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Fire in Derby caused by smoking material placed in an aluminum can

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — Authorities say smoking materials placed in an aluminum can is what caused a fire that broke out at a single-family home on Main Street in Derby yesterday.

The fire was noticed at around 6:20 p.m.

The home was being used as an Airbnb rental and was occupied by three people, but nobody was home at the time of the fire.

Firefighters say they were able to quickly extinguish the fire on the porch and were successful in limiting the fire’s extension into the house.

The home sustained significant damage to the front and side porch and smoke and heat damage to the interior.

Derby Line Fire Chief Craig Ellam contacted fire investigators to demine the area of origin and the cause.

The investigation concluded that the fire began on the side porch in a sitting area where there were a table and some chairs.

“The cause of the fire was smoking materials placed in an aluminum beverage can,” Paul Cerutti, Assistant State Fire Marshal, said in a statement.

Cerutti says that the house did not have working smoke or CO alarms.

“I found the bases where the alarms had been, but no alarms,” he said.

The Derby Line Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Newport City Fire Department.

Mosquitos in Newport City test positive for West Nile virus

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Mosquitoes collected in Newport City have tested positive for West Nile virus at the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory.

Each week, mosquitoes are collected at various locations around the state by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. 

As of August 27, the Department of Health Laboratory tested 11 mosquito pools, a group of up to 50 mosquitoes of the same species, collected in Newport City.

One of these pools tested positive for West Nile virus.

During the summer months, mosquitoes are regularly monitored at sites around the state for mosquito-borne diseases.

When the virus is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites, most people don’t get sick, but some get symptoms like fever, joint pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The sickness can become quite serious in some people, and those age 50 or older are at the highest risk.

Only around one out of every 150 cases develop serious symptoms which primarily affect the central nervous system.

Vermont hasn’t had any reported human cases so far this year but the virus is consistently found in the state year after year since the disease was brought to the United States from overseas in the late 1990s.

North Country Hospital stands out in region by offering Automated Breast Ultrasound System for screening

in Health/Newport/News

NEWPORT — North Country Hospital announced this week that they are on the forefront of breast care by now offering the InveniaTM ABUS 2.0 (Automated Breast Ultrasound System), approved by the FDA for breast cancer screening as an adjunct to mammography for women with dense breast tissue.

“We are excited to add the Automated Breast Ultrasound system from GE Healthcare to our comprehensive breast cancer screening program,” said Brian Bidwell, Director of Radiology at North Country Hospital. “By offering ABUS in addition to mammography for our patients with dense breast tissue, we anticipate improving detection for small cancers that cannot be seen on a mammogram alone in these women. We believe ABUS will become an integral part of our practice for the detection of breast cancer.”

Dense breast tissue has been found to be the most common risk factor for the development of cancer, and also makes cancer more difficult to detect using mammography, according to multiple large studies.

As breast density goes up, the accuracy of mammograms goes down.

The difficulty radiologists experience when reading mammograms is that both dense tissue and cancer appear white on a mammogram.

With ABUS, suspicious masses appear black against the white dense tissue.

In early 2019, a national density inform law was passed that mandates that the FDA update mammography reporting so that women be notified if their breasts are dense.

Providers may offer supplemental imaging as appropriate to help find cancers hiding in dense breast tissue.

“Mammography is the gold standard for the detection of breast cancer, however, it doesn’t work equally well in all women, particularly those with dense breast tissue,” added Dr. Steven Perlin. “Designed and built specifically for screening, research shows that ABUS technology as an adjunct to mammography has the potential to find 35.7 percent additional cancers that would not have been found with mammography alone.”

The unique challenges of breast cancer screening have led to important technology innovations that provide high-resolution images that can be acquired rapidly.

Clinically, this offers an efficient option that provides enhanced resolution and contrast, making the Invenia ABUS 2.0 system well-positioned to address the workflow challenges of breast cancer screening and improve the detection of breast cancer, in women with dense breasts.

Dr. Perlin recommends that women get regular mammograms as suggested by their doctor.

If they have been informed that they have dense breast tissue, they should talk to their doctor or radiologist about their specific risk and additional screening tests that might be appropriate.

For further information about Invenia ABUS 2.0, visit www.gehealthcare.com/inveniaabus.

