ST. JOHNSBURY — An early spring plea to the community to save the financially struggling Good Living Senior Center was heard — and thanks to a big boost in donations from two major local businesses at a critical moment, the center remained open.
A Conway woman, arrested in the spring on charges of stalking a Franconia couple and planting two improvised explosive devices in their cars, was indicted in July for threatening to blow up Cannon Mountain, where one of the victims worked, with a bomb.
Gary W. Hale received a sentence of 2-6 years all suspended except for 30 days in jail followed by 180 days of home confinement and 12 years of probation for his conduct after the car he was driving struck and killed Lyndon resident Mattie Lynne Hale (no relation), 46, on Dec. 1 2017.
FRANCONIA CHEF DETAINED: On April 11, 40-year-old Franconia chef Juan Pu was taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol Agents. Held for five weeks, he was granted bond and released on May 15, rejoining his wife Natalia Pu-Calan and children Jessica, 16, John, 14, and David, 4, in May. His legal battle will continue, with an immigration hearing expected sometime next year. Pu arrived from Guatemala over a decade ago and for the past year has been the chef at Plain Kate’s Riverside Saloon & All Ways Inn in Franconia. He was reportedly in the process of becoming a citizen when he was arrested for being “without documentation allowing him to enter and remain in the United States,” according to Border Patrol officials. Community support played a role in Pu’s release on bond. Over 1,300 people signed a Change.org petition demanding his release and almost 100 people have donated $4,060 to a Gofundme.com fundraiser to defray his legal costs.
The night before Valentine’s Day, a community suffered a heartbreaking loss. The main barn building at The Rocks Estate in Bethlehem, which contained a gift shop, a function room, a classroom, and the local headquarters for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, was destroyed by fire on the evening of Feb. 13.
A homeless woman was accused in June of assaulting the wife and 12-year-old daughter of the Hardwick Police Chief Aaron Cochran.
LYNDON CENTER — The Miller’s Run Bridge, a well-traveled-through covered bridge, has been struck several times in its history, but it’s believed no single impact has caused more damage than what was done on May 16, 2019.
ST. JOHNSBURY — Local and state police, joined by off-duty sheriff’s deputies, converged on the area of 170 Pearl St. on July 31, 2019, after it was reported that a man had been shot inside a second-floor apartment and the man responsible had left, but was possibly still in the area.
ST. JOHNSBURY — Tension led to a last-minute cancellation of a planned reading of freed slave Frederick Douglass’s 1852 speech The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro on July 5 at Catamount Arts.
DANVILLE — Dr. Mathew Forest, superintendent of Caledonia Central Supervisory Union (CCSU), submitted his resignation to the CCSU Board in late March, and was allowed out of his contract a year early, June 30 of this year.
In February, Littleton Regional Healthcare announced its intent to pull out of North Country Healthcare, the four-hospital affiliation formed in 2015 to increase efficiencies, reduce health care delivery costs for the region’s residents and improve the quality of health care.
KIRBY — A year ago Dec. 10, Jerry Toomey almost lost his beloved wife, Flower.
DANVILLE — Marty’s 1st Stop went tobacco-free in September 2019.
BARNET — Shawn Gonyaw, Barnet School’s principal for the past nine years, announced in April he was leaving.
Pete and Gerry’s Organics, a Monroe-based, family-run egg business and one of the nation’s largest sellers of organic eggs, is in federal court in New York State for claims of fraudulently stating its chickens are free range and treated humanely.
Former St. Johnsbury therapist and Episcopal Church deacon, Armand Henault was sentenced in May for lewd and lascivious conduct with a child to 1,088 days of time served plus an additional 17 months in prison. Judge Robert Bent said he wanted Henault to remain in prison long enough to undergo sex offender treatment behind bars.
A former St. Johnsbury daycare operator accused of molesting children died at his Concord Avenue residence on Feb. 11 while the criminal charges against him were still pending.
News of Carol Novick’s decision to close Gauthier’s Pharmacy in downtown St. Johnsbury came on Feb. 13, 2019.
ST. JOHNSBURY — To a standing ovation during a Monday morning chapel in early October, Dr. Sharon Howell was welcomed as the first female headmaster of St. Johnsbury Academy.
