North Country Expo April 17-18 features local businesses

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Vermont’s North Country Chamber of Commerce will host its annual expo in a new location. North Country Expo 2015 will be at Jay Peak’s Hotel Jay and Conference Center.

The business expo will be held on Friday, April 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. and the fun continues on Saturday, April 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is designed to be a premier introduction to local businesses and the larger community of Orleans and Essex counties. During the expo, Vermont’s North Country Chamber of Commerce and Jay Peak will hold a multitude of offerings to businesses and residents alike for a fun-filled family weekend.

The expo will showcase more than 50 businesses in three conference center ballrooms. There will also be outside vendors such as Saint J Subaru, Champlain Chevrolet, and the Farmyard Store.

Expo attendees will receive discounts to the Pump House waterpark and discounted lift tickets for each day attending. Discounts for the Pump House are $28 for adults and $20 for youth ages four to 14; and lift tickets will be discounted at $42 for adults and $32 for youth ages four to 14.

The expo’s presenting sponsor is North Country Hospital with Poulin Lumber as the silver sponsor and Champlain Chevrolet as the bronze sponsor.

Admission to the expo is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages four to 14.

There are limited booths available; vendor registration information can be found at vtnorthcountry.org. All businesses, nonprofits, and organizations are invited to participate as vendors. Discounts are available for Vermont’s North Country Chamber members as well as members of other Orleans and Essex county chambers. Jay Peak will offer discounted lodging for the vendors.

For more information, contact Vermont’s North Country Chamber of Commerce at 334-7782. — from Vermont’s North Country Chamber of Commerce.

For more things to do, see Things to Do in the Northeast Kingdom.

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AnC Bio is back on track

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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

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.

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No special scrutiny for AnC Bio

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Bill Stenger.  Photo by Richard Creaser

Bill Stenger. Photo by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle March 25, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

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.

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In boys hockey: Falcons fall to Lakers

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The Falcons Henry Delabruere absorbs a hard check from Lakers defender Curtis Lehouiller Saturday night.  Photos by David Dudley

The Falcons Henry Delabruere absorbs a hard check from Lakers defender Curtis Lehouiller Saturday night. Photos by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle January 28, 2015

by David Dudley

JAY PEAK — The North Country Union High School Falcons fell to the Colchester Lakers Saturday, 6-1. Though the game began as a back and forth battle between two evenly matched teams, the Falcons faced an unfortunate stretch in the second period.

“Before the game, we talked about getting the puck deep and making smart plays,” Lakers Coach Greg Murray said. “We wanted to get an extra deek in. Get the puck in the zone, get shots to the net. Score ugly.”

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Peggy Loux is a woman with a purpose

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Peggy Loux received the Agency on Aging Community Service Award on Monday.  Photo by David Dudley

Peggy Loux received the Agency on Aging Community Service Award on Monday. Photo by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle November 19, 2014

by David Dudley

JAY — Margaret “Peggy” Loux, who is now serving her fifth year on the Jay Select Board, received the Agency on Aging Community Service Award Monday.

According to Ms. Loux, everybody has got to work, and everybody has got to have a purpose. What is Peggy Loux’s purpose?

Though her various activities would suggest otherwise, she claims to be a shy person.

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Stenger admits investors were informed late

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The Tram Haus Lodge is the first project using EB-5 funds to be completed at Jay Peak.  Some investors in the project are unhappy about changes to the ownership structure made unilaterally by Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros, the general partners in the project.  Investors were notified of the changes nine months after they were put into effect.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

The Tram Haus Lodge is the first project using EB-5 funds to be completed at Jay Peak. Some investors in the project are unhappy about changes to the ownership structure made unilaterally by Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros, the general partners in the project. Investors were notified of the changes nine months after they were put into effect. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle August 6, 2014 

by Joseph Gresser

JAY — Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros didn’t live up to state standards when they waited nine months before notifying 35 EB-5 investors they had dissolved the partnership that owned the Tram Haus Lodge at Jay Peak Resort, according to Brent Raymond, director of International Trade and the Vermont EB-5 Regional Center.

