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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A railroad runs through it

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copyright the Chronicle November 23, 2016

by Brad Usatch

 

Every rule is written in blood.

When Vermont Railway engineer Sean Harper and conductor Seth Rowell offered up this railroad maxim, they weren’t being dramatic. They were simply sharing the reality that undergirds the methodical repetition of procedures that marks every action they take.

The Chronicle was recently invited to ride along with a railroad crew from Vermont Railway to learn a little about this transportation corridor that runs through the heart of Orleans County. This reporter met with the crew on Friday at the Newport switchyard and eventually traveled south to its Lyndonville transload facility.

“I don’t like to think of it as a dangerous job,” Mr. Harper said.

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Congressman Welch visits Orleans County

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copyright the Chronicle November 2, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

BARTON — Peter Welch spent half of Monday in Orleans County. He dropped by the Chronicle for a morning conversation before heading up to Newport for a meeting with city officials and legislators.

The state’s lone Congressman is running for a sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives on both the Democratic and Republican lines, although he is a longtime Democrat.

In response to questions about the state of Congress, Mr. Welch said he’s worried about the Republicans.

“There’s an existential split in the Republican Party between the shutdown wing, and what I call the governing wing of the party,” he said.

The governing wing, he explained, “are conservatives who understand, at the end of the day, we have to pass budgets, and you can’t have a legislative body without compromises on legislation.”

Newport.

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Orleans-2 candidates agree on much

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copyright the Chronicle October 26, 2016 

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — It would have been difficult to tell what party the four candidates seeking to represent Orleans-2 belong to just by listening to them at Monday night’s candidate forum. The only clue was how Ron Holland, Judith Jackson, Mike Marcotte, and Gary Viens said they would register their disapproval of Donald Trump in presidential balloting.

The four candidates are vying for the two seats in the Vermont House district that represents Newport City, Newport Center, Coventry, Irasburg, and part of Troy,

Dr. Holland and Ms. Jackson, the Democratic candidates, said they would unenthusiastically vote for Hillary Clinton. Ms. Jackson said she would hold her nose while doing it. Dr. Holland said he picked Ms. Clinton as the one least likely to start a disastrous war.

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Roadside needles are evidence of a larger problem

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copyright the Chronicle August 17, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

 Newport City Police are handing out a brochure that they hope will stop the littering of used hypodermic needles around town.

The brochure tells drug users how to exchange old needles for clean ones without being in contact with the police. The program, worked out in partnership with the St. Johnsbury-based nonprofit Vermont Safe, is free and anonymous.

Vermont Safe also offers mobile needle exchange by appointment in Barton and Orleans.

For the last couple of years, the Newport Police Department has seen a major increase in the number of needles found in parks, parking areas, and on the streets, Sergeant Travis Bingham said.

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More named Renaissance Corp. director

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copyright the Chronicle August 3, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — It was July 28, Cynthia More’s first day on the job as executive director of the Newport City Renaissance Corporation (NCRC), and she didn’t have the key to her office.

Fortunately, Rick Woodward, the owner of the old Montgomery Ward building on Main Street and NCRC’s landlord, saw Ms. More’s predicament as she stood at the door and let her use his key.

Ms. More went in, followed by her husband, Gene McCormick, and a visitor, and she tried the desk chair out for size and looked around at the room’s bare walls.

By Tuesday the office was transformed. Ms. More had found banners trumpeting Newport’s marketing slogans and hung them on the walls. Swag, including Newport tote bags, medallions, and other NCRC branded items were out of storage and on display. Ms. More looked as if she had been on the job for years.

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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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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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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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