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Newport Police charge man in $48,000 fraud case

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Newport Police say they’ve charged a man with allegedly stealing more than $48,000 from an elderly woman over a period of four years.

Eric Brigham, 52, of Williamstown, was charged with one count of financial exploitation.

According to police, back in October, a private investigator working for an 84-year-old woman notified police that her relative had been taking advantage of her by abusing his power of attorney.

An investigation was launched and police say they learned that Brigham had been given power of attorney of the woman’s affairs in June 2014.

In December of 2014, he allegedly began writing checks out of the victim’s account without her permission and in February 2015, he obtained checks that had both his name and the victim’s name on them under her account.

According to investigators, he used checks and a debit card to withdraw thousands of dollars in funds from the victim’s bank accounts on a regular basis over the course of four years.

Police say he wrote out checks to himself for cash or wrote them out under the victim’s name, but rarely gave the victim any of her own money and rarely visited her in the nursing home.

In total, Brigham is alleged to have stolen $48,149.11 from the victim and left her with several delinquent credit card bills and more than $20,000 in debt to her nursing home.

“I want to credit Officer Nicholas Rivers who investigated this complex case and was able to determine the extent of Mr. Brigham’s alleged fraud and deceit against his own relative,” Newport Police Chief DiSanto said. “Fortunately, Officer Rivers was able to follow the paper trail left by the suspect which gave us the evidence we needed to charge him.”

Glover native Sarah Waring joins the Vermont Community Foundation

in Glover/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — The Vermont Community Foundation recently announced that Sarah Waring has been hired as its vice president for grants and community investments and will join the Foundation at the end of December.

Waring, who was born and raised in Glover, will step into her new role as the Foundation continues to expand its efforts to close Vermont’s opportunity gap—the divide in access to education, jobs, health, and community vitality that keeps many Vermonters from getting ahead in life.

Earlier this year, the Foundation declared its belief that the opportunity gap was the single greatest challenge to the health and vitality of the state, and focused its staff-directed discretionary programs and its mission-related investments on closing the gap.

It also changed its grantmaking processes to emphasize deeper engagement between the Foundation’s staff and the communities it serves.

Waring’s career has been focused on community development and natural resource management, using collaborative and whole systems approaches.

She was director of programs for the Farm and Wilderness Foundation in Plymouth, program director at the Vermont Council on Rural Development, socioeconomics program manager at the Sonoran Institute in Bozeman, Montana, and a social science coordinator for the Bureau of Land Management in Washington, D.C.

Since 2013, she has been the Executive Director at the Center for an Agricultural Economy, an innovative nonprofit focused on building a just and regenerative local food system and working in economic and community development arenas in the Northeast Kingdom.

“It’s an honor to be joining the Community Foundation,” said Waring. “I am incredibly excited about the challenges ahead, particularly in how philanthropy and giving can play a critical role in systems change and be used to work directly with communities to understand and address the opportunity gap.”

Waring has served on numerous boards, steering committees, and councils.

She earned her B.A. from Haverford College and her Masters of Applied Anthropology from the University of Maryland. She lives in East Montpelier with her family.

“Sarah has a proven track record of working statewide, regionally, and locally on successful efforts that use community momentum to do great things,” says Foundation President & CEO Dan Smith. “She’ll be a critical part of our work to ensure that philanthropy is responsive to the needs and hopes of Vermonters who feel the opportunity gap most strongly.”

Moore appointed to Community Bancorp. and Community National Bank boards

in Derby/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

DERBY — Community National Bank and Community Bancorp. President and Chief Executive Officer Kathryn M. Austin announced this week the appointment of Jeffrey Moore to the Boards of Directors.

Moore’s appointment will be effective January 1, 2019.

He will serve on the Corporate Governance/Nominating Committee of the Company’s Board and the Risk Management Committee of the Bank’s Board.

Moore is the owner and President of Quest Transportation, a freight logistics company based in St. Johnsbury.

He launched the business in 1985 after working at St. Johnsbury Trucking for three years.

Looking at supply chain logistics, he recognized the need for a freight broker and created a national freight network.

As an innovator and entrepreneur, Moore continued to expand his business interests.

In 2008, he created Pellets Now, a wholesale distributor of bio-energy fuels, and in 2014, Moore assumed the position of General Manager of Wells River Chevrolet in Wells River, testing the waters for possible ownership.

Born and raised in St. Johnsbury, Moore graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy and attended Lyndon State College.

He is deeply committed to his community and currently serves on the St. Johnsbury Select Board, NVRH Board of Trustees, and the St. Johnsbury-Lyndonville Industrial Park Board.

He is also a member of the Catamount Arts Advisory Council.

Moore previously served on the boards of the NEK Chamber of Commerce, St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce and St. Johnsbury Development Fund.

