Upper Valley Dispatch

Friends of Lemax Barn in North Hartland Turn to Kickstarter

You may remember reading last summer about the Lemax Barn in North Hartland, where the Upper Valley community was rallying to raise an estimated $160,000 for repairs to the aging, historic yellow barn on Route 5. So far, so good. The Friends of Lemax Farm reported raising nearly $60,000 in the first six months, and plan to apply for a Vermont Department of Historic Preservation barn grant that could give up to $15,000 in matching funds. Now the Friends group is turning to the Internet

19 Days: Small and Large Businesses Share Playing Field in Norwich-Based Fundraiser

Norwich — During the holiday fundraising extravaganza organized by Dan Fraser, who co-owns Dan & Whit’s, participating businesses donated one percent of sales made during the first 19 days of December. One woman was sheepish about handing over her one percent — a check for $3.03, Fraser said in a recent interview. “It’s nothing,” she told him. But Fraser, who will be profiled in the upcoming Sunday Valley News, saw it differently. Three dollars here, a few hundred there — it all adds up, he

Lake Fairlee Fishing Derby Results Announced

Fairlee — The Upper Valley Fish and Game Club has officially announced the results of the all-night 32nd annual fishing derby that got Fairlee resident Waco Pushee’s adrenaline pumping on Sunday. Kudos to the many derby participants who set up cozy shanties on the ice before the midnight start time and proved that ice fishing is perhaps the only sport at which one can be successful while fast asleep. Longtime derby judge Rhett Scruggs sent out the following results after weighing each fish caught by

Guilty Verdict in Robarge Murder Trial

Newport — A 45-year-old Charlestown man has been convicted of second-degree murder in the slaying of his wife on the day she filed for divorce. A Sullivan Superior Court jury early this afternoon delivered its verdict in the trial of James Robarge. Prosecutors alleged Robarge killed his estranged wife, Kelly, at their Happy Acres Road home in Charlestown in June 2013, then dumped her body in the woods of Unity. Prosecutors said cell-phone records and blood evidence indicated James Robarge was at the home that

Cornish School District Hearing Postponed Until Tuesday

Cornish — Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin says tonight’s budget hearing for the Cornish School District has effectively been postponed until Tuesday night because of the weather. Here is the emailed statement from McGoodwin: “Tonight’s Cornish School District FY16 Budget Public Hearing will be held as previously warned. However, due to the weather, and subsequent road conditions, this public hearing will be recessed, and rescheduled for Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 6:30 P.M., at the Cornish Elementary School. “This change complies with the requirements of (state statute). ...

Jury Finishes First Day of Deliberations in Murder Trial of James Robarge (Updated at 4:10 p.m.)

Newport — A Sullivan Superior Court jury is now deliberating in the murder trial of James Robarge. Closing arguments took place this morning. Defense lawyers argued the case against the 45-year-old Robarge in the murder of his wife was circumstantial, and also said another man’s DNA could not be accounted for. The prosecution said hard evidence showed that Robarge killed his wife, Charlestown resident Kelly Robarge, the same day she filed for divorce in 2013. Prosecutors said parts of the oil pan of James Robarge’s

Road Trip: When It Comes to Road Responsibilities, Some Vt. Upper Valley Towns Have a Bigger Burden Than Others

A large section of any municipality’s budget is likely to be used on roads — building roads, rebuilding roads, paving roads and plowing roads, all in an effort to keep residents and visitors moving swiftly and safely through the town. But some towns are saddled with a larger package of road responsibility than others. The Vermont Agency of Transportation keeps data on the mileage of roads in each of the state’s town, and we’ve broken it down by Upper Valley towns below. Some have only

Robarge Testifying On the Stand In Murder Trial

Newport — Public defender Caroline Smith called defendant James Robarge, who is accused of murdering his estranged wife in 2013, to the witness stand around 10:30 this morning. The prosecution rested earlier this morning, and Judge Brian Tucker subsequently denied the defense’s motion to dismiss the case. The trial in Sullivan Superior Court started Jan. 14. Defendants are not required to take the stand during trials. Another of Robarge’s public defenders, Alex Parsons, had hinted during opening statements that Robarge might do so. “James Robarge

Local Churches Host Successful Football-Themed Food Drives

There’s still no word on who “won” a friendly challenge between United Methodist Church conferences in the Seattle area and New England that were battling to bring in the most food and money for their local food shelves by Super Bowl Sunday. But Pastor Pat Williams, of the Lake Sunapee and Grantham churches, has already ruled the effort a success, as those two churches alone took in more than $383 dollars and 318 units of food/household items. The New England conference as a whole took

Hartford Man Pleads Not Guilty in Pipe Bomb Case

White River Junction — The man accused of having drugs, guns and two pipe bombs in the Hartford home he was living in was held on $25,000 bail today following an arraignment in Windsor Superior Court. Kyle J. Fellows, 52, pleaded not guilty to charges including cocaine trafficking, possession of heroin and other drugs, and having a “destructive or hoax device.” Samantha Caldwell, 31, who was at the Gifford Road home when police executed a search warrant on Friday, pleaded not guilty to possession of