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Prison guard from Barton caught red-handed stealing $100 from inmate

in Barton/Newport/News

NEWPORT — A corrections guard from Barton working at the Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport, pled guilty to stealing money from an inmate as she was being booked.

Ryan Duquette, 39, of Barton, plead no contest to a charge of petty larceny after police say he was caught pocketing a $100 bill while an inmate was being processed.

The incident took place back on August 13, 2015, when court records say a video camera caught Duquette putting the $100 bill in his pocket, when it should have been placed inside the prison’s safe.

The investigation was opened when the woman was released from jail and did not receive her money back.

Duquette was given a suspended sentence of one to three months, after pleading guilty to the larceny charge that was knocked down from the original charge of embezzlement.

Plein Air Exhibit at MAC Center for the Arts celebrates beauty of the NEK

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts is getting ready to present its latest exhibition, “Plein Air Northeast Kingdom.”


The opening reception is Friday, September 16, from 5-7 p.m. at the MAC Center, 158 Main Street, Newport.

The Plein Air Exhibit consists of work by landscape artists who have painted all over the Northeast Kingdom this summer.

The art work is in direct response to the beauty the painters find in nature. They use a variety of media, from oils, through watercolors and pastels.

Plein Air painting was developed in France in the mid-19th Century and is becoming increasingly popular. Presently, there is a nationwide following of both Plein Artists and Collectors.

The juried artwork produced at these paint-outs will be on exhibition at MAC Center for the Arts, in the downstairs Gallery, September 16th, 2016 – October 15, 2016. 

“There is a joy about painting outdoors and this is a chance for people to see the result of works produced by professional artists,” event organizer Donna Walsh says. “At Plein Air Northeast Kingdom we paint tomorrow’s history today, onsite.”

The event is FREE and open to all. Many of the pieces are for sale.

Collectors and art enthusiasts will not want to miss this unique and unprecedented event.

For more information, please call 802-334-1966 or visit

September 16, 5-7 Reception, 158 Main Street Newport.
Exhibition run: September 16-October 15

Benefit dinner to help Newport police officer kick cancer

in Newport

NEWPORT — Officer George Butler is a man who has dedicated many years to the city of Newport.

He has worked as a full-time employee for Newport Ambulance service, a firefighter for the Newport City Fire Department, and is a police officer who is continuing to work his nighttime shift while traveling daily for cancer treatments.

Butler, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years ago, recently found out his cancer is back. He now has to travel to Saint Johnsbury to undertake 39 radiotherapy treatments, as well as make continued appointments at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

He will be traveling five days a week for almost eight weeks.

Friends and community supporters wanted to help Butler and his family in this fight, and this Saturday they are hosting a dinner, dance, and silent auction to help raise money for the medical and travel expenses Butler is facing.

The event will take place Saturday, September 17, at Paul’s Sugarhouse in Derby.

The benefit will start at 5 p.m. with a buffet dinner.

For more information, click the flyer below:


If you would like to help out but are unable to attend, there is also a website where you can donate money for the cause: CLICK HERE.

MAC Center for the Arts highlights local authors

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts will be participating in the Newport is for Booklovers Event, on September 24.

Five of the eight authors that belong to MAC will be reading from their original works. Award-winning authors: Lynda Graham-Barber, Tanya Sousa, Patty Oliver-Smith, Jerry Johnson and Cat Holm will share the spotlight as follows:

11:00 a.m. – Cat Holm – Reading from Voice Lessons. Award-winning author Catherine Holm’s writing ranges from literary fiction to cat-themed memoir and fantasy fiction. She is a freelance writer, life coach, and yoga instructor and loves gardening, outdoor recreation, and the thrill of new experiences and new places. She lives in Norton. 

