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Police investigating burglary in Newport Center

in Newport/News

NEWPORT CENTER­ — Police responded to a burglary at a home on City Farm Road last Sunday.

Police say that the victim, identified as Christina Baker, was away from home when the burglary took place.

While physical evidence was collected from the crime scene, police say the suspect has yet to be identified.

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or who has any information is being asked to call the police at 334-8881.

Rollover crash on I-91 in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY – A 68-year-old woman from Derby was involved in a rollover crash on I-91 on Wednesday.

Police say the vehicle was resting on its roof in the median when they arrived on scene.

The driver, identified as Louise Harris, was headed north when she struck the guardrail and overturned the vehicle.

Harris was wearing a seat belt at the time, and no injuries were reported.

By the time police arrived, they say Harris had already been helped by a good Samaritan who stopped to assist.

The passing lane of I-91 North was temporarily shut down while the vehicle was removed.

Recognizing North Country Hospital volunteers

in Health/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Patients, families, as well as North Country Hospital staff, all appreciate local hospital volunteers throughout the year.

Between nearly 50 volunteers performing various jobs throughout the organization, a total of 8,000 hours have been logged over the last 12 months.

On April 8, the group was recognized for their dedication and many hours of service at a volunteer dinner prepared and hosted by the hospital’s own food and nutrition department.

On board since October 2018, President & CEO Brian Nall has been getting to know the volunteers and commented on how blessed the hospital is to have this dedicated core of individuals.

“I’m going to volunteer in the gift shop when I retire since that’s where my father volunteers at his local hospital,” Nall said.

Bill Perket, the vice president of human resources, also extended his appreciation for the commitment volunteers fulfill each and every day.

Merrilyn Barry, who leads the volunteers, proudly acknowledged everyone in attendance, awarding recognition gifts to all.

“I consider you my second family, and I love you all,” she said. “Everyone does their best to work their shift no matter what.”

NCUHS closed, police investigating threat

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — North Country Union High School is closed today, and police say a 17-year-old male suspect has been taken into custody as they investigate.

The Orleans County Sheriff’s Department says around 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday they were informed of a potential safety threat made against North Country Union High School.

As a precaution, the decision was made with school officials to cancel school Thursday while the threat is investigated.

The Orleans County Sheriff’s Department is currently working with Newport Police officers and Vermont State Police BCI detectives to resolve the incident.

According to a statement released by Deputy Kyle Ingalls, a 17-year-old male was taken into custody on unrelated charges.

In a recorded message sent to parents by Superintendent John A. Castle, all other schools in the supervisory union will remain open.

“The threat was specific to NCUHS, the high school and career center will remain closed until further notice,” Castle said in the message.

Newport police bust man with nearly 3 ounces of cocaine

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — An investigation by police in Newport has resulted in the arrest of a suspected drug dealer and the seizure of about 3 ounces of cocaine.

Glenn Porter, 54, of Lunenburg was arrested following the investigation.

Police say back in February they began receiving anonymous tips that a man was selling cocaine and unknown “pills” at the American Legion on Veterans Avenue, which borders the property of North Country Union High School.

On March 1, Police Sgt. Charles Moulton was observing the area of the American Legion when another anonymous tip was provided that the person of interest was operating a GMC pickup truck.

Moulton made note of a dark grey GMC Canyon in the parking lot.

Police say they received numerous additional tips in March about a man driving a GMC Canyon, selling cocaine during the evenings.

The investigation culminated on Friday, March 29, when intelligence gathered by investigators indicated that the suspect would be in the area that night, selling cocaine.

Officers made a traffic stop of the suspect’s vehicle.

After an on-scene investigation, which included the use of Officer Joshua Lillis and K-9 Ozzy, it was determined that drugs were likely in the vehicle.

During the on-scene investigation, K-9 Ozzy “alerted” on the truck several times indicating the presence of an illicit substance.

The suspect’s truck and clothing were seized and later searched after police obtained a warrant.

Police say they found nearly 3 ounces of a white powdery substance, cash, and two iPhones during their search of the truck and clothing.

As a result of the investigation, Porter was arrested.

He was charged with possession of cocaine, attempted sale of cocaine, and conspiracy to sell cocaine.

He was arraigned at Orleans County Superior Court yesterday.

“I commend the officers for their hard work, as well as our citizens who came forward anonymously to report this activity,” Newport Police Chief Seth DiSanto said.

Three retire from Columbia Forest Products

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Columbia Forest Products recently announced the retirement of three long-time employees.

Donald Deslandes

Thursday, March 28, 2019, marked the retirement of Don Deslandes from Columbia Forest Products, after 28 ½ years of service.

Born in Newport, he graduated from N.C.U.H.S.

Deslandes held his first job farming on Jordan’s farm for 3 years.

