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Vermont folk horror film tour coming to Greensboro October 27

in Greensboro/News/Northeast Kingdom

GREENSBORO — The Vermont Folk Horror Roadshow will be bringing Transformations (1972) and Walter Ungerer’s The Animal—two eerie films shot and set in Vermont—to Brattleboro, Greensboro, Montpelier, and Woodstock just in time for Halloween.

The tour will visit the Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro on October 27.

The term folk horror describes films that draw elements of folklore into the conventions of horror cinema.

Often used in reference to British films that explore rural landscapes, paganism, witchcraft, and other sources of fear, the Vermont Folk Horror Roadshow emerged through pondering the question, is there such a thing as Vermont folk horror?

In search of an answer, folklorist and VT Folklife Center Associate Director Andy Kolovos turned to the collection of Vermont-made films preserved by the Vermont Archive Movie Project.

Kolovos was already familiar with the short film Transformations, preserved by VAMP in 2015.

“More than anything else, Transformations is a celebration of the 70s women’s movement and the importance neo-pagan spirituality within it,” said Kolovos. “At the same time, it is filled with night fires, music, and ritual, and permeated by the presence of hidden power, it soundly fits the folk horror bill.”

Kolovos and VTIFF executive director Orly Yadin then began to explore the idea of staging a Vermont folk horror film tour for Halloween.

The pair reached out to Vermont film historian, horror authority and cartoonist Stephen R. Bissette for his thoughts on other Vermont films that could fit the folk horror bill.

Bissette’s answer was immediate and brief, Walter Ungerer’s “The Animal.”

Ungerer’s haunting, avant-garde film The Animal highlights rural isolation and the winter landscape as sites of loss and terror.

The Vermont Horror Roadshow will make stops at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro on October 26, the Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro on October 27, the Savoy Theater in Montpelier on October 29, and Pentangle Arts in Woodstock on October 30.

Bissette will introduce the films and lead a question and answer session at the Brattleboro, Montpelier, and Woodstock screenings.
Filmmaker Walter Ungerer will be at the Woodstock screening.

North Country Hospital earns ‘Most Wired’ recognition for fourth consecutive year

in Health/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) recently announced that North Country Hospital has earned 2019 CHIME HealthCare’s Most Wired recognition as a certified level 7 again for the fourth consecutive year.

NCH is also the only Vermont facility to receive this award.

The Most Wired program conducts an annual survey to assess how effectively healthcare organizations apply core and advanced technologies into their clinical and business programs to improve health and care in our communities.

“At North Country Hospital, we are continually working to improve our technology solutions in support of the organization’s mission of providing exceptional care that makes a difference in the lives of our patients and community,” said North Country Hospital Executive Director of Informatics/IT, Kate Pierce. “This award is especially meaningful in 2019, as we made significant changes to our systems over the past year. Being recognized as Most Wired validates the exceptional teamwork and dedication by the entire organization during this transition.”

North Country Hospital’s level seven certification is recognized as a Quality Award under the prestigious Most Wired program which evaluates the use of technology in multiple areas, including clinical quality and safety, interoperability, population health, patient engagement, and analytics and data management.

“We are honored to receive this award for the fourth consecutive year and are grateful to have a premier IT department that offers a tremendous impact on the way we approach and deliver patient care,” said Tom Frank, North Country Hospital’s Chief Operating Officer.

More than 16,000 organizations were represented in the 2019 Most Wired program.

The surveys assessed the adoption, integration, and impact of technologies in health care organizations at all stages of development, from early development to industry-leading.

Public input wanted for Bluffside Farm trail connector, meeting tomorrow

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Construction of the final car-free link in the seven-mile, recreational trail connecting downtown Newport with trails in Canada is on track, but planners are first seeking residents’ input.

A project update is scheduled for Thursday, October 17, at 5:30 p.m.

The update will be held in the Newport Municipal Building, located at 222 Main Street, in the Council Room.

The car-free trail would reroute the existing Newport bike path across Scott’s Cove with a bridge.

The proposed bridge will connect Prouty Beach and Bluffside Farm, owned by the Vermont Land Trust.

The Bluffside Farm trail will also connect to the Beebe Spur Rail Trail, a four-mile rail-trail that spans the eastern shore of Lake Memphremagog toward Canada.

The project is on track, and construction is scheduled to start in Spring 2020.

However, VLT and project consultants are seeking public input on the trail before moving forward.

The presentation and input session will be part of the Newport Recreation Committee meeting, and it will be open to the public.

In 2018, VLT raised the $1.2 million to build the Bluffside Farm section of the trail.

Currently, trail users must travel vehicular roads to get from one of these trails to the other.

In July 2019, VLT contracted with DeWolfe Engineering Associates to develop the engineering plans for the proposed bridge and bike path.

In August, geoengineers from S.W. Cole Engineering, Inc., took soil samples from around Scott’s Cove.

The results show that it is safe to build the bridge and boardwalk across the waterway.

