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Nearly 400 students show up for North Country Hospital’s Teddy Bear Clinic

in Health/Newport/News

NEWPORT — It’s been a busy week at the hospital, as visiting kindergartners and first graders have been getting their favorite stuffed animals weighed and immunized at the Teddy Bear Clinic.

Nearly 400 students from 15 schools in the two local supervisory unions marched proudly with their buddies into North Country Hospital.

Multiple stations provided education and care, including the emergency department and the ambulance bay.

Students learned about summertime safety and the mechanics of the skeleton.

This year, thanks to Glover and Newport EMT services, visiting students even saw firsthand the operation of an ambulance.

Police looking for suspect after Dollar General in North Troy broken into

in Newport/News/North Troy

NORTH TROY — Police responded to an alarm at the Dollar General in North Troy early this morning.

The call came in at around 1:00 a.m.

When they arrived at the location on East Main Street, police say they discovered that the store had been forcefully entered and items inside were scattered around.

The store was cleared by troopers.

Video surveillance footage indicated a single male, wearing a red jacket, gloves, and a face covering, forcefully entered the store, placed items in a bag, and left the store through the same place he entered.

A state police canine was used in an attempt to track the suspect but he was not located.

Anyone with information about this incident is being asked to contact State police at 334-8881.

The High Immunization Rates Certificate of Achievement was presented, left to right: Addie Atwood, RN, Leah Rogers, Practice Manager, Julie Barr, Patient Services Coordinator, Jim Biernat, RN, VT Department of Health, Alexandra Bannach, MD, Thomas Harvey, RN, VT Department of Health, Donna Chesney, Patient Services Coordinator and Carol Leigh, RN

North Country Pediatrics in Newport recognized for high immunization rates

in Health/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Last week during Infant Immunization Week, the Vermont Department of Health made its way around the state to 25 pediatric practices, recognizing them for the work they have done to increase child immunization rates.

North Country Pediatrics in Newport excelled for the second year by making sure as many patients as possible received their necessary immunizations.

For a medical practice to receive recognition, at least 90 percent of its child patients must be up to date with immunizations for 11 vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles, mumps, and whooping cough.

This is a significant accomplishment, with current reports of a measles outbreak nationwide.

“The providers and staff at these 25 practices deserve recognition and praise for their hard work protecting children who are at their most vulnerable age,” said Vermont’s Immunization Program Director Christine Finley.

Newport was fortunate to have Jim Biernat, RN, who is also a North Country Hospital trustee, help present the award to Alexandra Bannach, MD and staff.

MAC Center for the Arts presents Gabe Tempesta Selected Paintings

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — MAC Center for the Arts presents Gabe Tempesta’s solo Exhibition entitled Selected Paintings with an opening reception on Friday, May 24, 2019, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the MAC’s Downstairs Connection.

The opening is free and open to the public.

To highlight Tempesta in his own words:

“Being born and raised in the Vermont landscape has given rise to the current scope of my artwork. I am continually inspired by the natural landscape while exploring at home or while traveling and look to capture and celebrate that with my paintings. My formal education is from Montserrat College of Art where I studied illustration. After training and pursuing a career as an illustrator as a matter of practicality for ten years I felt an urge for more creative freedom in the form of fine-art landscape and wildlife painting.


My black and white paintings have evolved from a charcoal and watercolor mixture to oil paint. I recently switched to oil paint in order to more easily mimic the lens effects of photography. I love the process of capturing an image through a camera lens with pixels then bringing it to life by hand with paint. Early on I considered pursuing photography as a career until this was superseded by my passion for drawing and painting. Now I feel I have come to a balance between the two.
I leave out the color in my paintings in order to focus on composition, form, and contrast and to engage in a more simple and direct creative process. I strive to create a fresh approach to traditional landscape painting where I look for dynamic vantage points in which to portray common features of the landscape and the wildlife within it. I want the viewer to be familiar with what they see but to get the feeling that they ‘haven’t quite seen it like that before.”

The exhibit will continue through Saturday, June 22, 2019, and can be seen from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during regular business hours.

