Category Archives: Central Vermont

News and events in Central Vermont

Mark LeGrand brings the honky tonk life to Sweet Melissa’s

Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Staff Photo Jason Merrihew and Mark LeGrand play at the Honky Tonk Happy Hour at Sweet Melissa’s in Montpelier

Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Staff Photo
Jason Merrihew and Mark LeGrand play at the Honky Tonk Happy Hour at Sweet Melissa’s in Montpelier

By Art Edelstein | Arts Correspondent
It’s become something of a Friday early evening tradition that the place to be at week’s end is Sweet Melissa’s on Langdon Street in Montpelier. Part of the reason so many people stop in for a drink or some food is the live music. Holding down the happy hour slot is singer Mark LeGrand and his honky tonk band.
LeGrand is a mainstay here, as he has been at a variety of venues around town for a decade or more with his country infused vocals, mellow acoustic guitar and a variety of musicians who have been members of his backing band.
LeGrand recently released his third solo album, albeit a seven song EP CD, “Burn It Down,” and it continues the growth of this durable local performer’s songwriting career.

Singer-songwriter Mark LeGrand will introduce his new EP album, “Burn It Down,” at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at Sweet Melissa’s, 4 Langdon St. in Montpelier. For information, call 802-225-6012.

What we get on “Burn It Down” is LeGrand’s view of the world, one that was born and nurtured in New England, primarily in Vermont. Although a native of Connecticut, he has lived here since 1967. His early music career found him playing roadhouse dives along Route 22 in New York State. “Into The Night,” track one on the CD, describes that early musical lifestyle. Continue reading

Pedestrian killed by train in Waterbury

WATERBURY — Vermont State Police have confirmed that a pedestrian has been struck and killed by a train in Waterbury.
Police are on the scene of the crash.
A police dispatcher says more information will be released later Thursday.

Norwich to support military student tuition through shutdown

MONTPELIER — Vermont’s Norwich University is promising about $150,000 in scholarships for military students affected by the federal government shutdown.
Officials at the Northfield college say 146 students will be able to continue their education despite the suspension of financial aid through the military tuition assistance program administered by the federal government.
The students in Norwich’s fall semester in bachelor’s degree completion programs and graduate programs are in the United States military while enrolled in online programs.
Norwich Dean William Clements says that keeping the men and women in class is of the utmost importance.

‘America’s Favorites’ features Steel Magnolias

WATERBURY — MOXIE Productions presents “Steel Magnolias,” by Robert Harling, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11 and 12, at the White Meeting House at the Congregational Church.
This first of the series, “Steel Magnolias,” will be directed by local playwright and theater professor Jeanne Beckwith and feature local actors Monica Callan, Claire Demarais, Sandra Gartner, Ramona Godfrey, Mary Scripps, and Katie Whitney. A picture of small town eccentricity, “Steel Magnolias” is a lively comedy full of hilarious repartee and poignant strength, as colorful neighbors come together when tragedy hits.
The “America’s Favorites Series” will showcase plays which American luminaries have awarded, theater companies have most produced, and audiences in the past have talked the most about, in theatrical readings from October 2013 to May 2014, with local professional and community actors and directors.
Admission is a pay-what-you-can donation. For information, call 802-244-4168, or email [email protected]

Two men killed in crash on I-89 in Berlin

BERLIN — Vermont State Police are investigating a crash that killed two young men from Canada.
Police say 23-year-old Nicolas Munn of Mont Royal, Quebec, was driving north on Interstate 89 in Berlin Sunday afternoon when he lost control of his car and crashed into a series of rock ledges. Both he and his passenger, 21-year-old Timothy Pirro of Laval, Quebec, died of their injuries.
Police say the crash happened during a steady rain, and there was standing water on parts of the roadway.