He then put down new tracks for the CNR Railroad for 3 summers, after which he was a sprayer at Ethan Allen in Island Pond, for 5 years

He also worked on both the Brighton and Newport Ambulance for 9 years.

Deslandes joined Columbia Forest Products on September 7, 1990, as a janitor.

He later held the patcher job in the splicing department for a few months. He held the hazardous waste coordinator position for the last 10 years, up until his retirement.

Deslandes and his wife Candy live in Newport.

They raised 5 children; Ralph, Alain, Christine, Cheyenne and Melissa and were blessed with 4 grandchildren; Peyton, 7, McKenzie, 3, Kadence, 4 and Rayven, 2, and are expecting another granddaughter in July.

His retirement plans are to spend more time with the family. He enjoys traveling and hopes to visit Las Vegas and Florida.

Deslandes is an avid NY Yankee and Jets fan. He also enjoys camping, and fishing and will continue to do some part-time security work.

Mike Fortin

Thursday, March 28, 2019, marked the retirement of Mike Fortin from Columbia Forest Products, after nearly 25 years of service. Born in St. Albans, he graduated from N.C.U.H.S.

Fortin held his first job working on the family farm for 20 years.

He joined Columbia Forest Products on May 16, 1994, as a part-time janitor.

He later held the following jobs: pre-sorter, clipper operator, grader, defect clipper operator, weigh & tag.

He also held the service job for the last 15 years, up until his retirement.

During his tenure, he had an exemplary attendance record.

Fortin and his wife Debbie live in Holland.

They raised 1 daughter; Christine and were blessed with 3 grandchildren; Adam, 25, Jacob, 23 and Rebecca, 17.

He looks forward to planting a vegetable garden with his mother and maintaining his late father’s blueberry and raspberry patches.

He enjoys hunting and is an avid Red Sox fan.

Fortin can be found working in his sugarbush doing one of his favorite things, operating his chainsaw to expose young maple trees.

He says he will never forget the kindness from his peers following the passing of his father, and that he is fortunate to have had the opportunity to work at Columbia Forest Products.

Randy Westover

Friday, March 29, 2019, marked the retirement of Randy Westover from Columbia Forest Products, after 40 ½ years of service. Born in Newport, Westover graduated from N.C.U.H.S.

He held his first job farming as a teenager for 3 years and then worked as an assembler at Newport Plastics for 3 weeks when he received a call from Columbia for an interview.

Westover joined Columbia Forest Products on September 11, 1978, as a round-up man for approximately one year.

He held the following positions:

Janitor, salvage clipper operator, service, booker during the first five years, after which he was promoted to the drying department crew leader for 5 years, and then cutting department crew leader of which he held for the last 30 years, up until his retirement.

Westover and his wife, Lisa live in Derby Line. They raised 4 children; Adam, Amanda, Travis and Jeremy and were blessed with 8 grandchildren; Haden, 12, Kaleb, 10, Tristin, 10, Jayce, 7, Lexi, 6, Silas, 6, Jaydon, 5, Mason, 7 months, and are expecting another in September.

Westover’s retirement plans are to work on some home improvement projects and to re-learn how to play his new guitar.

He hopes to travel to Florida, Hawaii and Las Vegas.

During the summer, he enjoys riding his motorcycle and spending time at the lake.

He also enjoys modifying muscle cars, bowling, playing cards and golf on the Wii.

He may consider taking up brook fishing again and finding a part-time job.

Representatives from Columbia Forest Products say they deeply appreciate the dedicated service all three men showed over the years.

Community National Bank receives Worksite Wellness Award

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Members of Community National Bank’s (CNB) Wellness Committee recently attended the Worksite Wellness Conference in Burlington to accept a Governor’s Excellence in Worksite Wellness Award.

Each year the Vermont Department of Health and the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports honor Vermont businesses for their efforts to promote health and wellness in the workplace.

CNB’s Wellness Committee, initiated in 2017, offers engaging activities that encourage physical fitness, healthy eating habits and emotional health for the bank’s employees.

The response rate to the Wellness Committee’s efforts shows that CNB employees have welcomed the opportunities to learn about health-related topics and to participate in activities that promote fitness and well-being.

The bank says they are honored to have received the Gold Level award for the Governor’s Excellence in Worksite Wellness.

Community National Bank is an independent bank that has been serving Vermont communities since 1851.

They have offices located in Derby, Barre, Barton, Derby Line, Enosburg Falls, Island Pond, Lyndonville, Montpelier, Morrisville, Newport, St. Johnsbury and Troy.

Orleans man facing burglary charges

in Newport/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — A 39-year-old man from Orleans was arrested on Monday in Newport.

Erik Polite is facing charges of burglary, possession of stolen property, and violation of conditions of release.

Police say they were notified at around 1:00 a.m. of a burglary that took place at a residence on Maple Street in Orleans.

A State trooper and a Newport Police Department Officer located the vehicle and parties of interest on Third Street in Newport.

