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 Newport: Guns, drugs stolen from police evidence room

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Mikeal Rivers.  Photo courtesy of the Vermont State Police

Mikeal Rivers. Photo courtesy of the Vermont State Police

copyright the Chronicle February 11, 2015 

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Police say they arrested a man Sunday night whose pockets bulged with drugs and guns stolen from the Newport Police Department’s evidence room. The thefts could place some prosecutions in jeopardy, according to the affidavit filed in the case by State Police Sergeant Matthew Amadon.

Orleans County State’s Attorney Jennifer Barrett declined to comment on what effect the theft might have on her office’s work. She said it will take several days to review cases connected to the stolen evidence.

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At the Newport Penguin Plunge: The brave leave luau for freezing waters

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Scott Whitehouse of Newport took the Penguin Plunge Sunday. Though he's new to the area, he raised $300 for Special Olympics Vermont.  Photos by David Dudley

Scott Whitehouse of Newport took the Penguin Plunge Sunday. Though he’s new to the area, he raised $300 for Special Olympics Vermont. Photos by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle February 4, 2015

by David Dudley

NEWPORT — Before the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took the Internet by storm, there was the Penguin Plunge. Now in its thirteenth year, the Penguin Plunge drew participants from all over the Northeast Kingdom to raise money and awareness about the Special Olympics by taking a dip in the frigid waters of Lake Memphremagog.

Liza Reed, special events manager at Special Olympics Vermont, has organized the event for the past three years. At Sunday’s Plunge, she said they were hoping to match last year’s mark of $30,000.

“We have teams from all over the Northeast Kingdom,” Ms. Reed said. “We have 130 participants this year, so we’re confident that we will at least match last year’s number. That is, if we don’t surpass it.”

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Cold water swimming draws one back home

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Brynna Kate Tucker makes a snow angel before a swim.  Photos courtesy of the Tuckers

Brynna Kate Tucker makes a snow angel before a swim. Photos courtesy of the Tuckers

copyright the Chronicle January 28, 2015

by David Dudley

NEWPORT — Though Brynna Kate Tucker was born and raised in Sutton, it didn’t occur to her that swimming in cold water might be the thing to do until she moved to Brooklyn, New York.

“In November of 2006, one week before my birthday, I joined the Coney Island Polar Bear Club,” Ms. Tucker said, via phone. “I’ve been swimming every week since.”

Her matter of fact delivery might raise some eyebrows, but there are numerous benefits to cold water swimming and bathing. She says that, among other things, it’s a great conversation starter.

“People never forget you when you say that you’re a cold water swimmer,” Ms. Tucker said. “Of course the first question I always get is, Isn’t that cold? The obvious answer is, Yes!”

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In boys basketball: Falcons defeat Thunderbirds

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Matthew Duncan soared over Thunderbird defenders to hit this sweet finger roll.  Duncan finished with 12 points on the night.  Photos by David Dudley

Matthew Duncan soared over Thunderbird defenders to hit this sweet finger roll. Duncan finished with 12 points on the night. Photos by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle January 21, 2015

by David Dudley

NEWPORT — The North Country Union High School Falcons defeated the Missisquoi Valley Union High School Thunderbirds 65-53 Friday. Led by senior guard Keenan Warner, who scored the game high of 15 points, the Falcons jumped on the Thunderbirds early on and never let up.

Falcons coach Ed Duncan was pleased with his team, who defeated the Thunderbirds by five points in their previous meeting.

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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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Charges against Roger Pion near dismissal

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Attorney David Sleigh (left) represents Roger Pion in Orleans Superior Court.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Attorney David Sleigh (left) represents Roger Pion in Orleans Superior Court. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle October 1, 2014

by Paul Lefebvre

NEWPORT — The Newport man who crushed multiple police cruisers with a tractor just over two years ago could be only weeks away from seeing all 16 charges arising from the incident dismissed.

At a hearing here Tuesday in the Criminal Division of Superior Court, both the prosecutor and the defense attorney agreed with psychiatric findings that Roger Pion, 36, of Newport was insane at the time of the incident.

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Team Accura wins women’s ASA softball championship in Newport

Team Accura, 2014 ASA women's softball champs. In the top row, from left to right, are:  Lori Shepard, Angela Wheatley, Erika George, Kelly Fournier, Darci Graves, Michelle Downer, Karen Safford, Markie Delude. In the bottom row are:  Karine Marineau, Kelly Carbo, Allison Plante, Lyndsey Lowe, Amanda Thompson, and Jen Estevil with honorary captain, Gary Carey pictured at center.  Photo by David Dudley

Team Accura, 2014 ASA women’s softball champs. In the top row, from left to right, are: Lori Shepard, Angela Wheatley, Erika George, Kelly Fournier, Darci Graves, Michelle Downer, Karen Safford, Markie Delude. In the bottom row are: Karine Marineau, Kelly Carbo, Allison Plante, Lyndsey Lowe, Amanda Thompson, and Jen Estevil with honorary captain, Gary Carey pictured at center. Photo by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle July 23, 2014

by David Dudley

NEWPORT — In a thriller, team Accura Printing edged out defending champs, the Paquette Builders, to win the ASA (Amateur Softball Association) softball championship Sunday.

Though Paquette jumped out to a huge lead, scoring eight runs through the first four innings of play, they went scoreless through the four innings that followed.

The second inning was an especially long one for Accura, led by coach Lori Shepard, as they watched the Paquette Builders build an intimidating early lead. But Accura didn’t lose their composure, and they hung in there to mount an admirable comeback.

“Paquette started pounding the ball,” said Ms. Shepard. “Their bats were on fire right out of the gate.”

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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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At Newport Aquafest: A selfie with an iguana?

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Jeffrey Stuart of Manchester, Connecticut, gets a strong start for the ten-mile Kingdom Swim.  His butterfly stroke earned him first place in the annual open water race, which was held as part of Newport’s Aquafest, in Lake Memphremagog.  Mr. Stuart finished in four hours, 20 minutes, and 17 seconds, more than three minutes ahead of his closest competitor, Cole Gindhart, of Cibolo, Texas.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Jeffrey Stuart of Manchester, Connecticut, gets a strong start for the ten-mile Kingdom Swim. His butterfly stroke earned him first place in the annual open water race, which was held as part of Newport’s Aquafest, in Lake Memphremagog. Mr. Stuart finished in four hours, 20 minutes, and 17 seconds, more than three minutes ahead of his closest competitor, Cole Gindhart, of Cibolo, Texas. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle July 16, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — The weather was kind to Newport this weekend, and people enthusiastically turned out for the city’s Aquafest. A celebration of life on the shores of Lake Memphremagog, the event is in its fifth year since its revival in 2009.

The traditional events associated with the festival, such as the Kingdom Swim and the Swimmers and Pet Parade, were included in the festivities with a few tweaks to keep them fresh.

While Newport’s Main Street was closed off for the parade and a street dance Friday evening, the entire city was open for business Sunday.

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