For additional information about North Country Hospital’s Department of Radiology, visit www.northcountryhospital.org/services/diagnostic-imaging/ or call 802-334-3250.

Washington Electric Cooperative inviting public to Coventry Landfill generation plant

in Newport/News

COVENTRY — This Saturday, Washington Electric Co-op (WEC) is inviting its members and the public to tour its generation plant at Coventry Landfill.

Visitors are invited to learn how landfill gas is harnessed to become clean electricity that powers approximately 6,000 Vermont homes.

WEC’s Open House complements the Open House simultaneously hosted by Casella Waste Systems, owner and operator of Coventry Landfill.

Visitors to Coventry Landfill may enjoy facility tours, food, family activities, and door prizes.
Organizers say the event is on rain or shine.

About two-thirds of WEC’s electricity comes from its power plant that burns methane released from decomposing landfill waste.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas if released into the atmosphere.

In landfills, this gas is considered a renewable resource.

The Coventry power plant captures methane to create electricity.

“We love showing people that in Vermont, garbage can be used to turn on your lights and charge your electric car,” said WEC General Manager Patty Richards. “Instead of just flaring and burning the methane, we work with our partners at Casella to keep methane out of the atmosphere and put it to good use.”

Boat trailer stolen in North Troy

in Newport/News/North Troy

NORTH TROY– A 25-year-old North Troy man’s boat trailer was stolen yesterday.

Police say they received a report from Adrian Archambault that his 1977 boat trailer was stolen when he parked at a residence on Main Street in North Troy.

Witnesses were able to provide police with a description of the vehicle that took it, along with descriptions of the suspect.

The truck that was seen leaving with the stolen trailer was a white Chevrolet pick up truck.

Police also say at the time of the theft, the trailer had building materials on it.

Anyone else who may have witnessed this theft is being asked to contact police at 802-334-8881.

Hunting lottery announced for Bluffside Farm in Newport

in Newport/News/Outdoors

NEWPORT — The Vermont Land Trust will hold a lottery for hunting at Bluffside Farm in Newport. This is the fourth year the land trust has held the hunting lottery.

They will issue permission for deer hunting at Bluffside during three periods:

October 19 to November 1
November 16 to December 1
December 7 to 15.

All hunting will be archery-only because of the Newport City ordinance banning firearms.

These will be the only dates during which hunting will be permitted, and all applicable rules will apply.

Bluffside Farm has become a popular area for walking and will continue to be open to pedestrians during hunting season.

Visitors should be mindful that hunters may be present during these times.

It will be required that all hunters carry written permission and hunt only in the designated portions of the property, away from neighboring houses.

Bluffside Farm is located at 171 Scott Farm Road in Newport.

VLT purchased the farm in late 2015, at which point it was opened to the public for recreation for the first time.

In addition to hunting, community members have enjoyed walking and skiing trails, local schools have used the land as an outdoor classroom, and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps grows vegetables there for North Country Hospital.

More information and the lottery application are available at vlt.org/hunt, or call (802) 745-6303.

The deadline for applications is September 27.

Newport police investigating vandalism to Harley-Davidson motorcycle

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Newport Police Department says they are investigating after a motorcycle was vandalized over the weekend.

On Saturday, Sept. 7, at approximately 9:14 a.m, Newport Police were dispatched to a Union Street home for a report of vandalism to a motorcycle.

Upon arrival, officers learned that the vehicle’s owner discovered it on its side.

Through an on-scene investigation, officers determined that the Harley Davidson’s gas tank has been punctured multiple times, as had the front fender and the leather seat.

The damage costs were estimated at $4,900.

The owner of the motorcycle could not identify anyone who could be a suspect, though a relative noted that she’d seen a man behaving suspiciously a few days before the incident and had seen the motorcycle on its side at that time.

Newport Police are actively investigating this incident and encourage anyone who feels they have information about the case to contact the department at 802-334-6733.

MAC Center for the Arts presenting Musings & Music September 22

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — MAC Center for the Arts is getting ready to present their first annual “Musings and Music” series, which they promise will “illuminate the colors of your world audibly.”

The event will take place on September 22, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the United Church of Newport.