The vehicle was stopped in the Maplefields parking lot.

Police allege Polite entered the residence without the right to do so and while inside he committed a felony.

According to the report, a search warrant was sought for both the vehicle and Polite’s clothing.

The execution of the search warrants resulted in the location of evidence of the crime, police say.

Polite was lodged on the charges.

NEK native to lead private journaling workshop in Newport

NEWPORT — This week Sunshine Silver Lining Vision Consulting, a media, management, and networking consulting company based out of Newport, announced their premiere workshop series “Tea and Tales.”

This series of writing and reading workshops will highlight both Vermont writers and authors as well as a variety of writing styles from journalling to memoir, along with poetry and screenwriting.

This spring, Tea and Tales will kick off with several workshops at The Work Commons in Newport, facilitated by Northeast Kingdom Native Ilene Elliott.

Private journaling is powerful and worthwhile. The added dynamic and energy of writing in a group can provide validation, encouragement, support, and new insight.

Participants of Elliott’s workshops and retreats will be introduced to handwritten journaling strategies and techniques that can be incorporated into their daily lives.

There will be several workshops:

Saturday, April 13, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 11, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 8, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

All workshops will be held at The Work Commons in Newport.

Sessions include facilitation and refreshments. Organizers of the workshops say you only need to bring a journal and an open mind.

A life-long Vermonter, Ilene was born, raised, and lived most of her life in the Northeast Kingdom. In 2016 she relocated to central Vermont.

For almost 30 years she has nurtured her own journaling practice while facilitating journaling workshops and retreats for others.

Elliott describes journaling as a tool for self-awareness and self-discovery, a way to grow in relationship with self and stir the pot of creativity.

Pricing for Tea and Tales is a sliding scale from $15 to $30 a session and can be paid by cash, check or in person with a credit or debit card.

Participants are asked to pre-register by contacting sunny@sunshinesilverlining.com or calling or texting 917-945-6250 as space is limited.

Vermont Folklife Exhibition “Portraits in Action” coming to the MAC Center

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts will host a special exhibition from Vermont Folklife entitled “Portraits in Action.”

The opening reception will take place on April 12, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the lower gallery on Main Street, in Newport.

The exhibition presents 25 Vermont pioneers in renewable energy, environmental conservation, and land planning in photography and text, and runs through May 18, 2019.  

The event is free and open to the public.

For over a decade, the Vermont Folklife Center has been exploring the roots of the environmental movement and renewable energy in Vermont, documenting an evolving course of action that extends from the mid-1960’s to the present.

Since this arc of activity has occurred within living memory, it has been possible to seek out and speak with the very people whose work has been an engine of change.

Seventy-two interviews later, “Portraits in Action” presents twenty-five Vermont pioneers in renewable energy, environmental conservation, and land use planning.

This diverse cross-section is intended to be suggestive rather than comprehensive, recognizing that there are many more whose work has also made a difference.

The exhibit pairs portrait photography and interview audio as a way for visitors to thoughtfully connect with each person featured.

Image and audio are linked to personal statements written in response to the question:

“What will bring us to the next level in meeting the energy and environmental challenges we are facing today?”

In our current political environment, consensus on the defining issues of our era continues to elude us.

“Portraits in Action” offers the opportunity to spend time with a group of people who have been thinking hard about many of these issues over the course of their working lifetimes.  

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

Courtesy photo from Vt Folklife: Archival photo of Don Mayer (center) pictured with Mr. & Mrs. Eldy Schragg, who were responsible for teaching him about the Jacob’s Wind Generators. Photo courtesy of Don Mayer.

Police: Derby man arrested after high-speed chase

in Derby/Newport/News/Westmore

DERBY — Police say a 30-year-old man from Derby is facing numerous charges after a high-speed chase early this morning.

According to the report, Jonathan Hinton is being charged with attempting to elude, DUI, grossly negligent operation, leaving the scene of an accident, and excessive speed.

At around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, a state trooper says he attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a motor vehicle for speeding on Vermont Route 191.

The driver, later identified as Hinton, then struck a road sign and left the scene at a high rate of speed.

Police say Hinton led them on a pursuit on Hinman Settler road where he continued to travel at high rates of speed.

The pursuit ended on VT Route 5A in the town of Westmore, where he was eventually taken into custody.

“While taking Hinton into custody, multiple indicators of impairment were detected,” Trooper Mark Pohlman said in a statement. “Hinton willingly completed standardized field sobriety exercises and was ultimately found to be operating under the influence of alcohol.”

United Christian Academy wins comedic theatre award

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Nine students from United Christian Academy recently participated in the Regional One Act Festival in St. Johnsbury.

The festival included productions from five Vermont schools.

