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VSO Brass Quintet & Counterpoint Chorus reunite for festive collaboration in Newport

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Vermont Symphony Orchestra (VSO) Brass Quintet and Counterpoint Chorus, join forces again to celebrate the snowy season with performances across the state featuring popular holiday melodies, carol singalongs, and all-around festive fun.

The group will be at the United Church of Newport tomorrow, December 20.

The show will start at 7:30 p.m.

The ensemble will be led by guest conductor Kevin Quigley, a member of Counterpoint himself, and director of the Thetford Chamber Singers.

Quigley’s passion for experimental media and his enthusiasm for collaboration among the arts will make for a dynamic and exciting performance together with the VSO’s Brass Quintet.

Selections range from a brass arrangement of a Bach chorale to popular beloved tunes including “Sleigh Ride,” “Let It Snow,” and “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Attendees can also look forward to a new student composition, as well as selected favorites by the legendary conductor, arranger, director and Counterpoint founder, Robert DeCormier.

Vermont Supreme Court to hear ACLU appeal after Border Patrol search in Jay

in Jay/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The ACLU has appealed to the Vermont Supreme Court on behalf of a Vermont couple who were prosecuted following an August 2018 “roving patrol” stop by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Jay.

In State v. Lena-Butterfield & Walker-Brazie, the Court will be asked to determine whether a person can be convicted on state charges based on evidence federal agents obtained in a manner that violated the protections afforded by Article 11 of the Vermont Constitution.

On August 12, 2018, Brandi Lena-Butterfield and Phillip Walker-Brazie were driving west on Vermont Route 105 toward their home in Richford when a Border Patrol Agent stopped the couple’s vehicle and asked to search it.

The couple refused to consent to a search.

Without obtaining a warrant and over the couple’s objections, the agent ordered them from the car and conducted a search.

The resulting evidence, less than 5 ounces of marijuana and mushrooms, was turned over to a Vermont State Trooper, and Ms. Lena-Butterfield and Mr. Walker-Brazie were subsequently charged with possession by the Orleans County State’s Attorney’s office.

The ACLU contends that the search would have violated Vermont’s Constitution if conducted by a state official, and therefore the evidence cannot be used in a state prosecution.

Vermont’s Constitution requires that to search a vehicle without a warrant, an officer must have either consent or probable cause plus urgent circumstances, neither of which were present in this case.

The Border Patrol claims the authority to conduct “roving patrol” vehicle stops and searches in the interior of the country, but those stops must be based on “reasonable suspicion” of an immigration violation, and searches require “probable cause.”

“When a vehicle is stopped in Vermont and the evidence is used by Vermont prosecutors, in a Vermont Court, then the Vermont Constitution should apply,” said ACLU of Vermont Staff Attorney Lia Ernst. “To allow otherwise would allow local prosecutors to effectively do an end run around our constitution and remove an important check on the Border Patrol.

The ACLU of Vermont will be filing its opening brief in State v. Lena-Butterfield & Walker-Brazie in the coming months.

Amanda Pepin promoted to Credit Administration Officer at CNB

in Derby/Newport/News/Troy

DERBY — Community National Bank President Kathy Austin recently announced the promotion of Amanda Pepin to Credit Administration Officer.

Pepin joined the bank’s Credit Administration Department in 2008 as a Credit Analyst, and in 2015, she was promoted to Senior Credit Analyst.

She has continued her education by taking classes through the Center for Financial Training and Education Alliance, and she has taken several financial statement analysis and risk management courses through the Risk Management Association.

In 2013, she attended the Northern New England School of Banking.

Throughout her career, the bank says Pepin has worked to develop her skills and knowledge in commercial credit and has assumed more responsibility in the Credit Administration Department.

She resides in Troy with her husband Mike, son Travis, and daughter Ashley.

Lady Liberty has returned to West Glover for Lake Parker Ice Out contest

in Barton/Glover/News/Northeast Kingdom

WEST GLOVER — Lady Liberty has returned to West Glover for the second annual Glover Ambulance Ice Out fundraiser, and tickets are on sale just in time for Christmas.

Last year, the Glover Ambulance began the event as a way to help fundraise while honoring a fun piece of local lore.

This year, the fun begins just in time for the holidays.

According to legend, West Glover’s Lone Tree Hill was once considered as the location for the Statue of Liberty.

The proximity to Canada made the location quite attractive.

Instead, she was sent to New York Harbor.

