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Island Pond

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.

Body of missing Island Pond man found

in Island Pond/Newport/News

ISLAND POND — Vermont State Police say that the body of Quincy O’Gorman, 23, was recovered today at around 10 a.m.

During a search of area properties by local residents, searchers found O’Gorman deceased within the Lightning Brook in Brighton, also known as the Clyde River, in an area ¼ mile southwest of where he went missing.

He was last seen on New Year’s Eve, at around 11:45 p.m. Police say he fled after being pulled over for allegedly running a stop sign.

At around 11:30 a.m. on Monday, police were alerted that O’Gorman was still missing by family members. Search and rescue teams had been searching for O’Gorman since.

The Vermont State Police, Brighton Fire Department, and Lyndon Rescue responded to the scene to remove his body from the water and he was transported to the roadway via a rescue sled.

The body has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington for autopsy.

Police say the investigation is on-going, pending the results of the autopsy.

Police: No new ground searches planned in search for Quincy O’Gorman

in Island Pond/Newport/News

ISLAND POND — The Vermont State Police continued their search for Quincy O’Gorman, the 23-year-old man from Island Pond who went missing after he fled the scene during a traffic stop on New Year’s Eve.

Today, members of the Vermont State Police Dive Team searched the brook and marsh in the area it was believed he may have gone.

A ground search in the area was also conducted by game wardens, New England K9, and the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team.

Authorities say none of these efforts led to O’Gorman’s whereabouts.

Police are now asking residents in and around Island Pond to check their abandoned properties, outbuilding and old vehicles they may have.

“Searchers will continue their efforts based on any new information supplied, but at this time no new ground searches are planned,” a statement issued by police reads.

O’Gorman is 23-years-old, 5’10”, and approximately 200 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact the Derby State Police barracks at 802-334-8881.

Search continues for Island Pond man who went missing after fleeing police

in Island Pond/Newport/News

ISLAND POND — Crews are still searching for a 23-year-old man from Island Pond, who went missing after he fled during a traffic stop on New Year’s Eve, police say.

On Tuesday, the Vermont Scuba team was called in to search a brook and swamp area surrounding Island Pond village. VAST trails in the area were also searched.

At approximately 11:43 p.m. New Year’s Eve, a trooper made a motor vehicle stop in Island Pond after the vehicle failed to stop at a posted stop sign.

Upon stopping, police say four people inside the vehicle immediately exited and began to run.

The trooper was able to detain two passengers. The driver and third passenger continued to flee to the rear of a nearby residence, police say.

The Brighton Police Chief says he learned through talking with the passengers that O’Gorman was the driver.

His whereabouts were still unknown, and a K9 was brought to the scene to conduct a track. Based on this track police say they believe that O’Gorman crossed a small brook and continued on foot in and around Island Pond Village.

Brighton Police, Essex County Sheriff’s deputies, and State troopers continued to try and locate O’Gorman, but were unsuccessful.

On January 2, family members reported that O’Gorman was still missing.

O’Gorman is 23-years-old, 5’10”, and approximately 200 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information regarding O’Gorman’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Derby State Police barracks at 802-334-8881.

A ground search is underway today.

Police looking for missing Island Pond man

in Island Pond/Newport/News

ISLAND POND — Police are looking for a missing 23-year-old man, who was last seen in Island Pond on New Year’s Eve.

At around 11:30 a.m. on Monday, the Vermont State Police were alerted to the missing man, identified as Quincy O’Gorman, of Island Pond.

O’Gorman was last seen at approximately 11:00 p.m. on December 31, 2016, in Island Pond.

Police say O’Gorman is 5’10”, approximately 200 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information regarding O’Gorman’s whereabouts is being urged to contact the Vermont State Police Derby barracks.

Police: Island Pond man with six prior DLS convictions picked up again this morning

in Island Pond

ISLAND POND– A 43-year-old Island Pond man with six prior DLS convictions was picked up again behind the wheel by police on Thursday morning.

