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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Jay Peak tram won’t be repaired until next spring

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copyright the Chronicle June 8, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

The state has ordered that the tram at Jay Peak be shut down until critical repairs are made. And the only company that can do the work has said Jay must wait until April of next year for the upgrade work.

The area’s main lift needs immediate attention, and that means lots of money, Michael Goldberg, the receiver for Jay Peak Resort, Burke Mountain Resort, and the other businesses owned and run by Ariel Quiros, told U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles in a ten-page motion on June 1.

Judge Gayles, who appointed Mr. Goldberg, is presiding over a civil suit filed against Mr. Quiros, Bill Stenger, former president of Jay Peak, and their associated network of companies. The suit was filed by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in U.S. Court…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Mayor’s veto of free test water meters is overridden

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copyright the Chronicle June 8, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Mayor Paul Monette vetoed a city council decision Monday not to charge 100 or so residents for water meters installed by the city in 2010 as a test of usage levels. Aldermen Jacques Roberge, Steven Vincent, and Neil Morrissette voted in favor of a new policy of giving meters to the test group at the council’s May 16 meeting.

They confirmed their decision after some testy argument by overriding the mayor’s veto at Monday’s council meeting. As he did in the first vote, Alderman John Wilson cast his vote against the policy.

Mr. Roberge brought up the proposal at the May 16 meeting and told council members he had done considerable research…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Quiros allowed $15,000 a month for expenses

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copyright the Chronicle June 1, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

U.S. District Court Judge Darrin Gayles granted, in part, Ariel Quiros’ request for money to pay legal fees and living expenses last week. The same day Mr. Quiros, the owner of Jay Peak and Burke Mountain resorts, and the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) appeared to argue whether his assets and companies should be placed under a receivership.

Mr. Quiros’ assets were frozen and placed under the control of a receiver in April after he and Bill Stenger, former president of Jay Peak, were charged by the SEC with civil offenses including mishandling, comingling, and, in the case of Mr. Quiros, misappropriating about $200-million.

The money was invested in hotels and other projects at Jay Peak and Burke Mountain and in a biomedical facility in Newport by foreigners who hoped to gain permanent residency status through the federal EB-5 visa program…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Two killed in West Charleston car crash

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copyright the Chronicle June 1, 2016

Two people were killed in a car crash in West Charleston Sunday
afternoon.

Esperanza Robles, 29, of Derby Line and Ryan Coulter, 26, of Newport were thrown from a 1994 Honda Prelude operated by Joshua Cole, 30, of Derby when the car hit a big tree, State Police said.

A press release from Sergeant Sean Selby says that both speed and alcohol are believed to be factors in the accident, which occurred at about 4:40 p.m.

No one was wearing a seatbelt, and all three passengers were thrown out of the vehicle.

The Honda was westbound on Route 105 at the intersection with the Fontaine Road. After exiting a sharp corner, it went off the north side of Route 105, Sergeant Selby said.

Mr. Cole suffered head injuries, police said, and Amanda Letourneau, 27, of East Charleston suffered serious head and leg injuries.…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Dairy Air plans single turbine wind project

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copyright the Chronicle June 1, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

HOLLAND — The Public Service Board awarded Dairy Air Wind, LLC, in Holland a long-term contract on May 27 to sell about 6,000,000 kilowatt hours of power a year to Vermont utilities.

That puts dairy farmer Brian Champney a step closer to his longstanding hope of producing wind power on a hayfield on his 600-acre farm north of the school and town clerk’s office here.

That’s enough to power 2,000 to 2,500 homes, Mr. Champney said.

The power will be produced by a single 2.2-megawatt wind turbine in the center of the Champney family farm.

Mr. Champney’s house is about 2,000 to 2,500 feet from where the turbine will stand, he said. It’s right in the center of the family farm, on land belonging to his mother, Linda Champney.

“I’m going to be the closest one,” he said Tuesday…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Coventry Select Board — Cats are out of the community center

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copyright the Chronicle June 1, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

The cats are gone from the upstairs of the Coventry Community Center.

While touring the building to plan repairs and maintenance during the regular select board meeting on May 23, board members discovered cats living in an unused room upstairs in the community center building.

Town Clerk and Treasurer Cynthia Diaz was given until the weekend to get rid of the cats. A special meeting was called for Thursday, May 26, to discuss the
condition of the building and make a list of repairs.

The cats were strays that she had rescued, Ms. Diaz said…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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