Norrie pleads guilty to O’Hagan murder

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Michael Norrie is brought into court.  He pled guilty to murdering Mary Pat O’Hagan.  Photo by Todd Wellington courtesy of the Caledonian-Record

Michael Norrie is brought into court. He pled guilty to murdering Mary Pat O’Hagan. Photo by Todd Wellington courtesy of the Caledonian-Record

copyright the Chronicle July 22, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

ST. JOHNSBURY — The man who pulled the trigger admitted his role in the murder of Mary Pat O’Hagan Tuesday. Michael Norrie, 24, of Sheffield stood in the courtroom of the Criminal Division of Caledonia County Superior Court and pled guilty to burglary, kidnapping, and first degree murder in Mrs. O’Hagan’s death in 2010.

His plea was part of an agreement with prosecutors that, if accepted by Judge Robert Bent, will see Mr. Norrie spend 23 years of a 23-year-to-50-year sentence in prison. When released he will be on indefinite probation unless released by the court, the agreement states.

First degree murder carries a penalty of up to…

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New state park opens overlooking Willoughby Lake

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Windsor and Florence Wright stand in front of the stone outline of the original farmhouse on Hinton Hill Road where their family once spent its summers.   The Wrights, who now live outside of Kansas City, Kansas, donated the 356-acre parcel of land in Westmore  to create Sentinel Rock State Park.  Photo by Elizabeth Trail

Windsor and Florence Wright stand in front of the stone outline of the original farmhouse on Hinton Hill Road where their family once spent its summers. The Wrights, who now live outside of Kansas City, Kansas, donated the 356-acre parcel of land in Westmore to create Sentinel Rock State Park. Photo by Elizabeth Trail

copyright the Chronicle July 15, 2015

by Elizabeth Trail

WESTMORE — About 13,000 years ago, the last retreating glacier left a huge boulder, twice as tall as a person, overlooking Lake Willoughby near the top of the Hinton Hill Road in Westmore. Generations have watched sunsets from the rock, picnicked at its base, and gathered berries in the surrounding fields.

On July 11 the great rock, and the site of the old farmhouse that once stood nearby, became the focal points of Vermont’s new Sentinel Rock State Park.

Vermont’s newest state park was made possible by the generous gift of 356 acres by Windsor and Florence Wright. The Wrights summered in an old Victorian farmhouse on the site for decades after Mr. Wright’s father bought the place in 1947, said Vermont State Parks Director Craig Whipple….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Ward attends his last city council meeting

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City Manager John Ward (right) offers a suggestion to Newport’s aldermen at his last city council meeting.  To his left sat Alderman Steven Vincent.  Photos by Joseph Gresser

City Manager John Ward (right) offers a suggestion to Newport’s aldermen at his last city council meeting. To his left sat Alderman Steven Vincent. Photos by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle July 8, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — As Mayor Paul Monette listed those in attendance at Monday’s city council meeting he noted a milestone.

“For the last time John Ward is sitting as city manager,” Mr. Monette said.

Mr. Ward, who has served as city manager for 15 years, and was an alderman before that, will retire on July 15.

The council chose his replacement, Laura Dolgin, at a special meeting held Wednesday, July 1. She sat at the back of the council’s chambers Monday taking notes.

Mr. Ward’s impending departure was… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Dolgin will be new city manager

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Laura Dolgin, who was recently hired as Newport’s next city manager, poses with her husband, Rick Geisel, on Main Street.  Behind the couple are two buildings that have been, and will be, important in her working life.  At left is the Orleans County Courthouse where she served as county clerk, and on the right is Newport’s Municipal Building, where she will start work on July 20.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Laura Dolgin, who was recently hired as Newport’s next city manager, poses with her husband, Rick Geisel, on Main Street. Behind the couple are two buildings that have been, and will be, important in her working life. At left is the Orleans County Courthouse where she served as county clerk, and on the right is Newport’s Municipal Building, where she will start work on July 20. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle July 8, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

 

NEWPORT — Laura Dolgin and Rick Geisel, her husband, put their Derby house on the market in April. Their plan was to move to central Vermont to be closer to Ms. Dolgin’s Montpelier job.

She had even set a deadline.

“I wanted to move before Daylight Savings Time ended,” she said. “I couldn’t face making the drive in the dark.”

Their plans changed on July 1 when the Newport City Council voted unanimously to hire her as the next city manager.

The house, though, remains on the market, Ms. Dolgin said two days later at an interview conducted down the street from both a former and her next workplace. If all goes well… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Plans for local dispatch center slow down

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Assistant Judge Ben Batchelder speaks to a meeting of selectmen and first responders Monday evening at the Orleans County Courthouse.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Assistant Judge Ben Batchelder speaks to a meeting of selectmen and first responders Monday evening at the Orleans County Courthouse. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle July 1, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Select boards and side judges encouraged the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department to keep planning for a local dispatch center, but suggested that a timetable calling for opening by the end of the year was too ambitious.

At a meeting held at the county courthouse Monday evening, Assistant Judge Ben Batchelder explained the county’s budget process and said that, even moving as quickly as possible, money to establish and run the proposed dispatch center would not be available until October 2016.

