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Orleans man facing burglary charges

in Newport/News/Orleans

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

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

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

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

The vehicle was stopped in the Maplefields parking lot.

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

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

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

Polite was lodged on the charges.

NEK native to lead private journaling workshop in Newport

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

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

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

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

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

There will be several workshops:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

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

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

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

The event is free and open to the public.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Police: Derby man arrested after high-speed chase

in Derby/Newport/News/Westmore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jay Focus Group offering summer camp scholarship opportunities, and more

in Jay/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — The Jay Focus Group recently announced scholarship opportunities for 2019.

The group’s “Community Service Scholarship” provides funding up to $500 to high school seniors from Orleans County to assist with educational costs of continuing their education.

The scholarship requires previous community service involvement, and the deadline for applying is April 19.

The winner will be announced on May 3.

In addition, the group’s 6th Annual “Summer Camp Program” sends students from Orleans County to a summer camp for a week. The program aims to help create a memory that will last a lifetime.

Applications and a brief description from each student must be submitted to the Jay Focus Group Summer Camp Program no later than April 25.

A decision on Summer Camp Program awardees will be made by May 1.

This program is open to kindergarten through Grade 12 as of July 1, 2019.

Summer Camp choices include Raised Jay Peak Summer Day Camp, Hazen’s Notch Summer Camp in Montgomery, Green Mountain Conservation Camp at Buck Lake, in Woodbury, Siskin Ecological Adventures/Coutts – Moriarty Summer Camp at Lake Salem, in Derby, and Circus Smirkus 2019 Summer Camps.

The members of the Jay Focus Group realize the cost of transportation for camp may be a burden to some families and they have voted to reimburse the cost of gas to those families providing an itemized expense form with original receipts.

For applications, click here.

United Christian Academy wins comedic theatre award

in Newport/News

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

The festival included productions from five Vermont schools.

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

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

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

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

Holland Hawks share award-winning Jr Iron Chef recipe

in Holland/Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notchyo Average Stuffed Wonton Nacho

Filling:

1# black beans, rinsed and soaked overnight

2 cups Maple Brook Farms Ricotta

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 # Taylor Farms Maple smoked gouda, shredded

1 Tbsp Neighborhood Greens Farm cilantro, chopped

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp crack black pepper

50 wonton wraps

Guacamole:

8 avocadoes

1/2 cup tomato, small dice

1/4 cup onion, small dice

2 limes, juiced

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 Tbsp cumin

2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

Salsa:

5 tomatoes, med dice

1 onion, small dice

1 pepper, small dice

2 lime, juice and zest

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp cumin

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 tsp garlic, minced

Cheese Sauce:

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp flour

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups pepper jack cheese

1 tsp salt

Crispy Onions:

1 onion, halved and sliced thin

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 Tbsp 5 spice

salt and pepper to taste

Plate:

8 cups greens

1/4 cup EVO

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Instructions:

Filling:

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

Guacamole:

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

Salsa:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Cheese sauce:

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

Crispy Onions:

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

Plate:

Toss in a bowl to coat the greens.

Learn how to cook a bear at the University of Irasburg

in Irasburg/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

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

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

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

So far, there are 15 courses scheduled in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

Weather-related rollover crash on I-91 in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

Public hearing on deer, moose taking place April 2 in Orleans

in News/Orleans/Outdoors

ORLEANS — Hunters, landowners and anyone else interested in deer and moose should plan on attending a Vermont Fish & Wildlife public hearing being held this spring in Orleans.

The hearing will take place on Tuesday, April 2, at Lake Region Union High School, located at 317 Lake Region Road.

The hearing will include results of Vermont’s 2018 deer hunting seasons and prospects for deer hunting next fall as well as an opportunity for people to comment.

The presentation will also include 2018 moose hunting results and the Fish & Wildlife Department’s proposal to not hold a moose hunt this year because of needed regulatory changes.

The hearing is scheduled for 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Newport man wins “Best Freestyle Beard” in Vermont

in Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newport Police warning public about phone scam

in Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do not take calls from unknown numbers.

