1,000 pounds of onions stolen from Albany farmer

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Andy Paonessa at one of his farm fields.  Last week someone stole about 1,000 pounds of onions and shallots from him and his soon-to-be wife, Meghan Stotko.  Photo by Tena Starr

Andy Paonessa at one of his farm fields. Last week someone stole about 1,000 pounds of onions and shallots from him and his soon-to-be wife, Meghan Stotko. Photo by Tena Starr

copyright the Chronicle September 23, 2015

by Tena Starr

ALBANY — A puzzled Albany farmer is wondering why anyone would want to steal nearly 1,000 pounds of onions.

Andy Paonessa arrived at one of his farm fields last week to top and crate onions and discovered that he had been robbed of about $2,000 worth of onions and shallots.

“I looked around and thought there’s a lot missing. I looked down at my feet, and I was looking down at tire tracks.”

It turned out that about 1,000 pounds of onions that had been pulled, topped, and crated up for further drying had vanished. There were, and still are, clear tracks indicating that someone with a truck drove in and simply took 20 crates of onions and shallots from the field.

“I said, oh my God, we got robbed out of the field,” Mr. Paonessa said.

He said his workers scratched their heads.

Even the State Police were a… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Land trust helps farmers find farms

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Neal Perry, pictured here, and his wife, Rebekah, are the owners of a 134-acre farm in Brownington.  He sits on his porch as he discusses plans to sell the property to the Vermont Land Trust.  That organization, in turn, plans to sell the land to a new farmer at a price that will allow him or her to keep it in agriculture.  Photos by Joseph Gresser

Neal Perry, pictured here, and his wife, Rebekah, are the owners of a 134-acre farm in Brownington. He sits on his porch as he discusses plans to sell the property to the Vermont Land Trust. That organization, in turn, plans to sell the land to a new farmer at a price that will allow him or her to keep it in agriculture. Photos by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle September 23, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

BROWNINGTON — Neal Perry has lived all of his 48 years on the 134-acre farm that was in his family 43 years before he was born. But sometime soon another farmer will be cultivating the land.

Mr. Perry isn’t being pushed off his property; rather he is following a calling and moving to Island Pond to be closer to the Green Mountain Bible Church where he has been pastor for two years.

Sitting on the porch of his house on Thursday, September 17, and looking across the long vista to Willoughby Gap, Mr. Perry spoke about the person who will succeed him as steward of the farm.

“I want someone to love it like I loved it,” he said.

Mr. Perry doesn’t know who that… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Drilling underway on new well for Lake Region

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Drilling began on Friday for a new water well at Lake Region Union High School.  As of Tuesday morning, H.A. Manosh was still drilling.  A big pile of dirt shows that progress is being made.  Photo by Elizabeth Trail

Drilling began on Friday for a new water well at Lake Region Union High School. As of Tuesday morning, H.A. Manosh was still drilling. A big pile of dirt shows that progress is being made. Photo by Elizabeth Trail

copyright the Chronicle September 23, 2015

by Elizabeth Trail

Drilling began Friday on Lake Region Union High School’s new well.

About two weeks into the new school year, Lake Region maintenance personnel discovered that there was no water in the building.  The well refilled a little overnight, and the school limped carefully through the remainder of the week. But it soon became clear that the school was going to need a new well.

“I know just enough about this to be dangerous,” Principal Andre Messier said at the Lake Region school board meeting on Thursday night.

Normally, the school draws about 3,000 to 3,500 gallons of water a day, Mr. Messier said.  At the time that the well failed, the draw was about 6,000 gallons a day, and a leak was discovered… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Matt Dunne talks about challenges and opportunities

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Matt Dunne, a Democratic candidate for governor, held a community forum at Parker Pie in West Glover on Sunday afternoon.  The lists of challenges and opportunities generated at the brainstorming session will become part of Mr. Dunne’s campaign platform.  Jill Michaels, left, is the volunteer coordinator for the Dunne campaign.   Photo by Elizabeth Trail

Matt Dunne, a Democratic candidate for governor, held a community forum at Parker Pie in West Glover on Sunday afternoon. The lists of challenges and opportunities generated at the brainstorming session will become part of Mr. Dunne’s campaign platform. Jill Michaels, left, is the volunteer coordinator for the Dunne campaign. Photo by Elizabeth Trail

copyright the Chronicle September 16, 2015

by Elizabeth Trail

WEST GLOVER — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne came to the Parker Pie restaurant here Sunday to listen to what people think are the biggest challenges — and opportunities — facing Vermont.  Mr. Dunne wants to hold at least one community forum in every county in Vermont to help plan his campaign platform.

