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Fatal crash in Orleans

in Newport/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — A 31-year-old Westfield man was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Orleans last night.

Police responded to the crash on Willoughby Avenue at around 7:11 p.m.

The driver was identified as Shaun Greene.

Police say Greene was traveling east and failed to negotiate a right-hand corner, traveling off the road and hitting a tree.

The passenger in the vehicle was transported to North Country Hospital with what police describe as “serious injuries.”

Police are still investigating the crash.

Two-car crash in Orleans

in Barton/Newport/News/Orleans

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

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

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

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

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

Bridge over Barton River in Orleans set to reopen Monday

in Newport/News/Orleans

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

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

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

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

The full project completion is scheduled for June of 2020.

Youths compete in Orleans and Essex counties 4-H dairy show

in Essex County/Newport/News/Orleans

BARTON — A total of 56 “4-H’ers” from ten area 4-H clubs took part in the annual Orleans and Essex Counties 4-H Dairy Show, recently held at the Orleans County Fairgrounds in Barton.

The youths, ages 8 to 18, competed for ribbons and championships in both fitting and showmanship and conformation contests.

The show judge was Shayne Brus from Ayers Cliff, Quebec.

In fitting and showmanship, the focus was on the exhibitors and how well they handled their animal.

Isabel Hall was named the Senior Fitting and Showing Champion. The Junior Fitting and Showing Champion was Christin Haynes. Both 4-H’ers are from East Montpelier and are members of the Udderly Crazy 4-H Club.

Capturing first in their respective fitting and showmanship contests, arranged by age, were:

Novice (age 8 and first year in 4-H): Talon Michaud, East Hardwick

Novice (ages 9-13 and first year in 4-H): Ryder Curavoo, Berlin

Junior (ages 9-10): Cash Mosher, Derby

Junior (age 11): Cristin Haynes, East Montpelier

Junior (ages 12-13): Livi Russo, Lunenburg

Senior (ages 14-15): Caroline Kirby, East Montpelier

Senior (ages 16-18): Isabel Hall, East Montpelier

In the conformation classes, organized by age and breed of animal, the judge looked at the physical structure, condition, and appearance of each animal.

Championships were awarded as follows:


Senior Champion and Grand Champion: Abagail Hurd, Hardwick, with her two-year-old cow.

Junior Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Livi Russo, Lunenburg, with her winter calf.
Junior Reserve Champion: Abagail Hurd, Hardwick, with her spring yearling.


Junior Champion and Grand Champion: Olyvia Fortin, Newport, with her spring calf.

Junior Reserve Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Olyvia Fortin, Newport, with her fall calf.


Junior Champion and Grand Champion: Cody Trudeau, Hardwick, with his spring yearling.

Junior Reserve Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Cody Trudeau, Hardwick, with his winter yearling.


Senior Champion and Grand Champion: Ryanne Nadeau, Derby, with her three-year-old cow.

Senior Reserve Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Cash Mosher, Derby, with his two-year-old cow.

Junior Champion: Isabel Hall, East Montpelier, with her fall calf.

Junior Reserve Champion: Ryder Hoffman, Berlin, with his summer yearling.


Senior Champion and Grand Champion: Livi Russo, Lunenburg, with her two-year-old cow.

Senior Reserve Champion: Zoe Young, West Glover, with her two-year-old cow.

Junior Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Abel Brown, Sutton, with his winter calf.

Junior Reserve Champion: Lane Pickard, Derby, with his winter yearling.


Junior Champion and Grand Champion: Nora Demaine, West Glover, with her fall calf.

Junior Reserve Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Max Demaine, West Glover, with his summer yearling.

To learn more about the 4-H dairy program in Essex and Orleans Counties, contact Lindy Birch at (802) 334-7235, ext. 481.

Newport woman arrested after pedestrian struck with van

in Newport/News/Orleans

NEWPORT — A 32-year-old woman from Newport is scheduled to appear in court today after she was arrested following an incident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian in the Waterfront Plaza area on Monday.

