Ask the weatherman: They call it thundersnow


Wind from the Valentine's Day snowstorm made for some big dunes and interesting sculptures, like this cresting wave that formed on a West Glover porch.  Photo by Nathaniel Gordon

Wind from the Valentine’s Day snowstorm made for some big dunes and interesting sculptures, like this cresting wave that formed on a West Glover porch. Photo by Nathaniel Gordon

copyright the Chronicle February 19, 2014

Question:  At around 3:30 a.m. Friday, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of lightning in the middle of a snowstorm.  I have since Googled it and now know it wasn’t an alien taking our photo (my other theory at that hour, since I didn’t think lightning during a snowstorm was possible.)

Answer:  Between 3 and 4 a.m. on the morning of this past Friday, February 14, some people were awakened by lightning and/or thunder.  Reports were received from Barnet, St. Johnsbury, and Barton.  Very heavy snow fell from then until about 7 a.m.  Snowfall rates of 2-3 inches per hour were noted.

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Opinion: A post-Valentine’s Day message on love and justice

copyright the Chronicle February 19, 2014

by Allen Gilbert

This year’s Valentine’s Day had a message that I hope will raise the day’s usual associations with flowers and chocolate to one of fairness and equality.  I never thought the holiday might be seen that way.  But it’s so obvious — the day is about couples and love.  And as a country, we’re finally developing a broad acceptance that means all couples.

The march to marriage equality has strong, vibrant roots in our state.  Twenty years ago, some courageous, committed Vermonters looked at the injustice of unequal marriage rights and decided that had to change.

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Obituaries February 19, 2014

obit brousseauRaymond J. Brousseau

Raymond Brousseau of Lyndonville, formerly of Irasburg, died on Friday morning, February 14, 2014, at the age of 82.

Raymond Brousseau of Lyndonville, formerly of Irasburg, died on Friday morning, February 14, 2014, at the age of 82.

The Brousseaus moved to Lyndonville five years ago and made their home with their son, David, and daughter-in-law, Deb.  Mr. Brousseau had resided at The Pines for the past month.

He was born in Stanstead, Quebec, on January 23, 1932, one of 11 children born to Arthur and Josephine (LeBlanc) Brousseau.

On September 29, 1956, he and Charlotte Stuart were united in marriage.

He worked at the Ethan Allen plant in Orleans, retiring from there in the early 1990s.

He enjoyed camping, yard work, time spent at hunting camp, and blue grass music.  Over the years, he and his wife saw a lot of the country traveling to Florida, Texas, Prince Edward Island, and Yellowstone.

He is survived by his wife, Charlotte; their three sons:  Richard Brousseau and Toni of Hudson Falls, New York, David Brousseau and his wife, Deb, of Lyndonville, and Mitchell Brousseau and his wife, Dawn, of North Troy; eight grandchildren:  Patrick, Eric, Shane, Kaylin, Adam, Matthew, Kelley, and Kari; seven great-grandchildren; one surviving brother, Gerard; and by four surviving sisters:  Simone, Jeanne, Monique, and Rollande, and their families.

A gathering of friends and family was held in St. Johnsbury on February 17.  Committal services will be held in May at the Concord Cemetery.

Mr. Brousseau enjoyed the musical entertainment that came to The Pines.  Memorial contributions, marked for the Resident Activity Fund, may be directed to The Pines, 601 Red Village Road, Lyndonville, Vermont 05851.

Memories and condolences may be shared privately with the family at

obit PoulinJeannine Marie Claire Poulin

Jeannine Marie Claire Poulin, 85, a resident of Bel-Aire Nursing Home in Newport died on February 13, 2014, surrounded by her loving family.

Born December 11, 1928, in Irasburg, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Laura (Paquette) Williams.

She dedicated her life to caring for her family.

She retired from Columbia Forest Products after 28 years.  She was an active member of the Daughters of Isabella, where she served as regent; the Ladies Auxiliary of VFW #798, where she served as president; the Ladies of St. Anne; and as a volunteer for Rural Community Transport.

Her passions included Bingo, the Boston Red Sox, and family gatherings.  She enjoyed bowling, sewing, working with other people, making homemade items for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and sharing her delicious fudge with those she cared about.  Jeannine enjoyed life as it was dealt to her.

She is survived by her seven children:  Marcel “Joe” Poulin Jr. and his wife, Henriette, of Newport, Frances Dewing and her husband, Raymond, of Orleans, Lucille Longley and her husband, Paul, of Westfield, Dennis Poulin and his wife, Lynn, of Newport, Suzanne Lucas and her husband, Michael, of Newport, Joanne Rousseau of Newport, and Tina Browne and her husband, Greg, of Clifton Park, New York.  She is also survived by her 15 grandchildren:  Carl, Amy, Raymond, Rhonda, Misty, Donald, Jonathan, Erik, Kelley, Angie, Amber, Laura, Jessica, Brent, and Ashley; 27 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews, and numerous friends.

She was predeceased by her three brothers:  Germain, Sylvio, and Andre “Pit”; and by her sister Frances.

Funeral services were held on February 18, in Newport.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Bel-Aire Activity Fund in her name, 35 Bel-Aire Drive, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

obit SchneiderSylvia V. Schneider 

Sylvia V. Schneider, 78, of Derby died on February 11, 2014, at her home.

She was born on August 6, 1935, in Newport, to Euclide and Lena (Morin) Brien.

She was employed by the TSS Store in Long Island, New York, where she retired in 1986.

After her retirement, she moved back to Vermont where she enjoyed her home and cooking for her grandchildren.

