Essex County Archives - Newport Dispatch
Category archive

Essex County

‘Suspicious’ fires destroy two Essex County camps

in Essex County/Newport/News

AVERYS GORE — Authorities say that a pair of fires that took place in Essex County last week at two rural camps are considered suspicious.

On August 25 police were notified of a camp that had burned down on the Gore Road in Avery’s Gore.

The fire had not been reported to the Brighton Fire Department and the camp was allowed to burn until it self-extinguished.

This camp is known as the Gore Camp.

It is believed that the fire occurred during the evening hours of August 24, and the early morning hours the next day.

“The cause of the fire is still under investigation, however, it appears that there was direct human involvement,” a statement issued by state police reads.

The second fire was reported on September 1, another camp on the Gore Road.

This camp is located near Unknown Pond.

Once ignited the fire spread to the surrounding vegetation, burning many of the surrounding trees.

Authorities say that this fire likely occurred sometime between August 24, and September 1.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is being asked to contact Det. Sgt. Michael LaCourse at the Derby Barracks at 802-334-8881 or by contacting the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program(VATAP) hotline at 1-800-32-ARSON(1-800-322-7766).

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

Youths compete in Orleans and Essex counties 4-H dairy show

in Essex County/Newport/News/Orleans

BARTON — A total of 56 “4-H’ers” from ten area 4-H clubs took part in the annual Orleans and Essex Counties 4-H Dairy Show, recently held at the Orleans County Fairgrounds in Barton.

The youths, ages 8 to 18, competed for ribbons and championships in both fitting and showmanship and conformation contests.

The show judge was Shayne Brus from Ayers Cliff, Quebec.

In fitting and showmanship, the focus was on the exhibitors and how well they handled their animal.

Isabel Hall was named the Senior Fitting and Showing Champion. The Junior Fitting and Showing Champion was Christin Haynes. Both 4-H’ers are from East Montpelier and are members of the Udderly Crazy 4-H Club.

Capturing first in their respective fitting and showmanship contests, arranged by age, were:

Novice (age 8 and first year in 4-H): Talon Michaud, East Hardwick

Novice (ages 9-13 and first year in 4-H): Ryder Curavoo, Berlin

Junior (ages 9-10): Cash Mosher, Derby

Junior (age 11): Cristin Haynes, East Montpelier

Junior (ages 12-13): Livi Russo, Lunenburg

Senior (ages 14-15): Caroline Kirby, East Montpelier

Senior (ages 16-18): Isabel Hall, East Montpelier

In the conformation classes, organized by age and breed of animal, the judge looked at the physical structure, condition, and appearance of each animal.

Championships were awarded as follows:

AYRSHIRE:

Senior Champion and Grand Champion: Abagail Hurd, Hardwick, with her two-year-old cow.

Junior Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Livi Russo, Lunenburg, with her winter calf.
Junior Reserve Champion: Abagail Hurd, Hardwick, with her spring yearling.

BROWN SWISS:

Junior Champion and Grand Champion: Olyvia Fortin, Newport, with her spring calf.

Junior Reserve Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Olyvia Fortin, Newport, with her fall calf.

GUERNSEY:

Junior Champion and Grand Champion: Cody Trudeau, Hardwick, with his spring yearling.

Junior Reserve Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Cody Trudeau, Hardwick, with his winter yearling.

HOLSTEIN:

Senior Champion and Grand Champion: Ryanne Nadeau, Derby, with her three-year-old cow.

Senior Reserve Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Cash Mosher, Derby, with his two-year-old cow.

Junior Champion: Isabel Hall, East Montpelier, with her fall calf.

Junior Reserve Champion: Ryder Hoffman, Berlin, with his summer yearling.

JERSEY:

Senior Champion and Grand Champion: Livi Russo, Lunenburg, with her two-year-old cow.

Senior Reserve Champion: Zoe Young, West Glover, with her two-year-old cow.

Junior Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Abel Brown, Sutton, with his winter calf.

Junior Reserve Champion: Lane Pickard, Derby, with his winter yearling.

MILKING SHORTHORN:

Junior Champion and Grand Champion: Nora Demaine, West Glover, with her fall calf.

Junior Reserve Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Max Demaine, West Glover, with his summer yearling.

To learn more about the 4-H dairy program in Essex and Orleans Counties, contact Lindy Birch at (802) 334-7235, ext. 481.

