Category Archives: Northeast Kingdom

Big tri-state snowmobile weekend on tap

AUGUSTA, Maine — Snowmobilers from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont will get a chance to ride on some new terrain.
Reciprocal Snowmobile Weekend this coming Friday to Sunday allows all legally registered Maine snowmobiles to be operated in New Hampshire and Vermont without being registered in those states.
At the same time, snowmobiles legally registered in New Hampshire and Vermont can be operated in Maine without a current Maine registration. In Maine alone, snowmobilers can explore more than 13,000 miles of interconnected, groomed and marked trails.
The Maine Warden Service reminds snowmobilers to ride with caution at all times. Maine Warden Col. Joel Wilkinson also advises riders to pay close attention to ice conditions on all Maine waterways, especially when traveling at night.

Five teens arrested in ballfield theft

ST. JOHNSBURY — Five teenagers have been accused of taking bats, balls, and other items from a Vermont baseball concession stand.
The five, ranging in age from 16 to 18, were arrested last week in connection with burglary and theft charges at the Legion Baseball concession stand in St. Johnsbury.  The teens are from St. Johnsbury, Lyndonville, and Bethlehem, N.H.
Police said the group also is accused of taking hats, first aid kits, office supplies, and a money box.

St. Johnsbury names new interim town manager

ST. JOHNSBURY — The Vermont town of St. Johnsbury has a new interim manager.
Merelise O’Connor of Plymouth, N.H., started this week.
She tells the Caledonian-Record ( her most pressing priority is building a municipal budget before the end of the month.
O’Connor was town administrator in Plymouth. She also was deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Energy and Community Services under former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen.
O’Connor most recently served as assistant executive director of the New Hampshire Municipal Association.
She was provided to St. Johnsbury through Municipal Resources Inc., which selectmen voted to hire last week.
The community was without a full-time one since former manager Ralph Nelson was fired in April. No reason was given publicly.

Fire department loses equipment to massive fire

ST. JOHNSBURY — A Vermont fire department is hoping its insurance company will pay to replace equipment lost fighting a blaze that heavily damaged a downtown St. Johnsbury building.
Fire Chief Troy Ruggles says firefighters had to abandon hoses, tools and one of its four thermal imaging cameras when they had to flee the 1879 Building on Railroad Street during the Dec. 23 blaze after they were trapped by a wall of fire.
Ruggles told the town select board the thermal camera was the most expensive item lost. It cost about $10,000 new.
The Caledonian Record ( ) reports it’s not clear yet whether the gutted structure will have to be torn down or whether it can be saved.

Police investigate fatal shooting of teen

JOHNSON — The Lamoille County Sheriff’s office and the Vermont State Police are continuing to investigate the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old Johnson youth in his home by his younger brother.
The sheriff’s department says the preliminary investigation found that Jacob Lehouillier’s younger brother was trying to clean a shotgun when it fired, hitting Lehouillier in the chest.
The youth was taken to Copley Hospital in Morrisville after the 5:15 p.m. Friday incident where he was pronounced dead.
The department did not release the name or age of the younger brother.

State police asked to investigate alleged misconduct in St. J police

ST. JOHNSBURY — The police department in St. Johnsbury, Vt., is facing allegations of misconduct that could result in a state police investigation.
The St. Johnsbury Board of Selectmen voted 3-2 recently to request Vermont State Police Commander Tom L’Esperance to consider investigating the department. It followed a complaint by resident Brian Christman that police engaged in misconduct, including filing police reports containing inaccurate information.
The Caledonian-Record reports ( Christman said it is related to a 2011 disorderly-conduct complaint involving Christman as the accused, and town employee Aaron Rodger.
St. Johnsbury Police Chief Houde said if state police decide to investigate, his department would be more than happy to cooperate.

Biotech firm to add more jobs than expected

NEWPORT — The Vermont developer working with a South Korean bio-technology company to build a plant in Newport says the company expects to create 450 permanent and 50 seasonal jobs.
That’s double the amount of jobs AnC Bio proposed earlier this year.
Vermont Public Radio reports ( developer Bill Stenger says the company will need more clean rooms for research and development than originally thought. He addressed a panel of state and local officials that are working together on workforce development and related needs for transportation, housing, and services.
AnC Bio develops and manufactures artificial organs.

Town braces for 20 percent health care cost spike

ST. JOHNSBURY — Officials in the Vermont town of St. Johnsbury are bracing for a spike in health care costs, expected to be between 20 percent and 24 percent next year.
The increase translates to an increase in health care premiums of between $88,000 and $108,000, although the costs are somewhat offset by employee contributions.
Selectman Jim Rust says the increase is due to state and federal mandates.
Rust tells the Caledonian Record ( officials are considering other insurance policies, but that would require union support.

Man charged with stealing from his grandma

ST. JOHNSBURY — A Vermont man is facing charges stemming from the theft of three laptop computers and a muzzle-loading firearm from his grandmother’s New Hampshire home on Thanksgiving Day.
St. Johnsbury police say 18-year-old Richard Kendall and his 22-year-old half-brother, Claude Caron Jr., stole the items from Kendell’s grandmother’s house in Center Barnstead, N.H.
The two men pleaded not guilty in a St. Johnsbury court to felony charges of possession of stolen property. They were released.
Court documents say Kendall told police he and Caron went to his grandmother’s home on Thanksgiving night looking for gas money and found everyone asleep.
The Caledonian Record ( says Kendall told police the laptops were in view and the muzzleloader was in an unlocked vehicle in the driveway.

Police find pot operation after investigating domestic assault

A Concord man is in jail after police responded to a report of domestic disturbance and found a marijuana growing operation in the house.

Ralph Porto, 49, was charged with domestic assault on Monday after police went to his house on Wesley Road. While police were there, they found marijuana, and searched the residence, finding an indoor marijuana grow operation. Porto was taken to jail on $500 bail on the domestic charge and is due in court Dec. 13 on the charge of cultivation of marijuana.