At NCUHS: Board won’t hire a principal

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copyright the Chronicle May 25, 2016 

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — North Country Union High School will do without a principal next year. The board decided not to hire its most recent candidate, Chris Smith, after a lengthy meeting held in executive session Monday evening.

According to North Country Supervisory Union Superintendent John Castle, the board had come up with an option it could put in place if a new principal could not be found by the end of the current school year.

It calls for assistant principals Anita Mayhew and Bob Davis and Director of Special Programs Jessica Puckett to share responsibility for the day-to-day management of the school during the 2016-2017 school year, Mr. Castle said. They will assume their new roles on July 1.

Mr. Castle said he and the board members will work together before the board’s June meeting to define each administrator’s job.

Before making their decision, the board and several parents met Chris Smith, a finalist…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Meth lab discovered in Barton

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copyright the Chronicle May 25, 2016

by Tena Starr

BARTON — Police were taking no chances Saturday at a meth lab found at a Barton home on Cottage Lane between the Crystal Lake state beach and St. Paul’s school. A hazardous materials unit, as well as a clandestine lab team, were at the scene, with both Barton Ambulance and the Barton Fire Department standing by in case of an accident. For much of the afternoon, workers in bulky hazmat suits cleared the building of the volatile chemicals used in making methamphetamine.

On Monday, Terry A. Parson Jr., 33, was charged with both possession and sale of meth, the latter a felony. He pled innocent in the Criminal Division of Orleans County Superior Court and is being held on $100,000 bail.

The Northern Vermont Drug Task Force started an investigation into the distribution of meth in Orleans County late this month. The target was Mr. Parson, court records say. The investigation involved what police call a “source of information” and a “cooperating individual,”…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Fletcher sentenced to 15 months for ambulance embezzlement

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copyright the Chronicle May 25, 2016 

by Joseph Gresser

In June of last year, Amy C. Fletcher, 45, of Derby Line admitted to embezzling almost $290,000 from the Derby Line Ambulance (DLA). The former secretary, treasurer, and bookkeeper of the emergency squad pled guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion in U.S. District Court in Burlington.

On May 19 of this year federal Judge Garvan Murtha sentenced Ms. Fletcher to serve a 15-month prison term and pay $289,864 in restitution to the ambulance corps.

David Sleigh, Ms. Fletcher’s lawyer, tried to persuade Judge Murtha to impose a sentence that did not include time behind bars, a press release…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Barton Village Trustees: Water rates come up again

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copyright the Chronicle May 25, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

BARTON — Water rates at the nonprofit Barton Chambers Apartments have gone up an average of 48 percent, said Gary Marcotte, the manager of the four apartment buildings.

Mr. Marcotte paid a visit to the Barton Village Trustees at their Monday night meeting to show them a chart he had prepared comparing water usage and water costs for the apartments between last year and this year.

“The rate concept is flawed,” Mr. Marcotte said.

The Barton Chambers Apartments are for low-income and senior citizens. Rents are set by Rural Development, based on income, and utilities are paid by Rural Development rather than by individual residents.

Rural Development set its rates last fall before Barton Village raised its water and electric rates, Mr. Marcotte said.

Between water and electricity, which also went up by 18 percent in December, Mr. Marcotte expects it to cost about $15,000 extra…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Memorial Day observances

Roaring Brook Park

Memorial Day events will be on Sunday, May 29. Gates open at 8 a.m., and events begin at 9 a.m.

At 9 a.m., the American Legion Barton Post #76 will perform a ceremony, including the raising of the flag and the playing of “Taps.”

The day includes farm stock tractor pulling starting at 9 a.m., horse and pony pulling starting at 10 a.m., a gymkhana horse show starting at noon, cow flop bingo at 1 p.m., face painting, food booths, a kids bounce house and a 35-foot tall slide for $2, and more.

The Lake Region Youth Baseball tournament starts at 10 a.m., with both T-ball and minors games, leading up to the minors championship at 2:30 p.m.