Everyone is welcome to come explore and enjoy this unique afternoon of readings by MAC Center authors and poets, as well as music by their gifted MAC performers.

Come hear the colors of Jerry Johnson, Patty Oliver-Smith, Ron Lavalette, Susan Sanders, Isa Oehry, Peggy Sapphire, Dianne Laplante, and Mark Creaven, as they share their insight, humor, and poetry as well as Janice Luce, Ben Luce, Ben Kinsley, Linda Schneck, and Deb Wesoja performing vibrant music that will provide a myriad of kaleidoscopic sounds.

Emcee for the afternoon show is Lynn Leimer.

MAC Center for the Arts is a local non-profit and is fundraising to create an ADA compliant venue for our community at their158 Main Street Gallery.

The organization says that community support of this event is appreciated and donation is tax-deductible.

For more information,visit www.maccenterforthearts, email macartspr@yahoo.com or call 802-334-1966.

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ATM machine stolen in Troy, attempted ATM theft at Jay Peak

in Jay Peak/Newport/News/Troy

NEWPORT — Police are looking for two suspects who went on a crime spree, attempting to steal local ATM machines.

This morning at around 5:10 a.m. police received a report of a theft at Boutin’s Mini Mart in the town of Troy.

According to police, at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Sunday night, two unknown subjects forced entry into the store and stole the ATM inside.

The subjects were seen driving a Chevrolet Silverado away from the scene with the ATM in the bed of the truck.

Police say it was later reported the same individuals attempted to take an ATM at Jay Peak Resort during the early morning hours this morning.

The ATM at Jay remained on scene but suffered significant damage as a result.

Anyone with information in regards to the theft is asked to contact the Vermont State Police Derby Barracks at 802-334-8881.

New­port to re­ceive $100,000 grant for ren­o­va­tions and up­grades to Gard­ner Park

in Newport/News

NEWPORT – Newport is set to receive a $100,000 community development grant.

Last week Gov­er­nor Phil Scott joined lo­cal, state and fed­eral part­ners to an­nounce over $2.7 mil­lion in com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment grants to ten com­mu­ni­ties in six dif­fer­ent coun­ties through­out the state.

This grant to the city of New­port will go to sup­port the ren­o­va­tions and up­grades to the Gard­ner Park recre­ational fa­cil­ity.

“These grants al­low a com­mu­nity to iden­tify its own needs and work with part­ners to make it hap­pen, which is an ap­proach that makes a lot of sense and has been suc­cess­ful,” said Gov­er­nor Phil Scott. “Through new hous­ing, im­proved in­fra­struc­ture, re­stored his­toric build­ings and greater sup­port ser­vices to the most vul­ner­a­ble fam­i­lies, these grants strengthen Ver­mon­t’s com­mu­ni­ties, and when paired with lo­cal tax in­cen­tives gen­er­ate eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity to help them grow.”

2 Newport residents arrested in Massachusetts with crack, cocaine, 500 bags of heroin

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Police in Massachusetts say on Thursday they arrested three people, two of which are residents of Newport, for carrying a variety of drugs on I-91.

According to the report, at around 3:00 a.m. they stopped the vehicle in the northbound lanes of I-91 in Bernardston, when the driver allegedly failed to use the appropriate lane of the highway.

Once the vehicle was stopped, troopers found the driver, identified as Luke Perry, 30, of Newport, operating with a suspended license.

As he was arrested, troopers noticed a pipe apparently used to smoke crack cocaine on the floor of the vehicle and requested a drug-sniffing K-9 for a search of the vehicle.

Two passengers were removed from the car for the search, which police say turned up crack cocaine, powdered cocaine, and approximately 500 individual bags of heroin.

All three people riding in the car were arrested.

Perry was charged with trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to violate drug laws, possession of a Class A drug with the intent to distribute, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a motor vehicle equipment violation and a marked lanes violation.

A passenger in the vehicle, Eddie Torres, 33, of Bronx, NY, was charged with trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to violate drug laws, resisting arrest, possession of a Class A substance with the intent to distribute, carrying a dangerous weapon and failure to wear a seatbelt.

A second passenger, 29-year-old Mandie-Rae Perry, also of Newport, was charged with trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to violate drug laws, and possession of a Class A substance with the intent to distribute.