VLT purchased Bluffside Farm, a former dairy farm located on Scott Farm Road on Lake Memphremagog, in December 2015.

Following public meetings and farm tours, VLT and community members identified recreation, farming, and nature as priorities for the land.

The farm has been open to the public since its purchase and is used by community members for walking, skiing, and hunting, local schools as an outdoor classroom, and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps to grow vegetables for North Country Hospital and Northern Vermont Regional Hospital.

For more information, visit vlt.org/announcements/trailconnector.

Fatal three-vehicle crash in Lowell

in Lowell/Newport/News

LOWELL — A 66-year-old man from Lowell was killed in a three-vehicle this morning.

Police were notified of the crash in the town of Lowell at the intersection of Vermont Route 58 and Vermont Route 100, at around 8:30 a.m.

According to the report, Michaela Dizazzo, 26, of Lowell, was traveling on Hazen’s Notch road headed towards Route 58.

The vehicle crossed the intersection of Route 100 where it was struck by Craig Sears, 66, of Lowell, who was traveling north on Route 100.

After impact, Dizazzo collided into Brian Wright, 40, of Burlington.

Police say Sears was unconscious when EMS arrived on scene and was transported to North Country Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Route 5A in Westmore closed for two weeks, starting today

in Newport/News/Westmore

WESTMORE — Vermont Route 5A in Westmore will be closed for two weeks, starting today.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation has closed the road to stabilize a rock ledge along the road next to Lake Willoughby.

The rock stabilization project will involve scaling loose material from the ledge face and pinning blocks in place to prevent future failures.

This site has a history of rockfall failures, including one that occurred in March affecting travel on Route 5A until large rocks that fell into the road could be removed.

It is anticipated additional failures will occur this winter if remediation is not completed.

The Barton-based contractor J.P. Sicard will perform the stabilization work.

In preparation for the closure, the contractor started placing detour signs along roads leading to the project area to alert motorists about the project.

Ted Ropple promoted to Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at CNB

in Charleston/Newport/News

DERBY — Community National Bank President Kathy Austin recently announced the recent promotion of Edward “Ted” Ropple to Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.

Ropple joined the bank in the fall of 2017.

He has worked in the field of Information Security and Technology for over 30 years, spending the last 16 years working in the financial industry.

Prior to entering banking, Ropple held leadership and consulting roles in the civil construction and health care industries.

he attended the University of Lowell in Lowell, Massachusetts and holds many technical and industry certifications.

Ropple and his wife Debbie reside in West Charleston.

Memphremagog Watershed Association completes design for stormwater project

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Memphremagog Watershed Association (MWA) is pleased to announce the completion of the design for a largescale stormwater remediation project located in Newport City.

The project was completed in partnership with Newport City and Watershed Consulting Associates and with Ecosystems Restoration Program funding from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VDEC).

This project began back in 2017.

That year, VDEC released the Tactical Basin Plan for the Memphremagog Watershed, which indicated that the concentration of phosphorus in Lake Memphremagog exceeded state standards.

“Knowing that we need to reduce the amount of phosphorus entering our lake from the watershed, MWA applied for a grant from VDEC to design a large scale stormwater retrofit,” said Kendall Lambert, MWA Administrative Director. “This project, when installed, is intended to be a high impact project that will stop a significant amount of phosphorus from entering our lake year after year to help us meet our clean water goals.”

The project site is located on West Main Street in Newport at the city-owned parking area adjacent to the entrance to Built by Newport.

This location is downhill from city neighborhoods and right on the edge of Lake Memphremagog.

During rainstorms, runoff from the storm floods down the hill carrying with it sediment and phosphorus which directly enters the lake.

With the grant funding, MWA hired Watershed Consulting Associates in 2017 to design a stormwater retrofit for this location.

Watershed Consulting Associates was tasked with analyzing the existing development, slope, and conditions, and then designing a stormwater practice that will slow and sink the stormwater, removing the sediment and phosphorus from the runoff before it enters the lake- all while fitting into that small parking area.

The final design was completed in October of 2019.

The project will consist of a series of underground chambers buried under the parking area that will act as filters to remove sediment and phosphorus.

Based on VDEC’s Stormwater Treatment Practice Calculator, it is estimated that this project will remove 8.04 lbs of phosphorus per year once installed.

“One of the really nice things about this project is that once it is installed, the casual observer will not know there is a stormwater practice there- the area will still be a parking turnoff- but underneath there will be a stormwater practice that is improving our water quality,” Lambert said.

Currently, the City of Newport and MWA are working together to identify funding sources to move forward with the implementation of this project.

Pending funding, the project will likely be installed by 2021.

Newport and MWA are also currently working together on a similar design project by Newport Marine Service with the design expected to be completed by early 2020.

Two killed in motorcycle-bus crash on Shattuck Hill Road, Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — Two Orleans county residents were tragically killed in a motorcycle crash in Derby this afternoon.

Emergency workers responded to Shattuck Hill Road after a call came in regarding a two-vehicle crash at around 3:11 p.m.

