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Derby Green Nursing Home announces plans to close

in Derby/Health/Newport/News

DERBY – Derby Green, the nursing home located on US Route 5 in Derby, announced that it will close effective on or before April 30, 2020.

The home, owned by North County Hospital, filed a letter of intent today with the state’s Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living Division of Licensing and Protection, laying out its plans.

Derby Green has traditionally run at high occupancy, filling most of its 23 beds in any given month.

However, as a small facility, the nursing home says it cannot achieve the economies of scale and efficiency necessary to make long-term operations financially sustainable.

They say ongoing workforce shortages and operating losses jeopardize the center’s ability to continue providing the level of care and a safe environment necessary for residents.

Losses have averaged $200,000 annually over the last three years.

This, coupled with future infrastructure needs, has led North Country Hospital to make the difficult decision to close the facility.

Derby Green says they will work with all area nursing homes and community partners to ensure each resident is transferred to the setting of their choice that best meets their individual needs.

“Patient safety and exceptional person-centered care are our top priority,” Brian Nall, North Country Hospital’s President & CEO, said. “We are committed to providing high-quality day-to-day care during this process until our last resident is transferred and Derby Green is closed.”

Nearby, Bel-Aire Center in Newport will be increasing its nursing home beds to preserve some of the capacity that would otherwise be lost with the closure of Derby Green.

Vehicle hits utility pole in Westfield

in Newport/News/Westfield

WESTFIELD — Police say a vehicle hit a utility pole in Westfield yesterday and drove off.

Police were notified of the crash which took place on North Hill Road at around 5:39 p.m.

Police say the vehicle crashed into the utility pole owned by Vermont Electric Coop, causing it to shatter.

The meters that were attached to the pole also received extensive damage.

Police are trying to identify the driver and say the vehicle would have moderate damage to the passenger side front end.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Cpl. Amy LeClair with the Derby barracks at 802-334-8881.

MAC Center for the Arts Grand Re-Opening, January 25

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — After weeks of renovations, the MAC Center for the Arts is ready to unveil their new and improved Gallery Space on Saturday, January 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Come explore, browse, and rediscover the arts in this delightful redesign.

Thanks in part to grants and fundraising, a new ADA compliant bathroom has been added and redesign of the floor space to accommodate wheelchair accessibility has been accomplished.

To support the ADA continuing efforts, MAC will hold a “Leap Year” raffle beginning January 25 through February 29.

The winning tickets will be pulled on February 29, leap day.

MAC artists have donated pieces that are a celebration of the collaborative.

Featured in the raffle are a painting by Victoria Mathiesen, valued at $300, painting by Pixies Durand, valued at $100, Sterling Silver with Garnet earrings by Ellie Roberts, valued at $78, pottery bowl by Diana Poulin, valued at $60, pottery bowl and plate by Nancy Nash, valued at $56, pottery “face” vase by Arlene Goldberg, valued at $50, photograph on canvas by Nancy Nash, valued at $45, Polymer Pendant Necklace by Isobel Marks, valued at $25, and a Book by author, Susan Sanders, valued at $10.

All money raised will go to the ADA improvements at the MAC Center for the Arts.

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

Winter hours are Wednesday through Saturday, from 10-5, and closed Sunday-Tuesday.

ATV Statement and Study Committee Proposal | Conrad Bellavance

in Letter to the Editor/Newport/News

This letter was submitted by the Board of Directors Newport City Downtown Development, Chair Conrad Bellavance.

The City of Newport Ordinance #120 Regulating ALL – Terrain Vehicle Use on Town Highways also known as the “ATV ordinance” was approved by the City Council on October 21, 2019, for a trial period commencing May 2020 to October 2020.

The trial period outlined in the approved motion provides a reasonable approach and a measured way to assess the benefits to our Downtown.

The NCDD Board considers this type of exploration in alignment with our efforts to build Newport’s Outdoor Recreation Economy.

ATV ridership is proven to provide substantial positive economic benefits to many communities across the country.

However, it is important for Newport to assess the experience for ourselves in our own community.

NCDD is willing and offers to set up an independent ATV Study Committee charged with developing measurable standards to assess the impact of ATVs on city streets during the trial period.

A report will be generated based on these standards, along with fact-finding and conclusions from this information.