Police are saying that Monica Donofrio is facing a charge of “grossly negligently operating a motor vehicle with serious injury resulting.”

Yesterday, at approximately 7:45 p.m., police responded to the scene of the incident and say they found a 35-year-old Orleans woman on the ground behind a van.

She was conscious and alert but had suffered serious injuries.

The victim was taken by ambulance to the hospital and later airlifted to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire.

According to police, the victim was in serious but stable condition this morning.

After a preliminary investigation, police say that the driver of the vehicle, identified as Donofrio, had been confronted by the victim and another woman, who had become concerned when they observed that she had left her four children inside the van while she went into a store.

Prior to the crash, the two women were in the process of calling the police.

Donofrio was booked and is expected to be arraigned in court today.

According to police, her children were taken into the custody of a family member after the incident, and the Department of Children and Families was notified.

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.

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.

DUI crash with injury in Barton

in Barton/Newport/News/Orleans

BARTON — Police say that a 60-year-old man from Barton was charged with DUI after a two-vehicle crash on Sunday sent a man to the hospital.

At around 8:00 p.m. rescue workers were notified of the crash that occurred on US Route 5 near the intersection of Kinsey Road, in Barton.

Police say Ed Seadale exhibited signs of intoxication and was ultimately arrested and processed for DUI.

Roger Pray, 80, of Orleans, was the driver in the second vehicle and was immediately transported to North Country Hospital for treatment for minor injuries.

According to the police report, Seadale was traveling south and Pray was traveling northbound.

“Evidence at the scene indicated Seadale operated his vehicle left of the centerline and collided with Pray in the oncoming lane,” a statement issued by Sgt. Andrew Jensen reads.

Both vehicles were unable to be driven from the scene.

Barton/Orleans Fire Department, as well as Orleans EMS, assisted at the scene.

Police: Man arrested after firing shots at parked vehicle in Orleans

in Newport/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — Police were called to Orleans this afternoon after a report that gunshots were fired into a parked vehicle.

At around 1:30 p.m. police arrived at the scene on First Avenue.

According to a statement issued by police, there was a family disturbance at the time of the incident.

Nobody was inside the vehicle, and nobody was harmed.

The suspect, Craig Daniels, 30, of Orleans, was not there when police arrived but he was located shortly afterward.

Police allege Daniels shot a firearm into the parked vehicle and in doing so recklessly engaged in conduct which placed another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury.

Daniels also damaged the vehicle which was not his.

He was placed under arrest for reckless endangerment and unlawful mischief and taken to Derby for processing.

Daniels was cited into court and released into the care of Northeast Kingdom Human Services.

Orleans man leads police on high-speed chase

in Newport/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — A 24-year-old man from Orleans who was on escape status with the Department of Corrections, led police on a high-speed chase on Sunday.

Police say Christopher Conley is facing multiple charges following the incident.

At around 3:50 p.m., a trooper was monitoring traffic on I-91 north when he clocked a white Subaru doing 111 mph in the 65 mph zone.

The trooper attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the vehicle failed to yield and got off the interstate at exit 27.

Police say Conley was identified as the driver, and he accelerated to 80 mph in the 35 mph zone, traveling west on Schuler Road towards Hinman Settler Road.

The pursuit continued down Hinman Settler Road through Brownington and ultimately into Barton.

According to police, Conley at times hit speeds of 100 mph on the dirt roadway.

He ultimately failed to negotiate a turn, leaving the road on Churchill Road just north of Route 58.

The vehicle overturned, striking a tree.

Conley had a passenger in the car with him and both were transported to North Country Hospital and treated for injuries.

Police say Conley was found to be on escape status and was transported to the Northern State Correctional Facility and returned to DOC custody.

He will face charges for felony eluding a police officer with gross negligence, grossly negligent operation, recklessly endangering another person, excessive speed, as well as DUI.

Two vehicles stolen overnight in Orleans

in Newport/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — A pair of car thefts in Orleans has police warning residents to be on the lookout.

According to the report, a 26-year-old woman on High Street stated that sometime overnight yesterday her vehicle was taken without her consent.