She is survived by her children:  Teri Kreps of Florida, Robert Schneider Jr. of Derby, Richard Schneider and his wife, Linda, of North Carolina, James Schneider of Derby, and William Schneider and his wife, Lori, of Irasburg; ten grandchildren:  Samantha, Jessica, Richard, Ashley and Josh, Christopher and Kaira, Tasha, Taylor, Jennifer; and four great-grandchildren:  Kaylee, Mykenna, Jacob, and Rhea; her siblings:  Gene Brien of Newport, Irene Corrow of Barre, Betty Cyr of Danbury, Jackie Foster of Connecticut, and Marion Fournier of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

She was predeceased by her brothers:  Leonard, Lawrence and Norbert Brien; and by her sisters:  Pauline and Vivian.

Calling hours were held on February 18, in Newport.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

Janet Agnes Urie

Janet Agnes Urie of Glover died on February 13, 2014, in Greensboro.

She enjoyed her early years on the Beach Hill farm in West Glover, where she was born on March 2, 1925, to Foster and Bessie Stone Urie.

After graduating from Craftsbury Academy in 1942, she completed the wartime program at Lyndon Teachers College in a year and a half.  She and a female classmate hayed for a local farmer during their summer session and then she taught for one year in Craftsbury Village, and another year in East Craftsbury.

While completing her second year of teaching, she married Donald C. Urie on March 31, 1945.  Together they raised their family and shared the work indoors and out on Westview Farm in Glover.  After selling the farm to their son, Lowell, they were able to continue in the place they both loved until Mr. Urie’s death in 2002, and Mrs. Urie’s need for nursing home care in 2007.

Mrs. Urie was an elder of the East Craftsbury Presbyterian Church.  She was very active in women’s organizations at all levels of the church, including in many ecumenical groups.  She was the first woman to serve as stated clerk of the Presbytery of Northern New England.

She was involved in several community organizations, serving on the boards of Craftsbury Academy, the Craftsbury Community Care Center, Northeast Kingdom Mental Health, Vermont Children’s Aid Society, the East Hill Preschool and the John Woodruff Simpson Memorial Library.  Over the years, she served as president or secretary but most often as treasurer, once holding that office for seven groups simultaneously.

Being outdoors was a great pleasure for her; walking in the woods, gardening, snowmobiling, or helping in the fields.  Indoors, she enjoyed reading, sewing, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, tatting and making bobbin lace, frequently while watching the Red Sox or Patriots on television.  With her sisters, she visited all of Vermont’s towns as a member of the 251 Club, and with other family members traveled to many states including Hawaii.  A trip to England and Scotland also provided many happy memories.

She is survived by her sons:  Mason of Derby, and Lowell of Glover; her daughters:  Sherry of West Glover, Christine and her husband, Carmie Snider, of Bradenton, Florida, and Edith and her husband, Claude Comtois, of Derby; and her five grandchildren, seven great-grandsons, and one great-granddaughter were a special joy to her.  She also leaves a brother, Robert Urie, of North Carolina; two sisters:  Jean Borland and Rachel Lafont, both of West Glover; and a large close-knit, extended family.

She was predeceased by her husband, Donald; two sons:  Colin and Jason; and by a brother, Foster James Urie Jr.

A service of thanksgiving for her life will be held in the spring.

Memorial gifts may be made to the East Craftsbury Presbyterian Church, 1097 Ketchum Hill Road, Craftsbury, Vermont 05826; or to the Greensboro Nursing Home Activities Fund, 47 Maggies Pond Road, Greensboro, Vermont 05841.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

obit valoisMarie Bernadette (Paquin) Valois

Marie Bernadette (Paquin) Valois of Sutton died on Saturday, February 1, 2014, with her children and caretaker, Deborah Baldwin, by her side.  She was 90.

She was born on January 7, 1924, in St. Gabriel, Quebec, Canada, to Joseph Paquin and Florida (Gauvin) Paquin.

She married the love of her life, Adolphe “Duffy” Felix Valois in 1949, and lived in Barton until they moved to the Underpass Road in Sutton, where she enjoyed being a homemaker, raising and taking care of her family.  She believed in family values and passed the lessons of love and family to her children.

She loved spending time with her family and friends, grandchildren and great-granddaughter.  She had a great sense of humor, a beautiful smile and always found the humor of any situation that arose.  She loved spending time with her caretaker, Deborah Baldwin, as they would often take little trips in the area, and these trips always ended with a stop at Ville Auto to see Mark and Lori and then on to the Lynburke Motel to visit with her daughter, Monique.

She loved gardening and took great pride in her cultivated berries and apples.  She loved spending time sitting on her porch with Dad, visiting with her neighbors and watching the Belangers hay the fields around the house.

She was very involved with the Catholic church and active in the Daughters of Isabella in Barton.  She also taught religion classes in Sutton School.

She is survived by her children:  Monique Valois-Ball and Chadwick Tibbetts of Lyndonville, Russell Ball of West Burke, and Mark Joseph Valois and his fiancée, Lori Phillips, of Lyndonville; her grandchildren:  Mark Hall and Jenn Brooks of Sutton, Christopher Hall of Sparta, Tennessee, Brielle Phillips and Kyle Phillips of Lyndonville, and Taryn and Tylor Brooks of West Burke; her great-granddaughter Trystin Bernadette Hall of Sutton; her sisters:  Adrienne “Addie” Brault of Athol, Massachusetts, Denise Valley of Barton, and Elizabeth “Betty” St. Onge of Wallingford; and by her brothers:  Patrick “Pat” Paquin of Mocksville, North Carolina, and Bernard “Ben” Paquin of Wallingford.