The annual 30-team horseshoe tournament begins at 10 a.m., with registration at 9 a.m. The entry fee is $5, and play is behind the grandstand. To guarantee a spot, pre-register with Ray Lamarche at 754-8734.

For more details on these events and any fees, visit orleanscountyfair.net.

Admission to the fairgrounds is $5; children under ten, or who are in a team uniform, are free. Parking is free.

Barton

Observances will be on Monday, May 30. The parade will start at 11 a.m., and the Lake Region Union High School band will play. People who want to participate in the parade should gather at the Barton Memorial Building around 10 or 10:30 a.m. The parade will go up the hill and down to Crystal Lake, where there will be a ceremony at Crystal Lake State Park.

Orleans

Observances will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 30, at the common, where the parade begins. The Lake Region band will play and then the crowd will say the pledge of allegiance, and everyone is encouraged to participate. The parade will make two stops: first at the Main Street Bridge, then at the war monument. At the first stop, a gunfire salute and the playing of “Taps” will honor the sea services. The second stop will also include a gunfire salute and the playing of “Taps” to honor the land services and the Air Force. Retired First Sergeant Special Forces Darrell Martin will be the grand marshal. The parade will include fire trucks from Orleans, cars from the Cars of Yesteryear Club and the Northeast Kingdom Fire Brigade, members of the Legion, Boy Scouts, and more. The master of ceremonies will be U.S. Air Force Vietnam veteran Roger Sanville. The post commander will be Paul Boutin.

The Legion will march in the parade along with the Sons of the Legion of Post #23 and the Ladies Auxiliary of Post #23. 

Newport

Observances will be on Monday, May 30, with a parade at 10 a.m., starting at the Newport Municipal Building and ending at Gardner Memorial Park, where there will be a ceremony. The ROTC will provide a color guard. The North Country Union Junior High School band and the Newport and Derby elementary band will play. Jim Johnson, senior vice-commander of the American Legion Post #21, will be the master of ceremonies. The speakers are Mayor Paul Monette, state Senator Bobby Starr, state Senator John Rodgers, Representative Mike Marcotte, and Representative Lynn Batchelor, and more from the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In case of inclement weather, all activities will be held at the Newport Municipal Building.

North Troy

The parade will be on Monday, May 30, at 11 a.m., kicking off at the old mill. The parade goes to the bridge, and there will be a throwing of the wreath into the river. The parade will then go through the center of town, and there will be another ceremony at the Town Green, where a wreath will be laid at the grave marker. The parade then marches down to the Legion home, and another wreath will be laid at the flag court. The North Country Union High School band will play in the parade. After the parade, there will be a barbecue at the Legion.

Brighton

There will be a parade on Monday, May 30, starting at the cemetery at 11 a.m., going down to the Town Memorial. The parade will include drummers to keep the beat of the march. The speaker will be the parade marshal, Tom Graves.

Craftsbury

Observances will begin at 10 a.m., on Friday, May 27, in the Craftsbury Academy gymnasium, and it will be a traditional program including a mixture of student speakers. Then there will be a parade at 11 a.m., led by a color guard, from the school to the cemetery on the common. The school band will provide the parade music. The parade will return to the war memorial for more readings. After, there will be a picnic, hosted by the school, on the common. The picnic will be in the gymnasium in the event of rain.

Albany

There will be a parade led by fire trucks at 11 a.m., on Monday, May 30. Parade participants will line up on Water Street. The parade will come back up Main Street and will go down as far as the ballpark, then will come back around to the memorial for the services. Ida Burdick will read the names of war veterans from the war monument. The Orleans Central Supervisory Union band will play in the parade. Roger Sanville of American Legion Post #23 will moderate the services, and the Legion will march in the parade along with the Sons of the Legion of Post #23, the Ladies Auxiliary of Post #23, and the Cars of Yesteryear Club. The speaker will be the Reverend Nathan Strong. Following the services, there will be a luncheon at the Albany Methodist Church.

