Larcher explains life on a small scale dairy in France

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Cheese expert Ivan Larcher inaugurates Sterling College’s new Common House with a lecture on small-scale environmentally conscious dairy farming on August 20.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Cheese expert Ivan Larcher inaugurates Sterling College’s new Common House with a lecture on small-scale environmentally conscious dairy farming on August 20. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle September 2, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

CRAFTSBURY COMMON — A master cheesemaker whose work takes him to every continent but Antarctica finds true happiness on a small farm in central France. It’s not hard to imagine that as the elevator pitch for a Hollywood movie, but for Ivan Larcher it’s just life.

Mr. Larcher told his stories and laid out some of the economic realities of life on his small farm in a short talk sponsored by Sterling College in its new Common House — formerly ArtHouse — on Thursday, August 20.

After graduating from an elite French college for dairy professionals, Mr. Larcher was hired by a global company and sent to Japan to advise its sales staff as it sold starter cultures to cheesemakers. His territory — northeastern Asia — included Korea and China, as well as Japan.

Within a year, Mr. Larcher said, he realized the job was not for him.

“I was recommending the best starters for…  To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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David Budbill’s opera returns to the Kingdom

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After a neighbor criticizes her behavior, Grace (Mary Bonhag) vents her anger at her prying neighbors. Photo by Joseph Gresser.

After a neighbor criticizes her behavior, Grace (Mary Bonhag) vents her anger at her prying neighbors. Photo by Joseph Gresser.

copyright the Chronicle September 2, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

MONTPELIER — Many people think of opera as an art that’s far removed from their daily concerns. That may or may not be the case with the traditional repertory, but the people who inhabit A Fleeting Animal, the collaboration between poet David Budbill (formerly of Wolcott) and Brookfield composer Erik Nielsen, will be recognizable to anyone in the Northeast Kingdom.

The opera had its premiere and a Vermont tour 15 years ago. Those who missed it then have another chance when the show returns for a six-town tour between September 11 and September 20. It will hit the Kingdom on Sunday, September 13, for a 4 p.m. performance at the Hardwick Town House.

On Monday evening the cast and production crew were hard at work putting the…  To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Bacon pleads innocent in Greensboro killing

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Ryan Bacon (left) and his lawyer, Jon Valsangiacomo, in Orleans Superior Court shortly after Mr. Bacon pled innocent to a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of his grandfather Lou-Ron Schneider.  Police say Mr. Bacon shot Mr. Schneider Sunday after a quarrel over his grandfather’s relationship with his mother.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Ryan Bacon (left) and his lawyer, Jon Valsangiacomo, in Orleans Superior Court shortly after Mr. Bacon pled innocent to a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of his grandfather Lou-Ron Schneider. Police say Mr. Bacon shot Mr. Schneider Sunday after a quarrel over his grandfather’s relationship with his mother. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle August 26, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — The man who allegedly shot and killed Lou-Ron Schneider of Greensboro Sunday pled innocent to a first degree murder charge Tuesday and was ordered held without bail.

Police say Mr. Schneider was the shooter’s grandfather, and the two had a dispute about Mr. Schneider’s relationship with his mother.

According to a police press release, after a roughly 24-hour manhunt, Ryan P. Bacon, 30, of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, turned himself in at the Hardwick police station Monday evening and was taken to the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility.

He made a brief appearance in the Criminal Division of Orleans County Superior Court the next morning where his lawyer, Jon Valsangiacomo, entered the innocent plea and reserved the right to argue that Mr. Bacon should be released on bail while awaiting trial.

Judge Timothy Tomasi said the presumption in cases carrying the possibility of a life…  To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Holding on to the summer

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A glass of mote con huesillo graces a garden on a warm summer morning.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

A glass of mote con huesillo graces a garden on a warm summer morning. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle August 26, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

When it comes to summer I have always been a pessimist. As a child I looked forward to the Fourth of July, but considered the summer over the next day. That was, mind you, in a place where basil keeps growing into October.

Here my pessimism passes for realism. Summer is short and every warm day is precious.

Over the years I have come to realize that I don’t measure time in the summer by the calendar, but instead by where we are on the continuum of summer fruits.

The earliest days of clement weather are marked for me by the emergence of rhubarb stalks, followed, never quickly enough, by strawberries.

After strawberries come blueberries, black currents, then raspberries. Although we are a…  To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Feds sentence Niles to 16 months

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Derick Niles, left, consults with his lawyer, Christopher Davis, at a court hearing in Newport in April 2104.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Derick Niles, left, consults with his lawyer, Christopher Davis, at a court hearing in Newport in April 2104. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle August 19, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

Derick J. Niles, who climbed onto his garage roof in September of 2013 while attempting to hold off an imaginary police posse, will serve 16 months in a federal correctional facility because he is an admitted drug user who carried a .360 caliber rifle up with him.