She was predeceased by her husband, Adolphe; her parents; her brothers:  Rene Paquin, Roland Paquin, Etienne “Eddie” Paquin, Roland Paquin, and William “Bill” Paquin; and by her sisters:  Germain Perron and Rose Campbell.

A memorial Mass was held on February 8, in Lyndonville.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Paul’s Catholic School, 54 Eastern Avenue, Barton, Vermont 05822.

Online guestbook at

obit van zileRobert D. Van Zile Sr.

Robert D. Van Zile Sr., 75, died unexpectedly on January 20, 2014, in Zephyrhills, Florida, where he was spending the winter months.  He was a long-term resident of Westmore.

“Bob” — a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather — was born in Tioga, Pennsylvania, on January 2, 1939.  He was a son of Benjamin and Marjorie (Jones) Van Zile.  He grew up in Gang Mills, New York, where he attended Painted Post High School and played sports such as football.  He enjoyed all sports, which he passed on to his children.  He coached and umpired Little League and the Babe Ruth baseball leagues.  He was very knowledgeable about all the rules and regulations for many sports.  He also attended many basketball and hockey games with his children at various high schools and at St. Michael’s College and the University of Vermont.

He enjoyed many years of tent camping with his wife and children across the eastern half of the country.  He was always the most enthusiastic person in the bleachers, cheering on his children and grandchildren.  The best way to describe him was as a loving, dedicated and supportive “family man.”  His greatest joy was having his family around him.  He also enjoyed all types of fishing, especially with his children and brothers.  He would travel great distances just to go fishing.  When not fishing, he enjoyed reading.

Many people commented on his contagious smile that lit up his face.

He took great pride, joy and appreciation in the life he had with his wife of nearly 50 years, his four children and later with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was employed by General Electric and Green Mountain Power prior to his retirement.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Theresa; his children:  Robert Jr. and his wife, Kelly Van Zile, of Georgia, Tracy and her husband, Bernard Houle, of Irasburg, Suzette and her husband, Alan Garey, of Georgia, and Bradley Van Zile of Westmore; his grandchildren:  Rennie, Christian, and Cody Van Zile of Georgia, Erica Houle and her fiancé, Robert Shangraw, of South Burlington, Courtney Bowen and her husband, Billy, of Enosburg Falls, Nicole Garey of St. Albans, and Ethan Garey of Georgia; his step-grandchildren:  Morgan and Skylar Gagne of St. Albans, Samantha Houle of North Troy, and Melissia Houle of Barton; his great-grandchildren:  Landon Domina, Harrison Shangraw and Jackson Bowen; his brothers:  Wesley and his wife, Pat Van Zile, of Warren, Pennsylvania, Eugene and his wife, Marlene Van Zile, of Addison, New York, Benjamin and his wife, Joyce Van Zile, of Millport, New York, Henry and his wife, Linda Van Zile, of South Burlington, and Larry and his wife, Gerrie Van Zile, of Addison; his sisters:  Delores Barlow of Brunswick, Georgia, Mary Van Der Mark of Elmira, New York, and Connie and her husband, Kent Greenfield, of Dundee, New York; his sister-in-law Clarabelle and her husband, Robert Jannetti, of Stony Creek, Connecticut; her brothers-in-law:  Reynold Choiniere of Newport, and Lionel and his wife, Doris Choiniere, of Louisville, Kentucky; and by multiple nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his parents, Benjamin and Marjorie (Jones) Van Zile; his brothers and stepbrothers:  Franklin Van Zile, Donald Gardner, Clifford Van Zile, and Donald Van Zile; and by his step-sisters:  Clara Sutton and Stella Gardner.

In lieu of flowers, if desired, please submit donations to the Salvation Army in your own community.

A celebration of life memorial service will be held at the Westmore Community Church on May 17, at 11 a.m., with interment at the Westmore Lake View Cemetery.


Just how rare is thundersnow?

copyright the Chronicle February 9, 2011

by Tena Starr

It’s hard to say exactly how rare Saturday’s night’s winter thunderstorm was, says Chris Bouchard, a meteorologist at the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury.

“I don’t have any numbers on its frequency,” he said.  “But lightning as frequent as Saturday’s is something I’ve never experienced with snow falling.”

The official term for a thunderstorm with snow is “thundersnow.”

Thunder and lightning might occur once or twice a winter in the state, Mr. Bouchard said.  But generally it’s very localized.

“There might be one flash over one town. This last event was pretty unusual because there were hundreds of lightning strikes on Saturday night, in lots of towns.  I’ve seen snowstorms with a flash here and there, but nothing with frequent lightning like that.”

One reason thunderstorms don’t often occur in winter is because warm air is usually behind their development, and there just isn’t much warm air around in winter.

Thunderstorms are caused by rapidly rising air currents, which form very tall clouds, sometimes billowing up over 40,000 feet in height.

Inside the thunderstorm, charge separations occur.  “No one is exactly sure how that happens,” Mr. Bouchard said.  “A leading theory is that the different types of precipitation particles found within thunderstorms force a charge separation when they collide.”

Every thunderstorm produces both snow and graupel (also known as soft hail), even during the summer months.  Normally, warm air near the surface forces these to melt into rain before they reach the ground.  Updraft speeds vary from the inner core to the outer edges of the storm.  That means that in some parts of the cloud, snow rises at the same time that heavier graupel is falling past it.  That leads to a lot of mini-collisions.

