Category Archives: Montpelier

News and events in Montpelier, 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

Deer herd meetings coming soon

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says meetings about the state’s deer and moose herds will be held soon.
Discussion scheduled for next month will include results from the 2013 season and prospects for this year’s deer and moose season.  The department will also give an update on the deer management review.
Attendees are welcome to bring their experience with the herds and recommendations about hunting regulations.
Public hearings are scheduled for March 25 in Springfield, March 26 in Orleans and March 27 in Middlebury. Two more hearings will be held in May.
The March 27 meeting will be live streamed at

‘Crucible’ as opera comes to Lost Nation Theater

MONTPELIER — At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17 in the Lost Nation Theater Lobby, longtime LNT company member Tim Tavcar will present a special program in conjunction with the theater’s production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” “‘The Crucible’ as Opera — a Journey with Composer Robert Ward.”
The Cleveland-born composer Robert Ward recently passed away at the age of 95. In his significant legacy of musical compositions, he gave the public what has become arguably one of the most successful American operas ever written based on Miller’s powerful drama of the same name. Ward was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his work. (Many think it was Miller who won the Pulitzer for Crucible, but Miller won the Tony for Best Play in 1953, while Ward won the Pulitzer in 1962.)
Assuming the persona of Robert Ward, Tavcar will perform excerpts from letters, diaries and lecture notes that deal with the composition of his opera along with personal glimpses of Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Leonard Bernstein, librettist Bernard Stambler, the artists of the New York City Opera and more. (Ward “beat out” Bernstein for permission to create the opera.) Throughout the presentation, excerpts of this dramatic and melodious work from the 1962 original cast recording will illustrate Ward’s reminiscences.
Admission is by donation ($15 suggested); for information, call 802-229-0492, or go online to

Montpelier police investigating 19 auto break-ins

MONTPELIER — The police department in Montpelier, says there have been at least 19 car break-ins and two related home burglaries in the last two days.
Police say the cases involved unlocked vehicles. The location of the city hit hardest was the hill section of Berlin Street, plus Court and lower Elm streets.
The department is asking anyone who has information about the cases to please call.

Sherman appointed deputy commissioner for state insurance regulator

MONTPELIER – Crosby Sherman has been appointed deputy commissioner of the state Insurance Division, Susan Donegan, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, announced Monday.

Sherman most recently served as chief of Captive Insurance for the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.

Sherman grew up in St. Johnsbury and graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy and the University of Vermont. He began his career at the Vermont Department of Financial regulation in the 1980s, where he worked as an insurance examiner of property and casualty, life and captive insurance companies.

He also oversaw domestic and captive examinations and played a key regulatory role during the initial stages of Vermont’s captive insurance market.

Donegan said Sherman “has extensive experience in all aspects of the insurance regulatory process particularly solvency regulation which is DFR’s highest priority for consumer protection.”

He begins his job July 8.

- Bruce Edwards

Session closes: Social issues took precedence over fiscal


Associated Press

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A 2013 legislative session marked by fiscal caution and an adventurous approach to social issues closed Tuesday night as lawmakers passed a nearly $1.4 billion general fund budget and put off a bid to put new limits on political campaign contributions.

“We stood together for Vermont, and we did so without raising general fund taxes, which will help keep our economic recovery squarely on track,” Gov. Peter Shumlin told lawmakers as he thanked them for good work this year.

The session was marked by moderate spending initiatives and bolder social ones. Lawmakers decriminalized possessing small amounts of marijuana and hashish, agreed to allow physicians to supply lethal medications to terminal ill patients who request it, and set up a new type of driver’s license for the immigrants in the country illegally who staff many of the state’s dairy farms.

They did not get new limits on campaign contributions and requirements for transparency of money in politics into law, however.

“We’d rather wait until we get a really good bill than start making compromises,” Sen. Jeanette White, who chairs the Senate Government Operations Committee, said of the campaign finance bill.

Continue reading

Bomb scare shuts down Montpelier

Police are investigating a report of a suspicious package left on Langdon Street this afternoon. Main Street has been closed off from State to School streets. Police are believed to be waiting for a K-9 unit to examine the package, which is described as a box. The incident was called into police around 4 p.m.

Eyewitnesses report a two-foot by two-foot box on the sidewalk by TD Bank. A bomb-sniffing dog/team is on the way to the scene. Rush-hour traffic is being tied up around the city as a result of the incident. Bystanders are being kept from the scene, which has been blocked by police. If you are in the city, you are asked to please stay away from the scene at this time.

Vermont solar company touts accomplishments after first year

MONTPELIER — Vermont’s largest residential solar power company is touting its accomplishments after its first year in business.
And SunCommon is holding an event Monday in Montpelier where officials will call on the Legislature to continue supporting what they say is a growing industry.
SunCommon began operations in March 2012.
The Monday event will be at the home of a customer that now uses solar power to help produce electricity for the home.

Local dancers share

MONTPELIER – The Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio presents “Eat My Art Out,” at 7 p.m., Friday, March 1, at 18 Langdon St. (third floor).
The informal performance series for developing works by choreographers offers the opportunity for audience members to discuss and give feedback on the work (with refreshments provided by the artists). Featured are Heather Bryce, Erin Duffee, Isadora Snapp, and Kaleigh Mulpeter, Tierney Munger, Dylan Friedman, and Duffee in collaboration.
“Eat My Art Out” showcases the active and growing community of dancers and choreographers in and around Burlington and Montpelier. Come, bring your eyes, appetite, and thoughts.
Admission is by donation ($10-$5 suggested); call 229-4676 or go online to

Northern Harmony coming to Unitarian Church in Montpelier

MONTPELIER – Northern Harmony, the world music vocal ensemble based in Vermont, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the Unitarian Church.
The 13 young singers, led by Larry Gordon, will present a mix of world harmony traditions including South African songs and dances, traditional polyphony from Georgia, Corsica, and the Balkans, American shape-note singing and quartet gospel, and Medieval motets. Fresh from its 15th European tour, Northern Harmony has won a wide reputation for their remarkable command of the different singing styles and timbres appropriate to these different traditions.
Northern Harmony is the highest level performing group under the umbrella of the world music organization Village Harmony, which sponsors singing camps and workshops in New England and many parts of the world (see The singers are primarily graduates of Village Harmony singing programs, and most have studied traditional singing styles first hand with native teachers in South Africa, Bulgaria, Corsica and Caucasus Georgia.
Admission at the door is $15, $10 for students.  For more information call 426-3210, or go online to