Category Archives: Windsor County

Icy roads lead to White River Junction crashes

ERIC FRANCIS PHOTO Icing on the Urban Bridge in downtown White River Junction first thing Friday morning sent a Jeep straight into the railing, knocking several pieces into the White River far below.  The driver sustained rib injuries and she was taken to the hospital by Hartford firefighters.

ERIC FRANCIS PHOTO
Icing on the Urban Bridge in downtown White River Junction first thing Friday morning sent a Jeep straight into the railing, knocking several pieces into the White River far below. The driver sustained rib injuries and she was taken to the hospital by Hartford firefighters.

Rabbi-Comedian returns to Weston

WESTON — Rabbi and standup comedian Bob Alper, a daily presence on Sirius/XM satellite radio who performs nearly 80 shows around the country each year and has appeared on many network television programs, returns to the Old Parish Church at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. Alper last performed in Weston three years ago.
Describing himself as “the world’s only practicing clergyman doing standup comedy … intentionally,” Alper’s new show will include observations about “The Spirituality of Laughter,” excerpts from his new book, “Thanks. I Needed That,” and, of course, a hearty dose of his trademark standup comedy. Adults and children 11 and older are welcome.
While there is no charge to attend the event, people are encouraged to donate $10 will help support food assistance programs by three area charities. For more information, call Chris Perry at 802-824-4248.

Chester to throw Christmas party this Saturday

CHESTER — Ready for the holidays? Locals are set to raise the baton on a town-wide “Overture to Christmas” this Saturday.
The 28th annual community celebration — often named one of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce’s Top Ten Winter Events — will feature a full day of holiday activities.
From 10 a.m. to noon, Chester-Andover Elementary School at 72 Main St. will host a morning of holiday crafts, stories and costume making for an afternoon “Parade of Presents.”
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 313 Main St. will hold its annual Christmas Tea and Sale, featuring a $6 lunch of hot brewed tea and coffee and mulled cider, Christmas cookies and bars and tea sandwiches, as well as homemade baked goods, crafts and decorations.
From 2 to 4 p.m., Paul and Norma Ippolito will present children’s music and stories at the Hugging Bear Inn at 244 Main St.; the Whiting Library at 117 Main St. will offer a Christmas puppet show; and the First Baptist Church of Chester at 162 Main St. will recreate a nativity scene.
At 4 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will appear in a “Parade of Presents” from the Chester-Andover Elementary School to the Fullerton Inn on the Common.
At 4:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will help light the town tree before visiting with children at the Fullerton Inn, which will serve cookies, cocoa and candy canes.
At 7:30 p.m., the Springfield Community Chorus will present a free concert at the First Baptist Church of Chester.
And throughout the day, a scavenger hunt will encourage participants to visit local merchants who’ll offer punch cards that can be dropped off for prizes at MacLaomainn’s Scottish Pub at 52 Main St.
Events will conclude the next Saturday, Dec. 14, with an annual Senior Citizens Christmas Dinner at noon at the elementary school at 72 Main St. and a town party at MacLaomainn’s Scottish Pub from 3 to 5 p.m., with admission at $5 a person or $15 per family.

CHESTER — Ready for the holidays? Locals are set to raise the baton on a town-wide “Overture to Christmas” this Saturday.
The 28th annual community celebration — often named one of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce’s Top Ten Winter Events — will feature a full day of holiday activities.
From 10 a.m. to noon, Chester-Andover Elementary School at 72 Main St. will host a morning of holiday crafts, stories and costume making for an afternoon “Parade of Presents.”
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 313 Main St. will hold its annual Christmas Tea and Sale, featuring a $6 lunch of hot brewed tea and coffee and mulled cider, Christmas cookies and bars and tea sandwiches, as well as homemade baked goods, crafts and decorations.
From 2 to 4 p.m., Paul and Norma Ippolito will present children’s music and stories at the Hugging Bear Inn at 244 Main St.; the Whiting Library at 117 Main St. will offer a Christmas puppet show; and the First Baptist Church of Chester at 162 Main St. will recreate a nativity scene.
At 4 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will appear in a “Parade of Presents” from the Chester-Andover Elementary School to the Fullerton Inn on the Common.
At 4:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will help light the town tree before visiting with children at the Fullerton Inn, which will serve cookies, cocoa and candy canes.
At 7:30 p.m., the Springfield Community Chorus will present a free concert at the First Baptist Church of Chester.
And throughout the day, a scavenger hunt will encourage participants to visit local merchants who’ll offer punch cards that can be dropped off for prizes at MacLaomainn’s Scottish Pub at 52 Main St.
Events will conclude the next Saturday, Dec. 14, with an annual Senior Citizens Christmas Dinner at noon at the elementary school at 72 Main St. and a town party at MacLaomainn’s Scottish Pub from 3 to 5 p.m., with admission at $5 a person or $15 per family.