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

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

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

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

Industrial hemp workshop in Newport April 19

in Newport/News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Women LEAD initiative launching in Newport at March 25 event

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — A new initiative led by Michelle Tarryk and Barbara Morrow, along with over two dozen women leaders and business owners across the Northeast Kingdom, say they’ve come together to foster leadership in girls and women in the NEK.

The project is called Women LEAD, and the group will launch with a fundraiser at The Eastside Restaurant on Monday, March 25, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Women LEAD is in alignment with recommendations from the recent NEK Collaborative Leadership Development Task Force Action Plan.

Recommendations include creating a NEK Leadership Institute as well as a project focusing on engaging NEK Women in Leadership Learning.

“This project has been an absolute thrill,” Tarryk said. “I am in awe of the women who participated in the calendar and I am also very excited about the leadership opportunities that we will be able to bring to young girls throughout the kingdom.”

The group is inviting those interested to come out for complimentary appetizers, a cash bar, and to hear from several collaborators.

Presenters at the event include Michelle Tarryk of Northeast Kingdom Learning Services, Katherine Sims of the NEK Collaborative, Alice Kitchel, State President of Business and Professional Women’s Club, Sunny Noelle Naughton of the Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network, and Vermont Photographer Mary Claire Carroll.

Newport awarded $35,000 outdoor recreation grant

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative announced that the City of Newport is one of two recipients of the VOREC Community grants to help grow local economies by promoting outdoor recreation.

Newport will receive $35,000 for a critical trail connection project between Prouty Beach and Bluffside Farm as part of the city’s Waterfront Recreation Trail and Lake Access project.

The program awards grants of $10,000 to $100,000 to help Vermont communities fully leverage their local outdoor recreation assets to become “outdoor recreation friendly.”

Newport will serve as a prototype for other recreation-oriented cities and towns seeking to expand their economies.

“This program helps make major recreation projects attainable for communities with support from a diverse group of local experts,” said Governor Phil Scott.

Crash with injury in Newport

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — A woman was injured in a crash involving a tractor-trailer that took place in Newport on Thursday.

At around 6:40 a.m. police responded to a report of a tractor-trailer that had collided with a sedan at the intersection of Access Road and Western Avenue.

The driver of the sedan, a 24-year-old Colebrook, New Hampshire woman, was injured and taken by ambulance to North Country Hospital.

According to police, her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 58-year-old Quebec man, was uninjured.

Police say the initial investigation indicates that the woman failed to stop at the traffic light at the intersection and was struck as a result.

As of Friday afternoon, no charges or citations have been issued and the crash remains under active investigation.

The passenger’s side of the sedan sustained heavy damage and both vehicles came to rest about 50 yards from the intersection.

The intersection was temporarily closed while first responders tended to the injured woman.

Deadlines near to remove ice fishing shanties

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — While locals wait for the ice to go out by watching the vanilla extract mascot placed on Lake Memphremagog​ to sink, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is reminding ice fishing enthusiasts not to play the same game with their shanties.

Vermont state law requires that all ice fishing shanties be removed from the ice before the ice weakens.

The shanty must be removed before the ice becomes unsafe or loses its ability to support the shanty out of the water, or before the last Sunday in March, whichever comes first.

That date this year will be on March 31.

All contents, debris, wood, and supports must also be removed so they do not become a hazard to navigation in the spring.

The fine for leaving your ice fishing shanty on the ice can be $1,000, and shanties may not be left at state fishing access areas.

Irasburg to hold town plan hearing March 21

in Irasburg/News

IRASBURG — The Irasburg Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on a proposed town plan at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, at the Irasburg Town Hall.

It will be the first of two hearings to consider adoption of the plan, entitled “Common Ground.”

The Irasburg Selectboard will hold a second hearing in April prior to a Selectboard vote on adoption of the plan.

Back in October of 2015, 421 Irasburg voters petitioned the Selectboard “to develop a town plan that protects all of Irasburg’s ridgeline from industrial wind development.”