Police looking for suspect who shot up VEC equipment in Essex County

in Essex County/Lemington

LEMINGTON — Police are seeking the public’s help in locating a vandal who fired a few shots into some Vermont Electric Co-Op equipment.

At around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, State police were notified of vandalism reported in the town of Lemington.

VEC crews told police they discovered a damaged controller located on Vermont Route 102, a few miles north of Coderre Hill Road.

They found multiple bullet holes in the controller causing it to malfunction.

Police say an investigation into the matter is ongoing and anyone with information related to the vandalism is being asked to contact the Vermont State Police in Derby at 802-334-8881.

Helicopters used to collar moose in the NEK

in Essex County/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom/Outdoors

NEWPORT — Residents may have seen a helicopter flying low overhead as the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department began collaring 30 moose for the third year of a three-year study.

The radio-collaring is being carried out primarily within Essex County by a professional contractor.

Capture efforts require flying just above tree height and are expected to take between 5 and 10 days.

“Many local residents may have noticed these helicopters capturing moose in January of 2017 and 2018, but we felt all Essex County residents and landowners should once again be made aware of this activity,” said Cedric Alexander, Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s lead moose biologist.

Wildlife experts will be using nets to capture moose from the helicopter and handling it without the use of tranquilizers.

The processing of a captured moose is completed in minutes and is done using well-established wildlife handling techniques that minimize stress and harm to the animal.

Ninety-six moose have already been captured using these methods thus far in the study.

Department staff having been tracking collared moose for the past two years using the GPS points gathered by the collars and have been visiting moose directly in the field to record observations.

Vermont is the fourth northeastern state to partake in such a study – state fish and wildlife agencies in New Hampshire, Maine, and New York are currently using the same methods to examine their moose herds.

The study will be completed at the end of this year.

“Moose in the Northeast are facing a variety of threats ranging from a warming climate to increasing winter tick loads, and we appreciate the public’s support as we study how these factors are impacting Vermont’s moose population,” Alexander said.

Police investigating assault at New Year’s Eve party in Essex County

in Bloomfield/Essex County/News

BLOOMFIELD — Police are investigating an assault that took place at a New Year’s Eve party in Essex county.

The victim has been identified as Dominic Gilbert, 34, of Colebrook, NH.

He was transported to Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital to be treated for extensive injuries to his face.

He was later transported via ambulance to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

The Vermont State Police and the New Hampshire State Police opened an investigation, and say that the incident took place at a large New Year’s Eve party located on Vermont Route 105 in Bloomfield.

Police say numerous persons of interest and a suspect have been identified.

“This is an isolated incident and there is no public safety concern at his time,” trooper Darren Annis said in a statement.

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

Community partners in Essex, Orleans, awarded grant to battle opioid epidemic

in Essex County/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Local community partners in Caledonia, Essex, Orleans, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties are energized to address the local opioid epidemic, thanks to a $200,000 one-year federal planning grant.

Several community organizations around the state came together two months ago to submit a federal planning grant application to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to fund a community process that would help to combat the opioid problem.

Impressed with the group’s submission, HRSA not only gave the communities the grant as initially requested, but provided the group with additional funds to realize their goals.

The request was only one of two submissions funded in Vermont and one of only 95 grants awarded nationally.

The Northeast Kingdom Consortium consists of the following partners:

The Community Restorative Justice Center, Vermont Cares, Northern Counties Health Care, Inc., Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, North Country Hospital, Northeast Kingdom Learning Services, Northeast Kingdom Community Action, and Kingdom Recovery Center, and the Department of Health St. Johnsbury Office.

These organizations will be meeting regularly over the next year to develop a plan to identify gaps and services related to opioid prevention, treatment, and recovery in their respective regions.

“This grant is great news for the NEK, particularly the communities of Essex County,” Shawn P. Tester, CEO of Northern Counties Health Care said. “It will enable us to build on our already strong foundation in addressing the opiate crisis. I am especially excited about the opportunities to collaboratively develop prevention strategies, to really turn the curve on addiction.”

Community Justice Centers in both regions have been designated as lead agencies to facilitate this process in each district.

This planning year will utilize a restorative process to engage the community in an on-going dialogue to learn from many diverse groups and voices across the region, including individuals currently in long-term recovery.

The group says other agencies are also coming on board as the grant progresses.

“This grant, and what it will make possible, are proof of what can happen when our community partners come together to take on a challenge as serious as the opioid epidemic,” Senator Patrick Leahy said.

