Boathouse feud continues

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copyright the Chronicle July 12, 201

 

by Joseph Gresser

 

NEWPORT — Police say Herman J. Leblanc, 80, of Newport Center tore down a considerable chunk of a boathouse that has been the center of a nearly ten-year-old legal tangle involving his family and the next-door neighbor.

Mr. Leblanc pled innocent to a felony charge of unlawful mischief on June 19, and was ordered held on $75,000 bail by Judge Howard VanBenthuysen.

Judge VanBenthuysen released Mr. Leblanc after he posted bail and his son David Leblanc, agreed to take custody of his father. Herman Leblanc is no longer allowed to live in his Newport Center home on the shore of Lake Memphremagog. Instead, he’s at a rental property owned by his family, where he must stay unless accompanied by his son.

On Monday the Leblancs were back in the Criminal Division of Orleans County Superior Court where attorney Kyle Hatt sought to persuade the judge that requiring a person to be released to the custody of a responsible adult is more appropriate for cases where there is a threat to a person rather than to property.

Judge VanBenthuysen said he would consider the argument, but wanted to wait until Mr. Leblanc completes the competency examination he had already ordered.

State Police Sergeant Andrew Jensen filed an affidavit concerning the most recent charge. Robert Snelgrove, Mr. Leblanc’s neighbor, called police on June 16 and said his boathouse had been damaged.

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Rabid bat found in Newport Center

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copyright the Chronicle June 7, 2017

by Elizabeth Trail

 

NEWPORT CENTER — A week ago, veterinarian Selena Hunter went back to her office for an evening emergency. When she pulled into the driveway, she saw a bat fluttering on the ground.

The bat came toward Ms. Hunter when she approached it, so she scooped it into a container with a shovel. The next day Game Warden Jenna Reed took it to the state Health Department for testing.

On Monday, word came back from the lab that the bat had rabies.

No one knows how long the little animal had been fluttering around the neighborhood.

“It was right in the village, three feet from the clinic steps,” Dr. Hunter said.

Her clients with their sick pet had been watching the grounded bat while they waited for her to arrive.

“It could have gone into a yard with a child,” Dr. Hunter said.

And the big unknown is where did this bat originate from? she wondered.

“How far did it travel? Where was it infected?”

People in and around Newport Center need to be sure that their pets — especially cats — are up to date on their shots, she said.

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Newport Center approves water bond

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copyright the Chronicle April 5, 2017

 

by Joseph Gresser

 

NEWPORT CENTER — Voters here gave the nod to a plan to provide an ample supply of safe drinking water to residents of the village of Newport Center. In balloting Tuesday, town residents approved a $745,000 bond by a vote of 95 to 13. One hundred nine out of 1,316 people on the checklist voted.

The money will pay for two new wells, a treatment facility to remove arsenic and manganese from water, and the electrical and plumbing connections needed to keep the new wells flowing.

At an informational meeting held at the town offices March 30, Steve Barrup, who chairs the select board, said the village water board has applied for grants from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development program to help pay the cost of the system.

Because Newport Center is part of the Rural Economic Area Partnership Program (REAP) zone, comprised of Essex, Orleans, and Caledonia counties, it’s eligible for grants that could cover up to 75 percent of the project’s cost. The hitch, Mr. Barrup said, is the USDA will not consider a request unless a municipality has authorized a bond for the project.

With the positive vote, the town can wait to see what size grant it gets before deciding whether to go forward with the project, Mr. Barrup said.

The entire town must vote for the bond because it will continue to exist even if all the water department’s customers leave the area, he said.

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A 75-mile wheelchair odyssey for justice

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copyright the Chronicle August 10, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

 JEFFERSONVILLE — A week or so ago, Danny Perry of Newport Center felt a sudden calling to take a trip. Not just any trip, but a 75-mile journey from Newport to Burlington in his wheelchair — and sometimes on his hands and knees — to speak out about injustice and inequality.

He didn’t plan, he didn’t pack. But two days later he crawled the first mile out of Newport Center, then hauled himself up into his hand-propelled chair and began to wheel himself along Route 105.

By Tuesday, he’d traveled Route 100 to Route 100C in Johnson, and then west on Route 15 as far as Cambridge.

On Saturday, August 13 — his thirty-fifth birthday — he will crawl the last mile up Church Street to Burlington City Hall on his hands and knees.…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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In Newport Center: Doubled water rates lead to fractious meeting

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copyright the Chronicle January 13, 2016

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

NEWPORT CENTER — The 25 or so people who came to the select board meeting here on Thursday, January 7, were looking for answers as to why their water bill doubled in November.

They left the fractious meeting with a newly formed water committee and an approved $171,366 water budget for 2016, up nearly $13,450 from this year’s $157,922 budget.

Part of that increase includes a new capital reserve fund of $11,255. It’s the first time the water department will set money aside, select board Chair Steve Barrup said.

The budget also includes $44,912 for engineering fees, which are expected to be reimbursed through state grants.

Water users became concerned after the select board doubled water rates in November. The price tag for water jumped from $120 per quarter per household to $240.

That increase was needed… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Are hops making a comeback in Vermont?

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Local hops cones growing at Parker Pie in West Glover.  Photos by Aaron Dentel-Post

Local hops cones growing at Parker Pie in West Glover. Photos by Aaron Dentel-Post

copyright the Chronicle October 22, 2014

by Aaron Dentel-Post

In 1850, Vermont grew 8.2 percent of the nation’s hops, with Orleans County accounting for 77,605 pounds of the crop a year. The crop was so important that children were taken out of school at harvest time, and men took time off from their regular jobs.

But it was the women, according to Kurt Staudter, executive director of the Vermont Brewers Association and author of Vermont Beer, who were paid the most because they were gentler when picking the easily bruised cones of the plant.

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