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All photos by Phil White.

Athletes swim, bike, and run their way through Kingdom Triathlon

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/Newport/News/Vermont
All photos by Phil White.
All photos by Phil White.

DERBY – They came from places like Utah, Texas, Connecticut, and Quebec, just to name a few, to take part in this year’s Kingdom Triathlon.

Saturday’s event saw contestants ranging in ages from 13 year old Kayla Audette of Northfield, doing the 1.75 mile swim in Seymour, to 75 year old Dominique Amyot, of Rivière du Loup, Quebec, doing the Ollie, a 1.75 mile swim, 15 mile bike, and a 10 K (6.2 mile) run/walk.

It was a perfect day from start to finish. The rain and thunderstorms held off until long after everyone had crossed the finish line.

Kingdom Triathlon Vermont 2

Petey Valentin posted his third consecutive win of The Sprint in a time of 1:21:08.

Home town girl Laurie Durivage, 50, of Derby, finished fastest woman in The Sprint with a time of 1:39:53.

Doing her fist ever triathlon, Mary Ellen Griffen, 48, of Danville, finished 4th among the women with a time of 1:54:18.

The Ollie set up a great horse race between Natalie Lang, 37, of Watertown, Mass, finishing with a time of 2:41:07, just 4 minutes ahead of Doreen Audette, 41 of Northfield.

The overall winner, running away from the field, was Craig Thomspon, 41, of Framingham, Mass, with a time to 2:25:23.

Kingdom Triathlon Vermont 3

Chuck Kreger, 45, of Salt Lake City, Utah, led from start to finish in the Aquaman, posting a time of 4:57:41.

Not far behind in the women’s division was, Elizabeth Campbell, 32, of Mystic, Connecticut, with a time of 5:14:00 and Deb Battaglia, 46, also of Salt Lake City, with a time of 5:23:57.

“I’m a triathlete who swam competitively in high school,” said Margaret Harlow, 22, of Austin, Texas. “I love the even-up distance of the swim in the Aquaman Triathlon.”

Margaret was fast out of Seymour, but her bike malfunctioned and she was forced to pull out, winning her a free entry to next year’s Aquaman Even-Up Triathlon. In good spirits, she stuck around for the award ceremony, and came back and did the run anyway, just for the fun of it.

Families running, biking, and swimming together has become one of the sleeper themes of this year’s Kingdom Games, and the Kingdom Triathlon was no exception. Many teams consisted of family members, and even a few couples took part in the challenge together.

Kingdom Triathlon Vermont 4

Kingdom Triathlon Vermont 5

Newport Shred Fest kicks off Friday

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/Vermont

Newport Skate Park Vermont

NEWPORT — The Newport Skate Park project has certainly exceeded expectations. It’s become a safe place where people can go to interact with others in the community, build new friendships, and be outside while staying active. It’s a place for everyone.

After 2 years of planning, demolishing, constructing, and using the park, organizers are now ready to introduce their first annual event, Newport Shred Fest.

This is a one night event dedicated to music, friends, family, and all those supporting or involved with the skateboard and snowboard culture, as well as many other outdoor recreational activities.

Newport Shred Fest will kick off August 8, at 4 p.m., with live music, vendors, food, and a skate contest hosted by Gnarbear. See poster below for full lineup.

Bring your boards, everyone you know, cameras, or just a lawn chair to kick back and watch all the local talent.

Newport Shred Fest Vermont

Newport man killed in motorcycle crash in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

motorcycle crash newport vermont

DERBY — A 50-year-old resident of Newport was fatally injured on I-91 in Derby last night, after his motorcycle struck another vehicle from behind.

Authorities are saying that Gaetan Delabruere was traveling southbound on I-91 near mile marker 171/55 at around 5:50 p.m., when he struck the right rear corner of a 2011 Subaru Outback, being driven by Joseph Gresser, 65, of Stannard.

Vermont State Police began investigating the crash, and are reporting that Gresser was traveling at around 60 to 65 miles per hour when the motorcycle, a 2003 Yamaha FJR, collided with his vehicle.

According to a statement by police, after impact Delabruere was separated from the motorcycle and slid down the roadway until colliding with a set of guardrails.

The motorcycle slid off the west side of the roadway, and Gresser came to a controlled stop in the passing lane.

The crash is still under investigation, however, police say that the initial investigation revealed that it was raining and the road was wet at the time, with speed and visibility appearing to be factors in the tragic crash.

The Subaru only had minor rear-end damage as a result of the collision, and it appears Gresser was uninjured.

Bread and Puppet Theater stages Gaza protests

in Barton/Glover/Newport/News/Vermont
Photo by Janelle Treibitz .
Photo by Janelle Treibitz .

GLOVER — On Wednesday, Bread and Puppet Theater organized vigils throughout 8 towns in Vermont, including one in Newport and one in Barton, in protest of the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza. The protests aimed to bring attention to the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the U.S. government’s support of the Gaza attacks.

The small vigils consisted of three to four puppeteers holding signs reading “Gaza,” “Whose money?” and “How Much Longer?”

Today they announced that they will change tonight’s scheduled performance of “The Situation,” in order to perform “Fire: Emergency Performance for Gaza.” The show will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Bread and Puppet farm, in the Paper Mache Cathedral (Route 122), in Glover.

They also announced today that they will cover the State House lawn with small vignettes of the Gaza/Israel war. The demonstration will depict Palestinian women with their arms raised over the death of their children. A bell of mourning will chime slowly next to large, black and white woodcut banners featuring such questions as “Why?” and “How Much More?”

The demonstration comes two days after Israel bombed a United Nations school that served as a designated shelter for evacuees, killing at least twenty.

