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NCH nurses scrub/clean personal protection equipment in preparation for the next patient to be tested in their vehicle. Security personnel Justin Curtis and Vinny Lewis are ready to greet patients with an appointment at the mobile testing site.

North Country Hospital is well prepared, soon adding mobile testing site in Island Pond

in Island Pond/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Healthcare organizations have been turned upside down with the COVID-19 pandemic, but North Country Hospital says they are well prepared.

Many new protocols have been put into place to protect patients, their families, hospital staff, as well as the public, which include a strict no visitor policy and restricted points of entry into the hospital and campus buildings for employees.

Routine office visits, procedures, and elective surgeries have been postponed, and the hospital is doing its best to keep people away from the hospital at this time.

The North Country Hospital Emergency Department still serves patients 24/7 and clinics are providing some services by phone and telehealth.

“In light of this evolving crisis, I have been so encouraged with the energy and resourcefulness of our leaders, physicians, and staff,” said Hospital CEO Brian Nall.

If you have questions regarding COVID-19, a nurse resource line is available weekdays from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. by calling 802-334-4139.

This line can also be reached by calling 802-334-7331, option 7.

You will get a return call by the end of the business day or next business day.

Testing for COVID-19 continues by appointment for suspected positive cases of COVID-19.

North Country Hospital has an appropriately staffed and secure mobile lab site where patients can drive up to be tested in their car by appointment.

It currently operates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1-3 p.m.

They will soon be adding a mobile testing site on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Island Pond.

The hospital says staff have been preparing for the possible surge of patients and have speedily transformed the ambulance bay and two operating rooms should they be needed.

Temporary walls were built, screens purchased, and equipment moved with great attention to detail.

In light of the fact that the hospital is not operating at normal levels with services temporarily reduced and, in some cases, suspended, to best manage resources they have had to flex staff and suspend normal work hours for a portion of employees.

The hospital says they want to get all staff back in place as soon as possible.

Generous donations to the hospital’s Foundation by physicians and leaders have helped us create a COVID-19 response fund to assist colleagues in need.

“We are so grateful for the community support that has come our way each and every day during this difficult time,” Brian Nall added. “Thank you for your prayers and your offers of assistance, which include extra personal protection equipment, sewn masks and more. In the meantime, shelter in place, maintain social distancing when you do need to leave home, and wash those hands. Together, we will stay strong.”

Full Schedule: Island Pond Winter Carnival Feb. 7 – 9

in Arts and Entertainment/Brighton/Island Pond

ISLAND POND — Organizers say the Island Pond Winter Carnival is bigger and better than ever this year and will kick off Friday, February 7, through Sunday, February 9.

Brighton Recreation will be featuring a winter obstacle course all weekend in Lakeside Park behind the Brighton Town Hall.

Visitors will see snow sculptures being erected around the downtown all weekend in preparation for the judging on Sunday afternoon.

Cucina Di Gerardo will be featuring a “Warm-Up & Fill Up” pasta special all weekend.

The weekend starts at 4:00 p.m. on Friday with a surf & turf dinner special at Hobo’s Café.

Brighton Recreation will be holding a Family Dodge Ball Competition in the Town Hall Gymnasium starting at 5:30 p.m.

Then they will be moving over to the American Legion at 7:00 p.m. for one of the most popular events, the Cornhole Tournament.

Entry is only $5 per person.

Saturday starts at 8:00 a.m. with the annual Winter Carnival Breakfast Buffet at the American Legion.

Only $10 gets you a full breakfast guaranteed to leave you feeling satisfied.

From there, head on over to the Island Pond Public Library from 10:00 a.m. to noon for free donuts and maple cider along with a book and DVD giveaway.

Northwoods Stewardship Center will be holding a Winter Wildlife Tracking event from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., registration is only $15.

Jesse’s Little Kitchen is offering $2 off large pizzas all day.

The Chili Cookoff will be held at the Island Pond Welcome Center from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

It’s free to enter the competition. Just bring your crockpot full of chili to the Welcome Center by 10:30 a.m.

Hundreds of dollars in prizes will be awarded to the top three scoring chilis.

If you would like to serve as an official “judge” it is only $5 to get your spoon and clipboard and then you can sample and rate all the entries.

If you especially liked one you can enjoy a full bowl at no charge.

Vulgar Display of Poutine will be hosting a warming station in front of their restaurant starting at noon featuring hot chocolate and their own special mulled wine.

The Village Farm will be providing horse-drawn sleigh rides from noon – 3:00 p.m.

If weather conditions permit they will take place on the lake, otherwise they will be at the Village Farm.