Land donation creates 1,547-acre “Braintree Mountain Forest”

BRAINTREE — A private donation and the help of a New England conservation foundation have preserved 1,547 acres in the heart of Vermont’s Green Mountains, the New England Forestry Foundation announced Wednesday.
The new Braintree Mountain Forest will be open to the public passive recreational purposes. The forest has an internal road system and many trails for hiking and other forms of outdoor recreation, including snowmobiling on a designated VAST trail, the foundation said in a release.
The land’s owners, Paul Kendall and Sharon Rives, began acquiring the parcels that will make up the forest in the 1970s, building the acreage over time. The pair hoped to preserve the headwaters of the Riford Brook watershed from development, and continue to manage the woodlands sustainably. Their gift, which technically came from the Todhah Hill Foundation, is the culmination of their land conservation goals, according to the release.
“This is a significant milestone for our organization and takes us one step closer in our Heart of New England initiative to conserve 30 million acres by 2060,” said the forestry foundation’s executive director, Robert Perschel. The donation is the largest in the foundation’s history, according to the release.
The forest is managed by John McClain of Randolph, a consulting forester. The forestry foundation will manage the forest in the same manner and ensure that the ridgelines will remain undisturbed by visible develoment for at least 50 years. The forestland is located northwest of Randolph, along the ridge that separates Braintree and Rochester, between routes 12A and 100, with parts of the forest in both towns.
The foundation will host a dedication of the forest on Sept. 28 from 2 - 4 p.m. to mark the preservation. The event will include remarks, a ribbon-cutting, refreshments, and a guided hike. The event is open to the public, and all are welcome to attend.
Further information and event directions may be found online at

Police remove grenade from Morrisville McDonald’s

MORRISTOWN (AP) — Vermont State Police explosives experts are working to determine if a hand grenade found in the drive-thru lane of a Morrisville restaurant was real or a novelty item.
Morrisville police say they were called to the Morrisville Shopping Plaza at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday after receiving the report about the grenade outside a McDonald’s restaurant.
When officers arrived they determined it was a completely assembled grenade.
Police shut down parts of Route 15, evacuated the plaza and called in the state police bomb squad.
State police experts made the device safe and removed it.
They are now planning to X-ray the device to see if it was real.
Anyone with information about how the incident is asked to call Morrisville police.

Burlington’s Civic Symphony presents Pops at Stowe

STOWE – The Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center’s Peak Family Series will present the Burlington Civic Symphony for a summer pops concert on Saturday, August 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Stowe.
Music Director Daniel Bruce will lead a rousing program featuring light classical selections by Mozart and Berlioz; Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”; and popular themes from movies and musicals, including “The Lord of the Rings,” “Star Trek,” “Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Misérables.”
The Burlington Civic Symphony (BCSO) is Burlington’s premier auditioned community orchestra. Founded in 2011, the orchestra’s membership has quickly grown to more than 60 talented musicians from Burlington and surrounding areas.
Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at door; call 802-760-4634, or go online to

Middlesex teen cited for stealing three cars, trying for a fourth

MORETOWN – A 15-year-old Middlesex boy allegedly drove off with three vehicles that didn’t belong to him and attempted to steal a fourth over the weekend.
Due to his age, state police did not release the boy’s age, but said he rolled one of the vehicles in a ditch on Ward Brook Road in Moretown and was involved in what they described as a “minor” one-car crash in Northfield in another.
The timing of the two accidents was not clear, but police said they learned of the Moretown accident at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and the vehicle was reported stolen by its owner a short time later.
Police did not identify the owner, but he is presumably one of the four “victims” listed on a press release that was issued on Sunday. According to the release, the victims included Marshall Gray, 63, of Moretown, Christopher Gray, 38, of Moretown, David Newlun, 61, of Middlesex and 90-year-old Frederick Ladue of Montpelier.
During their investigation of the Moretown accident, police said they discovered a total of three vehicles had been stolen and there was an attempt to take another in the area of Ward Brook and Jacobs Brook roads.
According to police, keys were left in all of the vehicles. Police did not describe any of the vehicles or provide a time frame for when they were allegedly taken.
The boy was cited for aggravated operating without the owners consent and is expected to appear in family court in Barre on Oct. 3.

Multi-media music tryptych at Greensboro with Borromeo Quartet

GREENSBORO – Summer Music from Greensboro present the Borromeo Quartet in a multi-media performance for the final concert in the 2013 season at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, at the Greensboro United Church of Christ.
The program includes Beethoven’s String Quartet op. 59, No. 2, “Teta,” a new quintet for flute and strings by Arab-American composer Mohammed Fairouz featuring flutist Karen Kevra, and a special multi-media triptych suite.
“To hear and see them perform has always felt to me like taking a private tour through a composer’s mind,” says Cathy Fuller of WGBH in Boston.
The quartet will perform a musical multi-media triptych suite of three pieces: “Leipzig Triangles,” “Childsplay” and “Santa,” arranged for string quartet by first violinist Nicholas Kitchen.
Tickets are $20 (18 and younger free); go online to