The vehicle, a white, 2012 Ford Focus with Vermont plates, had been parked in her driveway when it was stolen.

Police say it was returned back prior to her leaving for work this morning, but was missing items inside and covered in mud.

The incident may be related to the theft of another vehicle that occurred this morning at around 1:40 a.m. on South Avenue in Orleans.

The vehicle was in a parking lot when it was stolen.

It is a green, 2001 GMC Yukon, and is still reported missing.

Police are reminding everyone to lock their vehicles and not to leave keys inside.

Orleans, Island Pond nonprofits awarded Vermont Community Foundation grants

in Island Pond/Orleans

NEWPORT — The Vermont Community Foundation recently awarded a total of $37,720.39 through their “Spark! Connecting Community” grants to 15 nonprofit organizations.

Two of these organizations serve residents in Orleans and Essex County.

The Island Pond Historical Society received $3,000 to aid in the creation of an interactive museum and learning center to showcase the railroad, lumbering, and military culture of Island Pond and the surrounding towns.

The Jones Memorial Library in Orleans received $2,600 to support twice-monthly story readings and art-project sessions that will send children home with their own copies of the books, allowing them to start home libraries of quality children’s literature.

These grants go where a small amount can make a big difference, and are intended to light the spark that keeps Vermonters healthy and happy.

“Our work to close the opportunity gap in Vermont depends on building social capital in our communities and investing in projects that spark that social cohesion,” said Vermont Community Foundation President and CEO Dan Smith.

Minor injuries after attempted burglary in Orleans

in News/Orleans

ORLEANS — Police say they have identified the suspects in an attempted burglary early Tuesday morning in Orleans.

At around 2:30 a.m. police responded to a burglary attempt at a residence on North Avenue.

The homeowners were present at the time of the incident, and police say minor injuries were reported.

According to the report, emergency services were declined by all parties.

The offenders had already fled the scene by the time police arrived.

Police say the suspects were identified and evidence was collected on scene.

The case remains ongoing, and police say more information will be released later.

Although police have not yet released the names of the suspects, they say they are facing charges of unlawful trespass, burglary, and aggravated assault

Photo from Facebook.

Swartz now faces federal charges in fraud scheme

in News/Orleans

NEWPORT — A federal grand jury in Rutland indicted Randall Swartz, 58, of Orleans, on 11 counts of mail fraud.

According to this week’s indictment, until January 2017 when he was fired, Swartz was employed as the maintenance manager at Agri-Mark’s cheese-making plant in Cabot.

As the maintenance manager, he 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 indictment alleges 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 hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of reverse osmosis equipment that was too small for Agri-Mark to use in its cheese-making processes.

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

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

The indictment alleges he used the U.S. Postal Service and private commercial carriers to deliver this fraudulently-obtained RO equipment either to the Cabot plant or to his house.

Swartz will be arraigned on these charges in the near future in U.S. District Court in Burlington. No court date has been set.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

Photo from Facebook.

Orleans man to face murder charge next week

in Newport/News/Orleans

NEWPORT – Randall Swartz, the suspect in the May 15 homicide of his wife in the town of Orleans, was discharged Friday from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and is due to be arraigned next week in Newport.

Swartz, 58, was arraigned by video May 23 on a fugitive warrant and waived extradition to Vermont.

Upon discharge from the hospital, he was transported by the Windham County Sheriff’s Department to the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield.

He had been undergoing treatment at Dartmouth-Hitchcock for a gunshot wound to his torso.

He is scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Monday, June 4, in Vermont Superior Court, Criminal Division, in Newport.

He is scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Monday, June 4, in Vermont Superior Court, Criminal Division, in Newport on a charge of second-degree murder related to the fatal shooting of 54-year-old Thea Swartz at their residence in Orleans.

Orleans man charged with murder in wife’s death

in Newport/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — A 58-year-old Orleans man is facing a murder charge following the death of his wife, 54-year-old Thea Swartz, on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, an arrest warrant was issued for Randall Swartz, 58, on suspicion of second-degree murder.