Following the petition, the Irasburg Selectboard appointed a five-member Planning Commission charged with writing a town plan to respond to the voters’ mandate.

In Spring 2016, the Planning Commission conducted a survey of Irasburg citizens to ascertain their views and values on a range of issues from preserving Irasburg’s historic village center, promoting agriculture and forestry, to improving telecommunications.

A series of open meetings and frequent consultation with the Selectboard provided ongoing opportunities for input into the planning process.

“The Planning Commission heard many different voices and perspectives as we developed the plan,” said Planning Commission Chair Michael Sanville. “Irasburg voters, the Selectboard, the regional planning commission, the state legislature and state agencies, environmentalists, developers, educators, property owners, neighboring towns—not all of them agreed, but we listened to all of them. Writing a plan that balances all of these different interests is a challenge. Our goal was finding common ground.”

Early in its work, the Commission adopted three basic principles to guide the planning process.

“We developed the Irasburg town plan in accord with the principles of respect for the environment, sound economics, and regard for community values,” said Lori Royer, an Irasburg farmer and member of the Commission. “Every chapter of the town plan is based on these principles.”

Planning Commission member Molly Veysey, director of Orleans County’s Old Stone House Museum and coordinator of the Leach Public Library’s After-School Enrichment Program, noted that adopting a town plan will have many benefits for Irasburg.

“A town plan gives Irasburg standing in state hearings and regulatory proceedings,” Veysey said. “It will allow Irasburg to apply for state, local and foundation grants, and it sets forth a vision for Irasburg’s future based on citizens’ expressed values.”

The Planning Commission is encouraging citizens to review the draft town plan on the Leach Library website at https://www.leachpubliclibrary.org/town-plan-2019.html.

Printed copies are available for review at the Town Clerk’s Office and in the library.

Structure fire in Westmore

in News/Westmore

WESTMORE — Authorities say they are unsure what caused a structure fire at a farm in Westmore on Friday.

The fire broke out at a dairy farm on LaCross Road at around 12:45 p.m.

Heavy smoke and fire could be seen coming out of a large garage and feed barn located behind the main barn for the cattle.

Firefighters managed to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby buildings.

One cow was lost to the fire.

According to the report, the owner/occupant of the property is listed as Roger and Judy LaCross.

Police say one of the owners said they had been utilizing a piece of heavy machinery 15 minutes before the fire and had parked it inside the structure before closing the garage and going back to the house.

Authorities say nobody was injured and the fire is not considered to be suspicious at this time.

The building is considered to be a total loss with an estimated value of approximately $100,000.

Select Jay Peak EB-5 documents to be released following settlement

in Jay/Jay Peak/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Today the State of Vermont and VTDigger announced a settlement in the matter regarding two public records requests by the news organization related to Jay Peak’s EB-5 program.

Under terms of the settlement, the State of Vermont agreed to provide VTDigger the originally requested documents as well as additional agreed-upon Jay Peak records.

“VTDigger remains committed to making sure that the story of Jay Peak is told in its entirety,” Anne Galloway, founder and editor of VTDigger, said.

Galloway says the records released on Friday are long overdue to the public.

VTDigger began covering allegations of fraud at the ski area back in 2014, and has been seeking documents on the public’s behalf since that time.

Due to ongoing litigation, only a few hundred records have been released, with disclosure pending on 1.5 million pages of documents between Shumlin administration officials and Jay Peak developers.

VTDigger’s legal team filed a complaint in January seeking official communications between the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service regarding the projects at Jay Peak Resort.

Requests for the records from VTDigger have been repeatedly denied over the past three years.

“It is refreshing to see the State and its citizens cooperate in the release of public documents,” Tim Cornell, VTDigger’s attorney, said. “This brings us a step closer to finding out how the Jay Peak scandal happened.”

In 2014, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation began an investigation into the fraud at Jay Peak, which ultimately led to federal and state action.