When he’s not at work, you can find him on the slopes of Burke Mountain or enjoying some quiet time at Lake Willoughby, two of his favorite places.

Photo by Phil White.

Newport woman qualifies for upcoming Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival

in Derby/Newport/News/Outdoors

NEWPORT — A 62-year-old woman from Newport spent her Sunday qualifying for the upcoming Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival taking place in February of 2019.

Lynn Rublee swam 25 meters in 35-degree water at Eagle Point on Lake Memphremagog.

In doing so, she became the 80th winter swimmer to sign up for the upcoming Festival held on Lake Memphremagog.

Also qualifying this past weekend was Elizabeth Hershey, 52, of Conestoga, PA.

The pool is the only 25-meter, two-lane winter swimming pool cut in the ice in all of North America.

As the festival heads into its fifth year, the number of registrants has already topped last year’s numbers with room for just 20 more swimmers.

Registration closes on February 1.

Among the 80 already signed up, some of the locals include Vera Rivard, 15, and her younger sister, Margaret Rivard, 11, of Derby. Pam Ladds, of Newport, is also ready to go.

The pool is scheduled to be cut on Thursday and Friday, February 21 and 22, 2019, and the event kicks off that Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Backcountry ski and ride project in Willoughby State Forest expands

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom/Outdoors/Westmore

WESTMORE — The Northeast Kingdom Backcountry Coalition, also known as NEKBC for short, is updating its pilot backcountry ski and ride project in the Willoughby State Forest.

The coalition began working with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation in the fall of 2016 to design and develop winter backcountry recreation opportunities that supplement the existing ski and snowshoe trail network in the Willoughby State Forest.

The project is the first of its kind on state lands to provide access and manage vegetation to provide backcountry snow sports for the public.

NEKBC says they are committed to creating legitimate and sustainable backcountry routes and hopes to stop rogue and illegal cutting on state and private lands.

Most recently, the coalition has been working closely with specialist Luke O’Brien, who is one of several such professionals across the state recently hired to work closely with partners, volunteers, and contractors on outdoor recreation projects on state lands, including sustainable trail development and maintenance, assessment and monitoring of recreation sites, and promoting sustainable outdoor recreation activities.

The collaborative project has resulted in the design of backcountry zones that include ski lines on Mt. Hor, and Bartlett Mountain.

Also developed is a network of uphill tracks to connect to the parking lot on Route 5A and the various backcountry zones.

These improvements complement the existing 12k network of groomed Nordic ski trails offered in the Willoughby State Forest.

The group says they continue to work to identify, mark, clear, and monitor trails to create a sustainable backcountry trail system in the forest.

Four arrested in Irasburg

in coventry/Irasburg/Newport/News

IRASBURG — Police say that they have arrested a group of people who occupied a camp in the town of Irasburg owned by a 54-year-old man from Coventry, without his permission.

As officers approached the camp, they say the occupants fled the scene on foot.

One accused, John Regan, 27, of Philadelphia, was taken into custody just outside the camp.

Troopers and deputies with K9s tracked the other three individuals through deep snow for 1-2 miles for about an hour before they were located and taken into custody in the woods.

The three were Identified as Ronald Harris, 27, also of Philadelphia, Daniel Peters, 23, of Newport, and Andrea Poutre, 37, of Newport.

Police say that Ronald Harris had an active arrest warrant issued out of Pennsylvania for aggravated assault.

Poutre was on court-ordered conditions of release for a “heroin – sale or delivery 200 mg or more” offense that occurred earlier in the year.

She also was on conditions of release for a case involving charges of retail theft, false info to a law enforcement officer, and violation of conditions of release.

Daniel Peters was on court-ordered conditions of release for burglary into an occupied dwelling that occurred earlier in the year in Orleans county.

Investigators say they are working with the State’s Attorney’s Office and the court to determine charges and arraignment details.

Harris, Peters, Poutre, and Regan remain in custody pending a court determination of bail and conditions of release.

Questions, questions, questions about the landfill

in coventry/Letter to the Editor/Newport

After the September 10th forum in Newport with a panel presenting opinions on the expansion of the Coventry landfill, I’ve been asking myself and others a lot of questions.

As a member of DUMP, Don’t Undermine Memphremagog’s Purity, I’ve met concerned citizens working hard to investigate the issues surrounding our local landfill, unfortunately, the only landfill in Vermont.

It’s not an easy task, and I applaud the Chronicle, VT Digger, Seven Days, Newport Dispatch and other media for entering the fray.

I did not attend the recently-called meeting in Coventry, but after reading the Chronicle’s November 21st article I had more questions than answers.

According to the Coventry Selectmen and the VT Department of Environmental Conservation, there are “intense regulations” and frequent monitoring.