Police investigating suspicious death in Concord

in Essex County/News

CONCORD — Police have opened an investigation after a body was found along a wooded area in Concord.

On Sunday, at around 11:30 a.m., police responded to a report of a dead body at 1549 Victory Road.

The body was discovered by a property owner, who spotted the body along the wooded edge of his driveway.

Investigators arrived to process the scene and identified the body as a white male.

The body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, where an autopsy will take place today to make a positive identification and determine the cause and manner of death.

Detectives say this is being considered a suspicious death.

They have been working through the night and will continue conducting numerous interviews in the Caledonia and Essex county areas.

“Preliminary investigation has revealed that this is an isolated incident and that there is no apparent danger to the public,” a statement issued by police reads.

Expungement days for marijuana offenses set in Essex County

in Essex County/News

GUILDHALL — Essex County State’s Attorney Vince Illuzzi, Vermont Legal Aid, and the Caledonia-Essex County Bar Association are inviting community members who have been charged or convicted of misdemeanor marijuana offenses, and other qualifying offenses, to two expungement days.

The first will take place Saturday, August 11, and another on Saturday, August 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p. m. at the Essex County Court House, in Guildhall

Effective July 1, Vermont law changed to allow for personal possession of small amounts of marijuana by persons aged 21 and over.

In recognition of this statutory change and shifting attitudes toward marijuana, as well as the desire to assist in clearing all qualifying offenses from citizens’ records, Illuzzi has agreed to stipulate to the expungement of qualifying convictions that occurred in Essex County.

Qualifying offenses are defined by Vermont law at Chapter 230 of Title 13.

It includes most misdemeanors and some non-violent felonies.

During each of the two scheduled expungement days, volunteers will provide necessary legal advice and assistance to petitioners to prepare their expungement petitions.

Illuzzi says he will review and sign off on requests for expungement if the conviction qualifies under the law.

“The criminal justice system often forces individuals to help themselves, and address issues such as substance abuse,” said Illuzzi. “If the system has worked and individuals have stayed out of trouble for five or ten years, depending on the history, then those individuals should be encouraged to take advantage of Vermont law that allows those convictions to be erased from their records.”

Illuzzi says that every petition will be carefully reviewed and given careful consideration.

“I want to ensure that those convicted in Essex County are given the same opportunities that have been and are being made available to those convicted of qualifying offenses in other counties.”

Individuals seeking to participate in the Essex County expungement days should bring valid, government-issued photo identification, though participants who cannot obtain an identification by this time will not necessarily be prevented from participating.

Additionally, those seeking to participate should bring records or information about their convictions, if possible.

However, volunteers will have the ability to look up the offense, based on name and date of birth.

The cost of petitioning for expungement is $90 per docket—checks or money orders can be made out to the Vermont Superior Court.

Some individuals may qualify for a fee waiver.

Those who have lower incomes can petition to have the filing fee waived.

If an individual cannot attend either day and would like advice or assistance about clearing their qualifying offenses, they can contact attorneys at Vermont Legal Aid by calling 1-800-889-2047, or by filling out an online intake at https://vtlawhelp.org/vlh-intake.

Essex County man killed in snowmobile crash

in Essex County/Gilman/Lunenburg

LUNENBURG — A 52-year-old man from Gilman was killed in a snowmobile crash on Sunday.

At around 4:00 p.m. police responded with Lunenburg Fire and members of Lancaster New Hampshire Fire and Rescue to a single snowmobile crash on the 2F2 Vast trail in Lunenburg.

Investigators say Richard P. Ramsay Jr., 52, of Gilman, was thrown from his snowmobile after coming in contact with a tree partially across the trail.

Ramsey was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say the crash is still under investigation but that speed, alcohol and defective brakes are all factors in the crash.

Local barns and historic sites benefit from state grants

in Brownington/Essex County/Greensboro/Island Pond

BROWNINGTON — Governor Phil Scott recognized the recipients of 16 State Historic Preservation Grants and 17 Barn Preservation Grants at a ceremony held at the State House Thursday.

Three of the recipients are located in Orleans County.

Greensboro Barn – $15,000

This large distinctive barn sits on 15.9 acres and was constructed between 1880 and 1900. The upper level is used as a gallery and studio space that is widely visited by the public between May and October. The barn also houses a seasonal farm stand. The south side of the roof was replaced with standing seam metal in 2016 with the help of a matching grant. This second grant will support re-roofing of the north side of the barn.

