Robinsons at Kingdom Coffeehouse March 25

Husband and wife duo Dana and Susan Robinson of Cabot will play a concert at the Kingdom Coffeehouse at the NorthWoods Stewardship Center in East Charleston on Friday, March 25, at 7 p.m.  Admission is $10.

The Robinsons are celebrating their twentieth year of national and international touring.  With guitar, fiddle, banjo, and mandolin, their sound is a melting pot of Appalachian, British, and rural American influences, full of exciting fiddle tunes, earthy grooves, elegant melodies, and rich harmony singing.

For more on the Robinsons, visit robinsongs.com.

For more on NorthWoods, visit northwoodscenter.org.  – from NorthWoods.

For more things to do, see our events page.

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Irasburg farmer challenges state

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copyright the Chronicle March 23, 2016

by Tena Starr

An Irasburg farmer has invited the Vermont Agency of Agriculture to prosecute him for violating the state’s slaughtering rules.

His crime?  He advertised half of a grass fed beef that had not been “properly” slaughtered for sale.

John Klar has been raising and selling organic beef and sheep for more than 15 years.  Last summer, he received a surprise visit from Agency of Agriculture compliance investigator Eric Holgrem, who had seen a Craigslist ad that Mr. Klar had placed for beef.

“He didn’t call; he just showed up,” Mr. Klar said.

That’s something else he objects to, but his main problem is with the regulations themselves, which he said make no sense.

Vermont’s most recent version of the slaughter rules passed in 2013, and the House last week voted…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Newport City Council: Wilson tongue lashes council

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copyright the Chronicle March 23, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT – Alderman John Wilson, the former president of the Newport City Council, stepped away from the meeting table Monday evening and gave his colleagues a piece of his mind.

Mr. Wilson gained the largely ceremonial position when its former occupant, Paul Monette, was elected mayor in 2009, and held it until the council’s March 7 meeting.

The council chooses its president annually at the first meeting after Town Meeting Day.  This year, Alderman Steven Vincent surprised some members of the public by nominating Alderman Neil Morrissette for the position.  Alderman Jacques Roberge seconded the nomination.

According to Mr. Wilson’s statement, which he delivered from a front row seat in the public gallery, he knew he would be replaced when he went into the meeting.  What he did not know, he said, is why his colleagues decided to strip him of his position.

“Even when you punish a child, you tell him what he did,” Mr. Wilson said.

He said he first got wind of the impending…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Orleans County is unhealthiest in Vermont

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copyright the Chronicle March 23, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT – When Julie Raboin stood up at Monday’s city council meeting and talked about a recent study showing Orleans County at the bottom of the state’s health rankings, Newport resident Brian McNeal had a question.

He noted reports of another study that ranked the state as second healthiest in the nation, behind Hawaii, and asked about the incidence of cancer.

Ms. Raboin, who is a substance abuse prevention consultant working at the Vermont Department of Health’s Newport office, explained that the study, prepared by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation of Princeton, New Jersey, bases its rankings on a different set of factors.

On Tuesday, Ms. Raboin offered a visitor to the Department of Health a guided tour of the study’s findings, explaining how the foundation’s examination of counties across…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Baird wants murder charge dropped

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copyright the Chronicle March 23, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

ST. JOHNSBURY  – The last of the three men charged in the 2010 murder of 78-year-old Mary Pat O’Hagan of Sheffield is asking to have a charge of felony murder dismissed and to have his trial on the remaining burglary and kidnapping charges moved out of Caledonia County.

On Friday, Keith J. Baird, 35, of Sheffield, and his lawyer, Robert Katims, were in the Criminal Division of Caledonia County Superior Court.  Mr. Katims sought to persuade Judge Michael Kupersmith that publicity about the case has made it impossible to pick an unbiased jury locally.  He also argued that the state could not show that Mr. Baird intended…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Accused murderer questions lawyer

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copyright the Chronicle March 16, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT – A breach between an accused murderer and his lawyer was apparently healed by a talk from Judge Robert Bent.