11:15 a.m. – Tanya Sousa – Reading from The Starling God. Sousa writes books, short stories, essays and articles that promote empathy. Her books and essays have received awards, accolades and excellent reviews – including her most recent novel, “The Starling God”, which made the short-list for the national “Green Earth Book Awards.” Tanya was raised and still lives, in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

11:30 a.m. – Patty Oliver-Smith – Reading from Martha’s Mandalas. Martha (Patty) Oliver-Smith was born in Rhode Island into a family of writers, artists, and scholars. She spent most of her childhood moving between her grandmother’s home in Peace Dale, RI and living in New York City. In 1972, she moved to the west coast to begin her teaching career and raise her family. She returned to the east in 2002 to live and work in Vermont. She earned an MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2006. After 36 years of teaching college and high school literature and writing courses, Oliver-Smith retired to complete the biographical memoir Martha’s Mandala based on her grandmother’s life as an artist who struggled with mental illness. She lives with her husband, two cats, one dog and six chickens in Albany, where she is working on a second memoir.

2:00 p.m. – Lynda Graham Barber – Reading from her children’s book SAY, BOO. Lynda Graham-Barber lived for over two decades in New York City, where she worked as a free-lance magazine writer, children’s book editor, and writing teacher.  The author of 14 books, 12 for children, Lynda lives in a stone cottage on 160 wooded acres in the Northeast Kingdom with her artist-husband, David, and their rescue dog, Biscuit.  

2:15 p.m. – Jerry Johnson – Showing a DVD of Children’s Book – Noah’s Song. Author of Up the Creek Without a Saddle, Noah’s Song and A Bed of Leaves. In Jerry’s own words: “I was blessed when Jon Gailmor and Pete Sutherland, two legendary Vermont master musicians, took a number of my poems in Up the Creek Without a Saddle and set them into song for a beautiful CD album to accompany the book.

The three additional authors featured at MAC are Internationally renowned photo journalist/author – Diana Henry, Women on the Move and new release – Through the Photographer’s Eyes; and works carried posthumously by John Stevens – Woodshed Wisdom, More Woodshed Wisdom, and Memorable Fish and Fisherman; and Phyllis Joy Hammond aka P.J. Hammond – Traveling with Flowers (from Newfoundland to Alaska); Through the Eyes of Children (traveling with the Artist), and Iceland (a Second Visit…a Necessity).

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, MAC Center for the Arts, 158 Main Street, Newport VT 05855 802-334-1966

Newport man arrested for hit-and-run crash in Brownington

in Brownington/Newport/News

NEWPORT — A 66-year-old Newport man was arrested after a hit-and-run crash that took place in Brownington on Friday.

On Saturday at around 6:00 p.m. troopers located and identified the operator of the vehicle as Nelson Bushaw, 66, of Newport.

Police say that through multiple reports by witnesses troopers were able to locate the vehicle, a blue Chevy pickup, behind the All-Season Lodge in Newport.

The truck was in the process of receiving repairs for damage sustained during the incident.

Police say that Bushaw had been operating the vehicle at the time of the accident when he crashed into a car with a 4-month-old child inside on Frog Pond Road.

Bushaw was cited for suspicion of leaving the scene of an accident, and driving while license suspended-criminal.

He was issued traffic violations for no insurance, marked lanes violation, and imprudent speed-accident resulting.

Bill Stenger no longer working at Jay Peak

in Jay Peak/Newport/News

NEWPORT — In a letter issued to investors and creditors of Jay Peak on Friday, the receiver for the Jay Peak properties announced that Bill Stenger is no longer working at the resort.

“Please be advised that as of Friday, September 2nd, Bill Stenger is no longer an employee of Jay Peak, but instead Bill will provide assistance to the receiver on an as‐needed basis,” the letter, issued by Michael Goldberg reads.

On Thursday Stenger announced that he entered into a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which accused him and his partner of operating a multi-million dollar Ponzi-like scheme.

According to the settlement, Stenger agreed not to admit or deny any allegations that he aided and abetted the alleged fraud.

He may still have to pay a civil penalty.

“We thank Bill for his assistance over the past few months,” Goldberg wrote in the letter.

  • Screen-Shot-2016-09-01-at-4.59.35-PM.png
    Susan Granfors in Farce of Nature.

Farce of Nature, QNEK’s final mainstage show of the season starts September 9

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Newport/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — QNEK Productions is rounding out its season with the comedy “Farce of Nature,” by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten.

