May 24, 2019

PHOTOS: Lake Iroquois ice accident & ice safety tips

Jan. 27, 2011

Courtesy photos by Dave Schmidt (

Two trucks fell through the ice on Lake Iroquois on Jan. 22. Williston resident and photographer Dave Schmidt captured the removal process with his camera. Schmidt said one truck got stuck on the ice; when the second truck went out to help, the ice collapsed under both vehicles.

Williston Police Sgt. Bart Chamberlain said police were not notified of the incident. In an e-mail to the Observer, he offered the following ice safety information:

The Police Department would echo this basic safety information from the Coast Guard: “no ice is safe ice.”

Ice is seldom the same thickness over a single body of water. It can be 2 feet thick in one place and 1 inch thick a few yards away due to currents, springs, rotting vegetation. You need to check the ice at least every 150 feet, especially early in the season or any situation where the thickness varies widely.

Recommended minimum thicknesses for new clear ice.

4 inches – Ice fishing and small group activities

5 inches – Snowmobiles and ATVs

8 to 10 inches – Small to medium cars, and pickups

White ice, sometimes called “snow ice,” is only about one-half as strong as new clear ice so the above thicknesses should be doubled. Due to the recent snowfalls and late freezing, much of Vermont’s ice could be white ice this winter. From the photos, that appears to be the case in Lake Iroquois. Plus, the ice is covered by a layer of snow that can insulate the ice below from the colder air temperature slowing the freezing process.

Vehicles weighing about 1 ton such as cars, pickups or SUVs should be parked at least 50 feet apart and moved every two hours to prevent sinking. It’s not a bad idea to make a hole next to the car. If water starts to overflow the top of the hole, the ice is sinking and it’s time to move the vehicle!

PHOTOS: Ramunto’s Cal-Mungo Challenge

Jan. 27, 2011

Observer photos by Tim Simard

Ramunto’s Brick Oven Pizza in Williston recently began offering the Cal-Mungo Challenge, in which competitors have 45 minutes to finish a 5-pound calzone containing at least three ingredients. Successful eaters win a free T-shirt and don’t have to pay for the meal. Competitors who fail must pay for the calzone — and suffer the indignity of having a photo placed on the Wall of Shame.

Radio host Nate Lessard of WMNR 107.1 The Game’s “José and the Ref” attempted the challenge, along with Colchester resident and station contributor David Ploof, on Jan. 21. Neither man could finish the calzone.

PHOTOS: ‘Kung Fu and Cowboys’

Jan. 27, 2011

Observer photos by Scott Yates (

Williston Central School students performed the play ‘Kung Fu and Cowboys’ on Jan. 20.

PHOTOS: CVU girls basketball vs. Essex

Jan. 27, 2011

Observer photos by Shane Bufano (

The Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team faced Essex High on Jan. 24, losing 41-19.

PHOTOS: CVU wrestling

Jan. 27, 2011

Courtesy photos by Jennifer Olson

The Champlain Valley Union High wrestling team competed in the Essex High Invitational on Jan. 21 and 22. Ryan Stearns took third place in the 130-pound class, while Sam Fortin and Alex Craige earned sixth place finishes in the 160- and 103-pound divisions.

CVU Sports Schedule

Alpine skiing

No scheduled events

Boys basketball


Tuesday: at Rice Memorial High, 7 p.m.

Girls basketball

Thursday: at Bellows Free Academy (St. Albans), 7:30 p.m.



Wednesday: RANDOLPH UNION HIGH, 7 p.m.

Boys hockey

Saturday: SOUTH BURLINGTON HIGH, 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday: at Rutland High, 5 p.m.

Girls hockey

Friday: COLCHESTER HIGH, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday: BELLOWS FREE ACADEMY, 6:50 p.m.

Nordic skiing

Saturday: at Craftsbury Marathon, 9 a.m.

Tuesday: at Peoples Academy (Morrisville), 3 p.m.


Saturday: at Colchester High Invitational, 9 a.m.

Monday: at St. Johnsbury Academy, 6 p.m.


Sports Notes

Jan. 27, 2011

Two gymnastics meets remain before states

Following Wednesday night’s home session with U-32 at Green Mountain Gymnastics in Williston, the Champlain Valley Union High gymnastics team has just two meets remaining before the State Championships on Feb. 19 at Essex High.

The Redhawks will host Randolph Union High on Feb. 2 and South Burlington High a week later.

The most recent victory for the undefeated Red and White came last Friday on the road, a 132.8 to 116.85 triumph over Middlebury Union High.

Freshman Megan Nick captured the all-around crown with victories on the vault and in floor exercise plus a second place on the bars and a third on the balance beam.

Ashley Bachand earned first places on the bars and beam. Madison Bourdeau tied for second on the vault and tied for third on floor exercise. Sarah Kinsley was runner-up on the beam and in floor exercise, and third on the bars.