Grand Trunk Railway Station, Brighton (Island Pond) – $20,000

Built in 1903-1904 in the center of Island Pond, this station was originally used for passenger service before being converted to freight crew and maintenance quarters; it was abandoned in the 1980s. The railroad donated the building to the Town of Brighton in 1990, and it is currently leased to several tenants, including a local bank, police department, and Island Pond Historical Society. Grant funds will offset the costs of replacing building’s failing asphalt-shingled roof.

Eaton House at Old Stone House Museum, Brownington – $14,000

This late Federal-style house was built by Cyrus Eaton, a trustee of the Orleans County Grammar School. It was acquired by the Old Stone House Museum in 1971 for its administrative offices and is now used for collections storage and as the library/research center. This is one of seven buildings owned and maintained by the museum. A matching grant will allow the museum to replace the building’s wood-shingled roof with historically appropriate wood shakes.

“Vermont’s vibrant and rich history is directly linked to the vitality and success of our future,” said Scott. “By investing in our historic buildings, we are acknowledging they remain the cornerstones of our communities and culture. Just as importantly, we are putting people to work restoring our past and creating new opportunities for the next generation of Vermonters.”

Canaan families learn how to retell a good yarn

in Canaan/Essex County

CANAAN — Almost everyone is familiar with the fairy tales of old – Rapunzel, Cinderella, Snow White. They are stories that cross generations and have helped children and the adults in their lives come together with their words and worlds of imagination and lessons.

Author and children’s counselor, Tanya Sousa visited the Canaan Library recently to take fairy tales a step further.

The Vermont writer lead a workshop with children and adults that talked about the usefulness of retelling fairy tales, rebuilding them, replacing the usual characters with family members, friends or beloved pets, and tweaking the details of the story to go along with those new characters.

“The idea is to practice story-telling in a way that increases literacy and also brings adults and children together in a bonding activity that’s a lot of fun,” Sousa said.

Sousa began by reading an example of one of her own fairy tale retellings called Pogo and the Wolf. Based on Little Red Riding Hood, the new story places her bouncy, tiny dog Pogo in the place of Little Red Riding Hood, other dogs for the mother and grandmother, and a wolf remains, of course.

There is a dog-oriented walk to Grandmother’s house with a lot of sniffing, rolling in leaves and squirrel chasing, and grandmother’s doghouse includes a dog bed, her favorite dog toys, and the smelly wool socks Grandmother likes to sleep with.

“There were no pictures along with the story I told the children, and the group was a very young group,” Sousa explained. “Still, they were entertained and had a number of giggles. The power of story-telling and retelling with familiar ideas, tweaked to include something or someone else, is powerful even without the visuals.”

After Sousa read the sample and gave a bit more information, families were encouraged to practice a retelling of their own.

“There’s no way to do this wrong,” Sousa told them. “The child can lead, the adults can lead, or it can be a joint venture.”

The workshop was funded by Northeast Kingdom Learning Services through the Vermont Adult Education Grant. The funds are supporting Family Education Activities in the Canaan area, including activities that have taken place at the school, the NEKLS Community Learning Center and more that will also take place at the library.

Most of the activities are connected to children’s books or literacy in one form or another. The funding continues until the end of June.

To suggest ideas for future Canaan Family Education Workshops/Activities, contact Tanya Sousa at tanya.sousa@neklsvt.org.

To find out more about Northeast Kingdom Learning Services (NEKLS), call the toll free number: 1-844-GO NEKLS (466-3557) or visit the website, www.neklsvt.org.

Orleans Essex VNA Hospice receives $25,000 donation from Walmart

in Essex County/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Walmart’s 2018 Vermont State House Day Event was held on February 1, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Montpelier. At the event, a $25,000 donation was awarded to Orleans Essex VNA & Hospice Inc. (OEVNA&H) under the Walmart Foundation.

The donation was presented to OEVNA&H Board of Directors, Robert Starr, Michael Marcotte, and Paul Lefebvre.

“On behalf of Orleans Essex VNA & Hospice, we are honored to be selected to receive this generous donation from the Walmart Corporation,” Lyne B. Limoges, Executive Director for OEVNA&H, said. “These types of funds enable us to continue our mission in serving the community members of Orleans and northern Essex counties.”