When the committee has reached a consensus on its findings and conclusions it will develop a set of recommendations.

The Committee will present both the full study report and the recommendations to the City Council at the end of the trial period.

NCDD suggests that the ATV Study Committee be comprised of representatives from each of the following groups:

Two Newport City businesses, two resident representatives from Third Street who live on the designated ATV route, two resident representatives from Pleasant Street who live on the designated route, two members from the Recreation Committee, the Newport City Police, two members from the Borderline Ridge Riders ATV Club, and NVDA, with NCDD as facilitator.

The NCDD Board believes that a local committee comprised of people directly impacted by the ordinance is the best way to generate a credible report.

NCDD has been working for several years to build a foundation for Newport’s Outdoor Recreation Economy.

This is based on the community’s support to build on Newport’s incredible natural assets.

This theme has been stated repeatedly at every community meeting about how to develop Newport.

Although the organization has not worked directly with ATV ridership or the creation of Ordinance #120, we are pleased to see that outdoor recreation groups like snowmobilers and ATV riders are beginning to approach the City with opportunities to be part of this economic development strategy.

We are likewise pleased to see that the City leadership is open and willing to try out these opportunities on a limited basis in order to gauge the impact on the City.

As the organization that holds the Downtown Designation and represents the interests of the community in developing Newport’s future, NCDD has the capacity to facilitate and support the ATV Study Committee with the goal of generating a quality fact-based report and recommendations to the City Council at the end of the trial period in October.

Interested candidates who meet the study committee criteria, should contact NCDD Economic Development Specialist Jim Davis at 334-0599 or email him at

Conrad Bellavance

Tracey Paul, first woman in CFO role at North Country Hospital

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — North Country Hospital recently announced that Tracey Paul has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer.

She began her career with the hospital 23 years ago as a staff accountant, having come from employment at Pine Knoll Nursing Home in Lyndonville.

Tracey has held supervisory positions for the last 17 years and has seen opportunities along the way to grow within the organization.

For the last six years, she served as Executive Director ACO, Finance & Specialty Practices.

“The position gave me a lot of great experience on not only the finance side but the operations side as well,” added Tracey.

Tracey was born and raised here in Newport and graduated from the University of Vermont with a BS in Business Management.

She is married to Claude Paul and they have three daughters.

The hospital’s previous CFO, Andre Bissonnette, who served North Country for 12 years, took a chief finance position at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

Dairy Air Wind in Holland announces halt to development activity

in Holland/Newport/News

HOLLAND — Dairy Air Wind, the last remaining wind energy project being developed in Vermont, today announced the ending of all development activities surrounding the project.

Project partner David Blittersdorf cited a current political environment that is hostile to wind energy as the leading cause for this step.

Dairy Air Wind was intended to be a single-turbine project sited in a cornfield on the Champney family’s 450-acre dairy farm in Holland.

“In 2012, there were over a dozen wind projects in development,” said David Blittersdorf. “Now there are none. This is truly a sad state of affairs for Vermont.”

Dairy Air Wind had received a state standard offer-power contract to sell the project’s electricity in Vermont in 2016, but has been stalled in permitting ever since.

They have been in the process of applying for a Certificate of Public Good, but given the current regulatory and political environment, project leadership no longer believes that acquiring one is possible.

Prior to today’s announcement, Dairy Air Wind was the last wind project still being developed in Vermont.

“If Vermont is saying no to a project like Dairy Air Wind, we are really saying no to everything,” said Blittersdorf. “We are in real trouble as a state if we can’t build a single wind turbine in a flat cornfield, hosted by a dairy farmer that wants the project built to help keep the farm going.”

Newport City votes to allow ATVs on public streets

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — In a vote of 414 to 294, voters in Newport City on Tuesday have decided to keep in place an ordinance to allow all-terrain vehicles on downtown streets.

In October of 2019, the City Council voted 3-1 in favor of a five-month “trial period,” that allows ATVs to be allowed on select routes in Newport, starting May of this year.

When the ordinance takes effect, riders must ride single-file, and ATVs will still be banned on public property.

In November of 2019, a group calling itself FIGHT BACK 05855, submitted a petition opposing the ordinance.

Newport City resident Amy Gillespie, the chief organizer of the group, said that the petition was only a way to allow the community to have a say in whether the ordinance got voted in or voted down.