The Blessing of the Snowmobiles will take place at the Lakeside Park Pavilion at 1:00 p.m.

The Hearth & Home Country Store will hold a Winter Carnival Wine Tasting from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Tickets are only $8 and are available at

Northwoods Stewardship Center will be featuring Owls Talking to You at 3:00 p.m., admission is free.

Hobo’s Café will be grilling up their Cabin Fever BBQ starting at 4:00 p.m.

The Cardboard Sled Race will take place under the lights on Applebee Hill starting at 5:00 p.m.

The Brighton Snowmobile Club will light up the night starting at 7:30 p.m. with the Snowmobile Parade of Lights.

Decorate your sled and join them at the Lakeside Park Pavilion.

Saturday ends with the first-ever Island Pond Idol karaoke event at the American Legion.

Karaoke with NEKaraoke starts at 7:00 p.m. and the contest to pick the winner of our Golden Microphone Award starts at 10:00 p.m.

Sunday morning starts at 9:00 a.m. with a Circuit Workout class at the Brighton Town Hall Gymnasium.

All skill and fitness levels are welcome and encouraged to join.

After your workout, head on over to Vulgar Display of Poutine as they will be launching their first Sunday Brunch from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Simon the Tanner will be featuring maple demos and Sugar on Snow from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

The weekend ends with a relaxing and fun Paint ‘n Sip at the Essex House featuring Natalie Ann.

Admission of $50 includes all supplies, instruction, two drinks, and a light snack.

Space is limited and guaranteed to be sold out so get your tickets early at

Police looking for wanted man thought to be in the Derby area

in Brighton/Derby/Island Pond/Newport/News

DERBY — The Vermont State Police say they are looking for a man who was last known to be residing in the Derby area.

Police say 56-year-old Mark J. Marsden has several confirmed in-state arrest warrants for offenses ranging from criminal threatening, violation of conditions of release, and failure to appear.

Although he is thought to be living in the Derby area, police say he has had past ties to Island Pond.

The Vermont Department of Corrections is also looking for Marsden after he recently absconding from furlough.

Police are asking the public to help locate Marsden, and say information concerning his whereabouts can be relayed through the tip line at or by contacting the barracks directly at 802-334-8881.

Free Victorian Style Carol Service at the Island Pond Historical Society Museum, Dec. 7

in Brighton/Island Pond/News/Northeast Kingdom

ISLAND POND — The Island Pond Historical Society Museum and Learning Center are inviting the public to a free and fun event this Saturday.

This “Free Victorian Style Carol Service” event will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Dec 7, at the Island Pond Historical Society museum.

If you have not visited the museum yet, now is your chance. It is located at 126 Cross Street, in Island Pond.

Come meet Mr. & Mrs. Charles Dickens and say hello to Father Christmas and his elves.

Remember to leave your letters to Santa in the museum’s magical wishing well, and enjoy viewing antique Grand Trunk rail memorabilia, Victorian clothing, and a host of other exciting exhibits.

Not only is entrance free, but there will also be cookies and carols galore.

So come along, wear fancy dress, enjoy the fun and feel the magic of this special Christmas Carol event, brought to you courtesy of the Island Pond Historical Society.

For details contact organizer and IPHS President Sharon J. Biron at

Holiday Magic in Island Pond, Dec. 6-8 (full schedule of events)

in Island Pond/News/Northeast Kingdom

ISLAND POND — The Island Pond Chamber of Commerce and Island Pond Renewal Committee is getting ready to present Holiday Magic in Island Pond, Friday, December 6, through Sunday, December 8.

Hobo’s Cafe is kicking off the weekend with their Fa La La La Fish Fry starting at 5:00 p.m. on Friday evening.

The Essex House & Tavern will hold an Ugly Sweater Karaoke Contest starting at 8:00 p.m. with NEKaraoke.

Saturday morning starts off with Breakfast with the Elves from 8 – 10 a.m. at Hobo’s Café.

From 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. stop by Gervais Ace Hardware to register for a chance to light the town tree or to win an 8’ stocking filled with toys.

Free photos with Santa will be taken at The Hearth & Home Country Store from 10 a.m. – noon.

All children are welcome at the American Legion Brighton Post 80 Children’s Christmas Party which will be held at the American Legion starting at 2:00 p.m.

Santa will be passing out gifts to every child in attendance.

Jessie’s Little Kitchen will be offering their Holiday Magic Pizza Special from 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. with $2 off any large pizza.

The Hearth & Home Country Store is holding a Holiday Wine Tasting from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The Town Tree Lighting on Main Street will take place from 4-6 p.m. with music and community caroling featuring Brighton Elementary.