In spite of mounting international outcry against Israel’s actions, the U.S. has repeatedly distanced itself from criticism of the country. When the United Nation’s Human Rights Council voted Wednesday to begin an investigation of Israel for possible war crimes in Gaza, the U.S. provided the sole vote against the measure.

Human rights officials have expressed distress at the lopsided casualties in the conflict. As of today, 1,410 Palestinians have been killed, far outnumbering the 64 Israelis dead.

Bread and Puppet has been performing political puppet theater since the 1960’s, often responding rapidly to unfolding world events with shows or protest art. Their 2014 summer season had been devoted to the issue of Tar Sands (a controversial source of crude oil that may be pumped through Vermont’s pipelines soon).

Newport Farmers’ Market getting ready for a busy month

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

Newport Vermont Farmers Market

NEWPORT — The Newport Farmers’ Market is getting ready for Farmers’ Market Week which will start this Saturday. The nationwide celebration of all things farmers’ market, began in 2000 with a designation by the USDA, in recognition of the important role markets play in developing local and regional food systems. The week is celebrated August 3-9.

Per capita, Vermont has more farmers’ markets than any other state in the nation. The Newport Farmers’ Market has been serving Orleans County for over 40 years.

Be sure to also come out to Newport Farmers’ Market on Saturday August 16, for Customer Appreciation Day as they celebrate another great season. There are currently more than 20 vendors offering local produce and crafts, and the event will feature great door prizes, balloons for all ages, and music from Friends and Drifters.

According to Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture, Chuck Ross, Vermont’s thriving farmers’ market community is a reflection of the values of Vermonters.

“Farmers’ markets bring communities together, provide local, healthy food, create opportunity for farmers, and preserve the Working Landscape, which is why so many Vermonters are proud to support them.” Ross said.

He also believes the markets play an important educational role.

“Farmers’ markets connect consumers directly to the producers who grow and raise their food,” said Secretary Ross. “This connection is critical to fostering what I often refer to as ‘Ag Literacy,’ an appreciation and understanding of where food comes from, and how farming works.”

“Today, less than 2% of our national population works on a farm,” he continued. “Farmers’ markets are one way we can ensure the other 98% remains connected to agriculture in these changing times.”

Car rolls down 10 foot embankment, driver ticketed

in coventry/Newport/News

Car accident Newport Vermont

COVENTRY — Police are reporting that a 26-year-old woman from Newport was issued two tickets following a crash that took place Friday afternoon in Coventry, when her vehicle traveled off the road and down a 10 foot embankment.

According to a statement issued by the Vermont State Police following an investigation of the accident, Elizabeth Marino had been traveling west on Coventry Station Road when she passed another vehicle in a posted 35 mph zone.

The report states that Marino lost control of her vehicle as she tried to get back in her lane, which resulted in her traveling down the embankment, rolling her vehicle once and onto its tires.

No other cars were involved in the crash, and the 2009 Toyota Corolla Marino was traveling in had hood, front end, and roof damage from the rollover.

Marino was issued two tickets, one for an Unregistered Motor Vehicle and one for Driving too Fast for Conditions and Hazards.

Six arrested in Newport drug sweep

in Newport/News/Vermont

newport vermont drug arrests sweep

NEWPORT — The Vermont Drug Task Force announced today a major drug sweep that took place in Newport, resulting in six arrests. In total, four men, and two women were taken into custody following the bust.

With the assistance of the Newport Police Department and Vermont State Police, authorities are saying that they recently arrested these individuals from the greater Newport area for the sale of narcotics.

1. William Parris (52), Newport, VT: Sale of Narcotic/Stimulant/Depressant (X1)

2. Tina Parris (49), Newport, VT: Sale of Narcotic/Stimulant/Depressant (X3)

3. Travis Rhye (39), Newport, VT: Sale of Narcotic/Stimulant/Depressant (X2)

4. Natasha Burns (27), Newport, VT: Sale of Narcotic/Stimulant/Depressant (X2)

5. Thomas Cloney (30), Newport, VT: Sale of Narcotic/Stimulant/Depressant (X3)

6. Joshua LePage (28), Newport, VT: Sale of Narcotic/Stimulant/Depressant (X1)

All individuals listed have been cited to appear in Orleans Superior Court on 09-16-2014.

Taste of Newport just around the corner

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

Taste of Newport vermont food

NEWPORT — The fourth annual Taste of Newport, a one-of-a-kind culinary festival, is coming up next week.

Come join many of Newport’s downtown restaurants for signature dishes from celebrated Newport chefs made with local products.

The event will even feature a local farmer responsible for tending the ingredients you will be enjoying at each participating restaurant.

There will also be locally-produced beverages served, such as Eden Ice Cider.

The event will be hosted at the Gateway Center, and feature:

Newport Natural Cafe
Le Belvedere
The East Side Restaurant & Pub
The Brown Dog Bistro
The Club Restaurant & Pub
Parker Pie Wings
The Northern Star

The event will run from 5:00 p.m., and run through 9:00 p.m.

There will be a special drawing during the event to win an evening cruise for that night, at 9:00 p.m., on The Northern Star. You must be present to win, and ready for a one hour evening cruise of Lake Memphremagog.

Proceeds from the event go straight back into Newport City, through such efforts as Newport’s Fresh by Nature, Active by Nature, and Genuine by Nature programs.

So come to the table for local food, and dig in to Newport.

Tickets can also be purchased for $25 at : The Tasting Center, The Northcountry Chamber of Commerce Information Center, Newport Natural Cafe, Community National Bank – Derby office, Jay Peak Resort – Admin Complex, Le Belvedere and The Club Restaurant & Pub.