Police say all three were held pending arraignment in Greenfield District Court.

Route 5A in Westmore to close in October to stabilize rock ledge

in Newport/News/Westmore

WESTMORE — The Vermont Agency of Transportation says they will close Vermont Route 5A in Westmore for up to two weeks in mid-October to stabilize a rock ledge along the road next to Lake Willoughby.

The rock stabilization project will involve scaling loose material from the ledge face and pinning blocks in place to prevent future failures.

This site has a history of rockfall failures, including one that occurred in March affecting travel on Route 5A until large rocks that fell into the road could be removed.

It is anticipated additional failures will occur this winter if remediation is not completed.

VTrans will make a public presentation to the Westmore Selectboard on September 16 at 6:00 p.m., at the Town Clerk’s Office, located at 54 Hinton Hill Road.

‘Suspicious’ fires destroy two Essex County camps

in Essex County/Newport/News

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

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

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

This camp is known as the Gore Camp.

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

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

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

This camp is located near Unknown Pond.

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

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

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

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

Children’s Literacy Foundation awards grant to Newport school

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Children’s Literacy Foundation has awarded 10 At-Risk Children grants to New Hampshire and Vermont organizations serving low-income, at-risk, and rural children ages 12 and under for fall 2019.

Newport Head Start and Early Head Start were one of the award winners.

The grant provides a storytelling event with one of CLiF’s more than 65 professional authors, illustrators, or storytellers, an optional family discussion on the importance of reading together and tips for helping children develop strong literacy skills, a new onsite library of children’s books for the program partner, and two new books for each child to choose.

“The importance of literacy and family engagement is crucial for the academic and social development of our youth, and the opportunities that CLiF provide allow for programs with minimal funding resources that work with at-risk youth to be able to encourage, offer, and support literacy and family engagement in their programs and communities,” Forrest Carter from the Seabrook Adventure Zone said.

Addiction treatment center to open in Newport September 12

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — SaVida Health, an outpatient medication-assisted treatment for opioid and alcohol addiction, is opening a new treatment center in Newport.

The center is scheduled to open September 12, and is located in the Hood Building at 79 Coventry Street, Suite 4C.

SaVida Health Newport will be the company’s third location in Vermont, with other practices in Bennington and Springfield.

The center will be administering medications like Suboxone, Sublocade, and Vivitrol, and clinical professionals will also deliver treatment that includes medical care, counseling, case management, and long-term support through either weekly, biweekly or monthly visits.

In particular, SaVida focuses on addressing the social determinants of health to support its patients who might be experiencing circumstances like food insecurity, homelessness, or unemployment.

This comprehensive and integrated approach to recovery is widely accepted as the most effective form of outpatient treatment for opioid and alcohol addiction today.

“While methadone is an option for patients requiring a highly structured daily program, there are far more benefits to the buprenorphine-based medicines we prescribe,” said Dr. Sue Cary, medical director at SaVida Health.

Unlike methadone, there is no euphoric high or cognitive impairment with buprenorphine. Because there is a ceiling effect, dose levels can be decreased over time. With methadone, patients build up a tolerance which requires an increase in dosage over time. Also, it is easier for most people to reclaim their lives with scheduled, weekly or monthly appointments” said Dr. Sue Cary, medical director at SaVida Health.

SaVida Health Newport is currently accepting patients for the week of September 12.

Once open SaVida says they can see most patients either the same day or the next business day.

Man sentenced for 2008 Guildhall murder dies of apparent suicide in prison

in Guildhall/Newport/News

NEWPORT — A 39-year-old inmate serving time in a Mississippi prison for killing a Guildhall woman back in 2008, has died of an apparent suicide.

The Vermont Department of Corrections says Christopher Chase, also of Guildhall, was pronounced dead early Monday morning.

He was serving a 20 year-to-life sentence after he pled guilty to shooting his girlfriend Sara Bragdon in the back of the head as she was sleeping.

After the shooting, Chase fled and was arrested on August 25, 2008, in Rochester, New York.

Police traced his location based on where his cell phone was located.

According to reports, Chase’s cause of death appears to be suicide by hanging.

He was assigned to the general population unit at the time, and officials say they will conduct an administrative and clinical review of his death.