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Obituaries May 25, 2016

obit-AugerGail C. (Colburn) Auger

Gail C. (Colburn) Auger died suddenly on May 13, 2016, at the age of 67 after a long struggle with COPD.

She was born in Newport on December 23, 1948, daughter of Blanche (Badger) and Maurice Colburn. In 1966 she married her soul mate, Philippe Auger. Together they raised their only daughter, Carleen. In November they would have celebrated 50 years of marriage.

She spent most of her married life doing the bookkeeping for P&G Trucking, which she and her husband owned for over 20 years. She loved the outdoors, spending time snowmobiling, and riding ATVs. She cherished the view from her kitchen in the house that she and her husband shared for 46 years. She spent all of her days in the company of her beloved dog Princess.

She loved to spend time with her family but none more than her grandchildren Taylor and Tanner. They were her pride and joy. She was very proud of the young adults that they have become.

She is survived by her husband, Phil, of North Troy; her daughter Carleen and her husband, Eric Starr, of North Troy; her granddaughter Taylor Starr and her friend, Chase Locke, of Randolph; her grandson Tanner Starr of North Troy; her brothers and sisters: Joyce Curtis, Cecile Randall and her husband, Charlie, Dick Colburn and his wife, Diane, Theresa Bonvouloir and her husband, Richard, and Beth Colburn; and by several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents, Blanche and Maurice Colburn; her brothers: Roy Colburn and Terry Colburn and his wife, Brenda; and by her sister Marilyn Sweeney.

Funeral services were held on May 21 in Newport.

Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

Carol A. Craft

Carol A. Craft, 73, of Coventry died on May 20, 2016, at her home.

She was born on October 27, 1942, in Barton, to Earl and Barbara (Green) Young. At one time she worked at the former Waterfront Cinema and she formerly worked at the Coventry Village School. She was a former member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Irasburg chapter. Her hobbies included making crafts.

She is survived by her daughter Jennifer Craft of Goffstown, New Hampshire.

She was predeceased by her sister Linda Vining.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 27, at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home, 4670 Darling Hill Road, Newport with the Reverend Fred Barker officiating. Friends may call at the funeral home on May 27, from 1 p.m. until the hour of the funeral. Interment will follow in Coventry Village Cemetery.

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Mary Halo Foundation, 1073 Upper Quarry Road, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

obit-Pepin-1Tyler G. Pepin

Tyler G. Pepin, 29, of Island Pond died suddenly as the result of a traffic accident on May 18, 2016.

He was born in Newport on May 1, 1987, the beloved son of Rachel (Chesney) and Bernard Pepin. He graduated from North Country Union High School, where he played several different sports. He played in Newport men’s softball and basketball leagues and had a great passion for hunting and fishing, and went to hunting camp and to “Pat Shack” with his buddies. He was a carpenter by trade and worked for Michael “Fred” Sykes, who he greatly appreciated. He enjoyed the outdoors and riding his motorcycle. He was a very outgoing person and had many friends who he was always willing to lend a helping hand if necessary.

He is survived by his wife, Brandy Pepin, who he married on July 11, 2009; his children: Mayson with whom he had a very special relationship, and Brent and Kaylee Ming; his father, Bernard Pepin, and his companion, Denise, and her daughter Abby; his mother, Rachel Chesney, and her companion, Mark; his brother Dylan; his grandparents: Beverly Pepin and her companion, George Russell, grandfather Raymond Pepin and Roberta and Ronald Chesney; his niece Alexa Ming; his brother-in-law Derek Ming and his companion, Staci Mitchell; his mother- and father-in-law, Larry and Sylvie Ming; and by several aunts, uncles, cousins, and many close friends who will all deeply miss him.