The non-stop hilarity of this southern-fried farce highlights a day in the life of the Wilburn family of Mayhew, Arkansas. D. Gene Wilburn is taking desperate measures to save his fishing lodge the Reel ‘Em Inn, while his wife Wanelle is taking equally desperate measures to save their marriage.

Add in a wacky sister, a mobster in protective custody, the guy he ratted out, a lovelorn couple, and a pack of wild animals, and you begin to see the wild and wonderful world of the Wilburns come to life.

The show stars Judy Castonguay, Lisa Foster, Stephen Gonyaw, Phil Gosselin, Susan Granfors, Deborah Mackay, Brian McCrae, Andrea Webster, and John Young.

Jenny Dunne directs with Elisabeth Barnes-Flint as the stage manager, along with scenic designer Bradleigh Stockwell, set engineer Rick Gosselin, and light and sound board operator Benjamin Barrup.

You don’t want to miss this ridiculous southern romp and QNEK’s final Mainstage show of the 24th Season.

Farce of Nature plays at the Haskell Opera House September 9th – 18th, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available by calling the QNEK Box Office at 802-334-2216, reserving online at, by advance purchase online or by phone at and the Catamount Arts Box Office at 888-757-5559, and by advanced purchase at the MAC Center for the Arts in downtown Newport.

Newport City Elementary School starts the year with a walk

in Newport

NEWPORT — In the same breath as we say goodbye to summer, we say hello to a brand new school year. Newport City Elementary School is starting the third year of participation in the Safe Routes to School program and will celebrate with a walk to school on Wednesday, September 7.

In July 2005, Congress passed the program to improve safety on walking and biking routes to school and to encourage kids and families to travel between home and school on two wheels or two feet. Family members, volunteers and neighbors are all welcomed, and encouraged to join in.

The community continues to work together to ensure that kids have an option once a month to enjoy walking to school with adult supervision.

North Country Hospital, the local office of the Vermont Department of Health, Newport City Elementary School and community volunteers have helped make this program a success.

“Walking to school is a great way for kids to get their daily requirement for physical activity,” said Beth Barnes, Community Outreach Specialist at North Country Hospital. “It can also help students build confidence, friendships and independence, and also understand that choosing to walk helps the environment.”

On September 7 the walk will be called “Into the Light” and will be an opportunity for students to learn, at age appropriate levels, about suicide prevention.

The collaboration will draw attention to important issues that students may encounter. By acknowledging these issues, organizers hope to give kids a voice to talk about difficult subjects with parents or trained counselors.

The “Into the Light” walk was inspired by the “Out of the Darkness” suicide prevention walk in Newport happening on September 10.

It is the 5th annual walk which was inspired by two Vermont families in 2011 who lost sons to suicide.

Mary Butler who helps coordinate the Newport walk said, “Our walk is now one of over 300 throughout the United States and we raise funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The funds we raise are used for outreach, prevention, education and research.”

Suicide among the teen, and even pre-teen population is real.

Although slightly lower than the Vermont state average, the 2015 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey states that 11 percent of high school students in the North Country Supervisory Union made a suicide plan in the past 12 months, while 13 percent of middle schoolers made one.

Mark your calendars to join the “Into the Light” walk on September 7 at Newport City Elementary School and the “Out of the Darkness” suicide prevention walk on September 10.

For more information about the school walk please contact Judy McKelvey at and Mary Butler at for information regarding the Out of the Darkness walk.

The walking school buses will leave from the following locations:

7:00 a.m. from in front of the courthouse on Main Street, Newport.

7:30 a.m. walking school buses leave from East Main at Sunset Terrace and also Blake Street at Winter Street.

After the walk on September 7, participants can join the group at the school for a parent/community breakfast.

This will be a great chance to start your day with a walk, enjoy a light breakfast and meet the new NCES administratio

Newport man pleads not guilty to wire fraud

in Newport

NEWPORT — Dennis Crawford, 47, of Newport, pled not guilty last Friday in U.S. District Court in Burlington to a charge of wire fraud.

The judge released Crawford on conditions pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

According to the indictment and other court records, in April 2015, Crawford was appointed power-of-attorney for his elderly step-father. Under the terms of the power-of-attorney, Crawford was permitted to make financial decisions on his step-father’s behalf.