She said she felt the community wasn’t included in the real discussion and planning process for the ATV routes, nor was the city council.

The sixth month trial period will end in October.

Jennifer Harlow to fill Orleans County Sheriff vacancy

in Newport/News

NEWPORT – Governor Phil Scott today announced the appointment of Jennifer Harlow to become Orleans County sheriff, following Kirk Martin’s resignation last month.

Harlow will be the only female sheriff in Vermont at the time of her appointment.

“I’m confident Jennifer will bring an innovative and dynamic approach towards leading the department,” said Governor Scott. “Her long career in law enforcement and her commitment to her community will serve her well as sheriff.”

Harlow has lived in Orleans County for the last 16 years.

Since 2004, she has worked in the Newport Police Department, where she focused on preventing and investigating crimes against children, school safety, the opioid crisis, domestic violence and domestic violence-related homicides.

Additionally, she is a certified instructor for the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council.

“I am honored Governor Scott has appointed me sheriff,” said Harlow. “I take great pride in my work and serving my community. The Sheriff’s Department is comprised of many hard-working men and women, and I look forward to working with them to continue to serve the people of Orleans County and expand upon the services the Sheriff’s Department provides.”

Harlow graduated from the Agawam Police Academy in 1999 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Johnson State College.

She is an active board member for several organizations, including the Domestic Violence Task Force, the school boards for North Country Union Junior High School and High School, and the Northeast Kingdom Human Services Board.

Outgoing sheriff, Kirk Martin, was elected as a Republican, so keeping with tradition, the Governor received nominations from the Orleans County Republican Committee to fill the vacancy.

Harlow will be sworn in later this month.

Vermont Welcome Wagon comes to the NEK

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT – The Vermont Welcome Wagon has landed in the Northeast Kingdom with its second chapter in the State open and ready for participants.

The VT Welcome Wagon Project (VTWWP) is a program where new arrivals or returnees are connected with current residents, or ‘hosts’ through an informal meet and greet.

It provides new folks with the opportunity to learn more about the region and ask honest questions with honest answers about the ins and outs of the community—where’s the nearest laundromat? Where do you go out to eat? What’s there to do on a rainy day? What’s the childcare situation like?

The goal is to accelerate the time it takes to “figure out” Vermont and get connected to the community in meaningful ways.

The Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network (NEK YPN) decided to take on this initiative last spring upon learning about the program that began in Chittenden County.

“We are simply thrilled that the NEK YPN has partnered with VWWP to launch a local chapter of the program,” VWWP co-founder Krysta Sadowski said. “Their commitment to connecting and serving their community combined with the energy and skills of their leadership team makes them an ideal partner for leading this program in the NEK.”

While the VT Welcome Wagon Project is for all ages, the NEK YPN was thrilled to take on the leadership of this program and offer it to all community members and new arrivals in the NEK.

Thanks to grants from both the Vermont Community Foundation and the NEK Collaborative, the NEK YPN has been able to secure a part-time administrative staff member to oversee the unveiling of the project.

This program is open to anybody new or returning and there are no age limits or restrictions.

The NEK YPN manages the program but participants do not need to be a member to utilize it.

Materials and sign up information can be found at

Orleans, North Troy residents plead guilty to fentanyl and cocaine conspiracy

in Newport/News/North Troy/Orleans

NEWPORT — Samuel Fuller, 33, of Orleans, and James Bassett, 40, of North Troy, have each pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute illegal narcotics, including fentanyl and cocaine base.

According to court records, Luis Luna, 28, and Edwin Martinez, 26, both of Hartford, Connecticut, have also pleaded guilty to the charges.

Fuller will be sentenced on May 11, and Bassett on April 20.

The drug crimes all four defendants have pleaded guilty to carry 5-year mandatory minimum sentences and maximum sentences of 40 years.

All four defendants pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl.

In addition, Fuller and Luna pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to distribute more than 28 grams of cocaine base.

According to court records, Martinez was Luna’s fentanyl source and Luna, in turn, supplied Fuller with the fentanyl.

Fuller would split the fentanyl with Bassett, who provided the money for the purchase.

Investigators say every two weeks or so, Fuller would collect money from Bassett, then order specific amounts of illegal drugs, including fentanyl and cocaine base.