The Brighton Volunteer Fire Department will be providing bonfires on Main Street and Santa will be arriving in one of their fire trucks.

From 4-6 p.m. The Village Farm will present free sleigh rides on Main Street and T. Carey’s Bakery along with Osborne Family Maple will present cocoa and cookies on Main Street.

Simon the Tanner will have a sale starting at 6:30 p.m.

Hobo’s Café will be serving up a Merry Marinated Steak Tip dinner to take the chill away.

The American Legion Brighton Post 80 is going to warm the evening up with their Holiday Magic Party featuring The Markus Daniels Band.

The dance is open to the public and the cover is only $5.

Hobo’s Cafe will start off Sunday at 8:00 a.m. with breakfast sure to bring back memories of Christmas morning.

A Vulgar Display of Poutine will be hosting a Holiday Magic Paint ‘n Sip at 1:00 p.m. featuring instructor, Natalie Anne.

Tickets are only $50 and include all supplies, two beer or wine, a sampling of their specialty poutines.

Mark with the late Manfried Reider.

Lt. Col Mark C. Biron posthumously honored by Vermont Historical Society

in Island Pond/Newport/News

ISLAND POND — Lt. Col Mark C. Biron was posthumously honored with an Individual Achievement Award by the Vermont Historical Society.

Every year the Vermont Historical Society presents the League of Local Historical Societies & Museums Achievement Awards.

These awards recognize the exceptional work being done by individuals and community heritage organizations throughout the state to collect, preserve and share Vermont’s rich history.

Biron’s award was one of three individual awards presented this year at the Vermont Historical Society Annual Meeting held September 29 in Montpelier.

Individual Achievement awards honor a person’s work and commitment to local history over an extended period of time.

Biron served as president of the Island Pond Historical Society twice.

Once for a period of twelve years, and the second time for one year before he passed away.

In 2007, Biron served in Afghanistan but still remained president of the society.

While in Afghanistan, Biron thwarted a nighttime Taliban raid on his remote mountaintop compound and was able to rouse the other U.S soldiers.

A huge firefight broke out, but all American lives were saved. He received an award and was promoted to Lt. Col.

At the age of 15, Biron got involved with the historical society through his interest in photography.

Early on he realized the importance of preserving the history of the NEK, and so since his twenties served the Island Pond Historical Society in various ways.

He worked as the newsletter editor, writer, photographer, as well as secretary, treasurer, website creator, and president.

He loved the idea of retiring from all his previous roles to become the curator in the museum, and he managed to complete a lot of work during this time.

He arranged displays and drove all over Vermont with his wife Sharon to collect unwanted display stands from other museums.

Biron had a strong vision for the Island Pond Historical museum. He wanted the museum to be fully interactive, to have light and sound, not just static exhibits.

Sharon was made president only twenty days before Mark died in an airplane crash in Island Pond.

Sharon immediately got to work at making sure Biron’s vision for the museum continued.

He wanted the museum to transform into a learning center, and Sharon has been working with Craig A. Goulet to see this through.

Despite the massive tragedy of Biron’s death, they have kept the museum running, developing outreach programs, and have succeeded in strengthening the society, enlarging it, attracting more members, and turning it into a high profile success with a massive NEK presence.

Island Pond hosting Farewell to Summer Labor Day Weekend

in Island Pond/Newport/News

ISLAND POND — Island Pond will be hosting its Farewell to Summer Celebration August 30 – September 1, in beautiful downtown Island Pond.

The weekend kicks off on Friday, August 30, with Friday Night Live featuring one of Vermont’s hottest bands, the Party Crashers starting at 6:00 p.m.

The committee is excited to be welcoming back Catamount Arts mobile stage to the park for this week’s concert. The Catamount stage was an incredible addition to this year’s Independence Day Celebration and the committee is excited to have it back for this weekend.

Friday Night Live is part of the getNEKedVT “In Tune Tour.” The getNEKedVT campaign will be giving away free t-shirts and stickers at this week’s concert.

Saturday morning, August 31, kicks off Island Pond’s biggest Market Day ever at 9:00 a.m. in Lakeside Park.

With over 20 vendors already signed up, visitors are sure to find many treasures to take home.

The Farewell to Summer Car Show will be held at the American Legion Brighton Post 80 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Starting at noon, A Flock of Waa Waas will be performing on the Catamount Stage in Lakeside Park.

The VFW Post #2309 will get your Sunday started with their hearty Public Breakfast at 8:30 a.m.

The 13th Annual Pond-a-Thon Fun Run hits the pavement at 9:00 a.m., registration starts at 7:30 a.m. at the town beach.