Now, she will return to West Glover every winter in the form of a beautiful wooden replica, painted by the 2018-2019 Lake Region Union High School art students.

Throughout the season the statue will be moved around the lake, so keep an eye out for her.

You can even take photos when you see her and submit them to the Glover Ambulance’s Facebook page for a chance to win other prizes.

Watch the Glover Ambulance’s Facebook Page for additional ticket sale locations and Lady Liberty Fun.

Tickets go on sale at several area businesses this Wednesday, December 18, including C&C in Barton, Nick’s Snack Shack in Barton, EM Browns in Barton, the Glover Town Clerk’s Office, Parker Pie in Glover and the Westmore Town Clerk’s Office.

Tickets are also available at the Glover Ambulance Bay or by contacting the Glover Ambulance through Facebook.

Tickets will be available until the ice goes out.

The winner will receive half the proceeds and the rest will go directly to the Glover Ambulance Squad.

Derby woman arrested after attempting to elude police, assaulting officers

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Newport police arrested a woman on multiple charges after she allegedly fled an attempted traffic stop, and assaulted officers on Sunday.

Makayla Belmore, 20, of Derby, was arrested and charged with grossly negligent operation, attempt to elude a police officer and five counts of attempted assault on a law enforcement officer.

An officer was patrolling East Main Street near Tavern on the Hill when he noticed a driver known for having had a suspended license pass his location.

The officer began to follow the vehicle and the driver, identified as Belmore, is alleged to have improperly passed a vehicle in front of her.

When attempting to pull her over, police say Belmore fled at a high rate of speed, driving erratically and swerving into oncoming traffic.

Out of a concern for public safety, the officer deactivated his cruiser’s lights and siren and abandoned the pursuit.

Police say the vehicle turned near Buzzy’s Redemption.

The officer then located the vehicle stopped near 74 Eagles Nest Drive, where he recognized Belmore engaged in a verbal argument with another individual.

As officers arrived, they ordered her to the ground and she refused before being restrained and handcuffed.

While being taken into custody she allegedly kicked two officers in the shin and pounded her head on the hood of a cruiser.

She allegedly remained combative while being transported to the Newport Police Department, and at the station, police say she continued kicking or attempting to kick officers and splashing an officer with water from a holding cell toilet.

She is currently being held at the Northern State Correctional Facility on $2,500 bail.

Nearly 167 kilos of cocaine headed for Canada, seized in Derby Line

in Derby Line/News

DERBY LINE — Federal authorities say a major drug bust took place in Derby Line last Saturday, with almost 167 kilos of cocaine seized before being smuggled into Canada.

Jason Nelson, a truck driver from Quebec, was picked up by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Derby Line on December 7.

A drug dog detected narcotics hidden in a secret, custom made compartment of the trailer Nelson was hauling.

A total of 142 bricks of white powder that later tested positive for cocaine was discovered inside the compartment.

The rest of the trailer was empty.

Nelson was preparing to enter back into Canada at the time.

According to a new report on global drug use, Canada ranks second in the world for cocaine use.

Two-vehicle crash in Morgan

in Morgan/News

MORGAN — Police responded to a two-vehicle crash in Morgan on Thursday.

The crash took place near the intersection of Vermont Route 111 and Coche Brook Crossing at around 5:46 p.m.

The drivers were identified as Nancy Parker, 80, of Island Pond, and Matthew Godin, 37, of Plentywood, Montana.

According to the police report, Parker was headed east on Route 111 when she crossed left of center and sideswiped Godin’s truck traveling west.

Police say no injuries were reported.

The westbound lane was temporarily closed until the vehicles could be towed away.

Police: John Deere Gator stolen from Newport Country Club, taken for joyride

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Police are investigating the theft of a John Deere Gator that took place in Newport.

Police say the Gator was stolen from the maintenance garage at the Newport Country Club sometime between Tuesday evening, and Wednesday morning.

The Gator is believed to have headed south on Pine Hill Road after being taken.

Police say the Gator was recovered the next day.

Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to contact the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department at (802) 334-3333.

NEK-TV to air panel with experts regarding underage drinking in the NEK

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

Photo: Amber Robbins, Phil Brooks, Shari-Lee Ryan, Kyle Ingalls, Jennifer Jacob-Harlow, Frank Sawicki, Allyson Howell, Dave Jacobs, Terry DiFazio and Todd Pronto.

NEWPORT — Experts in youth substance, youth mental health, and law enforcement came together on Tuesday to film a panel regarding underage drinking produced by the Prevention, Intervention, Treatment and Recovery Collaborative (PITR).