Under the direction of drama instructor, Meredith Gaines, UCA presented a play titled, Mustardseed, a comedy by Doug Cooney, which follows four fairies backstage during a production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The cast was awarded a Certificate of Merit for “Expression of Comedy,” and individual Acting Awards were presented to Madeline Lippmann and Madeline Strepka.

Five regional festivals took place in March, followed by an upcoming State Festival next month.

Madeline Lippmann was also selected to the all-star cast, which is invited to work with a professional director to present an original show on Friday night of the State Festival on April 5 in Essex.

Holland Hawks share award-winning Jr Iron Chef recipe

in Holland/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Earlier this month, student culinary teams from across the state competed in the 12th Annual Jr Iron Chef VT competition in Essex Junction.

Teams of 3-5 students were coached by local educators, chefs, school nutrition staff, and parents to successfully prepare their dishes in under 90 minutes.

Local team the Holland Hawks from Holland Elementary were given an award for their dish “Notchyo Average Stuffed Wonton Nacho.”

The competition challenges teams of middle and high school students to create nutritious, local dishes to inspire school meal programs.

All teams are required to use at least one local ingredient. Dishes were judged by a panel of food system professionals and advocates.

Below is the award-winning recipe from the Holland Hawks:

Notchyo Average Stuffed Wonton Nacho

Filling:

1# black beans, rinsed and soaked overnight

2 cups Maple Brook Farms Ricotta

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 # Taylor Farms Maple smoked gouda, shredded

1 Tbsp Neighborhood Greens Farm cilantro, chopped

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp crack black pepper

50 wonton wraps

Guacamole:

8 avocadoes

1/2 cup tomato, small dice

1/4 cup onion, small dice

2 limes, juiced

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 Tbsp cumin

2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

Salsa:

5 tomatoes, med dice

1 onion, small dice

1 pepper, small dice

2 lime, juice and zest

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp cumin

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 tsp garlic, minced

Cheese Sauce:

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp flour

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups pepper jack cheese

1 tsp salt

Crispy Onions:

1 onion, halved and sliced thin

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 Tbsp 5 spice

salt and pepper to taste

Plate:

8 cups greens

1/4 cup EVO

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Instructions:

Filling:

Cook the black beans on stove covered with ample salted water till tender. Drain and rinse with cool water. Drain again and spread on a pan Rough mashbeans then add rest of ingredients and mix well to cool. Rough mash the beans and then add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Use water to dampen the edges of half of wonton skin, add 1 Tbsp to the center of the skin. Fold wonton so the dry half meets the damp half. Seal edges while pressing as much air out as possible. Fry in 3 inches of oil at 350 degrees for one minute per side. Drain on towel lined pan.

Guacamole:

Mix all ingredients a bowl and rough mash so avocado is still chunky.

Salsa:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Cheese sauce:

Make roux with butter and flour. Let cook 4-5 minutes on med heat stirring often. Whisk in broth and salt. Bring to boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in cheese until completely melted and serve immediately.

Crispy Onions:

Mix cornstarch and 5 spice. Soak onions in cold water for at least 10-15 minutes. Drain and dry as much as possible. Coat onions with starch mixture and fry for about 1 minute. Drain and season with salt and pepper.

Plate:

Toss in a bowl to coat the greens.

Learn how to cook a bear at the University of Irasburg

in Irasburg/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

IRASBURG — The University of Irasburg is officially open, taught by the community and for the community, with classes getting underway in April.

And don’t worry, you won’t need to fill out a FAFSA form to attend, because all courses are free.

Anyone can teach a course at the University of Irasburg, and anyone can take a course.

So far, there are 15 courses scheduled in 2019.

Courses range from “Kitchen Table Science,” taught by Phillis Mosher, to “How to Cook a Bear,” taught by Randy Royer, a master meat cutter.

For a full list of courses being offered, visit: https://bit.ly/2U7GTbz

Classes will be taught at The Barn, located at 4752 on Route 14, or at the Irasburg Library.

The University of Irasburg promises to be a place to meet new friends, learn new things, and discover all that the community has to offer.

For more information contact Judith Jackson at: judithjackson@gmail.com

Weather-related rollover crash on I-91 in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — A 31-year-old driver from California was involved in a rollover crash on I-91 on Friday.

State troopers were called to the Interstate near mile-marker 171 in the town of Derby, at around 8:45 a.m.

Police say the driver, identified as Adrian Hernandez, of LaPuenta, CA, lost control of his Ford van and spun into the median.

The van overturned in the median and came to rest on the driver’s side.

According to the report, no injuries were reported at the scene.

Newport man wins “Best Freestyle Beard” in Vermont

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Make-A-Wish Vermont announced the ‘Best Beard in Vermont’ award for 2019, and local Eythan Burnham, of Newport, took home best “Freestyle Beard.”

Steve Reilly, of Bristol, was named Best Beard in Vermont as the ultimate winner of the Third Annual Vermont Beardies held in Burlington over the weekend.

