More charges stem from Barton meth lab raid

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Copyright the Chronicle June 22, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — The other shoe dropped Tuesday for Terry A. Parson, 33, of Bellows Falls. He was brought into the Criminal Division of Orleans County Criminal Court Tuesday where five more charges were added to the three he already faces for allegedly making and selling methamphetamine.

Mr. Parson pled innocent to two felony charges of conspiring to make meth and one of manufacturing the drug. He also denied charges of cruelty to a child and reckless endangerment.

If he is convicted of the most serious charge, manufacturing methamphetamine, Mr. Parson could spend up to 20 years in prison and pay a fine of $1-million.

One May 23 Mr. Parson pled innocent to selling meth, a felony, and possession of less than 2.5 grams of the drug.

Judge Howard VanBenthuysen kept Mr. Parson’s bail at $100,000. He has not been able to raise that amount and remains at Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Demonstration held in wake of Orlando shootings

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Copyright the Chronicle June 22, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Some Newport residents decided not to let a Florida shooting that left 49 people dead and another 53 wounded pass without a public statement about their distress and anger.

Pam Ladds was seated at the Emory Hebard State Office Building at 3 p.m. on Friday. She wore a T-shirt decorated with a big pink triangle and carried a hand drum.

Ms. Ladds was the only person on time for a demonstration called in the wake of the June 12 murder of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, but said she was confident that others would soon join her.

Sure enough, people began arriving, one or two at a time, until a small crowd, about 12 or 13 strong, stood near the big stone fish on the plaza in front of the state office building.

Most carried hand lettered signs opposing the sale of military style weapons for civilian use.

“The demonstration was scheduled as a way of raising awareness of what happened in Orlando,” Ms. Ladds said…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Brownington death ruled homicide

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copyright the Chronicle June 22, 2016

The death of a Brownington man in March has been ruled a homicide.

The Chief Medical Examiner’s office announced on Monday that Kevin Smith, 38, died from a stab wound to his chest.

Around 8:30 p.m. on March 28 State Police responded to a 911 call from Jennifer Simard, Mr. Smith’s girlfriend, who said he was at her house near the Evansville Trading Post and unresponsive…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Select board to consider gift of historic church

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Copyright the Chronicle June 22, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

COVENTRY — The Coventry Select Board is once again considering an offer made ten years ago by the last surviving members of the Congregational Church of Coventry to give the historic church building to the town.

The church was built in 1829 by prominent early resident Elijah Cleveland.

A decade ago, there were three living members of the church, said Alan Feltmarch, who was one of the three.

An agreement had almost been reached to donate the church to the town, when one of the select board members made a comment about selling the historic building, he said.

That brought an end to the negotiations.

Since then, one of the three members has died, and one is having memory issues. Dr. Feltmarch is himself elderly and would like to see the matter settled.

“We have enough money in the account to go about one more year,” he said. But there is no money to paint the building or put on the new roof it needs…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Barton Village Trustees — Barton electric rates drop to 16.7 percent

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copyright the Chronicle June 15, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

BARTON VILLAGE— The long-running story of Barton Electric’s rate case is drawing to a close, with the 21 percent rate increase the village had asked for whittled down to 16.7 percent.

Customers will be credited on future bills for the extra they have paid. An 18 percent increase went into effect last December. By law, electric utilities are allowed to raise their rates while their cases are being considered by the Public Service Board (PSB), as long as they refund any overpayments.

In a proposed decision dated May 23, the PSB disallowed several of the expenses that Barton Electric had taken into account in its request for the higher rate.

In particular, the electric department will not be allowed to recover the interest paid on the $285,000 in bond proceeds that got mixed into Barton Electric’s operating costs at some point in the past.

Barton Electric was given until May 7 to reply to the PSB…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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EB-5 investors take aim at Quiros and Raymond James

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copyright the Chronicle June 15, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

The major skirmishes in the legal battle over Jay Peak’s EB-5 projects seem to have settled down, at least for the moment. Civil suits filed against Ariel Quiros, the owner of Jay Peak and Burke Mountain resorts, and his companies, along with Bill Stenger, former president of Jay Peak, have been filed in federal court by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and, in Vermont Superior Court, by the state Department of Financial Regulation.

Both allege that Mr. Quiros, with the help of Mr. Stenger, misused around $200-million of the $350-million they raised from foreign investors hoping to get green cards in exchange for putting money into a job-creating project. Mr. Quiros is also accused of taking about $55-million for his own use.

Mr. Quiros’ businesses and property have been put in the hands of Michael Goldberg, appointed receiver…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Lawmakers pass revised energy-siting bill

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copyright the Chronicle June 15, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

MONTPELIER — Northeast Kingdom legislators spent a long day at the State House on Thursday, but they came home with a revised energy siting bill — S.260 — approved by both the House and the Senate.

Governor Shumlin signed S.260 into law on Tuesday.

The law will give town and regional planning commissions “substantial deference” before the Public Service Board when their plans have been determined to be consistent with state energy and climate goals, the Governor wrote in his signing statement.

Earlier last week, the Governor vetoed a previous version of the bill, called S.230. In his veto statement, the Governor wrote that the part of the bill allowing wind turbine noise to be no louder than ten decibels above the ambient sound in an area was too restrictive and could inadvertently push wind development toward urban areas…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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In Superior Court Cole denied driving in fatal crash

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copyright the Chronicle June 8, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Friends and relatives of Esperanza Robles, 29, of Derby Line and Ryan Coulter, 26, of Newport, crowded into the courtroom June 8, to witness the arraignment of Joshua Cole, 30, of Newport, who police say was responsible for the car crash in which they died on May 29.

Mr. Cole denied that he was driving, though several witnesses put him behind the wheel, police say.

Mr. Cole showed few signs of what an initial report from Trooper Debra Munson said were serious head injuries as he was brought, handcuffed, into court.

He had been arrested the day before and held overnight on $50,000 bail.

Once in court Mr. Cole, through lawyer Jill Jourdan, pled innocent to 11 felonies. They included two charges of involuntary manslaughter, two charges of grossly negligent driving resulting in a fatality, and a charge of grossly negligent driving resulting in serious injury…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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OSCU merger plan goes down in flames

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copyright the Chronicle June 8, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

Voters soundly rejected on Tuesday a plan for a merger that would have turned the Orleans Central Supervisory Union (OCSU) into a unified school district. Only Barton voted in favor of the proposal.

All seven towns within the supervisory union would have had to approve the merger in order for it to happen.
Brownington voted resoundingly, 45-22, against a unified school district. Glover voted 74- 37 against. And Orleans voted 41 to 31 against.

In Barton the vote was 56-35 in favor.

Amy Leroux, chair of the OCSU board and of the study committee, could not be reached by telephone Tuesday night.
“I’m disappointed,” said Kathy White, another study committee member…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Lawmakers disappointed by veto of renewable energy siting bill

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copyright the Chronicle June 8, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

Local policymakers are disappointed about Governor Peter Shumlin’s veto of S.230, the bill that would give towns and town plans more voice before the Public Service Board (PSB) about where commercial wind and solar projects are sited.

Most were also surprised. The state has made enormous progress toward its clean energy goals, the Governor said in a Monday press release. And one out of 17 Vermonters now works in the green energy industry.

“Last minute changes to S.230 would have had the effect of putting the brakes on this progress and costing Vermonters jobs,” the press release said.

The temporary wind turbine noise provisions in the bill that allowed noise only ten decibels above the ambient noise in an area were too…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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