How frequently do the Town and State officials visit the landfill for spontaneous inspection? How intense are the regulations Vermont places on its one lined landfill since indeed waste management is “risky business,” according to the DEC Commissioner?

During the Sept. 10th forum the Solid Waste representative, Cathy Jamieson, mentioned that the facility was permitted because of the regulations that were in place, but she acknowledged that they might be less strict standards than in other states.

What are the standards in other states? How often do the wells get tested?

If the Waste Water Treatment Plants are not designed to test for PFAs, how can we be assured that leachate is clean when it goes into the lakes or rivers of Vermont?

How long does it take for contaminates to migrate? How often are the landfill liners checked for tears or slippage?

Vermont’s Universal Recycling Act was enacted in 2012 but the amount of recyclables removed from garbage has decreased our waste only slightly in the past 6 years.

What steps has the Solid Waste Department taken that have worked or haven’t made a difference? What do we really need to do in Vermont to reduce and reuse our garbage? What specific strategies has Casella implemented to become forerunners in the field of safe and environmentally friendly waste management as they claimed?

And what is the “ideal place for a landfill,” as the panel’s senior hydrologist posed?
A watershed bordering an international lake that provides drinking water to Canadian citizens?

Or a poor region where residents might benefit from the dollars that the landfill company will pay to compensate for the odors and the traffic (although all the other communities around the region and state have to deal with the huge trucks and emissions, as well)?

The squashed plans to site landfills in Burlington and Williston in recent years failed due to … what?

Were they not ideal places to site a landfill, being in populated zones where more of the garbage is generated and collected?

What long-range planning is Vermont doing to solve these problems?

Our communities, whether they are for or against the expansion of the Coventry landfill, would like specific answers to all these questions.

The public should be made aware of the test results and options and get specific, not vague, answers.

From our DUMP queries, we’ve seen that a lot of digging needs to be done into DEC, Act 250 or NEWSVT records to gain facts.

My final question is “What is the rush?”

Deliberations, answers and solutions should precede the permit expansion.

Let’s take the time to solidify Vermont’s solid waste management plan.

Respectfully,

Lindy Sargent, Barton

Police: Driver failed to stop, crashed into snowbank

in Barton/Newport/News

NEWPORT — A 37-year-old woman from Barton will have to answer to charges after police say she failed to pull over during a traffic stop in Newport.

At around 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department attempted to stop a dark-colored sedan.

The driver was identified as Sherllynn Cote.

Police allege Cote accelerated rapidly and failed to stop at the intersection of 191 and Western Avenue In Newport.

The vehicle turned onto Clyde Street where it lost control and struck a snowbank.

Newport Police assisted the Sheriff’s Department when conducting the stop.

The occupants of the vehicle were detained while the investigation was completed.

Cote was issued a citation in Orleans Superior Court for a later date. 

Driving too fast: I-91 traffic slowed after several crashes

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — The snowstorm today had police responding to multiple slide-offs and crashes on Interstate 91, including a tour bus that police say was driving too fast for conditions, and was even seen passing vehicles before sliding into the median.

At 3:00 p.m. a tractor-trailer unit slid into a guardrail and subsequently jack-knifed across the southbound lanes of I-91.

The cab of the truck was stuck in the ditch while the trailer extended onto the roadway, blocking traffic. The Interstate needed to be closed from Exit 28 to 27 southbound for 2.5 hours.

At 5:40 p.m. a tour bus was traveling southbound and spun around before sliding into the median and partially overturning.

Witnesses reported the bus had been passing vehicles prior to the crash.

There were 14 people on board the bus at the time, and many reported minor injuries. All injured parties were checked on the scene and none required hospitalization.

The driver was ticketed for traveling too fast for conditions.

Interstate 91 south was again closed for a short period of time for the removal of the bus, however, one lane of traffic remained open for the majority of the crash investigation.

At around 5:00 p.m., a tractor-trailer unit jackknifed near mile-marker 153.

The cab and trailer slid off the roadway and into the median.

Removal efforts required the passing lane of the interstate to be closed for a short period of time.

The driver and sole occupant of the tractor-trailer were not injured.

Police say all incidents were caused by a result of the operators traveling too fast for existing road conditions.

Police looking for Brownington man

in Brownington/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Vermont State Police say they are looking for a Brownington man.

The man, identified as 45-year-old Stanley “Joe” Crowe, has three separate arrest warrants in Vermont.

Police say he is a suspect in numerous burglaries in the Orleans County area.

According to a statement issued by Sgt. Sean Selby, Crowe is known to be involved with drug use in the Connecticut area.

Anyone with any information on his whereabouts is being asked to contact police at 802-334-8881.

Evergreen Centerpiece Family Workshop at MAC Center for the Arts

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Thinking about decorating for the holidays? Wondering how to make new memories and fun-lore to pass down to generations? The Mac Center for the Arts in Newport is offering the perfect unique experience to satisfy both.

