Jim Kenyon

Jim Kenyon: No Case to Be Made

Ben Leduc has only been the city of Lebanon’s police prosecutor for a little over a month, and already he’s facing a defining moment. Why is that? In April, Lebanon cops busted a disabled Navy veteran for smoking marijuana in his home. Shortly after Tom Orkney’s arrest, I heard from his wife, Kari, and wrote about the ordeal. And what an ordeal it was. From the police report, I learned that Lebanon cops were investigating a domestic dispute in the apartment next door to the

Jim Kenyon: On Rat Patrol in Lyme

Thirty-two days and counting. That’s how long Lyme’s village post office has been closed due to a purported invasion by rats. Last week, I made a couple of trips to the 03768 ZIP code, where the U.S. Postal Service announced the July 16 shutdown “in the interest of public and employee safety.” I didn’t find any rats. But I did smell one. The post office is located in the same building on Main Street as a restaurant, bank and hardware store. All three are open

Jim Kenyon: At Hartford Dismas House, Bikes Help Ex-Inmates Get Lives Back on Track

The bicycle pump that hangs next to the manager’s office inside the completely refurbished Hartford Dismas House could be mistaken for an artsy wall decoration. But it’s not about looks. For the 10 residents of Dismas House, the bicycle pump is a vital tool. You might even say their jobs depend on it. The men and women who live at 1673 Maple St. are fresh out of prison in Vermont. Either they can’t afford a car, don’t have a license or a condition of their

Jim Kenyon: Six Hugs And a Diploma

There is a routine — a monotony, really — to prison life that 20-year-old Sam Ramsey must constantly try to escape. During his 16 months at the Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport, Vt., Ramsey has learned that inmates — providing they stay out of trouble — can spend their days doing little to nothing. With 400 inmates in Vermont’s largest prison, there aren’t enough jobs to go around. Inmates watch TV and sleep a lot. It’s why prisons are known as warehouses. Prisoners don’t

Jim Kenyon: N.H. Diners Starved of Restaurant Inspection Data

Want to know how your favorite restaurant fared in its most recent state health inspection? Or how food establishments in your town stacked up against each other In Vermont, the information is just a click away. The state Department of Health posts restaurant scores on its website (http://1.usa.gov/1ejsWOi). New Hampshire? You could work up quite an appetite waiting to get your (hopefully clean) hands on basic — yet essential — public information. In November 2013, New Hampshire stopped putting restaurant inspections on the website of

Jim Kenyon: Duplex Dilemma in Hanover

I admit that Hanover’s zoning ordinance, all 121 pages, wasn’t on my summer reading list. A government document full of off-street loading restrictions, non-conforming uses, setbacks and corner lots didn’t seem like a page-turner. But then I read Warren Coughlin’s letter to the editor last week. Coughlin, a longtime Hanover resident when he wasn’t off serving his country in Iraq and Afghanistan, wanted to add a second-story to his house on Lyme Road. But the Hanover Zoning Board shot him down. The board cited the

Jim Kenyon: Innocent Until Pictured Guilty

There’s nothing novel about police mug shots. They date back to the late 1800s, and many newspapers, including this one, still occasionally use the photographs supplied by police to accompany stories about crimes or alleged crimes. But a monthly 24-page tabloid devoted to mug shots of people recently arrested in Vermont? That’s a new one on me. Green Mountain Mugshots began showing up in newspaper racks at convenience stores across the state in June. The publication is chock-full of individuals photographed from the neck up

Jim Kenyon: The Doctor Will Access You Now

Tired of waiting at a doctor’s office to get the once-over for what you’re fairly sure is bronchitis? Would you like to avoid spending hundreds of dollars on a visit to a hospital emergency room to obtain a prescription for your child’s painful ear infection that cropped up in the middle of the night? Then Teladoc, the largest telemedicine provider in the U.S., might be for you. Here’s how it works: Patients whose employer or insurance company has signed on with the Dallas-based company can

Jim Kenyon: Giving Away The Farm

Dan Smith’s bosses were skeptical, and probably for good reason, when he informed them that the retired CEO of a Fortune 500 company wanted to give his $1.5 million dairy farm to Vermont Technical College. Smith, who only moved into the president’s office at VTC last year, was among the first to acknowledge that it sounded far-fetched. “It’s an incredible gift,” he said. “A small, public technical college just doesn’t see this kind of thing.” That is, until Andy Sigler came along. Sigler started Norwich

Jim Kenyon: Drinking to The Past

It’s often said that you can’t change history. Trying to move history probably isn’t a good idea, either. The piece of history I’m talking about is a large granite water trough that has sat on the village of South Royalton’s main street for more than 100 years. “It’s such a defining feature when you enter the village,” said John Dumville, president of the Royalton Historical Society. “It’s a landmark.” But apparently some people in town consider the trough, once an oasis for horses, something of