Mr. Stenger, co-owner of Jay Peak along with Mr. Quiros, agrees that the notification process was botched.

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Safety and traffic lead AnC Bio Act 250 concerns

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A rendering of what the AnC Bio plant would look like from Lake Memphremagog.

A rendering of what the AnC Bio plant would look like from Lake Memphremagog.

copyright the Chronicle July 23, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — The AnC Bio facility started down the road to Act 250 approval Monday with a site visit from members of the District #7 Environmental Commission and an initial hearing.

Despite wide interest in the project and questions from neighbors of the biotech facility slated to be built at the site of the old Bogner plant, few Newport residents attended the hearing. Nor were there any representatives of state agencies present, aside from those working for the environmental commission.

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Jay Peak’s plans for rec center remain in limbo

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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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Flight Design USA will hire 100

Governor Peter Shumlin cuts the ribbon on the Stateside Baselodge on Friday, December 20.  On hand to celebrate the opening, from left to right, are:  Vermont Commissioner of Commerce and Community Development Lawrence Miller, Filippe Acciolye, an investor in the project from Brazil, Ariel Quiros, co-owner of Jay Peak, Governor Shumlin, state Senator John Rodgers, state Senator Robert Starr, Bill Stenger, co-owner of Jay Peak, Steve Wright, marketing director for Jay Peak, and William Kelly, counsel for Jay Peak.  Photos by Joseph Gresser

Governor Peter Shumlin cuts the ribbon on the Stateside Baselodge on Friday, December 20. On hand to celebrate the opening, from left to right, are: Vermont Commissioner of Commerce and Community Development Lawrence Miller, Filippe Acciolye, an investor in the project from Brazil, Ariel Quiros, co-owner of Jay Peak, Governor Shumlin, state Senator John Rodgers, state Senator Robert Starr, Bill Stenger, co-owner of Jay Peak, Steve Wright, marketing director for Jay Peak, and William Kelly, counsel for Jay Peak. Photos by Joseph Gresser

by Joseph Gresser

JAY — At the opening of the new Stateside Baselodge Friday, Jay officials threw in a pair of bonus announcements.  A new aircraft company will bring more than 100 skilled jobs to Coventry, and the sale of the Spates Block on Main Street in Newport to Jay Peak co-owners Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros has been finalized.

At a press conference that followed the opening of the 84-room hotel, Mr. Quiros said he has bought Flight Design USA, the company that announced plans this summer to assemble and sell ultra-light planes at the Newport State Airport in Coventry.

Flight Design USA was the American branch of a German company, and the initial agreement allowed the Newport branch to act as one of six U.S. distributors of the company’s two-seater plane.

The new company, called Flight Design Americas, LLC, will have exclusive rights to sell planes in North America, South America and Central America, Mr. Quiros said.

The company expects to hire around 100 engineers, trained mechanics and assembly workers, he said.  It projects sales of as many as 200 planes a year by the third year of production.

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Hungry Vermonters face cuts in aid

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Joe Patrissi at the NEKCA food shelf. Mr. Patrissi said it was fully stocked on Monday morning, but demand is great, and a few hours later several of its shelves were bare. Photo by Tena Starr

Years ago, Kim Arel found herself in a tough spot.  She had two young children to feed, and for a brief time the only way to swing that was to visit a food shelf.  “I was surprised to see other people there that I didn’t think I would,” she said in a recent interview.

Later, when she was in a better place, Ms. Arel decided to pay it forward, and became a donor to food shelves herself.  And for the past 12 years or so, she’s been running the food shelf in Jay, which serves five towns.

Last week, she said, many of her clientele were talking about the latest round of cuts to 3SquaresVT, the program that helps poor Vermonters put food on the table.  “They don’t know what they’re going to do.”

Those cuts, which will take effect on November 1, are due to the expiration of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, which passed in 2009 and included a temporary increase for help with food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  The temporary boost increased the monthly SNAP benefit by 14 percent. Continue reading

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