Purchase online at:

Newport Area Community Orchestra kicks back into gear with fall rehearsals


NEWPORT — The Newport Area Community Orchestra is ready to begin their fall rehearsals, starting Tuesday, August 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the First Universalist Parish on Main Street in Derby Line.

The orchestra will begin preparing the music for their fall concert which will take place November 1, 2014 at the Goodrich Memorial Library in Newport.

The concert will include the following music:

Concerto for Harp by Handel (Abigail Stockman, soloist)
Concertino for Horns and Orchestra by Witt (Marc Semprebon, Ros Semprebon, and Anna Shelow, soloists)
Nocture for Cello and Orchestra by Tchaikovsky (Thurmond Knight, soloist)
Haydn Symphony No. 100.

This concert will feature the largest orchestra since the orchestra’s inception in February 2011. They will have around 34 members for the concert.

Music Director Ken Michelli, is reminding everyone that anyone is welcome to join in.

If interested, contact them through their webpage at: or call 802-766-3021

Fred’s Plumbing and Heating in Derby catches fire

in Derby/Newport/News/Stanstead

DERBY — Fred’s Plumbing and Heating in Derby had its offices struck by lightning during the thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon, causing the building to go up in flames.

There was a tower on the building that fell during the blaze, which almost hit a Newport City firetruck.

Fire crews from the surrounding areas, including Stanstead, Quebec, were called onto the scene.

These images from the fire were sent in by Margarita Brown:

Picture 15

Picture 14

Picture 13

Picture 9

Picture 8

The following image was taken by Becky Deyo:

Picture 6

The following photo by Rachel Laplume:

Picture 7

Dollar Tree being sued for selling jewelry with toxic amounts of lead at Derby/Newport store

in Derby/Newport/News/Vermont

dollar tree derby selling tainted jewelry

DERBY — The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has filed suit against Dollar Tree, for violating a 2010 settlement with the State to stop selling jewelry.

The settlement resolved claims that Dollar Tree sold products containing high amounts of toxic lead and cadmium in violation of Vermont law, and was intended to protect Vermont’s children from exposure to those and other toxic substances.

According to the State’s Consumer Protection Complaint, Dollar Tree violated a provision in the 2010 settlement prohibiting it from selling any items “commonly understood to be jewelry,” by subsequently selling over 30,000 individual items of jewelry, including rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces through its stores in Barre, Bennington, Burlington, Derby/Newport, and Rutland.

The Complaint noted that there was a growing awareness in the United States that many consumer products imported from China and other countries contained toxic substances, especially children’s products, including children’s jewelry.

This awareness led to the passage of federal and state laws regulating the sale of products containing certain toxins, and to law enforcement actions against the companies that sold the products to consumers.

The Complaint also states that lead and other toxics have recently been found in children’s products which, like the ones sold by Dollar Tree, were made of plastic, and that although Dollar Tree routinely requires the testing of products it purchases for resale to consumers, its testing protocol does not ensure that all items of jewelry sold in its stores are free of toxic substances.

When children put the tainted plastic products into their mouths, they are exposed to lead entering their bloodstream. Even at low levels, this can cause learning problems, behavior issues, lower IQ, hyperactivity, hearing problems, and anemia.

The State is seeking a court order barring Dollar Tree from offering or selling any items of jewelry in Vermont; appropriate relief to affected Vermont consumers; civil penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation of the Consumer Protection Act; and the award of investigative and litigation costs and fees.

Homicide in Newport still under investigation

in Newport/News

homicide investigation newport vermont isaac hunt christian cornelious

The following statement was issued yesterday by State’s Attorney Alan Franklin in regards to the death of 35-year-old Isaac Hunt of Derby

The death that occurred in Newport on July 5 is being actively investigated by the Vermont State Police. There is, among other things, a volume of forensic evidence to be analyzed. I am unable to elaborate further as I have an obligation to protect the integrity of the investigation. I am in daily contact with the lead investigator and have been from the beginning.

While no one has to date been charged, no one has been exonerated. This decision will be based on the evidence resulting from the investigation as is my ethical duty and legal obligation as the State’s Attorney.

As the prosecutor, I have an obligation to the community at large to seek justice. Prosecutors have a duty to file appropriate charges and then only if there is a reasonable belief those charges are supported by evidence that is admissible in a trial.

It is important to note that if an autopsy report states a death to be a homicide, it does not end the inquiry into whether criminal charges will be filed. It means in that context a “death caused by another”. Vermont law allows for a homicide to be ‘justifiable” if it occurs in the “just and necessary defense of one’s own life, or that of others”, or if it’s necessary in the suppression of, among other crimes, burglary or robbery, with force or violence.

I can assure you that the investigators are working hard on this case and that every effort possible is being put forth to insure that justice is achieved.

Third Annual Some Enchanted Evening with Eileen Kennedy

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/Vermont

Eileen Kennedy Newport Vermont

NEWPORT — Acclaimed international jazz vocalist Eileen Kennedy will be returning to Newport for the third year, with a brand new Some Enchanted Evening cabaret, singing songs from the Great American Songbook, and beyond.

Kennedy will be accompanied by master pianist Mark Violette, and the show will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, located at 44 Second Street, Newport.

The event is part of the Now Playing Newport music series, however, this event will be held on August 16, at 7:30 p.m., a different day and time from their usual programs. Be sure to get your tickets early, last year’s concert was a sellout.

Not only did Jon Arterton, director of the Men’s Chorus in the film “Philadelphia,” call her 4-octave voice “one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard,” American composer John Thomas refers to her as “The Voice.”

