Bears burglarize Island Pond

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by Tena Starr

copyright the Chronicle July 13, 2016

ISLAND POND — Leesa Timpson was upstairs doing housework last week when she heard noise in the kitchen. “Hey honey,” she called down, thinking her husband had come in and was making an early lunch.

But it wasn’t her husband; it was a bear, who had broken through the screen door, helped itself to a snack, and ambled back out. When Ms. Timpson heard the door slam, she went to the bedroom window, and “there was a bear walking down the ramp,” she said.

“You want to know what bears like?” said Cliff Timpson, her husband. “Cashews, olive oil, and marshmallows.”

Ms. Timpson said she came downstairs and saw the bear sitting at the end of the ramp just looking at her.

“I totally should have been afraid, but I wasn’t. I started banging on things and barking like a dog. It finally blinked at me and lumbered away. Then it hit me. Woops, there was a bear in my kitchen…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Storm chase, part one

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copyright the Chronicle July 6, 2016

by Steve Maleski

It was 1:20 p.m. We’d been up since six, on the road since just before seven. Hundreds of miles had flowed by under the wheels of the big white Toyota 4Runner that we picked out of the lineup in the lot of the Alamo Rental lot at Denver’s Stapleton Airport the evening before. Its color, high clearance and ample window space were qualities that recommended themselves to us. Likewise the nearly vertical windshield. We would be driving over rough roads, in possibly difficult conditions. The temperature would likely be hot at times: We would be seeking out areas of maximum heating. A vertical windshield would be less liable to shatter in hail, and we would probably encounter some, possibly large. The window space? We’d need that for the best omnidirectional visibility we could get. We were going storm chasing…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Stenger asks for time to settle EB-5 case

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copyright the Chronicle July 6, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

Bill Stenger, the president of Jay Peak Resorts and one of those named in a civil suit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in U.S. District Court in Miami, Florida, has asked for time to complete settlement talks in the case.

His lawyer filed a motion on June 27 asking that the date set for his response to the SEC be pushed back to August 19. It was the second such request Mr. Stenger has made. He also asked for a postponement a month earlier.

In making the request, Mr. Stenger’s lawyers, Stephanie Casey and Robert Martinez, said he and the SEC “are currently in the midst of serious, detailed settlement discussions.”

Ms. Casey and Mr. Martinez said neither the SEC nor Michael Goldberg, the court-appointed receiver who has been running Jay Peak and Burke Mountain Resorts since April, object to his request…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Dairy farmer settlement appealed

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copyright the Chronicle July 6, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

BURLINGTON — When U.S. District Court Judge Christina Reiss gave her approval to the $50-million settlement reached between dairy farmers and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and its marketing arm Dairy Marketing Services (DMS) one might have thought that ended the matter. Not so.

Two of the lead plaintiffs in the class action suit have asked for, and received, permission to challenge Judge Reiss’ decision in the U.S. Appeals Court for the Second Circuit. That appeals court, located in Boston, has jurisdiction over New England… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Gubernatorial debate in Irasburg

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copyright the Chronicle July 6, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

IRASBURG — What choice do Vermont’s voters have in charting a course for the state’s future? With not only the Governor’s chair open this fall, but also vacancies in other statewide offices and legislative leadership positions, the question is far from idle speculation.

Four of the five candidates seeking a major party gubernatorial nomination in the August 9 Primary election offered their answers on a variety of major issues when they faced off in front of an audience of over 200 here on June 29.

Republicans Bruce Lisman and Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott each made a case that he would be the best choice to head their party’s ticket. Former state Senators Matt Dunne and Peter Galbraith contended for the Democratic nod.

Former Agency of Transportation Secretary Sue Minter, who also is vying for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, had a scheduling conflict that kept her from attending, according to a campaign spokesman.