“We know the snowflakes are traveling upward with a positive charge,” Mr. Bouchard said.  “Snowflakes go up because they’re light and fluffy.”

The lower portion takes on a negative charge as graupel falls through it.  Once the charge difference builds to a high enough level, it can overcome the resistance of the air, and you get a big static discharge, Mr. Bouchard said.  “That’s lightning.

“The best way to get updraft speeds sufficient to produce lightning is with warm air, and we don’t often have warm air around in the winter,” he said.

Saturday night there was warm air rising into thunderstorm updrafts however, as air originating over the Atlantic moved in.

“There was a lot of rising motion, and that led to the charge separation that caused the thunder and lightning.

“It’s pretty unusual to see snow with thunderstorms in Vermont.  It usually happens with Nor’easters.  But typically with Nor’easters lightning is very sporadic and unpredictable.”

contact Tena Starr at

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In boys basketball: Gray’s return to NCUHS bad news for Falcons


NCBBall Gray cmykcopyright the Chronicle February 12, 2014

by Richard Creaser

NEWPORT — It was a bittersweet homecoming for Kendrick Gray, who returned to the North Country gymnasium for the first time this season on Friday night.  Gray, a former North Country Falcon freshman, now plays for the Rice Green Knights (12-3) as a potent sophomore forward.

“Coming in as an opponent was pretty nerve-wracking,” Gray said after Rice’s 74-39 win.  “I just wanted to do my best and everything kind of came out.  I wasn’t expecting to have as good a game as I did.”

Gray exhibited the kind of skills that made him a fearsome opponent for any team.  His 17-point performance, tops among both teams, including shooting 4 for 9 from the free throw line, a three-point basket, and five other baskets including a crowd-inciting dunk in the first quarter.  The fact that his heroics inspired cheers from both halves of the crowd was not lost on the amiable sophomore.

“I knew I couldn’t hide forever and I’d have to come back sometime,” Gray said smiling.  “I love my Newport peeps.  I love this place.”

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Young pitchers and catchers take up yoga

copyright the Chronicle February 12, 2014

by Richard Creaser

NEWPORT — Jay Gonyaw has operated a clinic through the Junior Legion Baseball Program for area pitchers and catchers for the past eight years, first at IROC and now at North Country Union High School.  His coaching experience, however, goes back even further.  Mr. Gonyaw is also the coach of the North Country Falcons junior varsity squad.

“I coached my first time when I was 18 years old,” Mr. Gonyaw told the Chronicle on Tuesday.  “So I’ve been around baseball and coaching baseball a long time.”

What Mr. Gonyaw has noticed lately is that his young athletes often aren’t quite in the condition they should be.  To remedy that, he’s introduced an unlikely new element to his coaching regimen — yoga.

A number of factors contribute to the fact that  kids aren’t as limber as they once were.  They range from the widespread use of technology to a more stringent focus on single or double sport athletic training.

“You see it when a kid transitions from playing in one sport season and switching over to a different one in the next season,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “They have to be in great shape to play at a high level in one sport, but when they switch they end up sore.  They’re going from working one group of muscles to a completely different group of muscles, and their bodies just aren’t ready for that.”

The ability to adapt from one sport to the next has also declined as varsity athletes begin to focus more on a single sport instead of the two or three sports that athletes of his generation played, Mr. Gonyaw said.  Working on the muscle groups that are used most ignores the benefits that a more complete workout experience delivers to those muscle groups you use less frequently.

Back in the day when outdoor activities formed a major part of a child’s life, multiple muscle groups were always being tested.  Kids rode bikes through town, played soccer in the park, or swam at the local beach.  As “free-play” activities have diminished, so has exposure to different kinds of body workouts.  And that has affected the ability of athletes to meet the physical demands of their sports, Mr. Gonyaw said.

“I see a lot of kids coming into my clinic or at the start of the season and they are pretty stiff,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “It got me to thinking that the traditional stretching routine maybe isn’t working as well as it used to.  So I started to think outside the box.”

So Mr. Gonyaw and his fellow trainer Eric LeBlanc arranged for yoga instructor Rebecca Marcotte of Barton to come in and work with his players.  The first 30 minutes of each weekly session are dedicated to yoga stretching and the final 60 minutes to pitching and catching.

“We’ve been at it for five weeks of our seven-week clinic and we’re already seeing a big difference,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “I’ve had kids ask me why we didn’t do this sooner, so they’re really buying into it.  They’re seeing the value of what we’re doing.”

While the clinic focuses on pitchers and catchers, the benefits of yoga would apply equally across the diamond and the outfield, Mr. Gonyaw said.  Pitchers and catchers are the only players with direct interaction with every pitch but that doesn’t mean that the position players, or batters for that matter, wouldn’t benefit as well.

“A centerfielder or a left fielder might go a couple of innings without needing to do anything,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “But then they need to be ready to run at full speed and make the catch or make a throw right away.  That puts a lot of strain on the body.”

Not only will yoga help players perform at a higher level of readiness, but it should also help to avoid some of the more common injuries that occur during the season.  As short as the high school baseball season is in Vermont, by the time an injury has healed the season is effectively over for that player.

“I think we will see some early results when we start the daily practices in the spring,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “The real test will come at the end of the season when we see how many injuries we have or how many sore arms we have.  I really think that this is going to make a huge difference.”

Mr. Gonyaw intends to bring back yoga for his clinic in future years, and he also hopes to incorporate a ten- to 15-minute yoga routine in his daily practices and pre-game regimen.  As the student athletes become more comfortable with the yoga routines, he expects that players may also start to recognize the meditative benefits of yoga as well.