Over 100 bearded Vermonters submitted their beards and more than 650 of their friends and supporters voted with their donations to raise nearly $55,000 to grant wishes to Vermont’s children facing life-threatening medical conditions.

“My father and I did it last year and had a ball, so we decided to do it again,” Burnham said. “I Love seeing how these kids with disabilities or illnesses strive and are actually a kid for a day, and get to forget about all the hard things they are going through.”

In the finals on Saturday night, the top fundraising contestants were judged in three categories:

Best Urban Beard, Best Freestyle Beard, and Best Backwoods Beard.

The Best Urban Beard award went to Jim Beebe-Woodard of Underhill.

MAC Center to host “Junque and Trunk” sale fundraiser event April 6

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts is getting ready for their 3rd Annual “Junque and Trunk Sale.”

The event will take place on April 6 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in the downstairs gallery of the center.

This indoor yard sale categorizes items as “junque,” for 99 cents and “trunk,” for larger items priced to sell.

The fundraiser’s profits will go toward installing a handicap bathroom and lift to the lower gallery.

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

Newport Police warning public about phone scam

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Newport police are warning residents about a phone scam seeking personal information, claiming that the call recipient has committed Social Security fraud.

On Wednesday, police received a call from a Newport resident reporting that he had received three “robocalls” from two different phone numbers that day, claiming to be from a Social Security office and were contacting him about Social Security fraud.

A robocall is a prerecorded message from a person or digital voice that typically prompts the call taker to stay on the line and wait to speak with a person.

Police say the phone numbers the resident received calls from were:

1-800-925-7110
1-800-681-9891

Through the subsequent investigation, it was determined that the calls were scams seeking to get personal information from the call taker.

“Unfortunately, these calls seem to be growing more and more frequent,” Newport Police Chief Seth DiSanto said. “People should never take calls from numbers they that do not recognize and should understand that caller ID may falsely show a local phone number, when in fact it is a scam call coming from another location.”

To help people protect themselves from similar scams, the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) offers several tips on its website, including the following:

Do not take calls from unknown numbers.

Do not share personal, identifying information like Social Security numbers, account numbers, or mother’s maiden names.

If a caller claims to represent an organization and you are doubtful, hang up and contact that agency to verify whether the call was truly from a representative.

Caller ID is not always accurate. A call from a “local” number might not be coming from a local person or organization.

Never pay a caller using a gift card or prepaid credit card.

Industrial hemp workshop in Newport April 19

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — If you’re thinking about jumping into the fast-growing industrial hemp market, there will be an informative workshop in Newport on April 19.

The workshop will meet in the Emory Hebard State Office Building, at the conference room on the 2nd floor, Room 250, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The event is free and open to everyone, but RSVPs are required.

Attendees will join the Orleans County Natural Resources Conservation District, representatives from the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the University of Vermont, Northeast Kingdom Hemp, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, Vermont Cannabis Solutions, and a farmer panel for a discussion on growing industrial hemp, from field planning to market access.

The workshop will cover soil and water quality considerations, agronomics, nutrient management, market access, state regulations, and growing contracts.

Nick Comerci, a soil conservationist with NRCS in St. Johnsbury, will open the workshop with an overview of how to plan for a new crop with soil and water quality in mind.

Comerci will discuss soil characteristics, the importance of taking soil samples, and how field layout and tillage practices associated with hemp cultivation may impact soil and water quality.

Dr. Heather Darby of UVM Extension will share more specific details about growing industrial hemp, including access to seeds, fertility, irrigation, pest management, and common diseases.

Karen Devereux of NEK Hemp will talk about drying and curing your hemp crop, processing options, testing your product, and entering the retail market.

To round out the formal presentations, Stephanie Smith from VAAFM will be there to review state permitting requirements, and Andrew Subin from Vermont Cannabis Solutions will discuss how to protect yourself as a contracted grower.

There will also be a farmer panel to offer real-world hemp cultivation experience and plenty of time for questions and answers.

The Hemp Industries Association reported that total U.S. retail sales of hemp products reached almost $700 million in 2016.

In Orleans County alone, 51 growers registered 245 acres of industrial hemp with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets in 2018, and more growers are expected to register this year.

If you might be interested in attending, RSVP with Emily Irwin at 334-6090, extension 7008, or emily.irwin@vt.nacdnet.net.

Women LEAD initiative launching in Newport at March 25 event

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — A new initiative led by Michelle Tarryk and Barbara Morrow, along with over two dozen women leaders and business owners across the Northeast Kingdom, say they’ve come together to foster leadership in girls and women in the NEK.

The project is called Women LEAD, and the group will launch with a fundraiser at The Eastside Restaurant on Monday, March 25, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Women LEAD is in alignment with recommendations from the recent NEK Collaborative Leadership Development Task Force Action Plan.