Police say 23-year-old Ronald Kennedy of Newport was traveling west on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle before the crash.

Steven Lawson, 64, of Newport, pulled out of the Derby Trailer Park in a bus and was turning east on Shattuck Hill Road when Kennedy struck his vehicle on the driver’s side.

Kennedy was pronounced dead on the scene, police say.

Kyra Birchard, 20, of Derby, was transported to North Country Hospital by EMS, and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police say the investigation into this tragic incident is still ongoing.

Mark with the late Manfried Reider.

Lt. Col Mark C. Biron posthumously honored by Vermont Historical Society

in Island Pond/Newport/News

ISLAND POND — Lt. Col Mark C. Biron was posthumously honored with an Individual Achievement Award by the Vermont Historical Society.

Every year the Vermont Historical Society presents the League of Local Historical Societies & Museums Achievement Awards.

These awards recognize the exceptional work being done by individuals and community heritage organizations throughout the state to collect, preserve and share Vermont’s rich history.

Biron’s award was one of three individual awards presented this year at the Vermont Historical Society Annual Meeting held September 29 in Montpelier.

Individual Achievement awards honor a person’s work and commitment to local history over an extended period of time.

Biron served as president of the Island Pond Historical Society twice.

Once for a period of twelve years, and the second time for one year before he passed away.

In 2007, Biron served in Afghanistan but still remained president of the society.

While in Afghanistan, Biron thwarted a nighttime Taliban raid on his remote mountaintop compound and was able to rouse the other U.S soldiers.

A huge firefight broke out, but all American lives were saved. He received an award and was promoted to Lt. Col.

At the age of 15, Biron got involved with the historical society through his interest in photography.

Early on he realized the importance of preserving the history of the NEK, and so since his twenties served the Island Pond Historical Society in various ways.

He worked as the newsletter editor, writer, photographer, as well as secretary, treasurer, website creator, and president.

He loved the idea of retiring from all his previous roles to become the curator in the museum, and he managed to complete a lot of work during this time.

He arranged displays and drove all over Vermont with his wife Sharon to collect unwanted display stands from other museums.

Biron had a strong vision for the Island Pond Historical museum. He wanted the museum to be fully interactive, to have light and sound, not just static exhibits.

Sharon was made president only twenty days before Mark died in an airplane crash in Island Pond.

Sharon immediately got to work at making sure Biron’s vision for the museum continued.

He wanted the museum to transform into a learning center, and Sharon has been working with Craig A. Goulet to see this through.

Despite the massive tragedy of Biron’s death, they have kept the museum running, developing outreach programs, and have succeeded in strengthening the society, enlarging it, attracting more members, and turning it into a high profile success with a massive NEK presence.

Shelly Morey joins Community National Bank as Community Circle Director

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — Community National Bank President Kathy Austin recently announced that Shelly Morey was chosen to serve as the next Community Circle Director and bank Officer, as the bank prepares for the upcoming retirement of current Director Linda Cloutier.

Morey is a native of the Northeast Kingdom and attended Lake Region Union High School.

“I’m grateful to join a great organization with such strong community ties, and I am excited to meet and get to know the Community Circle members,” Morey said. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve the bank and the club’s members.”

During high school and after graduation in 1986, she was employed by Vermont Travel Service where she booked leisure and business trips for individuals and groups, including Community Circle.

In 2002, she took an Administrative Assistant position at North Country Hospital, and, for the last 10 years, worked as the Executive Assistant to the President.

Morey makes her home in Newport with her husband Michael.

Fatal ATV crash in Brownington

in Brownington/Newport/News

BROWNINGTON — A 76-year-old man from Waterbury was killed in an ATV crash in Brownington this afternoon.

Police say they received a report of a two-vehicle ATV crash with injury at around 3:00 p.m.

According to the police report, a Yamaha Rhino collided with a road grader while coming off an ATV trail onto Ticehurst Road.

The operator of the side-by-side, identified as Keith Stone, suffered significant injuries as a result of the crash.

Stone was transported to North Country Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries sustained in the crash.

The investigation remains ongoing, however, police say at this time it does not appear as though speed or alcohol were factors in the crash.

Anyone with information in regards to the incident is asked to contact the Vermont State Police Derby barracks.

Left to Right: Susie Fitzpatrick, Lindsay Weigel, Heidi Caldwell. Photo courtesy of Shipyard Brewing Co./Three Rivers Whitewater.

Orleans County woman wins first-ever Pumpkinhead Half Marathon in Maine

in Craftsbury/Newport/News

CRAFTSBURY — Last Saturday, over 500 entrants competed in the Pumpkinhead Half Marathon/Festival Days 5K in Eliot, Maine, and a local woman from Orleans County took home first place.

Heidi Caldwell of Craftsbury Common placed first for the women’s division with a time of 1:17:37.

Visitors from across New England and as far as Arizona ran a 13.1-mile course through rolling hills and along the Piscataqua River.