“I know of yoga mostly as a good way to stretch out your muscles and joints,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “But I can see a time when a batter or pitcher can step back and refocus for the next at-bat.  The mental part will come.”

Mr. Gonyaw’s annual pitching and catching clinic is open to a wide range of ages from 12 years old to 17 years old and to kids from all over.  This year’s group includes four catchers and 13 pitchers who work with Mr. Gonyaw and Mr. LeBlanc, a former pro baseball player.

“Eric really has an amazing understanding of what it takes to pitch at all levels,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “He understands the mechanics of each pitch and the benefits of a good stretching routine.  That really enhances the experience for everyone.”

The positive feedback from players so far indicates that Mr. Gonyaw’s unorthodox yoga regimen has hit a home run.  How well the yoga stretching philosophy extends beyond the kids in his clinic is yet to be seen.

“I definitely think there’s something here that would benefit all players in all sports,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “If it helps them perform better and avoid injuries, it’s been totally worthwhile.”

 contact Richard Creaser at

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Jay Peak’s plans for rec center remain in limbo


Jay Peak Resort hopes to build this recreation center on the ski area’s Stateside.  The front entrance is planned to be 14 feet tall and face the Stateside parking area.  The back wall of the metal-faced building would be 22 feet tall and face Route 242.  Inside, the proposed center would have climbing walls, a movie theater, arcade games, and a horizontal ropes course.  Image courtesy of Jay Peak Resort

Jay Peak Resort hopes to build this recreation center on the ski area’s Stateside. The front entrance is planned to be 14 feet tall and face the Stateside parking area. The back wall of the metal-faced building would be 22 feet tall and face Route 242. Inside, the proposed center would have climbing walls, a movie theater, arcade games, and a horizontal ropes course. Image courtesy of Jay Peak Resort

copyright the Chronicle February 12, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

JAY—Jay Peak Resort’s plan to build a recreation center with a 145-seat movie theater and climbing walls remains in limbo.  The Jay Planning Commission and Zoning Board (two bodies with one set of members) tabled the application Monday night until March 10.

The commission came out of a deliberative session that lasted an hour and a half to express its dissatisfaction with the area’s provisions for parking for the new facility and concern about the building’s effect on the views along Route 242.

The planning commission met Monday night to reconsider the project, which had been refused a permit based on parking and public safety concerns after it was first presented in January.

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Obituaries February 12, 2014

obit GonyawPhilip B. Gonyaw

Philip B. Gonyaw, 68, a resident for more than 30 years of Westfield, died early Saturday morning, February 8, 2014, at the Bel-Aire Nursing Home in Newport.  His wife, Alice, was at his bedside.

He was born in Newport on August 18, 1945, son of Maynard and Erdine Gonyaw.

He attended school in Albany and graduated from Orleans High School in 1963.

He was married to Alice (St. Jacques) Vezina on July 6, 1974, in Albany.  They would have celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary later this year.

Mr. Gonyaw worked at the Ethan Allen plant in Orleans early in his career, farmed for a number of years in Westfield, worked at Jay Peak, was a salesman for Vermont Country Campers and later for DelaBruere Auto, and he owned and operated North Hill Self Storage with his wife.

He was a proud Army veteran having served in Vietnam, and was a longtime member of the Vermont National Guard, retiring with the rank of first sergeant in 2005.  He always made a special effort to reach out to returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan to thank them for their service and to let them know how appreciated they were.

Mr. Gonyaw unselfishly gave of his time and talents to many local groups.  He was a charter member of the Troy Area Lions Club and served as president of that organization three times.  As part of the Lions outreach, he volunteered each Thursday to help prepare and serve meals at the senior meal site in Westfield.  He also helped run weekly Lions bingo events with proceeds of these activities being used to financially support eye programs for youngsters, programs to test and assist hearing impaired individuals, and scholarships for college bound students.

He was a 30-year life member of Post #28 of the American Legion and served as its treasurer at one time.  He was a member of the American Legion Riders, a group that enjoyed motorcycling together.

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #7943 and was a fourth degree Knight and served as trustee.  He was a longtime and highly faithful member of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish of Troy, and he served on the church’s finance committee.

He was also serving as co-chairman of the town of Westfield’s Emergency Management Committee.

He enjoyed traveling, camping, motorcycling, the annual trek to the Fryeburg Fair, and good-natured bantering — activities all to be done with his many friends.  He also enjoyed his daily walks with his faithful dog, Zelda.

Apart from his humor, his smile and warm demeanor, he will most likely be remembered for being an extremely kind, caring, and compassionate person who would do whatever he could to help a friend or a family member in need.  He took time to listen and give counsel and guidance to those who might seek his advice.

He is survived his wife, Alice; and by his stepchildren:  Marie Breault of Glens Fall, New York, John Vezina of Belleview, Florida, Debbie Vezina of Irasburg, and Douglas Vezina of Newport.  In addition, he is survived by 14 step grandchildren and 11 step great-grand children.  He is also survived by his sister Phyllis Bottamini and her husband, Bruce, of Adamant; his brother Ronald and his wife, Edith, of West Charleston; his sister-in-law Rose Blais of North Troy; his special friends:  Roland “Butch” and Jessie Barney of Island Pond; and by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

His parents predeceased him.

