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Localized flooding in parts of Orleans County

in Newport/News/Troy/Westfield

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orleans County residents named to Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom/Westfield/Westmore

NEWPORT — The Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame recently announced the 2019 inductees. Now in its 17th year, the Hall has inducted 80 Vermonters to date.

Joanna Samuelson Lidback, of The Farm at Wheeler Mountain in Westmore, was inducted as a merging leader, and Jack and Anne Lazor, of Butterworks Farm in Westfield, were inducted for lifetime achievement.

Emerging Leader: Stepping Up to Become the Next Generation of Leaders (age 40 and under) Joanna Samuelson Lidback, Westmore

Lidback is a farmer, agricultural business consultant, 4-H volunteer, and family farm advocate.

Together with her husband Adam, she owns The Farm at Wheeler Mountain, a family dairy farm located in Westmore.

Lidback earned a BS in Applied Economics and Business Management from Cornell, and an MBA from Babson F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business. She is currently employed as Business Consultant for Yankee Farm Credit.

In this role, she helps dairy farmers with the challenges of developing business, estate, and succession plans.

Her love of farming extends well beyond the boundaries of Vermont. She is a Board Member with the Global Farmer Network – a non-profit advocacy group led by farmers from around the world.

She has also testified on behalf of Vermont farmers before the US House and Agriculture Committee and Senate Agriculture Committee in Washington, D.C.

Lidback was honored by the American Jersey Cattle Association with the Young Jersey Breeder Award in 2016. S

She was an active member of the Agri-Mark Young Cooperators Program and served as a YC Representative from 2012-2015.

She is also active in the Vermont Farm Bureau and currently serves as First Vice President of the Orleans County Farm Bureau.

She and Adam are raising three young children together on the family farm.

Lifetime Achievement: 30+ Years of Outstanding Service to Vermont Agriculture, Jack and Anne Lazor, Westfield

Jack and Anne Lazor began farming in 1976. For more than forty years, they have built a reputation for producing outstanding organic yogurt, stewarding the land, and advocating for organic agriculture.

Their Butterworks Farm grass-fed yogurt is sold in nearly 80 groceries and coops across Vermont and in neighboring states.

Together with a dedicated team, they produce some of the finest organic yogurt available.

Anne and Jack have been a steadfast team in farming, family, and life.

Jack is a teacher and a member of the “Agrarian Elders,” a group of twenty-four pioneers considered to be the founders of organic agriculture in the U.S.

Over the years, both he and Anne have devoted themselves to teaching the next generation of farmers how to raise animals, steward the land, and produce products ethically and sustainably.

Farming is a family affair for the Lazors, who raised their daughter, Christine, together at Butterworks.

Today, the Lazors enjoy sharing their love of agriculture, and Butterworks Farm, with their grandchildren.

Lyndonville man critically injured in I-91 crash

in Lyndonville/News/Westfield

LYNDONVILLE — A 33-year-old Lyndonville man was critically injured in a single-vehicle crash that took place on I-91 in Sheffield early this morning.

At around 12:20 a.m. police and emergency workers responded to a report of crash with serious injury southbound on the Interstate at mile marker 149.

Dale Mitchell, 33, of Lyndonville, was headed south when for unknown reasons his vehicle left the roadway on the east shoulder of the Interstate and into the center median, police say.

According to police, evidence on scene indicates Mitchell overcorrected and lost control of his vehicle.

The 2005 Hyundai Elantra then traveled across the travel lane of the Interstate and off the west shoulder, before rolling multiple times.

Mitchell was ejected from the vehicle.

He was transported to Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital prior to being airlifted to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center with what police describe as serious life-threatening injuries.

Interstate 91 south in the area was closed for the duration of the investigation.

The crash remains under investigation.

RuralEdge closing Scenic View Community Housing in Westfield

in Newport/News/Westfield

WESTFIELD — On Monday, the RuralEdge (RE) Board of Directors approved the decision to close Scenic View Community Housing in Westfield, because they can no longer afford to keep the facility operating.

“The significant costs of running Scenic View for the past two years has caused an untenable financial situation for the RuralEdge organization that requires immediate action,” stated Louise Bonvechio, Chair of the Board for RuralEdge. “Those costs have seriously impacted RuralEdge’s various real estate projects, programs, and services.”