On December 15, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m., the MAC is welcoming everyone to come and celebrate the holidays by creating a beautiful seasonal centerpiece made of local evergreens and festive materials. 

This is an activity for family members, friends, and neighbors, so come with a parent or uncle, child or best friend. 
 
Instructor Nancy Nash will conduct the workshop at the MAC’s lower gallery.

This annual event is usually a sell-out, so early registration is suggested. 

The workshop is limited to 25 participants and has a nominal fee of $5.00 per participant to cover supplies.
 
After you have finished creating your masterpiece, take time to browse through the upstairs gallery and select from an astonishing array of extraordinary pieces of arts and crafts, music and books, jewelry and furniture.

The distinctive collection is matchless and supports shopping locally.
 
For more information, visit www.maccenterforthearts.com, call 802-334-1966, stop by the MAC and pick up a registration form, or email pattyos@earthlink.net.

Police seek help in Westmore burglary investigation

in Newport/News/Westmore

WESTMORE — Police recently released photos of a man they are trying to identify following a burglary that took place in Westmore back in July.

The incident took place on Peene Hill Road, when someone unlawfully entered a residence and stole several firearms.

The victim was able to provide police with a detailed description of the firearms, which include five semi-automatic pistols and one semi-automatic rifle.

Police say they now have surveillance footage from the property, which captured several still photographs of a white male in a baseball cap.

Anyone with information as to the identity of this person is being asked to contact troopers at the Vermont State Police Derby barracks.

Photo: Julie Ann Gates / Facebook

Secret ‘Santa’ pays for entire Derby Walmart store’s layaway items

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — The Derby Walmart had an early visit from Santa when an anonymous man paid off all the layaway items in the store, several local news outlets have reported.

Walmart shopper Julie Gates told WCAX that she encountered the anonymous man in the store.

“This can’t be, who can afford to pay for [everyone’s] layaway?” she said. “And he said ‘Santa Clause can.'”

Customer Tammy Desautels also told WCAX that her items had been paid for.

“It was kind of like surreal when they said no balance due, then it was really a reality,” she said.

Walmart could not provide a total amount that the man spent. It is also unknown how many people went home with free gifts.

The man did not want to be recognized for his good deed, and the only known photo of him was taken as he was walking away.

“There were people ahead of me who were eight, nine-hundred dollar layaways,” Gates said.

Customers purchase items on layaway by handing over an initial deposit to ensure the store holds the product.

When the shopper pays the item off in full, they can take it home. The payment method allows customers to obtain a product without putting down a major sum in one sitting.

Police: Woman stole gas before high-speed chase

in Canaan/Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — Police say a 38-year-old woman from Canaan who led them on a high-speed chase last week, stole gasoline from a local station beforehand.

Anna Roy is now being charged with retail theft in addition to the charges relating to the chase.

Police say on the day of the incident they were contacted by Thompson’s Redemption in Derby and notified of an ongoing issue with a woman pumping significantly more gas than had been pre-paid for, before driving away.

Later that day police were involved in the high-speed pursuit with Roy, who was traveling in a white Dodge Avenger.

She was placed under arrest after crashing into a pole in Derby, near the intersection of Bates Hill Road and Route 111.

Police say they were advised by Thompson’s staff that their suspect and vehicle matched the description of Roy and the white Avenger.

“A subsequent review of camera footage revealed that on 11/10/18, and prior to the pursuit on 11/11/18, Roy was the one who had committed the gas thefts,” a statement issued by Trooper Daniel Lynch reads.

Roy has already been to court for the vehicle offenses and will be back in court in January to answer to the additional charges.

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

in Essex County/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

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

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

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

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

The Northeast Kingdom Consortium consists of the following partners:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fire destroys Newport duplex

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — An early morning fire destroyed a two-story duplex in Newport.

At approximately 5:56 a.m. the Newport City Fire Department was notified of a structure fire with occupants trapped inside at 48 Pond Street.

This home was owned by 46-year-old Clarence Breault, who lived on one side, while his sister, Rose Breault, lived on the other.

Due to the close proximity of neighboring homes, firefighters quickly began suppressing the fire from spreading to any other nearby structures.

Once the blaze was under control, Newport City Fire Chief James LeClair assessed the scene and contacted the Department of Public Safety Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit for assistance with the origin and cause determination.

Investigators say they responded to the scene and confirmed Chief LeClair’s determination that the fire originated in the basement near a large wood stove or boiler.

Authorities say the fire started in the ceiling area of the basement directly above the wood stove.

“The clearance from the wood stove to the ceiling joists and the floor above was incredibly close to the hot wood stove and after years of heating by the wood stove, the combustible wood material finally caught fire,” Detective Sergeant Todd Ambroz said.

