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2012 News Stories in Review

posted Jan 10, 2013, 8:21 AM by Staff News & Citizen
January
      Morrisville Rotary  recognized Nick Denoia for his cleaning of 10,000 donated coats over the past 10 years of Rotary’s coat drive.
      Cambridge Elementary School began composting its lunch room waste.
      Hyde Park Village received $230,007 to put with other grant money for a better sidewalk system.
      Lamoille South Supervisory Union eyes the formation of a regional education district including Elmore, Stowe and Morristown. A committee works to produce its frameworks and discover its feasibility with an eye toward voting in the three towns.
      Cambridge chafes in wait for complete broadband coverage.
      Wolcott plans a veterans memorial. A group raises money and will go to Town Meeting.
      Gunnery Sergeant Chris Genetti and his family get a donated appliance in their new donated kitchen from Hammel’s Repair, in Wolcott.
      Wolcott student numbers decline to tuition to Morristown. Numbers have gone from 85 in 2008-’09 to about 42 in 2011-’12.
      Joshua Benjamin, of Eden, was sentenced in federal court for interstate transportation of about $500, 000 of stolen gold.
      Morrisville Water & Light Department will vote January 30 to buy Seabrook and HydroQuebec electricity.
      Smugglers Notch Distillery, of Ron and Jeremy Elliott, adds rum to its existing line of vodka that it already produces and bottles. It should be on the market in March.
      News & Citizen enumerates the local officials up for re-election on Town Meeting Day.
      Consultant’s ideas for change at Johnson Elementary School are put in place to allow climb back up from low test scores reported two years ago.
      Jeffersonville Board of Trustees purchases the Jolley Lot for $402, 500. The lot was bought after local controversy arose over the land’s proposed development.
      Rep. Adam Howard and Gov. Peter Shumlin took a trip to the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Utah to promote Vermont businesses.
      It looks as though Eden will be split into two parts for electoral redistricting. Eventually it is kept whole.
      Morristown town offices take a close look at part of the Arthur’s project in the downtown for a future home.
      Morristown voters will be asked to fund $300,000 to finish the Morristown Centennial Building Project.
      Bruce Shields is named president and CEO of the conservative think tank Ethan Allen Institute.

February
      Wolcott’s proposed town and school budgets are both up for Town Meeting as is the Lamoille County budget. 
      Lamoille Community Connections looks for permission to lease some of its Harrel St. facility to the State of Vermont for mental health facility.
      Morrisville Water & Light approve purchasing power contracts from Seabrook and HydroQuebec.
      Waterville Elementary, Lamoille Union High School and Lamoille Middle School showed improved NECAP results.
      Hyde Park town comes up with a proposed budget up just $65,000. In the same issue Cambridge proposes about an increase of $88,500.
      Lamoille Community Connections holds a community meeting with neighbors, officials and Patrick Flood, commissioner of mental health. The state part of the old nursing home will be a “fully secure facility” for two or three years. About 150 people show up at the meeting held in the middle of February.
      Ten Eden residents bused to Montpelier to protest splitting Eden into two voting districts and removing part from Lamoille County.
      Wolcott veterans memorial people continue advertising for names and collecting money for their memorial.
      News & Citizen does a photo spread of chilly plungers at the successful Polar Splash held at Lake Elmore to benefit Rotary causes for the year.
      At a Morristown Design Review Board the state asks for an eight bed facility at Lamoille Community Connections. The hearing was recessed for a site walk.
      The Lamoille Economic Council hosted a meeting for Eden residents concerning an upcoming vote on making the asbestos mine a Superfund site. A similar meeting was held in Lowell the next day.
      The proposed Lamoille South schools budgets are up.
      Proposed budgets for Johnson, Eden, Waterville and Belvidere are up.