Several years ago, RuralEdge decided to meet a need for housing for the area’s aging and special needs population by purchasing Scenic View.

As a community development corporation primarily serving the Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans counties in the Northeast Kingdom, RuralEdge develops housing that is affordable for low and moderate-income families, seniors and people with disabilities.

The organization manages over 600 housing units that are affordable and spread across 2,000 square miles in the most remote rural area of Vermont.

“Closure of Scenic View is a process that begins immediately and is expected to be completed by the end of July 2018,” said Patrick Flood, RE’s Interim CEO. “We will be working closely with the people who are living at Scenic View, their families, and guardians, to find an appropriate new residence.”

Facebook post leads to Westfield man charged with importing exotic reptiles

in Newport/News/Westfield

WESTFIELD — Westfield man has been charged with a wildlife violation after a water monitor lizard and a dwarf caiman were found on his property.

Raymond J. Barlow, 29, was charged with illegally importing wildlife and faces fines up to $722.

Vermont State Game Wardens received a Facebook photo from a member of the public alerting them to the presence of the illegal reptiles at Barlow’s residence.

They executed a search warrant and seized the reptiles and turned their care over to Rainforest Reptiles, an education and wildlife rehabilitation facility in Massachusetts.

Dwarf caimans are similar to crocodiles and can grow over five feet in length, with heavily armored skin and powerful jaws.

Water monitors are the second largest lizard in the world behind the closely-related Komodo dragon. They can weigh over 100 pounds and grow to over six feet in length. The bite of a water monitor produces rapid and painful swelling.

“Vermont’s wildlife importation laws are in place to protect our local ecosystems and our people,” said Sgt. Chad Barrett, Vermont’s exotic species specialist. “Exotic species can sometimes quickly establish themselves in a new area, which can devastate local plants and animals that are not used to their presence and are often unable to compete with them. Additionally, a dangerous species could potentially harm someone if it got loose.”

Limiting the species that can be imported into Vermont also helps prevent them from being stolen out of the wild and their conservation status being threatened by the illegal pet trade.

Barrett also cites the movement of exotic species as a source for disease transmission among wildlife populations.

For example, snakes in some parts of New England have been suffering from a newly discovered condition called snake fungal disease, which can infect multiple snake species.

Rollover in Westfield, single-vehicle crash in Troy

in Newport/News/Troy/Westfield

NEWPORT — State police say they responded to a few car accidents on Sunday evening.

At around 5:30 p.m. troopers were dispatched to a report of a single-vehicle rollover at the base of North Hill Road in Westfield.

The vehicle was off the roadway and at rest upright in a snow bank. The driver was identified as 24-year-old Kylie Kellard of Jay.

Police say Kellard was headed south when she lost control of the vehicle at a curve and struck a snow bank, causing the vehicle to overturn.

According to the report, there were no injuries during the accident.

Crash in Troy

At 6:15 p.m. police received a report that a vehicle had slid through the stop sign at Route 242 and 101 in Troy, striking the guardrail and causing damage.

An AOT truck was following the vehicle and police caught up with the driver on 101 in Troy village.

He was given a ticket for driving at speeds unreasonable for conditions with an accident resulting.

Christmas Home Alone dinner tradition continues in North Troy

in Lowell/Newport/News/North Troy/Westfield

NORTH TROY — Nobody wants to be alone on Christmas Day, and thanks to Donald St. Onge of North Troy, if you live around here, you don’t have to be.

Donald started this great tradition many years ago to fill a void in the community. He is no longer able to take on an active role, but we would like to continue the tradition that he started and turned into such a success.

The annual Christmas Home Alone meal will be served at the St. Vincent de Paul Church, located at 18 North Pleasant Street in North Troy, on Christmas Day.

The gathering starts at 11:30 a.m. with a meal to follow at 12:00 p.m.

All who find themselves alone on Christmas Day from the surrounding areas of North Troy, Troy, Lowell, Westfield, Newport Center, and Newport City are welcome.

