Presentation on beekeeping April 9

People can learn all about working with bees, just as a hobby or as a more serious endeavor, at the Goodrich Memorial Library in Newport on Saturday, April 9, at 10:30 a.m.

The concern over the disappearance of local bee populations has greatly increased interest in beekeeping by farmers and gardeners who depend on bees for the pollination of plants.

Jim Reed, a local registered apiary owner, will present a pictorial and verbal description of his experience as a first-year beekeeper. From start-up to harvest and all the bumps in between, Mr. Reed will guide the audience through a year of honey making. His presentation will suggest ways of getting started, possible costs, the learning curve, time requirements, and more.

Mr. Reed is a lifelong resident of the area and previous owner of Reeds Mobil; owner of Up the Creek Paddle Sports in Newport, and Kamptokumto vacation rentals in Jay. He has also been a previous officer and director of the Derby Fish and Game Club.

Any interested persons are welcome.

All donations will benefit the Goodrich Memorial Library.

Visit utcbees on Facebook for a preview. — from the Goodrich.

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Sugarmaking turns into big business

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copyrigh the Chronicle April 6, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

Sugarmaking has turned into big business in Vermont.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Vermont sugarmakers made 1.3 million gallons of syrup in 2015, more than double the 500,000 gallons produced in 2008.

A lot of the growth is from new technology – vacuum pumps that keep the sap flowing at continuous levels instead of starting and stopping with the weather, and reverse osmosis, a process that removes up to 75 percent of the water in the sap before boiling even begins, said Mark Isselhardt, a maple specialist at the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center.

All of that efficiency means that sugarmakers can tap more trees.

But progress can come at a price.…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Firefighters save Barton home

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copyright the Chronicle April 6, 2016

Barton, Orleans, and Glover firefighters work to keep Mark LaCoss’ home from destruction Tuesday.  Barton Ambulance was also on the scene.  Barton Fire Chief Kevin Tartaglio said his department was toned out at 2:30 p.m. for a garage fire on New Dublin Lane.  Because of the small number of firefighters in the Barton department, Chief Tartaglio immediately sought assistance from Orleans through Mutual Aid.  When…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Stenger says Newport plans are on track

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copyright the Chronicle April 6, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT – Bill Stenger says his plans for Newport are on track, although those related to the AnC Bio facility are undergoing some modifications in reaction to changes in the direction of biomedical technology.

In a conversation Monday, just after he returned from seeking investors in South Africa, Mr. Stenger said plans have been modified to allow the facility to manufacture products for gene therapy products in addition to those based on stem cells.

Gene therapy requires changes to “air flow, water flow, and people flow” in the plant, he said.

Mr. Stenger said the design modifications are necessary to keep pace…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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In Orleans: Former drugstore demolished

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copyright the Chronicle April 6, 2016

Demolition of the former Austin’s Drugstore in Orleans started on Sunday.  Owner Larry Thibault, who also owns neighboring Thibault’s Market, said he expects the hole will be filled in within the next few days.  His plan is to improve parking for his store.  Currently…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Obituaries April 6, 2016

obit-BirchGary Steven Birch

Gary Steven Birch, 26, of Brownington died suddenly on March 28, 2016, in Coventry, after losing his battle with addiction.

He was born on April 16, 1989, beloved son of Kent and Jeannette (Daniels) Birch.

He graduated from Lake Region Union High School in the Class of 2007 and later from the University of Northwestern Ohio with a degree in automotive technology. He was currently employed at Maple Grove Farm in Derby.

His favorite hobbies included playing soccer, snowmobiling, boating, water skiing, and four-wheeling with a special fondness for tall trucks and big tractors. He had a passion for life and loved being around people, especially his friends and family, and he had particular enthusiasm for the outdoors.