The Progressive Party, also considered a major party, has not put forward a candidate for Governor…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Woman gets jail for starving goats

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copyright the Chronicle June 29, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — The Holland woman whose barn was filled with starving and dead goats admitted guilt Tuesday and will spend 15 days of an 18-to-36-month sentence in jail.

Stacey Lynn Lopes, 42, now of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, pled guilty to three charges of cruelty to animals by depriving them of food and water, and a felony charge of cruelty to animals by causing them undue pain.

In the Criminal Division of Orleans County Superior Court, Judge Howard VanBenthuysen ordered Ms. Lopes to serve the jail portion of her otherwise suspended sentence in three-day chunks on consecutive weekends.

Under the terms of a plea agreement worked out with the Orleans County State’s Attorney, Ms. Lopes is no longer allowed to own or care for animals. She will remain on probation for three years.

Dr. Kristin Haas, veterinarian with the state Agency of Agriculture, told police on May 8, 2015, she found several malnourished and dead goats at a farm in Holland…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Caterpillars defoliate hundreds of acres

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copyright the Chronicle June 29, 2016

by Tena Starr

About five or six weeks ago Bob Lawson noticed that the foliage on the maples in his sugarbush was looking a little ragged. Since then, hundreds of acres of the hillside in Albany and Irasburg where Mr. Lawson’s sugar maples are have been defoliated.

“There’s caterpillars everywhere,” Mr. Lawson said. “I’ve never seen that before.”

There are a number of other hot spots in the state, said Orleans County Forester Jared Nunery on Tuesday. But the caterpillar infestation on that particular hillside is likely the biggest in the state, he said.

“It’s well beyond the borders of Bob Lawson’s sugarbush now,” Mr. Nunery said. “It’s about 1,100 acres. It looks like the whole mountain is dying.”
The culprit is the forest tent caterpillar, whose population exploded this spring, resulting in countless acres of ash, maples, yellow birch, and beech foliage being gobbled up.

There is no particular reason for the millions of caterpillars this year, Mr. Nunery said. It’s part of a natural cycle. The forest tent caterpillar is not a foreign, invasive insect; it’s native to Vermont…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Film producers in search of Phish concert stories

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copyright the Chronicle June 29, 2016

by Tena Starr

Back in 2004, Alexander Daltas was a young, aspiring filmmaker. He was also a fan of the Burlington-based band Phish. And so he found himself in the Northeast Kingdom’s most epic traffic jam, one of the tens of thousands who were bent on getting to Brad Maxwell’s Coventry farm for what was billed as the last Phish concert.

Mr. Daltas, unlike many, made it to the concert, but not before spending two nights sleeping in his car and using up his camera footage — not on the show itself, as he’d expected — but on the adventure of simply getting there, which proved a lot harder than anyone could have imagined.

Now, he’s making a documentary about that journey and is asking Northeast Kingdom residents who have stories to tell to get in touch with him.

It was supposed to be a four-hour trip, Mr. Daltas said last week in a phone interview from Los Angeles. He’d flown from LA to Massachusetts, where he’d grown up, with the plan of driving to Coventry.

Now, he’s making a documentary about that journey and is asking Northeast Kingdom residents who have stories to tell to get in touch with him…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Jay Peak hosts annual Porsche parade

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copyright the Chronicle June 29, 2016

by Jef Barker

A week of Porsche Club of America (PCA) events, including a concours, a time, speed, and distance rally, and a parade of Porsches ended Saturday with 350 of the German-made cars driving from Jay Peak to Newport. Several dozen cars and about 150 people continued on to the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line.

There were at least a dozen people on the sidewalks and front lawns on and around Main Street in Newport taking pictures of the cars when the parade passed by at the turnaround point.

Some of the drivers parked at the state office building or on Main Street to enjoy Newport, but most looped around and headed back to Jay or continued on to the Haskell Opera House.

The Porsche owners took care of their own throughout the week — with about 600 club members volunteering for four- to six-hour shifts, doing everything from setup and tear down to working at the event car wash hosted by the Jay Fire Department…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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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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