In April 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the State of Vermont charged the developers of Jay Peak Resort with 52 counts of fraud and the misuse of $200 million in foreign investor funds.

The developers’ “Ponzi-like” scheme was perpetrated over an eight-year period from 2008-2016, during which the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development administered the EB-5 program.

Monette re-elected as Newport City Mayor

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Paul Monette was re-elected as Newport City Mayor on Tuesday.

Mayor Monette hung on to claim victory by just two votes, edging out challengers John Wilson, and Dan Ross.

Monette received a total of 193 votes, and Wilson, a former city council president, received 191.

Monette, who has served as Mayor since 2009, said he believes that it may have been the closest election in the city’s history.

Oddly enough, Ross, who finished third in the race for mayor, was re-elected to his position as alderman.

Wilson, who also ran for alderman, was defeated by Melissa Pettersson.

Pettersson received 296 votes, and Ross finished with 262, enough for a seat on the city council.

James Merriam finished with 254 votes, and Wilson finished last with 245.

Snowmobile crash with injury in Holland

in Derby Line/Holland/Newport/News

HOLLAND — A 49-year-old man from Morgan was taken to the hospital after a snowmobile crash on Tuesday.

At around 9:00 p.m. the incident was reported on VAST trail 105, in Holland.

Members of the Derby Line Fire Department located the male and transported him down the trail to the ambulance.

The operator of the snowmobile was identified as Brian Judd.

According to the report, Judd was traveling east and was unable to maintain his lane of travel around a right-hand corner.

He traveled off the trail and into several trees.

Judd was transported to North Country Hospital.

Police say the crash is still being investigated, and that no information about his injuries is available at this time.

Eight NEK farmers write nutrient management plans

in News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Over six weeks this winter, eight NEK dairy producers who enrolled in the UVM Extension course, “Digging In – A Nutrient Management Course for Farmers,” wrote their own nutrient management plans (NMPs).

Farmers in the class, held at Sterling College in Craftsbury, received technical assistance from the Orleans, Caledonia, Essex, and Winooski Conservation Districts through a USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) grant.

Through the RCPP program, farmers are offered technical assistance in preparing a Land Treatment Plan (the foundation of an NMP), taking soil and manure samples, and one-on-one help throughout the UVM course.

A nutrient management plan is a working document that combines scientific data with the farmer’s knowledge of their land to create a plan that determines crop needs and allocates nutrient spreading by field.

The goals of a nutrient management plan are to improve soil health, maximize yields, improve efficiency, and minimize the impact on natural resources.

The UVM Extension course includes lectures on soil science, crop yields, water quality and meeting the RAPs.

The course also incorporates time for farmers to write their own NMP using the UVM-developed online goCrop™ software.

Because a nutrient management plan is a working, living document, it should be updated yearly.

To this end, the Orleans County Conservation District, in collaboration with UVM Extension, will be holding a free, one-day goGraze™ training and update class open to all NEK producers with a UVM goCrop™ account.

This class will take place on Wednesday, March 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Eastside Restaurant in Newport.

Lunch will be provided, and the class will introduce participants to a relatively new addition to the goCrop™ software, goGraze™.

The new software allows producers to create a grazing plan and keep detailed records throughout the grazing season.

The format for the class will be instruction in the morning, lunch, and time in the afternoon for participants to work on updating their nutrient management plans or apply the skills they learned in the morning.

Pre-registration is required. Contact Emily Irwin to sign up or with questions at 802-334-6090 ext. 7008 or emily.irwin@vt.nacdnet.net.

Sugarhouse in Glover destroyed by fire

in Glover/Newport/News

GLOVER — A sugarhouse was found destroyed by fire yesterday in Glover.

The incident took place at 760 Young Road.

Police say Merle Young Jr. arrived at the property at 9:00 a.m. to find the building completely burned.

Young had been at the property on March 3 with family members attempting to thaw frozen water pipes.

He left at approximately 7:00 p.m.