Sunny Naughton and Allyson Howell of Northeast Kingdom Learning Service received a modest grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration to promote a local forum.

The duo brought together partners active in the PITR Collaborative to answer questions from both the community and a live audience.

Terry Difazio facilitated with direction from Tod Pronto, both from NEK-TV.

The panel can be seen on NEK-TV on:

Monday, December 16, at 2 p.m.
Tuesday, December 17, at 9 a.m.
Wednesday, December 18, at 8 p.m.
Thursday, December 19, at 9 a.m.
Friday, December 20, at 2 p.m.

Copies are available by contacting NEK-TV by calling (802) 334-0264

Police looking for missing Barton teen

in Barton/Newport/News

BARTON — Authorities are looking for a 17-year-old boy from Barton who they say ran away from his home early this morning.

Police were notified at around 12:11 a.m. that a 17-year-old male, identified as Matthew Champagne, was missing from his home on Willoughby Lake Road in Barton.

Champagne is approximately 5’07”, 140 lbs. with brown hair.

Police say he is possibly wearing a red Nike sweatshirt and red sneakers.

Champagne is currently considered missing, police say.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the Vermont State Police-Derby at 802-334-8881.

NorthWoods accepting nominations for 7th Annual Buzzell Award

in Charleston/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

CHARLESTON — NorthWoods Stewardship Center is accepting nominations for the seventh annual George Buzzell Forest Stewardship Award.

In honor of the esteemed county forester for which it is named, this award recognizes an individual who is making a positive impact on Northeast Kingdom forests.

An award ceremony will be held at the NorthWoods Stewardship Center in March 2020.

During his 44 years as Orleans County Forester, George Buzzell exemplified the best practice of his trade, including research that helped to re-define sugarbush management in Vermont.

George cast a welcoming net, encouraging education and inviting the widest community into the conversation and practice of forestry.

With this award, NorthWoods honors the outstanding contributions of George Buzzell and recognizes those who are now carrying the torch of forest stewardship in the Northeast Kingdom.

Eligible candidates are those who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to sustainable management of forestland in the Northeast Kingdom, and who have also worked to advance and/or share knowledge to ensure the long term resiliency and productivity of our forests.

The individual’s direct impact can include hands-on work, policy improvement, education, and training, or a combination.

Candidates for this award should embody George’s spirit of welcoming a larger community into the practice of forestry, showing how people with diverse knowledge and background can learn and work together while doing good forestry.

NorthWoods welcomes nomination of award candidates until Monday, January 13, 2020.

A written nomination is required for a candidate to be considered.

For the nomination form and instructions please contact Sam Perron at NorthWoods: (802) 723-6551 ext 302, or

West Virginia man arrested after fight at Jay Peak

in Newport/News

JAY — A 44-year-old West Virginia man was arrested for unlawful trespass and simple assault following a fight at Jay Peak yesterday.

Police responded to the resort after a fight was reported at around 10:55 p.m.

State Police were notified that a man, who was later identified as Alton Vogt, was actively fighting and had bitten one of the people present.

Jay Peak security subdued Vogt and police took him into custody when they arrived.

He was transported to North Country Hospital for his injuries.

Police say after being released from the hospital Vogt was Lodged at Northern State Correctional Facility.

Orleans murder suspect sentenced to prison for $450K Agri-Mark theft

in Newport/News/Orleans

NEWPORT — Randall Swartz, 59, of Orleans, was sentenced yesterday in United States District Court in Rutland to 48 months of imprisonment following his guilty plea to a charge of mail fraud.

Chief Judge Geoffrey Crawford also ordered that Swartz serve three years of supervised release following completion of his prison term and pay restitution in the amount of $452,558.

According to the charging information to which Swartz pleaded guilty, until January 2017 when he was fired, Swartz was employed as the maintenance manager at Agri-Mark’s cheese-making plant in Cabot.

As maintenance manager, Swartz was responsible for maintaining, repairing and replacing all machinery and equipment at the Cabot site.

The maintenance budget amounted to several hundred thousand dollars each month.

Swartz also owned a side-business, Kingdom RO, which sold reverse osmosis systems that were used by producers of maple syrup to concentrate and purify maple sap.

Agri-Mark also employed reverse osmosis technology at its Cabot facility.

The information charged that beginning no later than 2010 and continuing up to the time of his termination, Swartz defrauded Agri-Mark by causing the company to order reverse osmosis equipment that was too small for Agri-Mark to use in its cheese-making processes.

