Author: Tom Benton

Swanton commemorates soldier’s death

SWANTON — The Veterans Memorial Park here filled Thursday morning with residents, visitors, local officials, state officials, members of the Vermont Army National Guard and descendants of mythic war heroes in a celebration of Leonard Antoine Lord, the first Vermonter killed in battle during World War I. Lord was born in Saint-Sébastien, a small town in the Montérégie region of Quebec, Canada, in 1897. But he grew up in Swanton, where he worked on his father’s farm and harvested a reputation for riding his 1916 Harley around the village park. Lord enlisted in the First Vermont Infantry’s B Company,...

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Swing safe

SWANTON — The village board’s Monday night meeting was child’s play, or rather, all about child’s play. Debbie Winters and Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union (FNWSU) Superintendent Win Goodrich presented to the village trustees a proposal to upgrade, repair and renovate the Mary S. Babcock Elementary School playground on Fourth Street. The proposal comes with an estimated $200,000 cost, although Winters said the cost estimate isn’t final, and still waiting on professional calculations. Much of the playground’s equipment is decades old, like one of its two swing sets. Winters said the second swing set doesn’t even have a set of...

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Cannes calling: Swanton man showing film at French festival

SWANTON — When the Messenger spoke to Swanton native Sam Caswell in the summer of 2017, Caswell was heading to college to study film after premiering his short film Bitter Losses to benefit the Swanton Arts Council. One year later, he’s going even farther. Caswell’s going to France. Caswell’s short film You Must Be Artificial, which he co-created with Massachusetts College of Art and Design classmates Chris Daniels, a film major, and Jenny Whipple, an illustration major, has been selected for screening in the 71st Cannes Film Festival, the world-renowned film festival famous for showcasing independent filmmaking talents like...

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Enosburg gets Congressional visit: Welch tours downtown

ENOSBURG FALLS — When Rep. Peter Welch arrived in the Village of Enosburg Falls, he could only remember visiting the village for past Dairy Days festivals. Now here he was, clearing time for a downtown tour led by village manager Jon Elwell, the latest development in a local movement to revitalize broader Enosburgh. Accompanying the congressman and Elwell on the tour were several familiar faces from the Enosburg Initiative, the group of locals at the core of the movement: developer Jim Cameron, the Enosburg Business Association’s Shawna Lovelette and Suzi Hull-Parent and municipal zoning administrator Angela Wright. Elwell told...

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Judge upends animal cruelty case

ST. ALBANS — The future of a long-running animal cruelty case is up in the air after a Franklin County Superior Court judge threw a plea agreement to the dogs. Police arrested Randall J. Sheperd, a Richford man, in February 2015, after the local animal control officer found a dog chained to the porch of Sheperd’s home — under a blanket, but without food or water. Sheperd had been convicted of animal cruelty only nine months before. The animal control officer and Vermont State Police extracted seven dogs from Sheperd’s home, several of which were living in their own...

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