Following an autopsy Thursday morning on the body of Thea Swartz at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington, the cause of death has been determined to be a single gunshot wound to the chest, and the manner of death has been classified as a homicide.

Randall Swartz was located by police at the crime scene lying on the floor with an apparent wound to his torso.

He is reported to be stable at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and is expected to survive.

Thea Swartz was located deceased on the floor in the same room.

The shootings took place at the couple’s home on Irasburg Street.

Police report getting a call from Thea Swartz prior to the shooting, claiming her husband was drinking and aiming a gun at her.

Police investigate death in Orleans

in News/Orleans

ORLEANS — A 54-year-old woman from Orleans is dead and her husband is in the hospital following an incident that took place last night.

At around 9:27 p.m. police say they received a 911 call from a female who identified herself as Thea Swartz and reported that her husband was pointing a pistol at her and that he was drinking.

Troopers responded to the residence, located at 42 Irasburg Street.

Police say they saw an unresponsive man lying on the floor inside.

After receiving no response, police entered and located the man, identified as 58-year-old Randall Swartz, lying on the floor with an apparent wound to his torso.

He was alive but unresponsive.

Police then located a woman, identified as 54-year-old Thea Swartz, deceased on the floor in the same room.

Police say the exact location and nature of her injuries have not yet been determined.

Rescue personnel responded and transported Randall Swartz to North Country Hospital.

He was subsequently transported to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center for treatment of an apparent gunshot wound.

The scene in Orleans has been secured, and authorities are collecting evidence.

Detectives say they are working closely with the Orleans County State’s Attorney’s Office at this time.

Police warn parents in Orleans following arrest

in Newport/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — A 68-year-old man from Orleans was arrested after police say they received several complaints over the last month about his conduct around juvenile females in the area.

Raymond Benson was picked up on Sunday for violation of an order against stalking, and felony aggravated stalking/person under 16.

Police say for the past month they have received several complaints regarding Benson’s conduct around juvenile females in Orleans, particularly the area of School Street.

During this time a protection order against stalking was issued on behalf of one such juvenile female.

On Sunday troopers again received a complaint that Benson had approached a number of juvenile females, one being the protected person.

Police say an investigation led to the development of probable cause and the arrest of Benson for suspicion of aggravated stalking and the order violation.

Benson was processed in Derby, and upon order of a judge, released on personal recognizance with conditions of release.

Police are reminding parents and guardians to educate their children on how to respond if approached or solicited by a stranger, and are encouraged to supervise their children in the area of Orleans Village.

Anyone with information regarding this case or who may have observed a white camper van with green markings in the Orleans Village area around 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, is encouraged to call police at 802-334-8881.

Subway in Orleans robbed at knife-point

in Newport/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — Police are looking for two suspects who robbed the Subway restaurant in Orleans at knife-point last night.

At around 7:30 p.m. two individuals entered the restaurant, located at 25 Railroad Avenue, and demanded money.

One of the individuals then displayed a knife.

Police say the two left the scene on foot with an undisclosed amount of money.

They were last seen traveling east towards the Ethan Allan Plant.

The suspects are described as being approximately six feet tall with a stocky build.

Police say no injuries to restaurant employees were reported during the robbery.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the State Police at 748-3111.

Police: Bow and arrow shot at home in Orleans

in News/Orleans

ORLEANS — Police say that someone shot a bow and arrow at a house in Orleans.

This morning at around 10:50 a.m. police were notified of the vandalism that occurred at a residence on Maple Street.

A trooper responded and met with the complainant who advised his residence had been shot by a bow and arrow and caused damage.

According to the report, the victim is listed as 39-year-old Brandon Bradley.

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

Blood drives to support cancer patients to be held in Derby, Orleans

in Derby/Orleans

DERBY — The American Red Cross is encouraging eligible donors to give blood to support cancer patients and others during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Blood donation opportunities will be available at Lake Region Union High School on Friday, October 20, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will be another drive at the Elks Club at 3736 Route 5 in Derby on Tuesday, October 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 1.7 million new cases of cancer are expected in the U.S. this year.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, with nearly 253,000 women expected to be diagnosed in 2017.