Jeffrey M. Ray, 52, of Brownington sent a handwritten note to the clerk in the Criminal Division of Orleans Superior Court on February 26 to say he and St. Johnsbury attorney David Sleigh met that day and had “a breakdown with our communication.”

He asked that he be allowed to find a new lawyer.

On May 26, 2015, Mr. Ray pled innocent to first degree murder in the shooting death of Rick Vreeland, 53, also of Brownington, and his former wife’s husband.  Judge Timothy Tomasi ordered Mr. Ray held without bail.

Mr. Ray was in court with Mr. Sleigh Monday morning…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Rodgers considers a run for lieutenant governor

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copyright the Chronicle March 16, 2016

by Tena Starr

GLOVER – State Senator John Rodgers of Glover is considering a bid for lieutenant governor.  If he decides to run, Senator Rodgers will face fellow Democrats Kesha Ram, David Zuckerman, both of Chittenden County, and Brandon RIker of Marlboro in the August Primary Election.  Republican Randy Brock is also running.

Mr. Rodgers was a four-term incumbent when he lost his House seat in 2010 to Sam Young of West Glover by one vote.  He was elected to the state Senate in 2012 and 2014, representing the sprawling Essex-Orleans district with fellow Democrat Bobby Starr from North Troy.  Mr. Rodgers is up for re-election again this year.

He said Monday that he can run for lieutenant governor in the Primary Election without relinquishing his Senate seat.

A main reason for pondering a run is that “I don’t really care for any of the other candidates…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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On TV with a cake and a paint roller

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copyright the Chronicle March 16, 2016

by Tena Starr

TROY – Jennifer LeBlanc has been described as something of an overachiever.  And that, she said, likely played a role in her appearance last week on The Rachael Ray Show with a paint roller and a cake.

For the few who don’t know, Rachael Ray is a Food Network celebrity and chef with a nationally syndicated TV talk show.

By profession, Ms. LeBlanc is an auditor, one of only five people in Vermont who audits special education accounts and trains people.  It’s a rather dry job, she said, with her own rather dry humor, which is generally followed by peals of laughter.

Baking cakes, which she’s done for around 20 years, is her creative outlet, she said at her home Friday.  She makes gorgeous event cakes, destined…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Holland school: Board hopes budget will pass on second attempt

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copyright the Chronicle March 16, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

HOLLAND – The members of the Holland School Board hope that voters armed with a better understanding of the budget they rejected on Town Meeting Day will reconsider their decision.

The school board voted Monday night to ask townspeople to go to the polls on Thursday, April 7, to reconsider spending $963,000 for the town’s elementary school.

Balloting will be preceded by a hearing on the budget scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5.

Conversation between board members and the seven members of the public who attended Monday’s meeting suggested that misconceptions about how the state calculates tax rates, might have…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Obituaries March 16, 2016

Gary H. “Bear” Birchard

Gary H. “Bear” Birchard, of Troy died on March 1, 2016. He was 65 years old.

He was born on February 23, 1951, in Newport. He was a son of Harold and Rita (Deferia) Birchard.

He loved hunting and fishing and especially his dog Angel. He was an awesome chef at many local restaurants.

He is survived by his wife, Martha Harris; his three stepchildren: Laura Fricke of Bothell, Washington, Scott Fricke of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and Stephen Fricke of Oakdale, Connecticut; seven grandchildren: Natasha, Suzanne, and Lilly Krasle, Rothana and Kailyan Fricke, and Kyler and Caleb Fricke; his brother Dean Birchard and his wife, Bonnie, of Newport Center; and by his nephews: Matt Birchard of Newport Center, and Adam Birchard of Troy.

He was predeceased by his parents.

Upon his request, there will be no formal services.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Shelter, 502 Strawberry Acres Road, Newport, Vermont 05855; or to the Green Mountain Conservation Camp Endowment Fund, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, 1 National Life Drive, Davis 2, Montpelier, Vermont 05620-3702.

Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

obit-GeiselWilliam H. “Howie” Geisel

William H. “Howie” Geisel of Derby died on March 8, 2016, just two months shy of his ninety-fourth birthday.