Recommendations include creating a NEK Leadership Institute as well as a project focusing on engaging NEK Women in Leadership Learning.

“This project has been an absolute thrill,” Tarryk said. “I am in awe of the women who participated in the calendar and I am also very excited about the leadership opportunities that we will be able to bring to young girls throughout the kingdom.”

The group is inviting those interested to come out for complimentary appetizers, a cash bar, and to hear from several collaborators.

Presenters at the event include Michelle Tarryk of Northeast Kingdom Learning Services, Katherine Sims of the NEK Collaborative, Alice Kitchel, State President of Business and Professional Women’s Club, Sunny Noelle Naughton of the Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network, and Vermont Photographer Mary Claire Carroll.

Newport awarded $35,000 outdoor recreation grant

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative announced that the City of Newport is one of two recipients of the VOREC Community grants to help grow local economies by promoting outdoor recreation.

Newport will receive $35,000 for a critical trail connection project between Prouty Beach and Bluffside Farm as part of the city’s Waterfront Recreation Trail and Lake Access project.

The program awards grants of $10,000 to $100,000 to help Vermont communities fully leverage their local outdoor recreation assets to become “outdoor recreation friendly.”

Newport will serve as a prototype for other recreation-oriented cities and towns seeking to expand their economies.

“This program helps make major recreation projects attainable for communities with support from a diverse group of local experts,” said Governor Phil Scott.

Crash with injury in Newport

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — A woman was injured in a crash involving a tractor-trailer that took place in Newport on Thursday.

At around 6:40 a.m. police responded to a report of a tractor-trailer that had collided with a sedan at the intersection of Access Road and Western Avenue.

The driver of the sedan, a 24-year-old Colebrook, New Hampshire woman, was injured and taken by ambulance to North Country Hospital.

According to police, her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 58-year-old Quebec man, was uninjured.

Police say the initial investigation indicates that the woman failed to stop at the traffic light at the intersection and was struck as a result.

As of Friday afternoon, no charges or citations have been issued and the crash remains under active investigation.

The passenger’s side of the sedan sustained heavy damage and both vehicles came to rest about 50 yards from the intersection.

The intersection was temporarily closed while first responders tended to the injured woman.

Deadlines near to remove ice fishing shanties

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — While locals wait for the ice to go out by watching the vanilla extract mascot placed on Lake Memphremagog​ to sink, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is reminding ice fishing enthusiasts not to play the same game with their shanties.

Vermont state law requires that all ice fishing shanties be removed from the ice before the ice weakens.

The shanty must be removed before the ice becomes unsafe or loses its ability to support the shanty out of the water, or before the last Sunday in March, whichever comes first.

That date this year will be on March 31.

All contents, debris, wood, and supports must also be removed so they do not become a hazard to navigation in the spring.

The fine for leaving your ice fishing shanty on the ice can be $1,000, and shanties may not be left at state fishing access areas.

Select Jay Peak EB-5 documents to be released following settlement

in Jay/Jay Peak/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Today the State of Vermont and VTDigger announced a settlement in the matter regarding two public records requests by the news organization related to Jay Peak’s EB-5 program.

Under terms of the settlement, the State of Vermont agreed to provide VTDigger the originally requested documents as well as additional agreed-upon Jay Peak records.

“VTDigger remains committed to making sure that the story of Jay Peak is told in its entirety,” Anne Galloway, founder and editor of VTDigger, said.

Galloway says the records released on Friday are long overdue to the public.

VTDigger began covering allegations of fraud at the ski area back in 2014, and has been seeking documents on the public’s behalf since that time.

Due to ongoing litigation, only a few hundred records have been released, with disclosure pending on 1.5 million pages of documents between Shumlin administration officials and Jay Peak developers.

VTDigger’s legal team filed a complaint in January seeking official communications between the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service regarding the projects at Jay Peak Resort.

Requests for the records from VTDigger have been repeatedly denied over the past three years.

“It is refreshing to see the State and its citizens cooperate in the release of public documents,” Tim Cornell, VTDigger’s attorney, said. “This brings us a step closer to finding out how the Jay Peak scandal happened.”

In 2014, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation began an investigation into the fraud at Jay Peak, which ultimately led to federal and state action.

In April 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the State of Vermont charged the developers of Jay Peak Resort with 52 counts of fraud and the misuse of $200 million in foreign investor funds.

The developers’ “Ponzi-like” scheme was perpetrated over an eight-year period from 2008-2016, during which the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development administered the EB-5 program.

Monette re-elected as Newport City Mayor

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Paul Monette was re-elected as Newport City Mayor on Tuesday.

Mayor Monette hung on to claim victory by just two votes, edging out challengers John Wilson, and Dan Ross.

Monette received a total of 193 votes, and Wilson, a former city council president, received 191.

Monette, who has served as Mayor since 2009, said he believes that it may have been the closest election in the city’s history.