Police say during the night the building caught fire, going unnoticed and completely burning until it self extinguished.

Glover Assistant Chief Jobe Breitmeyer contacted the Department of Public Safety Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit to request assistance with an origin and cause investigation.

Authorities say the cause of the fire could not be determined because of the complete destruction and consumption of all combustible materials.

Police say the fire is not considered suspicious at this time.

Photo by Patricia Przybylinski.

Business booms in Newport area with Winter Swim and other weekend events

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Last weekend, Newport came alive with the Winter Swim Festival, Wright’s Ice Fishing Derby, and the Ryan Coulter Pond Hockey Tournament.

Businesses reported seeing what some called a record week. Most restaurants had waiting lines and area hotels were packed.

Darrick Granai from Newport City Inn and Suites plus Derby 4 Seasons Hotel cites the many events in the area as to why it was so busy.

“There were hockey players in town for a tournament, the international swimmers, a fishing tournament, skiers, snowmobilers and fat bikers,” Granai said. “If we had more events, more often, we’d have this kind of business every week,” Granai reported.

Also in the area were families participating in and watching the Rotary Basketball Tournament with teams from far and wide across northern and central Vermont, which contributed to the crowds.

Steve Wright and crew at Jay Peak were working hard as Jay hosted almost 10,000 visitors Saturday between skiing, the water park, the ice hockey tournament, and Jay’s climbing center.

With 10,000 visitors just twenty minutes from Newport, many businesses reported that a number of the Jay visitors came in and explored Newport and establishments on the Derby Road in the evening.

Frank Richardi from restaurants Lago Trattoria and The Warehouse Pub said he was very happy with the business over the weekend.

“We did have a waiting line at times, but we were fortunate to get people in, seated, and made them very happy,” Richardi said. “The pub at the Warehouse was full and our billiards tables were filled all night long. It was a great atmosphere.”

Getting a table on Friday night was tricky at some restaurants, and the crowds were larger Saturday.

Jaspers Tavern had a full house of revelers, attached to the international swim, from mid-afternoon to closing. The fun party atmosphere in a traditional-style pub was enjoyed by the international crowd.

The Eastside Restaurant and its Quarter Deck Pub were in full swing from lunch til closing with food, drinks, and entertainment.

At the Winter Swim Festival, weather on Saturday was sunny with light winds and air temperatures in the upper 20s and into the mid-30s.

Sunday was generally cloudy with a bit more wind and slightly lower temperatures which rose as the day progressed and, after the festival had concluded, turned to rain.

As Granai summed it up, “the bottom line is events bring in the dollars to local businesses.”

Jed’s Maple gearing up for open house weekend March 23 & 24

in Derby/News

DERBY — Jed’s Maple Products of Derby will be hosting their 20th Annual Sugar on Snow Party and Maple Open House on March 23 and 24 this year.

The event will be held in conjunction with the Vermont statewide Maple Open House.

The Wheeler family says they are excited to once again open their doors to friends, family and the community to celebrate maple sugaring time in Vermont.

Doors will open at 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days.

This free family event includes sugar on snow, wood-fired maple pizza, maple specialty food sampling, tours of the eco-friendly sugarhouse and the maple museum.

There will also be storytime with sugarmaker Steve, and lots of other activities.

Most activities take place outside, so please dress accordingly for the weather.

Jed’s Maple Products is a certified organic sugarmaker.

They use high-pressure steam in their evaporator rather than wood or oil.

The maple museum is housed in the sugarhouse that Steve grew up sugaring in and allows visitors to take a step back in time to explore the local area’s maple history.

Jed’s Maple is also a proud participant in Audubon’s Bird Friendly Maple Program.

They will be sharing information throughout the weekend about how they help the migratory songbirds that nest in their woods during the spring and summer months.

‘Auddie’, the Jed’s Maple Bird Ambassador, will be making appearances both days!

Jed’s Maple Products is located at 259 Derby Pond Rd. in Derby.