The homeowner had stoked the wood stove in the basement at approximately 3:00 a.m. At 4:30 a.m. he began to smell smoke inside the house.

At some point between 5:15 and 5:30 a.m. Breault discovered the ceiling area above the wood stove in the basement was on fire.

He attempted to extinguish the fire himself by using a garden hose, but the fire spread quickly.

The home is considered a total loss.

According to authorities, the fire is currently classified as accidental.

DUI after Newport man crashes head-on into a plow truck

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — A 30-year-old man from Newport was arrested early this morning after police say he was intoxicated when he crashed head-on into a plow truck.

At around 12:30 a.m. police were notified of the crash that took place on Coburn Hill Road in Newport.

According to the report, a Vermont AOT plow truck was responding to the area to treat the roadway.

The plow truck driver told police he observed a vehicle traveling toward him in his travel lane.

Police say the truck moved as far to the right as possible and came to a complete stop, but the vehicle crashed head-on into the truck.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Raymond Paquin.

During the investigation, police say Paquin was taken into custody and transported to Derby, where he was processed for his second DUI.

He was then transported to Northern State Correctional Facility where he was sent for detox.

There were no reported injuries in the crash.

Orleans County Trails coordinator receives prestigious award

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — At the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) annual meeting, Orleans County Trails Coordinator Raymond Rodrigue received County Trails Coordinator of the Year.

This prestigious award is given out annually to the county trails coordinator who best exemplifies the hard work and dedication needed to keep Vermont’s trail system open and viable on a year to year basis.

There are 14 county trails coordinators in Vermont.

Rodrigue became county trails coordinator in 2014 but has been involved in his local club, Orleans Snowstormers for 22 years, 19 of which was in an officers position.

In 1999, he undertook the task of completely redesigning all of the junction signs for his club.

When he’s not riding his snowmobile or grooming in the winter, he’s attending VAST meetings and working behind the scenes to keep Vermont’s trails open.

Rodrigue’s work does not end when the snow melts.

He remains busy throughout the summer overseeing and approving all of the projects throughout Orleans County.

This Summer and Fall, $44,000 worth of construction projects are being proposed for Orleans County snowmobile trails, most of which will be done by local contractors with locally purchased supplies.

Orleans county snowmobile clubs always have been and will continue to be an economic boost for the Northeast Kingdom.

New childcare center opens in Newport

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Newport City Promise Community Early Care and Learning Center has opened.

An open house and ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Monday.

The new center is a licensed quality preschool/childcare center that serves children from 6 weeks to 5-years-old.

The center is located in the United Church of Newport, on 3rd Street.

The credentialed teaching staff provides programs that include a focus on school readiness skills, creative curriculum, nutritious breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, environments filled with age-appropriate learning and exploration, as well as general fun for kids.

The program also has a low child to teacher ratio, allowing for individual attention for each child.

The program is open all day, year round.

Orleans man leads police on high-speed chase

in Newport/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — A 24-year-old man from Orleans who was on escape status with the Department of Corrections, led police on a high-speed chase on Sunday.

Police say Christopher Conley is facing multiple charges following the incident.

At around 3:50 p.m., a trooper was monitoring traffic on I-91 north when he clocked a white Subaru doing 111 mph in the 65 mph zone.

The trooper attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the vehicle failed to yield and got off the interstate at exit 27.

Police say Conley was identified as the driver, and he accelerated to 80 mph in the 35 mph zone, traveling west on Schuler Road towards Hinman Settler Road.

The pursuit continued down Hinman Settler Road through Brownington and ultimately into Barton.

According to police, Conley at times hit speeds of 100 mph on the dirt roadway.

He ultimately failed to negotiate a turn, leaving the road on Churchill Road just north of Route 58.

The vehicle overturned, striking a tree.

Conley had a passenger in the car with him and both were transported to North Country Hospital and treated for injuries.

Police say Conley was found to be on escape status and was transported to the Northern State Correctional Facility and returned to DOC custody.

He will face charges for felony eluding a police officer with gross negligence, grossly negligent operation, recklessly endangering another person, excessive speed, as well as DUI.

MAC Center for the Arts announces final exhibit for 2018 “WINTER!”

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts is getting ready to present their final exhibit for 2018.

The show, titled “WINTER!” opens November 16, with a reception from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the lower gallery.

The exhibit is free and open to the public and will run through January 19, 2019. The gallery is open Monday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m.

The exclusive show, being curated by Victoria Mathiesen and Andrea Strobach, includes 2D MAC member artwork as well as a departure from the norm in that the show will be exhibiting Winter themed work from private collections.

The winter wonderland will be celebrated with photographs, paintings, prints, cards, and more adorning the downstairs gallery space.

A special performance, SHOWFLAKES, will highlight the whimsey of the snowscapes on December 14, and just like the weather, a flurry of anticipation is in the forecast for this original musical comedy revue.