March 
      A fire in Morristown on the morning of February 29 destroyed four apartments in a building owned by Bill and Tamara Bourne on the corner of Bridge and Brooklyn Streets. 
      Copley Hospital welcomed a Leap Year baby on February 29 when Parker Ridlon was born to parents Kristin Moodie and Eric Ridlon.
      On March 8 the Morristown Development Review Board conducted a site walk at Lamoille Community Connections, the soon to be home of the temporary state hospital on Harrel Street. After receiving the tour, the Morristown DRB approved the temporary facility. 
      The Hyde Park VFW aided Shannon Davis Patnoe and her husband Travis in their efforts to get Shannon more treatment for her rare form of cancer. The men and women’s auxiliary at the post held a fundraiser and were able to raise $4,552 to help Shannon and her husband travel to the Mayo clinic for further testing and other treatment. 
      Town Meeting was held throughout Lamoille County on March 11. Several towns saw heavily contested elections for local offices. A number of those towns, including Wolcott and Hyde Park, saw changes in leadership to their governing boards later in the month. 
      Renowned high school musician Chelsea Lanphear of Hyde Park was selected to be a member of The Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus when that organization conducted its 2012 European Concert Tour in July. 
      The Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department announced that its new Communications Center was up and running. 
      Front Porch Forum launched in Hyde Park after voters approved the startup costs at Town Meeting. 
      Cambridge, Waterville, and Belvidere Representative Adam Howard announced that he would soon be visiting Nepal and Sri Lanka as part of a national delegation. 
      Morristown resident Dana Lowe, age 53, died in a construction accident in Hanover, NH.
      Preliminary meetings were held in Morristown regarding the expansion of the sidewalk system in town on Route 100 near the Noyes House Museum. 
      Lamoille Valley Ford owner Dan Keene was honored for sticking with and using Ford Motor Credit to recover from the extensive damages his dealership suffered during Tropical Storm Irene. 
      56 year-old Waterville resident Bruce Lamb was killed while conducting routine work for the Vermont Electric Cooperative on a side road between Essex and Jericho. 

April
      Voters in Eden received good news when it was announced that their town would stay whole and move north to a new district in the Vermont House of Representatives. 
      A series of meetings were held in Elmore in order to discuss the topic of how many third graders would remain in Elmore and how many would attend Morristown Elementary. 
      Copley Hospital announced that it had received a $1 million gift in honor of Robert S. Barrows, the former owner of Johnson Woolen Mills. 
      It was announced that Bradley Richardson, the third driver involved in the crash that led to the death of Melissa Boivin in 2009, would be going on trial later in 2012. 
      A feasibility study funded by a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant was approved to look into the possibility of creating a food cooperative in Morrisville. 
      Convicted embezzler Deborah Whitney of Eden was sentenced to an additional 41 months in prison after it was discovered that she had continued to embezzle money while on pretrial release in 2008-2009. 
      The Vermont Agency of Transportation announced the start to several construction projects, including work to the Johnson downtown area, the Route 100 bypass in Morrisville, the repaving of Route 104 in Cambridge, the finishing touches on the roundabout on Route 15 in Hyde Park, and the initial work for a new roundabout on Route 15 and bridge on Route 108 in Cambridge.
      Plans for a cooperative effort between the Town of Morristown and Morrisville Water and Light to conduct major work on Maple Street in Morrisville were announced. 
      Town officials in Morristown presented Speaker of the House Shap Smith with a potential bill that would make it easier for towns to force property owners to maintain their buildings. 
      Work on the new Cambridge Fire Station hit a temporary snag when it was discovered that the ground underneath the new building was more heavily contaminated with petroleum than previously expected.
      Morrisville Water and Light announced that it would soon be beginning work to increase the amount of power generated at a local damn by modifying the structure. 