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

Seven people arrested illegally entering the U.S. in Derby Line

in Derby Line/Newport/News

DERBY LINE — Six people who authorities say entered the U.S. illegally in Derby Line, and the driver who picked them up, were arrested on Wednesday.

According to the criminal complaint, on the evening of May 1, agents at the Newport Border Patrol station learned that a group of people were entering the United States from Canada on foot, near an area known as Goodall Farm.

Agents in the area say they observed six individuals huddled together in a wooded area near the border.

Shortly thereafter, they say an SUV drive up to the group. The vehicle stopped and the six individuals got in. The vehicle was later pulled over.

Authorities say the driver was identified as Francisco Alejo-Medrano, 27, a citizen of Mexico.

The six passengers were all determined to be undocumented Mexican citizens.

All seven people in the vehicle were arrested.

Alejo-Medrano appeared in court yesterday on a charge that he unlawfully transported a group of people entering the United States illegally.

U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss ordered that Alejo-Medrano be detained pending further proceedings.

According to court records, the six passengers are being charged with unlawfully entering the United States.

If convicted, Alejo-Medrano faces up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

Newport police charge two after high-speed chase in stolen SUV

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Police arrested two people yesterday after they allegedly led police on a high-speed chase in a stolen SUV.

According to the report, Justin Morgan, 27, of Newport, was charged with aggravated operation without owners consent, attempting to elude, grossly negligent operation, excessive speed, attempted aggravated assault on a police officer, recklessly endangering another person, and possessing stolen property.

Carrie Tetreault, 32, of Sheffield, was charged with aggravated operation without the owner’s consent.

Police say they were tipped off on Monday that a white 2016 Toyota Rav4 had been stolen and was likely being operated by Tetreault.

Officers were working a detail on Glen Road when they saw the vehicle at approximately 12:26 p.m, which they identified by its license plate.

Newport Police say that they knew Morgan and recognized him as the driver of the vehicle.

When police attempted to perform a motor vehicle stop, the vehicle allegedly took off at a high rate of speed after initially pulling over.

According to a statement issued by police:

“The vehicle sped through a construction zone in the road, endangering the lives of workers, one of whom was placing cones and signs in the roadway. The vehicle almost struck Sheriff Kirk Martin, who was deploying spike strips at the intersection of Fern Street and Glen Road, but the vehicle swerved onto a lawn. The SUV reached speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour and nearly struck a pedestrian walking his dog on West Echo Lake Road.”

Police say after the vehicle got stuck in the mud on Sanderson Hill Road, Morgan and Tetreault led on foot.

They were tracked by police with the assistance of K-9 Ozzy and placed under arrest after they were found running behind a residence on Route 5A.

“This was a dangerous incident involving two people fleeing from police in a stolen car who were willing to endanger the lives of pedestrians, road workers and police officers,” Chief DiSanto said.

Morgan was held on $2,500 bail at Northern State Correctional Facility.

Tetreault was released on the condition that she appear in court for arraignment.

The suspects were scheduled to be arraigned in Orleans District Court today.

Suspected drunk driver crashes into telephone pole in Newport

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Police have arrested and charged a Newport man following a crash early Sunday morning.

At around 1:15 a.m. police say they came upon fallen telephone pole wires which led them to the scene of a crash involving a motor vehicle into a telephone pole near Union Street and Prouty Drive.

The driver of the vehicle, identified as Ryan Brewster, 32, of Newport, was charged with a second offense of driving under the influence, gross negligent operation, criminal refusal and false information to law enforcement.

Police say he sustained injuries and was medically cleared by EMTs following the crash.

According to the report, a female passenger refused medical attention and did not appear to have any injuries from the crash.

Both Union Street and Prouty Drive lost power temporarily after the crash, and Prouty Drive was closed until approximately 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.

“Reckless driving endangers the life of the driver, passengers and everyone else on the road,” Chief DiSanto said. “Let this serve as a reminder to our community that it’s crucial to drive responsibly, pay attention and follow the rules of the road.”

Brewster will appear in Orleans Criminal Court on May 14.