Police release name of man killed in Proctorsville crash

The Jeep Cherokee at the scene of the crash.

The Jeep Cherokee at the scene of the crash.

CAVENDISH — A Ludlow man was killed on Route 103 in Cavendish between Greven Field and Route 131 when he ran head-on into a tractor trailer truck at about 5:30 p.m. Monday.

According to State Police, Brenton Stilwell, 29, of Ludlow, was heading north on Route 103 in a Jeep Cherokee, and  Robert Morris, 52, of Panton, was headed south driving a McDermotts Milk tractor trailer.

Stilwell’s Jeep crossed the center line and drove head on into Morris’s truck, police said. Paramedics tried to revive Stilwell at the scene, then he was taken to Springfield Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Morris was uninjured.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

According to State Trooper Tom Williams, the Jeep Cherokee was not registered to the driver involved in the crash while the tractor trailer belonged to McDermotts Milk of Enosburg Falls.

Paramedics were on the scene trying to resuscitate the driver of the Jeep Cherokee and the driver of the milk truck was not injured.

The crash happened at a nearby vacant grocery store on the north side of the highway. The entire front section of the Jeep Cherokee was ripped off and the tractor trailer lost several tires before it skidded to a complete stop.

Debris from both vehicles was scattered all over the road for at least a mile, according Williams. Police also found debris in the parking lot of the former grocery store and a tire that did damage to a nearby car.

“The tire fell off, went over the white (V-Tel) pickup truck, went over another car, hit the third car behind it (and) landed 15 feet in the woods. It was basically an explosion,” Williams said. “The local constable who lives nearby heard the crash and (said) it sounded like a bomb. It shook his house and windows, he told me,” Williams said.

State Police blocked off at least a mile of Route 103 for the crash reconstruction team. The crash was investigated by Williams, along with Troopers Tim Oliver and Eric Vitale.
- Christian Avard

Floods swamp streets in White River Junction

Eric Francis Photo Hartford Police Officer Sean Fernandes wades down a flooded stretch of   Gates Street near the large phone company building in downtown White   River Junction late Wednesday night after a thunderstorm flooded   several downtown streets and parking lots.

Eric Francis Photo
Hartford Police Officer Sean Fernandes wades down a flooded stretch of Gates Street near the large phone company building in downtown White River Junction late Wednesday night after a thunderstorm flooded
several downtown streets and parking lots.

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION – Exactly two years after Tropical Storm Irene inundated sections of White River Junction there was an eerie flashback Wednesday night as a torrential thunderstorm and an accompanying water main break sent several streets under water.
Drivers found themselves up to the bottoms of their car’s doors in water in several spots ranging from Gates Street behind the large telephone company building to the railroad underpass on Maple Street right next to the Hartford Town Hall where two cars that had been headed in opposite directions found themselves stalled about 9:30 p.m.
Supervising the efforts of two tow trucks that had been called in to haul the stranded drivers to safety, Hartford Police Sgt. Connie Kelley said she was nearly caught up by the freak storm herself.
“I came down the hill on Route 5 by the former LISTEN Center/25,000 Gifts building and hit basically like a lake in the road and the water came up over my hood,” Sgt. Kelley recalled.

Eric Francis Photo A lightning flash reveals a flooded stretch of Gates Street in   downtown White River Junction next to the large phone company building   late Wednesday night as a tow truck operator talks to Hartford Police   Officer Sean Fernandes.

Eric Francis Photo
A lightning flash reveals a flooded stretch of Gates Street in downtown White River Junction next to the large phone company building late Wednesday night as a tow truck operator talks to Hartford Police
Officer Sean Fernandes.

Crews later determined that a water main had given way near the intersection of Routes 4 and 5 sending a wave of water that actually pushed a television set that had been sitting in front of the former LISTEN building clear down the hill to the intersection in front of the Bugbee Senior Center.
“This is unprecedented,” noted Hotel Coolidge owner David Briggs shortly after 10 p.m. as he waved a flashlight across the completely flooded parking lot behind the Gates Briggs Building. The building houses the Briggs Opera House and several downtown businesses including Revolution and the popular Tuckerbox coffee shop.
For a time much of Currier Street, which runs behind the Hotel Coolidge, was flooded right up to the curbs, as were stretches of nearby Gates Street and Church Street in front of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.
Briggs said the parking lots in the downtown have never flooded like this in previous years but he said this is the second time they’ve done so this summer.  “Something has changed,” he said, pointing out that the water in the basements of the downtown block appeared to be coming in from, rather than going out through, the storm drain system.