Crash on I-91 in Derby caused by 6-point buck

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — A 79-year-old man hit a 6-point buck crossing the southbound lane of I-91 on Sunday evening.

At around 6:26 p.m. police say they responded to the single-vehicle crash just south of Exit 28.

Police say the driver, Fernand J. Pomerleau, of Goffstown, NH, was traveling at around 65 miles-per-hour when the buck ran out from the woods and directly into the path of his vehicle.

Pomerleau’s vehicle sustained extensive front end damage and was unable to be driven from the scene.

Ray’s Auto had to remove the vehicle, and the Derby Line Fire Department assisted in cleaning up fluids from the roadway.

Police say there were no injuries during the incident.

White Mountain Auto in Coventry burglarized

in coventry/Newport/News

COVENTRY — White Mountain Auto in Coventry was burglarized in August, and today police have released surveillance footage in an attempt to identify the suspect.

According to state police, on August 8, they received a report from the business that it had been broken into overnight.

The business owner reported a missing safe, documents, and keys.

Surveillance video shows at approximately 12:10 a.m., the suspect entered the office by removing a window-mounted air conditioner unit.

The suspect then went into the office area immediately to the location of the safe and into a back office.

The suspect then left the premises through the window with the safe and other items.

Exterior surveillance showed a get-away vehicle pick up the suspect from the roadway and travel toward Newport City.

Police say the suspect wore a bandana style face mask, hat, and was dressed in light-colored clothing.

The safe was recovered the next morning on Wildflower Lane in Newport City.

Swimmer completes record double crossing of Lake Memphremagog

in Magog/Newport/News

NEWPORT — A record-breaking ultra-marathon open water swim has been completed on Lake Memphremagog by an Indiana man.

Stephen Rouch of Indianapolis swam the 50-mile length of Lake Memphremagog between Newport, Vermont, and Magog, Quebec, and back to Newport, in 25 hours and 12 minutes.

Rouch left from the EastSide Restaurant in Newport at 11:00 a.m. on August 22, and cleared the water in Magog at 10:40 p.m., completing the first crossing in 11 hours and 40 minutes.

He re-entered the water in Magog at 10.43 p.m. and swam back to Newport, clearing the water at the Eastside Restaurant at 12:12 p.m., completing his second crossing in a time of 13 hours and 32 minutes.

He did so in full compliance with the general standards for channel crossing and open water marathon swimming, and fully consistent with the rules established by the Marathon Swimmers Federation.

In doing so, he became the first male to swim a double crossing of Lake Memphremagog and also the fastest in compliance with these general standards.

Rouch maintained a blistering pace averaging 2 mph despite facing a feisty headwind soon after crossing the border into Canada.

His fast, consistent pace and supportive, well-equipped team helped him clock the fastest double crossing of Lake Memphremagog in history.

The swim is part of a series of expeditions and solo swims of the length of Lake Memphremagog known as In Search of Memphre, organized and hosted by Kingdom Games, and sanctioned by the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association.

Barton woman accused of stealing $50K in gift cards

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — A 60-year-old woman from Barton will have to answer to charges after police say she stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of gift cards from a local store.

Trooper Jeff Ferrier said that management at the C & C Market in Barton called police to report that a former employee had stolen approximately $50,000 worth of gift cards during an extended period of time.

The employee was identified as Kimberly Gosley.

According to Trooper Ferrier, the theft occurred from 2017 through 2019.

On August 16, Gosley was arrested and taken to the Derby Barracks for processing.

She was released on a citation to appear in Orleans County Criminal Court in October to answer to charges of grand larceny/fraud.

Barton Academy and Graded School awarded $25,000 literacy grant

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) has awarded its $25,000 Year of the Book literacy grant to five elementary schools in Vermont, and Barton Academy and Graded School is one of the awardees for the 2019-2020 school year.

The grant will begin tomorrow when Duncan McDougal, the founder of CLiF will provide a short storytelling presentation and share more about what the Year of the Book will bring.

Each student up through grade six will have an opportunity to select the first of their books to bring home.

The Year of the Book grant involves a full school year of exciting programming, including several visits from Vermont authors, illustrators, poets, graphic novelists, and storytellers, family literacy events, special literacy programs selected by each school, funds for classroom projects, and new books for classrooms, the school library, and the local public library, as well as ten new books for each child to choose.

