the Chronicle changes hands

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A solid reminder of how we used to operate — an old manual typewriter — sits in a corner of the Chronicle office.  The hat belonged to Anna Baker, the artist responsible for the Chronicle cows, and on the wall behind it is a copy of the original flyer announcing the start of a new newspaper, the Chronicle.  Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

A solid reminder of how we used to operate — an old manual typewriter — sits in a corner of the Chronicle office. The hat belonged to Anna Baker, the artist responsible for the Chronicle cows, and on the wall behind it is a copy of the original flyer announcing the start of a new newspaper, the Chronicle. Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

copyright the Chronicle February 4, 2015

by Chris Braithwaite

To me the Chronicle will always be a novelty — a shot in the dark, a crazy gamble undertaken with almost no money but all the energy a 30-year-old immigrant could summon in himself, his wife, and a handful of friends.

But more than half the people living in Orleans County today had a Chronicle to read when they were old enough to read anything. And when my mind wanders up and down the streets of Barton Village, I can’t find a business that has been around, under continuous ownership, any longer than the Chronicle.

Those are hardly the trappings of a novelty. And at 70, I am a long way from the youngster who set out to see if small-town weekly journalism could be as complex, as challenging, as rewarding as the big-city journalism he’d left behind four years before.

After four decades I can report the result of that experiment. The stories I’ve encountered have been every bit as complex, and just as “good” — in the hard-eyed way that reporters evaluate their raw material — as the stories any reporter covers, anywhere.

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In West Glover: Andersonville Farm has a new champion

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James Coe takes a moment to chat in his office at Andersonville Farm in West Glover.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

James Coe takes a moment to chat in his office at Andersonville Farm in West Glover. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle January 14, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

WEST GLOVER — James Coe traveled by way of Oregon to get to the office at Andersonville Farm where he sat Thursday afternoon. As one of the owners and the managing partner of the farm, Mr. Coe now works a hundred yards or so from his boyhood home.

His office, a small wood-paneled room, is obviously not his main workplace. A wall calendar portraying a champion Holstein is still turned to October. Plaques recognizing the farm for producing quality milk are stacked on a windowsill, although it is hard to know where they would go. The hallway outside the farm’s office is lined with similar awards and there seems to be little room left for more.

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Documentary celebrates orchestra’s rise

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Working with what was two-thirds of his orchestra in April of 2011, Mr. Michelli leads a rehearsal at The First Universalist Parish of Derby Line.  Following his lead, from left to right, are Chris Maginniss, Lisa C. Erwin, Paul Gavin, and Susan Brassett.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Working with what was two-thirds of his orchestra in April of 2011, Mr. Michelli leads a rehearsal at The First Universalist Parish of Derby Line. Following his lead, from left to right, are Chris Maginniss, Lisa C. Erwin, Paul Gavin, and Susan Brassett. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle January 7, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

DERBY LINE — About three and a half years ago, the Chronicle published an article about a man who had brought a few local musicians out of retirement and was working to create a local orchestra. In April of 2011, a few months after he started the Newport Area Community Orchestra, Ken Michelli, the orchestra’s founder, conductor, and engine, had found two clarinetists, two flute players, a violinist, and a cellist.

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Pete Cocoros’ trumpet takes him from Brooklyn to Barton, the long way

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Pete Cocoros, veteran, trumpeter, and photographer, plays “Taps” in Glover on Memorial Day, 2013.  Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

Pete Cocoros, veteran, trumpeter, and photographer, plays “Taps” in Glover on Memorial Day, 2013. Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

copyright the Chronicle December 23, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

BARTON — As he hears a visitor pull into the dooryard of his camp, only a stone’s throw from Crystal Lake, Pete Cocoros pokes the bell of his trumpet out his door and blows a fanfare. It proves to be an apt prelude to a two-hour conversation about music and the adventurous path blazed by a horn.

Mr. Cocoros has performed for generals, played before thousands at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, entertained troops in Iceland, Morocco, and Greece, and set people to dancing all over the United States.

Most people who know him these days think of Pete Cocoros as the man whose playing of “Taps” brings tears to the eyes of those gathered to celebrate Veterans and Memorial days in Barton. Or they know him as the man whose photographs of local school band concerts appear in the Chronicle a few times a year.

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Gang presence has been felt in Vermont, says DOC

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The Newport courthouse.  Drawing by Lori Halsey

The Newport courthouse. Drawing by Lori Halsey

Clarification, added December 11, 2014:  

In the article on Vermont gang activity, we quoted Brian Mclaughlin as saying the Latin Kings have a presence in Barton. Mr. Mclaughlin has contacted the Chronicle to say the quote was accurate, but he only used Barton as an example of a small community where a gang might turn up. The Latin Kings do not have a house in Barton, Mr. Mclaughlin now says.