Police: Underage drinking party busted in Westmore

in Newport/News/Westmore

WESTMORE — Police say that for two weekends in a row, they’ve responded to complaints of underage drinking at a house in Westmore.

At around 11:20 p.m. on Friday, police say they received a report of an underage drinking party at a home located on Hinton Hill.

Police say when they arrived the home had a large number of vehicles parked in the driveway and in the roadway.

According to the report, individuals were seen fleeing from the residence into the woods.

Troopers say they also responded to the same residence the weekend prior for a similar complaint.

A total of 10 minors were issued diversion paperwork for the consumption of alcohol under the age of 21 between the two separate responses.

Police say the homeowner was cited into court for enabling alcohol consumption by minors.

Authorities investigating explosion and fire in Holland

in Derby Line/Fire/Holland/Newport/News

HOLLAND — Authorities say that an explosion and fire that took place at a home in Holland on Wednesday is currently being investigated.

At around 2:45 p.m. the Derby Line Fire Department responded to a report of a home explosion and a fire located at 2896 Gore Road North.

Fire personnel found that the residence was completely engulfed and partially collapsed.

According to the report, the homeowners are identified as Mark Newell and Cynthia Merrill.

Police say nobody had been at the home for several days, and there were no reported injuries.

An investigation unit was contacted to try and determine the origin and cause of the incident.

Investigators say that because of the amount of fire damage and consumption of combustible materials, nothing can be determined at this time.

They are requesting anyone with information regarding this incident to contact Det. Sgt. Michael LaCourse at the Derby Barracks at 802-334-8881 or by contacting the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program (VATAP) hotline at 1-800-322-7766.

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

Tribute to Manfred Rieder opens this weekend at the MAC

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts will share a posthumous tribute to the late Manfred Rieder starting this Saturday, April 27, from 10:00 – 5:00 p.m.

The tribute will display a selection of Rieder‘s works, housed in the MAC’s newly named space, the Downstairs Connection.

In Manfred Rieder‘s own words:

”My fantasy structures are the result of being brought up by my grandparents and after my grandmother’s death when I was eight years old by grandpa alone. He was a well-known Austrian architect and from an early age taught me how to draw and paint and then had me assist in making his architectural dioramas and models for his clients. The love of architecture has never left me and now I express it through my little houses and scenes. I have always been fascinated by any form of transportation, from trains to cars, to airplanes and ships and I try to incorporate some of this in my work as well. I only use found wood, unwanted articles and everyday items I find in my shop or in the woods.”

Rieder‘s talent was not limited to the wooden creations, he also produced hundreds of pen and ink or pencil drawings, paintings, clocks, and many more.

All of the wooden diorama’s are for sale and will benefit the MAC Scholarship Fund which is given annually to graduating seniors pursuing any arts discipline in college.

It was his wish was that his legacy is hallmarked by this largesse.

The unique showcase will be on display April 27 through May 23 during regular business hours.

The exhibition is free and open to the public.

It should be noted that these items are handcrafted and for indoor display only.

The exhibition runs in concert with Portraits in Action – 25 Vermont Pioneers in renewable energy, environmental conservation, and land use planning.

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

Jennifer Daigle promoted to Senior Credit Officer at CNB

in Newport/News

DERBY — Community National Bank President Kathryn M. Austin announced the promotion of Jennifer Daigle to Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

Daigle joined the bank in February 2005 as a Commercial Credit Analyst and in 2006 became the Supervisor of the Commercial Credit Department.

In 2009, she was promoted to Credit Administration Officer and in 2012 to Assistant Vice President.

In 2016, Daigle became Vice President of Credit Administration.

In her new role as Senior Credit Officer, she will be responsible for analyzing the bank’s commercial loan activity and overseeing the Credit Administration Department.

Continuing her education, she has taken the Principles of Banking class through the Center for Financial Training and Education Alliance and attended the Northern New England School of Banking.

She has taken several courses through the Vermont Bankers Association and Risk Management Association (RMA) covering financial statement analysis, risk management, tax accounting, and management and financial accounting.

