The Year In Review

Front Page / Jan. 2, 2003 12:00am EST

Here are the top stories from the pages of The Herald of Randolph during 2002, as compiled by The Herald's editorial staff. In the print edition, you can see snapshots of some of the photos that accompanied these stories.

January

Albert "Duffy" Miller resigns as principal of Randolph Union High School, to go into private consulting. The resignation of assistant principal Bernie Cleland comes a few weeks later.

The dairy herd of Perry and Carol Hodgdon is trucked to a California farm, as Hodgdon leaves farming after 34 years.

Barber Ken Jacobs is named Business Executive of the Year by the Randolph Chamber of Commerce. Dentist Chris Wilson is reëlected president of the chamber.

A Royalton study committee says it could cost $250,000 to provide needed space for town government.

The Bethel DRB starts hearings on a proposed telecommunications tower on Christian Hill. The application is eventually denied and the denial is appealed to Environmental Court.

Tunbridge native Evan Dybvig is named to the U. S. freestyle Olympic team for the second time. However, he falls on his first run, painfully re-injuring his knee.

Brookfield Principal Bill Pollock says he will retire at the end of the school year.

Chelsea High School senior Andrea Loeffler wins statewide VFW Voice of Democracy speech competition.

James Krakowiecki succeeds Phil Mollitor as Randolph Police Chief. Mollitor served 22 years.

Brent Kay, currently serving a school district in Saskatchewan, Canada, is picked as the new superintendent for Orange-Southwest schools.

Small plane crashes in the Chittenden Brook area off Route 73, killing the pilot and his wife and causing a three-day search and recovery effort.

February

VTC student Jubal Clark is critically injured on Route 73 in Brandon.

Brookfield approves 85-foot communications tower.

Chandler Center for the Arts is the new name of a new organization that received a 20-year lease from the Town for the historic Chandler building in Randolph.

Schools throughout the area struggle with higher costs and even higher tax increases. Randolph's school budget is up 5% to $4.4 million.

Mikel Brady, Sr. of Randolph is murdered in Milford, Conn., trying to protect his cousin. He leaves a wife and three children.

Bethel parents protest cuts in the school staff.

Randolph plans redesign of three municipal parking lots, which will add 41 spaces to the Village.

Act 250 turns down a plan to build storage sheds near Exit 3, because they would be visible from the Interstate.

Gifford Medical Center ends the year with $1-million surplus, turning around a difficult financial situation.

Fr. Lance Harlow of St. Anthony's church in Bethel publishes a book on the life of a 19th century bishop.

March

Kevin Osha and Heather Tallman win election to the Randolph Selectboard.

Biggest town meeting in Chelsea's history cuts the school budget by $180,000.

An Environmental Court rules that many uses formerly allowed throughout the town could be allowed only in East Randolph, because of inconsistencies in the zoning ordinance.

The Superfund formally proposes a $16-million cap for the tailings pile at the Elizabeth Mine in South Strafford to protect the stream from runoff. Later, however, 2002 funding was denied for the project.

A new Cub Scout Pack was formed in Randolph, after three years without one.

A "Futures Committee" is formed in Barnard to study town directions, especially the dramatic decline of children.

Nine-year-old Daley Crowley presides over an official Rochester town committee–set up to provide "Welcome" signs to the town.

Bethel doubles size of its planning commission to start work on official "downtown" designation.

Windsor-Northwest Supt. Tom O'Brien announces resignation.

Terri Haines, 15 years a science teacher in Bethel, wins a national Presidential Award for her work.

A group of South Royalton citizens criticize the proposed plaque for their new bridge, because it contained the names of the current Selectboard.

New Hampshirite John Holmes named as next principal of RUHS.

April

Vermont Robotics Team, made up of students mostly from the Rochester-Bethel area, wins Rookie Team Award at the Rutgers competition, as it was the first time Vermont had sent a team.

Project Advance gets a one-year reprieve to stay in its rooms at the vocational school. RAVC says it needs the space for its own programs.

Chelsea teenagers Robert Tulloch and James Parker, having pleaded guilty to the murders of Half and Susanne Zantop of Etna, N.H., are sentenced to long prison terms. Tulloch was sentenced to life in prison without hope of parole and Parker, 16, was sentenced to a minimum term of 25 years.

Baby is born to Waitsfield couple in the back seat of their car in the parking lot of Gifford Medical Center.

State Transportation Board threatens to close "killer crossing" unless Sharon agrees to a solution to use federal funds to make it safer.

Chelsea Principal Pat Davenport says she'll resign at the end of the year.

Bob Dean retires after 42 years as Bethel's police chief.

May

Ethan Allen, Inc. announces it will close its Randolph plant in 60 days, laying off 154 workers.

The Sharon Academy, an independent school, breaks ground on a $2.25-million school. The Academy started six years ago with 13 students. In June, it graduates its first four seniors.

Tunbridge completes ambitious civic building program that adds a wing to the school, and gives new homes to the library, and the town offices and upgrades the Town Hall.

Whitcomb High School stiffens graduation requirements by two credits.

Bill Gates Foundation comes to the Bethel Rotary Club to announce gift of $1 million to Rotary International for work in health.

Vershire opens the first public library in the small town's history.

Rochester votes to spend $465,000 for a 60-acre farm in order to get 30 acres needed for a septic field. Later, the town recovers most of its money in reselling the farm.

Fr. John M. Milanese is placed on administrative leave related to an allegation of abuse 15 years previously. Milanese vigorously denied the charges. Later in the year he was reinstated—the only one of the six suspended priests in Vermont to return to his parish.