He is survived by his parents: Kent and Jeannette Birch, of Brownington; his daughters: Mylie Ellen Logan and Autumn Riley Birch, both of Ohio; his sister Kamala Birch of Daytona Beach, Florida; his maternal grandmother, Alice Locke, of Albany; his paternal grandparents: Richard and Nancy Birch of Hollis, New Hampshire; his aunts and uncles: Sharon and Robert Tetrault, Shirley Daniels, Mary Ellen and Miguel Vasquez, Patty and Ed Rakowsky, Darlene and Alan Butler, Marilyn Stanley and Troy Schumacher, Scott and Lindy Birch, Carol Birch, and Craig and Cheri Birch; and by his cousins: Daniel Tetrault, Laura Gatzos, Michele Vasquez, Michael Vasquez, Corrina Almeida-Perez, Crystal Matthew, April Lane, Ryan Butler, Andy Birch, Jared Birch, Ian Birch and Rachel Birch.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 2, at the Brownington Village Congregational Church, with the Reverend Michael DeSena officiating. Friends may call at the church on April 2, from 9 a.m. until the hour of the funeral. Following the service, there will be a gathering at the Orleans Municipal Building.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to Teen Challenge Vermont, 1296 Collins Hill Road, Johnson, Vermont 05656; or Hearts of Change, care of Julie Mckay, 309 High Street, Barton, Vermont 05822.

Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

obit-blodgettWarren Blodgett

Warren Blodgett, of Irasburg, died peacefully at his home on March 29, 2016, at the age of 91.

He was born on August 10, 1924, in Waterford, a son of Carl and Ona (Goss) Blodgett. He graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy in 1942, then received an agriculture degree from the Vermont School of Agriculture, now known as Vermont Technical College, in 1944.

He married Virginia Larabee, the love of his life, on September 22, 1945. Together, they farmed on the family farm in Lower Waterford. In 1959 they moved to the farm in Irasburg. They raised six children and opened their home to many foster children.

Mr. Blodgett farmed all his life, providing a happy and loving home for his family. He served in a number of town offices in both Waterford and Irasburg, including lister, town auditor, board of civil authority, school board and selectman. He was a longstanding member of the Farm Bureau and was named Vermont Farmer of the Year in 1987. A man of deep faith, he valued his many friendships at the Albany Methodist Church.

He will be fondly remembered for his wonderful sense of humor, dedication to his family, his integrity, honesty and fairness, and by his welcoming bright blue eyes and quick, genuine smile.

Survivors include his children: Barbara Blodgett Russell, Dennis Blodgett, Shirley Moulton and her husband, Dwight, Patricia Blodgett and her fiance, Gary Crosby, David Blodgett, and Neil Blodgett and his wife, Christine; his daughter-in-law Cathy Blodgett. He is also survived by grandchildren: Jason, Christopher, Scott, Todd, Cindy, Nicholas, Corinne, Nichole, Neil Jr. and Zachary; and by several great grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his parents; his wife, Virginia; his siblings; his son Russell Blodgett; and by his daughter-in-law Mildred Nault.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 9, at 1 p.m. at the Albany Methodist Church. A luncheon will be served at the church following the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Albany Methodist Church, P.O. Box 167, Albany, Vermont 05820.

Online condolences can be shared at www.pearsonsfh.com.

obit-DesbiensJeanne Desbiens

Jeanne Desbiens died on March 15, 2016. She was blessed with a life of 96 years.

She was born on August 21, 1919, to Napoleon and Delia (DeGrandpre) Lalime in East Angus, Quebec. She moved to Vermont with her parents at age six.

She was a strong, independent woman, and a loving and kind mother to seven children, and a loving memere to 15 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren.

She is survived by three daughters: Jacqueline Gallup of Coventry, Claire Cassady and her husband, Richard Cassady, of Lyndonville, and Theresa Desbiens of Island Pond; three sons: Gerard and his wife, Camilla, Peter and his wife, Donna, all of Port St. Lucie, Florida, and John and his wife, Donna, of Warner Robbins, Georgia; and by many nieces and nephews, including a special niece, Monica Ethier, who helped her with love and kindness during the many years she lived in Rhode Island.

She was predeceased by the father of her children, Wilfred Desbiens; her son James; her granddaughter Doreen Cassady Joslyn; her great-great-granddaughter Erica Desbiens; her son-in-law Donald Gallup; four sisters: Bertha Gendron, Annette Plante, Yvette Provost, and Cecile Lalime; her brother Germain Lalime; and by a special sister-in-law, Harriet Lalime.

A celebration of her life will be held at the Coventry Community Center in Coventry on Saturday, June 18, at 11 a.m., with a luncheon to follow. Calling hours will be from 10 to 11 a.m. A Mass in her memory will be said on Sunday, June 19, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Benedict Labre in West Charleston.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the charity of one’s choice. Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

obit-Desrochers-1Roland Hector Desrochers

Roland Hector Desrochers, 78, of Brownington died peacefully on Sunday, March 27, 2016, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on August 12, 1937, in Newport Center to Oscar and Yvonne (Arel) Desrochers.