The dinner will consist of turkey and ham, with many side dishes and desserts. The dinner is under the auspices of the Missisquoi Valley Historical Society.

If you would like to make a donation, checks can be made out and mailed to:

Christmas Home Alone
C/O Becky Therrien
71 Church St
Newport Center, VT 05857

Anyone who would like to make any other donation or volunteer their time please contact Becky Therrien by calling (802) 487-9225.

If you would like a meal delivered on Christmas Day, home delivery is available, but only in North Troy by calling (802)487-9225.

Hazmat team responding to residence in Westfield after police execute drug-related search

in Westfield

WESTFIELD — The Cemetery Road in Westfield was shut down this morning as a Hazmat team set up operations at a residence police believe contains hazardous chemicals, as well as heroin and fentanyl.

On Wednesday, police were granted a search warrant for a residence located on Cemetery Road in the town of Westfield.

The search warrant was requested as a result of an investigation related to drug activity.

Police say heroin and fentanyl may be present as well as other chemicals which create a hazard to individuals conducting the search.

Due to the safety concerns of responders the Vermont State Police Clan Lab and the Vermont Hazardous Response Team assisted in executing the search warrant this morning and afternoon.

The Troy Fire Department shut down Cemetery Road for a short time while the Clan Lab and Hazmat Team set up for operations.

Police say there is no health concerns or threat to the public, and that nobody has been taken into custody at this time.

Katherine Sims of Lowell announces candidacy for the Vermont House of Representatives

in Jay/Lowell/News/Westfield

LOWELL — Katherine Sims of Lowell announced on Monday that she is running for the Vermont House of Representatives to represent the residents of Eden, Lowell, Jay, Westfield, and a portion of Troy.

Sims is the founder and executive director of Green Mountain Farm-to-School, a nonprofit in the Northeast Kingdom that teaches kids about nutrition and agriculture, sources local food in the community, and employs a dozen people. The project has also generated over $1 million in sales for local farmers.

“I am proud to call the Northeast Kingdom my home and I am running for state representative because I am passionate about making a difference in our community,” said Sims. “Too often policies from the Montpelier are leaving the Northeast Kingdom behind and it’s time for a new voice that understands the issues affecting our community and is willing to do something about it.”

Sims sits on the board of directors for the Vermont Council on Rural Development and the Vermont Land Trust. She was also named a “Rising Star” by Vermont Business Magazine in 2014.

“Through work in the community and with Green Mountain Farm-to-School, I have demonstrated my ability to implement creative solutions to address some of our district’s biggest challenges,” Sims said. “I will work tirelessly to strengthen our local economy, support working Vermonters, and make sure government works for all communities, including rural ones like ours.”

In addition to her work at Green Mountain Farm-to-School and board of directors service, Sims was auditor for the town of Westfield and is the organizer of the Annual Lowell Holiday Market.

“I am a lifelong Republican but I am impressed with what Katherine has to say,” said Stub Earle, former State Representative and treasurer for Sims’ campaign. “She has my vote.”

Sims will be a candidate in the Democratic Primary on August 9.

“If elected, I promise to fight for the Northeast Kingdom every step of the way,” she said, ”Together we can be a powerful voice for our community.”

Two local farms participating in Vermont’s Open Farm Week

in News/West Glover/Westfield

NEWPORT — Farmers across Vermont will throw open their barn doors and garden gates to welcome the public for a behind­-the­-scenes look at Vermont’s vibrant working landscape. Vermont’s Open Farm Week is underway, and two local farms are participating.

Berry Creek Farm

1342 Vermont Route 100
Westfield, VT 05874
802.744.2406

Berry Creek Farm is dedicated to pursuing sustainable organic agricultural enterprises linking local food to the community.

Berry Creek Farm invites everyone to join them in the Open Farm/CSA Open House/Nofavore Celebration on Thursday, August 6, from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. There will be the NOFA wood fired pizza oven cooking delicious pizzas with Berry Creek Farm toppings, a farm tour, and activities for children.

Tangletown Farm

80 King Place
West Glover, VT 05875
802-525-1313

Tangletown Farm is inviting everyone to visit their farm during Open Farm Week on Sunday, August 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come pet a donkey and wander from field to field seeing all the animals. There will be lots of fun for the whole family.

