Category Archives: Barre

News and events in Barre City and Barre Town, Vermont

Barre police search for shooting suspect

BARRE – Police are searching for a man who shot another man in the shoulder on Brooklyn Street Thursday evening.

The injury to Seth Parry, 20, is not said to be life-threatening. An eyewitness told police that as he and Parry were walking by an apartment building at 59 Brooklyn Street, a man dressed all in black and wearing a mask yelled to Parry saying, “Hey, woman beater.”

The two men then started grappling with each other, according to the witness, who said the gun then went off and the masked man fled on foot.

The shooting happened around 5:30 p.m. and police were questioning five people outside the residence shortly after the incident. A police dog was brought out as police searched the scene for evidence.

PHOTOS: Barre polls relocate to the Old Labor Hall

Polls reopen at Old Labor Hall in Barre

BARRE — City Manager Steve Mackenzie described the situation as “stable,” but said it would likely be at least until early evening before the problem had abated. He said a 70 percent concentration of gas was measured in the building - a vacant apartment house on Bugby Avenue that was the subject of a “no rent order” due to “significant code violations” that were detected by city inspectors.Mackenzie said it was unclear how much of the city was initially affected by the emergency decision to cut power to the area, but said he suspected a “significant portion of the north end was at least briefly without electricity. He said Green Mountain Power personnel had responded and planned to restore power to all areas that were not in the immediate vicinity of the leak.
The shift in polling places was predictably chaotic given the need to move election workers, voting machines and ballots from the Auditorium to the labor hall, By 3:30 p.m. The new polling place had been established, the first ballots had been cast and City Clerk Carol Dawes was exploring the possibility of extending voting hours due to confusion that coul prevent people who waited until the last minute from voting. Dawes was not optimistic that the hours could be extended, but was attempting to contact the Secretary of State’s office for confirmation.

Barre polling place moved to Old Labor Hall due to propane leak

The Barre City polling place has moved to the Old Labor Hall,  due to a propane leak on Bugbee Avenue, which prompted a citywide power shutdown.  The order to evacuate came from the Secretary of State’s office, according to city officials. Despite the restoration of power to much of the city - it had been shut off as a precaution while the major propane leak was secured - the polling place will remain moved to the Old Labor Hall, officials said.

The emergency change of venue was not well received by one Barre resident – an Obama voter – who parked on Merchant Street and walked across the expansive parking lot at the Barre Civic Center complex to cast her ballot at the Auditorium. “I’m not going to bother to vote, to hell with it,” Donna D. Holden said after learning she would have to walk back to her car and then drive to the Old Labor Hall and vote there.

Voting got off to a fast start in the Granite City on Tuesday, though the initial wave only lasted about 20 minutes before settling into a steady, but manageable flow of voters at the Barre Municipal Auditorium.

“The first 20 minutes were crazy,” City Clerk Carol Dawes said, while undertaking the tedious task of opening and separating absentee ballots. That turned into an hours-long effort due to the sheer size of the stack. Dawes received more than 850 requests for absentee ballots in the run up to the elections and each envelope contained two ballots – one asking voters to express their preference for everything from president of the United States to local justices of the peace, and the other seeking approval for a $3 million roof replacement project at Spaulding High School.

The latter question is one that will be jointly decided by voters in Barre and neighboring Barre Town. According to Dawes, the stack of absentee ballots isn’t quite as thick as it was four years ago when more than 1,100 Granite City voters cast their ballots early in the presidential race. Still, there was a long line when the polls opened today and more than 275 ballots were cast in the first hour. That figure jumped to just over 450 by 9 a.m. and by noon the count stood at just over 1,325 voters. By 2:30 p.m. the count had risen to 1,800 ballots, including some of the absentee ballots that had started to be fed into the machines.