Instead, Swartz stole the equipment and installed it in smaller RO systems he sold to clients of Kingdom RO.

Swartz further defrauded Agri-Mark by using company employees, on company time, to assemble and install these RO systems.

At yesterday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Crawford found that Swartz caused a loss to Agri-Mark of not less than $452,558.

The Government had contended the loss actually was about $1.2 million.

Swartz is currently in the custody of the Vermont Department of Corrections, where he has been held without bail since May 2018 while awaiting trial for murdering his wife.

In his sentence today, Judge Crawford ordered that Swartz’s federal sentence run concurrently with any sentence that may be imposed on the homicide charge.

Local health care providers return from annual mission trip to Guyana

in Health/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Hearing Dr. Veronika Jedlovszky speak of a recent mission trip to Guyana, it’s clear she has a true passion for the medical profession, and a deep desire to help people.

At the end of October, Dr. Jedlovszky, along with recently retired doctors David Alsobrook, Denise Niemira, Nurse Practitioner Betsy Hartman and practicing physician Dr. Joyce Dobbertin of Lyndonville, made their annual trip to the small country of Guyana.

Guyana is a country on the northern mainland of South America, and the region they visited is the true jungle region of the country.

A 12-hour trip up a river following their flight led them to the now-familiar region, as some of them have made this annual excursion four or even six times.

With medical personnel divided into teams of three, every day they visited different villages, and each provider saw an average of 50-60 patients per day, for medical care, basic procedures and gynecological exams.

“This is the only medical attention these villages receive during the whole year,” Dr. Jedlovszky said. “There are no doctors living there. So needless to say, these families are pretty happy to see us.”

The team carried some medicines with them, but there are no real medical facilities for them to administer from.

“Our own stethoscopes are the most sophisticated piece of equipment on hand. The diagnoses are much different there too. Malaria, typhoid, and even leprosy,” she added.

Untreated cleft palates are common in the region, and these children are often ostracized, even from their own society.

Earlier in 2019, after compiling a list of patients who needed this surgical procedure, a doctor from New York City flew down to the capital and performed surgery on 15 young children with a cleft palate.

“Seeing these children was one of the ultimate highlights – to see their smiling faces and to know they would have a more normal life,” Dr. Jedlovszky said.

Guyana is the only English speaking country in South America and is culturally considered part of the Anglophone-Caribbean sphere.

Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, and Venezuela to the west.

Lowell juvenile facing charges after high-speed police chase

in Lowell/News

WESTFIELD — A 17-year-old from Lowell is facing numerous charges after an incident in Westfield yesterday.

The Orleans County Sheriff’s Department says they were running radar on Route 100 at around 6:41 p.m.

They clocked a vehicle traveling 87 miles-per-hour in a 35 miles-per-hour zone.

Police attempted to stop the vehicle, which increased its speed to over 100 miles-per-hour.

Police discontinued the pursuit and continued in the direction the vehicle had been traveling.

U.S. Border Patrol, Vermont State Police, and Vermont Fish & Wildlife all assisted with searching the area and located the vehicle at a home in North Troy.

Police met with a male juvenile at the home where he admitted to being the driver, police say.

He is due in juvenile court to answer to the charges of excessive speed, negligent operation, and attempting to elude a police officer.

Free Victorian Style Carol Service at the Island Pond Historical Society Museum, Dec. 7

in Brighton/Island Pond/News/Northeast Kingdom

ISLAND POND — The Island Pond Historical Society Museum and Learning Center are inviting the public to a free and fun event this Saturday.

This “Free Victorian Style Carol Service” event will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Dec 7, at the Island Pond Historical Society museum.

If you have not visited the museum yet, now is your chance. It is located at 126 Cross Street, in Island Pond.

Come meet Mr. & Mrs. Charles Dickens and say hello to Father Christmas and his elves.

Remember to leave your letters to Santa in the museum’s magical wishing well, and enjoy viewing antique Grand Trunk rail memorabilia, Victorian clothing, and a host of other exciting exhibits.

Not only is entrance free, but there will also be cookies and carols galore.

So come along, wear fancy dress, enjoy the fun and feel the magic of this special Christmas Carol event, brought to you courtesy of the Island Pond Historical Society.

For details contact organizer and IPHS President Sharon J. Biron at

Lowell man arrested for fourth DUI after crash in Eden

in Lowell/Newport/News

EDEN — A 51-year-old man from Lowell was arrested for his fourth DUI, as well as driving with a criminally suspended license, following a single-vehicle crash in Eden.