Open Farm Week is a weeklong celebration of Vermont farms. Over 100 farms are participating, many of whom are not usually open to the public.

Open Farm Week offers Vermonters and visitors alike educational opportunities to learn more about local food origins, authentic agritourism experiences, and the chance to build relationships with local farmers.

Activities vary and may include milking cows and goats, harvesting vegetables, collecting eggs, tasting farm fresh food, scavenger hunts, hayrides, farm dinners, and live music.

18-year-old man airlifted to hospital after car accident in Troy

in Derby/News/Troy/Westfield

TROY — An 18-year-old man from Westfield was airlifted to the hospital after a serious accident that took place near Troy on Friday.

Authorities have not released much information about the accident, but say that Cody Rosenberger, 18, of Westfield was traveling south on Vermont Route 101 toward the village of Troy, when he crashed his truck into the back of a Jeep. The incident took place at around 5:40 p.m.

Police say that the Jeep was being driven by Adam Judd, 30, of Derby, who was attempting to turn left onto Starrs Drive.

Both Judd and Rosenberger were the only occupants in their vehicles.

Rosenberger was transported to North Country Hospital, and subsequently transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center via helicopter for the injuries he sustained in the crash.

There is no information as to the nature of his injuries, and police have not said if Judd was injured during the accident.

Both vehicles were totaled during the incident.

Local dairy farmers awarded at Organic Valley banquet in Wisconsin

in News/North Troy/Westfield

NEWPORT — Organic Valley, the nation’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and a leading organic brand, conducted its annual meeting, which drew nearly 400 farmer-owners to La Crosse, Wisconsin. Several of the farmers hailed from Vermont.

As consumers continue to pay premiums for quality, Organic Valley farmers remain committed to producing the industry’s highest-quality products. As a testament to this commitment, the co-op presented Quality Awards to farmer-owners at the Annual Meeting awards banquet.

For milk quality for the Northeast, the “Cream of the CROPP” award went to Allan and Karen Bathalon of Paddlebridge Holsteins, from North Troy.

In addition to being recognized by Organic Valley, the Bathalons received Vermont’s highest quality award earlier this year and was named best organic milk in the state.

DSC_2593 Annual Meeting

The co-op also gave this year’s new Organic Heroes Award to dairy farmers Jack and Anne Lazor of Westfield.

The Lazors founded Butterworks Farm in 1979. Thirty years and three generations later, Butterworks continues to produce excellent yogurt and care for the earth through organic farming. Although the Lazors are not co-op members, Organic Valley recognized their pioneering contributions to organic food and farming.

Key topics at the meeting centered around 2014 as a year of resiliency and growth in the rapidly expanding organic marketplace. In 2014, the farmer-owned co-op implemented a record increase in farmer pay price, which went up in most regions by 10 percent, on average. The co-op also issued a “thirteenth check” (a bonus check) at the end of 2014, paying back profits directly to the farmers.

_DSC6140 Annual Meeting

Police: Brewski’s Pub vandalized, NCSU Early Childhood Program in Westfield robbed

in Irasburg/News/Westfield

IRASBURG — Police are reporting that two area businesses were crime scenes over the last few days, with one local pub being vandalized, and a NCSU Early Childhood Program being burglarized.

The first incident happened at Brewski’s Pub, located on Route 5, sometime between 10 a.m. on June 5, and 7 a.m. on June 8.

Several windows at the location were broken during the incident.

The other report from police lists NCSU Early Childhood Program in Westfield as being burglarized sometime between 10 a.m. on Sunday, and 6 a.m. on Monday.

Police say that several items were taken during the burglary. They also say that there were indications that the subjects had entered the building through a window.

In both cases police are requesting that the public contact the Derby State Police barracks if they have any information.

Single-vehicle crash in Newport Center early Sunday morning

in Newport/News/Westfield

NEWPORT — Police say that an early morning crash in the town of Newport Center resulted in a vehicle going over an embankment, and getting stuck in a small brook. The driver was uninjured, but police placed him under arrest for suspicion of DUI.

The crash took place at around 4:15 a.m. on Sunday morning. The driver had been traveling south on Vermont Route 100 when his vehicle left the roadway and went over the embankment.