After acquiring the power-of-attorney, Crawford placed his name on bank accounts his step-father held. According to court records, between June and August 2015, Crawford transferred approximately $200,000 from his step-father’s bank accounts to accounts controlled only by Crawford.

Crawford allegedly used much of this money to buy several vehicles for himself and family members, as well as furniture and other household items.

In August 2015, the Vermont State Police learned Crawford may have been abusing his step-father and started an investigation. Crawford’s power-of-attorney was revoked, and in November 2015, Crawford was charged in state court with financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

The state charge was dismissed when the federal grand jury returned its indictment.

If convicted, Crawford faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.

The case was investigated by the Vermont State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Newport resident charged with slashing man with a knife

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Newport Police Department arrested a man over the weekend after they say he attacked another man with a knife.

Marc Gero, 49, of Newport, has been charged with aggravated assault with a weapon following the incident.

On Sunday, at around 5:45 p.m., police were called to Eastern Avenue in Newport for a report of a stabbing.

When they arrived, officers found a 44-year-old male victim laying on the ground in the westbound lane of Eastern Avenue near the intersection of Coventry Street, with a large laceration.

He was transported to the hospital for treatment and released the same night.

After an initial investigation, which included interviews with witnesses, police say they located Gero at his home nearby.

Gero was taken into custody and held without bail at the Northern State Correctional Facility.

Gero pled not-guilty to the charges in court on Monday, however, according to court records, he initially told police that he slashed the victim near his rib cage.

Court records say that the victim told police the argument started when Gero accused him of “fooling around with his girlfriend.”

Two overdoses in Newport has police warning community about lethal strain of heroin

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Police Chief Seth C. DiSanto and the Newport Police Department are warning the community that a particularly lethal strain of heroin is currently being distributed in the City of Newport and the surrounding area.

On Tuesday, Aug. 9, at approximately 5:45 p.m., the Newport Police Department and Newport Ambulance Service responded to a heroin-related overdose in the parking lot of the American Legion, located at 60 Railroad Street.

The victim, a 27-year-old male, was revived with nasal Naloxone deployed by the Newport Ambulance Service and transported to the hospital.

The next day, officers responded to another heroin-related overdose in the parking lot of Maplefields, located at 273 Main Street.

The victim, a 23-year-old male, was revived with nasal Naloxone and transported to the hospital as well.

“While all heroin is potentially lethal, the severity of these two consecutive incidents leads us to believe that this batch of drugs that has infiltrated our community is worse than usual,” Chief DiSanto said. “We are aggressively pursuing anyone who may be distributing heroin or other drugs throughout Newport, and encourage residents to report any suspected overdose immediately.”

Both of these incidents are under investigation by the Newport Police Department.

Inmates hold correctional officer from Morgan hostage inside Newport prison

in Morgan/Newport/News

NEWPORT — A correctional officer was taken hostage by two inmates inside the Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport on Thursday afternoon.

At 1:00 p.m. authorities responded to the Northern State Correctional Facility after being notified that a correctional officer, identified as Malcolm Brown, 51, of Morgan, had been taken hostage by two inmates inside the facility and was being held against his will inside one of the rooms in one of the units.

Police say one of the inmates was armed with a bladed object.

Local law enforcement agencies worked together to secure the facilities exterior perimeter, while facility staff inside handled the situation through negotiations.

After approximately two hours of negotiating, Brown was released unharmed and the two inmates were taken into custody by correctional staff without further incident.

The Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation are conducting the criminal investigation, which is ongoing.

Dental center coming to Orleans in December

in Health/Newport/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — Northern Counties Health Care recently announced the expansion of their dental program in collaborative partnership with North Country Hospital and the Village of Orleans.

Once operational, the new Orleans Dental Center will employ a dentist, hygienist, dental assistant, receptionist and office supervisor.

The practice will have two Operatories and two hygiene rooms, and they expect to serve at least 500 new patients within the first year of operations.

In January 2015, North Country Hospital completed a community needs assessment, which identified access to dental care as one of the biggest challenges facing people living in Orleans County.

This data about the oral health treatment needs and prevention strategies in the NEK area painted a grim picture.