May
      Youth Rocks Cafe, the community teen center, celebrated another successful school season with an ice cream social.
      People with Verizon cell phones were able to start texting 911 in extreme emergency situations.  A six month test of the system was planned to see if it would be a viable alternative.  Vermont E-911 officials still encouraged people to try calling 911 first, and only use texting if making the call is not an option.
      A domestic dispute led to a standoff  with police in North Hyde Park village.  Area residents were evacuated and Route 100 was shutdown, until the person exited his apartment.
      Wolcott residents Kelly Greene and Shawn Lane won a dream wedding through Vermont Bride Magazine in the Vermont Bride Military Giveaway.
      The Peoples Academy girls softball team received a new scoreboard through the fundraising efforts of team members, led by 2011 graduate Katie LaMare.
      The Elmore Lake School received a waiver to allow more than 20 students to be taught at the one-room school house.
      A burgler was shot and killed by the Vermont State Police after he was seen breaking into a Johnson residence.
      The town of Hyde Park released a press release notifying there was an ongoing investigation regarding a prank pulled on an underage firefighter.  The investigation was started by the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department, but turned over to the Vermont State Police. Three firefighters were later charged in connection to the prank that involved attempting to “kidnap” the youth and shooting him with Airsoft guns. Sidney Mclean-Lipinski,       Joshua Kapusta and Nate Jobe were charged in connection with the incident.
      Stowe High School was named the top high school in the State by US News and World Report.
      As a result of the investigation of a Fish and Wildlife complaint, 107 marijuana plants were seized in Morristown.
      A new kiosk was erected for the Morristown trail system on Duhamel Road.
      A member of the Aryan Brotherhood was arrested after starting a fight at the Corner Pocket Bar in Morristown.
      Morristown received money for sidewalk improvements along Park Street.
      Jim Pease, of Morristown, was the co-recipient of the Green Mountain Environmental Leadership Awards.
      Two students from Lamoille Union High School, Phineas Wish and Nathan Lague, were selected to represent Vermont at the Grand National Debate Tournament in Baltimore, MD.
      Butternut Mountain Farm received $1.3 million in loans and bond financing from Vermont Economic Development Authority for the expansion of their Harrel Street facility.
      Dominique Couture, executive assistant at Par Springer-Miller Systems, led a dress drive for Camp Ta-Kum-Ta.
      Union Bank President David Silverman was promoted to Chief Executive Officer of Union Bankshares, Inc., the final step in the transition from retired President/CEO Ken Gibbons.
      Casey Brighton, a graduate of Lamoille Union High School, made the roster for the 2012 Vermont Mountaineers.
      Smugglers’ Notch installed 35 solar trackers.
      A dedication ceremony was held for the new Veterans Memorial in Academy Park.  The celebration marked the culmination of the hard work of the committee tasked with fundraising and overseeing the creation of the monument.

June 
      Mountain View Martial Arts Academy Instructor PJ Beauchamp was inducted into the Martial Arts International Hall of Fame, citing her “Outstanding Educational Leadership.”
      The first step towards the creation of the long discussed Morrisville Bypass came to fruition when phase one (the erection of a bridge over the Lamoille River) went out to bid.  
      A train engine that was intended to become a landmark and tourist destination but wound up becoming an eyesore and hazard was sold and removed from Wolcott town land.
      A Morrisville man arrested earlier in the week for allegedly stealing a purse from a 92 year old woman in Williston was back in the news when he was involved in an accident in Elmore.
      Carroll Concrete ended their lease with Nadeau’s sand and gravel pit, thus ending their presence in Lamoille County.
      A fugitive from justice, wanted in New Jersey, was picked up for speeding in Eden and subsequently lodged when it was found he had an arrest warrant on him.
      Both the Lamoille Union and Peoples Academy baseball teams earned the third seed in their respective division championship tournaments.  Their fate continued on the same trajectory as, both teams were upset in the quarterfinals.
      It was deja vu for spring sports at Peoples Academy, for the second straight year the PA Softball team and the PA boys golf team earned State Championships.
      After garnering the top seed in Division II lacrosse, the Lamoille Union girls team bowed in the semifinals.
      Stowe Rotary gave out their generous annual awards to high school seniors.
      Upcoming road projects were announced by the state, including a very welcome resurfacing of Route 104 in Cambridge.
      Wolcott moved the first shovels of dirt towards creating a Veterans Memorial.
      Peoples Academy and Lamoille Union welcomed clear skies for their annual graduation ceremonies.  The valedictorians at each school shared something else, as both Emma Brown, of PA, and Chelsea Lanphear, of Lamoille, would take their passion of music to Ithaca College in the fall.
      Severe damage to a flower garden and trellis at Copley Hospital was reported twice.  Both times the culprit was found to be the husband of an employee, who was alleged to have been drunk when he dropped his wife off from work.  He was charged with two DUIs for his actions.
      Tractor Supply Company announced their intentions to come to Morristown on the former Langdell Farm.  Construction is slated to begin in spring of 2013.
      The Cadys Falls bridge was closed for repairs in late June and wouldn’t reopen until November.
      Paving options were discussed in Wolcott, the town received two of three paving grants they requested and decided the North Wolcott Road was the most in need of work.  Though not originally planned for this year, the State approved a resurfacing of the pavement on Route 15 through Johnson village.
      New free concerts started on Wednesday nights in Morristown and Jeffersonville.
      Holly Reynolds was a member of Team Vermont that came from behind to win the Tri-State  Golf Tournament.
      The 10th annual LACN Up For Cancer walk was another success. Beautiful weather helped the Lamoille Area Cancer Network set another new record for money raised.