Cancer patients may need blood products during chemotherapy, surgery, or treatment for complications.

Moose poached in Westmore, dragged to Orleans

in Orleans/Westmore

WESTMORE — Vermont state game wardens are seeking tips to help solve a case of a moose that was poached in Westmore.

The cow moose was shot from the road out of season and at night on Saturday, September 23.

After poachers shot the moose, they dragged the animal on the road behind their truck over 11 miles to the town of Orleans.

The animal was left to rot in the 80-degree heat by the side of Hollow Road off Route 58 in Orleans.

The cow moose was lactating, indicating she likely had a calf with her.

“These poachers demonstrated tremendous disrespect for the law and for this moose,” said Col. Jason Batchelder, Vermont’s chief game warden. “We’re asking for anyone with information about this incident to come forward so that we can hold the people that did this accountable.”

Vermont’s regulated moose hunting seasons are in October, and are limited to a small number of hunting permits that are allocated through a lottery system.

Anyone with information in this case is asked to call 1-800-752-5378.

Clan of the Hawk intertribal powwow this weekend in Evansville

in Evansville/Orleans

EVANSVILLE — The Clan of the Hawk will host an intertribal powwow this Saturday and Sunday, on their tribal grounds on Route 58 in Evansville, three miles east of the village of Orleans.

Admission to the grounds and parking are both free.

All weekend the powwow will feature native dancers, drummers, storytellers, basket weaving, and dream-catcher classes.

The Koasek Band of Thetford will host a chicken barbecue on Saturday. Chief Nathan Pero will prepare a fish fry on Sunday. There will also be a naming ceremony on Sunday morning.

Sunday afternoon will feature Abenaki language presentations and the fourth annual pet parade.

There will be prizes for all, with reasonable rates for vendors and overnight campers.

If you bring a teepee, you can camp for free.

Police: Brownington man busted doing burnouts, drunk

in Brownington/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — A 37-year-old man from Brownington was arrested today after police say he was caught doing burnouts in his truck while intoxicated.

Just before 1:00 p.m. police say they received complaints of a vehicle seen driving recklessly in Orleans.

One caller reported seeing a silver GMC pickup truck driving down the roadway and doing burnouts in the intersection of Main Street and Railroad Street.

When police arrived in the area, witnesses pointed to the truck which was parked on the corner of Main Street and North Ave.

Troopers spoke with the operator, who was identified as Michael Riendeau, 37, of Brownington.

Police say Riendeau was intoxicated and placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI and careless and negligent operation.

Lake Region track team eyes state championships this weekend

in News/Orleans

ORLEANS — The Lake Region Union High School track and field team’s regular season wrapped up last week with a list of impressive performances as they prepare for the state championship meet this weekend.

Catherine Close placed fourth in the javelin at the Burlington Invitational and eighth in the discus, against many Division One schools.

Riley Urie finished fourth in the 100-meter dash and fifth in the 200m dash at the South Burlington Coaches v. Cancer Twilight Meet. Urie also tied the Lake Region school record in the 400m with a time of 53.7 At Lyndon Institute, in only his first ever attempt at the event.

The team had several top-six finishers at the Northeast Kingdom freshmen meet.

Andrew Hicks placed third in the 100m and long jump, and second in the 400m dash. Cole Royer, Josh Kelley, and Jorden Prue finish in fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively, in the 800m run. Kaitlyn Verge was third in the 800m run and Brezee Lalime was fourth in the shot put and fifth in the long jump.

Lake Region had more top-six results at the Freshman Sophomore Championship held at U-32.

Mason Svayg won the high jump outright, and finished second in the 400m. Joslyn Hinton was second in the shot put and teamed up with Autumn Walsh, Annie Doucet, and Kaitlyn Verge to place second in the 4-by-100m relay. Verge was also sixth in the 800m run.

Coach Liz Chichester said the team is looking forward to the Division Three state championship meet this Saturday at Green Mountain Union High School in South Chester.

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