Police say this morning they were attempting to locate Stanley “Joe” Crowe, 43, of Island Pond, to issue him a citation for DLS and for providing false information to a police officer after an incident that took place this fall.

According to the report, while in Windsor, Vermont, Crowe provided a relatives information during a traffic stop.

Crowe was located by police driving in Island Pond at approximately 8:15 a.m.

He was subsequently processed and released on two citations.

One citation was for the violation of DLS in Island Pond today, and the other was for the incident in Windsor earlier in the year.

Police say Crowe has 6 prior DLS convictions and is under suspension in Vermont for multiple reasons including two DUI convictions.

Christmas Celebration, “A Night in Bethlehem” to be held in Island Pond on December 10

in Island Pond

ISLAND POND — The Island Pond Christmas Celebration is coming on December 10 at 4:00 p.m. and will include the decorating and lighting of a Christmas tree in the pavilion, games and carol singing, as well as free hot chocolate and cookies.

The event will continue with a live, interactive nativity, called “A Night in Bethlehem.” It is presented again this year by Green Mountain Bible Church, with shows at 5:00 & 6:00 p.m.

Visitors are encouraged to bring an ornament from their personal collection to help decorate the village tree.

The “Night In Bethlehem” event can best be described as a live, interactive nativity experience.

Visitors are encouraged to converse with local residents, explore the shops around the market square, and visit the shepherds tending their flocks. Yes, there will even be live animals in Bethlehem that night. Also, be mindful of the Roman soldiers milling around.

Each of the “A Night In Bethlehem” shows will last about 30 minutes and will be followed by a warm up time with hot beverages and light refreshments.

This is an outside event so everyone is encouraged to dress warmly.

For directions or more information contact the Island Pond Chamber of Commerce 673-1854 or Green Mountain Bible Church, Island Pond, 723-4648.

Driver, passenger transported to hospital after morning crash in Newport

in Island Pond/Newport

NEWPORT — A 67-year-old driver from Island Pond and a passenger in the vehicle were taken to the hospital today after a car accident in Newport.

At around 9:15 a.m. police responded to the two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Vermont Route 105 and Cross Road.

Matthew Marchica, 23, of Westminster was traveling in a 2014 Subaru Legacy, when it struck a 2009 Nissan Versa, driven by Michel Vallieres, 67, of Island Pond.

Damage to both vehicles was minimal, but Vallieres and a passenger in the vehicle were transported to North Country Hospital.

The Nissan sustained damage to the rear driver’s side tire and rear driver’s side door.

The crash remains under investigation.

Couple married 40 years from Island Pond graduate together

in Island Pond

ISLAND POND — Gayle and Gary Cornelius of Island Pond have been married for 40 years. On Saturday, October 8, they graduated together, each with a Masters in History and Culture from Union Institute & University.

“It is only fitting that we receive our diplomas together,” said Gayle Kinney-Cornelius. “We have been partners in everything, including raising ten children together. He changed diapers, gave baths and read as many bedtime stories as I did.”

When it came time to pursue a master’s degree, they chose Union Institute & University.

Gary already had a masters in Education, and was a teacher. For his second degree, he chose a Master of Arts in History & Culture with a focus on genealogical roots in 17th century New England.

Gayle’s focus was on New England women and their culture during the 18th century.

“Gary was impressed with Union’s scholarly approach to teaching, learning and research,” said Kinney-Cornelius. “His enthusiasm for Union led me to follow him into the program. Over the years, I realized how much I love history and a masters in history & culture seemed like the logical next step.”

Union is a national university with five academic centers located in Ohio, Florida, California, and Vermont.

Founded in 1964, they specialize in providing quality higher education degrees for adults nationwide.

Brighton/Island Pond community ready to work together to set direction for the future

in Brighton/Island Pond

BRIGHTON — Members of the Brighton/Island Pond community are being invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas and develop a concrete action plans for the future of the town.