July

Lamoille County is declared a federal disaster area in the wake of May 29, 2012 storms. Waterville, Belvidere, Cambridge and Eden suffered significant damage to town highways.

Jeffersonville awaits revote as the Jolley Property purchase is put on hold until the voters’ will is known.

After citizens’ complaints Johnson’s American Flags are repositioned off utility poles over the road, and higher, where they previously flew over the sidewalks from lampposts.

Copley Hospital begins work July 9 to renovate and build a new emergency department. It will alter car movement past the main entrance for awhile.

The Stoweflake Balloon Festival colored our skies.

The Morrisville Bypass bridge bid is awarded to Winterset Inc. of Lyndonville, for almost eight million dollars.

Johnson finishes an under age 5 playground on a portion of the Legion Field land in the village.

Thursday morning, July 12, state and local officials broke ground for the long, long awaited Morrisville Bypass.

A suspicious fire destroys a barn at Prospect Hill Farm at the edge of Route 15 in Johnson. The house is saved.

Voters will decide by vote on November 6, 2012 whether or not to form a Regional Education District for Elmore, Morristown and Stowe. Later the vote is cancelled.

Phase 1 of the new Vermont National Guard facility in North Hyde Park has been budgeted for 2014. It is about $5 million for a Field Maintenance Shop.

Stanley Reynolds, of Waterville, is sentenced after a second trial to 5 years in prison for a sexual assault on a deaf woman.

Todd Thomas, Morristown town planner, and Tricia Follert, Morristown community development coordinator, won the Jim Marvin Award for their excellence in community service.

Lamoille’s United Way continues work on its New Foundations program and its building in the former Malarkey’s/Talord’s building on Portland St. in Morrisville.

Morristown’s revitalization Arthur’s Project receives $600,000 in a Vermont Community Development grant.

Johnson schedules an August 1 meeting to discuss a grocery store for the town.

FEMA will provide money to repair storm damaged parts of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.


August

Two weeks after construction began the Morrisville Bypass right-of-way is obviously being worked on. Forty thousand yards of fill is needed for the bridge approaches and the road’s pathway is pretty cleared of brush by now.

Smugglers’ Notch is adding 34 condominiums with the first to be ready by December 1.

Benjamin Miller, 19, of Belvidere, is charged with fatally striking a motorcycle operator on Saturday, July 30. He allegedly had been huffing “Dust Off’ before the accident.

A permit is approved for a new Tractor Supply store in Morristown at the corner of Rt. 15 and Center Road.

A Johnson building that was the home of the Hot Tamale Company and the building next door burned August 3.

Film is out, digital is in. The Bijou Cineplex has gone completely digital and gets all movies, 3D and everything else digitally on something that looks like a VHS tape, but isn’t. All the movie theater’s presentations look and sound better and cleaner.

Jeffersonville votes – again – to buy the Jolley property, 58-52. The Jolley lot is also undergoing a brownfield survey.

Morrisville and Copley Country Club’s Holly Reynolds commands an 11 under final score and bags her seventh Vermont State Women’s Amateur Gold Championship.

Elmore is the only school that scores “proficient” in every category of the state’s Average Yearly Progress determination.