Irasburg man facing charges after shooting at family members, dog

in Irasburg/Newport/News

IRASBURG — A 33-year-old man from Irasburg is facing numerous charges after an incident that took place on Wednesday.

Police responded to Simino Lane for a report of an escalating incident in which a man was intoxicated and fighting with family members.

The suspect was identified as Joshua Hall.

Police say Hall began shooting a shotgun at family members. State Police arrived at the scene moments later and led the victims to a safe location.

According to the report, Hall was highly intoxicated and shot several shotgun rounds at the victims and at the dogs.

Police began informing neighbors of the incident and contained the area.

After speaking with Hall over the phone police were able to take him into custody after a short period without further incident.

A statement regarding the incident issued by Trooper Joshua Mikkola reads:

“The investigation revealed Hall and a victim had been arguing earlier that evening after Hall had been consuming a large amount of alcohol. When family members arrived to help the victim leave the residence, Hall became upset and would not allow another victim to call 911 for help. During the struggle over the phone to call for help, Hall knocked over a small child causing the child to receive a facial injury. The incident then escalated when the victims began leaving. Hall exited the residence with a shotgun and began shooting at the victims and then the dogs. Nobody was injured by the projectiles, however, Hall approached a victim and struck the victim in the face with the buttstock of the shotgun. The victims were able to escape as Vermont State Police arrived at the residence.”

Hall was held at Northern State Correctional Facility and appeared in court today to answer to the charges of first degree aggravated domestic assault, second degree aggravated domestic assault, aggravated assault with a weapon, interference with access to emergency services, reckless endangerment, and cruelty to a child.

Police: Missing Derby woman found dead in Peacham

in Derby/Newport/News

PEACHAM — The search for a missing woman from Derby ended tragically today, after police say she was found deceased.

Cecile Aubin, also known as Cecile LaClair, was located in the town of Peacham.

Police have not released much information, but say her death is not suspicious at this time.

Authorities say the cause and manner of her death is pending an autopsy.

It was reported that Aubin left a residence on Pine Hill Road in Derby sometime around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 21.

She was last seen leaving the residence in her orange Subaru Impreza.

Police say there is no more information available at this time.

NEK Young Professionals making inroads in region

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT – The Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network has launched a number of new initiatives and hosted a number of successful events this past year, significantly increasing the numbers of its organization region-wide.

The board reflects the geographic diversity of the region, with Maire Folan, the program manager of the Green Mountain Farm-to-School office in Newport, serving as committee chair.

Patrick Sodums, the YPN vice chair, brings a hospitality background to the group, as he works as the conference and corporate sales manager of the Burke Mountain Hotel & Conference Center in East Burke.

Rounding out the board is Sarah Chadburn, the group’s treasurer, who serves as a credit analyst at Community National Bank in Newport.

“The vision of the NEK YPN is to be a network for young professionals living and working in and around Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom,” Folan states. “We hope to provide valuable leadership, relationship, and education opportunities through collaboration with community partners.”

The group has held successful social events, or mixers, to bring people together.

It hopes to soon roll out some new programs that will welcome new folks to the area and provide more leadership opportunities.

The Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network was re-energized two years ago by Geoffrey Sewake after having been established by then-Northeast Kingdom Chamber President Hannah Manley in 2011.

The main purpose of the group is to serve the needs of young professionals, employees, leaders, and entrepreneurs of the tri-county region, who are hoping to find networking and social opportunities with others in their area.

“We recognize the word ‘young’ to be dynamic, not static, and ‘professional’ to be inclusive, not exclusive,” Folan noted. “We welcome all to this group.”

In the past two years, the NEK YPN has sponsored a number of events in the Northeast Kingdom and partnered with similar groups in northern New Hampshire in an attempt to reach out to more young professionals throughout the North Country.

Such meetings have not only allowed more professionals to network with each other but also helped the committee determine what the needs of young professionals are in the Kingdom.