Kennedy not only knows how to take possession of a song and an audience, her delight in connecting with her audiences is infectious.

Her background in musical theater makes these songs come alive.

Get your tickets for $10.50 online, at or reserve by

Refreshments will follow after the show.

The program will include songs from composers: composers:

Hoagy Carmichael
Burt Bacharach
Harold Arlen
Johnny Mercer

Orleans man airlifted to hospital after crash in Derby this morning

in Derby/Newport/News/Orleans

crash derby newport vermont airlifted to hospital

DERBY — An Orleans man was airlifted to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center following a single vehicle crash on Vermont Route 191 this morning that took place in Derby.

Police are saying that the driver has been identified as Joshua McAllister, age 24, of Orleans.

At 9:50 a.m., Vermont State Police arrived at the scene of the crash. According to a statement issued by police, McAllister was transported to North Counrty Hospital with major injuries.

McAllister was later transported to Dartmouth Hitchcock via D.A.R.T helicopter for further care. The crash is still under investigation.

According to an eyewitness account, McAllister’s vehicle, a 2005 Subaru Legacy, was off the road, flipped over on its roof. Police have said that the car was totaled.

We will update this story as more information is released.

Campaign 2014: Local candidate forum July 28

in Newport/News/Vermont

Political  forum Nwport Vermont1

NEWPORT — Two candidates for Essex County State’s Attorney and three candidates for the Essex-Caledonia-Orleans House district have agreed to participate in a forum sponsored by local media in Brighton on July 28.

This will be the first in a series of forums. The second one will be for the four candidates running for Orleans County State’s Attorney, all of whom have agreed to participate in a forum on August 11 in Newport.

Tod Pronto, executive director of NEK TV, will serve as moderator. These three races have Republican Primary elections to be decided on August 26.

The Chronicle, the Orleans County Record, the Newport Daily Express, Northland Journal, NEK TV, and Newport Dispatch online news are collaborating to present these forums.

Starting at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 28, at the Brighton Municipal Building gymnasium, incumbent Essex County State’s Attorney Vince Illuzzi of Derby and challenger Julianne Woolard of Charleston, both Republicans, will be on the first panel.

At 7:30 p.m. the second panel — also Republican candidates — will start. On that panel are Maurice Connary of Brighton, Paul Lefebvre of Newark, and Kenn Stransky of Norton.

The three men are vying for a nomination to serve as Representative in the House district that covers Bloomfield, Brighton, Canaan, East Haven, Lemington, Newark, Norton, and Westmore.

On August 11 at the East Side Restaurant in Newport, four candidates for Orleans County State’s Attorney will participate in a forum starting at 6 p.m.

Two Republicans, a Democrat, and an independent are running. The incumbent is Republican Alan Franklin of Newport who faces Republican Jennifer Barrett of Dorset in the Primary. James Lillicrap of Lowell, a Democrat, and independent Ben Luna of Brownington are challengers.

Candidates will each have a chance to introduce themselves, and then each will answer questions from the news media and the public.

To submit a question, please e-mail it to and put “candidate question” in the subject line.

For more information, contact Bethany M. Dunbar at the Chronicle:

You can also submit questions through our Facebook page, or through the comment section of this post.

Social Band celebrates the heady influences of summer in Newport on Sunday

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

Social Band Burlington Vermont in Newport

NEWPORT — On Sunday, July 20, Social Band sings to summer with a program of music and poetry at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, located at 44 Second Street in Newport.

The program, which starts at 4 p.m. and lasts an hour, will pay homage to warmer weather with songs old and new, including works by Vermont composers.

Unfamiliar with Social Band? This 20 member, Burlington based chorus presents a cappella choral music to the public, encouraging new compositions, especially by local composers.

Social Band organizes its programs around themes, weaving poetry and song to create an experience that feeds both hearts and minds.

Social Band is also known for their thoughtful mixture of genres, singing a program on Sunday that will encompass the ancient, modern, classical and “folksy”. This performance features the works of celebrated Vermont composers Tom Cleary, Sara Doncaster, Don Jamison and Colin McCaffrey, in addition to several pieces by 17th century madrigal masters.

What makes such seemingly disparate music work together? Much of this music is modal, most of it is polyphonic, and the harmonies are rich and engaging.

Tickets are $10 and available online at or by emailing Lite refreshments will follow the program.

Film crew visits Newport

in Newport/News


NEWPORT — On Tuesday, a film crew was in Newport to shoot a segment for a program highlighting Newport’s efforts toward becoming a livable community, with a special focus on transportation.

The program, AARP Live, will air on Thursday, July 24 on RFD-TV at 10 p.m. eastern time, and run throughout the month. The program will focus on what makes a community livable, with a short segment on Newport.


The crew interviewed:

Newport Mayor Paul Monette
Harriett Hall of the Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Sandy Thorpe, coordinator of Rural Community Transport (RCT) in Newport
Patricia Sears, AARP Vermont Volunteer State President


The show will highlight Newport’s use of the RCT service, which allows people in rural communities without any means of transportation the chance to get around, allowing them to shop, get to the hospital, and just be a part of the community.


Drive-in movie night at Prouty Beach on Friday

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

drive in movie night prouty beach

NEWPORT — Grab your lawn chairs, swimsuit, blankets and towels for open swim and a movie under the stars at Prouty Beach.

Lifeguards will be on duty for the first half, then at dark, everyone will settle on the beach for a PG movie on the 16 foot outdoor cinema. Popcorn and movie concessions will be available for purchase to benefit Newport Parks & Recreation. Feel free to pack a cooler and snacks, but do not bring any glass.

Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult, children 3 and under are free.

Admission: $5 per person, 3 & under free. No pets
Tickets are purchased at the Prouty Beach Ticket Booth

THIS FRIDAY 7/18: The Lego Movie (PG)

8:00 p.m.: Open swim at Prouty Beach
8:30 p.m.: Concession stand opens
8:45/dusk: Movie begins
10:30 p.m.: Movie ends


Don’t miss the other Dive-In Movies this summer….

Dive-in Movie Schedule 2014

July 18 – The Lego Movie, 8 p.m.
August 22 – Grease, 7:30 p.m.

Occasionally Dive-in Movies are cancelled if it rains to heavily or is too windy for the equipment. In the event of an inclement weather forecast, watch our Facebook page for updates or call (802) 334-6345. Cancellations will be announced by noon in most cases.

This event is made possible with help from NEKCA.

Alarm raised over 60-year-old oil pipeline running through the Northeast Kingdom

in Newport/News/Vermont

tarsands oil pipelin northeast vermont newport

By Susan Davis

NEWPORT — Conservationists are raising the alarm about a 60-year-old oil pipeline running through the heart of the Northeast Kingdom, and the thick, “peanut butter,” highly corrosive and chemically treated sludge called tar sands that could be pumped through it.

About 25 people gathered at the Hebard Building Tuesday night for a panel discussion hosted by the Memphremagog Watershed Association (MWA) and the National Wildlife Federation.

The watershed encompasses about 700 square miles of waterways and wetlands throughout Orleans and Essex County, including the Missisquoi, Barton, Upper Connecticut, Passumpsic, Clyde, Lamoille and Black rivers, over 20 lakes, and about a dozen municipalities and gores.

Although about 75 percent of Lake Memphremagog is in Canada, about 75 percent of the waters flowing into the lake come from this watershed, so any threat to the watershed is a direct threat to the lake, explained Don Hendrich, a former North Country High School teacher and member of the MWA board. A threat to the lake is a threat to the economic viability of the Northeast Kingdom, he stated, since this area relies so heavily on tourism dollars.

Panelist Annie Mackin, of the Vermont Tar Sands Project, National Wildlife Federation, said the existing pipeline runs from Portland, Maine, to Montreal, through North Troy, Irasburg, Orleans, Sutton, Burke and Victory Bog. Various stretches of the pipeline were built in 1940, 1950 and 1960 and reportedly have a lifespan of 60 years.

Two things make tar sands particularly dangerous to the watershed, Mackin explained: the thick, goopy, tar quality of the oil itself, which sinks to the floor of waterways during a rupture of the line; and the chemicals, used to make the tar sands fluid enough to run through the pipe, which contain high amounts of toxic metals and carcinogens that have been linked to everything from birth defects to emphysema to cancer.

Tar sands spills in Kalamazoo, Mich. (July 2010), and Mayflower, Ark. (March 2013), demonstrate the potentially damaging impact of an oil spill in the Northeast Kingdom, Mackin said.

Mackin and Hendrich were joined by David Stember, U.S. National Organizer of the environmental group, and by Greg MacDonald, a member of the board of directors of Sierra Club Vermont. Panelists discussed the history of the pipeline; the political battle in South Portland, Maine, around a controversial waterfront protection ordinance that would bar expansion of petroleum facilities that could handle tar sands; past breakdowns of the pipe; and the large investment and momentum behind the push to complete the pipeline.

Stember also spoke about his trip to the tar sands oil fields of Alberta, Canada and the devastation being done to the boreal forest there. That forest is “one of the Earth’s lungs,” he explained.

In February of 2013, Larry Wilson, CEO of the Portland Pipe Line Corp., told the Vermont Legislature’s House Fish and Wildlife Committee that there are no current plans to pump tar sands through the pipeline, but the company is opposing any legislation to prohibit such a move.

Tuesday’s panelists stated that actions speak louder than words. Tar sands oil has already reached Montreal, said Mackin, and the South Portland ordinance comes to a vote Monday, July 21.

“The industry is talking out of both sides of its mouth,” MacDonald said.

VT 105 Amazing Race Challenge a crowd favorite at Newport’s Aquafest

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News/Vermont

VT Route 105 Amazing Race Challenge Newport

NEWPORT — With a slogan of “Bring your cleverness and ingenuity…leave the six pack abs at home,” it was clear that The Vermont Route 105 Challenge, part of Newport’s Aquafest, was going to be a crowd favorite this year. This annual event, in its first year, proved to be a huge success over the weekend.

The fun and exciting NEW Amazing Race included challenges such as:

Eating large amounts of food, counting a large number of items, finding an item/items or people, finding a shop or location, carrying items long distances, assembling a difficult structure, or solving riddles in order to get to the next clue, while protecting your balloon at all costs.

It was all about family fun and a great after race party at the Gateway with the band Below Zero. The event was a lot of work to organize, but event coordinators didn’t seem to mind.

VT 1 Route 105 Amazing Race Challenge Newport

“Yes this was a ton of work, but so worth getting this first Vermont Route 105 Amazing Race Challenge set up with Lynne Bertrand from Vermont’s North Country Chamber of Commerce, and Chris Johansen from the Northern Star,” said Rick Desrochers.

Mr. Desrochers was quick to acknowledge the role that the event sponsors played in making this event a success. Some of the sponsors included:

The Great Outdoors, North Country Hospital, TD Bank, RCT, Monette’s Computer Solutions, Jed’s Maple, Suzie-Lynn’s Gifts and 1/2 Off Cards, Hoagies Pizza, Sugar Mountain Fudge & Candy Shoppe, Brown Dog Bistro, Wendy’s, Vermont Pie And Pasta Company, Sticks and Stuff Home Center, The Farmyard Store and Taylor Rental Center, Cow Palace Derby, Olympia Sports, Chili’s, The Pick & Shovel, Northern Star Cruises, Primitive Place, and the Army National Guard.

