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Police: Barton man arrested with 60 bags of heroin

in Barton/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Police say a 29-year-old man from Barton was arrested in Newport with 60 bags of heroin inside his vehicle.

According to police, Jordan Medley is currently facing charges of possession of heroin and violation of conditions of release.

At around 1:00 p.m. on May 16, police say they stopped Medley on Central Street for a number of motor vehicle violations.

At the time, Medley was taken into custody as a result of an ongoing investigation by the Newport Police Department.

According to the report, police located 60 bags of heroin in the truck.

Medley is currently on several active pre-trial conditions of release and was found to be in violation of three of those conditions.

He was lodged at the Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport.

Local nurses honored at annual dinner

in Health/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Every year at North Country Hospital, nurses nominate their peers for one of four special awards.

This year awards were given to Kim Blanchard for customer service, Angela Coblentz for professional growth, Chelsea Hamel for community, and Marie Dumas for quality.

These accolades were all revealed at the nurses week dinner on May 7 at the East Side Dancing Sail Banquet Room.

President of the Medical Staff, Dr. Umair Malik, kicked off the evening.

“We docs wouldn’t be able to keep our jobs without the obvious commitment and compassion our nurses demonstrate each and every day,” Dr. Malik said.

North Country Hospital nurses say they appreciate the continuous competence and caring demonstrated, and noted many of these traits on their nomination forms for the Nursing Excellence Awards.

Kim Blanchard, LPN, North Country Primary Care in Newport, was honored for an extraordinary commitment to customer service, evident in her interaction with patients.

The hospital says Blanchard is kind and compassionate during visits and never hesitates to assist any patient in any way she can, always with a smile and positive interaction.

Angela Coblentz, RN, Emergency Department, was honored for her commitment to professional growth that is evident in the ways she has pursued increasing her nursing knowledge and skills.

She completed her BSN while working full time and picking up extra shifts, became a member of the Transport Team, become a Holter Monitor super-user and took the initiative to complete other classes on her own.

Chelsea Hamel, RN, has worked countless hours outside of work time with her co-workers to organize raising $8,000 for the 3rd Annual Penny Sale and Silent Auction to benefit the hospital’s oncology fund.

For the past three years, the fundraiser has become more and more successful and this has helped the community in many ways.

Hamel participates in the planning of many office activities, regardless of the cause.

Marie Dumas, an RN in the Intensive Care Unit, is continually updating her practice to reflect current nursing standards.

She recently co-presented an in-service to other nurses and LNAs related to the updated Sepsis guidelines. She personally has pushed others to stay current with their practice and is always available to field any questions others have.

“I know you are incredibly engaged with your patients, your units, your professional lives, and your own communities and families,” Vice President of Patient Care Services, Avril Cochran said. “We may all do different things every day in our areas of expertise, but one thing always remains, our patients are our number one priority.”

Hospital and practice nurses receiving more advanced degrees in the past year include:

Heidi Hawkins, Avril Cochran, Alexandra Peters, Jessica Gaudreau, Ashlee Daigle, Angela Coblentz, Abby Provost, Lyndsay Sykes, Debra Beauchesne, Lindsey Gaboriault, Ann-Marie Dohn, and Lindy Perry.

Newport awarded $85,000 for intersection improvement project

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Vermont Downtown Development Board recently allocated over $600,000 in grants to improve eight downtown areas, and some of this money is going to support sidewalk improvements in Newport.

Newport is set to receive $85,000 for safety improvements to one of downtown Newport’s busiest intersections, a priority identified in the recently completed Downtown and Waterfront Master Plan.

Money from the grant will be used to address the Fyfe, Main, and Second Street intersections.

The project includes extending the curbing and installing “rapid flashing beacons” at the intersection.

Fyfe will be slightly widened to accommodate delivery trucks, and the municipal lot will see some changes as well.

The one-way parking on Second Street will be flipped to allow better intersection alignment.

City officials say they expect work to start late in the summer-autumn months.

Great Blue Heron at Eagle Point. Photo by Doug Gimler.

Eagle Point in Derby ranked one of Vermont’s top 10 birding hotspots

in Derby/Newport/News/Outdoors

NEWPORT — With the arrival of longer days and warmer temperatures, Vermont’s bird lovers are looking to the fields and woods for a flit of color in the bushes or listening for an overhead chirp, whistle, squawk or honk as birds engage in their annual spring migration.

Some of Vermont’s best bird-watching opportunities are at the state’s 99 wildlife management areas, or WMAs.

Eagle Point in Derby was recently recognized by Vermont Fish & Wildlife as of the top 10 birding hotspots in the State.

Eagle Point WMA is a 420-acre parcel located along the eastern shore of Lake Memphremagog on the United States-Canada border.

The WMA is located approximately five miles north of Newport City on the Eagle Point Road.

The property consists of nearly a mile of lakeshore habitat, numerous wetlands, large meadows, hemlock, and mixed forest.

It supports a great diversity of wildlife including aquatic mammals, waterfowl, grassland birds, and many other wetland and terrestrial species.