Fuller would drive to Hartford, Connecticut where he would meet Luna at various locations.

Police say Fuller would drive back to Vermont, split the fentanyl with Bassett, and they would each sell fentanyl to Vermonters.

Bassett and Fuller had a customer base in the Northeast Kingdom, primarily in Caledonia and Orleans counties, police say.

Chasing a Dream: Stanstead bull rider headed to Oklahoma to compete at the International Finals Rodeo

in Newport/News/Stanstead

STANSTEAD, QC — An 18-year-old man from the border community of Stanstead is headed to Oklahoma later this month to compete at a championship bull riding event.

Mirko Martineau has qualified for the International Finals Rodeo (IFR), the championship event of the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA).

The IPRA is the second-largest American rodeo organization, with 2,400 members in Canada and the United States.

Held every January in Oklahoma City, only 15 competitors from each of the seven rodeo disciplines qualify.

Growing up on the border, Martineau played basketball and baseball in the United States. An accomplished athlete, he also played football, hockey, lacrosse, and golf.

“I had a lot of fun and good memories playing those sports, but I felt like there was something missing,” Martineau said.

He was introduced to bull riding after seeing some videos on YouTube, and although hooked right away, it took him three years to convince his parents to let him give it a try.

Martineau started riding bulls in 2017, at the age of fifteen. It didn’t take him long to make a name for himself on the competitive level.

In 2018 he finished 11th in the IPRA Canada standings and in 2019 was 2nd at the National All-Region Finals in Lexington, Kentucky.

He’s even appeared on a TV series called “Tatoué Rodeo,” which aired November and December of 2019.

“With rodeo the thing I like the most is the family feel to it,” Martineau said. “Everyone is there to do their best and help you to be your best. In rodeo, there isn’t really a competition between contestants, it’s more of a competition between you and the animal you are partnered with. The guys that are supposed to be competing against you are going be the ones cheering you on the most. They want to see you succeed as much as they want to succeed themselves.”

As Martineau heads down to Oklahoma to compete, he’ll have friends and family cheering him on from both sides of the border.

The event kicks off January 17.

Fatal crash on Route 105, Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — A 71-year-old man from New Hampshire was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Derby on Thursday.

At around 7:00 p.m. Reginald Gray, of Brookline, NH, was traveling west on Vermont Route 105 near Cross Road when his vehicle gradually veered off of the right side of the road.

The vehicle traveled down a small embankment where it collided with a tree.

Police say Gray was the sole occupant of the vehicle and was transported to North Country Hospital.

He was pronounced deceased shortly thereafter.

The crash investigation is ongoing, however, police say it does not appear that speed was a factor at this point.

The Derby Line Fire Department and Newport Ambulance responded to the scene to assist.

B&B Towing responded to retrieve the vehicle.

A section of Route 105 was closed down as rescue workers responded.

Michael Arnowitt and the ImproVisions Jazz Quintet to perform in Newport

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Pianist Michael Arnowitt will return to Vermont with his ImproVisions Jazz Quintet, featuring the outstanding New York City musicians Dave Smith on trumpet and Rick Rosato on bass, joined by Vermont favorites Dan Silverman on trombone and Caleb Bronz on drums.

The concert will take place Saturday, January 18, at 7 p.m. at the United Church of Newport.

Michael Arnowitt will perform a colorful and diverse program of jazz past and present.

Music on the concert includes his creative version of the jazz standard There Will Never Be Another You, and his interesting blending of Jobim’s Brazilian jazz song How Insensitive, with Chopin’s famous Prelude in E minor which inspired Jobim’s song.

Arnowitt’s wide-ranging musical interests can be seen in other offerings on the program, from selections from his Jazz Suite from West Side Story based on the Leonard Bernstein musical, to the music of Stravinsky’s ballets Petrushka and The Rite of Spring, Joni Mitchell’s 1970’s Edith and the Kingpin and jazz-influenced by Bulgarian and Syrian music.

For the music of today, the quintet will perform a song from a recent Dave Holland recording and Michael Arnowitt’s original jazz compositions Pirouette, Migratory Mood, and Bulgarian Hoedown from his 2018 CD “Sweet Spontaneous” which he recorded with Dave Smith, Rick Rosato, and a dozen other stellar New York City musicians.

