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copyright the Chronicle April 30, 2014
by Natalie Hormilla
Marie Turmel Kroeger opened a hair salon in a refurbished milk house in Craftsbury last month with confidence and enthusiasm.
“It’s called faith in oneself,” she said, just a couple of weeks into officially opening The Milk House Hair Studio on King Farm Road.
Ms. Kroeger’s business offers a range of services, including hair cutting, coloring, highlighting, and styling, and other treatments like relaxed permanent waves and facial waxing. She also does makeup for, and consults on, events like weddings or professional makeovers.
Everything happens in a 300-square-foot space, restored and relocated from across the street by her husband, Ben. The space is decorated with artwork mostly painted by Ms. Kroeger herself.
“It’s really, really quaint, and very personalized,” she said.
copyright the Chronicle May 7, 2014
by Natalie Hormilla
BARTON — The price of beef in most stores is at a record high, and the price of locally raised beef is getting higher, too.
The average price of a pound of ground beef in most U.S. states hit almost $3.70 for the month of March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI).
That average price was up from $3.55 in February and $3.47 in January. In March of 2013, it was $3.33; four years ago, it was $2.24.
Just like in the rest of the country, shoppers at the C&C Supermarket in Barton have been wondering why the prices have been so high lately.
“We had a sign over the meat department for three months, stating why we had higher beef prices,” said Ray Sweeney, who works in the meat department at the C&C. “Just to kind of explain ourselves.”
“People were asking a lot,” he said.
copyright the Chronicle April 23, 2014
by Joseph Gresser
BARTON — Faulty bearings caused a railroad car loaded with pulp logs to leave the tracks as it crossed May Farm Road here on Friday evening. The northbound train that it was attached to continued on for about 100 yards until the coupling came undone and the brake line separated, said Selden Houghton, assistant vice-president of Vermont Rail System, who was on hand Monday and Tuesday to oversee repairs. Continue reading
copyright the Chronicle January 29, 2014
by Joseph Gresser
BARTON — Vermonters have always had a yen for local entertainment. Most towns, including Barton, boast theaters that once hosted traveling shows that toured the country.
Barton’s Memorial Building will welcome a revival of that tradition Saturday night, when Vermont Vaudeville comes to town.
The group, made up of a four-person core and guest performers, has embarked on a nine-town tour of Vermont over the next six weeks as part of its campaign to revive locally produced and consumed entertainment.
Justin Lander, Rose Friedman and Brent and Maya McCoy started their troupe five years ago with an inaugural performance at the Orleans Municipal Building. Since then they have presented several sold-out shows at the Hardwick Town House every year.
In a conversation on an icy January evening at the East Hardwick home of Ms. Friedman and Mr. Lander, the performers reflected on their journey so far and their plans for the future.
copyright the Chronicle January 29, 2014
by Joseph Gresser
NEWPORT — A Barton woman pled guilty to first degree arson Tuesday in the Orleans Criminal Division of Superior Court.
Rebecca R. Ray, 21, apparently settled the score with an informant who helped police arrest her boyfriend for heroin trafficking — by burning down the informant’s house.
Judge Howard VanBenthuysen deferred sentencing in the case for three years.
Ms. Ray is the girlfriend of Matthew R. Prue, 34, of Barton who, with his brother Louis A. Prue II, 40, of Newport was arrested on July 10 for selling heroin, said Morrisville Detective Jason Luneau. The brothers were charged with selling 26 grams of heroin in a controlled buy carried out at the Subway in Orleans, he said.
by Natalie Hormilla
“You have to look at the pumpkin, and see what it tells you,” said Lila Winstead of Glover, about one of her rules of pumpkin carving.
Ms. Winstead is usually a winner at the Chronicle’s annual jack-o’-lantern contest, and 2013 was no exception.
She was one of three winners in the adult category this year. She won with a smaller pumpkin that featured an intricately carved face.
“That’s my fallback,” she said. “Every year, I think, it should be a face.”
There was also the matter of practicality in coming up with her idea.
“I was tired, and I couldn’t think of a big project, and I do indeed have rules — I’m a classicist.”
The jack-o’-lantern face is meant to sit by the front door of a house to keep away gremlins this time of year, Ms. Winstead said.
“In my heart of hearts, that’s what I really believe, that the pumpkin is a face. Nice things should not be depicted on the face. Sweet things — that’s not Halloween.” Continue reading
by Paul Lefebvre
BARTON — Halfway through the 2013 season and the moose harvest is running about 40 percent behind last year’s figures at this time, according to biologist Cedric Alexander of the state’s Fish and Wildlife Department.
Early estimates suggest that 115 moose had been taken as of Monday night, said Mr. Alexander, the department’s moose biologist who was at the Barton reporting station Tuesday.
Mr. Alexander attributed the trailing harvest to a reduction in permits — about 30 fewer than were issued a year ago.
A hunter not included in the mid-season report was Chris Manges of West Burke, who shot a 622-pound cow Tuesday in Craftsbury.
Fantasy novels generally fall into the pattern set for the genre by J.R.R. Tolkien in his Lord of The Rings trilogy. A group of men with swords, axes, clubs and other whacking and hacking implements go off to set a wrong to rights.