The county holds a public hearing every December to discuss budget needs, which include…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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In Barton: A mixed reaction to townwide yard sale

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Antiques and More was one of the many antique shops in Barton that did well at Barton’s townwide yard sale this year.  To other businesses, it was just another Saturday.  Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

Antiques and More was one of the many antique shops in Barton that did well at Barton’s townwide yard sale this year. To other businesses, it was just another Saturday. Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

copyright the Chronicle July 1, 2015

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

BARTON — The townwide yard sale, started 20 years old with the hope of bringing people to Barton, certainly does that. Whether it also brings economic activity to local businesses likely depends on what they sell.

Saturday’s annual yard sale was a real boon for the antique shops in town, but other businesses didn’t report much, if any, economic benefit at all.

In a single sale, Village Treasures owner Leo McElroy made half of what he expected to make for the whole day.

But at the Circle K, James Marcy said the mini-mart actually lost money because it staffed extra for customers who didn’t arrive.

And at The Parson’s Corner restaurant, owner Dave Rath said…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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New eatery comes to Barton

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WEB eddie truck outsidecopyright the Chronicle June 24, 2015

by Natalie Hormilla

BARTON — Eddie Seadale’s newest food venture is operated out of a truck. Mr. Seadale, former owner of The Parson’s Corner restaurant, has set up the truck at the business he owns with his wife, Lori, River’s Edge Farmstand.

Mr. Seadale cooks and serves up a menu that’s made up on the fly — but he doesn’t seem even remotely worried about that.

“When Mom will say, Edward, I’m thinking of making this, I say, Great, because I know it’ll be good,” he said, zipping about his teeny kitchen Monday afternoon. “That’s how we roll.”

Mr. Seadale and his mother, Anne Seadale, are the duo behind the Copper Plate, which opened earlier this month. Mr. Seadale’s mother turns 83 in July, and the two have worked together before.

“We worked together in Southie at my first place.….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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At Gardner park: Block party kicks off summer meal program

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Ellen Apple helps her Spiderman suit-clad son Myles hold a bunny at the petting zoo at the block party in Gardener Park in Newport on June 18.  For each animal he held, he asked his mom to go find “Nana” so he could show her.  Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

Ellen Apple helps her Spiderman suit-clad son Myles hold a bunny at the petting zoo at the block party in Gardener Park in Newport on June 18. For each animal he held, he asked his mom to go find “Nana” so he could show her. Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

copyright the Chronicle June 24, 2015

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

NEWPORT — Green Mountain Farm-to-School’s (GMFTS) second annual block party, held at Gardner Park, was bigger and better than last year’s huge success.

That was GMFTS Chairman Julie Poulin’s assessment of the even, which was held on Thursday.

“We’re very lucky to have lots of health and education related organizations in our area,” she said.

Each of those organizations had a tent at the block party, many of which were provided by Newport Parks and Recreation, Ms. Poulin said.

The purpose of the event was to raise awareness about local organizations with activities or products that promote health, and to celebrate the beginning of GMFTS’ ten-week summer meal program called the Lunchbox.

The Lunchbox’s food truck was serving free meals for kids….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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USDA money available for home repair and ownership

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Leonard Gregoire stands in front of the house in Lyndonville, which he purchased with a USDA loan through its direct home ownership program.  Photo by Elizabeth Trail

Leonard Gregoire stands in front of the house in Lyndonville, which he purchased with a USDA loan through its direct home ownership program. Photo by Elizabeth Trail

copyright the Chronicle June 24, 2015

by Elizabeth Trail

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has about any kind of loan or grant a low-income homeowner, or prospective homeowner, could possibly need. And it wants to give that money out, especially in the Northeast Kingdom.

That’s the message rural development specialist Dianne Drown and regional director for rural development Jon-Michael Muise, both with the USDA, gave at a public meeting held at the Burke school on June 17.

The point of the USDA rural housing program is to help people own houses that are safe, clean, and affordable to heat.

Depending on income and credit, people could be eligible for a loan of up to $205,000 in Orleans County, $200,000 in Essex County, or $215,000 in….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Historic Brick Kingdom bridges refurbished

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Dennis Walker blocked off the bridge near the Brick Kingdom buildings too.  Vehicles don’t have space to cross anymore because of the wooden frame built for that very purpose.  Pedestrians can cross safely on either side of the frame.  Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

Dennis Walker blocked off the bridge near the Brick Kingdom buildings too. Vehicles don’t have space to cross anymore because of the wooden frame built for that very purpose. Pedestrians can cross safely on either side of the frame. Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

copyright the Chronicle June 17, 2015

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

BARTON — Dennis Walker has temporarily repaired the two Brick Kingdom bridges here, making them safe for pedestrians.

The Barton Historical Society hired Mr. Walker to fix the bridges, which were rotting in some places.

“This is just a temporary fix so that pedestrians can still cross them and their vehicles won’t, because they need repair,” said Dottie Hathaway, director and secretary of the Barton Historic Society’s board.

The bridges are on Barton Historical Society land, which makes the organization responsible….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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