In NCSU: Most towns can expect to see lower tax rate

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copyright the Chroniocle January 20, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

DERBY – The board of North Country Union High School and the North Country Career Center have something of a late Christmas gift for area voters – a budget that is 2.34 percent lower than that approved last year.

As most local residents know, a lower budget does not always translate into lower property taxes.  But North Country Supervisory Union Director of Business and Finance Glenn Hankinson predicts most of the towns in the high school union should see…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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New plan for local dispatch eyed amidst reports of problems

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copyright the Chronicle January 20, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — An offer by the Newport City Police Department to take over responsibility for dispatching Orleans County emergency responders has drawn interest from a number of departments.

Some have complained of poor dispatching service since the center was moved from the State Police barracks in Derby to Williston. In particular, there have been mix-ups between Newport City and Newport Center.

At least one fire department, though, is feeling less enthusiastic about the city’s offer after a meeting with a representative of the State Police Monday evening.

Newport Police Chief Seth DiSanto told the city council at its meeting Monday night that he has met with Northeast International Mutual Aid, representatives of Orleans County emergency medical responders, and town officials to explain the proposal and received a good response from each.

In an interview last week, Chief DiSanto explained his idea, saying that Newport is offering to expand its dispatch service to cover the entire county. At present, he said, the city’s dispatch service operates during the day and evenings on weekdays.

The additional cost of making it a full-time service would be about… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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In Barton Village: Seniors urge PSB to reject electric rate hike

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copyright the Chronicle January 20, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

BARTON — A handful of Barton senior citizens begged the Public Service Board (PSB) at a hearing here Thursday night to reject an 18 percent electric rate increase that went into effect in December of 2015.

Barton Village Electric was allowed to start charging the higher rate before the PSB, makes its final decision.

If the rate increase is denied or modified, Barton Electric will owe its customers a refund.

About eight village residents showed up at the hearing held at the Municipal Building on January 14. There were also three members of the press, two Barton Trustees, and assorted officials.

The public hearing was part of a PSB investigation into the “fairness and equity” of Barton Electric’s proposed rate increase.

Andrea McHugh, a utilities analyst with the Public Service Board, was the hearing officer.

Altogether the planned rate increase will be just under 21 percent. The 18 percent increase took effect on December 5. Another increase of almost 3 percent is scheduled to go into effect on December 5, 2016.

“This will have an enormous impact on the seniors who are… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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How hard is it to buy a gun?

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copyright the Chronicle January 13, 2016

by Tena Starr  

A couple of months ago I became the owner of a World War II issue Yugoslavian Mauser.

The story behind that unlikely purchase is complicated, but part of it had to do with the San Bernardino shootings.

Aware that the gun control debate was about to start up again, I wondered just how hard, or easy, it actually is to buy a gun.

One way to find out was to buy one.

Even though I grew up in Vermont in a family with a gun cabinet, went hunting with my father as a kid, and made sure both my children knew how to shoot, I had never owned, or bought, a gun.

So I asked about the Mauser, got a break on the price, and bought it.

This is what it entailed: I filled out the paperwork, which isn’t lengthy, and basically asks… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Barton Village: New water and sewer rates set

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copyright the Chronicle January 13, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

BARTON — The Barton Village Trustees set new water and sewer rates at their meeting Monday night. Water customers will now pay a base charge of $24 a month, plus $4.50 for every thousand gallons they use. They will also pay a $30 base charge for sewer service, plus $6.25 for every thousand gallons, based on the water meter.

Water bills are about to be sent out for the current billing cycle, so people will see those changes on the bill that comes in February.

Jackie Swett and Denise Valley came to the meeting as concerned citizens. Because they each use fewer than 1,000 gallons a month, they fall into the category of users, many on fixed incomes, who will see their rates go up as a result of the changes.

“So, after the whole discussion at the public meeting, you’re still going ahead with raising our rates?” Ms. Swett asked. “That’s a 60… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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In Newport Center: Doubled water rates lead to fractious meeting

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copyright the Chronicle January 13, 2016

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

NEWPORT CENTER — The 25 or so people who came to the select board meeting here on Thursday, January 7, were looking for answers as to why their water bill doubled in November.