He was born in New York City on May 5, 1922, in what he described as “a cold water flat.” All who had the good fortune of knowing this kind and gentle man walked in the presence of one who exemplified selflessness, caring, and humility. He always put the needs of others before his own. As a young man he took care of his aging parents and later welcomed his mother-in-law into his home after he and Dorothy (Murphy) Geisel married in 1946. He was the constant loving and attentive caretaker to his wife when she developed significant physical disabilities during her life. He was always there for those who needed him. When his wife died in 1998, he became a volunteer at North Country Hospital in Newport and greeted patients at the visitors’ desk. He could be found there most Monday afternoons, out on the golf course at Newport Country Club in the summer, or in the company of his children and grandchildren.

He retired from Verizon as an electrical engineer in 1985, having spent 43 years working for American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) and its subsidiaries. His attention to detail and his strong analytical mind informed his approach to problem solving when helping someone in need. He never met a mechanical, plumbing, or electrical problem that perseverance and focus couldn’t solve.

He was extremely proud of his children and spoke glowingly of their contributions to the educational community to all who cared to listen.

He is survived by his son Rick Geisel and his wife, Laura; his daughter Robyn McCarthy and her husband, Bill; his daughter Roni Murphy and her husband, John; and by his nine grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many friends and acquaintances.

The family invites friends to join them at his house at 40 Roberts Drive in Derby on March 26 from 3 to 5 p.m., to remember his long life well lived. The family also invites people to share their memories and condolences by visiting awrfh.com.

obit-powersPeyton E. Powers

Peyton E. Powers of Albany died unexpectedly on Thursday, March 10, 2016. He was three months old.

He was born on December 3, 2015, in Morrisville. He was the son of Jesse and Morgan (Hollen) Powers.

He is survived by his parents; his sister Grace; his grandparents, Jerry and Cheryl; and by all of his extended family.

Peyton no longer has to fight and his body is now healed.

A memorial service will be held at the Albany elementary school on Saturday, March 19, at 11 a.m., with the Reverend Alden Launer officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Ronald McDonald House, 16 South Winooski Avenue, Burlington, Vermont 05401.

Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

obit-williamsRobert O. Williams

Robert O. Williams, 82, of Burke Hollow died peacefully at his home on Friday morning, March 11, 2016.

He was born in Freeport, Maine, on June 7, 1933, to the late Howard Everett and Elizabeth Rose (Bean) Williams. He was raised and educated in Marlborough, Massachusetts, and later attended the Worcester School of Business Science. He proudly served eight years in the U.S. Navy in the 1950s as a boiler tender second class.

He married the former Jane Mary Carrigan and they shared 50 years together. They made their home in Northborough, Massachusetts, before moving to Barton and then Burke Hollow in 2003.

He enjoyed antique gasoline engines and was past president of the Vermont Gas and Steam Engine Association. He was not one to sit idle for long and was incredibly talented and motivated to create in so many ways. He loved to restore unique antiques and any kind of small, old engine. He built beautiful furniture from boards out of old barns, and loved to be out in the woods, cutting down and sawing out lumber on his little sawmill. He loved spending time on the coast of Maine with his family, going to yard sales and auctions, and he was an avid reader. He owned and operated a milk transport business in central Massachusetts and later owned and operated the Black River Lumber Company in Irasburg, before retiring and moving to Burke Hollow.

In addition to his beloved wife, Jane, he is survived by his two daughters: Carol Mason and her husband, KC, of Lyndonville, and Tedi Shoemaker and her husband, Ned, of Millis, Massachusetts; a brother, Daniel Williams, and a sister, Thelma Williams, both of Grafton, Massachusetts; a granddaughter, Elizabeth; and by several cousins, nieces, and nephews, and many longtime engine show friends.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m., on Sunday, March 20, at the Guibord Funeral Home at the corner of Main and Center streets in Lyndonville. Friends may call on the family from 1 to 3 p.m. for visitation at the funeral home prior to services on Sunday. A spring committal service will take place in May with the family.

Condolences may be shared privately with the family at guibordfh.com.

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