Daigle formerly served as chairperson of the RMA Vermont Chapter and continues to be an active board member.

She assists several non-profit organizations with their financials and actively takes part in fundraising initiatives to benefit the Department of Children and Families in Newport.

Daigle resides in Troy with her husband Rene, daughter Ashley, son Travis Letourneau, and two foster children.

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Newport City students get a taste of clinical healthcare

in Health/Newport/News

NEWPORT — A group of fifth graders at Newport City Elementary School had some hands-on experience in North Country Hospital’s Education Department.

The students were able to practice procedures for donning and doffing, sterile glove application, as well as touring through various clinical departments throughout the hospital.

North Country Hospital is able to host students each year through MedTrek, a 10-week afterschool health careers exploration program for middle school aged youth.

It was developed by Vermont Afterschool, in partnership with Northern Vermont Area Health Education Center and the UVM Larner College of Medicine AHEC Program.

This program features field trips to healthcare facilities in the local community and presentations by practicing health professionals.

Students in the program also engage in hands-on activities that relate to the health profession they are exploring each week.

High school students and undergraduates in health and science majors provide mentorship and teaching to support youth in hands-on activities.

In Newport, the program includes mentors from the North Country Career Center Health Science program.

Each session features tools and technology that make work in health care exciting, and stories are shared to inspire youth to consider a future healthcare career.

Northeast Kingdom Human Services takes on suicide prevention

in Glover/Newport/News

NEWPORT — According to the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center one Vermonter dies by suicide every three days in Vermont, and for every suicide, there are 32 attempts.

Northeast Kingdom Human Services has taken these statistics seriously and since January has provided over twenty training sessions in the area.

NKHS has adopted the evidence-based training platform of “Zero Suicide” and QPR.

QPR stands for question, persuade, and refer.

The training provides the education about how to question someone who may be suicidal, how to persuade them that it is okay to need help, and how to refer those struggling to get the help they need.

Suicide has long been something that is uncomfortable to discuss.

This training is a way to provide the tools and language to take the stigma around suicide away.

The other part of the training that is important, is recognizing the social pressures that many of our youth are facing today.

Social media ads a component of pressure and social maneuvering that was never present in the past.

These training sessions help children and adults recognize the realities that local children are living with today, and how to seek help when they need it.

Many children feel that they should not tell an adult about a friend who is suicidal, because they do not want to lose their friend.

Part of the training is encouraging people that it is better to lose a friend than lose a life.

Providing training to school teachers and college professors, parents, and students is taking the destigmatization and education around suicide to the next level.

When the program was implemented at NKHS, they provided just one training in November and one in December.

NKHS also participated in two wellness fairs to educate and raise awareness for suicide prevention, one at the Blue Mountain School, and one at St. Johnsbury Academy, as part of a community suicide awareness evening.

Both events were packed, which showed organizers the need for outreach and education even more.

The requests for these training sessions are increasing dramatically which shows the direct need for this service in the local community.

Glover Community School is the first school in the region to be creating a pilot program, where the training will be done in a three-part series, with staff first, then parents, then students.

The staff training session at the school has already been completed.

Photos: Vanilla Ice Starting to Fall 4/13/19, The official Ice-Out Time (Abram McKenny, Garrett McKenny, Drew McKenny), The winnings (Steve Lawson of Newport, Jessica Booth Director of Parks & Recreation)

The ice is out in Newport

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — After months of waiting, spring finally made its appearance with a splash in Newport on Saturday.

The Lake Memphremagog “ICE OUT” contest, now in its 5th year, garnered a record 1,444 guesses this winter.

“The number of guesses more than doubled this year, largely thanks to our Recreation Committee who put a lot of volunteer time and energy into selling tickets,” Jessica Booth, Director of Parks & Recreation, said.

Predictions came in from across the country online as well.

Many of the online submissions came from around New England, but some came from as far as Colorado, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Georgia.

“Entering them was a little tedious, but it was interesting to see where the guesses were coming from and which dates and times were most popular,” Laura Smith, who had the pleasure of entering all 1,444 guesses into an electronic spreadsheet, said. “Five different people chose April 1 at 11:00 a.m. for example. April 20th at 4:20 was a popular guess too.”