June

17-year-old pleads guilty to bringing a pistol to Randolph Area Vocational School. It was brought to school to be sold to another student.

Bernard J. Ellis appointed interim Superintendent in Windsor North West S.U.

Karl Stein named principal of Chelsea K-12 school.

Randolph Rotary Club embarks on program to supply hearing aids to 150 students in Myrgorod, Ukraine school for the deaf.

Long distance runner Mint Henk of Braintree wins national high school championship in the 2000-meter steeplechase.

Legislature reapportions House and Senate districts. A dispute over removing the town of Orange from the Orange County district threatens to keep the legislature from adjourning.

Ella Tewksbury closes the dispatching service that she has operated from her home for 42 years.

July

Joe Dimick of Randolph becomes the first Vermonter ever to win a national high school wrestling championship, wrestling in the 189-pound division.

After a three months' trial the Pittsfield Selectboard votes to discontinue a town-run newspaper. The Selectboard chair, Stephen Dietz, resigns a few weeks later.

Controversy erupts over a proposal by Vermont Pure to expand its spring capacity on Rogers Road in Randolph, with a resulting increase in truck traffic. Vermont Pure eventually won several permits from the DRB, but appeal has been made to Environmental Court.

Work starts on Randolph's second "Habitat for Humanity" home.

Three fires on the same day in Chelsea and Tunbridge trigger an arson alert. Eventually 13 remote camps are burned to the ground before the arrest of Cheryl Bador of Williamstown. The case is pending.

Bill Markle of Braintree honored for a lifetime of beneficences in a dinner organized by the Red Cross.

Alternative Energy Festival and brand new Farm Fest attract hundreds to Randolph Center venues.

Susan McNeish of Randolph Center founds Vermont Blind Golfers Association.

Sharon Selectboard finally approves a plan to fix the "killer crossing" as proposed by the state, with federal money.

Brookfield's 133-year-old town hall is sold at auction to a community group.

August

South Royalton holds a Bridge Party to celebrate the new granite-clad bridge over the White River.

Vermont Law School wins a prestigious award from the American Bar Association for "Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy."

Pittsfield Federated Church turns 200 with musical extravaganza. Its choir tours Europe.

September

VTC opens for the year with a 5% increase in enrolment.

White River Basin Plan is outlined by the Agency of Natural Resources, the first of Vermont's major river basins to get its own pollution-reduction plan. Immediate controversy arises over gravel reduction in the streams.

Brookfield composer Erik Nielsen picked to compose a commissioned piece for the Natonal Symphony of Washington, D.C.

Elk attacks and kills its owner, Herb Einwiller, on his Tunbridge farm.

Peter Nowlan resigns as chair of the RUHS board, he is replaced by Joanne Currier.

The U. S. Boomerang team coached by Eric Darnell of Strafford wins first place in the World Championships competion.

South Royalton teenager Corey Brink killed in a confrontation in West Lebanon. Cyi Waters of West Hartford immediately arrested

Two South Royalton school busses are stolen and taken for joyrides.

October

In a surprise announcement, Dennis Brown resigns as chair of the Randolph selectboard. The position remained unfilled at the end of the year.

The Herald's Chelsea correspondent, Emily Marshia, is finally asked to waitress at the annual chicken pie supper of the West Hill Church.

Randolph Baptist Fellowship breaks ground on a new church on its Route 66 site.

The King & I store closes in Randolph.

Maurice Lizotte, 63, is killed in shootout with police at his Rochester home. Lizotte shot first at police as they investigated reported agressive behavior.

P&C closes Randolph store.

Randolph Recreation Director Diane Walsh resigns, citing a lack of support from the Recreation Committee and Selectboard.

Bethel Business Assn. calls an end to its Forward Festival, an annual 14-year tradition.

Mel Adams resigns under pressure as Randolph town manager, as Selectboard members say they want a more "conservative" approach. Adams served the rest of the year.

November

Chesapeake Hardwood Products, Inc., says its Hancock factory, which employs 90, is for sale and will be closed down if a buyer isn't found in a year.

Mark MacDonald wins back the Orange County senate seat, and first-time Democratic candidates Patsy French and Rozo McLaughlin win seats in the Vermont House.

In countywide elections, Sheriff Dennis McClure retains his seat, but the county has a new state's attorney (Will Porter), probate judge (Bernie Lewis), and side judges (Prudence Pease and Russ Hotchkiss).

Fiddling sensation Natalie MacMaster, plays a private concert for a home-bound fan in the Red Lion apartments.

Rochester Principal Ilene Levitt resigns abruptly after seven years. She left her job the same day the school board acted on her resignation.

Green Mountain Wood Products, an East Braintree company, expresses interest in buying the Ethan Allen factory. Local zoning permits are approved, Act 250 application is pending.

Bethel fined $75,000 for e-coli pollution found in the White River during the summer of 2000. Bethel is appealing in Environmental Court.

December

Two homes and a horse, but no people, are victims of shootings in Randolph Center. Investigation continues.

Applied Research, Inc. in Royalton receives $3.5 million in federal dollrs to develop a robot that will help find and destroy land mines.

Royalton garage destroyed and most of the town's road equipment is destroyed in a late-night fire.

Boys & Girls Club proposes to take over running Randolph's recreation program. The idea is approved in principle.

Randolph town employees sign three-year contract that will include a 2% cost of living raises each year, plus a step raise.

Lt. Jocelyn Stohl of Braintree becomes the first woman station commander for the state police.

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