MAC Center for the Art is located at 158 Main Street, in Newport.

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

Woman seriously injured in Newport Center crash

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — A woman from Newport Center was transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center after a two-vehicle crash this morning.

Police and rescue workers were notified at around 7:30 a.m. of an incident at the intersection of VT Route 105 and the Buzzell Road in Newport Center.

Renee Grimes, 50, of Newport Center, was transported to North Country Hospital, and later to Dartmouth-Hitchcock for what police describe as “serious injuries.”

Ralph Lee, 61, also of Newport Center, was taken to North Country hospital to be treated for injuries.

According to the report, the Jaws of Life were needed to free one victim who was left trapped in the wreckage.

Police say Grimes was exiting Buzzell Road and did not see Lee, who was pulling onto VT Route 105.

Speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors in this crash.

Car crashes into the Black River in Irasburg

in Irasburg/Newport/News

IRASBURG — A 55-year-old woman from Irasburg walked away with only minor injuries after her car crashed into the Black River on Saturday.

At around 5:15 p.m., police responded to the single-vehicle crash near the intersection of Vermont Route 58 and Covered Bridge Road in Irasburg.

The driver was identified as Karla Riendeau.

According to the report, Riendeau lost control of her vehicle while headed west on Route 58.

The vehicle left the roadway before traveling over an embankment and rolling onto its roof in the river.

It came to a final rest partially submerged in the water.

Riendeau was pulled out of the vehicle by someone who passed by during the crash.

According to the report, Riendeau sustained only minor injuries.

Grant awarded to help Orleans County fight domestic violence

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — The Orleans County State’s Attorney’s Office, partnering with the Advocacy Program at Umbrella and the Newport City Police Department, recently announced that they have been awarded a STOP Grant through the Department of Justice.

The STOP Grant in Orleans County will fund a legal advocate that will be housed at Umbrella and an investigator from the Newport Police Department that will be housed at the State’s Attorney’s Office.

The majority of the homicides in Orleans County have been domestic violence related.

The goal is to increase survivor safety by providing victims with appropriate and necessary assistance throughout the court process, increasing offender accountability, and aiding in domestic violence homicide prevention.

The group says these goals will be met with a collaboration of advocate services, prosecution of offenders, increased training related to domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual abuse.

Orleans County will now be implementing a lethality assessment on the scene at all domestic violence-related calls for service.

“Domestic violence continues to be a significant problem in Orleans County,” State’s Attorney Jennifer Barrett said. “I am confident this grant will positively impact Orleans County.”

Woman injured during head-on crash in Coventry

in coventry/Newport/News

COVENTRY — A woman was injured during a head-on crash in Coventry on Sunday that closed Alderbrook Road for over an hour.

The accident took place at around 4:10 p.m. near the intersection of Vermont Route 14.

According to police, Cory Valentine, 26, of Coventry, had been traveling south on Alderbrook Road when he crossed the double yellow line into the northbound lane.

Sarah Martell, 56, also of Coventry, was traveling north in her lane and was unable to maneuver to avoid the collision.

Both vehicles impacted head-on in the northbound lane.

Police say Martell’s airbag did not deploy.

She was extricated from the vehicle by rescue workers and transported to North Country Hospital for treatment for injuries.

According to the report, Valentine was not transported to the hospital.

There is no update as to the nature of Martell’s injuries at this time.

Community-wide meeting this Thursday to tackle issues facing local businesses

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — There will be a community-wide meeting held this Thursday to bring forth issues facing local businesses.

The meeting is being put on by the ReNewport: Supporting Businesses and Entrepreneurs task force.

The meeting will be held on November 1, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the North Country Career Center.

Recently the task force undertook a business development survey in the greater Newport to identify important opportunities and needs the local economy must focus on to be successful in the future.

The survey found that broadband, access to capital, as well as cross-border marketing were the top three issues businesses care about most.

Financing and cross-border marketing will be the main topics for the meeting, with experts in the field from across the state present to discuss these issues.

Broadband will also be presented and discussed, however, there is currently a larger meeting specifically on that topic being planned by NVDA for early December.

All business and community members are encouraged and welcome to attend.

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Barton native breaks the ice aboard Coast Guard ship

in Barton/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

When Shannon Eubanks graduated Lake Region Union High School in Barton, Vermont, she did so surrounded by people she had grown up with for years.

During her childhood, the small New England town was Eubank’s playground for a myriad of outdoor activities, such as snowboarding and hiking; and often times, her middle school class would take breaks to ski during the school day.

As Eubanks would describe it, Barton was the kind of small town where everyone knew each other. Little did she know at the time, she would later surround herself with a similar close-knit group of people on a polar icebreaker in the Arctic Ocean.