The event will take place on October 4, 2016.

This first step in this Community Visit Process will be “Brighton Community Visit Day,” an opportunity to come together to discuss assets, challenges, and opportunities for action within six focus forums being held throughout the day.

“Come engage in an exciting conversation about the future of our town and enjoy a free community dinner with your neighbors,” said Brighton resident and Selectboard Chair Doug Niles, who has stepped up to serve as the chairperson of the Community Visit Process.

The Brighton Community Visit Day will include focus groups on six different topics at meeting rooms in the town and a free community roast pork and ham dinner at the American Legion.

There will be free childcare and activities available for kids ages 3 and up provided by the Northwoods Stewardship Center at the Island Pond Library during the forums.

Forum topics were decided by a town steering committee representing people from varied occupations and parts of town.

The topics they set as starting points for the forums on October 4 include transportation and infrastructure, addressing substance abuse and mental health, growing the economy, revitalizing downtown, the future of their school, and recreation and natural resources.

“There is no better way for townspeople to express their opinions and volunteer their ideas than VCRD’s Community Visit Program,” said Town Administrator Joel Cope. “This event will provide the opportunity for involvement of the public to visualize the town’s future and to learn about and connect with resources available to help realize that vision.”

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    Green Mountain Farm-to-School's Lunchbox food truck serving free meals to kids in the community at Newport's Gardner Park.

The Lunchbox food truck helping to combat low participation in free summer meals programs

in Barton/Island Pond/Newport

NEWPORT — New studies show that Vermont ranks third in the country for serving free summer meals to children, however, the state still only reaches 33.3 percent of the children who qualify for free or reduced lunch during the school year.

In the Northeast Kingdom, one organization is helping to drive the conversation around increasing summer meals participation, literally.

The Lunchbox food truck can be seen parked and serving free summer meals to everyone 18-years-old and younger along with adult meals for purchase in the towns of Newport, Barton, and Island Pond each week during the summer.

School lunches and summer meals provide in-need children with a source of important nutrition. Both are funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Despite the well-known benefits of summer meals – helping parents stretch their food budgets, providing a safe place for children during the summer and mitigating summer learning loss – participation in USDA’s Summer Food Service Program is jarringly low across the country.

According to Food Research Action Center’s annual summer meals report, during the 2014-2015 school year, 20.1 million kids across the country received a free or reduced lunch each day. Of those 20.1 million kids less than 1/6, or 3.2 million, received a meal each day during the summer.

While the percentage of children receiving summer meals compared to school lunches varies widely from state-to-state, ranging from a 6.4 to 51.9 percent, the general consensus is that the numbers are way too low.

As the numbers reflect, providing summer meals comes with a whole set of challenges that aren’t experienced during the school year. For example, in rural states like Vermont, lack of personal and reliable public transportation limits the access of low-income families to meal sites, and those serving summer meals must find creative solutions to bring food to the kids.

Run by Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS), a nonprofit in the NEK working to connect farms, schools, and communities through food and education, the Lunchbox has been increasing their number of summer meals served each year since it hit the road in 2013 while also serving over 50 percent local food from area farmers.

“In the Northeast Kingdom one-in-three children are considered food insecure which contributes to the great need for summer meals in our communities,” said Katherine Sims, founder and executive director of GMFTS. “One of the biggest challenges we face in providing those summer meals is reaching kids that are spread out over large areas. That’s why we thought a meals site with wheels would be the best way to connect with as many kids as possible.”

In an effort to increase participation in the summer meal program, GMFTS works to create partnerships with institutions and community members. For example, in Barton, the Lunchbox sets up outside of the public library during their weekly story-hour which attracts kids and families each week from the community.

The Lunchbox also provides educational opportunities such as “Meet Your Farmer” days and a bike safety day.