The Great Island Pond Canoe Race starts at noon at the town beach followed by the Human Foosball Tournament starting at 1:00 p.m.

The weekend ends on a more mellow note with a Wine Tasting at The Hearth & Home Country Store featuring six specially selected wines to enjoy.

Detailed event information can be found at

The celebration is a joint venture of the Island Pond Renewal Committee, Island Pond Chamber of Commerce, Brighton Community Forum, Brighton Recreation, Town of Brighton and Catamount Arts.

Island Pond hosting its biggest Independence Day Celebration ever

in Island Pond/News

ISLAND POND — Island Pond will be hosting its Independence Day Celebration July 5 – 7, in beautiful downtown Island Pond.

The weekend kicks off on Friday, July 5, with Friday Night Live featuring award-winning artist Dave Keller at 6:00 p.m. followed by Kat’s Rock n Kountry at 8:15 p.m.

The committee is excited to be welcoming Catamount Arts mobile stage to the park for this week’s concert. Organizers say the Catamount stage will provide a new audio and visual experience to Friday Night Live with beautiful Island Pond Lake as the backdrop.

Saturday morning July 6, starts off with their annual Independence Day Parade.

In addition to it being the largest float line-up ever, it’ll be featuring a 50-piece marching band from just north of the border.

The American Legion Brighton Post #80 will be serving up a chicken barbecue luncheon starting at noon.

Be sure and buy your duck for the annual rubber duck race under the Essex House starting at 1:00 p.m.

A $500 prize goes to the winner and proceeds help cover part of the cost of the fireworks display.

The 5th Annual Scavenger Hunt starts at The Hearth & Home Country Store starting at 1:30 p.m.

This event draws dozens of teams to pick up a sheet full of clues and head off around town seeking the answers to the wacky questions it contains.

This event is designed for locals and visitors alike so come join in the fun.

Focus moves back to the Catamount Stage in Lakeside Park at 6:00 p.m. as Mirage takes the stage and rocks us into the NEK’s best fireworks show at around 9:30 p.m.

The VFW Post #2309 will get Sunday started with their hearty Public Breakfast.

At 10:00 a.m in Lakeside Park, the Green Mountain Bible Church will hold a Community Worship Service.

Then at noon in Lakeside Park, an annual favorite, the Cardboard Boat Race will take place.

Once your boat has sunk, head on over to the Human Foosball Tournament starting at 1:00 p.m. near the basketball court.

The weekend ends on a more mellow note with a Wine Tasting at The Hearth & Home Country Store featuring six specially selected wines to enjoy.

The celebration is a joint venture of the Island Pond Renewal Committee, Island Pond Chamber of Commerce, Brighton Community Forum, Brighton Recreation, Town of Brighton and for the first time Catamount Arts.

Detailed event information can be found at

Friday Night Live is proud to be featured as one of the stops on the Tuned In NEKed Music Tour. Check out the details at and post your photos from the event using the #getNEKedVT.

If you have questions please contact Mike Strait at The Hearth & Home Country Store (802) 723-0470 or Jeanne Gervais at Gervais Ace Hardware (802) 723-6138.

Island Pond man killed in single-vehicle crash

in Brighton/Island Pond/Newport/News

BRIGHTON — A 52-year-old man from Island Pond was killed during a single-vehicle crash in Brighton on Saturday.

At around 7:30 p.m. police were notified of the crash, which took place along Route 105 near the intersection with Basil Hill.

The driver, identified as Nathan Wilcox, died as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash.

Police say Wilcox went off the road in a 1977 Jeep while attempting to negotiate a turn.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Weekend! returns to Island Pond starting Friday

ISLAND POND — The Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Weekend will take place in downtown Island Pond, this weekend, from May 24 – 27.

The weekend offers four days of non-stop events including a champagne reception, karaoke, spa services, Paint ‘n Sips and wine & cider tastings, Tai Chi & exercise classes, and a living history exhibit at the IPHS museum.

Nationally known comedian Bil Benden will kick-off the weekend on Friday night with his comedy show, Saturday night will feature the return of Men in Motion and Sunday night will feature the NEK’s first Drag Bingo tournament hosted by Emoji Nightmare & Nikki Champagne.

The weekend will wind up on Monday morning with their annual Memorial Day Parade.

The Island Pond Renewal Committee created the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Weekend in 2018 and it was a hit beyond all expectations.

People from as far away as Cape Cod flocked to Island Pond looking for the most fun ladies’ weekend in New England, and they found it.

Almost every event was sold out and all received rave reviews.

The committee has once again joined with all the downtown businesses to create an even bigger weekend full of events with something for everyone.