Selected schools demonstrated a commitment to literacy and creative ideas for promoting reading and writing, as well as high percentages of low-income students and students underperforming on reading and writing assessments.

Police: Derby man arrested for threats against NEKHS, Derby Village Store

in Derby/Newport/News

NEWPORT CITY — Police say a Derby man was arrested after he attempted to buy a gun through a neighbor and threatened to kill everyone at Northeast Kingdom Human Services as well as the Derby Village Store.

According to a statement issued by State Police Trooper Joshua Mikkola, on Friday, August 23, police received a report from an employee at North East Kingdom Human Services, that 38-year-old John Barclay called and made threats to harm staff. 

During the investigation, police say they spoke with Barclay both on the phone and in person. 

“In conversation, Barclay divulged to the troopers his intent to harm others as well, to include staff at the Derby Village Store,” Mikkola said in a statement.

Police also say that Barclay attempted to buy a gun through his neighbor.

Barclay was placed under arrest and transported to the Derby Barracks for processing.

He was later lodged at Northern State  Correctional Facility. 

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 www.VisitIslandPond.com.

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.

Home explosion in Brownington

in Brownington/Newport/News

BROWNINGTON — Authorities say that an explosion at a residence in Brownington on Friday evening was most likely caused by a grill sized gas tank stored in the basement of the home.

At around 6:52 p.m. the Orleans Fire Department responded to the report of an explosion on Chapdelaine Road.

The explosion caused extensive damage to the building, and a small fire in the basement had self-extinguished.

There was no one home at the time of the incident.

Police say the residence is not habitable due to the structural damage, and a family of five is being assisted by the Vermont Red Cross with temporary housing.

Fie investigators say nine grill size gas tanks were located in the basement, one being used to fuel an instant hot water heater.

The specific source and cause of the gas leak could not be determined, but investigators say the probable ignition of the gas which caused the explosion was an electric water pump located in the basement.

The Department of Public Safety is warning the public of the dangers of storing and using LP Gas tanks/cylinders inside of a building.

The leaking of a tank can result in an explosion.

The misuse of the gas can result in the production of Carbon Monoxide gas, and the presence of a tank that is involved in a fire could cause injury or death of a firefighter.

Vermont Route 191 in Newport reopened

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Vermont Route 191 in Newport, also known as the city’s “access road” to Interstate 91, has reopened.

Crews say during the closure they have completed the full-depth reconstruction of the roadway and replacement of the culvert located approximately 30 feet below.

The closed section of the road which began approximately one mile west of the Interstate 91 interchange and extended approximately 1,450 feet has been reopened to through traffic.

Route 191 will experience daily lane closures with one-way alternating traffic and shoulder closures with two-way traffic maintained throughout the duration of the project.

The project is anticipated to be completed in November 2019.

A combination of layers of rock, groundwater, and poor soil conditions have caused continuous slope movements since the construction of the roadway in 1971.

The Route 191 project was developed to address these conditions and prevent future slope movements from deteriorating the roadway further.

Driver wanted by authorities after Newport police cruiser crashes during pursuit

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — A Newport Police cruiser was involved in a crash last night following a vehicle pursuit.

At around 10:10 p.m. on Wednesday, a Newport Police officer monitoring traffic on Mt. Vernon Street says he observed two vehicles traveling east in a 25 m.p.h. zone, including an SUV and a red sedan believed to be a Volkswagen Jetta.

Police say the sedan passed the SUV at a speed of 72 m.p.h.

The officer immediately activated his lights and sirens and pursued the sedan onto Pine Hill Road, east onto 191 Access Road and then east onto Schuler Road, where both vehicles lost traction.

Police say the sedan regained control and fled the scene without crashing, while the cruiser left the roadway and crashed into a tree.

The officer was transported from the scene with non-life threatening injuries and has since been released from North Country Hospital. 

Anyone with information about the red sedan involved in this incident is being asked to contact Newport Police at 802-334-6733.

Police investigating after dogs killed in Albany

in Albany/Newport/News

ALBANY — A local family is grieving after their dogs were killed, and state police say they are investigating to find out who may be responsible.

