that we have grown used to suffering through, and then there is the proper, thin-battered variety that is something much different. Penn's Fish House Derby Vermont 1Penn’s will make you forget whatever you thought you knew about the subject. Until you experience fried food done properly, you will never know what you’ve been missing.

Exactly one month since opening their doors, Penn’s Fish House celebrated its grand opening in Derby with a benefit event that saw 50 cents of every meal going toward North Country Hospital.

It was a full house Friday night, with word spreading around town that there is something special about this place. Although Penn’s offers grilled food and salads as well, it’s the fried food that they serve which has people talking.

Penn’s commitment to fresh ingredients is part of the reason that your first meal there is sure to surprise you.

IMG_9283“Nothing is pre-battered. When the order comes in, we cut the fillets, batter it, and cook it fresh,” Vikram Sood, who owns Penn’s, said Friday night.

The other secret to Penn’s unique taste, is in the batter they cover the fresh fillets in.

“This type of fried food is totally different than what people in this area are used to. Our batter is crispier and much thinner. This soaks in the least amount of oil.”

The fired catfish with hushpuppy I tasted Friday night perfectly demonstrated this concept. The thinner batter made for a fried meal that was light and extremely tasty. It was a pleasant surprise from the first bite through to the last.

In bringing Penn’s to Derby, Sood has taken a style of cooking unique to one specific region of the United States, and slightly altered it to match the tastes of the Northeast.

IMG_9277“It seemed like an interesting idea to introduce food from the southern United States into this part of the country. We slightly altered some recipes to match the taste of the region, with haddock and tilapia being favorites up here,” Sood said.

The haddock is the number one selling item at Penn’s, with catfish a close second.

If you order the hushpuppy to go with your meal, Sood is quick to point out a little tip. He suggests mixing the red hot sauce that sits at the table with some mayonnaise. It is good advice.

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Walmart in Derby, Vermont – It’s Not Just About Buying Underwear

in Derby/Newport/Opinion
Walmart and Vermont, business as usual.
Walmart and Vermont, business as usual.

The following quote is from earlier in the year:

“The Village of Newport and the people of Derby voted overwhelmingly to support having a place to buy underwear so we don’t have to go to Littleton,” said Sen. Robert Starr.

Senator Starr (D-Essex/Orleans), was addressing the fact that in 2010, 85 percent of voters supported the idea of a Walmart being built in Derby.

Well, when it was announced Wednesday that a deal had been made between developer Jeff Davis, Preservation Trust, and the Vermont Natural Resources Council, that there would be no opposition against the new Walmart store so long as Davis pays $200,000, we should all have felt a little insulted.

If you read between the lines, the message is that bribes and blackmail will be tolerated by us locals, so long as in the end we have a place to go buy underwear. After Wednesday’s payoff, Davis has won the fight, and can now ride into town, the hero, throwing underwear at us locals. He can throw a few hundred thousand dollars at the so-called conservation groups, which, is a very low amount compared to the money he will be taking away from local businesses like Pick & Shovel. Supposedly, everyone wins.

There is more to this deal than most people realize, because it sets a new standard of using the permitting process as a way to extort money. Both sides have used the people of Derby and Newport as a guise for making a large amount of money, in the end, both getting what they want.

VNRC and Preservation Trust win an easy payday, literally getting $200,000 for doing nothing, developer Jeff Davis will make plenty of money as we all flock to Walmart, getting our share of the prize…underware.

We are worth more than that, and Vermont should pride itself on being a state that has not been bought out by big businesses like Walmart. We still have a tradition and a culture around here that is free from the likes of superstores and corporate giants swallowing up every little business in its path.

If VNRC and Preservation Trust have agreed to stand down in opposition of the project, that does not mean that everybody else has to.

Walmart and Vermont, business as usual.

The Payoff That’s Not a Payoff: For $200,000 Opponents Promise Not to Fight Walmart in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY–Preservation Trust and the Vermont Natural Resources Council have agreed not to oppose a Walmart Superstore in Derby. The two Vermont conservation groups made a complex deal with developer Jeff Davis, the Shumlin administration, and the Legislature, requiring Davis to pay $200,000 for future improvements to downtowns throughout Orleans County.

The deal, signed September 25th, and unveiled in Burlington Wednesday afternoon, was welcomed by Newport City Mayor Paul Monette and Derby Select Board Chairman Brian Smith, who have been trying to bring Walmart into the area for years. Davis could possibly apply for local permits for the Walmart Superstore within 30 days.

For not opposing the future Derby store, Preservation Trust will receive payment once the store is built, with the $200,000 used entirely for grants to help downtowns in Orleans County. In addition, the state will add $500,000 to its downtown improvements tax credit program.

Davis also agreed to pay $600,000 over six years to Newport City. The city will use the money to ease the economic impact the store will bring.

“To me, the most important thing was to get Newport and Derby a Walmart,” Davis said.

One final addition to the deal is that Davis agreed that for the next five years, he will not seek to build any other Walmart stores outside other Vermont downtowns.

Both conservation group executive directors brought up the fact that there was a lack of organized opposition to the Derby store, and that the deal reached was a fair compromise, given the fact that a long battle could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In the past, both Derby and Newport City voters have supported the idea of an agreement with Davis being made in order to move the project along. In 2010, 85 percent of voters favored a Walmart in Derby being built.

When asked if the deal amounted to a payoff to stop fighting the Derby Walmart, Paul Bruhn, executive director of Preservation Trust, stated, “We don’t think of it in that way.”

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