Friday starts with a champagne reception at the Essex House with champagne and hors d’oeuvres.

Members of the organizing team will be on hand to answer questions and make sure everybody is oriented to the locations of all the events.

Headlining Friday night’s entertainment will be comedian Bil Benden. He has worked with Drew Carey, Robert Schimmel, Tim Allen, and Ray Romano, in addition to many others.

He has also been featured on HBO, Comedy Central, A&E, and Fox.

He will bring his unique comedic style to the American Legion Brighton Post #80 stage and while this event is part of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!, it is open to everyone 21 years of age and older.

Friday night will end with karaoke at the Essex House featuring NEKaraoke.

Saturday starts off with a beginner Tai Chi class hosted by Brighton Recreation’s Director, Doug Niles.

Next, get the blood pumping with an invigorating cross training workout also instructed by Doug Niles.

The Hearth & Home Country Store will be hosting a wine tasting with 6 specially selected varieties.

Everyone’s favorite Paint ‘n Sip instructor Natalie Anne will be holding a Sap Bucket Paint ’n Sip at Hobo’s Cafe during the afternoon.

Jesse’s Little Kitchen will be offering their popular $2 off a large pizza special all weekend so the father’s left at home with the kids don’t need to cook.

Then it’s time for a little pampering at the Essex House & Tavern. Enjoy a chair massage from one of their licensed providers. Try out a set of Color Street nails as part of your manicure or a Henna by Kate tattoo. They will even be serving a light elegant snack provided by the Essex House.

Saturday night will be headlined by New England’s #1 male revue show, Men In Motion. Each of their shows are expertly designed, choreographed and created events with one goal in mind–the perfect girls’ night out.

The Essex House will be hosting a Wings, Brews & Tunes event so all the men won’t feel left out!

Sunday will start with a Morning After breakfast at Hobo’s Café followed by a Living History Exhibit at the Island Pond Historical Society Museum.

The Hearth & Home Country Store will be hosting a cider tasting featuring 6 specially selected varieties.

Natalie Anne will be back at the American Legion for a Barn Board Paint ‘n Sip.

Sunday will end with a bingo tournament like no other in the NEK. Emoji Nightmare & Nikki Champagne will be traveling from Burlington to host Drag Bingo at the American Legion.

This event will be a little bit campy and a whole lot of fun. In addition to laughs, cash prizes will be paid out to all winners.

Monday morning will feature the annual Memorial Day Parade in beautiful downtown Island Pond organized by the American Legion Brighton Post #80.

This event will honor those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Tickets may be purchased at or in person at The Hearth & Home Country Store in downtown Island Pond.

Police chase ends in Derby crash

in Canaan/Derby/Island Pond/News

DERBY — A 38-year-old woman from Canaan is facing numerous charges after police say she led them on a high-speed chase before crashing into a utility pole.

Anna Roy is being charged with felony eluding a police officer with gross negligence, grossly negligent operation, recklessly endangering another person, excessive speed, as well as numerous civil violations.

At around 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, police started receiving calls that a white Dodge Avenger was headed west on Route 111 from Island Pond, reaching speeds of 80 miles-per-hour.

A trooper encountered the vehicle near the Morgan Country Store, traveling 74 miles-per-hour in a residential area.

Police say Roy failed to pull over when the trooper initiated the stop, and continued at a high rate of speed past the store.

“The vehicle continued failing to yield, continuing to pass vehicles and nearly causing multiple collisions,” Trooper Daniel Lynch said in a statement.

The pursuit continued into Derby on Route 111, when Roy failed to negotiate a turn at the intersection of Bates Hill Road, crashing into a utility pole and coming to rest in a drainage ditch.

She was taken into custody.

Police say at the scene they were approached by numerous concerned citizens reporting Roy’s erratic driving.

According to the report, nobody was injured during this incident.

Two-car crash sends vehicle into Seymour Lake

in Island Pond/Morgan/News

MORGAN — A 72-year-old Island Pond man escaped uninjured after a car crash in Morgan on Monday sent his vehicle into Seymour Lake.

The incident took place at the intersection of Vermont Route 111 and Valley Road at around 6:30 p.m.

According to the report, Rosaire Marcoux was attempting to turn left on Route 111, when he pulled too far up and out into traffic.

David Howe, 73, of New Hampshire, told police that he slammed on the brakes and steered away from Marcoux, however, he was not able to avoid the collision.

Marcoux continued traveling straight and traveled off the roadway, into the lake.

Howe was able to assist Marcoux to get out of the vehicle and out of the water.

There were no injuries during the crash.

Photo of Mark Biron's airplane taken by Manfred H. Rieder Starhemberg a week before the tragic crash.