Eagle Point WMA is an important waterfowl production and migration
area, particularly for black ducks, mallards, and wood ducks.

It’s also an important grassland bird production area.

Short hay crop rotations and habitat loss to development throughout Vermont elevate the importance of the 200+ acres of grassland habitat on the WMA.

Grassland species include bobolink, savannah sparrow, field sparrow, and possibly vesper sparrow.

Also present are a variety of raptors including the northern harrier, osprey, bald eagle, kestrel, red-tailed hawk, barred and great horned owls.

Eagle Point also provides excellent opportunities to see a variety of wetland and marsh species.

Herons, bitterns, snipe, pied-billed grebes, rails, common moorhens, and marsh wrens make up a large portion of the species you will most likely encounter in the marshes of the WMA.

Visit https://www.nekwildlifephoto.com for more photos like the one above from Eagle Point taken by photographer Doug Gimler.

Road Closure: Route 105 in Newport Center starting May 20

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Vermont Agency of Transportation will be closing Route 105 in Newport Center for 4 days starting May 20 through May 23.

In order to replace a failing culvert, the AOT will be closing the road approximately 3.6 miles west of the VT100 intersection, between Bear Mountain Road and the Perrault Farm.

The road will be closed to all traffic, including motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.

Travelers should look for detour signage and take alternate routes around the closure.

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.

Circle K in Barton robbed

in Barton/News

BARTON — The Circle K in Barton was robbed late Tuesday night.

Police responded to the robbery at around 11:45 p.m.

According to the report, the suspect entered the store threatening that he had a weapon and demanded that the store clerk hand over the money from the cash register.

The suspect is described as a Caucasian male, approximately 5’6” to 6’ tall with a medium build and possibly in his mid to late 20s.

He was wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt which covered his face and dark colored pants.

After receiving an undisclosed amount of money the offender fled the scene on foot.

Anyone with information regarding this case is being asked to contact the call 802-334-8881.

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.

New energy efficient home tour in Craftsbury this Saturday

in Craftsbury/News

CRAFTSBURY — The Energy Committees of Craftsbury, Glover, and Greensboro will be hosting a tour of a new, energy efficient home this Saturday, May 4.

The tour will start at 10:00 a.m. at the location on 935 King Farm Road in Craftsbury.

This is the fourth in a series of six consecutive Saturday morning tours of new and weatherized homes.

Each tour focuses on energy efficient building contractors, architects, and the homes that they have built or weatherized.

Patrick Kane, from the E. Hardwick company, Kane Architecture, was the architect who designed this 1300 sq. ft., one level home.

The goals of the design and construction were to make the house easy to maintain, comfortable, affordable to build and operate, with a focus of being environmentally friendly.

Designed and built to Efficiency Vermont certified “High-Performance Home” specifications, this home has many passive solar elements in the design with R-8 Marvin triple pane operable windows, large, custom-sized insulated glass units facing south.

It also incorporates other Passive House principles such as super insulation, air tightness, and fresh air heat recovery ventilation.

With the limited southern exposure, two high-performance triple pane skylights add nicely to the light distribution inside the house.

The energy modeling for air tightness, insulation, and solar gain predict that this home will use the equivalent of ¾ of a cord of wood per year to heat while being very cool in the summer.

The electric baseboard primary heat, heat pump water heater, electric stove, and condensing dryer, combined with a 7.6 kW roof-mounted solar array, provide for a net-zero home.

Wood heat with a wood stove is the backup heat.

Part of the emphasis on low environmental impact involved sourcing lumber locally for the siding, framing, and flooring.

Other applications included using low VOC paints and stains, cellulose insulation wherever possible, and having a flat roof design that leads to a low visual impact on the hillside environment where the home sits.

Patrick Kane designs and promotes using regional materials, high energy efficiency standards and green technologies to maximize long-term affordability and aesthetic impact.

Montpelier Construction, the company that built the home, has been building energy efficient homes since 1998 and is committed to sustainable building practices and supports the use of local products and materials whenever possible.

Both will be on hand on Saturday to answer questions that you might have.

For more information, contact CraftsburyEnergyCommittee@gmail.com

Second Annual Jay Peak Schlamm Jam starts tomorrow

in Arts and Entertainment/Jay Peak/News

JAY — Jay Peak Resort will be hosting their second annual Schlamm Jam – A Celebration of Community and Spirit, starting tomorrow.

The event, which debuted last spring, is designed to celebrate the surrounding communities and raise money for local causes.

Its name comes from the German word for mud and is being sponsored by the resort’s Flake Foundation.

The event will feature raffles, live music and invited local food vendors. A key attraction is the offer of free lifts tickets for residents of local communities.

Residents will also be offered discounts on waterpark tickets, ski and snowboard rentals at Stateside, and climb times in Clips and Reels.

Two dollars of every lift ticket purchased as well as a portion of the proceeds of everything sold at Jay Peak tomorrow will go to the Flake Foundation.

The resort created the foundation last year as a way to support local causes and events in its backyard.