- Eric Francis | Herald Correspondent

Man killed in Woodstock crash was an MVP ballplayer

WOODSTOCK, Vt. (AP) — Police say a Vermont man died in a traffic accident hours after he was named the most valuable player of an amateur baseball championship game in New Hampshire.
Police say 22-year-old Jon Ferrero of Woodstock was a passenger in a pickup truck that struck a guardrail, flipped over and hit a tree in Woodstock on Sunday. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His best friend, 21-year-old Justin Pierce of Woodstock, was hospitalized. He was in fair condition Monday.
The Eagle Times reports (http://bit.ly/16Zcrhz) police said there were alcohol containers recovered from the scene, but they aren’t sure if alcohol was a factor in the crash. They are still investigating.
Ferrero and Pierce were teammates on the Claremont Cardinals in the Connecticut river Valley Baseball League. Just a few hours before the accident, the Cardinals defeated rival Walpole for the league championship.
Ferrero, who played catcher, was named most valuable player, driving in the tournament’s winning run.
Claremont team manager Gerry Thompson called Ferrero “a beautiful person.”
“The Cardinals had a tough year with injuries and adversity. It was a struggle to field a very competitive team for a few games, but without Justin and Jon, we would not have been able to finish the season, let alone win the championship,” Thompson said.
A memorial service for Ferrero is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at Woodstock Union High School.

Severe flooding hits parts of Southern Vermont

Several towns surrounding Mount Ascutney found themselves coping with reports of roads washing away and brooks bursting their banks Tuesday night.

Beginning at about 8 p.m., the Windsor, West Windsor and Ascutney fire departments all put out “general alarms” within minutes of each other, calling in firefighters to deal with water problems.

In Reading, firefighters reported that Route 106 south of the village was “completely washed away in sections.”

All major roads between Windsor and West Windsor, including several spots on Routes 44 and 44A, were reported to be cut off with up to a foot of flowing water passing over them as darkness fell.

Ascutney firefighters could not make it down Route 131 and Vermont State Police reported a section of that highway was completely washed away a mile west of Interstate 91.

Farther down Route 131, in Weathersfield, “a big mud dam” had reportedly slid across the travel lanes near the intersection with Amsden Road.

Little Ascutney Road linking Weathersfield and Reading had to be closed, as did sections of Brook Road in West Windsor and County Road in Windsor.

Large drug arrest sweep in Springfield area this morning

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Vermont State Police are planning to talk about a “large” drug arrest sweep in Springfield.
A news conference has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Springfield Fire Department.
Representatives from the state attorney general’s office, Department of Public Safety, Windsor County Sheriff’s Department and others are scheduled to attend.
Col. Tom L’Esperance of the state police said the agency is pleased to be coordinating with multiple law enforcement-agencies to combat the growing drug problem in Vermont.

The Rutland Herald has a reporter and photographer following these arrests as they happen; we will update as this story unfolds.

Inmates build bat boxes to help bats

WINDSOR, Vt. (AP) — Inmates at Vermont’s Windsor prison are helping to save bats by building daytime roosting boxes.

The 50 bat houses were given away at this year’s Herrick’s Cove Wildlife Festival to attendees who regularly observe bats near their home.

Corrections staff member Paul Brosseau says the project educated the inmates about the problems Vermont’s bat populations are facing. An additional 150 more houses are being built.

The materials for the program were donated by the Windsor Coon Hunters Association.

Vermont’s six cave-bat species began disappearing in 2008 from white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has rapidly spread to virtually all of the state’s bat caves.

The bat houses are an alternative site where bats can roost during the daytime.

White River Valley Players to present ‘Three Funny Plays’

ROCHESTER – The White River Valley Players will present “Three Funny Plays and Music” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at the Rochester School Auditorium, Route 100.
Featured are: “Time Flies” by David Ives, directed by Jennie Marx; “Words, Words, Words” by David Ives, directed by Mindy Branstetter; “While the Auto Waits,” an adaptation of an O. Henry story by Walter Wykes, directed by Marty Gephart.
Tickets are $8, available at the door; call Virginia Scott Bowman, 802-767-3954, or email [email protected]