Funding for programs the Agency provides is often difficult to obtain.

Since 1969 Orleans Essex VNA & Hospice, Inc. has been a major community-based healthcare service provider in the Northeast Kingdom, serving both Orleans and northern Essex counties.

They offer skilled nursing, therapies, assistance with personal care, long-term care case management, and hospice care in the home.

For more information about the programs of the Agency, please contact 802-334-5213.

Fatal snowmobile crash in Essex County

in Essex County/Lemington/News

LEMINGTON — A 53-year-old man was killed in a snowmobile crash in Essex County last night.

At around 7:00 p.m. police responded to a report of a fatal snowmobile crash on VAST Trail 96 by the intersection of Todd Hill Road, in the town of Lemington.

The victim was identified as Bruce Bohonowicz, of Greenfield, MA.

Police say the initial investigation revealed the snowmobile traveled off of the groomed trail in the area of a sharp curve, causing the right ski to travel up a steep embankment.

Bohonowicz was subsequently thrown from the sled, colliding with a nearby tree.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say the crash is still under investigation.

Missing fisherman found dead in Brunswick pond

in Brunswick/Essex County

BRUNSWICK — The body of a missing fisherman was discovered in a pond in Brunswick this afternoon.

At around 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, rescue crews responded to Big Wheeler Pond to a report of a man who had gone overboard from a boat and was missing.

Emergency workers say they met with Jefferson Elliot, 51, of Epping, New Hampshire, who told them that he and his friend Brian Melton, age 50, also of Epping, had been fishing on Big Wheeler Pond in a small motorized boat at approximately 7:00 p.m. when it began to take on water.

They were unable to make it to shoreline before the boat capsized and both attempted to swim to shore.

Elliot told police after making it shore, he was unable to find Melton. He had to walk out a considerable distance to a phone to be able to contact authorities.

Initial search efforts revealed no sign of Melton, police say. The area was secured by troopers during the night in anticipation of further search efforts to continue in the daylight.

A scuba team responded to the scene this morning and conducted an underwater search of the pond.

At approximately 12:21 p.m. divers located the body of Melton and recovered him.

Police say his body was then transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy.

Man charged in Maidstone with importing exotic snakes

in Essex County/Maidstone/News

MAIDSTONE — A Connecticut man has been charged with a wildlife violation after a dozen wild eastern hognose snakes were found in his possession at his property in Maidstone.

David Buyak, 42, was charged with illegally importing wildlife and faces fines up to $722.

Eastern hognose snakes are found in the wild in Connecticut, but are not native to Vermont.

Buyak claimed he captured an adult male and female snake in the wild in Connecticut and bred them. The 12 snakes in his possession are allegedly the offspring of these two snakes.

Though harmless, the snake can be intimidating to people as they are able to flatten their head and neck like a cobra and will hiss when threatened.

Wardens were first alerted to the presence of the snakes when local officials confronted Buyak for constructing what they believed was an unpermitted mound septic system. The mound was not a septic system, but was instead a snake hibernaculum that Buyak had allegedly constructed for the hognose snakes.

“Vermont’s wildlife importation laws are in place to protect our local ecosystems and our people,” said Sgt. Chad Barrett, Vermont exotic species specialist. “Exotic species can sometimes quickly establish themselves in a new area, which can devastate local plants and animals that are not used to their presence and are often unable to compete with them. Additionally, if someone were to import a dangerous species, that animal could potentially harm someone if it got loose.”

Eastern hognose snakes are not harmful to people, although they do possess rear fangs and a mild venom that is toxic to amphibians. They use their upturned snout to root around for toads on the forest floor.

Barrett also cited the movement of exotic species as a source of disease transmission among wildlife populations. Snakes in some parts of New England have been suffering from a newly discovered condition called snake fungal disease, which can infect multiple snake species.

The snakes were seized and have been turned over to Rainforest Reptiles in Massachusetts for care.

Lyndonville man killed in three-vehicle motorcycle crash

in Essex County/Lyndonville/News

MAIDSTONE — A 31-year-old man from Lyndonville was killed during a three-vehicle motorcycle crash in Maidstone on Saturday.

The crash took place on Vermont Route 102, shortly after 1:00 p.m.

Police say when they arrived on scene they found one of the operators, identified as Christian Phelps, deceased.

Two other operators had been transported to local hospitals with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Police say Phelps was unable to maintain control of the motorcycle and entered the northbound lane of travel.