On February 22, 1961, he married Virginia “June” Cornell, who survives him.

He was a salesman for many businesses in the area. He was a man who loved to talk, visit, and laugh with people. He was always there in any way for his family and friends.

There were days when he would take his motorcycle out with his dog Jake for a ride, which he loved, or he would be over helping Uncle Joe with the horses or Uncle Real making a tractor sale, and, of course, you could find him at the fair horse pulling, having fun, and getting home past his bedtime. He also made Sunday rounds with family and friends.

He was a great husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather to his family who he loved so much. He will be sadly missed by his buddy, his dog Jeb.

He is survived by his wife, June Desrochers, of Brownington; his children: Bridgett Desrochers and her friend, Patrick Silver, Kim and her husband, Andre Desmarais, Roland Oscar Desrochers, and Marcus Desrochers and his wife, Linda; his grandchildren: Brittany, Roland, Luke, Jessie, Jacob, Jeremy, Cassie, Bethany, Bailey, and Aliza; his great-grandchildren: Nolan, Bretton, Blakely, Bronson, Tristin, and Ashton; his siblings: Real Desrochers and his wife, Denise, Joe Desrochers and his wife, Donna, and Rita (Rejean) LeBlanc; his sisters-in-law: Connie Desrochers, Cora Doyon, and Caroline Darcy; and by his brothers-in-law: Amos, Sidney, and Stewart Cornell.

He was predeceased by his brother Claude Desrochers; his sister Claudette Chaput; his parents: Oscar and Yvonne Desrochers; his brother-in-law Stanley Cornell; and by his mother- and father-in-law: Cleveland and Phyllis Cornell.

Funeral services were held on April 1, in Newport. Spring interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Orleans-Essex Visiting Nurses Association and Hospice, Inc., 46 Lakemont Road, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

Daniel R. Gorsky

Daniel R. Gorsky, 64, of Glover died on March 30, 2016, at his home.

He was born on October 31, 1951, in Irvington, New Jersey, to Esther (George) Gorsky and the late Julius R. Gorsky.

He owned and operated S&D Precision in Glover. He was a craftsman and he enjoyed making knives and woodworking. He was a collector of guns and knives and was a very talented machinist.

He loved the outdoors and enjoyed spending time with his close friends sitting around a campfire.

He is survived by his children: Daniel B. Gorsky of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jennifer Dunmire of Woodstock, Georgia; his mother, Esther Gorsky, of Passaic, New Jersey; his siblings: Carol Brumale and her husband, Robert, of Wayne, New Jersey, Joyce Cumiskey and her husband, Thomas, of Wellington, Florida, and Lisa Delbene of Crossville, Tennessee; and by his nieces and nephews: Logan and Rachael Cumiskey, Phillip and Kyle Delbene, and his grand-nephew Blake Rodriquez.

Services will be held at the convenience of the family.

Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

obit-LabrecqueMarguerite A. Labrecque

Marguerite A. Labrecque, 95, of Derby died peacefully on April 3, 2016, in Newport.

She was born on October 3, 1920, in Compton, Quebec, to Odias and Marie (Masson) Audet. On October 12, 1957, she married Eugene Labrecque, who predeceased her in 1986.

Her hobbies included making crafts, gardening, and traveling.

She is survived by her sister Juliette Audet of Coaticook, Quebec; and by several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her son Daniel Labrecque; and by her siblings: Rose Audet Trembley, Charles Audet, Hermance Audet, and Lucienne Audet.

Friends may call from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 7, at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home at 4670 Darling Hill Road in Newport. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on April 7 at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Newport, where a Mass will be celebrated. Spring interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Ronald Holland Dialysis Center, in care of North Country Hospital, 189 Prouty Drive, Newport, Vermont 05855; or to the Mary Wright Halo Foundation, 1073 Upper Quarry Road, Newport, Vermont 05855.

obit-Lyon-1Robert A. “Bob” Lyon

Robert A. “Bob” Lyon, 59, of Brownington died suddenly on March 26, 2016, in Burlington.