A special feature of the concert will be spoken word artist Therisa Rogers who will join the quintet to perform poems of Langston Hughes for a classic combination of poetry and jazz.

Michael Arnowitt’s upcoming activities include an 8 concert tour of China in October 2020 with the guitarist Steve Blair where the duo will perform in Beijing and other Chinese cities.

The Washington Post said of a concert Michael Arnowitt performed at the National Gallery of Art, “he played with an exquisite sense of touch, color and musical imagination.”

The concert is presented under the Now Playing Newport banner.

Tickets are $15, general admission.

For more information, email or call 624-6454.

Hazel Santaw of Newport retires from Columbia Forest Products

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Today marked the retirement of Hazel M. Santaw from Columbia Forest Products, after approximately 25 years of service.

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

Santaw stayed at home for the first several years to raise her family.

She worked several years in the late 70’s and early 80’s, then returned to Columbia Forest Products on December 4, 1989 as a clipper operator and worked for 1 year.

In ’94, she worked as an inspector at Hedma Corporation in North Troy until the business closed a year later.

During ’95 through 2000, she held a seasonal job making Christmas wreaths at Spates the Florist.

She was rehired at Columbia Forest Products on July 23, 2001, as an unspliced piler.

During her employment, she held positions as wholepiece grader, defect clipper operator, booker/marker, Ruckle splicer operator, service, and unspliced grader of which job she held the last 18 ½ years, up until her retirement.

Santaw lives in Newport. She and her late husband Robbie Santaw raised 3 children, Carrie, Kristy, and Cody.

She has 7 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren.

Santaw’s retirement plans are to spend more time with her new grandson.

She also plans to travel to Maine and Florida and visit her special niece in Alaska.

She enjoys reading, cross-stitching, watching westerns, maintaining her flower gardens in the spring/summer and hopes to take up bicycling again.

She plans to become more active in the V.F.W. and Eagle’s clubs, as well as rejoin the American Legion in Newport.

Break-in at American Legion, North Troy

in Newport/News/North Troy

NORTH TROY — Someone broke into a building in North Troy over the weekend.

Police responded to the American Legion for a burglary reported at around 6:34 p.m.on Monday.

According to the report, there was forced entry into the building sometime between noon on Sunday and Monday at noon.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the State Police at 802-334-8881.

Man arrested after punching, shattering car window in North Troy

in Newport/News/North Troy

NORTH TROY — A 45-year-old man was arrested for domestic assault and unlawful mischief in North Troy yesterday.

Police were notified of an incident at a home on Main Street at around 7:23 p.m.

According to the report, during an argument at the residence, Billy Pecor threw some items in the home and then punched the windshield of a vehicle, causing it to shatter while there were occupants inside.

Pecor was arrested at the scene.

Police say he also had an active arrest warrant out of Franklin County.

He was transported to Northern State Correctional Facility for the court-ordered conditions of release and was awaiting arraignment today.

Borderline Players holding auditions for 2020 season in Derby Line, Jan. 3-4

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Newport/News

DERBY LINE — Borderline Players will hold auditions for its spring and fall shows on Friday, January 3 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, January 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the First Universalist Parish Hall in Derby Line.

The first production of the season will be the classic comedy Noises Off! by Michael Frayn and directed by Steve Gonyaw.

Performances are May 8-9-10 and 15-16-17, 2020 at the Haskell Opera House.

This play-within-a-play captures a touring theatre troupe’s production of Nothing On in three stages: dress rehearsal, the opening night and a performance towards the end of a run.

Frayne gives us a window into the inner workings of theater, progressing from flubbed lines and missed cues in the rehearsal to mounting friction between cast members in the final performance.

Noises Off is a backstage farce, complete with slamming doors, falling trousers, and flying sardines.

The cast includes 9 characters, 5 males and 4 females.

The fall production will be the comedy-drama, The Tin Woman by Sean Grennan and directed by Benjamin Tabah.

Performances are slated for October 16-17-18 and 23-24-25, 2020 at the Haskell Opera House.

Reeling in the wake of an unexpected heart transplant, Joy finds herself drawn to contact the donor’s family.

A tempestuous meeting ensues resulting in a roller coaster of tears, laughter, and healing. An intimate and poignant play that explores the power of human connection.