There are roughly 6,700 registered voters in Barre. In addition to the roof project, voters will settle a three-way race for two local legislative seats. All three candidates – Rep. Paul Poirier, I-Barre, Rep. Tess Taylor, D-Barre, and Republican challenger John Santorello – spent the day at the polls. This year, for the first time in modern history, the legislative seats will be filled in citywide elections. In past years, the city has been divided into separate single-member districts. That changed due to Census-driven reapportionment this year.


Barre man gets plea deal

BARRE — A Barre man who faced felony drug charges stemming from incidents in which police say he was twice passed out in his running vehicle while high on drugs, and later tried to elude police, agreed to a plea deal on lesser charges Wednesday.
Frank R. Schneider, 32, pleaded guilty to his second charge of driving under the influence as well as possession of cocaine, attempting to elude an officer and negligent operation, all misdemeanors.
He was sentenced to one to five years of pre-approved furlough, entry into an intensive substance abuse program, and 40 hours of community service.
The conviction for driving under the influence stems from an incident in January in which police say Schneider was high on drugs and passed out in his running vehicle at the Fast Stop Deli in Barre. Police say he was found passed out on drugs again in July in his running vehicle in the Big Lots parking lot in Berlin. Schneider missed his arraignment on the July charges, and an arrest warrant was issued.
In August, police found him driving in Barre, but he failed to pull over and led police on a high-speed chase back to his house.

Barre’s Main Street to reopen Wednesday

BARRE – Traffic should again be flowing freely on North Main Street in Barre at 8 a.m. Wednesday, as the contractor hired to complete the massive, multi-million-dollar reconstruction project is ready to call it a season.

City Manager Steve Mackenzie said officials from Luck Brothers Inc. expect to finish installing recycled century-old cobblestones in the island in front of the “Youth Triumphant” memorial between 2 and 5 p.m. today.

But according to Mackenzie, the section of North Main Street between Depot Square and City Hall Park will not be open until Wednesday morning.  At that time, Main Street will be opened to through traffic for the first time since July.

Although most of the work is finished, Mackenzie said some will be completed next year when Luck Brothers returns to install the wearing course of asphalt on North Main Street and to oversee the “mill-and-fill” resurfacing of Summer Street.

Approximately 40 percent of the street trees in the area that has most recently been under construction will be planted next spring, new parking meters will be installed at that time. Pouring a new sidewalk in front of City Hall and the former Lash Furniture building is also on the to-do list for early next year, he said.

Though large trucks will be forced to continue using the Summer Street detour for at least the next 30 days, other vehicles will be able to travel from one end of North Main Street to the other for the first time since work on Barre’s “Big Dig” resumed in March.

Community considers large truck detour

BARRE — The city of Barre is considering banning large trucks from Main Street.
Town officials want input from residents.
The street has been under construction, forcing vehicles to take a detour. Some people want trucks to continue using the alternate route to reduce traffic congestion. The street is expected to reopen to traffic this week.
WCAX-TV reports in a special City Council meeting, Mayor Thom Lauzon said he supports a 30-day trial period for the alternate route.

Deputy nearly run down

BARRE — Police in Barre are looking for a man who fled the scene after nearly running down a sheriff’s deputy who was working on a traffic control detail.
Barre police say the deputy was working a traffic detail at the intersection of Washington and Academy streets early Friday when a white Subaru Impreza came toward the deputy and forced him to jump into his cruiser to avoid being hit.
The car then hit a utility pole and the driver jumped out and fled. The sheriff tried to pursue the man, but was limited by his own injuries suffered by jumping out of the way.
The incident remains under investigation.

A night heron at the doors of the Times Argus in Barre

This night heron showed up at the door of the Times Argus in Barre earlier this week. No word on what it was searching for.

The other Barre cemetery

Mowing at the Elmwood Cemetery in Barre

Stefan Hard / Staff Photo
Ray Spaulding mows the grass Tuesday for the city of Barre at Elmwood Cemetery. He said it takes a two-person crew about a week to mow the expansive Elmwood Cemetery, less famous than nearby Hope Cemetery but still with many superb examples of hand-carved granite memorials.