“Our partnerships with the community are an integral part of the Lunchbox program,” said Rebecca Mitchell, who manages the Lunchbox program as the consumer education coordinator with GMFTS. “They allow us to provide more kids with the nutrition they need during the months where a good meal can be hard to come by.”

The Lunchbox serves hundreds of summer meals each week, but there are still more children that can be reached. Helping individual sites are organizations like Hunger Free Vermont. They work to connect families and children to meals sites throughout the state by compiling a comprehensive list of meals site in each county and providing technical assistance.

“Hunger doesn’t end with the last bell of the school year,” says Mitchell. “In order to make sure kids are getting the nutritious meals they need, it’s going to take everyone coming together, spreading the word, and helping get families out to summer meals sites.”

For more information about a summer meals program in your area visit Hunger Free Vermont online at

The Lunchbox serves up free summer meals in Newport, Barton, Island Pond

in Barton/Island Pond/Newport

NEWPORT — The Lunchbox food truck, through Green Mountain Farm-to-School, will be on the road again this season serving free meals to kids 18-years-old and younger.

The Lunchbox will be serving free meals, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., to the towns of Barton, Newport, and Island Pond one day-a-week for 10 weeks.

The Lunchbox will also have adult meals and sides available for purchase, with proceeds supporting the work of Green Mountain Farm-to-School and their mission to connect children, farms, and communities through food and education.

“We’re excited to be serving free meals to kids throughout the Northeast Kingdom again this summer,” says Becca Mitchell, consumer education coordinator with GMFTS, “Also, by introducing more adult food options this year we hope to get more community members involved with our programming, showcase some of the work we do, and provide them with a delicious meal.”

Every week will feature a fun, informative taste tests and cooking demonstrations for the kids.

Throughout the summer there will also be special guest activities, including bike safety and meet-your-farmer days.

All activities are free and open to the public.

The Lunchbox Summer Meal Service Schedule:

Every Wednesday in Barton, at the Barton Public Library, located at 100 Church St.

Every Thursday in Newport, at Gardner Park.

Every Friday in Island Pond, at Pavilion Park, located at 95 Cross St.

For more information about the Lunchbox and its schedule of activities, contact Rebecca Mitchell at 802-334-2044 or

Island Pond Friday Night Live concert series set to kick off tomorrow night

in Arts and Entertainment/Island Pond

ISLAND POND — The Island Pond Friday Night Live music series is back again this summer, featuring a variety of local and regional bands every Friday night all summer long.

The concert series starts this Friday, June 17, featuring Evansville Transit Authority performing from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

There will be food and craft vendors on hand with something for everyone.

The season continues on June 24, featuring Mark Shelton, July 1, with The Atlantic Effect and a bonus edition on July 2, with Dark Horse followed by the spectacular Fireworks Extravaganza on the lake.

The season resumes on Friday July 8, featuring the music of the Beatles with Studio Two, July 15, with local favorite Rock On, July 22, with The Hitmen, and July ends with Classic Rewind on July 29.

August heats up with The Party Crashers on August 5, Without Ray on August 12, and The Adams Band on August 19.

The season ends like it started with a party on the lake featuring Evansville Transit Authority.

The entire Island Pond Summer Events schedule can be found at, including a full listing of all Fourth of July weekend activities.

29-year-old motorcyclist from Island Pond killed in crash

in Island Pond/News

ISLAND POND — A 29-year-old man from Island Pond was killed during a motorcycle accident Wednesday afternoon.

Police say Tyler Pepin, 29, of Island Pond, was operating a motorcycle headed west on East Brighton Road in Island Pond, at around 4 p.m.

As Pepin entered a right-hand curve, just west of the intersection with South Street, he lost control of his 2004 Suzuki motorcycle.

The motorcycle crossed the centerline into the path of another vehicle being operated by Robert Webster, 61, of Leeds, Maine.

Police say Webster attempted to avoid the collision but ended up striking the left side of Pepin’s motorcycle.

According to the police report, Pepin was pronounced dead at the scene.

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