ST. JOHNSBURY — Two Quick Lane workers and a passerby helped a St. Johnsbury couple escape their car after it plunged into the Passumpsic River in early July.
ConvenientMD, the town’s second non-emergency, walk-in urgent care clinic to launch in 2019, celebrated its grand opening on Dec. 3.
LAST VIDEO STORE CLOSES: Faced with stiff competition from streaming services, and a sharp decline in customers, Video King closed its doors. It marked the end of an era: Video King was St. Johnsbury’s last remaining video rental business. The business opened in 1990, when the video rental industry was thriving, competing with a half-dozen other shops locally. Those businesses disappeared as high speed Internet and streaming services arrived. There was a noticeable downturn in 2018, said owner Dawn Leroux, who began working at Video King in 1997 and bought the business four years ago. She attempted to replace lost revenue with new product lines (e.g. incense, figurines, knives and CBD products), but the downturn grew worse and movie distributors lost interest in retail stores. That led Leroux to shut down and sell off inventory, including 16,000 movies. Said Leroux, “I just didn’t want to accept the fact that this industry is going away. I just wanted to keep going. But it’s not there.”
St. Johnsbury voters approved a $22 million St. Johnsbury School budget at town meeting in March by a close vote.
A counselor at a faith-based residential housing program in Lyndon was accused in March of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl and fleeing the facility with the alleged victim in the middle of the night.
BARNET — A pig named Sue, short for “Chop Suey,” whose owner admittedly let it go loose on his Route 5 property in East Barnet, acted up for months, sending neighbor complaints about Billy Noyes’s bovine to town officials.
State Police said a former Lyndon Institute teacher had sex multiple times with one of her 17-year-old male students at a Lyndonville apartment and in her classroom during school hours.
Dalton took pre-emptive action to block a proposed landfill in July 2019. In the process, they fundamentally changed the way the town operates.
School board members in St. Johnsbury announced Dr. Brian Ricca as their choice for new superintendent at a meeting on March 18, 2019.
ST. JOHNSBURY — For 19 years, Tashia (Beer) Francis had been under supervision to varying degrees for her part in the February 2000 killing of Lyndon Town School teacher Vicki Campbell-Beer. On May 20, 2019, a Caledonia Superior Court judge 19 years was enough.
ST. JOHNSBURY — A Canadian-owned company this spring announced it was relocating its Colorado-based manufacturing line to St. Johnsbury.
ST. JOHNSBURY — In the summer of 1919, Herbert Smith, a young Boston area “practical newspaperman” (as he was described in The Evening Caledonian) acquired the local paper, beginning a century of ownership by the Smith family.
ST. JOHNSBURY — Longtime St. Johnsbury Academy Headmaster Thomas Lovett announced to students on the first day of the second semester this past January that he would be stepping down at the end of this school year, in June of 2020.
Everett A. Simpson, 41, was arrested in January after being accused of walking away from a Northeast Kingdom drug treatment center, kidnapping a woman and her young child at a New Hampshire shopping mall and sexually assaulting her in a Vermont hotel.
St. Johnsbury Selectman, on May 13, 2019, unanimously voted to ban the use of tobacco in all town parks and public property.
As its contract with Golden Cross Ambulance neared its expiration in early on August, the Littleton Board of Selectmen, in July, voted 2-1 to implement an in-house ambulance service based out of the Littleton fire station.
LYNDONVILLE — Voters in the eight towns of the 2018 newly unified Kingdom East School District — Burke, Concord, Lunenburg, Lyndon, Newark, Sheffield, Sutton and Wheelock — decisively rejected a bond vote in June seeking approval to spend up to $24 million for improvements to three schools.
John Allen, whose dead body was found floating 30 feet from shore at Joe’s Pond on June 19, 2019, had interacted with St. Johnsbury Police just hours prior to his death, prompting an internal investigation into the conduct of the officers.
Mike Labounty and Don Beer, friends and coworkers at the Vermont Agency of Transportation, raised more than $20,000 for local Meals on Wheels deliveries in the winter and spring of 2019.
It was one of the worst tragedies in New Hampshire’s history. Seven members of Jarheads MC, a motorcycle club for military veterans, were killed in a crash on June 21.
It’s not every day when something of value is turned in to police in a quest to find its rightful owner.
