Evidence room burglar could get up to 25 years

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copyright the Chronicle January 27, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT – A 20-year-old Newport man faces between eight and 25 years in prison for looting the evidence room at the Newport City Police Station and participating in a burglary spree that hit homes and businesses in Lowell and Troy.

Mikeal Rivers pled guilty or no contest to a string of felonies Tuesday in the Criminal Division of Orleans County Superior Court here.  His plea agreement allows him to contest the length of the sentence proposed by the state.

Should Judge Howard VanBenthuysen decide a long term is merited, Mr. Rivers would…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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In Barton Village: Ormiston’s job is still in limbo

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copyright the Chronicle January 27, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

BARTON – Barton Village Financial Coordinator David Ormiston asked to have his job situation discussed in open session at Monday night’s meeting of the village trustees.  But despite a long discussion, both in open session and in executive session, the trustees have still not reached a final decision.

“Since the personnel matter on the agenda pertains to me, I would……To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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West Burke man gets crossword puzzle published in The New York Times

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copyright the Chronicle January 27, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

JOHNSBURY — There was nothing in The New York Times crossword puzzle on January 16 to suggest a Vermont connection — no maple syrup references, no catamounts or Green Mountains in the clues.

But the puzzle was the work of Sean Dobbin, a crossword enthusiast from West Burke. It’s the fourth crossword puzzle that Mr. Dobbin has had published in The New York Times.

On Monday, Mr. Dobbin was even more excited about another matter. He had just come…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Orleans Central Supervisory Union: Schools largely unaffected by spending cab fumble

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copyright the Chronicle January 20, 2016

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

Most Orleans Central Supervisory Union (OSCU) school districts won’t be affected by the mix-up in calculating Act 46 spending caps, OCSU Business Manager Heather Wright said at the supervisory union’s carousel meeting on Tuesday.

The Vermont Agency of Education sent out new per pupil spending amounts…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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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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