Pilot identified in Island Pond crash

in Island Pond/Newport/News

ISLAND POND — Authorities say they have identified the pilot who was killed in a plane crash that took place in Island Pond on Saturday.

The victim has been preliminarily identified as Mark Biron, 60, of Brighton.

Biron’s single-engine aircraft went down at about 3:45 p.m. near the small John H. Boylan Airport in Island Pond.

Initial 911 reports came in of a large fire approximately 100 yards from the airport runway.

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators to the crash scene to determine the cause of the fatal accident.

There has been no update from investigators at this time.

A funeral service for Biron is scheduled for Friday at 1:00 p.m. at St. James Catholic Church.

Fatal plane crash in Island Pond

in Island Pond/Newport/News

ISLAND POND — Police are investigating a fatal airplane crash near the John H. Boylan Airport in Island Pond.

At about 3:45 p.m. this afternoon, 911 reports came in of a large fire approximately 100 yards from the airport runway.

Emergency crews responding to the scene discovered a small single-engine aircraft that had been badly burned.

The sole occupant of the plane was found deceased.

Police say they are working to confirm the identity of the victim.

Investigators from the FAA and the NTSB are expected to arrive tomorrow to start an investigation into the cause of the crash.

Police say they will remain on scene overnight to secure the location.

Fourth public forum on Act 250 planned for Island Pond August 22

in Island Pond/News/Vermont

ISLAND POND — The Vermont Legislative Commission on Act 250 is seeking public input through a series of forums and social media outreach to envision Vermont’s future landscape.

The fourth forum will be held in Island Pond on Wednesday, August 22, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the American Legion.

Unlike typical town hall style forums, this one is designed to invite conversation and engage citizens in small group discussions with facilitators.

After a brief presentation highlighting the key points of Act 250, community members will have a chance to talk about what matters most to them.

The public input will inform the Legislative Commission’s report and any potential legislation to modernize the statutes.

Act 250, Vermont’s Land Use and Development Act, grew out of citizen involvement fifty years ago.

“I hope Vermonters young and old will take some time to learn about Act 250 and give us their input this summer and fall,” Representative Amy Sheldon of Addison-1, Chair of the Commission on Act 250, said. “This information will give the Commission direction on recommendations for potential future changes.”

A survey will be launched in July to gather more input. All materials will be made accessible to the public.

The Commission consists of six legislators. They are Representative Amy Sheldon, Senator Chris Pearson, Senator Brian Campion, Representative David L. Dean, Representative Paul Lefebvre, and Senator Dick McCormack.

Orleans, Island Pond nonprofits awarded Vermont Community Foundation grants

in Island Pond/Orleans

NEWPORT — The Vermont Community Foundation recently awarded a total of $37,720.39 through their “Spark! Connecting Community” grants to 15 nonprofit organizations.

Two of these organizations serve residents in Orleans and Essex County.

The Island Pond Historical Society received $3,000 to aid in the creation of an interactive museum and learning center to showcase the railroad, lumbering, and military culture of Island Pond and the surrounding towns.

The Jones Memorial Library in Orleans received $2,600 to support twice-monthly story readings and art-project sessions that will send children home with their own copies of the books, allowing them to start home libraries of quality children’s literature.

These grants go where a small amount can make a big difference, and are intended to light the spark that keeps Vermonters healthy and happy.

“Our work to close the opportunity gap in Vermont depends on building social capital in our communities and investing in projects that spark that social cohesion,” said Vermont Community Foundation President and CEO Dan Smith.

Truck hits Kingdom Market in Island Pond

in Brighton/Island Pond/News

ISLAND POND — Icy conditions this morning caused a tractor-trailer to hit a store in Island Pond.

At a little after 7:00 a.m. police received a call that a crash had occurred in the parking lot of Kingdom Market, located at 12 Railroad Street.

Police say the driver, 48-year-old Francis Gagnon of Quebec, had turned into the parking lot at a slow rate of speed and attempted to stop. Due to the parking lot being icy and untreated, he was unable to stop or steer the truck.

The rig collided with the south side of the building.

According to the report, moderate damage was sustained to the building and the truck had a dent in the moose rack on the front of it.

There were no reported injuries during the incident.

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Week­end” coming to Island Pond

in Arts and Entertainment/Island Pond/News

ISLAND POND — The Is­land Pond Re­newal Com­mit­tee has or­ga­nized an event they’re calling “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Week­end.” The week­end full of events will take place in down­town Is­land Pond from April 27 to 29.

Events in­clude a din­ner tour, spa ser­vices, paint-’n’-sips, wine tast­ing, and a male re­vue show.

