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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Newport City Council: Water committee recommendations adopted

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copyright the Chronicle May 4, 2016 

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — At their meeting Monday city council members heard and adopted the recommendations of the water committee they appointed last year.

Last year in May the council set up a study group to investigate ways to get all homes in the city fitted with water meters. Proponents of the idea had long argued for charging city residents for the actual amount of water they use, rather than charging a set quarterly fee regardless of usage.

Doing so would encourage conservation, they said, and make sure that everyone on the city system pays a fair share of its cost.

The issue has long been contentious, and in a citywide advisory vote in 2011 Newport residents turned a metering proposal down by a two-to-one margin.

The committee’s recommendations gave those who choose to have meters installed in their homes some economic incentive to do so, but stopped well short of taking any concrete measures to cut into the 1,100 or so homes that pay a flat rate for water.

Instead, the group proposed basing rates on what it called an equivalent unit. That unit…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Presentation on beekeeping April 9

People can learn all about working with bees, just as a hobby or as a more serious endeavor, at the Goodrich Memorial Library in Newport on Saturday, April 9, at 10:30 a.m.

The concern over the disappearance of local bee populations has greatly increased interest in beekeeping by farmers and gardeners who depend on bees for the pollination of plants.

Jim Reed, a local registered apiary owner, will present a pictorial and verbal description of his experience as a first-year beekeeper. From start-up to harvest and all the bumps in between, Mr. Reed will guide the audience through a year of honey making. His presentation will suggest ways of getting started, possible costs, the learning curve, time requirements, and more.

Mr. Reed is a lifelong resident of the area and previous owner of Reeds Mobil; owner of Up the Creek Paddle Sports in Newport, and Kamptokumto vacation rentals in Jay. He has also been a previous officer and director of the Derby Fish and Game Club.

Any interested persons are welcome.

All donations will benefit the Goodrich Memorial Library.

Visit utcbees on Facebook for a preview. — from the Goodrich.

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Stenger says Newport plans are on track

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copyright the Chronicle April 6, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT – Bill Stenger says his plans for Newport are on track, although those related to the AnC Bio facility are undergoing some modifications in reaction to changes in the direction of biomedical technology.

In a conversation Monday, just after he returned from seeking investors in South Africa, Mr. Stenger said plans have been modified to allow the facility to manufacture products for gene therapy products in addition to those based on stem cells.

Gene therapy requires changes to “air flow, water flow, and people flow” in the plant, he said.

Mr. Stenger said the design modifications are necessary to keep pace…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Starry Mountain Singers in Newport April 3

The Starry Mountain Singers will host a concert at the United Church of Newport on Sunday, April 3, at 4 p.m. The suggested donation is $10 to $15.

The Starry Mountain Singers is an ensemble of seven vocalists who perform a wide range of traditional music from around the United States and the wider world. Formed in 2010, the group’s members are all lifelong musicians who share a deep love of traditional vocal styles and a dedication to studying and performing these types of polyphony.

Their performances are known to be dynamic, uplifting and powerful. The musical program features traditional songs from the United States and Europe — specifically Corsica and Caucasus Georgia. The American repertoire includes shape-note songs (a traditional New England song style), powerful gospel numbers, cowboy songs, and haunting folk tunes from the Appalachians. The Georgian and Corsican songs are a mixture of sacred and secular pieces that demonstrate the incredible range of unique singing traditions from those countries. Each member has contributed songs from their particular area of musical knowledge and expertise, resulting in a dynamic and eclectic program that will delight world-music fans and lovers of choral performance. Their recent, self-titled studio album will be available at the show.

The Starry Mountain Singers have all toured extensively with the Vermont-based world-music ensembles Northern Harmony and Village Harmony, where they received an introduction to traditional songs and singing styles from around the world. In addition, all members of the ensemble have worked extensively with Northern Harmony, as well as Meredith Monk, Revels, Inc., and have performed on “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Mountain Stage,” and include three members of the Brooklyn-based country band, The Sweetback Sisters.  – from the Starry Mountain Singers.

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