The youngest of three, her parents met and married while they were waiting to go to school to become radiomen in the U.S. Coast Guard After serving 10 years, her mother left the service, and her father retired after serving 20.
It would only seem fitting for Eubanks to follow in her parent’s footsteps. It eventually happened, but she ended up having to seek out the opportunity, rather than feeling the pressure to continue her parents’ tradition.

“I never thought I was going to join the military,” Eubanks said. “I didn’t even give it much thought growing up. My parents liked to keep their work life separate from their personal life. They never pressured me into joining the Coast Guard, but when I started thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, I began asking them questions.”

She considered the other military branches, but the Coast Guard appealed to her because of their lifesaving mission. Once she made the decision to enlist, Eubanks traveled six hours to visit the nearest recruiting office.
At 19 years old, Eubanks raised her right hand, took the oath of enlistment and headed to basic training in Cape May, New Jersey.

Three years later, Eubanks is now a third class petty officer stationed aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy – a 420-foot polar icebreaker homeported in Seattle and one of only two icebreakers in U.S. service. Each summer, Eubanks deploys in the Arctic with a team of scientists to assist them in conducting scientific research.

As a boatswain’s mate aboard the ship, she is in charge of piloting the ship’s small boats, standing watch on the ship’s bridge and supervising a small workforce of enlisted members. With the lives and safety of her fellow shipmates at stake, it’s a responsibility Eubanks doesn’t take lightly, and it often takes her out of her comfort zone.

“Military service can be a bit of a challenge,” Eubanks said. “At times, you have to take on different personalities you wouldn’t normally display. You also have to force yourself to be more responsible because you have a more responsible role.”

Despite the serious nature of her job, Eubanks’ personality is hard to miss. She’s often heard before she’s seen by singing Simon and Garfunkel tunes or 90s rock hits, and she wears a smile as if it were a uniform requirement. In fact, her bubbly personality earned her the nickname Giggles – a name that is memorialized on the back of her hard hat in thick, black lettering that reads “Gigls” for short.

“She’s a very bubbly person, and it radiates to those around her,” Eubanks’ supervisor, Chief Petty Officer Nathan Poppink, said. “It has a cascading effect on everyone she works with.”

However, below that infectious personality lies an ambition and drive, and her hard work has not gone unnoticed.

“She’s very passionate and proactive in her work,” Poppink said. “In the year and a half I’ve known her, she has really improved, and she is ready to make that next step to be a second class petty officer and beyond.”

Whether she blasting a 90’s chart-topper or piloting a small boat through the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean with a team of scientists in her boat, Eubank’s bubbly personality and drive only serve to highlight her future ambitions.

She plans to apply to Officer Candidate School at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and hopes to be a rescue pilot where she can continue to work toward the very goals that attracted her to the service – to save lives.

Story and Photos by NyxoLyno Cangemi, U.S. Coast Guard.

Orleans County Sheriff invited to White House

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Last week, Orleans County Sheriff Kirk Martin was invited to the Conference of Intergovernmental Affairs in Washington, D.C., as one of the elected officials chosen from Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

On Tuesday, Sheriff Martin visited the White House alongside other state and local leaders.

With speakers from several federal agencies, the focus was on the biggest issues facing the country and what can be done at the local level to work toward solutions.

Sheriff Martin expressed that the opiate epidemic was among the key issues.

“It was emphasized that there should be a larger focus on treatment and education,” said Martin. “A solution to these issues starts with educating our community from a young age in hopes of stopping the problem before it becomes one,” he added.

Martin added that other topics included funds for initiatives dedicated to improving highway safety and the importance of providing mental health and medical treatment to veterans within our communities.

The aim of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs is to open lines of communication between federal agencies to build and maintain with officials at the state and the local levels.

Speakers included representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education, Office of National Drug Control Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Police: Two arrested after breaking into the Northern Star to smoke pot

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Newport Police Department arrested two men after they allegedly broke into the Northern Star late Saturday afternoon.

Keith Sylvester, 29, and Justin Roy, 23, of Newport, were each arrested and charged with unlawful mischief, resisting arrest, and burglary.

On Saturday, at around 4:30 p.m., officers responded to the docked boat for a report of two unknown individuals on board.

Upon arrival, officers boarded the Northern Star and could hear the sound of glass breaking below deck.

Police located the two suspects, who allegedly began to flee when ordered to stop.

Both suspects attempted to jump off the boat, but Roy fell into the water while officers took Sylvester into custody.

Roy was pulled from the water and arrested as well.

According to police, the men had allegedly broken onto the boat to smoke marijuana and ended up vandalizing the interior with a hammer while on board.

Police say they located a bag of marijuana floating in the lake near Roy and also seized a small amount of marijuana from Sylvester.

Upon further investigation, officers determined that several dishes, a surveillance camera and other items inside the boat with an estimated value over $1,000 were damaged.