In Orleans County, 65 percent of adults aged 45-64 have had tooth extractions compared to the state average of 52 percent. Nearly 10 percent of adult residents have lost all permanent teeth due to decay or disease.

In 2014, of the Medicaid-eligible Vermonters in the Newport area aged 19-64, only 23 percent received preventative dental services.

In January, Northern Counties Health Care identified a grant opportunity to help address these challenges.

“Our Goal,” said Shawn Tester, CEO of NCHC, “is to expand access to affordable dental services for people living in the Barton and Orleans area in order to improve their quality of life.”

Working together with North Country Hospital and the Village of Orleans, the three organizations applied for grant funding which will cover the cost of operations for a new dental center for up to two years.

Even with the grant funds, a site for the new dental center was needed, and this is where the partnership developed.

The village of Orleans owns the site of a former medical office building on Union Street, and offered it as part of the solution.

North Country hospital pledged $100,000 in financial support toward constructing the new facility at that location. NCHC is covering the balance of the construction costs.

“Northern Counties Health Care has a strong track record of providing essential primary and preventative care services to the citizens of the Northeast Kingdom,” said North Country Hospital President Claudio Fort. “We are pleased to be a part of this important initiative to bring critically needed dental services to the Orleans/Barton community.”

With an identified acute need and an innovative collaborative approach to solving the communities’ challenges, NCHC was awarded the grant in June 2016, and construction began immediately.

“Our Grant stipulates a very narrow window to become operational and see our first patient,” says Tester. “John Morley and the village of Orleans have really bent over backwards to help us meet our deadlines, they are a great partner to work with.”

As a Federally Qualified Health Center, NCHC is committed to providing services to all members or our communities, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.

They say they will accept Medicaid insurance as well as offer a sliding fee scale to make dental services more affordable.

The Orleans Dental Center expects to be operational by December 2016.

Northeast Kingdom Senators Robert Starr and John Rodgers endorse Peter Galbraith

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Northeast Kingdom Senators Robert Starr and John Rodgers endorsed gubernatorial candidate Peter Galbraith, praising his conviction and opposition to industrial wind.

“Peter Galbraith is the adult in this race,” said Senator Robert Starr, who represents the Essex-Orleans District. “He has the courage of his conviction. We can count on him to fight for the Northeast Kingdom and all Vermonters.”

Galbraith has made opposition to new industrial wind a key plank of his platform.

Senator John Rodgers, who also represents the Essex-Orleans District, joined Senator Starr and more than 50 NEK residents on an advertisement in the Barton Chronicle urging a vote for Galbraith. “If Peter Galbraith wins on August 9th, it’s game over for industrial wind,” read the ad.

“I’m honored to have the support of two champions for the Northeast Kingdom,” said Galbraith. “This election is a referendum on industrial wind. I am the only candidate who will use the full power of the Governor’s office to prevent the destruction of Northeast Kingdom ridgelines and communities by industrial wind.

North Country Hospital sonographer earns pediatric sonography specialty

in Health/Newport/News

NEWPORT — North Country Hospital now has a certified Pediatric Ultrasound technologist on staff.

North Country Hospital Ultrasound Technologist, Bonnie Castonguay has earned a Pediatric Sonography specialty certification from the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). The ARDMS is the governing organization for Ultrasound Imaging in the United States and represents the highest standards for quality and safety.

While this is a new designation, only made available by the ARDMS starting in 2015, Castonguay’s passion for Pediatric ultrasound began many years ago.

Castonguay says that she was drawn to pediatrics right from the start of her career.

“I love my job and I love coming to work each day, but my passion has always been in pediatrics,” says Castonguay, who has been a registered sonographer since 2002, “Some technologists choose to specialize in vascular or cardiac ultrasound and that’s what they have a passion for, I really love helping kids.”

Castonguay began her career at Connecticut Children’s Hospital. From there she worked at Western Tennessee Children’s Hospital and Vermont Children’s Hospital at UVM Medical Center.

“I guess I have quite a bit of experience scanning children,“ she laughs. “It’s great that now there is a formal exam and registry for this specialty and that technologists can be recognized for going above and beyond to become certified.”

