Category Archives: Barre

News and events in Barre City and Barre Town, Vermont

VIDEO: Sports Talk with Anna Grearson

Sports Talk with Anna Grearson

Barre women arrested for crack cocaine use with child in car

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Two Barre woman are being held on bail in New Hampshire after allegedly smoking crack cocaine in a car with a two-year old child inside the vehicle Monday.
As reported by, Sarah Lucas, 32, and Ellen Smith, 31, were arrested by undercover police officers Monday evening at a Mobil Gas station in Manchester, N.H. after police say they had been monitoring the car because the occupants seemed to be engaged in suspicious activity.
Police say they approached the vehicle and saw the driver, Lucas, holding a glass pipe in her hand.
According to the Manchester District Court, both women were arraigned Monday. Lucas pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of controlled drug acts prohibited and Smith pleaded not guilty to one felony count of controlled drug acts prohibited and one misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child. Both women are being held for lack of $2,000 bail.
The boy, Smith’s son, was later released to a family member.

VIDEO: Barre City Council meeting

Barre City Council meeting video from Central Vermont Television:

Satirical horse and butterfly circus coming to Barre

From “Talk of the Town”, a weekly column in the Times Argus:

BARRE — When it comes to explaining things, sometimes it’s best not to stray too far from the script. When it comes to the Bread and Puppet Theater, we’ve found that’s a rule worth remembering.

Want proof?

We give you “The Circus of Possibilitarians” — a show that we’re assured will go on at the Old Labor Hall on Granite Street on Feb. 14 (remember, that’s Valentine’s Day!) at 6 p.m.

The circus of what?

Our point exactly.

What we know for sure is admission is $5, soup and sourdough bread will be served before the puppets are unleashed, and for more information you can call 456-7456 or email [email protected].

Here is what we’re told (verbatim because we really don’t want to mess this up): “The Circus of Possibilitarians is a satirical horse and butterfly circus, addressing pertinent national and international issues in a clownish fashion, including rotten ideas, a wild dancing horse and some mellow lions, a solemn salute to the world’s casualties and much more! The Dire Circumstance Jubilation Ensemble provides a little bit of brass and a lot of noise. Please take note that if some of the circus acts are politically puzzling to adults, accompanying children can usually explain them.”

Translation: If you’ve got kids, bring them. If you don’t, sit next to someone who does and enjoy the show.

Barre man gets 7 years’ prison for child porn, gun crimes

BURLINGTON — A Vermont man has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for possessing child pornography and firearms.
Court records say 52-year-old Dennis Wayne Baldwin of Barre was receiving, possessing, and distributing child pornography with file-sharing software that he had installed on his computers.
Baldwin, a convicted felon, also possessed seven firearms.
Baldwin was arrested on Feb. 28, 2012. He pleaded guilty to the charges in August.

Fire at granite shed in Barre

There is a report of a major fire in Barre behind the Allen Lumber building on the south side of the branch of the Winooski, with multiple fire departments responding to the scene. They were first toned at 4:37 a.m., and departments from Barre City, Barre Town, Northfield, Waterbury, Berlin, and Plainfield have responded, according to a report from the scene.

The departments believe the fire is in the office area; crews have not yet contained the fire, but are working to reach it. Smoke is in the area across North Main Street.

We have a reporter and photographer on the way and will update as we have more to report.

‘Potentially large fuel spill’ in Barre

Barre Gas Leak

Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Staff Photo
Barre City firefighter Bill Waite lowers a sensor into a manhole on North Main Street in Barre on Wednesday.

BARRE - Emergency personnel have traced the source of persistent neighborhood complaints involving petroleum-like odors to a North Main Street convenience store.
According to City Manager Steve Mackenzie, initial estimates suggest some 3,000 gallons of gasoline may have leaked from underground tanks at North End Deli Mart over an undefined period of time. That leak, he said could account for odors detected in the basements of several nearby homes over the past two weeks.
Members of the city’s fire and public works department were on the scene this afternoon, as were representatives of the state Agency of Natural Resources and the state Department of Health.
According to Mackenzie, officials were attempting to determine the extent of the contamination and firefighters were venting the sanitary sewer system in the area. He said it did not appear that the gasoline made its way into the city’s storm sewer, which would have funneled the petroleum product into the nearby Stevens Branch of the Winooski River.
A press conference is scheduled at 2 p.m. at the public safety building in Barre.

Benefit dance for Barnett & Breer family Saturday

BARRE — A benefit dinner dance for the Barnett and Breer family, who lost their home in a fire, is set for Saturday at the Elks Club.
A social hour will run from 5 to 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 6 p.m., a 50/50 raffle, and a DJ dance at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person or $40 for two.
For more information, contact Miranda Tremblay at 279-9181.