He was born on April 12, 1956, in Newport to Harold and Claire (Perry) Lyon.

On June 10, 1995, he married Rose Cyr, who survives him.

Mr. Lyon worked for the Canadian Pacific Railroad for over 15 years before going to Ethan Allen, where he worked for over 25 years as a night watchman. He always loved to go hunting and fishing and some of the fondest memories are with his brother John, at the little hunting camp behind the house. He loved being able to hunt on his own property, and, as family puts it, “He wouldn’t want it any other way.” He also loved to fish, especially with his grandchildren. He was a true outdoors type of guy who couldn’t stand sitting around for too long. His grandchildren made sure to keep him busy by playing catch, playing baseball, and more. He truly was an amazing person who would give the shirt off his back for a stranger if needed. He had a heart of gold. He was also an inventor.

Mr. Lyon created what the locals of Brownington and beyond know as R&R Here we go Archery Golf (the initials stand for Robert and Rose), which he copyrighted and patented. He was the true champion of that game, and to this day it is unknown if anyone beat him. His kids always said that they would be the ones to take the title away, but he would always seem to pull through and beat them in the end. His grandkids also loved playing the game, and all those moments they shared in the fields.

His wife, Rose Lyon, and many others who love him with all their hearts survive him: his eldest child, Brandy Robillard, and her husband, Zach Robillard, of Brownington; Michael Cyr and his wife, Heather Cyr, of Johnson; and Matthew Lyon of Burlington. Mr. Lyon also has siblings who will miss him dearly: John Lyon and his wife, Lorraine Lyon, of Derby, Jesse Lyon and his wife, Connie Lyon, who live in Alabama, and Ruby Thibault and her husband, Mitch Thibault, of Burlington. Grandchildren also survive him: Brandy and Zach’s children: Ethan Robillard, Nick Robillard, Hayden Robillard, and the youngest Landon Robillard; and Michael and Heather’s child, Jaxon Cyr. He loved them all deeply and would always be there for his family. Nieces and nephews, cousins, and many more survive him as well.

A wake was held on April 1 in Newport.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105; or to Ladies First for Cancer, addressed to the Department of Health, 108 Cherry Street, Burlington, Vermont 05402.

Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

obit-truaxMary Gunther Truax

Mary Gunther Truax, 48, of Newport, died on March 23, 2016.

She was born in Oswego, New York. She moved to Newport in 1996 from Oswego.

She worked at McDonald’s in Derby for many years, until health issues made it hard for her to to work.

She liked to play softball, rollerblade, and bike. She was an animal enthusiast, always walking and riding around with her beloved Miniature Pinscher, Jasmine. She would stop and talk to anyone with an animal, and go to visit people just to play with their dogs. She would feed the birds and chipmunks in her yard, even planting sunflowers to make sure they all had enough seed. When she lost Jasmine, she turned her sights to her passion of art. She would take walks in the fields and forests with friends and their dogs. During these walks, she would pick up rocks, flowers, feathers, just about anything she found interesting, and take them home. She liked wood-burning her finds. She left behind many five-gallon buckets of polished stones. She loved to draw and color, along with her wood-burning and would do little projects for her friends when they asked. She would give mushrooms and feathers to her friend Julie to paint on, and loved her work so much she would get them back.

She is survived by her father, Bill Gunther; her sister Chris and her brothers Jeff, Mike, and Billy Gunther; and by many nieces and nephews, all of Oswego.

She was predeceased by her mother, Barbara Gunther.

Ms. Truax made lots of friends in the Northeast Kingdom, leaving behind some very special people in her life, including her partner of 18 years, Jody Berard of Newport. She and Mr. Berard did everything together; it was rare to find one without the other. They especially liked bonfires in summer.

Ms. Truax came to Vermont with her special friend of 25 years, Donna Baker, who was always by her side, and Robert Dillon, both of Derby. Ms. Truax had no children and thought of Mr. Dillon, called Bobby, as if he was her own. He returned the love, calling Ms. Truax his second mother and he brought her flowers every Mother’s Day. She was so proud of him, especially when he had his sons Cayleb and Owen and made her a grandmother. Ms. Truax also leaves behind two of her favorite people, Tyler Newland of West Charleston and Jennifer Bowen, formerly of Newport.

Her friends should remember her beautiful smile and contagious laugh.