Since its inception, the foundation has provided monies to local schools and kids’ sports teams to purchase winter gear and athletic uniforms, contributed funds to a non-profit project dedicated to providing low-cost, community-supported mesh internet access to primarily low-income neighborhoods in Newport, and made a donation to help fund the construction of a new spur trail to the Newport-Beebee Bike Path.

Most recently, Jay Peak’s General Manager Steve Wright was a featured “celebrity chef” for the Newport Promise Community’s Celebrity Pizza making party at Lago in downtown Newport.

The annual event helps to raise money for the NPC’s outreach efforts.

The funds raised during this year’s Schlamm Jam will go to the Montgomery and Jay community recreation centers.

“Knowing that Jay Peak has programs and events like the Schlamm Jam designed to support its communities is really reassuring to organizations like ours,” said Peg Doheny, a board member of the Montgomery Recreation Center. “It feels good to know the resort is committed to the vibrancy of all of the towns around it.”

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.

Craftsbury man awarded for helping save the common loon in Vermont

in Craftsbury/News/Outdoors/Vermont

WILLISTON — Craftsbury resident Eric Hanson was recently presented the 2019 GMP-Zetterstrom Environmental Award.

Hanson is a biologist at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) who spearheaded recovery of the formerly endangered common loon in Vermont.

Hanson’s efforts over the past 21 years have included work to educate Vermonters about loons and their nesting needs, protect nest sites, assist injured and sick loons, and ultimately build a sustainable breeding population.

His leadership led to the loons’ removal from Vermont’s endangered species list in 2005.

Statewide, loons have rebounded from a low of only seven nesting pairs in the mid-1980s to nearly 100 the past two summers.

The award was presented at Lake Iroquois, one of the state’s most recently established loon nesting sites.

“When a Vermonter hears the haunting and distinct call of a loon, we have Eric to thank for his restoration work and leadership,” said GMP Vice President Steve Costello.

Chris Rimmer, executive director of VCE, said that when Hanson learned of the award, he was characteristically humble and insistent that the credit was widely shared.

“Without question, a major reason for the successful comeback of loons in Vermont is that boaters and lakeshore owners have been made aware of what loons need, and they’re eager to help,” Hanson said. “I have over 1,400 people on my contact list, including individual volunteers, lake associations, state parks, game wardens, and other groups. These people share their love of loons with thousands more than I could possibly reach.”

The GMP-Zetterstrom Environmental Award is given annually to one person, business, group or non-profit that has made a significant contribution to Vermont’s environment.

The award is accompanied by a $2,500 donation to the winner’s environmental cause.

“It is no understatement that Eric has accomplished more for the conservation of Vermont’s environment, focusing on the common loon, than any of us will ever truly realize,” Rimmer said. “He has led VCE’s efforts to increase loon nesting nearly tenfold and engaged hundreds of citizen scientists and members of the public in the process. He’s one of the greatest collaborators I’ve ever known, and delivers results that have a big impact on the environment.”

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.

Burglary in Irasburg, firearms stolen

in Irasburg/News

IRASBURG — A home was burglarized in Irasburg on Saturday.

Police say the incident took place in the area of Vermont Route 58.

Entry was forced into the residence and several firearms were stolen along with other miscellaneous items.

According to police, two subjects were identified in the burglary and physical evidence was collected from the scene.

The investigation is ongoing.

Police have not released the names of the suspects, but are asking anyone with information that may help the investigation to call trooper Ferrier at 802-334-8881.

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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.

Truck crashes into 2 parked vehicles in Barton

in Barton/News

BARTON — Police responded to a crash in Barton yesterday after a truck smashed into two parked vehicles.

At around 2:50 p.m. police say a 2015 Ford F-150 was headed north on Maple Hill Road when the driver lost control of his vehicle.

The driver was identified as David Macwhirter, 52, of Barton.

Police say he traveled off the east side of the roadway striking two vehicles parked in a driveway.

According to the report, the parked vehicles sustained a moderate amount of damage.

Macwhirter’s truck was heavily damaged and had to be towed away from the scene.

According to police, no injuries were reported during the incident.

Police say road conditions at the time were slick and snow covered, with some freezing rain taking place.

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.

Car windows shot out by bb gun driving through Lowell

in Lowell/News

LOWELL — Police say two juveniles were cited into family court after a number of motorists reported having their windows shot out with a bb gun while driving in Lowell.

On Saturday, the Vermont State Police received a complaint where the victim stated she believed her truck was struck by a bullet or rock while she was driving on Vermont Route 100, near Irish Hill Road.

Troopers responded to the area and while investigating, three other callers came forward saying their vehicles had been struck with something in the same area.

Two of the vehicles were examined and it was determined the damage was caused by a bb or a pellet.

“A total of two of the vehicles had their rear side window shot out,” a statement issued by Trooper Mikkola reads.

Mikkola went on to say that the investigation later revealed two juveniles were shooting cans in the dark with a bb gun on their property.

The shooting area and the target cans were observed by the trooper and located beyond the cans was Route 100.

Both juveniles were cited into family court for unlawful mischief and reckless endangerment.

Police are asking anyone with more information to call the Derby State Police barracks at 802-334-8881.

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.

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