Barre Town home damaged by fire

Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Staff Photo
Smoke and flames pour from a home on Phelps Road in Barre Town on Wednesday morning. No one was injured in the blaze but the structure, which was occupied by a family of six, was heavily damaged by the fire.

BARRE TOWN – A fast-moving fire of undetermined origin gutted a two-story contemporary log cabin on Phelps Road this morning leaving a young family of six homeless heading into the holidays. Damian Barnett, who spent “seven months of 14-hour days” building the home three years ago, watched the building and virtually all of its contents go up in smoke in the span of a couple of excruciating hours.

With his partner, Kaysie Breer, standing at his side, Barnett watched helplessly as firefighters from six area departments scrambled to get the fire that he called in shortly before 9 a.m. under control. That never happened and by early afternoon a town-owned excavator had toppled the charred shell of the once-spacious home.

“We couldn’t safely put the fire out without tearing it (the house) down,” Barre Town Fire Chief Chris Violette said of a chore that was largely finished by 1:30 p.m. The early afternoon demolition project, which involved a town-owned excavator, followed a morning spent trying to put out a stubborn fire that appears to have started in the home’s lowest level and eventually ended in a huge smoldering pile of oversized logs.

Violette said fighting the fire was a challenge because it quickly burned through the home’s first and second floors on its way to the roof. Though the heaviest flames had been doused by 11 a.m., Violette said at that point there were still plenty of work to do and no easy way to do it. With the floors destroyed, Violette said going into the home wasn’t an option and firefighters were forced t try with limited success to find a good way to get at the burning roof before eventually giving up and calling in the excavator.

While firefighters were still trying to do their best to save the structure, Barnett was on the phone with his insurance company, Breer was struggling to keep her composure, and Barnett’s mother, Kim Menard, was wondering how the young couple was going to break the news to at least three of their four children – Matthew, 10, Lindsey, 5, Colin, 2, and six-month-old Camdyn.

“How do you tell your kids when they get out of school that they don’t have a house now?” she asked. “They just lost everything.” Precisely how the fire started remains a mystery, but it appears pretty clear that it began in the basement area.
Barnett said he heard smoke detectors going off and saw heavy smoke in the house after returning from dropping his two older children off at school and his two-year-old at daycare. He immediately called 911, got the dogs out of the house and then headed into a smoke-filled basement with a fire extinguisher that he emptied before leaving the home for the last time.

“It was nothing but black smoke,” he said. “You couldn’t even see the front of the house.” Barnett said he placed a second call to an emergency dispatcher 13 minutes after the first and Violette arrived alone a few minutes later. By that time, he said, the fire was already rolling and the chances of saving the structure given the nature of the construction were minimal at best. Violette said that was a fair assessment.

He said firefighters initially tried to make an “interior attack” but were quickly “driven out” of the home’s smoke-filled basement when fire spread to the ceiling above. According to Violette, Barre Town firefighters were eventually joined at the scene by volunteers, from Berlin, East Montpelier, Williamstown, and Washington as well as full-time firefighters from Barre and tanker trucks ferried water to the scene from a fire hydrant on Balsam Drive.

Violette said reports of “smoke in the basement” aren’t unusual and had there been any mention of flames, the response would have been swifter than it was though it may not have changed the ultimate outcome. Instead of immediately toning out firefighters in Barre, Violette said that call wasn’t made until he arrived at the home.

“As soon as I got on scene and saw that it was a working structure fire I asked for Barre City (firefighters) immediately,” he said. Violette said a state fire investigator would attempt to determine the cause of the blaze, and an official from the American Red Cross was on hand to provide some emergency interim assistance to the family. Meanwhile, Barnett, a professional landscaper, said he would be meeting with a representative of his insurance company on Thursday morning and that he and Breer, a nurse, would be looking for a place to stay in the short term. “There’s six of us,” he said, ticking down the list of items – some practical, some sentimental – that were destroyed in the fire before finally giving up. “It’s all gone,” he said. “Everything.”

[email protected]


Police charge four juveniles for fake bomb threats at Spaulding

BARRE — Police in Barre say four juveniles are facing charges stemming from two false bomb threats at the Vermont city’s Spaulding High School.
Police say there have been three bomb treats at Spaulding since Nov. 20, the most recent Tuesday.
In each case the threat was reported after a note was found in a common area of the school. In each case the school was searched but nothing unusual was found.
On Tuesday police and school officials identified the four juveniles and cited them into court on charges of “causing false public alarm” stemming from the first two threats. The origin of the Tuesday threat remains under investigation.