State Police began investigating a shooting at the Moose River Drive apartment complex in St. Johnsbury that occurred shortly after midnight on Jan. 18.
A little more than month before the competing ConvenientMD non-emergency urgent care clinic was set to open a few miles away, Littleton Regional Healthcare sued the state to prevent it from issuing a license to ConvenientMD.
Following a decade long battle, the Northern Pass transmission line project was defeated. The end came in July, when the New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld the project’s 2018 rejection by the state Site Evaluation.
New Hampshire officials announced on Feb. 21 that they closed the case on a 1966 robbery and murder and concluded the crime was committed by a Northeast Kingdom man who had committed suicide in 2014 just as authorities were preparing to arrest him.
In August, a plea agreement was reached in the murder case against Allen Draper, who stands accused of killing St. Johnsbury resident Tim Persons. But by mid-December the deal appeared to be falling apart.
CONCORD — The state tax department closed down the Mooselook Restaurant in late March, and despite an effort by employees, friends and a pro bono attorney to help out and raise money, the business wasn’t able to reopen.
DERBY — Willie Johnston left his home in Salem, Vt. at the age of 11 and followed his father off to serve in the Civil War.
DERBY LINE — Law enforcement officers swarmed over Derby Line Village on Halloween 2019 in response to what turned out to be a hoax report of a shooting.
NEWPORT CITY — Chris Miller, principal of North Country Union High School, announced in January that he would step down at the end of this school year after two years on the job. Miller, of St. Johnsbury, wanted more time to spend with his family.
NEWPORT CITY — Incumbent Mayor Paul Monette won re-election by two votes on town meeting day 2019, a result that stood the test of a machine recount a week later.
NEWPORT CITY — The city council voted Oct. 21 for an ordinance that would allow all-terrain vehicles on main city streets.
BARTON — A handful of students consumed a commercially available chocolate bar containing medical marijuana at Lake Region Union High School on Sept. 11, 2019, leading to disciplinary actions and a warning to the community from Principal Andre Messier.
NEWPORT CITY — City resident Bill Stenger, former CEO and president of Jay Peak Resort, and Ariel Quiros, former resort owner, pleaded not guilty May 22, 2019 in U.S. District Court in Burlington to multiple charges related to conspiring to defraud immigrant investors who invested in what turned out to be a fictitious AnC Bio Vermont project in Newport City.
NEWPORT CITY — Newport City landlord Doug Spates and his daughter Elia Spates Marquis showed The Record the conditions in which two little children, ages five and six, were living in one of his city apartments.
BARTON — The revolving door of resignations and controversy continued on the Barton select board in 2019.
Randall Swartz, of Orleans, accused of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife, pleaded guilty April 11, 2019 to mail fraud in connection with embezzlement from Cabot Creamery.
We published almost 15,000 stories in 2019. The following were our most popular online (descending order), generating a per/story average of 20,500 pageviews.Man Accused Of Posting Sex Video Without Partner’s ConsentTruck Causes Major Damage To Covered Bridge In LyndonFalling Through The Cracks: Frustrated Landlord Evicts Tenant To Remove Little Children From Unspeakable SqualorAlleged Shooter Pleads Not Guilty, Smiles For The CamerasAn Incredible Tale Of Survival: Husband Saves Wife From Freezing, In Dramatic Kirby RescueJoe’s Pond Camp Resident Discovers Body Floating 30 Feet From ShoreTrio Of Darling Hill Landowners Won’t Allow KTA Mountain BikersMitchell Claims She Was Distracted By Car Warning LightsNEK Residents Caught In Statewide Drug Dealer RoundupOfficials Confirm Death Of Child Passenger In Car CrashHelp Police Find Missing St. Johnsbury ChildTractor