The dog’s names were Tyler and Casper and belonged to a family in Albany.

On Tuesday, August 13, the animals went missing from the family home sometime between 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.

Police say on August 17, two deceased dogs matching those belonging to the victim were found near Town Hill Road near the intersection of Manley Road in the town of Wolcott.

A fisherman and his son found them thrown over a guardrail at the road.

Tyler had been a pet for almost 12 years, and the family had owned Casper for just over 3 years.

Police say both dogs were healthy and did not suffer from medical ailments at the time they were last seen.

Anyone with information in regards to the incident is asked to contact the Vermont State Police Derby Barracks at 802-334-8881.

You can also contact “Justice for Tyler and Casper” at (802) 673-2466, and visit their facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Justice-for-Tyler-and-Casper-111991490162562/

Newport City Promise Community Early Care and Learning Center achieves 3 STARS

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Newport City Promise Community Early Care and Learning Center has been awarded 3 Stars by Vermont’s Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS).

Participants receive recognition for demonstrating quality programming that exceeds licensing requirements by the State of Vermont.

This achievement represents great effort and serious commitment on the part of the center.

“This achievement confirms the Newport City Promise Community Early Care and Learning Center’s commitment to providing quality early childhood programming,” Reeva Sullivan Murphy, Deputy Commissioner of the Department for Children and Families, said.

The STARS program is Vermont’s quality recognition system for registered home providers, licensed programs including children’s centers and school-based Pre-Kindergarten programs, and school-age programs.

Programs are recognized for achievements in five areas:

1. Compliance with licensing regulations.
2. Qualifications and training of program staff.
3. The program’s connections with families and with the community.
4. The practices of the program and its strategies for improvement.
5. The strength of the programs operating policies and business practices.

Awards for achievements in these areas begin at one star and increase to five stars.

The Newport City Promise Community Early Care and Learning Center is located at the United Church on 3rd Street in Newport.

The center serves infants and toddlers and has a full-day preschool program for 3 to 5 years old.

$250,000 awarded to help grow outdoor recreation economy of the NEK

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom/Vermont

NEWPORT — More money and organizational support will be available in 2020 for NEK towns and nonprofits working to expand or improve local trail-based outdoor recreation options.

The assistance comes thanks to a cooperative effort spearheaded by the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative (NEKC) and Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA). 

The federal Northern Border Regional Commission this month awarded $250,000 to NVDA for a multi-pronged effort to grow the outdoor recreation economy in Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties.

The project will assist in marketing the region as a trail-based destination through improved mapping, business tie-ins, and multi-town connections.

One component will distribute sub-grants of $10-40,000 each to support 5 to 10 community-level projects to build trails or supporting infrastructures such as kiosks, parking, and village traffic calming.

“More than twenty towns and organizations came together to develop this project,” said Katherine Sims, NEKC Executive Director. “Cooperation was the key to our success in this highly competitive grant process.”

Last year, a task force convened by the NEKC recommended a focus on connecting community outdoor recreation assets to downtowns and food-based and creative businesses.

That was one of five major initiatives to support regional economic development presented in its report, From Strength to Strength.

Following that, the Collaborative coordinated planning meetings involving towns and other organizations across the region.

Many of them had been working on trail-based projects independently.

“Trails are often what create those connections to our downtowns and businesses, but there are many more projects in the development phase than there is funding available to build them,” said Dave Snedeker, NVDA Executive Director. “This should help address that gap.”

In addition to providing funding for specific local projects, the project will also launch the NEK Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative, a working group facilitated by the NEKC.

That group will solicit project applications this fall with awards to towns and trail networks made in early 2020.

The group will also provide input on plans for marketing of existing recreational assets, as well as share best practices and lessons learned as projects are developed. 

Road closures in Coventry this week

in coventry/Newport/News

COVENTRY — Two roads in Coventry will be closed this week, one starting tomorrow.

Coventry Station Road will be closed for road maintenance from Route 5 to Cotnoir Road, starting Monday, August 19, through Friday, August 23.

In addition, Glen Road will be closed to all thru traffic for culvert replacement starting Wednesday, August 21, through to Saturday, August 24.

Contact the town office for any questions, or for further updates.