Barton author Cheryl Potter sends her heroines out on their perilous mission armed with knitting needles, needles used for their intended purpose, not for stabbing or even poking.
She has conjured up a world where a group of past-their-prime women must find a way to use their style of domestic magic to save the world.
That world is on the verge of dying either by fire or by ice in accordance with a prophecy.
Their world is not necessarily the one in which we live. Its history includes an earlier calamity that resulted in its original inhabitants being buried under a glacier.
Now, a renegade member of the Potluck Twelve, a group of women devoted to the magic of the dye pot, leads the forces of the south in an attempt to melt the glacier, for unknown but disturbing reasons.
Among the members of the long scattered twelve are Sierra Blue, a knitter whose work is not only beautiful, but is also imbued with magical properties that can enhance the wearer’s natural abilities.
She, her daughter, Skye, and her two sons Warren and Garth, are at the center of the first volume of the Potluck Yarn Trilogy. They are required to brave the perils of a journey to the Northlands in answer to the summons of Aubergine, the leader of the knitting witches.
Most of the remaining members of the circle also feel Aubergine’s call and are irresistibly drawn to their former home where their leader hopes the group’s former magic can be revived.
Ms. Potter creates a lively community of women, talented but flawed. Their journey to Bordertown is fraught with peril, but the women meet the dangers with cleverness rather than force.
That is exactly the point of the book, Ms. Potter said in a telephone interview Tuesday. Ms. Potter, who lives in Barton where she runs Cherry Tree Hill Yarn, spoke from Arizona where she was on a book tour.
Most fantasy adventures, she said, “are about men who like to hurt each other and are full of blood and guts. I want to empower girls.”
For this reason, Ms. Potter said she centered the first of her projected trilogy around the magic of women. As a fiber artist herself, Ms. Potter said she feels close to the witches conjured up by her imagination.
Those involved in the spinning community speak of the magic of the dye pot. Yarn, she explained, reacts to dyes in unpredictable ways, but the fibers are forgiving. If a batch turns out unsatisfactorily it can always be returned to the pot for another try.
Ms. Potter makes the connection between knitting yarn and a yarn as a long tale explicit in her book. The witches’ power comes not only from the mystic crystals they use to color the fleeces they will spin.
It also grows from the tales they tell as they do their work. Sierra Blue, one of the most powerful of the sisterhood, is also the one entrusted with the keeping of almost all the group’s stories.
Telling the story of The Broken Circle is a new endeavor for Ms. Potter who has achieved success in her business life and who has previously published six books of knitting patterns as well as several short stories.
She said she is most of the way through the second volume of the trilogy and, judging by the hints and spoilers she let drop during her interview, has a clear idea of where the twists and turns of the yarn will eventually lead.
Ms. Potter was willing to say that the second volume would investigate the lives of Sierra’s sons, who as boys are excluded from the magic circle.
She said the first three chapters and a picture of the second volume, Secrets of the Lost Caves, will soon be released on her website, potluckyarn.com.
The site also contains other materials that Ms. Potter hopes will make her books useful to teachers and home-schoolers. The student workbook, which is available as a free download, includes vocabulary lists, discussion questions and questions devised to prompt analytical reasoning, Ms. Potter said.
She also created a separate book of patterns inspired by the magical garments featured throughout the book. The pattern book is available for sale in a paperback edition or as an e-book, Ms. Potter said.
Ms. Potter said the novel can be appreciated without knitting any of the patterns and said it was intended to enhance some readers’ experience.
She said that she decided to publish the book herself because she wanted to create materials such as the pattern book and the student workbook, which she said commercial publishers would consider a waste of money.
Self-publishing, Ms. Potter added, allowed her to decide to devote resources to making the book attractive. No other publisher, she said, would have been willing to hire the artist Frank Riccio to do the cover painting and the drawings that appear throughout the book.
Ms. Potter also said that large commercial publishers might not be as willing to provide books to small independent bookstores in quantities they can afford.
She said that she is committed to encouraging young people to read and is eager to speak to groups whenever and wherever it is possible to do so.
In the meanwhile, Ms. Potter said she is hunkered down in a cabin putting the finishing touches on Secrets of the Lost Caves and creating new tangles for the yarns of the knitting witches.
contact Joseph Gresser at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Friends of the Jones Memorial Library in Orleans held its fourth annual benefit golf tournament at the Barton Golf Club on August 24.
The first place winners of the four-person scramble were River Garden Cafe’s team of Nick Ouellette, Aric Steen, Bill Binney, and Eben Alexander, with a score of 60.
The second place team was Jamie Barron, Annie Barron, Alexis Harper, and Bruce Reed with a score of 61. The third place team was Mark Tinker, Judy Tinker, Judy Martel, and Lyle Noyes with a score of 62.
Brent Kinsley won the putting contest in a putt out with Paulette Rogers. Bob Hoyt won longest drive for men. Annie Barron won longest drive for women. Bruce Reed won closest to the pin at 12 inches. Of special interest, Eben Alexander nailed a hole-in-one on number 8. There are six par 3s at the Barton Golf Club and four of the six had special prizes offered by Hayes Ford including a car. Unfortunately, number 8 was not one of the prize holes.
All proceeds from the event help to support library services and programs. — submitted by Martha Kinsley.