Currently, she is one of only 5 Registered Sonographers in the state of Vermont to hold this specialty certification.

Additional training and certification in pediatric sonography is important because performing diagnostic tests children is not the same with adults.

“There are many disease processes that are specific to children and you need this special training in order to properly scan and diagnose them,” says Castonguay. “It feels great to be able to offer these specialty services at a hospital like this one.”

“This is another fine example of the excellent service being offered at your local community hospital,” said Brian Bidwell, Director of Diagnostic Imaging Services at North Country Hospital. “We strive to provide services locally to save the patient the long trip to a larger hospital. Our equipment is state-of-the-art, our staff is competent and well trained, and our services are as current as the newest technologies allow.”

North Country Hospital is a private, nonprofit acute care community hospital serving twenty-two communities in a two-county area in the rural Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

In addition to a population base of over 27,000 residents, the hospital provides care to the many area visitors, summer vacationers, skiers and other sportsmen.

Newport Car Wash and Mini Mart burglarized

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Newport Police Department is investigating a break-in and burglary that occurred early Tuesday morning at Newport Car Wash and Mini Mart.

Newport Police responded at 6 a.m. to the building, located at 376 Clyde Street, for a reported burglary.

When officers arrived they noticed that a window had been broken to gain entrance.

The business owner told police that merchandise had been stolen during the break-in.

The incident is being actively investigated by the Newport Police Department and Officer Corey Marcoux.

Chief DiSanto is urging anyone who may have seen or heard anything in the area to please call Officer Marcoux at 802-334-6733.

Gardner Park benefits from casual dress at Community National Bank

in Newport

NEWPORT — Mariah Goodell, a teller at Community National Bank in Derby, presented Newport Park Recreation Department Director Andrew Cappello, and Gardner Park Restoration Committee member Jenn Smith, with a donation of $500.00 on behalf of the bank’s Derby office employees.

Bank employees dress casually on Fridays as part of their “Casual for a Cause” program. Employees donate money to local non-profit organizations for the opportunity to wear jeans on Fridays.

The Gardner Park Restoration Committee has been actively fundraising and applying for grants to improve the playground.

“The committee would like to see the park offer a wider variety of playground equipment to meet the needs of all members of the community,” said Jenn Smith. “Our vision is to design a playground that includes both natural playscapes and playground structures for varied ages and abilities, so everyone can access and enjoy it.”

To Gardner Park Restoration Committee has raised over $12,000.00.

New committee members and volunteers are always welcome.

To learn more about GPRC and their progress, join the Gardner Park Restoration Facebook page or contact Jenn Smith via email at

Emily Klar talks about her goal to attend UVM Summer Academy with Claudio Fort, President & CEO of North Country Hospital.

Irasburg student attending UVM summer academy thanks to North Country Hospital donor

in Irasburg/Newport/News

IRASBURG — Emily Klar of Irasburg is off to an intense summer academy at the University of Vermont this month, thanks to a North Country Hospital scholarship.

This innovative program for students who have completed 10th, 11th or 12th grade offers an academically challenging program through active learning in labs, lectures, demonstrations and hospital visits.

Klar will learn in the University of Vermont College of Medicine academic facilities including the Clinical Simulation Laboratory where she will perform virtual medical procedures.

The program helps students discover their interests, learn about the latest advances in bioscience and molecular medicine, and develop an understanding of diverse medical and health science career paths that might be right for them.

“I developed an interest in orthopedic surgery after my own health experiences,” Klar said when asked why she wanted to give up a good part of her summer to do this. “Previously I had not had much of an interest in medicine, but going through the process associated with diagnosing and treating my compartment syndrome, I learned a lot more about the field.”

An anonymous donor to North Country Hospital turned this into a reality for Klar, and she says she is grateful for this opportunity to get a jumpstart in her area of interest.

“Over the years, North Country Hospital has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship support and has hosted internships, clinical rotations, and job shadowing programs for hundreds of students pursuing healthcare careers,” Claudio Fort, Hospital president said. “These investments in our local youth have paid significant dividends, as many recipients have returned to our community to work as physicians, nurses, and healthcare technologists.  Emily Klar is an impressive, hardworking, and intelligent young woman and we are privileged to help her achieve her goal of pursuing a career in medicine.”