Over slices of what Mr. Dunne called “the best pizza in Vermont,” 13 people from Orleans County brainstormed ideas for the state’s future. Mr. Dunne plans to e-mail a copy of the lists the group generated back to everyone who came to the meeting. He will also compare his notes from all over the state, looking for common threads that will become the core of his platform. He hopes to become aware of issues that are unique to one area or another, he said, so that he can serve those constituents better.

Mr. Dunne, who lives in Hartland, is… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Sidelined train cars have neighbours worried

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One of the hundreds of propane tank cars stored on a railroad siding south of Barton.  Although railroad officials said the cars are secure, this car has been spray-painted by local graffiti artists.  The sign in the foreground marks the location of the Portland crude oil pipeline.  Photo by Elizabeth Trail

One of the hundreds of propane tank cars stored on a railroad siding south of Barton. Although railroad officials said the cars are secure, this car has been spray-painted by local graffiti artists. The sign in the foreground marks the location of the Portland crude oil pipeline. Photo by Elizabeth Trail

copyright the Chronicle September 9, 2015

by Elizabeth Trail

BARTON — Five miles south of Barton, a long line of train cars built to carry propane gas sit idle on the railroad siding that runs along Route 5. In places, the siding is surrounded by woods. In other places it runs through wetlands, or past modest houses and trailers. Hundreds of tank cars, stretching in a line over a mile long, appeared in late July or early August, and people are worried.

“I noticed the line of cars when I was driving to Lyndonville with my son to buy some paint,” said Ellen Mass, who owns a summer home in West Glover.

With thoughts of the Lac-Megantic disaster in Quebec a few years ago, Ms. Mass called or e-mailed everyone she could think of who might know why a mile of tank cars suddenly appeared…  To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Irasburg wind opponents plan petition drive

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Irasburg Ridgeline Alliance (IRA) volunteer Becky Boulanger of Irasburg hands a Vermont state flag to Gary Bennett, also of Irasburg.  The flag is the final decoration for a hay wagon located near the south end of Irasburg Common.  It’s one of six  positioned throughout Irasburg in preparation for IRA’s “neighbor-to-neighbor” campaign kickoff meeting to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 9, at the Irasburg Town Hall.  Photo by Cathy Bennett

Irasburg Ridgeline Alliance (IRA) volunteer Becky Boulanger of Irasburg hands a Vermont state flag to Gary Bennett, also of Irasburg. The flag is the final decoration for a hay wagon located near the south end of Irasburg Common. It’s one of six positioned throughout Irasburg in preparation for IRA’s “neighbor-to-neighbor” campaign kickoff meeting to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 9, at the Irasburg Town Hall. Photo by Cathy Bennett

copyright the Chronicle September 9, 2015

by Tena Starr  

IRASBURG — A loose coalition called the Irasburg Ridge Alliance (IRA) has formed here to oppose David Blittersdorf’s plans for a two-tower commercial wind project on Kidder Hill.

The group will hold a meeting on Wednesday evening, September 9.

“The advice we got from our legislators is that the best chance we have to preserve Kidder Hill from industrial wind development is to present a unified and strong opposition from the town,” said Judith Jackson, an organizer.

With that in mind, she said, the group will start a petition drive to see how many Irasburg voters are opposed to Mr. Blittersdorf’s project.

“What we hope to ascertain is whether there is widespread opposition to it, and to launch a campaign to get as many signatures of Irasburg voters as possible for a petition to the select board to oppose the Kidder Hill project and to develop…  To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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A risky deal, or a path to home ownership?