Eric Ashe of Boston, Massachusetts, placed first for men’s with a time of 1:09:29.

The top finishers split a purse of $3,000.

During the festival, members of the community came together to celebrate their town and the start of autumn.

The Second Annual Pumpkinhead Half Marathon will coincide with the 40th Annual Eliot Festival Days on September 26, 2020.

Registrations will open in the spring of next year.

Driver leads police on high-speed chase through Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — A 39-year-old man is facing charges after leading police on a high-speed chase through Derby yesterday afternoon.

James Castrogiovanni, of Derby, is being charged with driving with a criminally suspended license, attempting to elude a police officer, negligent operation, and excessive speeds.

The Sherrif’s Department says at around 1:30 p.m. Corporal Jacobs attempted to pull over Castrogiovanni on Hinman Settler Road for a motor vehicle violation.

Castrogiovanni failed to stop and a vehicle pursuit was initiated.

The pursuit reached speeds in excess of 100 miles-per-hour.

Corporal Jacobs pursued Castrogiovanni onto Route 105 in Derby where Castrogiovanni continued to travel at a high rate of speed in an attempt to flee from law enforcement officers.

Castrogiovanni eventually stopped on the Salem Derby Road where he was then taken into custody.

Castrogiovanni has a criminally suspended license in the State of Vermont for multiple prior operating under civil suspension convictions.

He was later transported to court where he was then ordered into the custody of the department of corrections for lack of bail.

Castrogiovanni was also issued multiple traffic tickets as a result of the incident.

Localized flooding in parts of Orleans County

in Newport/News/Troy/Westfield

NEWPORT — Heavy rainfall from thunderstorms last night resulted in localized flooding in parts of Orleans and Essex counties, closing some roads.

Rainfall in parts of the region exceeded 2-3 inches.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Missisquoi River Near North Troy.

This morning the river was 9.5 feet, with the flood stage at 9.0 feet.

In Westfield, all lanes on Route 100 between Buck Hill Road and the Lowell town line were closed.

In Lyndon, VT 122 is currently closed between the I-91 exit 24 interchanges and the intersection of US Route 5.

Water is over the road near the US 5 intersection and at the Miller’s Run Covered Bridge.

There is water on the edge of the road on US Route 5 in Lyndon, near Lyndonville Hardware.

VTrans says the water is receding and traffic flow is not affected at this time.

Officials say there will be some additional rainfall this morning, but with no additional impacts expected.

Letter: The facts on the Coventry Landfill by John Casella

in Letter to the Editor/News

This letter was submitted by John W Casella, Chairman and CEO, Casella Waste Systems.

As a lifelong Vermonter I have been a staunch advocate of the environment for my entire life. Over the last 45 years I have surrounded myself with the most forward thinking, hardest working, and intellectually capable people in the waste management industry and together we have worked every day to build a world class environmental services company.

Today it is one of the largest resource management companies in the country. Our team spends their days focusing on helping our customers meet their sustainability goals through our substantial investments in recycling, organics, and environmentally sound management of municipal solid waste.

Our company just finished a six-year process to expand our landfill in Coventry, Vt. This is the only landfill in the state that meets the solid waste needs of all Vermonters. This operation is critical to the health and safety of Vermonters and without it we would be putting ourselves and our natural environment at great risk.

Americans are monumental consumers who have moved further down the path as a disposable society. As consumers we are constantly seeking new and better products, the latest and greatest gadgets, and the convenience of a modern lifestyle.

As such, companies across the country and the globe race to produce products and provide conveniences that leave us in search of answers at the end of their collective lifecycles.

We can pretend that landfills shouldn’t exist, but that’s emotion rather than clear-eyed fact. Emotions aside, the inescapable fact is that modern landfills—highly regulated, extensively engineered, relentlessly permitted—play an important role in how our society currently manages the waste it produces and are a crucial part of the infrastructure necessary to manage public and environmental health.

We may not like them—we may even loathe them—but they make modern life possible, and safe. And, they are a bridge to the future as we make greater and faster progress towards conservation, renewal, and regeneration of resources.

If you really stop and think about it, our company lives at the end of the life of products and materials. Society consumes products and then we either recycle, repurpose, or dispose of those items.

With that in mind, I would argue that Vermonters need to do more at the beginning of the product lifecycle to combat the impacts of emerging contaminants to ensure that these new products are safe for our families and the environment. That is not the case today. There is intense scrutiny and regulation at the death of products, and much less so at the birth of products.

During the latest permitting process at the Coventry landfill the process bogged down as regulators shifted from traditional environmental reviews to studying emerging contaminants, or “forever chemicals” as some like to call them, such as PFAS, which have gained national attention in recent years.

While it’s tempting—and too easy—to point the finger at landfills, the truth is that for decades many of the products and day-to-day items used in our society contain these compounds and end up in our environment through many sources.

Landfills do not manufacture PFAS compounds—it is a social and environmental challenge that has been flowing from our modern lifestyle. It is everyone’s responsibility to find ways to get PFAS out of water and other sources.