Klar will live on campus for two weeks and then complete an online component, resulting in her receiving three UVM college credits. She will get to experience what college life is like and get a head start on her higher education.

“This academy will reinforce my goal of ultimately becoming an orthopedic surgeon,” she said. “As an athlete and overcoming an injury, I want to be able to empathize with my patients and understand what they’re going through so I can better serve them.”

NEKHO Kingdom Brewfest this Saturday at Kingdom Brewing in Newport

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The biggest beer festival around is coming to Newport this Saturday, July 23, as Dr. Les Lockridge and the Northeast Kingdom Hematology Oncology (NEKHO) gear up for the Second Annual NEKHO Kingdom Brewfest, taking place at Kingdom Brewing in Newport.

The event will feature brew, food, live music and fun as NEKHO celebrate and work to replenish their Patient Caring Fund, which helps to fill in the healthcare gaps faced by their patients.

Last year the event raised $14,000, and this year the goal is to add $30,000 to the fund.

All money stays local to help local cancer patients with their living expenses during treatment. Proceeds go directly to patients who need it the most, whether that is a food card, a gas card, or medication and treatment co-pays.

The cost is $20 for one person, $35 for two people, which includes a full BBQ dinner, live music, beer tasting and a special event glass.

Festivities start at 1 p.m. and continue until 6 p.m.

Additional beer will be available for purchase from the event sponsors at Kingdom Brewing, which is located at 353 Coburn Hill Road, in Newport.

All are welcome, with plenty of fun scheduled for kids as well, so come on down.

  • Screen-Shot-2016-07-19-at-1.26.23-PM.png
    Green Mountain Farm-to-School's Lunchbox food truck serving free meals to kids in the community at Newport's Gardner Park.

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

in Barton/Island Pond/Newport

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAC Center for the Arts presents sixth annual Art in Bloom

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The Sixth Annual Art in Bloom will open on July 21 at the MAC Center for the Arts, with a reception beginning at 5 p.m.

A summertime favorite, Art In Bloom boasts over 20 floral arrangements that glean their inspiration from the magnificent artwork currently on display in the MAC Gallery.

Working in concert are the members of the Four Seasons Garden Club and MAC Center for the Arts, exquisitely tailoring the annual fundraiser where nature meets art.

July 21 is a ticketed event to benefit both organizations.

Interpretation and unique creativity provide this festival of insouciant charm and patrons can enjoy these displays through Saturday, July 23.

Come gaze upon the distinctive presentations on both levels of the gallery with the Art in Bloom in the main gallery, and the summer exhibition, Phyllis J Hammond – A Retrospective, in the lower gallery.

The Hammond exhibition will be running through September 10.

For tickets or more information, please call 802-334-1966 or visit them online at or

  • Scholarship-awardees-001.jpg
    Scholarship recipients who received their awards at an informal ceremony at North Country Hospital, June 28th include left to right Desiree Bowen, Owen Nadeau, Tammy Bothwell, Jacey Gray and Andreanna Andrew.

North Country Hospital Awards $30,000 in Healthcare Scholarships

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — This year, 20 new scholarships were awarded by North Country Hospital to local students and adults planning to study nursing, pre-med, physical therapy and occupational therapy, dental hygiene and radiology.

The Caryl B. Custer Scholarship for Nursing Students went to Emergency Department Unit Clerk Tammy Bothwell, to North Country Union High School graduates Desiree Bowen and Owen Nadeau, and to Lake Region Union High School graduate Kaitlyn Lemieux.

This year 12 awards were received from this fund by North Country graduates Rebecca Allen, Amber Archer, Kaitlyn Bouchard, Audrey Brown, Alysha Grenier, Chelsea Urie and Hayley Young and Lake Region graduates Melanie Gagnon, Cassi Martin, Katie Menard, Grace Miller and Kristen Rowell.

Each year, North Country Hospital’s scholarship committee reviews applications and makes selections based on each student’s essays, transcripts, extra-curricular activities, as well as financial need.

