Irasburg Select Board: Fecher resigns from board

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copyright the Chronicle April 20, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail 

IRASBURG — Brian Fecher, the chair of the Irasburg Select Board, submitted a letter of resignation from the board at a special meeting called for Thursday night.  But he’s still on the board for now.

“Recently I accepted a position that takes me over an hour away at least four days a week,” Mr. Fecher’s letter says.

“I’m away 40-50 hours a week,” he said at the meeting. “I don’t know that I can keep up with the responsibilities of being on the select board.”

“Yesterday we received word that a buyer is seriously interested in the purchase of our house,” the letter says. “As a result, our plans have changed and a timetable moved up.”

Mr. Fecher said his new job responsibilities and the time he spends commuting is eating into time he previously spent working on town business.

However, he was worried about the effect that his resignation would have on the board and its workload…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Stenger and state spar over finances

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copyright the Chronicle April 13, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

EAST BURKE – A long-running disagreement between the sponsors of two EB-5-funded projects and state regulators has been thrown into sharp relief through an exchange of letters between the owners of Q Burke Resort and the commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR).

On March 25, Commissioner Susan Donegan of the DFR sent a letter to Bill Stenger, one of the Q Burke partners and co-owner of Jay Peak Resort, in which she accused him of failing “to engage in best business practices.”

That failure, Ms. Donegan maintained, made it impossible for her to give the Q Burke partners complete access to investors’ money now held.…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Viens won’t seek re-election, Monette, Klar will run

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copyright the Chronicle April 13, 2016

by Tena Starr

The Orleans County political playing field shuffled around this week.

State Senator John Rodgers of Glover won’t run for lieutenant governor after all.  Representative Gary Viens of Newport won’t run for a state Senate seat, and his wife, Carol, won’t run for his House seat.  Instead, the Viens won’t run for anything.

Irasburg farmer John Klar and Newport Mayor Paul Monette will run for House, both as Republicans, setting up a Primary Election race between those two and.…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Alternative medicine – woo-woo or effective?

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copyright the Chronicle April 13, 2016

by Natalie Hormilla

On a recent rainy morning, Grace Johnstone zipped up what looked like a cross between an astronaut suit and a duffle bag and flipped a switch.  The thing’s slack walls filled out and stiffened as it filled with air, and it made a loud, vaccum-type sound.

But it’s not loud if you’re inside it, Ms. Johnstone said.

For a person who comes to Community Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in East Hardwick, getting inside this contraption – a hyperbaric chamber – can lead to healing that may not happen otherwise, Ms. Johnstone said.

“Some people go through the medical wringer, and straighten themselves out with HBOT.…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Sugarmaking turns into big business

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copyrigh the Chronicle April 6, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

Sugarmaking has turned into big business in Vermont.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Vermont sugarmakers made 1.3 million gallons of syrup in 2015, more than double the 500,000 gallons produced in 2008.

A lot of the growth is from new technology – vacuum pumps that keep the sap flowing at continuous levels instead of starting and stopping with the weather, and reverse osmosis, a process that removes up to 75 percent of the water in the sap before boiling even begins, said Mark Isselhardt, a maple specialist at the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center.

All of that efficiency means that sugarmakers can tap more trees.

But progress can come at a price.…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Firefighters save Barton home

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copyright the Chronicle April 6, 2016

Barton, Orleans, and Glover firefighters work to keep Mark LaCoss’ home from destruction Tuesday.  Barton Ambulance was also on the scene.  Barton Fire Chief Kevin Tartaglio said his department was toned out at 2:30 p.m. for a garage fire on New Dublin Lane.  Because of the small number of firefighters in the Barton department, Chief Tartaglio immediately sought assistance from Orleans through Mutual Aid.  When…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Stenger says Newport plans are on track

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copyright the Chronicle April 6, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT – Bill Stenger says his plans for Newport are on track, although those related to the AnC Bio facility are undergoing some modifications in reaction to changes in the direction of biomedical technology.

In a conversation Monday, just after he returned from seeking investors in South Africa, Mr. Stenger said plans have been modified to allow the facility to manufacture products for gene therapy products in addition to those based on stem cells.

Gene therapy requires changes to “air flow, water flow, and people flow” in the plant, he said.

Mr. Stenger said the design modifications are necessary to keep pace…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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In Orleans: Former drugstore demolished

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copyright the Chronicle April 6, 2016

Demolition of the former Austin’s Drugstore in Orleans started on Sunday.  Owner Larry Thibault, who also owns neighboring Thibault’s Market, said he expects the hole will be filled in within the next few days.  His plan is to improve parking for his store.  Currently…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Derby Select Board: Walmart will create need for more policing

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copyright the Chronicle March 30, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

DERBY — Representatives from the State Police and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department told the select board here Monday that the soon-to-open Walmart will mean additional police calls.  

Both departments recommended that the town put more resources toward what it said would be a problem.  

Board members were unconvinced.

Lieutenant Walter Smith, who commands the Derby State Police barracks, and Captain Mike Henry, who heads the St. Johnsbury outpost, warned the select board at their meeting Monday evening that other towns that host Walmarts have seen increased reports of shoplifting and fender benders.

Troopers will not be responding to those calls, Lieutenant Smith said.

The Derby State Police contingent is made up of 11 troopers who are responsible for policing 31 towns in Orleans and Essex counties, Lieutenant Smith said.

“Some people call us the Derby State Police,” he said.  “We’re not the Derby State Police.  We’re the State Police.  We just happen to be based in Derby.”…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Irasburg farmer challenges state

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copyright the Chronicle March 23, 2016

by Tena Starr

An Irasburg farmer has invited the Vermont Agency of Agriculture to prosecute him for violating the state’s slaughtering rules.

His crime?  He advertised half of a grass fed beef that had not been “properly” slaughtered for sale.

John Klar has been raising and selling organic beef and sheep for more than 15 years.  Last summer, he received a surprise visit from Agency of Agriculture compliance investigator Eric Holgrem, who had seen a Craigslist ad that Mr. Klar had placed for beef.

“He didn’t call; he just showed up,” Mr. Klar said.

That’s something else he objects to, but his main problem is with the regulations themselves, which he said make no sense.

Vermont’s most recent version of the slaughter rules passed in 2013, and the House last week voted…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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