Woman gets jail for starving goats

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copyright the Chronicle June 29, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — The Holland woman whose barn was filled with starving and dead goats admitted guilt Tuesday and will spend 15 days of an 18-to-36-month sentence in jail.

Stacey Lynn Lopes, 42, now of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, pled guilty to three charges of cruelty to animals by depriving them of food and water, and a felony charge of cruelty to animals by causing them undue pain.

In the Criminal Division of Orleans County Superior Court, Judge Howard VanBenthuysen ordered Ms. Lopes to serve the jail portion of her otherwise suspended sentence in three-day chunks on consecutive weekends.

Under the terms of a plea agreement worked out with the Orleans County State’s Attorney, Ms. Lopes is no longer allowed to own or care for animals. She will remain on probation for three years.

Dr. Kristin Haas, veterinarian with the state Agency of Agriculture, told police on May 8, 2015, she found several malnourished and dead goats at a farm in Holland…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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More charges stem from Barton meth lab raid

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Copyright the Chronicle June 22, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — The other shoe dropped Tuesday for Terry A. Parson, 33, of Bellows Falls. He was brought into the Criminal Division of Orleans County Criminal Court Tuesday where five more charges were added to the three he already faces for allegedly making and selling methamphetamine.

Mr. Parson pled innocent to two felony charges of conspiring to make meth and one of manufacturing the drug. He also denied charges of cruelty to a child and reckless endangerment.

If he is convicted of the most serious charge, manufacturing methamphetamine, Mr. Parson could spend up to 20 years in prison and pay a fine of $1-million.

One May 23 Mr. Parson pled innocent to selling meth, a felony, and possession of less than 2.5 grams of the drug.

Judge Howard VanBenthuysen kept Mr. Parson’s bail at $100,000. He has not been able to raise that amount and remains at Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Demonstration held in wake of Orlando shootings

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Copyright the Chronicle June 22, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Some Newport residents decided not to let a Florida shooting that left 49 people dead and another 53 wounded pass without a public statement about their distress and anger.

Pam Ladds was seated at the Emory Hebard State Office Building at 3 p.m. on Friday. She wore a T-shirt decorated with a big pink triangle and carried a hand drum.

Ms. Ladds was the only person on time for a demonstration called in the wake of the June 12 murder of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, but said she was confident that others would soon join her.

Sure enough, people began arriving, one or two at a time, until a small crowd, about 12 or 13 strong, stood near the big stone fish on the plaza in front of the state office building.

Most carried hand lettered signs opposing the sale of military style weapons for civilian use.

“The demonstration was scheduled as a way of raising awareness of what happened in Orlando,” Ms. Ladds said…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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At NCUHS: Board won’t hire a principal

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copyright the Chronicle May 25, 2016 

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — North Country Union High School will do without a principal next year. The board decided not to hire its most recent candidate, Chris Smith, after a lengthy meeting held in executive session Monday evening.

According to North Country Supervisory Union Superintendent John Castle, the board had come up with an option it could put in place if a new principal could not be found by the end of the current school year.

It calls for assistant principals Anita Mayhew and Bob Davis and Director of Special Programs Jessica Puckett to share responsibility for the day-to-day management of the school during the 2016-2017 school year, Mr. Castle said. They will assume their new roles on July 1.

Mr. Castle said he and the board members will work together before the board’s June meeting to define each administrator’s job.

Before making their decision, the board and several parents met Chris Smith, a finalist…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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SEC turns up heat on Quiros

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copyright the Chronicle May 18, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

Federal regulators turned up the heat on Ariel Quiros Tuesday when they filed an amended complaint in the civil case against the owner of Jay Peak Resort.  Mr. Quiros, along with many of his businesses, and Bill Stenger, former president of Jay Peak, were first charged with violating federal securities laws in connection with several EB-5 funded projects in a suit filed on April 12 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In filing an amended version of its initial complaint Tuesday, the SEC sharpened its accusations against Mr. Quiros, specifically charging that he used investor money from later phases of his eight EB-5 projects to make up shortfalls in earlier phases.

The SEC has held all along that Mr. Quiros misused, wrongly co-mingled, and stole money from foreign investors who sought permanent residency status in the U.S. by means of the EB-5 visa program.  Those investors and their families would be eligible for green cards if their $500,000 investments in a business in a hard-up area of the U.S. produced at least ten permanent jobs.

Jay Peak financed extensive developments, including three hotels, a water park, a skating area, and numerous other vacation properties, through the visa program.  Mr. Quiros also used money from the program to pay for a hotel at Burke Mountain, and planned to build a biomedical facility in Newport with EB-5 investment.

The SEC claims Mr. Quiros took $55-million for himself and could leave investors without their money or a path to residency in the U.S. if his most recent projects remain unfinished.

In the amended version of its complaint, the SEC specified which projects it claims Mr. Quiros stole from and details how he used the money he allegedly took.

The amended charges say Mr. Quiros and his associates took $6.5-million more than they were entitled to from the project that built the golf clubhouse and a number of condominiums at Jay Peak.  Mr. Quiros also failed to invest a promised $3.8-million…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Farmers favor new DFA settlement plan

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copyright the Chronicle May 18, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

BURLINGTON – A crowd of dairy farmers spent a day in federal court here last week telling U.S. Judge Christina Reiss their thoughts on the proposed settlement in a case against Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a nationwide dairy cooperative.

More than 30 farmers gave up an idea corn-planting day on Friday, May 13, to weigh in on the latest attempt at a resolution to a class action suit that first came before the court in 2009.

While the new proposed settlement, like the two proposals that preceded it, provides for $50-million in compensation, it has a number of additional provisions intended to deal with issues left unaddressed in the first version.

Unlike the first fairness hearing, held in February of 2015, farmers who spoke in favor of the agreement heavily outnumbered…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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EB-5 investor files suit against Raymond James

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copyright the Chronicle May 11, 2016 

by Joseph Gresser

Jay Peak’s EB-5 projects are keeping Miami’s federal court hopping.

A disappointed investor has launched a class action suit aimed directly at the deep pockets of Raymond James, the financial services company that acted as the bank for Jay Peak owner Ariel Quiros. Like the other civil cases aimed at Jay Peak’s foreign investor program this was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Mr. Quiros has filed a challenge to the temporary restraining order issued by federal Judge Darrin Gayles that put his assets, including Jay Peak and Burke Mountain, into the hands of a receiver.

He has also asked Judge Gayles to release almost $300,000 to pay legal costs for his defense against charges laid against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In turn, the SEC has asked Judge Gayles to deny Mr. Quiros’ request for access to enough money to pay living expenses amounting to around $100,000 a month. In its filing…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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