Mr. Niles, 37, of Newport, was sentenced in U.S. District Court by Judge Christina Reiss after he pled guilty earlier this year to “being an unlawful user of a controlled substance” in possession of a firearm.

Once Mr. Niles leaves prison, his sentence calls for him to serve three years of supervised release. He must submit to a drug test within 15 days of getting out of prison and at least two more tests as required by the court, according to…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Jazz brings Newport waterfront to life

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Someone has to hit the floor first, and a single small dancer was the one Saturday night soon after Mimi and the Podd Brothers took the stage.  The quartet composed of Owen Broder on saxophone, Adam Podd on bass, vocalist Mimi Hillaire, and keyboard player Matt Podd was up from their base in Brooklyn, New York, to play at the Newport, Vermont, Jazz Festival, but for the brothers it was a return home.  They played twice during a weekend that brought music and the city’s waterfront to life.  For more about the festival, please see page twelve.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Someone has to hit the floor first, and a single small dancer was the one Saturday night soon after Mimi and the Podd Brothers took the stage. The quartet composed of Owen Broder on saxophone, Adam Podd on bass, vocalist Mimi Hillaire, and keyboard player Matt Podd was up from their base in Brooklyn, New York, to play at the Newport, Vermont, Jazz Festival, but for the brothers it was a return home. They played twice during a weekend that brought music and the city’s waterfront to life. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle August 12, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Everyone who’s spent time in Newport realizes the city’s greatest asset is its location on the shore of the spectacularly beautiful Lake Memphremagog. Nevertheless, generations of builders have put up structures that turn their backs on the water, and valiant efforts to draw people to the waterfront have met with mixed success.

That changed in at least a small way Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, when the Newport, Vermont, Jazz Festival held its first season. The promise of live music drew a broad cross section of people to the Gateway Center and…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Stenger lays out ambitious plans for airport

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Bill Stenger, standing, lays out his plans for the future of the airport in Coventry.  Listening, from left to right, are Guy Rouelle of VTrans, Scott Wheeler, and Ary Quiros, who heads Flight Design Americas, a company that plans to manufacture light airplanes at the airport.  The meeting was held in an aircraft hangar because Parker Pie Wings has permanently closed its doors.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Bill Stenger, standing, lays out his plans for the future of the airport in Coventry. Listening, from left to right, are Guy Rouelle of VTrans, Scott Wheeler, and Ary Quiros, who heads Flight Design Americas, a company that plans to manufacture light airplanes at the airport. The meeting was held in an aircraft hangar because Parker Pie Wings has permanently closed its doors. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle August 5, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

COVENTRY — A crowd of about 30 pilots legislators, reporters, and the curious found their way to a hangar at what will soon be the Northeast Kingdom International Airport on Thursday afternoon, July 30. The attraction was Bill Stenger, who arrived with a drawing of a new 10,000-square-foot terminal building that he said will be built starting in the spring of 2016.

In addition to the terminal, Mr. Stenger outlined plans that include a bonded warehouse and a building for the manufacture of Flight Design light aircraft.

A bonded warehouse allows goods that Customs duties are ordinarily paid on to be stored without the need to pay duties. Orleans, Lamoille, and Caledonia counties are…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Merrick dies from injuries related to crash

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Addison Merrick (left) and his longtime friend Seymour Leven were captured together in a video made last year.  Photo by Catherine Dunbar

Addison Merrick (left) and his longtime friend Seymour Leven were captured together in a video made last year. Photo by Catherine Dunbar

copyright the Chronicle July 29, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

Addison Merrick of Craftsbury died at the University of Vermont Medical Center on Tuesday, July 21, from the effects of a traffic accident a few days earlier.

According to a press release from State Trooper Steven Fauteux, Mr. Merrick was headed north on Route 14 in Craftsbury around 5:15 p.m. He attempted a left turn onto the Wild Branch Road, but turned into oncoming traffic.

Mr. Merrick’s 2000 Subaru Legacy collided head on with a Honda truck driven by Scott Smith, 57, of Hardwick. His car was totaled, while Mr. Smith’s truck sustained front-end damage.

No injuries to Mr. Smith were reported by Trooper Fauteux, but Mr. Merrick was transported to Copley Hospital in Morrisville, and then to Burlington.

Mr. Merrick was 91 years old, and a well-respected member of the Craftsbury community where he often taught classes on…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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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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