Parks Foreman Mac McKenny happened to be at Gardner Park on Saturday fishing with his sons and nephew when “Vanilla Ice” broke through near the Causeway Bridge at 11:07 a.m.

“It was cool to actually see it go down,” McKenny said. “It started to tip and after a few minutes, the whole thing dropped. We got to see the clock stop, which was a first for sure.”

While everyone is excited that spring has finally arrived, the announcement is most exciting to first-time ICE OUT contestant Steve Lawson who submitted two predictions on Town Meeting Day in March.

His winning guess of 10:05 a.m. on 4/13/19 was just one hour and two minutes ahead of the actual time.

“My first prediction one was way too early,” he admitted and couldn’t attribute his strategy for the winning prediction to anything more than a lucky guess.

The Lake Memphremagog ICE OUT contest is an annual fundraiser for Newport Parks & Recreation.

This year the event brought in $3,166 toward the Gardner Park Playground and Splash Pad project.

Lawson took home $1,583 as his half of the 50/50 cash prize.

Police investigating burglary in Newport Center

in Newport/News

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

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

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

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

Rollover crash on I-91 in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recognizing North Country Hospital volunteers

in Health/Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NCUHS closed, police investigating threat

in Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newport police bust man with nearly 3 ounces of cocaine

in Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As a result of the investigation, Porter was arrested.

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

He was arraigned at Orleans County Superior Court yesterday.

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

Three retire from Columbia Forest Products

in Newport/News

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

Donald Deslandes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deslandes and his wife Candy live in Newport.

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

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

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

Mike Fortin

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

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

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

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

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

During his tenure, he had an exemplary attendance record.

Fortin and his wife Debbie live in Holland.

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

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

He enjoys hunting and is an avid Red Sox fan.

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

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

Randy Westover

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

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

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

He held the following positions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Community National Bank receives Worksite Wellness Award

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orleans man facing burglary charges

in Newport/News/Orleans

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

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

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

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

The vehicle was stopped in the Maplefields parking lot.

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

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

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

Polite was lodged on the charges.

NEK native to lead private journaling workshop in Newport

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

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

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

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

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

There will be several workshops:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

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

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

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

The event is free and open to the public.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Police: Derby man arrested after high-speed chase

in Derby/Newport/News/Westmore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Christian Academy wins comedic theatre award

in Newport/News

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

The festival included productions from five Vermont schools.

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

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

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

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

Holland Hawks share award-winning Jr Iron Chef recipe

in Holland/Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notchyo Average Stuffed Wonton Nacho

Filling:

1# black beans, rinsed and soaked overnight

2 cups Maple Brook Farms Ricotta

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 # Taylor Farms Maple smoked gouda, shredded

1 Tbsp Neighborhood Greens Farm cilantro, chopped

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp crack black pepper

50 wonton wraps

Guacamole:

8 avocadoes

1/2 cup tomato, small dice

1/4 cup onion, small dice

2 limes, juiced

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 Tbsp cumin

2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

Salsa:

5 tomatoes, med dice

1 onion, small dice

1 pepper, small dice

2 lime, juice and zest

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp cumin

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 tsp garlic, minced

Cheese Sauce:

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp flour

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups pepper jack cheese

1 tsp salt

Crispy Onions:

1 onion, halved and sliced thin

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 Tbsp 5 spice

salt and pepper to taste

Plate:

8 cups greens

1/4 cup EVO

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Instructions:

Filling:

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

Guacamole:

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

Salsa:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Cheese sauce:

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

Crispy Onions:

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

Plate:

Toss in a bowl to coat the greens.

Learn how to cook a bear at the University of Irasburg

in Irasburg/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

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

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

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

So far, there are 15 courses scheduled in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

Weather-related rollover crash on I-91 in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

Newport man wins “Best Freestyle Beard” in Vermont

in Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

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

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

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

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

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

Newport Police warning public about phone scam

in Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do not take calls from unknown numbers.

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

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

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

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

Industrial hemp workshop in Newport April 19

in Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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