Bicknell’s thrush may potentially be listed as “endangered,” which, if re-listed, would entitle the bird, found at high elevation, to a few protections.

Wolcott moves forward with the $100,000 authorized at an end of July Special Town Meeting for paving expenses.

The re-opening of the steel Cadys Falls bridge in Morristown will be delayed past the September 17 date. In the end, it reopened much later.

Jeffersonville renovates its quarter million gallon Jeffersonville Heights water reservoir.

Wolcott will turn the old School Street water system over to residents.

Morristown students start school a bit earlier than other county students this season.


September

On Tuesday, August 28, residents of Johnson celebrated the multi-year completion of the town and state’s various downtown rehabilitation projects. 

The Lamoille Family Center purchased a 7.9 acre lot on lower Bridge Street with the hope of relocating there in the future. 

Concerns over rabies in Lamoille County rose as several dead animals were found to have had the disease. 

The highly anticipated and controversial vote on creating a Regional Education District for Morristown, Stowe, and Elmore was called off. 

The Union Bank in Hardwick was robbed on September 6 by a man (or woman?) claiming to have a gun. 

Hick Jam 2012 on the Common Acres campground caused controversy in Hyde Park when local residents complained of loud music and the lack of proper permits for the event. 

One hundred-twenty firefighters responded to a forest fire near the Long Trail’s Taylor Lodge in Stowe on September 3 and 4. 

The Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department announced that it would soon be providing transportation in appropriately unmarked vehicles for psychiatric patients. 

Vermont State Auditor Tom Salmon visited Lamoille County as part of a conference offering embezzlement and fraud prevention training. 

Over 100 people participated in the United Way’s ‘Day of Service’ at the firewood project in Morristown on Tuesday, September 11. 

Controversy continued to swirl around the Lamoille North Supervisory Union Board and the question of whether or not the Pledge of Allegiance should be said before the board’s meetings. 

The Vermont Agency of Transportation presented its plans to build a bridge over the Centerville Brook on Route 15 in Hyde Park to the town selectboard. 

Early construction began on the new roundabout on Route 15 in Cambridge and the nearby bridge on Route 108. 

The 16th annual Stowe Oktoberfest was sucessfully held on the last weekend of the month. 


October 

The Jeffersonville Trustees received a $125,000 grant to help with the purchase of the 4.2 acre lot from Jolley Associates in the village. 

The 2012 election continued to heat up with nearly all local candidates participating in a forum hosted by the Community of Vermont Elders on October 5.

The Fourth Annual Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival was held at Boyden Valley Winery on October 7. 

The Lamoille County Planning Commission received a $249,982 grant to aid in the construction of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. 

Several local governing boards in Johnson met on October 11 to discuss the spatial needs of the Johnson Historical Society and Johnson Library. 

The Lamoille North Supervisory Union ratified a new three-year master agreement with teachers at the schools in the district. 

Representatives from local fire departments and the Vermont Agency of Transportation met to discuss better communication and other issues that have caused problems recently between the groups. 

Elmore’s Jupiter Farm was honored as the 2012 Employer of the Year by the Brain Injury Association of Vermont. 

An informational meeting and forum was held at the GMTCC in Hyde Park regarding the proposed change in the way Vermont’s maple syrup is graded and labeled. 

Bourne’s Energy celebrated the grand opening of its new biofuel blending plant on Route 100 in Morristown. 

Cambridge Village officially became a designated Village Center when it received that distinction from the Vermont Downtown Board. 

The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail’s Act 250 application for a land use permit was approved. 


November

The Peoples Academy girls soccer team completed a perfect 18-0 season in typical dominant fashion with a 9-0 whitewash of BFA-Fairfax in the championship game.  The Lady Wolves scored 111 goals over the season and let up just four goals.  They will enter the ‘13-’14 season with a 32 game winning streak.

Laraway Youth and Family Services installed 10 solar trackers on their land, which will produce about 75-80% of the facilities power.

New snowmaking efforts are under way at both Stowe Mountain and Smugglers’ Notch.

Facts over a proposed Northeast Kingdom solar facility were disputed. Vaughn Industries claims to be starting the 200MW project, but it has its doubters in Northern Vermont.