The cast features 6 roles, 4 females and 2 males, including two for actors 60-plus.

For further character details, visit

Borderline Players’ summer musical will be announced soon, with auditions at a later date.

For more information or to reserve an audition time, contact

Fred’s Energy helped collect toys for local holiday toy drives

in Derby/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

DERBY — This holiday season, Fred’s Energy once again helped support local area toy drives.

Each of their three offices was a toy donation site and for every toy donated, Fred’s Energy offered individuals the chance to win100 gallons of propane or oil, and a 3 ft. tall snowman gift tower filled with holiday treats.

The Fred’s Energy main office in Derby helped collect toys for the NEKCA & Northpoint “Toys for Kids” toy drive, the Morrisville office helped collect toys for The Lamoille Family Center’s “Holiday Project,” and the Lyndonville office helped collect toys for the St. Johnsbury Fire Department’s “Kingdom Santa Fund.”

Each of these organizations was selected because all toys donated would be distributed right back into our local communities.

“This time of year can be a struggle for many, yet numerous local families were helped because of your incredible thoughtfulness,” Fred’s Energy said in a statement. “Your toy donations brought such JOY to so many children and brightened everyone’s holiday.”

Ryan Pelow of the St. Johnsbury Fire Department pulled Donald Raboin’s name from all the entries received at the Fred’s Energy Lyndonville office.

Raboin, in the true spirit of the holidays, gifted the fuel to a parent.

Wendy Chauvin of the Lamoille Family Center drew Sarah Denis’ name from all the entries received at the Fred’s Energy Morrisville office.

Denis, too, gifted it forward by donating the fuel to the Lamoille Family Center for someone in need.

Michaela Fields was the winner in the Fred’s Energy Derby office toy drive drawing.

Rachel Twofoot from Northpoint selected Michaela’s name when she and Mary Hamel from NEKCA arrived to pick up the toys for distribution.

Driver injured, leachate spilled during crash in Coventry

in coventry/Newport/News

COVENTRY — A crash in Coventry early Friday morning sent one person to the hospital and left a tanker compromised and leaking fluids and leachate near the Black River.

Police were alerted at around 3:00 a.m. of a crash on US Route 5 near the intersection of Route 14.

Jean Paul Lamoureux, 64, of Newport, was driving a Kenworth 800 truck when he came across black ice and crashed.

While Lamoureux was outside the truck deploying safety triangles, a loaded leachate tanker was unable to stop.

The driver, Onnie Hart, 31, of Newport, tried to maneuver the truck to safety and lost control.

Lamoureux was transported to North Country Hospital for head and leg injuries, police say.

State hazmat teams were dispatched to the scene.

The tanker was compromised and lost several fluids including oil, hydraulic fluid, diesel fuel, and leachate.

Route 5 remained closed until the scene was cleared and both vehicles were removed from the roadway.

Police looking for wanted man thought to be in the Derby area

in Brighton/Derby/Island Pond/Newport/News

DERBY — The Vermont State Police say they are looking for a man who was last known to be residing in the Derby area.

Police say 56-year-old Mark J. Marsden has several confirmed in-state arrest warrants for offenses ranging from criminal threatening, violation of conditions of release, and failure to appear.

Although he is thought to be living in the Derby area, police say he has had past ties to Island Pond.

The Vermont Department of Corrections is also looking for Marsden after he recently absconding from furlough.

Police are asking the public to help locate Marsden, and say information concerning his whereabouts can be relayed through the tip line at or by contacting the barracks directly at 802-334-8881.

2 injured, Vermont 191 shut down following two-vehicle crash

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Two people were taken to the hospital following a crash that closed down Vermont Route 191 yesterday.

At around 10:40 a.m. on Thursday, police responded to the location also known as Access Road, for a report of a two-vehicle crash.

Dylan Deyo, 18, of Essex Junction, was traveling west when he crossed the center line and collided with another vehicle, police say.

Ericca Olney, 41, of Cabot, was the driver in the second vehicle.

Olney and her passenger were transported by EMS to North Country Hospital.

The crash shut down Vermont 191 for over an hour.

The crash is still under investigation.