The Ver­mont Com­edy Di­vas will head­line the Fri­day night en­ter­tain­ment while the Men in Mo­tion male re­vue will be the high­light of Sat­ur­day evening.

When the re­newal com­mit­tee looked at the town events cal­en­dar it dis­cov­ered a big gap be­tween the busy win­ter snow­mo­bile sea­son and the be­gin­ning of the pop­u­lar sum­mer events like Fri­day Night Live. Out of this dis­cus­sion the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Week­end was born.

The com­mit­tee has joined with down­town busi­nesses like the Es­sex House, K.T. Ray’s, and Hobo’s Café.

Head­lin­ing Fri­day night’s en­ter­tain­ment will be the Ver­mont Com­edy Di­vas, an­chored by founder Josie Leav­itt.

Leav­itt is the win­ner of the Seven Daysies award for best comic in Ver­mont three times.

The only all-fe­male, tour­ing stand-up com­edy troupe in the United States will ap­pear at the Amer­i­can Le­gion, Brighton Post #80 stage.

Fri­day night will end with karaoke at the Es­sex House fea­tur­ing town fa­vorite, the JCH Duo.

Sat­ur­day starts off with a be­gin­ner tai chi class hosted by Doug Niles, Brighton recre­ation di­rec­tor, fol­lowed by an in­vig­o­rat­ing dance work­out in­structed by Abby Ch­eney.

The pam­per­ing starts at the Lake­front Inn and Mo­tel with a chair mas­sage by one of four li­censed providers.

Participants will also learn about new tech­niques and prod­ucts with a Fresh Faces class by Mary Kay con­sul­tant Mi­randa Cur­rier.

Par­tic­i­pants can try out a set of Color Street nails as part of their man­i­cure pro­vided by Bobbi-Jo Le­tourneau.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. visitors can en­joy a tarot read­ing with Bryant Wheeler-Bowen.

A light, el­e­gant snack will be pro­vided by Jesse’s Lit­tle Kitchen.

The Hearth and Home Coun­try Store will host a wine tast­ing with six spe­cially se­lected va­ri­eties. Two paint-’n’-sip classes will be held dur­ing the af­ter­noon, one on can­vas and one us­ing barn board.

Lo­cal restau­rants will of­fer themed en­trées to set the mood for the evening’s en­ter­tain­ment.

Sat­ur­day night will be head­lined by New Eng­land’s top male re­vue show, Men In Mo­tion.

The shows are ex­pertly de­signed, chore­o­graphed, and cre­ated events with one goal in mind — plea­sur­ing women with the per­fect girls’ night out.

Men in Mo­tion shows are not the type of shows to just sit and watch, each per­for­mance is a fully in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.

The men dance on table­tops, make their way through the crowd, and even se­lect a few lucky ladies to join in the fun on stage.

Jesse’s Lit­tle Kitchen will be open late af­ter the show to ac­com­mo­date late night hunger and the Es­sex House will host an af­ter-the-show gath­er­ing for those who aren’t ready to call it a night.

Sun­day will start with a cham­pagne brunch at K.T. Ray’s on the Pond fol­lowed by re­tail ther­apy ses­sions at Si­mon the Tan­ner and The Hearth and Home Coun­try Store.

The week­end winds up with farewell lun­cheon spe­cials at all the town restau­rants.

Tick­ets may be pur­chased at tick­ets.visi­tis­land­, or in per­son at The Hearth and Home Coun­try Store in Is­land Pond.

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.”

Free supper and community forum tomorrow night in Island Pond

in Brighton/Island Pond

ISLAND POND — The public is invited to gather with other people who care about families and children in Island Pond tomorrow, at the Brighton Elementary School.

Supper will begin at 5:30 p.m. Preschool to fourth graders will have a separate program, while older children and adults participate in the facilitated conversation that will set priorities for supporting families and kids.

Organizers are seeking input from parents, children, and other community members and will use the ideas generated to guide planning and bring additional services to the community.

Questions to be considered will include:

What services and activities would help local families and support the healthy development of children and teens in the community? What problems or concerns need to be addressed to make this a better community to grow up in? Would it be helpful to have the school be a more of a center for services and activities in the community? How could services and activities be set up to provide the most useful support for families and children?

The Brighton Recreation Committee and Brighton Elementary School are sponsoring this program through the Roadmaps Action Acceleration Grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

This event is part of a response to the Community Forums held last fall by gathering input from people in our area about what would best meet their needs and improve their lives.

This information will be used to tailor what is offered in the future to meet community needs. There is no charge for any part of the program.

This is the final Community Café in this series and next steps include convening service providers and defining steps forward, based on the ideas and information that has been gathered.