We continue to do our part—and do it well—at the end of the waste stream using advanced technologies.

The Act 250 Commission and the Agency of Natural Resources have reviewed volumes of data to determine the safety of wastewater treatment plants throughout Vermont.

One of their most interesting findings?

Wastewater treatment facilities that accept landfill leachate and those that do not, produce similar test results. In other words, whether or not a plant processes landfill leachate, they discharge PFOA and PFAS—it is that persistent of a compound.

In fact, if the members of Memphremagog Conservation Inc. (MCI), and Don’t Undermine Memphremagog’s Purity (DUMP) are serious about addressing the purity of Lake Memphremagog, they have to be willing to confront the fact that wastewater being discharged into the lake from the Canadian side has the potential to be significantly more harmful.

Canadian wastewater discharge standards for PFAS—and I use that term very loosely—are vastly less stringent than Vermont’s.

In fact, Quebec has no standards as they have failed to adopt even Canadian national wastewater discharge standards. So, sadly, our Canadian friends at MCI (and their US allies at DUMP) may be the real threat to this important body of water.

Their focus on the already stringent Vermont standards is taking time and resources away from addressing the real issues that are putting this natural resource at risk.

A determination was made by ANR that treated effluent from the Newport Wastewater Treatment Plant would have no adverse impacts to human health or to the environment.

Regardless, we will continue to work with our wastewater treatment plant partners as new treatment solutions emerge.

We urge you to do your research and understand the science before believing the scare tactics of anti-landfill groups.

Reach out to ANR and the Department of Health to get the facts about leachate and its treatment in Vermont.

If you want to change as a society, everyone needs to look in the mirror. What are we consuming? What do we throw in our garbage can each day? Have you ever cooked an egg in a Teflon Pan? Do you own a waterproof coat?

Do you have stain proof carpets? If you answered yes to these questions, you are part of the problem as all of these products used PFOA/PFAS.

I respect my fellow Vermonters who are passionate about protecting the environment. I am as well.

However, I challenge you to refocus your efforts on the true source of these emerging contaminants—the products that are coming into our state—and not on the infrastructure designed to protect us at the end of their lifecycle.

Let’s refocus our passion and resources on making sure that we have safe and environmentally sound products entering our state, and that our neighbors in Canada do their part to protect the environment.

Police: Newport woman arrested following break-in, property damage

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Newport Police Department says they arrested a woman Monday night following a break-in.

Jennifer Foster, 42, of Newport has been charged with burglary, resisting arrest, unlawful mischief, false reports to law enforcement, and disorderly conduct.

Police responded to a report from a Lake Road resident that a woman had come to his door with blood on her hands.

She allegedly left when the resident stated that he would be calling the police.

After investigating, police allege that Foster had broken into another man’s West Main Street residence directly behind the reporting party’s home before.

Police say she approached the reporting party’s door with injured hands and had damaged various furniture, including a bedside table, door, and shelves inside the West Main Street home.

Police believe it was in damaging the furniture the woman sustained injuries to her hands.

After leaving the reporting party’s home, Foster returned to the victim’s home, where officers found her not long after arriving on West Main Street.

The resident of the home indicated that she did not have permission to be inside the home and that he had not been home for several hours.

Police confirmed that the man had not been in the area until very recently, although Foster claimed in a statement to police that the man had injured her hands and stolen her cellphone.

Police say as they began to place her under arrest, she resisted by throwing an object at an officer and initially refused to be handcuffed before officers successfully restrained her and took her into custody.

EM Brown & Son in Barton receives Spirit of ADA award

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — The Vermont Governor’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities recently announced the employer award recipients for the 2019 Spirit of the ADA awards.

EM Brown & Son in Barton was one of the employers recognized for hiring and retaining employees with disabilities.

The award was presented to Art LaPlante and Mark Royer

The awards are given to employers who reflect the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act in their employment practices.

Awardees successfully met the following criteria:

1. Recruitment outreach and equal accessibility in the application, interviewing and hiring procedures for people with disabilities.

2. Use of on-the-job accommodations, modifications, progressive employment methods, and/or creative solutions for successful training and employment of people with disabilities.

3. Accessible physical structures, buildings, work stations and equipment, and services.

4. Support for the employment of a person(s) with a disability as an overall employment strategy.

Police investigating trespassing incident in Craftsbury

in Craftsbury/News

CRAFTSBURY — Police are investigating an incident where someone was seen attempting to open a door at a residence in Craftsbury.

On September 14, police say they were notified of a possible trespassing complaint.

They say an unknown male drove up to a residence on S. Albany Road and made an attempt to open a side door to the residence before leaving the premises.

The male was seen leaving in a black Chevrolet SUV.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is being asked to contact the Vermont State Police in Derby.

Westmore Mountain Challenge kicks off tomorrow

in News/Westmore

WESTMORE — The third annual Westmore Mountain Challenge is set to kick off tomorrow.