There will be no services held in the area for her. Although she considered the Northeast Kingdom her home, she wanted to return to New York to be with her mother. The family will have a service in Oswego at a later date. A celebration of her life and a bonfire will be held as soon as the family is able. She would want everyone to remember her as the happy-go-lucky girl; don’t shed a tear, smile as you think of her.

Contributions may be made in the memory of Mary Truax to the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Shelter, 4473 Barton-Orleans Road, Orleans Vermont 05860.

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Starry Mountain Singers in Newport April 3

The Starry Mountain Singers will host a concert at the United Church of Newport on Sunday, April 3, at 4 p.m. The suggested donation is $10 to $15.

The Starry Mountain Singers is an ensemble of seven vocalists who perform a wide range of traditional music from around the United States and the wider world. Formed in 2010, the group’s members are all lifelong musicians who share a deep love of traditional vocal styles and a dedication to studying and performing these types of polyphony.

Their performances are known to be dynamic, uplifting and powerful. The musical program features traditional songs from the United States and Europe — specifically Corsica and Caucasus Georgia. The American repertoire includes shape-note songs (a traditional New England song style), powerful gospel numbers, cowboy songs, and haunting folk tunes from the Appalachians. The Georgian and Corsican songs are a mixture of sacred and secular pieces that demonstrate the incredible range of unique singing traditions from those countries. Each member has contributed songs from their particular area of musical knowledge and expertise, resulting in a dynamic and eclectic program that will delight world-music fans and lovers of choral performance. Their recent, self-titled studio album will be available at the show.

The Starry Mountain Singers have all toured extensively with the Vermont-based world-music ensembles Northern Harmony and Village Harmony, where they received an introduction to traditional songs and singing styles from around the world. In addition, all members of the ensemble have worked extensively with Northern Harmony, as well as Meredith Monk, Revels, Inc., and have performed on “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Mountain Stage,” and include three members of the Brooklyn-based country band, The Sweetback Sisters.  – from the Starry Mountain Singers.

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In Brownington: Death investigation underway

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copyright the Chronicle March 30, 2016

State Police say that the body of a Brownington man who was found dead Monday evening was taken to the office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.   Meanwhile, a death investigation is underway. State Police from Derby responded to a 911 call reporting an unresponsive male at a home on the Evansville Road in Brownington about 8:30 p.m. on Monday. There, they found Kevin Smith, 38, of Brownington. The house is surrounded with crime scene tape, and a State Police cruiser remained at the scene Tuesday, but police had released no further details as of press time.

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Strapped North Troy Legion calls for help

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copyright the Chronicle March 30, 2016

by Tena Starr

NORTH TROY — American Legion Post #28 in North Troy has launched a GoFundMe campaign, and is holding other fund-raisers in the hope of raising the $50,000 it needs to pay off old debt — including $15,000 owed to the IRS — to make improvements to the building, and to stay open.

The Legion’s financial problems weren’t helped any by two burglaries, which led to losses of about $3,500.

“When I took over it was clear there had been some past decisions, I’ll say business types of decisions, that were perhaps well meaning but in the end did not do what they should have,” said Post Commander Gaston Bathalon.

Mr. Bathalon took over as commander about a year ago. He said his predecessors had held some big raffles with expensive prizes like motorcycles and an ATV. At least one of those outright lost money, he said.

Carefully choosing his words, he said that, also, bookkeeping “had not been as tight as it might have been.”

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Derby Select Board: Walmart will create need for more policing

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copyright the Chronicle March 30, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

DERBY — Representatives from the State Police and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department told the select board here Monday that the soon-to-open Walmart will mean additional police calls.  

Both departments recommended that the town put more resources toward what it said would be a problem.  

Board members were unconvinced.

Lieutenant Walter Smith, who commands the Derby State Police barracks, and Captain Mike Henry, who heads the St. Johnsbury outpost, warned the select board at their meeting Monday evening that other towns that host Walmarts have seen increased reports of shoplifting and fender benders.

Troopers will not be responding to those calls, Lieutenant Smith said.

The Derby State Police contingent is made up of 11 troopers who are responsible for policing 31 towns in Orleans and Essex counties, Lieutenant Smith said.

“Some people call us the Derby State Police,” he said.  “We’re not the Derby State Police.  We’re the State Police.  We just happen to be based in Derby.”…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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