Both are currently being held on $5,000 bail pending their arraignment.

Newport Recreation Committee seeking members

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The City of Newport is seeking new resident and non-resident members for the Newport Recreation Committee.

The group works closely with the Parks & Recreation Department and serves as an advisory board to the Newport City Council on issues pertaining to parks and recreation in Newport.

The committee assumes a major role in developing a sense of community and enhancing the quality of life in our area by influencing the recreational future of Newport.

Members should be deeply interested in local youth and family activities, special events, sports or park facilities.

Formal education is not necessary, but some demonstrated experience, volunteerism, participation or involvement in parks and recreation programs, projects or planning is preferred.

All interested applicants must submit a brief letter of interest outlining their experience, qualifications and desire to obtain a seat on the Committee.

By giving an hour of your time once monthly, you can make a huge contribution to the community and the children and families who live here.

This is a great way to share your input and help steer the future of the City of Newport.

The Newport Recreation Committee consists of 5-9 members, of which the majority must be Newport City residents.

Members are appointed by the Newport City Council annually for two-year staggered terms.

This is a volunteer group and no members will be compensated for their committee time.

The Recreation Committee meets monthly on the second Thursday at 6:00 p.m. in the Newport Municipal Building, 222 Main Street.

Onsite childcare during meetings will be available if needed.

Inquiries and letters of interest can be emailed or submitted by Monday 10/22/18 to:

Jessica Booth, Director of Parks & Recreation:

City of Newport
222 Main Street
Newport, VT 05855

Gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist touring Orleans County on Friday

in Glover/Greensboro/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist will be touring Orleans County this Friday.

She will be at the Eastside in Newport from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., at Parker Pie in West Glover from 12:00 p.m. until 1:30 p.m., and at the Highland Lodge in Greensboro from 2:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

These events are open to the public and organizers say all are welcome.
 
Hallquist, the former CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative, has said that her number one campaign issue is rural economic development.

She also says she advocates for a strong social safety net for Vermonters, universal healthcare, universal broadband, and a $15 minimum wage.
 
“We encourage everyone to come and meet Christine and learn more about what she can do to support the Northeast Kingdom,” said Mimi Smyth, chair of the Orleans County Democratic Committee.

Fundraising a success for trail between downtown Newport and Bluffside Farm

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — More than $1.2 million has been raised for a seven-mile, car-free waterfront recreation path that connects downtown Newport to the Canadian border and beyond.

The Waterfront Recreational Path and Lake Access Project began with the development of a walking path and dock along the downtown Newport Waterfront Plaza, which opened in spring 2018.

This new path linked to the existing path along Newport’s downtown boardwalk, forming a beautiful crescent of lakefront recreational land on Lake Memphremagog’s south shore.

The goal was to expand recreational activities along the lakefront by linking segments of existing trails along the waterfront and constructing some new trails.

The project will connect downtown to the existing Beebe Spur Rail trail, which leads to the Canadian border and a network of trails in Canada.

With $1.2 million raised for Phase II of the project, the Vermont Land Trust will begin to permit and then construct a connection between Prouty Beach and Bluffside Farm.

In late December 2015, the land trust purchased Bluffside Farm, which had been owned by one family since 1906.

The farm has nearly a mile of lakeside frontage. More than half of the frontage is on Scott’s Cove, directly across from Newport City’s Prouty Beach.

Pilings are still present from a bridge that formerly connected the two properties.

The Vermont Land Trust says they will build a new bridge across the cove as part of the trail construction.

This new feature is expected to be a draw for locals and tourists.

“Despite the fact that Newport is nearly surrounded by water, there is surprisingly little public access to the lake,” said Tracy Zschau, conservation director for the Vermont Land Trust.

Given the future trail’s benefits to the community, the Vermont Land Trust has secured several large grants, including $425,000 from the Northern Border Regional Commission.

“This is an ambitious project, being able to raise the money was critical,” explained Tracy.

“This will be a wonderful new asset for the City that came from a community engagement process,” said Newport City Manager Laura Dolgin. “The trail and access to the lake preserves our cultural roots and provides a path to the future of our recreational economy.”

Car catches fire after hitting deer on I-91

in Irasburg/Newport/News

IRASBURG — A 32-year-old St. Johnsbury man’s vehicle was totaled this morning after he hit a deer.

According to the report, Matthew Chesebrough was headed north on I-91 in Irasburg, when he struck the deer with a 2009 Suzuki.

Chesebrough pulled into the breakdown lane to inspect the damage to the vehicle when it began to smoke and eventually catch fire.

He called 911 and the Irasburg Fire Department arrived and extinguished the blaze.

Chesebrough was not injured in the crash.

Wright’s Towing arrived on scene to remove the vehicle.

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