Friends may call at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home, 1199 Railroad Street, Island Pond, on Wednesday, May 25, from 6 to 9 p.m. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, at the Congregational Church in Island Pond with the Reverend Alan Magoon officiating. Burial will follow at the Lakeside Cemetery on Pleasant Street in Island Pond. There will be a luncheon and gathering after the burial at the American Legion Post #80 in Island Pond and all are welcome.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Mayson Pepin Fund at the Passumpsic Savings Bank, 49 Mill Street, Island Pond, Vermont 05846.

Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

obit-SimoneauTimothy Edward Simoneau

Timothy Edward Simoneau, 50, of Newport died suddenly on May 15, 2016, in Newport.

He was born on April 1, 1966, in Newport to Linda (Griffin) Simoneau and the late Edward Simoneau. He was a loving and nurturing father and husband.

He was a correction service specialist for the Vermont Department of Corrections. He was a coach for the Special Olympics Vermont. He was very active in the community. He was a coach for wrestling, football, youth and junior and senior high school. His hobbies included gardening, reading, fishing, being with his children, playing football, and hunting.

He is survived by his wife, Tammy (Hetrick) Simoneau, of Campo, California; his children: Samantha Simoneau, Korrie Simoneau, Morgan Simoneau and his fiancée, Katelyn Bowen, Riley Simoneau, Madison Simoneau, Jayden Simoneau, and Landon Simoneau, all of Newport; his granddaughter Penelope Longe of Newport; his sisters: Michele and her husband, Joe Hall, and Dianne and her husband, Mike Pettengill, of Newport; three nieces: Katelyn, Gwen, and Abigail; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A celebration of his life was held on May 22 in Newport.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to Madison Simoneau’s Make-A-Wish fund to allow her family to finish her Make-A-Wish therapy pool house project, care of Tammy Simoneau, 108 Clyde Street, Newport, Vermont 05855; or to the Boston Children’s Hospital, attention: Development Office, 300 Longwood Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02115; or to the Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 62 Kimball Avenue, South Burlington, Vermont 05403.

Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

obit-VergeRene G. Verge

Rene G. Verge, 62, of Newport Center, died suddenly on May 14, 2016, in Newport.

He was born on December 14, 1953, to Adlor and Doris (Morse) Verge. Rene was a mechanic for many years and a long time member of the Vermont National Guard.

He is survived by his wife, Cheryl Verge, of Newport Center; his children: Terra Verge, T.J. Tullis, Amy Tullis, Ashley Stoddard, Rene Verge, Jr, Gordon Verge, Jonathan Verge, and Valerie Boutah; his grandchildren: Anyas, Tevyn, Ashtan, Hailey, Cora, Kahleen, Emmalyn, Distant, Summer, Noah, David Jr, Mason and John; one great-great-grandson Emmit; his siblings: Ike Verge, Donna Paul and her husband Mike; his sister-in-law Theda Breault; and he also leaves behind many nieces and nephews who meant the world to him.

He was predeceased by a son, Johnathan Verge; his parents: Adlore and Doris (Morse) Verge; and by his brothers: Alan and Clarence Breault.

Funeral services were held on May 20 in Newport.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Wounded Warriors, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, Florida 32256 or to Cheryl Verge, 143 Vance Hill Road, Newport Center, Vermont 05857. Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

Services

Interment service for Gemma Leach Belanger will be held on Saturday, May 28, at 1 p.m., at St. Theresa’s Cemetery in Orleans.

Committal services for Florence Thompson will be held on Saturday, May 28, at 2 p.m., at Brownington Village Cemetery.

A graveside service for Gordon Samson will be held on Saturday, May 28, at 2 p.m., at Lakeside Cemetery in Island Pond with military honors.

Committal services for P. Rene Gaudreau will be held on Saturday, May 28, at 11 a.m., at St. Edward’s Catholic Cemetery in Derby Line.

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Is there too much syrup?

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copyright the Chronicle May 18, 2016

by Tena Starr

It’s been a banner year for maple syrup – by many accounts the best in the history of the business.

For many sugarmakers that means it’s also a profitable year.  Although the price of bulk syrup is down somewhat, nearly everyone has more syrup to sell than they did last year.