Oddly enough, Ross, who finished third in the race for mayor, was re-elected to his position as alderman.

Wilson, who also ran for alderman, was defeated by Melissa Pettersson.

Pettersson received 296 votes, and Ross finished with 262, enough for a seat on the city council.

James Merriam finished with 254 votes, and Wilson finished last with 245.

Snowmobile crash with injury in Holland

in Derby Line/Holland/Newport/News

HOLLAND — A 49-year-old man from Morgan was taken to the hospital after a snowmobile crash on Tuesday.

At around 9:00 p.m. the incident was reported on VAST trail 105, in Holland.

Members of the Derby Line Fire Department located the male and transported him down the trail to the ambulance.

The operator of the snowmobile was identified as Brian Judd.

According to the report, Judd was traveling east and was unable to maintain his lane of travel around a right-hand corner.

He traveled off the trail and into several trees.

Judd was transported to North Country Hospital.

Police say the crash is still being investigated, and that no information about his injuries is available at this time.

Sugarhouse in Glover destroyed by fire

in Glover/Newport/News

GLOVER — A sugarhouse was found destroyed by fire yesterday in Glover.

The incident took place at 760 Young Road.

Police say Merle Young Jr. arrived at the property at 9:00 a.m. to find the building completely burned.

Young had been at the property on March 3 with family members attempting to thaw frozen water pipes.

He left at approximately 7:00 p.m.

Police say during the night the building caught fire, going unnoticed and completely burning until it self extinguished.

Glover Assistant Chief Jobe Breitmeyer contacted the Department of Public Safety Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit to request assistance with an origin and cause investigation.

Authorities say the cause of the fire could not be determined because of the complete destruction and consumption of all combustible materials.

Police say the fire is not considered suspicious at this time.

Photo by Patricia Przybylinski.

Business booms in Newport area with Winter Swim and other weekend events

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Last weekend, Newport came alive with the Winter Swim Festival, Wright’s Ice Fishing Derby, and the Ryan Coulter Pond Hockey Tournament.

Businesses reported seeing what some called a record week. Most restaurants had waiting lines and area hotels were packed.

Darrick Granai from Newport City Inn and Suites plus Derby 4 Seasons Hotel cites the many events in the area as to why it was so busy.

“There were hockey players in town for a tournament, the international swimmers, a fishing tournament, skiers, snowmobilers and fat bikers,” Granai said. “If we had more events, more often, we’d have this kind of business every week,” Granai reported.

Also in the area were families participating in and watching the Rotary Basketball Tournament with teams from far and wide across northern and central Vermont, which contributed to the crowds.

Steve Wright and crew at Jay Peak were working hard as Jay hosted almost 10,000 visitors Saturday between skiing, the water park, the ice hockey tournament, and Jay’s climbing center.

With 10,000 visitors just twenty minutes from Newport, many businesses reported that a number of the Jay visitors came in and explored Newport and establishments on the Derby Road in the evening.

Frank Richardi from restaurants Lago Trattoria and The Warehouse Pub said he was very happy with the business over the weekend.

“We did have a waiting line at times, but we were fortunate to get people in, seated, and made them very happy,” Richardi said. “The pub at the Warehouse was full and our billiards tables were filled all night long. It was a great atmosphere.”

Getting a table on Friday night was tricky at some restaurants, and the crowds were larger Saturday.

Jaspers Tavern had a full house of revelers, attached to the international swim, from mid-afternoon to closing. The fun party atmosphere in a traditional-style pub was enjoyed by the international crowd.

The Eastside Restaurant and its Quarter Deck Pub were in full swing from lunch til closing with food, drinks, and entertainment.

At the Winter Swim Festival, weather on Saturday was sunny with light winds and air temperatures in the upper 20s and into the mid-30s.

Sunday was generally cloudy with a bit more wind and slightly lower temperatures which rose as the day progressed and, after the festival had concluded, turned to rain.

As Granai summed it up, “the bottom line is events bring in the dollars to local businesses.”

Irasburg man facing charges after shooting at family members, dog

in Irasburg/Newport/News

IRASBURG — A 33-year-old man from Irasburg is facing numerous charges after an incident that took place on Wednesday.

Police responded to Simino Lane for a report of an escalating incident in which a man was intoxicated and fighting with family members.

The suspect was identified as Joshua Hall.

Police say Hall began shooting a shotgun at family members. State Police arrived at the scene moments later and led the victims to a safe location.

According to the report, Hall was highly intoxicated and shot several shotgun rounds at the victims and at the dogs.

Police began informing neighbors of the incident and contained the area.

After speaking with Hall over the phone police were able to take him into custody after a short period without further incident.