Police looking for Coventry man

in coventry/Newport/News

COVENTRY — Police say they arrested a Coventry woman on several active arrest warrants, and are still looking for a 26-year-old man following an incident on Thursday.

At around 4:40 p.m. a Sheriff’s Department deputy attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop on Coventry Street in Newport, after identifying the operator as Tharen Amidon.

Police say Amidon has active arrest warrants.

According to the report, Amidon failed to stop and a pursuit ensued.

The pursuit ended in Coventry, where all occupants of the vehicle bailed out on foot into the woods.

Newport Police Officer Lillis and his partner K-9 Ozzy conducted a track from the vehicle which led to the discovery of Beatrice Amidon, 46, of Coventry.

She was arrested and lodged on several Vermont warrants and a New Hampshire no-bail warrant.

Police say efforts to locate Tharen Amidon were unsuccessful.

The Sherriff’s Department is asking anyone who has knowledge of Tharen’s whereabouts, to contact law enforcement.

Orleans County residents arrested in statewide drug sweep

in coventry/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Vermont Drug Task Force announced a multi-week arrest sweep that has concluded with the arrests of numerous people accused of dealing drugs throughout Vermont, including six Orleans county residents.

According to police:

Monica Capron, 40, of Newport is charged with sale of fentanyl x2,
  
Meagan Blake, 31, of Coventry, is charged with sale of crack cocaine x5, sale of heroin x1  

Kayla Wright, 25, of Newport, is charged with sale of Heroin x1, sale of crack cocaine x1 

Kassandra Medellin-Oliver, 32, of Newport, is charged with sale of heroin x3.

Justin Morgan, 27, of Newport, is charged with sale of crack cocaine x2.

Erik Polite, 39, of Newport, is charged with sale of crack cocaine x1.

Corey Green, 45, of Orleans, is charged with sale of Crack Cocaine x2, Sale of Heroin x1.

Ashley Penniman, 35, of Newport, is charged with sale of Sale of Crack Cocaine x1.

Allen Marsh, 50, of Newport, is charged with Sale of Crack Cocaine x4.

During the past several weeks, the Vermont Drug Task Force arrested 59 suspects on charges of selling and distributing heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and crack cocaine. 

The investigations resulted in 53 individual charges of selling heroin, and 43 individual charges of selling crack cocaine, among other charges.  
 

New exhibit “AOENOIC” by sculptor Sterling Trail opening at the MAC

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts will be opening a new exhibit, ANECHOIC, by sculptor Sterling Trail.

The opening reception takes place on August 23, from 5-7 p.m. in the Downstairs Gallery, located at 158 Main Street, in Newport.

A truly unique title, ANECHOIC, defined as free from echo, artist Sterling Trail describes his work as ”focused on aesthetic.”

“Aesthetic is how an object is made, the choices made by the maker to uncover a cohesive form,” Trail said. “I hope that my works capture a balance. I hope that the reader will either find an understanding in my work or an aesthetic enjoyment.”

Trail’s work is distinctive and one of a kind. His art is the reimagining, repurposing, and redesigning of hardscapes.

“I see discarded machines, their vacant husks laying scattered, partially submerged in the annual sediment of the summers now past. These machines are the corpses of function, returned to the earth, devoid of a conduit beyond the artist’s appreciation for their form. I can’t tell you what these forgotten things will be tomorrow or the day after, all I can tell you is what they were made from,” he explains.

“I have made the journey down the old road, through trees and shallow puddles to another world that is divided by an intersection. The world I seek is obscured by a vacancy of necessity; it was left behind by its previous stewards who only dealt in abandonment. Now all that remains of the ritualistic discarding of functionless articles are the remnants of machines and structures, submerged under accretions and deposits made annually by the silent sentinels of the forest.”

This sculpture exhibit is a first for the MAC Center for the Arts and celebrates emerging artists.

Curated by Victoria Mathiesen, Andrea Strobach and Arlene Goldberg, MAC has hosted several exhibits this season by touring artists, members, and invited artists.

These exhibits are free and open to the public.

Stop in to see this extraordinary display of modern art. ANECHOIC runs through September 22.

For more information, please visit www.maccenterforthearts.com or call 802-334-1966.

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