The Canadian dollar, or the loonie, has dropped in value in the past year, which has made it hard for border businesses in the Northeast Kingdom to continue to accept Canadian currency at par. Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph
The value of the Canadian dollar has declined sharply in the past year, giving businesses on the border a choice to make. As of Tuesday, a Canadian dollar was worth 81 U.S. cents, according to Google Finance.
For a long time, many local businesses accommodated Canadian visitors by accepting their dollar at par. But they’re finding that’s no longer an option.
“We operate on a very small margin,” said Steve Breault, owner of Newport Natural Market and Café. “If we take it, and we lose 30 percent on the dollar, it just becomes impossible.”
Rose Warner found this pile of trash outside a trailer she and her husband, Vernon, rented in July. They said they were paid only $300 rent over the course of several months, learned by accident that their tenant had left, and found the place a wreck. Photos by Tena Starr
copyright the Chronicle April 15, 2015
by Tena Starr
In July of 2014, Vernon and Rose Warner rented a trailer in Lowell to a man and his son. They say they received $300 at the time, and nothing since. The monthly rent was $550.
Now, the tenant is gone, which the Warners discovered by accident.
Vermont State Police Trooper Callie Field is based out of the Derby barracks. Photos by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph
copyright the Chronicle April 8, 2015
by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph
There’s a growing number of women in law enforcement. In fact, at the moment, six of the 21 State Police officers stationed in the Derby barracks are women. Callie Field, who was originally from Maine, has been working there since 2002. Trooper Field was in law enforcement for seven years before that.
Being a woman in the force is no different from being a man, she said in a recent interview.
A rendering of the proposed 85,000-square-foot AnC Bio building. According to the permit, a portion of the eastern side of the present Bogner building will be demolished to build the new structure. When complete the plant is expected to employee as many as 500 people. Photo by Joseph Gresser
copyright the Chronicle April 1, 2015
by Joseph Gresser
NEWPORT — AnC Bio, the biomedical facility being developed with money from the federal EB-5 visa program, is back on track. A press release from Jay Peak late Tuesday afternoon said the state Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) has approved a revised “private placement memorandum.”
The expiration of that document, which serves as a guide that potential investors can use to judge the potential risks and rewards of a project, led the state to ask Jay Peak to suspend its search for investors last year.
NEWPORT — Despite reports to the contrary the AnC Bio biomedical project is not being given special scrutiny by the state.
State regulators are taking a closer look at all EB-5 projects in Vermont in light of stronger federal requirements and increased use of the visa program by Vermont businesses.
Last summer Governor Peter Shumlin asked the Department of Financial Regulation to get involved in overseeing EB-5 projects in the state, said Pat Moulton, commissioner of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD), on Monday.
NEWPORT — Legislators from the Northeast Kingdom were told in no uncertain terms to oppose Montpelier’s efforts to shut down small schools and consolidate districts.
That stern warning came from school board members from around Orleans County and was delivered Monday night at a gathering held at the North Country Career Center. About 20 legislators and school board members sat around a big table while another 30 or 40 people sat nearby.
Deb Richards (left) and Suzanne Shibley at the Newport District Office of Family Services. The area is badly in need of foster homes. Photo by Tena Starr
copyright the Chronicle March 11, 2015
by Tena Starr
NEWPORT — Erica Page always thought she was meant to be a foster parent. After years of unsuccessfully trying to have children of their own, she finally told her husband, Shaun Sykes, “Enough is enough. Let’s become parents in a different way.”
In May, Ms. Page and Mr. Sykes got their first placement, a boy, who is now four. They also have a four-month-old girl in their home.
BRIGHTON — The days of making maple syrup to raise a little cash for property taxes have been gone for quite a while now. But an Island Pond sugaring operation getting ready for its first season could usher in a whole new era of industrial sugaring.
Sweet Tree, LLC, started and owned by a Connecticut-based investment firm, just finished tapping trees on 3,600 acres in Warren’s Gore and will be ready to fire up the steam-powered evaporators at the old Ethan Allen furniture plant in Brighton as soon as the weather breaks.
Senator Bernie Sanders makes a point during a community meeting at Lyndon State College Monday afternoon. Photo by Joseph Gresser
copyright the Chronicle February 18, 2015
by Joseph Gresser
LYNDONVILLE — The U.S. needs a “political revolution” to rebuild a vibrant democracy, said U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders Monday afternoon.
“What I mean is not to burn down buildings or shoot people,” Senator Sanders said. He urged the approximately 75 students, faculty, and members of the public who gathered at Lyndon State College to become engaged in the political process and especially to vote.