Committee gets update on proposed detention center

NEWBURY—With the Newbury juvenile detention facility in litigation, Dr. Harry Chen, interim commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, said his agency is exploring temporary measures.
Meeting with the state’s Joint Oversight Committee on Dec. 22, Chen brought legislators up to date on the progress of finding temporary, yet secure, housing for violent juveniles and youthful offenders.

Upper Valley Services fined after AG investigation

BRADFORD—Upper Valley Services has been fined $112,000 by Vermont Attorney General.
According to a Dec. 14 press release, the AG’s Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit has entered a settlement agreement with UVS to resolve investigations into three separate incidents.

Snowstorm causes havoc, outages

BRADFORD—A very, very heavy and wet snowfall covered the area Friday and Saturday leading to snow days, power outages, cancelled or postponed events, and havoc on the roads.
Snowfall totals (in inches), courtesy of the National Weather Service, included Barnet (14.5), Benton (12), Bradford (17), Chelsea (17), Corinth (17.5), Groton (12), Lyme (12.5), Ryegate (10), Vershire (18.5), and West Newbury (14.5).
The power outages were widespread and extensive with tens of thousands of customers in both states losing power at some point. Most were caused by fallen limbs that accumulated heavy wet snow.

County trims Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. budget

CHELSEA—Orange County spending is projected to decline next year under a draft budget outlined by assistant judges at a hearing last week. The budget, which partially funds the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, was prepared without input from either the outgoing sheriff, who lost his reelection bid last month, or the sheriff-elect, according to the two elected assistant judges.

Bradford, Newbury Town Clerks on the move

BRADFORD—Bradford Town Clerk Sonya McLam will leave her elected office at the end of the month to take a new post at River Bend Career and Technical Center. Her interim replacement will be a familiar face—at least to Newbury residents.
Newbury Town Clerk Nikki Tomlinson will resign from her post and move to Bradford where she has been appointed the interim Town Clerk. Her appointment is effective until the next election at town meeting in March.

Newbury residents fume at DCF meeting

NEWBURY—“Can you hear us now?” Newbury residents did not hold back in venting their frustrations at a “listening” hearing on the proposed state-sanctioned juvenile detention center.
After a site visit, Dr. Harry Chen, the newly appointed interim commissioner of the Vermont Department of Children and Families, met with Newbury residents at a 4 p.m. meeting on Dec. 6. Though the meeting was facilitated by Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, the person on the hot seat was Chen.

SAU 23 sets next budget

NORTH HAVERHILL—Representatives from school districts in Bath, Benton, Haverhill, Piermont, and Warren approved the 2023-2024 central office budget for its supervisory union after a public hearing on Dec. 7.

Retired teacher achieves lifelong dream

NORTH HAVERHILL—Elizabeth Morrill, retired seventh and eighth grade Haverhill Cooperative Middle School teacher, recently published her first book of poetry, “Horse Meadow.”
The 90-page book explores Morrill’s life through inspirations, such as her family and friends, the Benton Range, blueberry picking, and hiking trips.
Morrill is a familiar figure to generations of area residents. In 2015, she retired from her teaching position at HCMS, where she taught for 35 years.

Chevy dealer to change hands

WELLS RIVER—Wells River Chevrolet is changing hands.
The dealership’s majority owner, Jeff Moore, has announced that he is selling the dealership to the Autosaver Group. The sale will be finalized within a week or two.
Long known as H.O. Taylor Chevrolet, the dealership in the heart of Wells River Village, has been in existence for 85 years.

Altercation sparks social media outcry

BRADFORD—An altercation at a Burlington parking garage captured on video has plunged Bradford and Oxbow High School into the middle of the social media spotlight.