“An important priority of the NEK YPN is to reach every corner of the Kingdom and help and assist young professionals, as they are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but, in many cases, today’s leaders as well,” said Darcie McCann, executive director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber. “We as a chamber, as well as other chambers throughout the Kingdom, are striving to work as closely with the group as possible to ensure we give them the support and skills they need to succeed.”

Memoir and poetry workshop coming to the MAC Center March 16

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts will be holding a writing workshop, Saturday, March 16, from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

The workshop is called “The Power of the Personal Metaphor: A Memoir and Poetry Workshop.”

Come discover how personal metaphors inspire the creation of poetry and memoir.

Whether your interest is in writing poetry or prose, this workshop will delve into the ways metaphor and figurative language work to express the power of our individual experiences and emotions.

In the workshop, the group will use short writing exercises and spend some extended writing time to explore, develop and extend metaphors into poetry or prose.

This workshop will also be relevant for visual artists who use metaphorical imagery in their work.

The workshop will conclude with volunteers sharing their work.

The workshop is limited to 15 participants, ages 14 years and older.

Pre-registration is suggested by March 13.

Registration forms can be found online or by stopping in at the MAC Center for the Arts.

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

You can also email pattyos@earthlink.net

Woman reported missing in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — Police are looking for a woman from Derby that went missing last week.

Cecile Aubin, also known as Cecile LaClair, left a residence on Pine Hill Road in Derby sometime around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 21.

It was reported that Cecile has not reached out to any family members, which is highly unusual for this long.

She was last seen leaving the residence in her 2010 orange Subaru Impreza, with Vermont registration FTB220.

The vehicle is registered to Cecile.

She is described as a white female, 5’6″, 120 lbs, hazel eyes with black shoulder length hair.

Police are asking anyone with any information about her whereabouts or the location of her vehicle to call 802-334-8881.

Fire destroys barn in Coventry

in coventry/Newport/News

COVENTRY — The Newport City Fire Department responded to a structure fire in Coventry this morning.

A large, two-story barn at 862 Heermanville Road was fully engulfed in flames at around 9:20 a.m.

The barn was no longer in use as a dairy barn and used primarily for storage.

It was completely destroyed by the fire, however, no person or animal was injured.

Newport City Fire Chief Jamie Leclair contacted authorities to request assistance with an origin and cause investigation.

An investigation was initiated and initial investigation efforts suggest that the fire appears to be electrical in nature and non-suspicious.

First witnesses on scene noticed the fire in the southwest corner of the building.

Anyone that may have witnessed the fire is asked to contact Detective Sgt Michael LaCourse at 802-334-8881.

Railway fined for mismanaging hazardous materials at Newport maintenance facility

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Central Maine & Quebec Railway, owner and operator of a railroad maintenance facility in Newport, was fined $12,000 for improperly managing hazardous materials and releasing hazardous materials to the environment.

During a May 2018 compliance inspection, DEC personnel found absorbent materials contaminated with petroleum in open, unmarked containers, at its Glen Road facility and railyard.

DEC officials also discovered petroleum in the soil, indicating that petroleum from railway maintenance activities had been released onto the ground.

The company was also keeping unidentified hazardous waste in a service building at the facility.

Hazardous waste contains dangerous chemicals. These chemicals can harm public health and the environment.

“Hazardous releases can be prevented by following storage and management practices outlined in Vermont’s hazardous waste management rules,” says Emily Boedecker, DEC Commissioner. “To avoid dangerous spills, companies need to identify hazardous materials and keep them in sealed containers in dry storage spaces. This is the law, and these common-sense practices will keep workers safe and prevent hazardous materials from reaching our soil and water.”

Following the inspection, DEC directed the company to clean up contaminated soils and implement proper storage and labeling practices for all hazardous materials on the property.

Central Maine & Quebec Railway US Inc. completed a remediation effort in July 2018 that removed over 10 tons of oil-contaminated soil and hazardous materials from the property.

The company also agreed to pay a $12,000 fine for the violations.

The Environmental Division of the Vermont Superior Court approved the agreement between DEC and the company in an order dated February 15, 2019.

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