Calling hours will be on Sunday, February 16, from 2 to 4 p.m., and from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home, at 4670 Darling Hill Road in Newport.  Funeral services will be at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Troy on Monday, February 17, at 11 a.m., where a Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated.  Interment will be in the spring at St. Ignatius Cemetery in Lowell.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Mr. Gonyaw may be made to the Troy Area Lions Club, P.O. Box 175, Westfield, Vermont 05874; or to Sacred Heart Church, for the Stained Glass Restoration Fund, P.O. Box 109, Troy, Vermont 05868.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

Mr. Gonyaw perhaps can be best remembered by the following verse:

“Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there, I do not sleep,

I am a thousand winds that blow;

I am the diamond glints on snow,

I am the sunlight on the ripened grain;

I am the gentle autumn’s rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush

of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft star that shines at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.

I am not there; I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye


obit goodwinArdys L. Goodwin

Ardys L. Goodwin, 82, of Newport died peacefully on February 1, 2014, in Newport.

She was born on July 13, 1931, in Albany, to Preston and Doris (Clegg) Smith.

On June 17, 1952, she married Glendon Goodwin, who predeceased her on December 12, 2011.

Mrs. Goodwin was a volunteer at North Country Hospital for many years.  She was a member of the Newport Women’s Club, Homedem, and she enjoyed attending the baseball and softball games of her children and grandchildren.

She enjoyed listening to music, singing and dancing.

She is survived by her children:  Karleen Lanoue of Barton, Kerry Goodwin and his wife, Carmen, of San Diego, California, Karen Goodwin of Newport, Kim Chamberlin and her husband, Ronald, of Albany, and Karl Goodwin of Newport; her grandchildren:  Andre Lanoue and his friend, Jessica, Amy Braun and her husband, Bill, Donnie Goodwin and his wife, Karen, Arthur Hull and his wife, Cindy, Nanette Duckless, Ryane Davis and her partner, Matt Lessard, Thomas, Shane, and Cameren Goodwin; 15 great-grandchildren; her sister Martha Hilliker of Newport; and by her brothers-in-law:  Philip Goodwin of Albany, and Waldo Potter of Albany.

She was predeceased by two sisters:  Priscilla Goad and Beverly Potter.

A graveside service in the spring will be held at the Albany Cemetery with the Reverend Nathan Strong officiating.

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Newport Health Care Center Activities Fund, 148 Prouty Drive, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

obit HarperWoodrow “Woodie” J. Harper

Woodrow “Woodie” J. Harper, 66, of Barton died on February 6, 2014, at his home.

He was the beloved husband of Rose Harper.

He was born on February 11, 1947, in Barton, the son of Alexander and Avis (Pike) Harper.

On July 13, 1968, he married Rose Mossa, who survives him.

He graduated from Barton Academy in 1965 and from Champlain College in 1967.

He served his country in the U.S. Army Reserve.

He owned and operated Barton Motor Company, a Ford dealership, in Barton for many years.  Recently, he was also a salesman for Hayes Ford in Newport and a real estate broker for Coldwell Banker All Seasons Reality.

He held memberships with the Orleans Country Club, the Newport Elks Club, the American Legion, and the Orleans Lions Club.  He was a member of the Barton Fire Department for 45 years and retired as fire chief.

Mr. Harper enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing, snowmobiling, cooking and playing cards with friends and family.

He is survived by his wife, Rose Harper, of Barton; his children:  Sean Harper and his wife, Stephanie, and grandson Gavin, of Irasburg, and Alexis Harper of Barton and her significant other, Jonathon MacFarlane; his mother Avis Harper of Glover; a brother, Winston Harper, and his wife, Rachel, of Glover; a nephew, Jeff Harper, and his wife, Amanda, of Barton; and by his nieces:  Melissa Harper of St. Johnsbury, and DeeDee Lussier and her husband, Dan, of Barton.

He was predeceased by his father Alexander Harper; and by a sister, Michelle Harper.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., on Wednesday, February 12, at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home, at 4670 Darling Hill Road in Newport.  Friends may call at the funeral home on February 12, from noon until the hour of the funeral.  Spring interment will be in Irasburg Cemetery.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Junior Golf Fund at the Orleans Country Club, P.O. Box 8, Orleans, Vermont 05860; or to the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Shelter, 4473 Barton-Orleans Road, Orleans, Vermont 05860.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

obit houghaboomMary Elizabeth Houghaboom 

Mary Beth Houghaboom of Orleans died on February 2, 2014, at her home.  She was 90 years old.

Born on September 6, 1923, in Newport, she was the daughter of the late Harold and Jessie (Ferguson) Litchfield.  She was married to Lloyd B. Houghaboom for 43 years.

She greatly enjoyed her childhood years in Newport and graduated from Newport High School.  Many stories of Prouty Beach, Glenn Miller Band concerts and adventures with her late sister, Hazel, and late brother, Mark, were told and retold.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Farmington Teachers College, Ms. Houghaboom embarked on a 39-year career teaching home economics in Orleans, Newport, and at North Country Union High School.  Over the years, her dedication and commitment to her students touched hundreds of lives.  It was common for former students to stop her on the street with the “Do you remember me, Mrs. Houghaboom?” greeting.  She proudly recalled having a few young men request a cooking class with her while at Orleans High School.  This was an unheard of event in the early 1960s, but one she enthusiastically embraced.

On May 29, 1948, she married a young World War II veteran, Lloyd Houghaboom, and they made their move to a life and family in Orleans.  Here she was able to fulfill her final wish, to remain in her home of 60 years to the end.

She was a longtime and active member of the Orleans Federated Church, and will be remembered for her famous cream puffs, sold at many a church bazaar.  Her baking skills were unmatched and those memories remain with many nieces and nephews, as well as her immediate family.