They left the fractious meeting with a newly formed water committee and an approved $171,366 water budget for 2016, up nearly $13,450 from this year’s $157,922 budget.

Part of that increase includes a new capital reserve fund of $11,255. It’s the first time the water department will set money aside, select board Chair Steve Barrup said.

The budget also includes $44,912 for engineering fees, which are expected to be reimbursed through state grants.

Water users became concerned after the select board doubled water rates in November. The price tag for water jumped from $120 per quarter per household to $240.

That increase was needed… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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The Donald does Vermont

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Trump-protestors-cmykcopyright the Chronicle January 13, 2016

by Tena Starr  

BURLINGTON — Not surprisingly, given the candidate’s career, Donald Trump’s rally here last week resembled a reality TV show as much as a political rally.

Mr. Trump bragged about the 20,000 people who had lined up to see him.

Actually, according to Burlington Police, that number was closer to 2,000.

His campaign had issued 20,000 free tickets, and many ticket holders believed that a ticket translated into entrance to the venue.

It did not. Hundreds of people stood in line outside for hours and many were denied entrance because the 1,400-seat venue was full.

It filled slowly, since everyone who made it to the doors had to go through airport level security, including body scans and bag searches.

“I love my people,” Mr. Trump said shortly after we walked in. “They are the most loyal people.”

Anyone who did not exhibit that loyalty, however, was ushered, bodily if necessary… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Irasburg Selectmen: Board gets tutorial on public meeting law

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Irasburg town attorney Sara Davies Coe explains the fine points of the open meeting law to the Irasburg Select Board and planning commission.  At left is board Chair Brian Fecher.  At the far right is Town Clerk Danielle Ingalls.   Photo by Elizabeth Trail

Irasburg town attorney Sara Davies Coe explains the fine points of the open meeting law to the Irasburg Select Board and planning commission. At left is board Chair Brian Fecher. At the far right is Town Clerk Danielle Ingalls. Photo by Elizabeth Trail

copyright the Chronicle January 6, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

IRASBURG — “Oftentimes boards think they are eligible to enter executive session when they are not,” Irasburg town attorney Sara Davies Coe told the selectmen and members of the newly formed Irasburg Planning Commission at Monday night’s meeting.

Ms. Davies Coe’s comment raised a few chuckles around the room, if rueful ones, from the select board. Irasburg’s select board has been accused of violating the open meeting law twice in the past several months.

So Ms. Davies Coe was asked to come to the meeting to conduct a training session.

“I’m a new chair, and I want to be sure I get it right,” Brian Fecher said. “We also have a new board member.”

“Basically if Brian meets Brian… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Fish passage is officially open

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Photo by Nate Sicard

Photo by Nate Sicard

copyright the Chronicle January 6, 2016

The long-awaited fish passage at Barton Electric’s hydroelectric power plant in West Charleston officially opened on December 23. Federal regulations require a way for fish to be able to migrate upstream past a power plant or dam….

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Glover woman qualifies to compete in Olympic trials

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Leah Frost stands before a few of the many race bibs that decorate a wall of her Glover apartment.  Photos by Joseph Gresser

Leah Frost stands before a few of the many race bibs that decorate a wall of her Glover apartment. Photos by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle December 16, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

GLOVER — Leah Frost, who won the title of “Fastest Woman in Glover” at the 2013 and 2014 Glover Day Chamberlain Run, has earned the chance to match her mettle against some of her running heroes. A time of 2:42:52 in the California International Marathon means she has qualified to compete in trials for a slot on the U.S. Women’s Olympic Team.

The race was held in Sacramento, California, on December 6.

Ms. Frost, who lives in Glover, said Monday that she is under no illusion that she will be one of those chosen to represent the U.S. in the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio De Janeiro next August. To do that, she said, would require her to cut around 20 minutes from her time.

If the weather stays as it has been and she’s able to train hard, Ms. Frost said she… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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