A statement regarding the incident issued by Trooper Joshua Mikkola reads:

“The investigation revealed Hall and a victim had been arguing earlier that evening after Hall had been consuming a large amount of alcohol. When family members arrived to help the victim leave the residence, Hall became upset and would not allow another victim to call 911 for help. During the struggle over the phone to call for help, Hall knocked over a small child causing the child to receive a facial injury. The incident then escalated when the victims began leaving. Hall exited the residence with a shotgun and began shooting at the victims and then the dogs. Nobody was injured by the projectiles, however, Hall approached a victim and struck the victim in the face with the buttstock of the shotgun. The victims were able to escape as Vermont State Police arrived at the residence.”

Hall was held at Northern State Correctional Facility and appeared in court today to answer to the charges of first degree aggravated domestic assault, second degree aggravated domestic assault, aggravated assault with a weapon, interference with access to emergency services, reckless endangerment, and cruelty to a child.

Police: Missing Derby woman found dead in Peacham

in Derby/Newport/News

PEACHAM — The search for a missing woman from Derby ended tragically today, after police say she was found deceased.

Cecile Aubin, also known as Cecile LaClair, was located in the town of Peacham.

Police have not released much information, but say her death is not suspicious at this time.

Authorities say the cause and manner of her death is pending an autopsy.

It was reported that Aubin left a residence on Pine Hill Road in Derby sometime around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 21.

She was last seen leaving the residence in her orange Subaru Impreza.

Police say there is no more information available at this time.

NEK Young Professionals making inroads in region

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT – The Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network has launched a number of new initiatives and hosted a number of successful events this past year, significantly increasing the numbers of its organization region-wide.

The board reflects the geographic diversity of the region, with Maire Folan, the program manager of the Green Mountain Farm-to-School office in Newport, serving as committee chair.

Patrick Sodums, the YPN vice chair, brings a hospitality background to the group, as he works as the conference and corporate sales manager of the Burke Mountain Hotel & Conference Center in East Burke.

Rounding out the board is Sarah Chadburn, the group’s treasurer, who serves as a credit analyst at Community National Bank in Newport.

“The vision of the NEK YPN is to be a network for young professionals living and working in and around Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom,” Folan states. “We hope to provide valuable leadership, relationship, and education opportunities through collaboration with community partners.”

The group has held successful social events, or mixers, to bring people together.

It hopes to soon roll out some new programs that will welcome new folks to the area and provide more leadership opportunities.

The Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network was re-energized two years ago by Geoffrey Sewake after having been established by then-Northeast Kingdom Chamber President Hannah Manley in 2011.

The main purpose of the group is to serve the needs of young professionals, employees, leaders, and entrepreneurs of the tri-county region, who are hoping to find networking and social opportunities with others in their area.

“We recognize the word ‘young’ to be dynamic, not static, and ‘professional’ to be inclusive, not exclusive,” Folan noted. “We welcome all to this group.”

In the past two years, the NEK YPN has sponsored a number of events in the Northeast Kingdom and partnered with similar groups in northern New Hampshire in an attempt to reach out to more young professionals throughout the North Country.

Such meetings have not only allowed more professionals to network with each other but also helped the committee determine what the needs of young professionals are in the Kingdom.

“An important priority of the NEK YPN is to reach every corner of the Kingdom and help and assist young professionals, as they are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but, in many cases, today’s leaders as well,” said Darcie McCann, executive director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber. “We as a chamber, as well as other chambers throughout the Kingdom, are striving to work as closely with the group as possible to ensure we give them the support and skills they need to succeed.”

Memoir and poetry workshop coming to the MAC Center March 16

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts will be holding a writing workshop, Saturday, March 16, from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

The workshop is called “The Power of the Personal Metaphor: A Memoir and Poetry Workshop.”

Come discover how personal metaphors inspire the creation of poetry and memoir.

Whether your interest is in writing poetry or prose, this workshop will delve into the ways metaphor and figurative language work to express the power of our individual experiences and emotions.

In the workshop, the group will use short writing exercises and spend some extended writing time to explore, develop and extend metaphors into poetry or prose.

This workshop will also be relevant for visual artists who use metaphorical imagery in their work.

The workshop will conclude with volunteers sharing their work.

The workshop is limited to 15 participants, ages 14 years and older.

Pre-registration is suggested by March 13.

Registration forms can be found online or by stopping in at the MAC Center for the Arts.

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

You can also email pattyos@earthlink.net

Woman reported missing in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — Police are looking for a woman from Derby that went missing last week.

Cecile Aubin, also known as Cecile LaClair, left a residence on Pine Hill Road in Derby sometime around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 21.

It was reported that Cecile has not reached out to any family members, which is highly unusual for this long.

She was last seen leaving the residence in her 2010 orange Subaru Impreza, with Vermont registration FTB220.

The vehicle is registered to Cecile.

She is described as a white female, 5’6″, 120 lbs, hazel eyes with black shoulder length hair.

Police are asking anyone with any information about her whereabouts or the location of her vehicle to call 802-334-8881.

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