NEKLS welcomes Connie Miner and Peter Alexander

in Island Pond/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Peter Alexander may have retired from his physical education work at North Country Union High School, but he certainly hasn’t retired from helping people stay fit.

Alexander joined the Northeast Kingdom Learning Services (NEKLS) team to run a group of outdoor activities for NEKLS staff and students. He has already set up and run volleyball, kickball, frisbee golf, and most recently a biking trip.

The turnout has been good for a first attempt at getting staff and students together for fitness.

“There are nineteen or so staff and students that have been taking part,” Alexander said. “It creates an opportunity for staff and students to be healthy, and to bond.”

Connie Miner, of Island Pond, has joined NEKLS as the operations support administrator.

Miner said her prior positions at the MSA Helmet Factory and the Island Pond Health Care Center prepared her well for something as wide-reaching as helping in the administrative offices of NEKLS’s many programs.

“I had experience multitasking, with scheduling, inventory control, receiving, purchasing, covering government contracts, shipping, confidentiality, phones, helping people.”

Swimming lessons offered in Island Pond this summer

in Brighton/Island Pond/News

ISLAND POND — This summer, the Brighton Recreation Committee, and NEK Swim are teaming up to provide swimming lessons in Island Pond.

Lessons will run for two weeks, Monday through Friday, from August 7 through August 18.

The cost is $40 for the first child and $30 for any additional child.

You can visit to register, as well as the Brighton Recreation on Facebook.

The deadline to register is Tuesday, August 1, so anyone interested should sign up soon to reserve a spot.

Brighton Elementary School students treated to “cultural buffet”

in Brighton/Island Pond

ISLAND POND — The Vermont Community Foundation recently awarded a grant the Brighton Elementary School to engage its middle school students in a “cultural buffet.”

The school received the $1,000 grant to help further its mission of promoting lifelong learning and an appreciation for diversity by giving students cultural exposure and opportunity.

Thanks to the grant, Brighton students recently toured the Orozco murals at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., as well as attended a matinee at the Flynn Theater in Burlington.

Some students even tasted Thai food for the first time.

“This grant from Vermont Community Foundation is so appreciated, as it supports opportunities for curious young students to step outside their daily experience in rural Vermont to experience the sights and tastes of unknown cultures,” Principal Denise Russell said. “These are the moments when imaginations are cultivated and dreams are born.”

Island Pond man out on bail busted again for transporting heroin in Massachusetts

in Island Pond/News

NEWPORT — Massachusetts State Police arrested two men from Island Pond for possession with intent to distribute heroin. One of the men was out on bail after being caught just five days earlier with more than 1,400 bags of heroin in Vermont.

Last night at around 10:30 p.m., troopers arrested the two men, identified as Jesse Ramcke, 30, and Travis Pelletier, 27, both of Island Pond, on Route 91 in Bernardston, Mass., following a motor vehicle stop.

Police say they observed their 2003 Chevrolet Malibu traveling northbound at a high rate of speed, and pulled the vehicle over.

According to a statement issued by police, the men were in possession of over 600 packets of heroin.

Both were placed under arrest and charged with possession with intent to distribute a class A (Heroin) substance, and conspiracy to violate the drug law.

Pelletier was busted in Hartford last week with two other men from Island Pond, transporting 1,418 bags of heroin. He was arraigned and released before yesterday’s bust.

Ramcke was additionally charged with speeding and Pelletier was additionally charged with misleading a police investigation.

Ramcke was held on $5,000.00 bail and Pelletier was held on $10,000.00 bail at the Franklin County House of Correction.

They were arraigned in Greenfield District Court today.

Police: Island Pond residents busted with 1,418 bags of heroin

in Island Pond/News

HARTFORD — Three Island Pond residents are facing drug trafficking charges after being picked up by police yesterday.

The Vermont Drug Task Force says they have recently been conducting a heroin investigation in Essex County. As a result of the investigation, Vermont State troopers stopped a motor vehicle on Interstate 91 in Hartford, at around 6:45 p.m. on Thursday.

During the traffic stop, police identified the occupants of the vehicle as 58-year-old Clair Deslandes, 27-year-old Travis Pelletier, and 20-year-old Logan Dupuis, all of Island Pond.

Police say a search of the car led to the discovery of 1,418 bags of heroin.

Deslandes, Pelletier, and Dupuis were arrested, processed at State Police barracks in Royalton, and lodged at Southern State Correctional in lieu of $5,000 bail each.

They were scheduled to be arraigned in Windsor Superior Court today, and are being charged with heroin trafficking, and heroin transportation into Vermont.

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