VT Route 105 Amazing Race Challenge Newport  1

Art in Bloom at the MAC Center for the Arts

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

MAC Center for the Arts Newport Vermont

NEWPORT — On July 24, 4 Seasons Garden Club and the MAC Center for the Arts will present their fifth annual Art in Bloom.

Over twenty floral arrangements will be matched to artwork, photography, or handcrafts currently on display in the MAC center.

Both gallery spaces will be used, with flowers remaining at the center until Saturday, July 26.

Art in Bloom has grown in scope since its inception and has become one of Newport’s most popular events and provides a major fundraiser for both organizations.

Tickets are available at the MAC, open Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and are priced at $10 each. The opening reception is from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Thursday July 24, 2014.

For more information visit the MAC online at: or by phone at 802 334 1966.

Double your dollars at Newport Farmers’ Market

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

Newport Vermont Farmers Market

NEWPORT — When you use your 3SquaresVT benefits at the Newport Farmers’ Market this year, you will double your money with Harvest Health coupons, allowing you to buy more fresh food from local farmers. This new program, which started in July, is called the Harvest Health Coupon Project.

Currently, the Newport Farmers’ Market is the only market in Orleans county to offer the coupons.

The system works like this:

Vermonters go to the booth at the market designated with the “EBT and Debit Accepted Here” sign to swipe their EBT card. They say how much of their benefits they would like to spend and then swipe their card.

They will be given wooden tokens worth $1 each to use at any vendor that sells 3SquaresVT eligible foods. As a bonus for shopping at the market, they will also be given fuchsia Harvest Health coupons to match their EBT purchases, up to $10 per market day.

The Harvest Health Coupon Project has proven to be a win-win for both 3SquaresVT households who are able to purchase more farm-fresh food and local farmers who are able to market their products to more Vermonters.

There are currently over 90,000 Vermonters who receive 3SquaresVT benefits to help them buy more food for their families.

The Newport Farmers’ Market is open Wednesday & Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All photos courtesy of Phil White.

Runners exercise freedom in this year’s Harry Corrow Freedom Run

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/Newport
All photos courtesy of Phil White.
All photos courtesy of Phil White.

NEWPORT — This year’s Harry Corrow Freedom Run raised $355 to be split evenly between the Gardner Park Restoration Project and the Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation.

Stan Walden, 20, from St. Johnsbury, “took home the jerky,” and the top honors this year with a blistering time of 1:09:22 in the ten mile run along the Newport / Derby Bike Path, and along the trails of the Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation. A cedarwood “woodal” and a big bag of Breault’s Beef Jerky were his prize.

Close behind in the men’s division were Bruce Schlatter, 49 of Victoria, BC, at 1:10:49, and Matt Breton, 36, of West Charleston, at 1:12:56. They also claimed a bag of jerky for their speed as did all of those who placed in the three races.

freedom run newport vermont  1

Leading the women in the 10 mile course was Liba Hladek, 49, of East Thetford, with a time of 1:21:50, followed by Lindsey Owen, 30 of Montpelier, at 1:23:17, and Haley Joseph, 52, of Coventry at 1:25:47.

Erin Gallant, 50, of Newport, was the overall winner of the 10K division with a time of 1:01:10.

Mike Moore, 43, of East Haven, led the men with a time of 1:12:15.

The best race of the day had to be the 5K run, with Maggie Auger, 12, of Franklin, IN, winning first place overall by a nose ahead of her cousin David Auger, 17, of Lake St. Louis. MO.

One of the highlights of the day was seeing how many families were participating in the Freedom Run. In addition to The Auger Family, The Waldens of St. Johnsbury, the Luciers, of Woodstock, GA, the Burroughs, of East Montepelier, the Farnhams of Plainfield, the Comes of Newport, the Maurices of Newport, as well as Stan Chop, 64, of Newport, running the 10K with his daughter, Kathryn Nicolai, 30, from Yorktown, VA, all participated.

freedom run newport vermont 3

The youngest runner of the day was Eoin Comes, age four, of Newport, running with his dad in the 5K.

The Freedom Run lived up to its name when several runners chose mid-course to switch it up from the 10K to the 10 Mile course.

“I got through the woods and back to the bike path,” Mary Jo Frawley, of Newport said. “I was feeling great, so I went right instead of left, did the 10 miles, and paid the extra $15 when I got back.

At least three other runners made the same mid-course correction.

freedom run newport vermont 4

Newport death ruled homicide by stab wound to the leg

in Newport/News

christian cornelious homicide newport vermont hunt

NEWPORT — The results of the preliminary autopsy by the Vermont Office of the Chief Medical Examiner were released on Monday. The autopsy indicates that Isaac Hunt, died as a result of a incised wound to the leg.

The death has been ruled a homicide. Detectives will continue the investigation into the July 5 incident at 123 Lake Road in Newport.

Detectives have so far learned that Hunt and his girlfriend, Kayla McCullough, age 25 of Charleston, went to the residence on Lake Road in Newport as a result of an on-going dispute with Christian Cornelius, age 31, and Garrett Cornelius, age 24, both of Newport.

Upon arrival a physical altercation ensued. It was learned that during the confrontation Christian Cornelius wounded Hunt in the leg with a knife.

The Vermont State Police continue to work with the Newport Police Department on the death investigation, which will be reviewed by the Orleans County State’s Attorney’s Office.