But others, particularly those who are new to the industry, may be struggling to find a buyer for their bulk syrup.  What some have called a glut of syrup also raises the question of whether maple production is outpacing its market, even though that market is growing.

“A lot of syrup has been produced this year, and a lot of the big packers have got what they need,” said Denise Marshall at D&D Sugarwoods Farm in Glover last week.  “Therefore, lots of sugarmakers don’t have a place to sell their syrup this year because there’s so much of it.”

Ms. Marshall buys a couple hundred drums of syrup each year for use at her own business.  She buys more from local customers to resell to Butternut Mountain Farm in Morrisville, a much bigger packer than she is, and a couple others.

She said she finds herself in a tough spot because she’s had the same customers for years and wants to be loyal to them.  But this season she’s been unable to buy all their syrup, because she has no market for it, at least right now, and she’s not quite sure…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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SEC turns up heat on Quiros

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copyright the Chronicle May 18, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

Federal regulators turned up the heat on Ariel Quiros Tuesday when they filed an amended complaint in the civil case against the owner of Jay Peak Resort.  Mr. Quiros, along with many of his businesses, and Bill Stenger, former president of Jay Peak, were first charged with violating federal securities laws in connection with several EB-5 funded projects in a suit filed on April 12 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In filing an amended version of its initial complaint Tuesday, the SEC sharpened its accusations against Mr. Quiros, specifically charging that he used investor money from later phases of his eight EB-5 projects to make up shortfalls in earlier phases.

The SEC has held all along that Mr. Quiros misused, wrongly co-mingled, and stole money from foreign investors who sought permanent residency status in the U.S. by means of the EB-5 visa program.  Those investors and their families would be eligible for green cards if their $500,000 investments in a business in a hard-up area of the U.S. produced at least ten permanent jobs.

Jay Peak financed extensive developments, including three hotels, a water park, a skating area, and numerous other vacation properties, through the visa program.  Mr. Quiros also used money from the program to pay for a hotel at Burke Mountain, and planned to build a biomedical facility in Newport with EB-5 investment.

The SEC claims Mr. Quiros took $55-million for himself and could leave investors without their money or a path to residency in the U.S. if his most recent projects remain unfinished.

In the amended version of its complaint, the SEC specified which projects it claims Mr. Quiros stole from and details how he used the money he allegedly took.

The amended charges say Mr. Quiros and his associates took $6.5-million more than they were entitled to from the project that built the golf clubhouse and a number of condominiums at Jay Peak.  Mr. Quiros also failed to invest a promised $3.8-million…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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School leaders weigh in on OCSU merger plans

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copyright the Chronicle May 18, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

Since early spring, representatives of the Orleans Central Supervisory Union (OCSU) merger study committee have been holding informational meetings in anticipation of the school district merger vote scheduled for June 7.

Although the study committee is strongly recommending that communities vote for the merger, not everyone has bought wholeheartedly into the committee members’ arguments.  “I’d love to see a public debate about this, with speakers from both sides,” said Todd Rivver, principal of Albany Community School.  “The supervisory union has done a very effective job of presenting their side, but we really haven’t heard any other point of view.”

Within the OCSU, the debate, if any, is muted.

“I have the opportunity as superintendent to see the successes and challenges each district…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Farmers favor new DFA settlement plan

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copyright the Chronicle May 18, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

BURLINGTON – A crowd of dairy farmers spent a day in federal court here last week telling U.S. Judge Christina Reiss their thoughts on the proposed settlement in a case against Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a nationwide dairy cooperative.

More than 30 farmers gave up an idea corn-planting day on Friday, May 13, to weigh in on the latest attempt at a resolution to a class action suit that first came before the court in 2009.

While the new proposed settlement, like the two proposals that preceded it, provides for $50-million in compensation, it has a number of additional provisions intended to deal with issues left unaddressed in the first version.

Unlike the first fairness hearing, held in February of 2015, farmers who spoke in favor of the agreement heavily outnumbered…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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