Russell Parker, 54, and Lisa Parker, 48, both of Andover, ME, were traveling in the northbound lane at approximately 35 miles-per-hour when Phelps’ motorcycle crashed into Russell Parker’s motorcycle.

Lisa Parker’s motorcycle then struck Russell Parker’s motorcycle.

Upon impact with Russell Parker’s motorcycle, Phelps was ejected from his bike into the nearby wooded area.

Police say all operators were wearing safety helmets, and that alcohol does not appear to be a factor, however, speed likely played a role in the crash.

This crash remains under investigation.

73-year-old tragically killed in Guildhall

in Essex County/Guildhall/Newport/News

GUILDHALL — A man from Guildhall was tragically killed on Thursday after being crushed by the body of a dump truck.

The victim has been identified by police as 73-year-old Richard Martin.

Police say they received a call at approximately 1:34 p.m. regarding a male discovered deceased at the Martin Farm.

Detectives with the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation responded to investigate.

Detectives say that Martin was working on a dump truck in the yard of the farm with the dump body in the up position.

While working on the truck the dump body fell, crushing his stomach area and back between the frame and bottom of the dump body.

A worker on the farm says he saw Martin 15 minutes prior to the accident walking around the truck.

When the worker noticed the dump body had fallen onto Martin he immediately called 911 and used an excavator to lift the dump body off Martin.

He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The cause of death was determined to be accidental.

Three people injured in Essex County wreck

in Bloomfield/Canaan/Essex County/Newport/News

BLOOMFIELD — Three people were injured in a two-vehicle crash in Bloomfield on Sunday.

At around 6:45 p.m. police responded to Vermont Route 102 near the intersection of Schoolhouse Road.

When they arrived, three people had been transported to local hospitals.

According to police, April Moore, 25, of Canaan, was traveling north in a 2012 Suzuki at approximately 30 miles-per-hour and attempted to turn into a driveway.

Moore failed to see a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt that was headed south. Nick Smith, 24, of Colebrook, NH, was driving the Cobalt.

Moore’s vehicle collided head on with Smith’s vehicle in the southbound lane. Airbags were deployed in both vehicles.

Smith was transported to Connecticut Valley by ambulance with minor injuries.

A pregnant female was transported to Littleton Regional Hospital by ambulance.

Moore was transported by private vehicle to Connecticut Valley.

Both vehicles received significant damage as a result of the crash and were towed by Ray’s Auto out of Newport.

Woman injured after moose causes single-vehicle crash in Essex County

in Essex County/News

BRIGHTON — A 19-year-old woman was injured in a single-vehicle car crash in Warren’s Gore on Friday.

At around 6:15 p.m. police responded to the crash scene located on VT Route 114.

The driver was identified as Tesia Cleveland, of Beecher Falls.

Police say Cleveland was attempting to avoid a moose, which forced her to drive off the road.

She sustained injuries as a result of the crash and was transported to North Country Hospital.

Brighton Fire Department was dispatched to the scene to assist.

At this time police have no information about Cleveland’s injuries.

Woman killed after snowmobile crash in Essex County

in Essex County/Lewis

LEWIS — A 37-year-old woman was killed in a snowmobile accident that took place in Essex County over the weekend.

On Sunday, police and the Brighton Fire Department responded to a report of a single snowmobile accident on VAST trail 114A near the intersection of VAST 294, in the town of Lewis.

The operator of the snowmobile was identified as Laurie Angel, 37 of Williston.

According to authorities, the investigation showed that she lost control of the snowmobile and struck some trees.

Police say inexperience may have contributed to Angel going off the trail, but speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors contributing to the crash.

VT Fish and Wildlife assisted with the investigation which is still ongoing.

Helicopters to be used this week to collar moose in Essex County

in Essex County/Outdoors

NEWPORT — Essex County residents may soon see a helicopter flying low overhead as the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department begins collaring up to 60 moose for a three-year study.

The radio-collaring will be carried out primarily within Essex County, and should start this week, depending on weather conditions.

Capture efforts require flying just above tree height and are expected to take one to two weeks.

Wildlife experts with will be using nets to capture moose from the helicopter, and handling it without the use of tranquilizers.

The processing of a captured moose is completed in minutes and is done using well-established wildlife handling techniques that minimize stress and harm to the animal.

Department staff will track collared moose for several years using the GPS points gathered by the collars, and by visiting moose directly in the field to record observations.