On November 29, police responded to the crash which took place on Route 100.

Police say the vehicle was found overturned in the road after striking and breaking a telephone pole.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Brain K. Labarron.

He was transported to Copley Hospital with minor injuries.

Police arrested Labarron for DUI #4 as he displayed signs of impairment and driving with a criminally suspended license.

He was lodged for violating his probation and transported to the Newport Correctional Facility.

Holiday Magic in Island Pond, Dec. 6-8 (full schedule of events)

in Island Pond/News/Northeast Kingdom

ISLAND POND — The Island Pond Chamber of Commerce and Island Pond Renewal Committee is getting ready to present Holiday Magic in Island Pond, Friday, December 6, through Sunday, December 8.

Hobo’s Cafe is kicking off the weekend with their Fa La La La Fish Fry starting at 5:00 p.m. on Friday evening.

The Essex House & Tavern will hold an Ugly Sweater Karaoke Contest starting at 8:00 p.m. with NEKaraoke.

Saturday morning starts off with Breakfast with the Elves from 8 – 10 a.m. at Hobo’s Café.

From 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. stop by Gervais Ace Hardware to register for a chance to light the town tree or to win an 8’ stocking filled with toys.

Free photos with Santa will be taken at The Hearth & Home Country Store from 10 a.m. – noon.

All children are welcome at the American Legion Brighton Post 80 Children’s Christmas Party which will be held at the American Legion starting at 2:00 p.m.

Santa will be passing out gifts to every child in attendance.

Jessie’s Little Kitchen will be offering their Holiday Magic Pizza Special from 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. with $2 off any large pizza.

The Hearth & Home Country Store is holding a Holiday Wine Tasting from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The Town Tree Lighting on Main Street will take place from 4-6 p.m. with music and community caroling featuring Brighton Elementary.

The Brighton Volunteer Fire Department will be providing bonfires on Main Street and Santa will be arriving in one of their fire trucks.

From 4-6 p.m. The Village Farm will present free sleigh rides on Main Street and T. Carey’s Bakery along with Osborne Family Maple will present cocoa and cookies on Main Street.

Simon the Tanner will have a sale starting at 6:30 p.m.

Hobo’s Café will be serving up a Merry Marinated Steak Tip dinner to take the chill away.

The American Legion Brighton Post 80 is going to warm the evening up with their Holiday Magic Party featuring The Markus Daniels Band.

The dance is open to the public and the cover is only $5.

Hobo’s Cafe will start off Sunday at 8:00 a.m. with breakfast sure to bring back memories of Christmas morning.

A Vulgar Display of Poutine will be hosting a Holiday Magic Paint ‘n Sip at 1:00 p.m. featuring instructor, Natalie Anne.

Tickets are only $50 and include all supplies, two beer or wine, a sampling of their specialty poutines.

Two arrested in Glover after stolen property, drugs found

in Derby/Newport/News

GLOVER — Two people were arrested on Tuesday, and police say they located several items believed to have been stolen from businesses in the Derby area inside their vehicle.

Police arrested 49-year-old Brian Short and 39-year-old Sarah Romanowski after they were found inside a vacant home at 65 Trucott Place, in Glover.

The home was on the market for sale.

According to police, Short and Romanowski did not have permission to utilize the residence, police say.

Police say as their belongings were removed from the residence, they located a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine and methamphetamine.

Their vehicle was seized, and after a search warrant was conducted police say several items believed to have been stolen from SSXcavating and Walmart, were located inside.

Short and Romanowski were held on $200 cash or surety bond for the night and appeared in court on Wednesday to answer to charges of unlawful trespass, possession of stolen property, possession of cocaine, and possession of methamphetamine.

There have been numerous burglaries reported in the Derby area over the past couple of weeks.

Police say this case is still under active investigation and additionally any ties to other recent burglaries are being looked into.

Man arrested after found unconscious inside vehicle in Newport Center

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — A 46-year-old man from New Hampshire was arrested after an incident in Newport Center yesterday.

Police say the man was found behind the wheel of his vehicle unconscious on Vance Hill Road at around 6:08 a.m.

Police identified him as Derek Hardy, of Barrington, NH.

While speaking with Hardy, police say indicators of impairment were detected.

Police searched Hardy’s vehicle and say they found unauthorized prescription narcotics.