Vermont Public Radio to expand coverage of the NEK

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Report For America has selected Vermont Public Radio to host a journalist next year to expand coverage of the Northeast Kingdom.

VPR’s Northeast Kingdom reporter will be one of 250 emerging journalists in 164 host news organizations to serve local communities across 46 states in the coming year.

Report For America will cover half the salary of the one-year-long appointment, with VPR and local fundraising initiatives covering the rest.

“VPR has been working toward more Vermonters hearing and seeing themselves in our coverage,” said Sarah Ashworth, Vice President of News. “Our reporter will live and work in the region and will weave the voices and perspectives of the Kingdom into our broader coverage of issues in Vermont.”

Report for America is a national service program that positions emerging journalists into local news organizations to report on under-covered issues and communities for a duration of one or two years.

Newsrooms were selected through a rigorous national competition, and Report For America announced that VTDigger and the Valley News would receive corps members next year.

“It’s a big deal that our region will receive three Report For America journalists,” said VPR President Scott Finn. “There’s been a scary drop in the number of journalists in Vermont, but with support from our members, we can preserve great journalism here and across rural America.”

Salvation Farms to provide fresh produce to senior meal sites in the NEK

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — The Vermont Community Foundation’s Northeast Kingdom Fund awarded Salvation Farms a grant to support a growing partnership with the Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging.

Together, the organizations are increasing the amount of fresh, local produce used by community meal sites within the Kingdom.

“We’re thrilled to establish the partnership with Salvation Farms in the Northeast Kingdom,” said Laura Valcour, the Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging’s Director of Nutrition and Wellness. “What an incredible opportunity to support our local farms, our communities, and our food system. It’s a win-win for all.”

Located in Morrisville, Salvation Farms is a non-profit organization that coordinates and distributes the collection of Vermont grown surplus fruits and vegetables.

“Salvation Farms started gleaning the Lamoille Valley in north, central Vermont fifteen years ago,” said Theresa Snow, Executive Director of Salvation Farms. “We are eagerly exploring this expanded distribution opportunity with the Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging, making Vermont’s agricultural bounty available to seniors in the state’s northeast region.”

In 2018, their Lamoille Valley Gleaning program captured and moved an excess of 210,000 servings of wholesome, locally grown produce that would have remained unused.

This nutritious food was provided to programs that feed some of the regions more vulnerable residents.

During a fall and winter pilot, Salvation Farms has delivered a variety of gleaned produce to six senior meal sites biweekly in Barton, Glover, Lyndonville, Orleans, West Burke, and Danville.

The goal is to enable senior meal programs to use locally sourced food more regularly and to improve the nutritional value of the meals.

The deliveries also provide kitchen managers and meal site staff time to share recipes, storage techniques, and to build a network of support.

Newport man arrested in connection with car theft

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — A Newport man wanted by police in connection with a car theft last month was arrested last night.

Jonah Monfette, 36, was arrested on an existing warrant with charges of aggravated operation without consent of owner, driving with license suspended, and violation of conditions of release.

On November 18, police received a report from a man who told them Monfette had agreed to drive him to the emergency room two nights before after the man had been injured at a bar in Barton.

After driving the victim to the emergency room, Monfette allegedly left with his vehicle.

The following day, the man attempted to retrieve the car at an address in Newport when he learned that Monfette had taken the vehicle to Maine.

Newport police say they confirmed through their investigation that the victim’s vehicle was taken from the hospital by Monfette.

Police also determined that his license was criminally suspended.

The vehicle was located on November 21 in Concord, New Hampshire.

Monfette was taken into custody late yesterday after coming into contact with Vermont State Police.

He was arraigned today in Orleans County Superior Court and released on conditions.

Police: Roger Pion charged with criminal threatening

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Newport man who used his tractor like a monster truck, destroying seven police vehicles back in 2012, is in trouble with the law again, this time facing charges of criminal threatening.

On Tuesday, police say they received a report that 41-year-old Roger Pion had made a post on Facebook threatening to kill multiple members of his distant family.

“Investigation revealed Pion had posted a list on Facebook identifying a number of family members who he wished to inflict serious bodily harm or death,” a statement issued by Trooper Paul Pennoyer reads.

Pion was placed under arrest and transported to the Vermont State Police Derby barracks for processing.

He was arraigned in court today and remanded into state custody.

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