No other information is available at this time pending further investigation, completion of the final autopsy report, and review by the Orleans County State’s Attorney.

Derby man found dead after police respond to a fight in Newport

in Derby/Newport/News

NEWPORT — A Derby man was found dead in Newport on Saturday after police were called out to the scene regarding a fight.

On July 5, at approximately 1:27 p.m., the Vermont State Police in Derby received several 911 calls regarding the fight at 123 Lake Road in Newport. Members from the Vermont State Police, Newport Police Department, and the U.S. Border Patrol were dispatched immediately.

Upon arrival officials found Isaac Hunt, 35, of Derby, deceased.

At the request of the Newport Police Department, members of the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation responded to investigate the incident. Hunt’s body was transported to the Vermont Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

Police are saying that there were three people involved in the altercation, and that they are interviewing them as they continue to investigate Hunt’s death. No names have been released as of yet.

The Vermont State Police have assumed primary in the investigation in conjunction with Newport Police Department. Investigators are working closely with the Orleans County State’s Attorney’s Office.

At this time there is no indication of an increased risk to public safety.

No other information is available at this time, but authorities are saying that more information will be released in the coming days.

Havana, Cuba comes to Newport

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News/Vermont

Picture 10

NEWPORT — Newport Natural Cafe and Arts Amica of Boston are presenting “Havana Comes to Newport II,” for the month of July. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, July 5 from 6 – 8 p.m.

Holliey White of Arts Amica will introduce the exhibit, with a special guest appearance by international jazz singer Eileen Kennedy.

For those Americans fortunate enough to have traveled to Cuba or to have seen an exhibit presented in the U.S. by various galleries and institutions, the quality of fine art from the Republic of Cuba comes as no surprise.

For most Americans, however, little is known about the diversity of style and media, technique. and subject matter Cuban artists are creating. And there is good reason for that. Although there are some limited travel exemptions in the embargo, and it is permitted to import and exhibit Cuban art here, the task of bringing the art here is tedious indeed.

Each piece needs to be registered with the Registry of Fine Arts before leaving Cuba, unpacked at Jose Marti Airport in Havana for inspection and to validate that the appropriate registration fee was paid for each piece, and that no national treasures are leaving the country, then re-packed and hand carried into the United States.

Few galleries are willing to engage in such labor intensive activity.

Art is often the first voice of change in a society, and Cuba is no exception. Much of Cuban art reflects the attitude and spirit of the people, the struggle, and their hopeful resolve. The number of exhibits devoted entirely to Cuban art presented in the U.S. in recent years by the art schools, universities, museums, and other institutions and galleries attest that the art world acknowledges the talent of Cuba’s contemporary artists.

This exhibit of original works and photographs of present day Havana promises to provide a tantalizing peek at some of the talent from this island nation whose rich cultural history extends back through the centuries, including being home to the second oldest art school in the New World.

Fourth of July guide for Orleans County

in Arts and Entertainment/Barton/Island Pond/Newport/Westmore

Fireworks Newport, Vermont Orleans County Forth of July times

NEWPORT — The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and unless you’re planning to wow your neighbors with a massive display of sparklers and drop pops this year, you better have a permit. Just about all fireworks are illegal in Vermont. Don’t worry, snakes and sparklers are still okay, but, if you want to see some real fireworks, head out to one of the local displays.

First, if you plan to set off your own, here is a quick reference:

Illegal fireworks:

Toy cannons, toy canes, or toy guns in which explosives are used; balloons that are propelled by explosives; firecrackers; torpedoes; sky rockets; Roman candles; cherry bombs; or other fireworks of like construction are all prohibited in Vermont unless a permit has been obtained from the local municipality (Fire Chief, Police Chief, Select Board or City Council) depending on the governing body.

Legal fireworks:

Novelty items such as; sparklers, snakes, party poppers, glow worms, smoke devices, string poppers, snappers, or drop pops with no more than 0.25 grains of explosive mixture do not require a permit and can be purchased in many stores throughout the State.

snakes and sparklers newport vermont

If you want to see the real fireworks, head over to Newport, Barton, or Island Pond.


The Independence Day Celebration in Newport will feature an afternoon of music and fun competitions including the Bed Races and Hula Hoop competition. There will be tons of food and family fun. The fireworks will begin at 9:45 p.m.


The Barton fire Department and Orleans County Fair Association will bring the July 4th parade to Barton once again this year. The parade will start at 2 p.m. and will proceed from Main Street to Glover Street, Elm Street, Park Street, Roaring Brook Road, and end at the fairgrounds. The fireworks will be held at the fairgrounds at dusk.


The 4th of July Celebration in Island Pond will start Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 4 – 6. The annual parade will be on Saturday at 11 a.m. with fireworks Saturday night at dusk. There will be events throughout the weekend.


Or, head over to Westmore for the annual 4th of July Boat Parade. There will be a line up off Crescent Beach at Lake Willoughby at 3:45 p.m.

Former police chief killed in motorcycle crash following weekend visit to Newport

in Newport/News/Vermont

police chief from Mass. killed in vermont motorcycle crash

NEWPORT — A group of four friends were riding their motorcycles back to Massachusetts after a trip to Newport over the weekend, when a car crossed the centerline of the roadway, colliding with two of the motorcycles.

The crash killed former chief of the Kingston, Mass., Police Department, Joseph Rebello, age 55, and severely injured the former chief of the Hudson, Mass., Police Department, Richard Braga, age 57.

The tragedy took place at 9:15 a.m. Sunday morning. Police responded to the motor vehicle and motorcycle collision on Vermont Route 14 in the Town of Woodbury.

