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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Hill Farmstead expands, adds tasting room

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The view from the Hill Farmstead tasting room shows the brewing floor, with Mr. Hill at his post in the center of the operation. At left are the four tanks in which malt, water, and hops are cooked together. At right are rows of fermenting and conditioning tanks. At the far end of the building is the station at which kegs are filled. The entire operation is tied together with an elaborate system of pipes that run across the room’s ceiling.

copyright the Chronicle July 22, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

GREENSBORO — When the Chronicle first visited Shaun Hill in 2010, he was brewing beer in a converted garage. It would be a few months before he released his first offerings, but Mr. Hill already had serious ambition.

“My goal is to make the best beer in the world,” he said.

He looked forward to expanding his production facility to the size of the barn that once stood on the property where he makes his beer, land that has been in his family for well over 200 years.

Three years later Hill Farmstead Brewery was recognized as…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Newport City throws Ward a farewell party

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John Ward and a double stand at a party honoring Newport’s City Manager, who officially retired on July 15.  The 50 or so guests had a hard time telling which was the real John Ward, especially since both candidates were dressed in his clothing.  Perhaps Mr. Ward’s administrative assistant, Laurel Wilson, could have resolved the question, but she was unaccountably absent when the second Mr. Ward strolled into the room.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

John Ward and a double stand at a party honoring Newport’s City Manager, who officially retired on July 15. The 50 or so guests had a hard time telling which was the real John Ward, especially since both candidates were dressed in his clothing. Perhaps Mr. Ward’s administrative assistant, Laurel Wilson, could have resolved the question, but she was unaccountably absent when the second Mr. Ward strolled into the room. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle July 15, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Wednesday, July 15, is the last day on the job for Newport City Manager John Ward Jr., who is winding up his 16-year run and preparing for retirement.

“I’m grateful for the job, otherwise I probably would have had to leave Newport,” he said in an interview at the Newport Municipal Building July 9.

For a lifetime resident of a city that he clearly loves, that would have been a tough burden to bear, but after the city council’s original choice for the job decided not to accept it, Mr. Ward was tapped. Paul Monette and Richard Baraw, two of the aldermen who voted to make him city manager in March 1999, continued to serve on the council for most of Mr. Ward’s service.

Mr. Monette is now mayor, and Mr. Baraw….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Wheelock and Dartmouth connection explained

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Noah Manning welcomes Dartmouth College President Philip Hanlon to Miller’s Run School in Sheffield.  Jill (Tune) Faulkner (back, left), chairman of the Miller’s Run board, and Principal Sikander Rashid (back, right) paused from their work feeding the 50 or so local residents who turned out to meet President Hanlon, and listened to the Miller’s Run graduate speak.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Noah Manning welcomes Dartmouth College President Philip Hanlon to Miller’s Run School in Sheffield. Jill (Tune) Faulkner (back, left), chairman of the Miller’s Run board, and Principal Sikander Rashid (back, right) paused from their work feeding the 50 or so local residents who turned out to meet President Hanlon, and listened to the Miller’s Run graduate speak. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle July 15, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

SHEFFIELD — Noah Manning, a sophomore at Dartmouth College, brought a school friend home recently. He was Philip Hanlon, the president of Dartmouth. His visit to Miller’s Run School, where Mr. Manning got his early education, brought out a crowd for a community meal and a celebration of the link between an Ivy League school and a Northeast Kingdom town.

When Eleazer Wheelock founded Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1769, he had a problem: His plan of educating native Americans and English missionaries was not calculated to bring in a great deal of money. He appealed to the Republic of Vermont for assistance, but aside from expressions of moral support, the Legislature offered little in the way of tangible support during his life.

John Wheelock, Eleazer’s son, became… 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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Craftsbury Academy graduation: Lieutenant Governor was featured speaker

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Craftsbury graduates celebrate the end of their high school careers in a traditional fashion.   Photo by Joseph Gresser

Craftsbury graduates celebrate the end of their high school careers in a traditional fashion. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle June 17, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

CRAFTSBURY COMMON — Craftsbury Academy graduated a class of 17 students Friday, June 12.  Looking at her seniors seated near her on the stage in the school’s new gymnasium, Principal Merri Greenia smiled broadly as she made a clear political statement.

“When small schools work, they work best,” she said.

After a legislative session that placed the state’s smaller school districts squarely in the crosshairs of budget cutters, Ms. Greenia’s message was unmistakable.

And Craftsbury’s Class of 2015 had every right to feel pride in their school and their own accomplishments.  Almost half the graduating class was National Honor Society members….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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North Country graduates look to future

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Keenan Warner acknowledges his cheering section after receiving his diploma Saturday evening.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Keenan Warner acknowledges his cheering section after receiving his diploma Saturday evening. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle June 10, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Almost 200 seniors walked across the small stage put up in the North Country Union High School gymnasium Saturday evening, June 6. Each young man and woman received the document that marked a departure from a prescribed routine and the opening of the door to the future.

As is the custom at North Country, the ceremony was brief. Only an hour passed between the opening notes of Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance,” played in a stately manner by the school band, and the last bars of the piece played at a much brisker clip to suit the pace of the departing graduates.

In between, speakers praised the class of 2015 as a generous group of students, willing to give of their time and attention for the benefit of others.

North Country Principal Bill Rivard said….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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contact Joseph Gresser at joseph@bartonchronicle.com

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New “maker space” opens

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Yuri the Destroyer, with Lyndon Institute Headmaster Daren Houck at the controls, fires a laser to ignite a ribbon at the opening of The Foundry.  Foundry President Jim Schenck (center) and Vice-president Thomas Bishop (right) look on.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Yuri the Destroyer, with Lyndon Institute Headmaster Daren Houck at the controls, fires a laser to ignite a ribbon at the opening of The Foundry. Foundry President Jim Schenck (center) and Vice-president Thomas Bishop (right) look on. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle June 10, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

LYNDON CENTER — Yuri the Destroyer, a spider-legged robot armed with a laser, stood on a table in front of an unassuming building tucked behind the Lyndon Center post office. At the command of Lyndon Institute Headmaster Daren Houck, Yuri shot a beam of blue light at a crepe paper streamer. After a few seconds the streamer burst into flame.

The ribbon had been cut and on Saturday, June 6, the doors of the Northeast Kingdom’s first maker space, The Foundry, were officially open.

A maker space is a facility….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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contact Joseph Gresser at joseph@bartonchronicle.com

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