She was predeceased by her husband Lloyd Burton Houghaboom; and by her daughter Joanne Elizabeth Houghaboom.

She is survived by her loving daughters:  Judith Hawkens and her husband, William, of Warwick, New York, Jean Perry and her husband, Dennis, of Brownington, and Janet Houghaboom and her husband, John Quackenbush, of Orleans; and by her granddaughters:  Jessica Cardella and her husband, Christopher, of Warwick, and Sarah Hendry and her husband, James, of Port Jervis, New York.  Four precious great-grandchildren, Elizabeth and Ellyn Cardella, and Olive and Charles Hendry, will continue to hear stories of their loving Great Grammie.

A graveside service of death and resurrection will be scheduled for the spring at Pleasant View Cemetery.  Details will be made available at that time.

obit JonesPerlie G. Jones Jr.

Perlie G. Jones Jr., 84, of North Troy died peacefully on February 4, 2014, in Newport, surrounded by his family.

He was born on November 7, 1929, in Morrisville, to Perlie and Ila (Laird) Jones Sr.  On June 25, 1949, he married Frances Johnson, who survives him.

He worked at the Veneer Mill in North Troy and for many years at the House of Troy in North Troy and Morrisville, as well as a lift attendant for Jay Peak before retiring.

He enjoyed hunting and fishing in his earlier years and telling his many stories of hunting and fishing to his grandchildren and children.  He enjoyed spending time with his canine companion “Buddy.”

He is survived by his wife Frances (Johnson) Jones of North Troy; his children:  Sandra Spurling of Massachusetts, Louise Handy and her husband, Louis, of Troy, Pauline Bergeron and her husband, Roland, of Derby, Joyce Caples of Newport, Mary Jones of Eden, Barbara Davis and her husband, Larry, of North Troy, and Donald Jones of Newport; and by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.  He is also survived by his brothers:  Fred Jones and his wife, Judy, and Kenneth Jones and his wife, Gloria, all of Morrisville.

He was predeceased by his sons-in-law:  William Spurling and Richard Caples; and by his brothers and sisters:  Phillip, Maynard, Wayne and Elroy Jones, Marilyn Yandow and Shirley Jones.

A graveside service in the spring will be held in North Troy Cemetery.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, Vermont Division, Inc., 55 Day Lane, Williston, Vermont 05495.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

obit LacroixGerard R. “John Ti-loup” Lacroix

Gerard R. “John Ti-loup” Lacroix, 83, of Newport died on February 8, 2014, in Newport.

He was born on August 13, 1930, in Beebe, Quebec, to Wilfred and Marie Louise (Bedard) Lacroix.

On February 3, 1951, he married Beatrice Julien, who predeceased him on April 24, 2013.

Mr. Lacroix was a master electrician in both Canada and the United States and was employed by Butterfields Union Twist in Derby Line for 45 years, where he retired in 1993.

His grandchildren and great-grandchildren held a special place in his heart.  He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.  He also spent time in his workshops helping the women in his life with their projects.  He was always ready to help a friend or neighbor in need and he had a huge heart and smile to go with it.

He spent the last few years in the Newport Health Care Center where his extended family enjoyed his contagious smile on a daily basis.  His caregivers cared very much for him — he was blessed.

He is survived by his children:  Richard Lacroix and his wife, Francine, of Beebe, and Annette Lantagne and her husband, Dennis, of Newport; his grandchildren:  David Lacroix and his companion, Annie, of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Rachel Lacroix of Calgary, Canada, Charles Lacroix and his companion, Ariane, of Levis, Quebec, Crystal Haselton of Boulder, Colorado, Nathan Haselton of Vermont, and Katelyn Lantagne of Newport; his great-grandchildren:  Gabrielle, Elliott, Felix Antoine, Lohann, and Beatrice; and by several nieces, nephews, and cousins.  He is also survived by his brothers and sisters:  LeoPaul Lacroix of Stanstead, Quebec, Roger Lacroix and his wife, Delia, of Montreal, Quebec, Jeaninne Lacroix of Sherbrooke, and Yolande Lacroix of Stanstead.

He was predeceased by his sister-in-law Pauline Lacroix.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., on Friday, February 14, at St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Derby Line, where a Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated.  Spring interment will be held at 10 a.m., on Saturday, May 24, at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Newport Health Care Center Activities Fund, 148 Prouty Drive, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

obit MaxwellBarbara Smith Maxwell 

Barbara Smith Maxwell, 80, of Island Pond died peacefully on February 7, 2014, in Littleton, New Hampshire, surrounded by her family.

She was born on October 2, 1933, in Georgia, to Lawrence and Eunice (Donna) Smith.

She graduated from Newport High School in 1951 and was married to Blaine Richard Maxwell on April 24, 1953.

She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.  Her passions revolved around her home and her family.  She loved gardening, sugaring, baking, and a variety of crafts.  She loved the Lord and was an active member of the First Congregational Church of Brighton.