The Peoples Academy boys soccer team earned the top seed in the Division III tourney, but fell in the semifinals.

It was announced Dan Keene, of Lamoille Valley Ford, has bought into McMahon Chevrolet  Buick.  Current owner Tom Crow will continue as a partner, but his plans down the road see this as a step towards retiring while keeping the business going.

A woman accused of killing her grandchild was ruled not competent to stand trial.  Pamela Raymond, accused of killing her grandchild, is still being held in jail, pending evaluations of whether she should be hospitalized or if home confinement could be an option.

Work was conducted at the Grist Mill and Creamery buildings on A Street in Morrisville.  Morrisville Water & Light, owners of the two buildings, decided to go ahead with brownfield remediation to make the buildings more attractive on the real estate market.

Questions were raised over a new policy for town property in Hyde Park, which will strictly limit alcohol consumption.  Members of the town recreation committee were concerned the limits might cause tournament organizers to look elsewhere when choosing locations.

Morristown was able to get some late paving done because of unseasonable weather.

The Vermont State Police announced they are looking for Shane Phillips, of Johnson, after he was involved in a high speed chase. Phillips has been wanted for outstanding warrants for about 10 years, and the state has made finding him a high priority.

A pile of stone began forming in Morristown at the location of the bypass bridge over the Lamoille River. The stone will be used to create a causeway in order to get a crane midway to where the 550 foot bridge will sit.

Adam Merchant Jr., whose grandparents live in Johnson, found himself on the sidelines of the New York Giants as part of his Make-A-Wish Foundation wish. When the Giants surprised the Green Bay Packers, Adam also found himself making headlines in the national sports news.

The Lamoille County Budget of $551,945 was set. It includes money for a clerk of the works, should they be able to move forward with building expansion plans.

Several people were charged in connection with fires that destroyed two warming huts in Belvidere.

Hyde Park continued moving forward toward merging the town and village plans.

Work continued on the Cambridge roundabout and Route 108 bridge.  Drivers are now crossing a temporary bridge downstream from the once and future bridge site.

Chantal Binginot was named Morristown School District’s 2012 UVM Outstanding Teacher of the Year.


December

Police continued to look for Shane Phillips.  But it was announced Raymond Earle, who was with Phillips during a high speed chase, was sentenced to 60 days for stealing copper wire.

Governor Peter Shumlin visited Paine’s Christmas Tree Plantation to pick out a Christmas trees for the Pavilion.

Two Eden residents were hospitalized following a head-on crash on Route 100 in Hyde Park.

A former front desk clerk in Stowe was charged with embezzlement for fraudulently refunding his own credit cards.

Work moved indoors on the new Emergency Department at Copley Hospital.

A Morristown man was arrested after allegedly stealing five cars in a week.

The Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department investigated what was believed to be car window being shot out with a BB gun.

Cambridge found out they should be getting more money to fix a bridge on Irish Settlement Road.

Katie Stames, a junior at Peoples Academy, was named Vermont’s representative to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s High School All-American team.

Hyde Park Elementary School held their first Lantern Parade as part of a Winter Celebration.

Whooping cough raised concerns around the state as the number of cases reached epidemic proportions.

The Wolcott Veterans Memorial was set into the ground.  They hope to hold a dedication ceremony on Memorial Day next spring.

A school bus, empty of children, was struck by a motorist on Route 100C in Johnson.  An Essex Junction man is being charged in the incident after his car crossed the centerline and struck the bus.

The Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department announced a budget with a three percent increase, but announced they will be asking voters in Hyde Park, Johnson and Wolcott to create a detective position.

LCPC announced they will be holding meetings in January regarding a shared use path between Stowe and Morristown.

Cambridge Fire Department celebrated the completion of their new fire station with an open house. The building was dedicated to former Chief Howard Cary, who served on the department for 48 years.

Assistant Judges David Williams explained new plans for expansion at the Hyde Park Court House.  He and his peer, Assistant Judge Karen Bradley, have been lobbying the state to include money for the expansion budget in upcoming budgets. 


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