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 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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Glover woman qualifies to compete in Olympic trials

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Leah Frost stands before a few of the many race bibs that decorate a wall of her Glover apartment.  Photos by Joseph Gresser

Leah Frost stands before a few of the many race bibs that decorate a wall of her Glover apartment. Photos by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle December 16, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

GLOVER — Leah Frost, who won the title of “Fastest Woman in Glover” at the 2013 and 2014 Glover Day Chamberlain Run, has earned the chance to match her mettle against some of her running heroes. A time of 2:42:52 in the California International Marathon means she has qualified to compete in trials for a slot on the U.S. Women’s Olympic Team.

The race was held in Sacramento, California, on December 6.

Ms. Frost, who lives in Glover, said Monday that she is under no illusion that she will be one of those chosen to represent the U.S. in the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio De Janeiro next August. To do that, she said, would require her to cut around 20 minutes from her time.

If the weather stays as it has been and she’s able to train hard, Ms. Frost said she… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Shooter in O’Hagan killing sentenced to 23 to 50 years

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Michael Norrie sits at the defense table during a recess at his sentencing hearing. Photos by Joseph Gresser

Michael Norrie sits at the defense table during a recess at his sentencing hearing. Photos by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle December 9, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

ST. JOHNSBURY — The man who admitted firing the shot that killed Mary Pat O’Hagan will spend at least 22 years in prison. Judge Robert Gerety, sitting in the Caledonia Criminal Division of Superior Court on December 3, accepted the plea agreement worked out between Michael Norrie, 25, of Sheffield, and the state.

His sentence calls for a 23-to-50-year term, all but 23 years of which will be suspended. Mr. Norrie will be credited with time already served, about one year, according to Caledonia County State’s Attorney Lisa Warren.

In July Mr. Norrie pled guilty to burglary, kidnapping, and first-degree murder in the slaying of Mrs. O’Hagan, a 78-year-old Sheffield resident. The sentencing agreement was put forward at that time, but Judge Robert Bent, who was serving in Caledonia County, asked for a pre-sentence investigation before approving the deal.

Judge Gerety, in signing off on the… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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An old song becomes a new classic

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WEB freeman book cmykcopyright the Chronicle November 25, 2015

The Devil In The Valley, by Castle Freeman. Published by Overlook Duckworth, New York City and London, 2015. Hardcover, 191 pages, $24.95.

Reviewed by Joseph Gresser

In jazz there are tunes known as standards. Those songs usually have harmonic structures that musicians find interesting. The point of the standards for the performer is not just to play them, but also to fashion them into a new, original composition.

In literature, the story of Doctor Faust is something of a standard. Since at least the time of Christopher Marlowe, writers have taken the tale of the man who sells his soul to the devil and remade it to suit their own purposes.

As the plot is usually set out a man offers up his immortal soul and, in exchange, gets his heart’s desire. In the original Faust story that’s a return to youth and the love of an innocent woman.

Of course the deal has a time limit, historically seven years, and a fiendish… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Stiffer regs proposed for farmers

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Clark Hinsdale, retiring president of the Vermont Farm Bureau, listens to Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross read a proclamation from Governor Peter Shumlin honoring the centennial of the organization.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Clark Hinsdale, retiring president of the Vermont Farm Bureau, listens to Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross read a proclamation from Governor Peter Shumlin honoring the centennial of the organization. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle November 11, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

JAY — All but the tiniest Vermont farms will be expected to keep close tabs on runoff from fields. That was the stern message delivered by Laura DiPietro, deputy director of the Agriculture Resource Management Division for the state Agency of Agriculture to delegates at the 2015 annual meeting of the Vermont Farm Bureau.

Ms. DiPietro set forth the substance of what her boss, Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross, called “a draft draft” of regulations establishing required agricultural practices (RAP) for the state’s farms. While Ms. DiPietro encouraged farmers to raise questions and contribute their opinions before the draft of the regulations is finalized in January, it was clear from her remarks, and those of Mr. Ross, that the state intends to ask more from farmers in its attempt to control phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain.

Mr. Ross, who owns a farm in Hinesburg… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Congressman Welch spends a day in the NEK

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Congressman Peter Welch is led along racks of Cabot Clothbound Cheddar by his guide, cheesemaker Mateo Kehler, right.  Ryan Nickle, Mr. Welch’s communication director, lags behind amid five miles of cheese-laden shelves.

Congressman Peter Welch is led along racks of Cabot Clothbound Cheddar by his guide, cheesemaker Mateo Kehler, right. Ryan Nickle, Mr. Welch’s communication director, lags behind amid five miles of cheese-laden shelves.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle October 21, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

GREENSBORO — The life of a congressman in Washington, D.C., may not be all beer and skittles, but U.S. Representative Peter Welch had an easy day Monday. While lawn bowling wasn’t on the agenda, beer and cheese certainly were.

Mr. Welch started out a day long visit to the Kingdom at Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, where he conferred with President Matthew Derr before taking a tour of the Rian Fried Center and meeting the college’s draft horses and its flock of turkeys.

While the two clearly enjoyed walking through the campus farm on a crisp October morning, there was some legislative purpose to the get together, as Mr. Welch later explained.

Sterling is a so-called work college,… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Jardiniere, essentially a garden in a jar

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A jar of jardinière is beautiful as well as tasty.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

A jar of jardinière is beautiful as well as tasty. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle September 30, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

As my esteemed colleague Richard Creaser noted in this space last week, garden abundance, although welcome, can impose a burden on the chef. While much of the produce mentioned by Richard has a long harvest period, the garden also can inundate its unwary keeper with sudden and overwhelming bounty.

Some brassicas have a brief interval between ripeness and becoming inedible. I recall one year when my broccoli plants went into overdrive, and I was buried under bushels of the stuff. There is no point trying to wait the plants out, you’ll just end up with bouquets of yellow flowers.

The next year I tried to compensate by cutting back on the number of plants I set… 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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Suspended Worlds — an excavation of long ago community life

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Suspended Worlds — an excavation of long ago community life, a book by Christine Hadsel.

Suspended Worlds — an excavation of long ago community life, a book by Christine Hadsel.

copyright the Chronicle September 16, 2015

Suspended Worlds: Historic Theater Scenery in Northern New England, by Christine Hadsel.  Published by David R. Godine, Boston, 2015; 188 pages, hardbound, $40.00.

reviewed by Joseph Gresser

With Suspended Worlds Christine Hadsel has created a coffee table book that belongs in the library of every Vermonter.  As a record of the work of Curtains Without Borders, the organization, it gives a clear account of an imaginative partnership that has, so far, saved 185 theater curtains from neglect.

Both her project and the book serve a deeper purpose in excavating a part of New England community life that has been largely forgotten as times and styles changed over 100 years.

In so doing Ms. Hadsel and her many collaborators have revealed an important part of the region’s artistic heritage that in… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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