Trailer Rollover Shuts Down I-91 In St. JohnsburyFederal Agents At Everybuddy’s Restaurant2 Local People Die In Motorcycle Crash In DerbyPolice Body Cam: Joe’s Pond Drowning Victim Erratic, Paranoid During Encounter With St. Johnsbury PoliceNEK Human Services Employee Faces Federal Child Porn ChargeMan Shot In St. Johnsbury This Morning, Suspects Are Now In CustodyLyndon Institute Teacher Accused Of Sexual Exploitation Of StudentDanville Man Charged With Shooting Neighbor’s DogSt. Johnsbury Police Bust Alleged Drug House On Allen CourtThe Latest: Police Identify Shooting VictimMultiple Emergencies Unfold Simultaneously In Caledonia County Friday EveningHead-On Crash Driver Well Known To AuthoritiesPolice Handle Hostage SituationThe Latest: Police Identify Shooting VictimFlooding Impacts The RegionBethlehem: The Rocks Estate Ravaged By FireRailroad Street McDonald’s Building Torn DownLocal Woman Gets Jail Time For Animal CrueltyThe Latest: Police Identify Shooting VictimRegion Hammered By High Water, FloodsKirby View Farm: The End Of An EraLocal Business Owner Charged With ArsonMedical Issue Leads To Crash, Death Of Paul’s Whistle Stop OwnerHead-on Accident In St. J Honking TunnelTractor Trailer Rollover Shuts Down I-91 In St. JohnsburyMasked Man Armed With Chemical Spray Robs Lyndonville SubwayMan Living Locally Convicted For Florida Homicide To Plead Guilty In Firearms CaseLisbon Man Indicted On 31 Child Pornography ChargesFire Destroys Concord HomeBarnet Woman Sues Feds, State, Town, Church, Newspaper For BillionsMarty’s First To Stop Tobacco SalesLocal Woman Affirms Faith In Face Of Family ScourgeLast Of Littleton Trio Sentenced In Murder Of Police InformantMan Shot In The Stomach In St. Johnsbury ApartmentColebrook Shootings, 20 Years Later: Remembering The Victims And The Resiliency Of A Small CommunityPeggy Fischer Tastes (More) Sweet VictoryPolice Handle Hostage SituationLyndonville Police Take Action After Reports Of School Shooting PlanBorder Patrol Agents Detain Franconia ChefMorning Fire Destroys St. Johnsbury ResidenceAfter Father’s Tragic Death, Friends Rally For SonPolice: St. Johnsbury Man Sexually Assaulted 6-year-oldNew Manufacturing Business Moving To St. JohnsburyMaking A Difference: Operation Santa Sleigh Makes The Holidays BrightEHV Founder, Community Leader Dies In CrashLancaster: Mt. Orne Bridge Faces Costly Repair After Truck HitNortheast Kingdom Couple Fined Over $21K For Junk CarsHardwick Sex Offender Released From Prison Into St. J CommunityBath Man Indicted On 50 Counts Of Possessing Child PornDanville Man Seriously Hurt In Ryegate Motorcycle CrashUNDEFEATED: St. J caps another perfect season with rivalry rompAlleged Shooting Shuts Down Part Of Derby Line On HalloweenFeds: Drug Dealers Operated In Between Elementary School & Day Care CenterConcord Man Accused Of Fleeing St. Johnsbury Police, Resisting ArrestSt. Johnsbury Driver Clocked At 110 MPH With A Toddler In CarHemp Is An NEK Growth IndustryU.S. District Court: Another Newport Woman Accused Of Dealing CrackHot Lunch Fundraiser Raises $12,000 And QuestionsBikers Bid Goodbye To Motorcyclists Killed in CrashTwo Face Federal Charges For Heroin And Crack In St. JohnsburySuspect With NEK Ties Arrested For Kidnapping, RapeSt. J Police Interacted With Drowning Victim Before DeathHit & Run Suspect Avoids JailJudge Releases Alleged Elm Street ShooterGame Warden Arrests St. J Woman For Fishing Without A LicenseNEK Residents Caught In Statewide Drug Dealer RoundupPOLICE: Drunken NEK Man Urinated On PD Floor, Stole Police RadioDrunk Driver Who Killed Kids In 1982 Charged With DUI #4Local Man To Serve At Least 7 Years For Sex Assault, Child PornMooselook Supporters Hoping For Re-Opening SoonSWAT Team Made Arrest At Busy MarketRising Stars Shine Bright, Newspaper’ss 2019 Show a Huge SuccessAccused St. Johnsbury Daycare Worker Found Dead Before Case EndsPOLICE: Barnet Man Pulled Knife On Grandfather Because He Didn’t Want To Clean His RoomPolice: Toddlers Repeatedly Found Alone On City StreetDogs’ Day: Burr and Burton overpowers Hilltoppers for D-I crown