This popular event, permitted by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, will traverse the trails on Moose Mountain, Mount Hor, Mount Pisgah, Haystack Mountain, and Bald Mountain.

Some hikers will continue along Mad Brook Road, Westmore Road, Hudson Road, Vermont Route 105, and the Ten-Mile Square Road to complete the full 26-mile, marathon-length course.

Last year’s event saw150 hikers participating and helping to raise money for ongoing trail work, forestry, and outdoor education programming by the NorthWoods Stewardship Center throughout the region.

Two-car crash in Orleans

in Barton/Newport/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — Police say a 66-year-old woman from Barton suffered minor injuries after a crash in Orleans on Wednesday.

Police responded to the two-vehicle crash on Barton Orleans Road at around 10:53 a.m.

According to the report, Michael Boylan, 65, of Essex Junction, was attempting to make a u-turn when he collided with another vehicle.

The driver of the second vehicle was identified as Sharon Bickford.

Police say Bickford was transported by EMS to North Country Hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Greensboro Free Library honors local volunteers

in Greensboro/News

GREENSBORO — The Greensboro Free Library recently held a recognition tea event to honor the many volunteers who make the library service possible for the Greensboro community.

Most volunteers serve on a weekly basis for several hours at a time at the circulation desk, answering questions and checking out books, films, and magazines.

Other volunteers assist visitors to access the internet on library computers.

AARP volunteers assist many people at tax time with the preparation of their income taxes.

Additional volunteers manage the on-going and annual book sales.

Still more volunteers, with maintenance, technical, and construction skills, keep the computers running and enhance the library’s physical infrastructure.

Members of the Board of Trustees contribute still many more hours behind the scenes.

“Quite simply, the library could not function without the over 1,700 hours of annual services provided by its dedicated volunteers,” the board said in a joint statement.

Volunteers were presented with Greensboro Free Library tote bags and bookmarks as a token of the library’s appreciation.

The bookmarks, and quite fittingly, read “The broadest, and maybe the most meaningful definition of volunteering: doing more than you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good.”

MAC Center to present Victoria Mathiesen – A Retrospective

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts is getting ready to host an opening reception celebrating the extraordinary work of renowned artist, Victoria Mathiesen.

The event will take place October 4, from 5:00 -7:00 p.m. in the Downstairs Connection.

“Notably, a retrospective looks back, and at a certain age looking back seems to be more a part of life than looking forward though that is not exactly true if you are a painter,” Mathiesen said.

Mathiesen works in both oil and watercolor, switching between both as need dictates.

Architecture, particularly that of her first home in the UK, has always provided a rich source of beautiful structures and an insight into the artist’s past.

“The idea that I can recreate on paper aspects of a thousand-year-old cathedral or a five-hundred-year-old cob cottage is simply astounding to me, and something I treasure deeply,” Mathiesen said.

This is her first exhibition at the MAC Center for the Arts since joining after moving permanently to Vermont many years ago.

“Someone remarked somewhere that all you had to do was hang a camera out the window and you had a beautiful picture,” Mathiesen sais. “I can’t remember who said it, but it is true, in all seasons but one. Fortunately, mud season is relatively short. It is also untrue of myself since for me photography is a means to an end, and not an end in itself, something I am constantly reminded of when I see the beautiful work of photographers. Painting, however, is the end in itself. Living here in this lovely environment provides a different way of seeing the world and one which I attempt to convey in what I do.”

This is event is free and open to the public. The Exhibit runs thru November 2, 2019.

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

Newport man facing charges after fleeing police with children inside car

in Newport/News/North Troy

NEWPORT — A Newport man with an active arrest warrant led police on a pursuit through North Troy with two children inside the vehicle, police say.

At 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, police attempted to stop a vehicle on Vermont Route 105 by East Hill Road for a registration violation.

The vehicle accelerated and attempted to flee from police, leading them on an 8-mile pursuit through the Village of North Troy.

Police say the vehicle reached a top speed of 76 miles-per-hour in a 35 mile-per-hour zone.

The vehicle came to a stop in the Community National Bank parking lot in Troy.

The driver was identified as Jake Buck, 32, of Newport.

Police say Buck had an active warrant.

“Investigation of the vehicle revealed there were two juveniles in car seats,” a release issued by Sergeant Debra Munson reads.

Buck was taken into custody, processed in Derby for the additional charges, and lodged at Northern State Correctional Facility on his active warrant.

He was scheduled to appear in court this morning to answer to charges of attempting to elude, careless and negligent operation, excessive speed, criminal DLS, reckless endangerment, and child cruelty.

Fatal crash in Barton

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — An 85-year-old woman from St. Johnsbury died from injuries after a single-vehicle crash in Barton on Saturday.

Police responded to the intersection of US Route 5 and Kinsey Road at around 4:00 p.m.

The driver, identified as Isabelle Handy, 80, of St. Johnsbury, and the passenger in the vehicle, Marion Handy, both sustained significant injuries and were transported to North Country Hospital by EMS.