 

copyright the Chronicle December 10, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Gangs don’t appreciate Vermont’s scenery Brian Mclaughlin of the Department of Corrections told an audience of about 25 social service agency and law enforcement representatives Tuesday. They do like something that most state residents cherish, a sense of safety, but mostly “they’re here strictly for the money,” Mr. Mclaughlin said.

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Navigating the complexities of the simple life

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WEB Hewitt bookcopyright the Chronicle December 3, 2014

The Nourishing Homestead: One Back-to-the-Land Family’s Plan for Cultivating Soil, Skills, and Spirit, by Ben Hewitt with Penny Hewitt. Published by Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, 2015; Paperbound, 352 pages; $29.95.

Reviewed by Joseph Gresser

Some books need to be written again as each new generation comes of age. Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, may have set the template for one of these books, the exhortation to the reader to give up conventional expectations and live a radically simplified life.

Living the Good Life, by Helen and Scott Nearing, set forth a version of that message adapted for a very different world. To give them full credit, the Nearings lived according to their principles far longer than the year or two Mr. Thoreau spent in the woods.

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U.S., Quebec police practice cooperating in emergencies

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State Police Lieutenant Walter Smith, who commands the Derby barracks, offers his thoughts at the fourth annual Quebec-Vermont Cross Border Workshop at Jay Peak Tuesday.  Photos by Joseph Gresser

State Police Lieutenant Walter Smith, who commands the Derby barracks, offers his thoughts at the fourth annual Quebec-Vermont Cross Border Workshop at Jay Peak Tuesday. Photos by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle December 3, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

JAY — A bus taking U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin to a meeting in Quebec is rammed by a man who committed a robbery in Vermont and escaped by speeding through Canadian customs.

Governor Shumlin is severely injured, the robber and Vermont State Police troopers, acting as security for the Governor, exchange gunfire. One trooper is wounded, and the robber is killed. The incident ends as the Governor is airlifted to the University of Vermont Medical Center.

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Miller speeds readers down American roads

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WEB miller bookcopyright the Chronicle November 12, 2014

Reviewed by Joseph Gresser

Museum of the Americas, by Gary Lee Miller. Published by Fomite Press, Burlington, 2014. Paperbound, 169 pages, $14.95.

Roads run through the 11 stories in Gary Lee Miller’s collection. Characters travel, or are passed by as they watch others speed out of sight.

This, I suppose, makes him an American writer. The choice between going and staying is one that is central to fiction in a country where it is not unusual for a person to slip his moorings and make another life in another state.

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Election wrap: Barrett, Viens, Hardy win elections

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Important correction to the November 5, 2014, election results:

House - Orleans-Caledonia.xlsx

These are the full results to the Orleans-Caledonia House race, as it should have appeared in the Chronicle. A cropped version of the chart, with only Chris Braithwaite and Devin Small, was printed in the paper, in error.

Complete election results for each race available in the Chronicle.

copyright the Chronicle November 5, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

Jennifer Barrett was the big winner of Tuesday’s election, scoring a convincing victory to secure the office of Orleans County State’s Attorney. The Republican candidate garnered more votes than the combined totals of her two rivals.

When all votes were counted Ms. Barrett had 3,882, to 2,337 for Democrat James Lillicrap, and 1,486 for independent Ben Luna. The three candidates were all but unavoidable over the course of a long campaign that began this summer as Ms. Barrett faced incumbent State’s Attorney Alan Franklin in the Republican primary and defeated him.

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Lake Region’s Pippin — a lively performance with a groovy feel

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A despondent Pippin (Nate Chambers) gets schooled by his well-preserved grandmother (Karamae Hayman-Jones).  Also listening, as Ms. Hayman-Jones rocked the house during a Halloween matinee, are her fellow players (left to right, Kayla Poginy and Mariah Moore).   Photo by Joseph Gresser

A despondent Pippin (Nate Chambers) gets schooled by his well-preserved grandmother (Karamae Hayman-Jones). Also listening, as Ms. Hayman-Jones rocked the house during a Halloween matinee, are her fellow players (left to right, Kayla Poginy and Mariah Moore). Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle November 5, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

ORLEANS — Lake Region Union High School’s production of Pippin could be taking place anywhere, at any time.

That, of course, is only true of what happens on stage. In our world the shows will be performed at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 6, Friday, November 7, and Saturday, November 8. Audiences can be confident the shows will go on at the Opera House at the Orleans Municipal Building.

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