Vermont is the fourth northeastern state to partake in such a study. State fish and wildlife agencies in New Hampshire, Maine, and New York are currently using the same methods to examine their moose herds.

The study will run through 2019.

“We have advised many of the larger landowners within the capture area, but we felt all Essex County citizens and landowners should be made aware of this activity,” said Cedric Alexander, Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s lead moose biologist. “Moose are facing a variety of threats ranging from a warming climate to increasing winter tick loads, and we appreciate the public’s support as we study how these factors are impacting Vermont’s moose population.”

VSP and Border Patrol work together to bust teens they say broke into Derby man’s camp

in Derby/Essex County

DERBY — Police say they worked together with the US Border Patrol in Derby to stake out a camp in Averill that was broken into and being used as a party spot by a group of teenagers.

On September 21, Ronald Griffin, 75, of Derby, contacted police to report a burglary into his camp located at 264 Beach Road in Averill.

Police say they met with Griffin at the location and determined that several people had broken into his camp and were possibly still using it. They say there were some personal items in the camp that belonged to the subjects, as well as fire in the wood stove and food left around the kitchen.

According to police, there was also evidence that marijuana was being “used and possibly processed in the camp.”

Police say the decision was made to leave the camp as it was found for the night.

US Border Patrol was contacted concerning the break-in, and a plan was set up for them to conduct surveillance on the camp early the next morning.

The next day two Border Patrol agents and a trooper arrived at the camp and located a vehicle in the driveway.

“After conferring with the owner and learning he was not familiar with the vehicle owner, the course of action was to wait for the subjects to leave and stop them on the road,” a statement issued by police reads.

As time passed and no one was exiting the camp, authorities say the decision was made to surround the camp and order everyone out. After several attempts of using a police siren, three male subjects exited the camp. All three were taken into custody and transported to the Border Patrol office in Canaan for processing.

According to police, Austin Guyer, 18, of Morgan and Zachary Hawkins, 19, of Newport, were subsequently charged with burglary, larceny, and possession of marijuana.

The third suspect is listed on the report as a 16-year-old juvenile.

Police say there was a large quantity of marijuana seized from the camp along with more from the vehicle being used by the three.

The vehicle was seized as evidence.

“This was a perfect example of interagency cooperation with US Border Patrol and the State Police,” Detective Sergeant Larry Smith said. “Border Patrol Agents were instrumental in securing the perimeter around the camp as well as processing the scene.”

Body found in Connecticut River identified as missing Lunenburg teen

in Essex County/News

LUNENBURG — The body of a 15-year-old boy from Lunenberg who disappeared while swimming in the Connecticut River was located today.

Authorities say the boy disappeared on Monday while swimming below the Bridge Street bridge around 5:30 p.m.

He was last seen swimming with his two sisters and some friends when he disappeared after struggling in the strong current.

A witness who heard cries for help managed to pull one of the swimmers to safety.

Rescue boats were launched and search equipment was deployed in the area to try and locate the missing teen.

Vermont State Police provided a side-scan sonar and the N.H. Fish and Game Department Dive Team deployed an underwater swimming camera in an initial attempt to locate the boy. Divers began a systematic search of the area.

The boy’s body was found shortly before 2 p.m. on Tuesday, near where he was last seen.

The missing teen’s name has not been released pending notification of family, but authorities did confirm that the boy is from Lunenburg, Vermont.

Jeep plunges into Connecticut River in Lemington

in Essex County/News

LEMINGTON – A man crashed his Jeep into the Connecticut River in Lemington early Saturday morning.

Police responded to the single-vehicle crash on RT 102 at approximately 12:07 a.m.

They identified the driver as Cody Perrault, 25, from Guildhall.

According to police, Perrault failed to negotiate a corner causing his 2010 Jeep Wrangler to smash through the guardrail, careen down an embankment, and plunge into the river.

Police say Guildhall was not wearing his seatbelt and sustained minor injuries.

He was transported to Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook, New Hampshire.

The Jeep was totaled in the accident.

Spanish citizen picked up illegally entering the U.S. near Canaan

in Canaan/Essex County

CANAAN — U.S. Border Patrol Agents say they arrested a Spanish citizen who crossed the Vermont-Canadian border near Canaan on Monday evening.

A Criminal Complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Burlington alleges that at approximately 6:30 p.m. on March 21, a concerned citizen reported a man hiding in the woods near her home.