The Healthcare Career Scholarship is made possible by the annual North Country Hospital Scholarship Golf Classic, with proceeds each year going directly to awardees.

The 28th annual scramble is set for Sunday, August 21, with 8 a.m. registration and a 9 a.m. shotgun start at the Orleans Country Club.

Last year an anonymous contribution to the fund made it possible to award three scholarships in 2016, to United Christian Academy graduate Andreanna Andrew and to North Country graduates Meira Buck and Jacey Gray.

Contributions to North Country Hospital for any of the scholarship funds help sustain these awards for years to come.

Students receive awards for 2-year, 4-year as well as graduate programs.

Orleans County students bring home prizes from Stanstead College 

in Derby/Derby Line/Irasburg/Newport

STANSTEAD, QC – Orleans County students were among the top prize-winners at Stanstead College’s closing Baccalaureate ceremony held at Centenary Church in Stanstead on Thursday.

Patrick Young of Derby Line won the Ashworth Scholarship, awarded to a deserving local day student who consistently demonstrates effort and excels in some area of activity. He also won the English prize for Grade 9.

Brother Ryan Young earned the Art and English Prizes, the Amaron Prize for French in Grade 7 as well as the Fountain Family Scholarship.

Andrew Bouchard of Derby Line won the Grade 8 prizes for Art, English, Geography, History and Science-Technology and the Sybil Galambos Prize for Francais. He also had the highest overall average in Grade 8.

Connor Fletcher, Grade 12, of Irasburg, won the Bugbee House Prize.

Emily Willis, Grade 9, of Newport, was named the top junior female athlete, winning the Sheila Ferguson Shield. Emily also won the Grade 9 prizes for History, Music and Science.

Mya Daigle of Newport won the Trueman-McFadyen Award, presented to the girl in the senior school with the highest overall average who has played three varsity sports and won a Major S athletic award.

Alissa Bissonnette of Derby and the school’s co-head prefect won the Graham Chandler Sportsman of the Year Award, presented to the athlete who best exemplifies the attributes of character, integrity and sportsmanship.

The guest speaker for this year’s Baccalaureate was aluma Helen White, Class of 2009. Originally from Newport, White is now studying law at Yale and working this summer in a federal prosecutor’s office in Washington, DC.

Ms. White encouraged the graduates to focus on growth, build community, and embrace difference, skills that they had, in fact, already learned at Stanstead College.

“Stop focusing on being the best and start focusing on being better than you were yesterday,” she said.

Drawing on her own experience of being supported as a student and supporting her peers, she added, “Having a community matters because they help you reach your highest hopes and help you through your toughest times.”

Officials warn of phone scams in Newport, Jay, North Troy

in Jay/Newport/North Troy

NEWPORT — Vermont business owners in Newport, Jay, and North Troy have reported receiving a call from a person claiming to be from the Vermont Electric Cooperative, the businesses’ electric utility, demanding immediate payment of an alleged delinquent bill.

The caller threatens that electric power will be disconnected unless immediate payment is made.

The caller had account numbers for some of the businesses.

Authorities say these calls are not from the electric utility, and that this is a scam call. They say scammers have also used the names of other electric utilities when making these phony calls in past years.

If you receive a call from someone claiming your power is about to be disconnected, hang up.

If you want to verify the claim, call the customer service number on your utility bill.

Vermont Electric Cooperative customers may call 1-800-832-2667 or 1-802-635-2331 with any questions.

If you need assistance in resolving an actual disconnection issue with your utility, you may contact the Vermont Department of Public Service at 800-622-4496.

Scam callers frequently use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone services to place calls over an internet connection. This allows the scammers to mask the callers’ location. They are also using software that allows the callers to “spoof” the Caller ID system.

The majority of these calls come from overseas. Consumers should not respond to the calls or call the numbers provided by the scammers.

Consumers who have sent funds should contact their financial institution, the Consumer Assistance Program, and their electric utility immediately to protect their accounts.

Receipt of these kinds of calls, along with any other scams consumers receive, can be reported to the Consumer Assistance Program by filing a complaint on-line at or by calling 800-649-2424.

For more information on financial frauds, identity theft and other scams, visit the Consumer Assistance Program website at

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