Albany concert expected to draw thousands

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copyright the Chronicle December 7, 2016

by Tena Starr

Two Irasburg Masons are hoping that up to 100,000 people will come to Albany next fall for a daylong concert they’re planning to raise money for the Mt. Sinai #3 Shriners, based in Montpelier. The concert lineup mainly features 1980s rock bands, but there will be 11 acts in all with country music, as well as a trio of local acts, thrown in.

Adam Johnson and Marcos Clay are working together on the concert, called Shrinedom 2017, which will be held on the grounds of the Creek Hill Barn on the Creek Road in East Albany. A hundred thousand tickets are being advertised for sale, ranging in price from $100 for general admission to $300 for a stage front ticket and a chance to win an autographed guitar. Also, the Shrinedom website lists a category to make a donation, which doesn’t include a ticket.

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Irasburg fire leaves six without a home

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copyright the Chronicle December 7, 2016

by Paul Lefebvre and Tena Starr

IRASBURG — A fire late Sunday afternoon destroyed a camp off the Gage Road here and left two adults and four children homeless.

“They lost everything,” said Robin Beaton, chief of the Irasburg Volunteer Fire Department, speaking Tuesday in an interview.

The two adults, Michael Josey and Kate Shatney, and the children are presently living with James Bromley of Irasburg. The children range in age from seven to 14.

Ms. Shatney said Tuesday that the family lost pretty much everything, but she put a positive spin on the situation. “We didn’t lose anyone.”

The children took it hard to begin with, but the six of them are staying with family, which the kids are enjoying, she said.

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Women queue up for business info

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copyright the Chronicle December 7, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

NEWPORT — When Tara Lynn Scheidet of Sutton lost her job in 2005, she started her own business making custom natural fiber clothing, particularly wedding apparel.

Since then, Ms. Scheidet has won all sorts of grants and awards to help her move ahead with Tara Lynn Bridals.

She even won the Lowell Barn Pitch this year, but lost out in the state competition in Burlington because her business is too small — nowhere near the $300,000 annual income that investors want to see planned before they put their money down.

So when she heard about a new program called ASPIRE!, which helps Northeast Kingdom women start and grow businesses, Ms. Scheidet was one of the first to sign up.

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New energy siting rules tough on small towns

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copyright the Chronicle December 7, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

IRASBURG — When the state Legislature passed a new energy siting bill last May, it was supposedly intended to give towns more voice in siting big energy projects.

But members of the Irasburg Planning Commission were disappointed when they read the standards that the town plan they’re working on will have to meet under the new law, now known as Act 174 and dubbed the Energy Development Improvement Act.

The bill had promised towns “substantial deference” before the Public Service Board (PSB) in energy siting proceedings, as long as their written town plans meet state guidelines.

Exactly what the new guidelines would be was left to the Department of Public Service (DPS) to work out over the summer.

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Armed standoff in Newport

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copyright the Chronicle November 30, 2016

by Tena Starr

NEWPORT — A standoff with a man armed with a rifle at Richard’s All Seasons Lodge, formerly the Bayview Inn, led to a heavy police presence here Tuesday afternoon and evening.

The situation was under control, but not resolved, said Dispatcher Laura Fisher at the Newport Police Department as of press time.

A Newport police officer at the scene said he suspected it could be a long night.

And there were reports that the man had barricaded himself in.

Despite rumors that hostages were involved, Dispatcher Fisher said there were no hostages.

Police closed that section of Pleasant Street off and were not allowing through traffic.

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The NEK’s got jobs — a lot of them

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copyright the Chronicle November 30, 2016

by Tena Starr

Neil Morrissette of Creative Work Solutions is an unabashed cheerleader for the Northeast Kingdom. It has everything, he said in a recent interview.

Including jobs. A lot of jobs. In fact, some employers are near desperate for workers, Mr. Morrissette said.

“There’s so much work out there.”

The economic picture he paints is far from the traditional one, which is that the Northeast Kingdom — generally called the most economically depressed part of the state — is one tough place to get a job.

But Mr. Morrissette’s assessment is backed up by a low unemployment rate in the Derby labor market area. The area’s October rate was the second highest in Vermont, but at 3.7 percent it’s very low nationally and can’t be considered high anywhere.

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Deer harvest up from last year

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copyright the Chronicle November 30, 2016

by Paul Lefebvre

The head deer biologist for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife speculated Tuesday that the harvest from the 2016 rifle season may be up by as much as 15 percent from the 2015 season.

In an interview two days after the 16-day rifle season ended Sunday, deer biologist Nick Fortin said he expects to see the increase range from between 10 and 15 percent.

While the actual increase won’t be known until all the reporting stations around the state have checked in, Mr. Fortin credited a mild winter for this year’s improved harvest.

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State taking a hands-on approach to motor vehicle inspections

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copyright the Chronicle November 30, 2016

by Brad Usatch

A new computerized vehicle inspection system being rolled out by the state of Vermont in 2017 could make it tougher for owners of older cars to keep their rigs on the road.

Beginning in January, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will phase in an Automated Vehicle Inspection System (AVIP) that sends electronic data from a car’s computer and even photographic evidence of degraded components to a centralized processing center.

AVIP uses what the DMV calls a “ruggedized” tablet computer to record emissions testing data and diagnostic computer information obtained during the annual inspection process. Inspections will still be carried out by the state’s network of private licensed inspection stations. Even under the current system, computer codes and emissions data are supposed to be recorded on paper forms and mailed off by inspection stations to the DMV. What’s truly new is that mechanics will now be asked to take pictures of cars being inspected and send that information off as well.

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Lost hunter tells his story

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copyright the Chronicle November 23, 2016

by Paul Lefebvre

 

HOLLAND — A seasoned Brattleboro deer hunter who kept thinking positive survived four nights in the big woods here that extend across the border.

John Chapman, 72, was found early Sunday afternoon in Norton after an extensive search that began when he failed Wednesday to return to a friend’s camp on Holland Pond.

When U.S. Border Patrol Agent Matt Bovay located the missing hunter — in what a State Police press release characterized as “a very remote area of Norton” — Mr. Chapman said he was surprised to learn that he was the subject of an intensive search, involving rescue dogs, wilderness response teams, game wardens, the State Police Search and Rescue unit, and Border Patrol agents.

“I didn’t know I had created such a commotion,” he said, speaking in an interview Tuesday as he praised everyone who participated in the search. “I owe a great debt of gratitude.”

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SEC wins early victory against Quiros

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copyright the Chronicle November 23, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

 

In a ruling issued Monday, U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles gave the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) an early victory in its suit against Ariel Quiros. The federal agency was granted its request for a preliminary injunction to keep things as they have been since it went to court in April and charged Mr. Quiros with securities fraud.

The judge’s ruling maintains the status quo until the underlying issues in the civil suit are resolved at trial. That means Mr. Quiros’ property remains under the control of Michael Goldberg, the court-appointed receiver, and Mr. Quiros is barred from any kind of involvement in businesses connected with the federal EB-5 visa program.

When the case comes to trial, Mr. Quiros faces the prospect of being forced to disgorge as much as $200-million in money the government said was improperly used. Mr. Quiros has also been charged with taking more than $50-million for his personal use.

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