Rebello was pronounced dead at the scene, and Braga was taken to Fletcher Allen Hospital for his injuries. The two other motorcyclists were able to avoid being hit by the motor vehicle.

Rebello was a married father of two, who had just retired last year.

According to police, the preliminary investigation indicates that Frank Sargent, 52, of Woodbury, was traveling north, when he crossed the centerline of the roadway.

His 1996 Subaru Legacy collided with the two motorcyclists as they headed south.

Sargent was also taken to the hospital for his injuries.

Police continue to investigate the cause of the collision, with the State Police Crash Reconstruction Team assisting in the investigation.

The Boston Globe reports Hudson Mass., Selectman Scott Duplisea as stating that the riders were all returning from a trip to Newport, at the time of Sunday’s crash. He had been invited to go but could not attend.

Albany volunteer firefighter sentenced to 4 to 6 years for arson

in Albany/Newport
A piece of fire equipment that was destroyed after the fire at the Albany Fire Station last August. Photo by Jane Peters.
The remains of a fire truck that was destroyed after the fire at the Albany Fire Station last August. Photo by Jane Peters.

NEWPORT — The man who pled no contest to second-degree arson and reckless endangerment charges relating to the Albany Fire Station fire last August, was sentenced to serve four to six years in jail.

Elmer Joerg, 46, pled no contest in April, and faced sentencing earlier in the week.

On August 11, 2013, the Albany Fire Department suffered a total loss. The fire station was engulfed in flames, leaving one fire engine completely destroyed. Joerg was later arrested.

Joerg, who was a member of the Albany Volunteer Fire Department, helped fight the fire at the station the night he started the blaze.

He also had a criminal history before the incident, including an earlier conviction of arson.

Joerg was identified as the arsonist through surveillance footage that captured photographs of the incident.

Illustrated history of Lake Memphremagog coming soon

history of lake memphremagog

NEWPORT — Georgeville Press has announced the upcoming release of Memphrémagog: An Illustrated History / Une histoire illustrée, written by Louise Abbott.

The book will be the first landscape history of Lake Memphremagog and its surroundings. The book launch will take place August 9 in Newport.

Abbott spent three years doing meticulous archival research, on-site explorations, and oral history interviews, in order to trace the origins of the Memphremagog region and to examine the ways in which natural and man made forces have altered it.

This bilingual coffee table book will be 308 pages with 175 richly illustrated reproductions of historical photos, paintings, maps, as well as ninety contemporary photos by Louise Abbott and Niels Jensen.

The retail price is expected to be $49.95, with the Memphremagog Conservation Incorporated receiving a portion of the proceeds from sales.

Book launches will take place in various locations around the lake from late July to October, including July 20 in Georgeville, July 24 in Austin, August 2 in Mansonville, August 9 in Newport.

Harry Corrow Freedom Run coming July 5

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — What better way to celebrate July 4th and our nation’s independence than a trail run along the shores, and in the woods of Lake Memphremagog? The Harry Corrow Freedom Run will cover the Newport-Derby Bike Path and Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation Trails.

All photos courtesy of Phil White.
All photos courtesy of Phil White.

The race is a celebration of freedom…freedom from asphalt…and freedom to choose the distance you want to cover. You are also free to run or walk.

The race also offers a 10K option, so there’s a run for every level of runner in the mix.

The race starts at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, July 5, on the bike path in the pines of Prouty Beach. A light lunch will follow, and walkers are welcome.

This event is run in collaboration with Newport City Parks and Recreation Department and Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation. Twenty percent of all registration fees will be donated to the Gardner Park Restoration Project and The Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation.

For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.


Motorcycle collides with trailer on Beebe Road in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

Motorcycle accident Derby Vermont

DERBY — A motorcycle collided with a trailer in Derby on Friday morning, leaving a man with minor injuries and damage to his bike.

Kevin Renaudette, 32, of Beebe Plain, Vermont, was riding his 1994 Harley-Davidson on the Beebe Road in Derby, when he struck a utility trailer that was being pulled by Gareld Burnor, 69, of Newport.

According to police, Burnor had been backing up the trailer in the south bound lane of travel, when Renaudette, who was also traveling south on the Beebe Road, collided with it.

Although Renaudette only suffered minor injuries, his bike had damage to the front brakes, rims, windshield, forward controls, handlebars, clutch, and saddlebags.

The trailer had damage to the left wheel and fender.

Burnor was ticketed for backing up the south bound lane of travel in an unsafe manner, interfering with traffic.

The accident took place at 8:39 a.m.

A sneak peek at the Waterfront Plaza redesign

in Newport/News

scene 6

NEWPORT — Burlington developer Tony Pomerleau, who owns the Newport Waterfront Plaza, has apparently ended a deal with Jay Peak President Bill Stenger to sell him the property. Newport Waterfront Plaza was slated to become the Marina Hotel and Convention Center.

The leases that tenants at the shopping center signed include a contingency plan in case the property is sold, however, all signals from Pomerleau indicate that it is not going to happen.

What is supposed to happen now, is that this fall Pomerleau is planning to work on the facade of the shopping center. Pomerleau is saying that it will look like a new building. Vista will stay where it’s at, and both Waterfront Cinemas and Wendy’s will see some improvements.

Below is a series of drawings by architect Mark Stewart, which provide a sneak peek into what is to come.

Newport Vermont waterfront plaza 1

Newport Vermont waterfront plaza 12

Newport Vermont waterfront plaza 13

Newport Vermont waterfront plaza 15

Newport Vermont waterfront plaza 16

Newport Vermont waterfront plaza 19

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