Police say the vehicle had left the roadway at a sharp curve and crashed over an embankment.

Marion Handy was life-lighted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Tragically, in the early morning hours, police say Handy succumbed to her injuries from the crash and was pronounced deceased.

Bridge over Barton River in Orleans set to reopen Monday

in Newport/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — Route 58 over the Barton River in Orleans is scheduled to reopen to one-way alternating traffic across the new bridge on Monday

The bridge is located approximately 0.4 miles east of the intersection of VT Route 58 and US Route 5.

The sidewalk at the location of the bridge has been closed and pedestrians will still be required to use the signed pedestrian detour.

The contractor says the granite curb will be set Wednesday and Thursday next week and sidewalk work will follow.

The full project completion is scheduled for June of 2020.

Diane Mansfield of North Troy honored with Caregiver Excellence Award

in Newport/News/North Troy

NORTH TROY — Diane Mansfield of North Troy was recently acknowledged with the “Caregiver Excellence Award.”

Terry Collins, the director and general manager of the Northeast Kingdom Homecare, presented Mansfield with the award.

Mansfield has worked as a caregiver since 1995 and has been employed by NEKHC since 2015.

NEKHC says she has taken the initiative to help her client by learning how to work with individuals who are visually impaired.

She works closely with the Association of the Blind to better help her clients gain confidence and independence.

Mansfield has completed both online courses, the Caregiver and the Alzheimer’s/Memory courses from the Institute for Professional Care Education, as well as two sets of classes on sign language.

She has also has gone on to receive her LNA Certificate.

Caregivers enable our elders to age in place in their homes, providing safety and comfort.

They provide peace of mind for family members who can’t always be there to care for elderly parents and grandparents, as well as critically important respite to those who have assumed the work of caring for older family members.

Vermont is the second oldest state in the nation and is expected to overtake Maine as the oldest by 2032.

Caregivers fill an increasingly important role in Vermont’s communities.

East Charleston man sentenced for lewd and lascivious conduct

in East Charleston/Newport/News

NEWPORT — An East Charleston man was in court last week for sentencing after pleading guilty to charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child.

Aaron Crown, 37, plead guilty to two felony charges.

During a contested sentencing, Judge Robert Bent imposed a sentence of 3-10 years suspended with probation split to serve 2 years and 6 months in jail.

The state advocated for a sentence of 7-10 years to serve in jail.

“I commend the bravery of the child survivor who came forward and reported the sexual abuse at the hands of this offender,” State’s Attorney Jennifer Barrett said.

Barrett went on to remind the public that if you are the victim of sexual abuse, to contact local law enforcement at:

Newport Police 334-6733
Vermont State Police 334-8881.

Journey to Recovery hosting free BBQ, meet and greet, concert this Thursday

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — This Thursday the Journey to Recovery Community Center at the United Church is inviting the public to meet the new executive director, and take part in a free barbecue and concert.

The event will take place on September 19, starting at 5:00 p.m.

Visitors will have the opportunity to meet new director Shawn Gallagher and enjoy a very special presentation by musician Ben Fuller.

A Vermont native and country singer, Fuller, sold everything and moved to Nashville to make a name for himself in the country music realm.

Along the road, he faced his demons and found his purpose and drive.

He is committed to working to bridge the gap between individuals with and without substance use disorder, through music, encouraging dialogue on the topic with the intention of reducing stigma and bringing attention to the opioid epidemic.

Police: Holland man stopped for operating under suspension, violating conditions of release twice this month

in Holland/Newport/News

HOLLAND — A 37-year-old man from Holland will have to face a judge after police say he was cited for operating under suspension and violating conditions of release on two occasions, within days apart.

On September 5, while on duty for the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Walters says he initiated a traffic stop on Church Street in Orleans.

The operator of the vehicle was identified as Justin Mills.

Mills’ Vermont Operator’s License was found to be criminally suspended in the state of Vermont.

According to the police report, “in addition, two open containers of alcohol were located in the vehicle in violation of Mills’ conditions of release ordered on three different dockets by the Orleans County Court.”

Mills was cited and released from the incident.

On September 9, Deputy Walters says he initiated another traffic stop on a vehicle on Main Street in Derby.

The operator was again identified as Mills.

As a result, Mills was arrested for operating under suspension and violating conditions of release.

Mills is due in court to answer to the charges of operating under suspension X2 and violation of conditions of release X6.

Fire in Derby caused by smoking material placed in an aluminum can

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — Authorities say smoking materials placed in an aluminum can is what caused a fire that broke out at a single-family home on Main Street in Derby yesterday.

The fire was noticed at around 6:20 p.m.

The home was being used as an Airbnb rental and was occupied by three people, but nobody was home at the time of the fire.

Firefighters say they were able to quickly extinguish the fire on the porch and were successful in limiting the fire’s extension into the house.

The home sustained significant damage to the front and side porch and smoke and heat damage to the interior.