Hardy was arrested and transported to State Police barracks in Derby for processing.

He is facing charges of DUI, possession of a depressant, stimulant, and narcotic drug.

Rollover crash closes down section of I-91

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — A rollover crash with minor injuries in Newport yesterday temporarily closed down a section of I-91 south.

Police responded to the single-vehicle crash with entrapment at around 10:16 p.m.

The driver was identified as Pattama Paengkaew, 34, of Malden, MA. There were three passengers inside the vehicle.

All occupants sustained minor injuries and one was transported to North Country Hospital, police say.

According to the police report, the vehicle was traveling too fast for road conditions and Paengkaew lost control, causing the vehicle to travel into the median where it rolled over onto its side.

Police say both back seat passengers were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

I-91 from exit 27 to exit 26 was closed for around one hour.

Burglary at Tractor Supply in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — Police are investigating yet another burglary of a Derby business that has similarities with more than five other recent break-ins.

Police say a burglary was reported yesterday at Tractor Supply at around 10:00 p.m.

According to the police report, entry was gained through the locked back gate.

After speaking with staff, police say both wood pellets and pelletized animal bedding were stolen.

State police are again requesting the public’s assistance in an attempt to identify the suspects.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Trooper Mikkola at 802-334-8881.

Hoagies Expressway, Derby Tire and Service burglarized

in Newport/News

DERBY — Police say two more businesses in Derby were burglarized this week.

Police responded to Derby Tire and Service located on Shattuck Hill Road on Tuesday morning at around 8:00 a.m.

The front door to the building had been forced open.

This morning at around 5:40 a.m. police were called out to Hoagies Expressway located on U.S. Route 5.

Police met with employees who reported they had entered the building and discovered the back door was also forced open and items were missing.

Both burglaries are still being investigated by police.

Anyone with information regarding either of the incidents is being asked to contact police at 802-334-8881.

Two-vehicle crash with injury in Jay

in Jay/Newport/News

JAY — Police responded to a two-vehicle crash in Jay this morning.

The crash took place on Vermont Route 105 just west of Leavitt Circle at around 7:15 a.m.

Police say a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze driven by Sharon Gelo, 61, of Lowell, was headed west.

Gelo told police she drifted off the south side of the road where the front of her vehicle struck a guardrail.

The force of the impact with the guardrail caused her to redirect back into the road in front of a 2018 Ford F350 which was also traveling west.

Police say the pickup truck was towing a trailer and transporting an excavator.

The driver was identified as Jonathan Fisher, 35, of Newport.

Fisher attempted to avoid the collision by swerving to the left, but the front of the truck impacted the rear of Gelo’s car.

Police say Gelo was extricated from her vehicle by members of the Jay Fire Department and transported to the hospital by Missisquoi Ambulance.

Fisher was not injured in the crash.

Petition to force public vote on Newport’s ATV ordinance

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — On Tuesday, a group calling itself FIGHT BACK 05855, submitted a petition opposing the recently passed ATV ordinance that would allow ATV’s on select routes in Newport City from mid-May until October.

As per state guidelines regarding municipal ordinances, the city must hold a public vote within 60 days after a valid petition is submitted.

Newport City resident Amy Gillespie, the chief organizer of the group, says the petition is a way to allow the community to have a say, whether the ATV ordinance gets voted in or voted down.

“The media has misrepresented us as anti-ATV fun-haters, and that just isn’t valid,” Gillespie said. “I’m personally just really hoping that everyone can work together eventually to create a safer plan for us all.”

The group says the petition signatures were gathered by dedicated people with varying backgrounds, concerns, and beliefs.

They worked together canvassing neighborhoods, collecting signatures at the recycling center, craft fairs, and on social media.

Gillespie says she believes the community wasn’t included in the real discussion and planning process for the ATV routes, nor was the city council.

“They refused to consider any suggestions made by city residents and dismissed safety concerns,” Gillespie said. “According to Borderline Ridge Riders Facebook group, they started discussions with the city in July, behind closed doors. The mayor and city manager have defended their actions and have offered neither compromise nor transparency in the process.”

According to Gillespie, this could have easily been a win-win for the community and the ATV clubs alike.

She says there are alternative ATV routes that are safer for the members of the community.

“No one involved in the planning has responded to my request of what information they used to determine their version of the safest, most beneficial, and least intrusive routes,” Gillespie added.

FIGHT BACK 05855 says they are encouraging all Newport residents to get registered to vote and exercise their democratic rights.

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