Ray charged with first-degree murder

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Orleans County Deputy Sheriff Phil Brooks with Jeffrey M. Ray of Brownington, who pled innocent in Superior Court Monday to first degree murder.  Mr. Ray, who is being held without bail, is accused of shooting another Brownington man, Rick Vreeland, Monday morning.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Orleans County Deputy Sheriff Phil Brooks with Jeffrey M. Ray of Brownington, who pled innocent in Superior Court Monday to first degree murder. Mr. Ray, who is being held without bail, is accused of shooting another Brownington man, Rick Vreeland, Monday morning. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle May 27, 2015

by Tena Starr  

NEWPORT — Jeffrey M. Ray, 51, of Brownington pled innocent here Tuesday to first degree murder and was held without bail.

Mr. Ray is accused of shooting and killing Rick Vreeland, 53, his former wife’s husband, on Monday.

Mr. Ray appeared in the Criminal Division of Orleans Superior Court looking the worse for wear. He was hospitalized on Monday as a result of a struggle with his son, who said he tried to take the gun away from Mr. Ray, his father, after Mr. Ray shot Mr. Vreeland, the boy’s stepfather, a police affidavit says.

The shooting apparently wasn’t a big surprise to those who knew the two men. Police affidavits indicate they had been at odds for years. Mr. Ray had repeatedly….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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contact Tena Starr at tenas@bartonchronicle.com

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Construction of AnC Bio plant gets underway

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Many of those involved in planning AnC Bio help turn over the first shovels of dirt on May 14.  From left to right, are Vermont State Aeronautics Administrator Guy Rouelle, Jane Fortin and Cindy Robillard of the state Department of Labor, North Country Career Center Director Ilene Illuzzi, Alex Choi, former CEO of AnC Bio Korea, Jerry Davis of PEAK CM, Newport City Mayor Paul Monette, Ariel Quiros, co-owner of Jay Peak Resort and Mr. Stenger’s partner in AnC Bio, Bob Brown Petersen of NME Pharmaplan, AnC Bio Vermont CEO Ike Lee, Jake Lee, who heads development of artificial organs for AnC Bio, and Bill Stenger, president of Jay Peak Resort.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Many of those involved in planning AnC Bio help turn over the first shovels of dirt on May 14. From left to right, are Vermont State Aeronautics Administrator Guy Rouelle, Jane Fortin and Cindy Robillard of the state Department of Labor, North Country Career Center Director Ilene Illuzzi, Alex Choi, former CEO of AnC Bio Korea, Jerry Davis of PEAK CM, Newport City Mayor Paul Monette, Ariel Quiros, co-owner of Jay Peak Resort and Mr. Stenger’s partner in AnC Bio, Bob Brown Petersen of NME Pharmaplan, AnC Bio Vermont CEO Ike Lee, Jake Lee, who heads development of artificial organs for AnC Bio, and Bill Stenger, president of Jay Peak Resort. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle May 20, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — The long-delayed groundbreaking for AnC Bio took place under fair skies Thursday morning, May 14. Speakers hailed prospects for the $100-million biomedical facility, which is expected to employ between 400 and 500 people when it’s up and running in a year and a half.

They will include people involved in manufacturing artificial organs, technicians to help run equipment in the clean room suites that will be available for rent by independent researchers, and scientists to perform research on stem cell therapies, said Bill Stenger, president of Jay Peak and one of the principals of AnC Bio Vermont. Mr. Stenger said people with education levels up to post-graduate degrees could find jobs at AnC Bio…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Truck fished out of Willoughby

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A pickup in Willoughby.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

A pickup in Willoughby. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle May 13, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

WESTMORE — Bob Wesoja was out fishing on Willoughby Lake last week — for his truck.

Back in February, Mr. Wesoja was headed for his fishing shanty when the wind kicked up, and in white-out conditions he lost his way, steering his brand new Ford 150 onto a patch of thin ice.

He and a friend jumped through the windows to safety as the truck plunged into the lake’s frigid waters.

On Thursday of last week Mr. Wesoja, Chris McCarthy and Jereme LeBlanc started off at around 8 in the morning figuring the job would be done in a couple of hours.

They had little reason to think otherwise….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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In boys baseball: Rangers trip to Florida apparently paid off

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The Rangers pose in their camouflage uniforms for a group portrait.  In the back row, from left to right, are Coach Eric Degre, Ethan Willey, Eli Leroux, Matt Messier, Logan Harper, Brennan Perkins, and Liam Kennedy.  In the front are Kolby George, Noah Royer, Zach Royer, Dakota Macallister, Denver Bodette, Brady Perron, and Dillon Gile.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

The Rangers pose in their camouflage uniforms for a group portrait. In the back row, from left to right, are Coach Eric Degre, Ethan Willey, Eli Leroux, Matt Messier, Logan Harper, Brennan Perkins, and Liam Kennedy. In the front are Kolby George, Noah Royer, Zach Royer, Dakota Macallister, Denver Bodette, Brady Perron, and Dillon Gile. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle May 13, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

Major Leaguers begin each season with spring training, a time to polish skills that may have gotten rusty over the winter. For almost all clubs that means heading south to warm weather.

What works for the bigs ought to work for high school, thought Lake Region Union High School Baseball Coach Eric Degre. His staff and players agreed.

Deciding to head to warmer places was easy; making it happen was harder. Each player had to raise more than $1,000 to pay for the trip, but with help from the community they managed the feat. Their destination was Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida…. To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Guide gives rise to the baker within

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WEB bread book covercopyright the Chronicle April 8, 2015

Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes, 2nd Edition, by Jeffrey Hamelman, illustrations and photography by Chiho Kaneko; Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2014; Hardbound, 478 pages; $45.

Reviewed by Joseph Gresser

For anyone interested in learning to bake good bread or, even better, improving their baking skills, I can unreservedly recommend this book.

I was a lapsed home baker when a good friend gave me a baking book several years ago. The book was useful in some respects, but the recipes were riddled with mistakes, and my return to bread making was nearly cut short.

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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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Keep small schools, school directors say

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Bobby Starr.  Photo by Micaela Bedell

Bobby Starr. Photo by Micaela Bedell

copyright the Chronicle March 18, 2015 

by Joseph Gresser

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.

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Industrial sugaring comes to Brighton

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Art by Brianne Nichols

Art by Brianne Nichols

copyright the Chronicle March 4, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

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.

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In girls basketball: Lake Region loses hard fought championship game

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Molly Horton drives to the hoop in the face of the resolute Mill River defense.   Photos by Joseph Gresser

Molly Horton drives to the hoop in the face of the resolute Mill River defense. Photos by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle March 4, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

BARRE — It’s a sad truth that no matter how well they play, only one team will come off the basketball court with a victory. Saturday the girls of Lake Region Union High School played magnificently in the Division II finals at the Barre Auditorium, but fell just short of their goal — the state championship.

The Rangers bowed to the Mill River Union High School Minutemen in a game that was even tighter than the 50-46 final score might suggest. With less than a minute to go, its outcome was still very much in doubt.

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