She is survived by her husband and three children: a son, Ronald Blaine, and his wife, Debra Maxwell, of Bangor, Maine; daughters Linda Maxwell Sykes and her husband, David, and Sherry Lynn Kocis and her husband, Jacob, all of Island Pond; as well as by 16 grandchildren:  Crystal Maxwell and her fiancé, John Stewart, Carl Maxwell and his fiancée Merrit Neptune, Justin Maxwell and his wife, Leslie, Jessica Maxwell Bliss and her husband, Travis, Ryan Maxwell and his fiancée, Haley Donaghy, Kyle Sykes and his wife, Jessica, Erin Sykes and her friend, Chris Roese, Katie Sykes, Sarah Kocis Sanville and her husband, James, Rebekah Kocis Spicer and her husband, Joshua, Hannah Kocis, Ruth Kocis, Jacob Kocis, Josiah Kocis, Joshua Kocis and Jonathan Kocis; and by 17 great-grandchildren:  Brandon, Kellsea, Gasper, Zachery, Brendon, Justin, Aaron, Isabella, Abigail, Elizabeth, Lincoln, Lucy, Lacey, Carter, Emma, Isabella, and baby Sanville.

She was predeceased by her brother Lawrence Smith; and by an infant son.

A service celebrating her life was held on February 11, in Brighton.  Spring interment will be held at the Derby Pond cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be given to her church in her memory at 21 Middle Street, Island Pond, Vermont 05846.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

obit PerkinsRalph Eugene Perkins

Ralph Eugene Perkins, 96, of West Charleston died peacefully on February 4, 2014, in Newport.

He was born on August 17, 1917, in Westmore, to Alvah and Carrie (Smith) Perkins.

On June 17, 1939, he married Mabel Jennie Holmes, who survives him.

Mr. Perkins was a dairy farmer in West Charleston for many years.  He also worked for the town of Charleston, Pratt & Whitney, and he drove school bus for Charleston and North Country Union High School.

He was a past member of the Newport Elks Club and he enjoyed cooking, snowmobiling, going to camp, playing cards, dancing the polka, practical jokes, and he was loved by all, and a friend to many.

He loved his dog and he always looked forward to spring and sugaring.

He is survived by his wife Mabel Perkins of West Charleston; his children:  Dorothy Brainard and her husband, Myron, Janice Bowen and her husband, Wayne, Gerald Perkins and his wife, Margaret, and Blaine Perkins and his wife, Norma; his grandchildren:  Dawn Brainard and her husband, Tim, Ricky Brainard and his wife, Donna, Pam Brainard and her husband, Dennis, Lindsay Brainard and his wife, Nikole, Cindy Lewis and her friend, Stuart, Cathy Etheze and her husband, Jim, Dwayne Bowen and his fiancée, TammyLee, Scott Perkins, Steven Perkins and his wife, Cresta, Tammy Kroyman and her husband, Phil, and Angel Graves; and by his 22 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.  He is also survived by his sister-in-law Catherine Perkins; and by several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his granddaughter Elizabeth Perkins; two great-great-granddaughters:  Rita and Tyra Ladue; his brothers:  Gerald, Joe, Clifton, Randolph, Earl and Harvey; and by two sisters:  Thelma Cole and Eva Randall.

Funeral services were held on February 8, in Newport.  Spring interment will be in West Village Cemetery, in West Charleston.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Derby Line Ambulance Service, care of Brian Fletcher, P.O. Box 105, Derby Line, Vermont 05830; or to the Mary Wright Halo Fund, in care of Hilarie Wright, 1071 Upper Quarry Road, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at


Westmore woman plays prescriptive music


Linda Schneck plays her harp at her home in Westmore.  Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

Linda Schneck plays her harp at her home in Westmore. Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

copyright the Chronicle February 5, 2014

by Bethany M. Dunbar

WESTMORE — Linda Schneck’s father died, in front of her, when she was nine years old.  The family was on vacation in Florida and he died suddenly and unexpectedly, and she was there.  That changed her life in all sorts of ways.

At first, she became withdrawn and uncommunicative.  She had been extremely close to her father and was devastated at the loss.

Her family did all they could to console her.

“My uncle traded a woman a roof for a piano,” she said.  Her uncle was a roofer, and he put a roof on the woman’s home in trade for a player piano.  Young Linda had been begging for piano lessons for a long time.  Her uncle made it happen.

“I think music is what really helped me,” she said.

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In boys basketball: Chargers regain winning ways against Websterville

copyright the Chronicle February 5, 2014

by Richard Creaser

In the battle of the freshmen, Craftsbury Charger Austin Masi (foreground) outpaces Websterville Warrior Wyatt Morrison during Monday's varsity match in Craftsbury.  In the background Chargers Issac Spaulding and Jon DeLaBruere (back right) hustle to support the attack.

In the battle of the freshmen, Craftsbury Charger Austin Masi (foreground) outpaces Websterville Warrior Wyatt Morrison during Monday’s varsity match in Craftsbury. In the background Chargers Issac Spaulding and Jon DeLaBruere (back right) hustle to support the attack.

CRAFTSBURY COMMON — The Craftsbury Academy Chargers boys basketball team (12-2) returned to form with a 56-33 win over the visiting Websterville Baptist Christian School Warriors (1-14) Monday night.  The boys had suffered a 68-35 loss to Rochester on Saturday.

The team struggled at times to find its rhythm, but that was due to trying new lines, Craftsbury Coach Derek Cipriano explained after the game.

“Overall, I think we did a good job of working the play and moving the ball,” the coach said.  “I was trying to get everyone into the game and that affected us offensively.  But I also have to give credit to Websterville for making us earn it tonight.”

Charger Issac Spaulding singled out Warrior Hayden McIntyre for his strong play under the net.  McIntyre was a highly visible presence under the basket, using his superior height and reach to break up plays and block shots.

“We don’t have that kind of size so we knew we couldn’t take him on head-on,” Spaulding said after the game.  “But we learned if we boxed him out and went around him we could usually find an opening and take the shot.”

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