Agents responded to the area and encountered 21-year-old Cristian Aquino-Montillo. 

He claimed to be a citizen of Spain but could not produce any documentation allowing to enter or be present in the United States. 

They arrested Aquino-Montillo and transported him to the Beecher Falls station for further investigation.

Record checks confirmed that Aquino-Montillo is a citizen of Spain. The checks also revealed that he is a permanent resident of the Dominican Republic. He was removed to the Dominican Republic on July 15, 2014, because he remained in the United States after his tourist visa expired.
 
The Criminal Complaint charged Aquino-Montillo with re-entry after removal. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 2 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Aquino-Montillo also faces removal from the United States and a bar to re-entry.

“We rely upon local residents to report suspicious activity near the border,” said Patrol Agent in Charge Paul Kuhn. “This information prevented a felon from entering the United States.”

United States Attorney Eric S. Miller commended the investigative efforts of the United States Border Patrol.

Deadly crash in Essex county this afternoon

in Essex County/News

LEMINGTON — A fatal accident involving a tractor trailer took place in Essex County this afternoon.

Police say that at approximately 12:15 p.m. they were notified of the crash that took place on Vermont 102 in Lemington.

A preliminary investigation determined that the driver of the tractor trailer unit was traveling north, before entering a sharp corner and losing control of the vehicle.

The vehicle traveled across the southbound lane and left the west side of the roadway on its drivers side.  

It then struck a power pole before coming to rest.  

The single occupant was transported to Colebrook Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  

Canaan Police, Vermont Fish and Game, and the Essex County Sheriff Department all assisted at the scene.

Police say that the investigation is ongoing.

The driver’s name has not yet been released.

ATV crash leads to arrests near Vermont border

in Essex County/News

CANAAN — Two men were taken into custody by US Border Patrol and processed at the Canaan border patrol station over the weekend, after an ATV crash turned up that they were unable to provide documentation as to their status in the United States.

Authorities say that at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 4, they responded to an ATV rollover crash near the entrance to a campground at Coleman State Park, just across the Vermont border in New Hampshire.

The crash involved a rented ATV, operated by Daniel Aguirre Betancur, 21, who verbally provided officials with an address out of East Boston, Mass, however produced a driver’s license from the country of Colombia.

A passenger riding on the back of the ATV, identified himself as Jose Sanchez, 28, of Lynn, Mass, however he did not provide officers with any physical form of identification.

Betancur and Sanchez both received non-life-threatening injuries as a result of the rollover.

Agents from United States Border Patrol were notified of the situation, as the men were not citizens of the US, and neither was able to provide officers on scene with any documentation as to their status in the United States.

After interviewing the subjects and researching their information, both were taken into custody by US Border Patrol agents, and transported to the border station in Canaan for processing.

Conservation officials recently planted 2,000 disease-resistant elms along the upper Connecticut River to restore floodplain forests on conserved lands.

Two thousand trees planted along the upper Connecticut River in Essex County

in Essex County/News

CAANAN — The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, in partnership with other conservation organizations, recently planted two thousand trees along the upper Connecticut River in Essex County in an effort to restore floodplain forests. The trees were planted on six acres of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s Johnson Farm Wildlife Management Area, along with adjacent privately-owned lands managed in partnership with the Vermont Land Trust.

In addition to tree species native to floodplain forests like silver maple, basswood and red maple, American elms that have been specifically bred to be resistant to Dutch elm disease were also planted. The Nature Conservancy bred the trees as part of a larger effort to restore American elms to floodplains throughout New England. American elms were the dominant tree in northern floodplain forests prior to Dutch elm disease.

“Restoring floodplain forests like these goes a long way towards cleaning up Vermont’s waterways,” said Jane Lazorchak, biologist for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. “These forests slow erosion along the river bank and they absorb large quantities of water during major rain events, lessening the potential impacts of floods to communities downstream.”

“Floodplain forests also serve as important travel corridors for all sorts of wildlife that are dependent on intact forests along rivers, including wood turtles, mink, and otter,” said Lazorchak. “The forests are also critical nesting habitat for to wood ducks.”

“This is another great example of Vermont’s conservation community working together to accomplish great things,” said Lazorchak. “There is a long list of lands conserved and species recovered thanks to the strong partnerships among Vermont’s government agencies and nonprofit organizations.”

Go to Top