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The Barton home occupied by Mr. McCausland and Ms. Stenta for nearly two years.  Photo by Tena Starr

The Barton home occupied by Mr. McCausland and Ms. Stenta for nearly two years. Photo by Tena Starr

copyright the Chronicle September 2, 2015

by Tena Starr  

BARTON — Dave McCausland, Sue Stenta, and Ms. Stenta’s three children — the youngest being 17 — are living in tents at Pageant Park campground here on Crystal Lake this summer.

They say it’s not by choice.

“Welcome to crazy land,” Mr. McCausland said on a particularly windy afternoon that threatened to tear their tents apart.

He and Ms. Stenta said they ended up being campers because they had to leave their Barton house after an assistant state fire marshal inspected it and found it was unsafe. The house had no running water, except in the basement, the plumbing wasn’t hooked up, there were exposed wires, and the only heat was an improperly installed woodstove, which they put in themselves.

Also, there are questions about what appeared to be an open sewer line in the backyard.

Because a minor occupied…  To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Bacon pleads innocent in Greensboro killing

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Ryan Bacon (left) and his lawyer, Jon Valsangiacomo, in Orleans Superior Court shortly after Mr. Bacon pled innocent to a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of his grandfather Lou-Ron Schneider.  Police say Mr. Bacon shot Mr. Schneider Sunday after a quarrel over his grandfather’s relationship with his mother.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Ryan Bacon (left) and his lawyer, Jon Valsangiacomo, in Orleans Superior Court shortly after Mr. Bacon pled innocent to a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of his grandfather Lou-Ron Schneider. Police say Mr. Bacon shot Mr. Schneider Sunday after a quarrel over his grandfather’s relationship with his mother. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle August 26, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — The man who allegedly shot and killed Lou-Ron Schneider of Greensboro Sunday pled innocent to a first degree murder charge Tuesday and was ordered held without bail.

Police say Mr. Schneider was the shooter’s grandfather, and the two had a dispute about Mr. Schneider’s relationship with his mother.

According to a police press release, after a roughly 24-hour manhunt, Ryan P. Bacon, 30, of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, turned himself in at the Hardwick police station Monday evening and was taken to the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility.

He made a brief appearance in the Criminal Division of Orleans County Superior Court the next morning where his lawyer, Jon Valsangiacomo, entered the innocent plea and reserved the right to argue that Mr. Bacon should be released on bail while awaiting trial.

Judge Timothy Tomasi said the presumption in cases carrying the possibility of a life…  To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Feds sentence Niles to 16 months

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Derick Niles, left, consults with his lawyer, Christopher Davis, at a court hearing in Newport in April 2104.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Derick Niles, left, consults with his lawyer, Christopher Davis, at a court hearing in Newport in April 2104. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle August 19, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

Derick J. Niles, who climbed onto his garage roof in September of 2013 while attempting to hold off an imaginary police posse, will serve 16 months in a federal correctional facility because he is an admitted drug user who carried a .360 caliber rifle up with him.

Mr. Niles, 37, of Newport, was sentenced in U.S. District Court by Judge Christina Reiss after he pled guilty earlier this year to “being an unlawful user of a controlled substance” in possession of a firearm.

Once Mr. Niles leaves prison, his sentence calls for him to serve three years of supervised release. He must submit to a drug test within 15 days of getting out of prison and at least two more tests as required by the court, according to…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Kidder Hill wind project draw fierce opposition

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Pictured here, David Blittersdorf, the professional wind developer who plans to put up the turbines and owns the land they would be sited on, came to the meeting but was not allowed to speak. Photo by Elizabeth Trail

Pictured here, David Blittersdorf, the professional wind developer who plans to put up the turbines and owns the land they would be sited on, came to the meeting but was not allowed to speak. Photo by Elizabeth Trail

copyright the Chronicle August 12, 2015

by Elizabeth Trail

IRASBURG — About 40 people, including two state legislators, came to the Irasburg Select Board meeting on Monday night to protest two commercial scale wind towers proposed for nearby Kidder Hill.

David Blittersdorf, the professional wind developer who plans to put up the turbines and owns the land they would be sited on, also came to the meeting but was not allowed to speak.  After listening to well over an hour of public comments, the select board agreed to have some answers at its next meeting to questions about exactly what the town can and cannot do regarding wind development.

Kidder Hill is about four miles northwest of Irasburg. The two towers would produce…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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