Derby Line Fire Chief Craig Ellam contacted fire investigators to demine the area of origin and the cause.

The investigation concluded that the fire began on the side porch in a sitting area where there were a table and some chairs.

“The cause of the fire was smoking materials placed in an aluminum beverage can,” Paul Cerutti, Assistant State Fire Marshal, said in a statement.

Cerutti says that the house did not have working smoke or CO alarms.

“I found the bases where the alarms had been, but no alarms,” he said.

The Derby Line Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Newport City Fire Department.

Mosquitos in Newport City test positive for West Nile virus

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Mosquitoes collected in Newport City have tested positive for West Nile virus at the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory.

Each week, mosquitoes are collected at various locations around the state by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. 

As of August 27, the Department of Health Laboratory tested 11 mosquito pools, a group of up to 50 mosquitoes of the same species, collected in Newport City.

One of these pools tested positive for West Nile virus.

During the summer months, mosquitoes are regularly monitored at sites around the state for mosquito-borne diseases.

When the virus is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites, most people don’t get sick, but some get symptoms like fever, joint pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The sickness can become quite serious in some people, and those age 50 or older are at the highest risk.

Only around one out of every 150 cases develop serious symptoms which primarily affect the central nervous system.

Vermont hasn’t had any reported human cases so far this year but the virus is consistently found in the state year after year since the disease was brought to the United States from overseas in the late 1990s.

North Country Hospital stands out in region by offering Automated Breast Ultrasound System for screening

in Health/Newport/News

NEWPORT — North Country Hospital announced this week that they are on the forefront of breast care by now offering the InveniaTM ABUS 2.0 (Automated Breast Ultrasound System), approved by the FDA for breast cancer screening as an adjunct to mammography for women with dense breast tissue.

“We are excited to add the Automated Breast Ultrasound system from GE Healthcare to our comprehensive breast cancer screening program,” said Brian Bidwell, Director of Radiology at North Country Hospital. “By offering ABUS in addition to mammography for our patients with dense breast tissue, we anticipate improving detection for small cancers that cannot be seen on a mammogram alone in these women. We believe ABUS will become an integral part of our practice for the detection of breast cancer.”

Dense breast tissue has been found to be the most common risk factor for the development of cancer, and also makes cancer more difficult to detect using mammography, according to multiple large studies.

As breast density goes up, the accuracy of mammograms goes down.

The difficulty radiologists experience when reading mammograms is that both dense tissue and cancer appear white on a mammogram.

With ABUS, suspicious masses appear black against the white dense tissue.

In early 2019, a national density inform law was passed that mandates that the FDA update mammography reporting so that women be notified if their breasts are dense.

Providers may offer supplemental imaging as appropriate to help find cancers hiding in dense breast tissue.

“Mammography is the gold standard for the detection of breast cancer, however, it doesn’t work equally well in all women, particularly those with dense breast tissue,” added Dr. Steven Perlin. “Designed and built specifically for screening, research shows that ABUS technology as an adjunct to mammography has the potential to find 35.7 percent additional cancers that would not have been found with mammography alone.”

The unique challenges of breast cancer screening have led to important technology innovations that provide high-resolution images that can be acquired rapidly.

Clinically, this offers an efficient option that provides enhanced resolution and contrast, making the Invenia ABUS 2.0 system well-positioned to address the workflow challenges of breast cancer screening and improve the detection of breast cancer, in women with dense breasts.

Dr. Perlin recommends that women get regular mammograms as suggested by their doctor.

If they have been informed that they have dense breast tissue, they should talk to their doctor or radiologist about their specific risk and additional screening tests that might be appropriate.

For further information about Invenia ABUS 2.0, visit www.gehealthcare.com/inveniaabus.

For additional information about North Country Hospital’s Department of Radiology, visit www.northcountryhospital.org/services/diagnostic-imaging/ or call 802-334-3250.

Washington Electric Cooperative inviting public to Coventry Landfill generation plant

in Newport/News

COVENTRY — This Saturday, Washington Electric Co-op (WEC) is inviting its members and the public to tour its generation plant at Coventry Landfill.

Visitors are invited to learn how landfill gas is harnessed to become clean electricity that powers approximately 6,000 Vermont homes.

WEC’s Open House complements the Open House simultaneously hosted by Casella Waste Systems, owner and operator of Coventry Landfill.

Visitors to Coventry Landfill may enjoy facility tours, food, family activities, and door prizes.
Organizers say the event is on rain or shine.

About two-thirds of WEC’s electricity comes from its power plant that burns methane released from decomposing landfill waste.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas if released into the atmosphere.

In landfills, this gas is considered a renewable resource.

The Coventry power plant captures methane to create electricity.

“We love showing people that in Vermont, garbage can be used to turn on your lights and charge your electric car,” said WEC General Manager Patty Richards. “Instead of just flaring and burning the methane, we work with our partners at Casella to keep methane out of the atmosphere and put it to good use.”

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