The driver was uninjured in the crash.

Vermont State Police say that they spoke with the driver, a 21-year-old resident of Westfield, and detected a strong odor of intoxicants. They had him perform field sobriety exercises.

Police say he was subsequently arrested for suspicion of DUI, after providing a preliminary breath sample of .164.

Westfield Concert Series will host Vermont duo “Mayfly” this Saturday

in Arts and Entertainment/Westfield

WESTFIELD — The Vermont duo “Mayfly,” will be performing at the First Congregational Church of Westfield on Saturday, May 2, at 7 p.m. The show is part of the The Westfield Concert Series.

Katie Trautz & Julia Wayne form Mayfly, a Vermont based Americana duo that performs old-time, New England and Appalachian music, as well as original songwriting on guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and vocals.  

Mayfly has been performing for over 12 years, touring throughout the United States and Canada. The ladies have three albums, one of which won ‘Best Traditional Album of the Year’ in Vermont.  

Mayfly intersperses close harmony vocals with strong instrumentals influenced by blues, ballads, and American roots music.

Saturday, May 2nd, at 7 p.m.
First Congregational Church of Westfield
Suggested Donation is $10
Pot-luck Dinner at 6 p.m.
For more information visit www.mayflyvt.com or call 802-734-8940.

UPDATE: Body found after fire at the English Rose Inn

in News/Westfield

5_Fotor

WESTFIELD — Vermont State Police detectives are saying that they have located the body of the man who died in yesterday’s fire in Westfield.

Detectives continued sifting through the rubble of the English Rose Inn on Saturday. At around 4 p.m. detectives say they located a body in the remains of the basement area of the inn. The location was consistent with the account of a witness who was on scene at the time of the fire.

The body is believed to be that of Gary Bouchard-Pike, who is the co-owner of the English Rose Inn. The body will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy.

Two other occupants were able to escape the burning structure. One sustained minor burns and smoke inhalation and the other had no injuries

Witnesses say that Bouchard-Pike was in the process of thawing out frozen pipes when the fire started. Although the investigation is ongoing, it’s believed the fire was accidental.

A deadly fire raged in Westfield Friday evening at the English Rose Inn. Police now say they recovered the body of the man who was trapped inside.

Deadly fire breaks out at English Rose Inn in Westfield

in News/Westfield
A deadly fire raged in Westfield Friday evening at the English Rose Inn. Police say one person is dead, and another injured.
A deadly fire raged in Westfield Friday evening at the English Rose Inn. Police say one person is dead, and another injured.

WESTFIELD — Police say one person is dead and another injured after a tragic fire broke out Friday night at the English Rose Inn in Westfield.

Montgomery Fire Department Chief Bill Baker told reporters that the woman who called in the fire reported her husband was still inside, and that he was in a wheelchair in the cellar.

According to a statement issued by police late Friday night, there was one fatality as a result of the fire. Police also say that there were no guests staying at the Inn at the time, and that the death was a result of the victim being unable to get out of the structure. The identity of the victim has not yet been released.

The other victim was transported to North Country Hospital for smoke inhalation.

The call came in at approximately 3:16 p.m. Area fire departments were dispatched to the English Rose Inn, located at 195 Route 242.

Upon arrival, the fire departments found the entire structure engulfed in flames. Route 242 west of Jay Peak Resort was temporarily closed while firefighters battled the blaze.

A request was made to the Vermont State Police Fire Investigation Unit to determine the origin and cause, but police say that the fire does not appear to be suspicious at this point.

Two reports of vandalism in Westfield on Tuesday

in News/Westfield

Newport Vermont Police Beat

WESTFIELD — There were two reports of vandalism on Buck Hill Road in Westfield on Tuesday.

Police say that a window was smashed out of a residence located at 716 Buck Hill Road. The victim in the incident was John Seilier.

The other report of vandalism was to an excavator sitting near the roadway at a logging operation, which had all its windows smashed out. The victim in this second incident was Bruce Pion, of Lowell.

Police believe the incidents occurred sometime between 1 p.m. on Monday, and 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the State Police barracks in Derby.

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