Redhawk wrestlers at Colchester on Saturday

After grappling with Colchester High and Harwood Union wrestlers Wednesday in the final home match of the season, the Champlain Valley Union High wrestling team will be at the Colchester High Invitational at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The Redhawks will be right back on the mats Monday when they travel to St. Johnsbury Academy to tangle with the Hilltoppers and Milton High.

Coach Rahn Fleming’s Red and White clads did earn some high standings this past weekend in the prestigious, regionally competitive Essex High Invitational.

Ryan Stearns took third place in the 130-pound class, while Sam Fortin and Alex Craige earned sixth place finishes in the 160-and 103-pound divisions.

CVU girls take victory in indoor track relay

Four members of this past fall’s Champlain Valley Union High state championship cross country team continued their winning ways Saturday with a relay triumph at a regional indoor track meet at Norwich University in Northfield.

Adrienne DeVita, Julienne DeVita, Summer Spillane and Claire Trotter combined to win the 800 relay. A team from Mount Mansfield Union took second place.

Spillane also finished second to Essex High’s Markie Palermo in the individual 1,600 run.

CVU’s team finished fifth, just behind fourth place Mount Mansfield in the team standings for the event. The meet drew 16 teams plus independent competitors.

Monday ski events chilled out

With alpine and Nordic competitions canceled Monday, Champlain Valley Union High ski teams will be back in action fairly quickly.

Coach Mike Minnerly’s alpine team was scheduled for a slalom event Wednesday at Cochran’s Ski Area in Richmond, while coach Sarah Strack and the Nordic team will travel to Craftsbury for the annual Craftsbury Marathon on Saturday.

The alpine team was coming off a boys win and girls runner-up in the Rice Memorial High Winter Carnival Friday at Bolton Valley Resort.

CVU’s boys topped six other teams with 24 points to 42 for second place Mount Mansfield Union High.

While Dave Polson of MMU was the individual two-run slalom winner, the Redhawks’ Cody Putre took second and teammate Dan Caffry finished third. CVU’s Christian Goulette was ninth and Bennett Hadley 10th.

CVU’s girls came in second to Mount Mansfield in the team totals, but the Redhawks’ Taylor Spillane was the individual winner over Ali Chivers of MMU. Abby Owens of CVU was ninth.

Girls hockey team hosts Colchester on Friday

The Champlain Valley Union High girls hockey team continued a four-game home stand Wednesday evening against Missisquoi Valley Union High at Cairns Arena. The Redhawks are scheduled to return to the ice on Friday, with 3-6-1 Colchester High coming for a 7:30 p.m. contest.

This coming Wednesday, Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans will bop in for a 6:50 p.m. test.

The Redhawks’ season mark fell to 8-3 Saturday with a 6-0 defeat by Spaulding High, the second loss this season to the high-flying Crimson Tide.

Logan Lamb potted three goals for the winners, who out-shot the Hawks 28-12. It was the first time this season CVU has been blanked.

Former CVU hoopster earns honors in college role

John Donnelly, a former Champlain Valley Union High all-state basketball star, is a leader on his Vassar College team in his sophomore season.

Two weeks ago, Donnelly earned his second Liberty League Player-of-the-Week honor, averaging 17 points and better than eight rebounds in two games.

In a 50-49 win over Clarkson, Donnelly scored 14 points and hauled in 11 rebounds. In a 71-56 loss to St. Lawrence, he scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Losing streak over for Redhawk hoopsters

CVU boys seek home win

Jan. 27, 2011

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

“We need a win,” a determined Jake Donnelly said Monday night after watching the Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team at Essex High.

Donnelly was talking about his boys team, in the throes of a three-game losing string, and its Tuesday night trip to St. Johnsbury Academy.

The senior Donnelly and his Redhawks then got the needed victory, 56-51 over the 2-7 Hilltoppers.

The triumph lifted CVU’s record to 4-5. Oddly, the Redhawks are winless at home (0-4) and hope to take care of that irksome situation Friday night when 5-4 South Burlington High comes to Bremner Gymnasium.

It was real Jake all the way Tuesday for CVU as Donnelly dropped a 20-point second half burst on the Hilltoppers. He emerged with a game-high 28 points. Sophomore forward Brad Bissonnette chimed in with 13 for a second straight double-digit effort.

Seeds for the thumbs-upper might well have been planted last Friday night when the Redhawks bowed to Spaulding High 64-58 at home but only after a second half rally that gave the 6-3 Crimson Tide some very uncomfortable moments.

Trailing 25-19 at the half after hitting just six of 20 shots and turning the ball over 12 times, the Redhawks put together one of their best quarters of the season, outscoring Spaulding 20-10 in the third reel to carry a 39-35 lead into the final period.

The Tide tightened its defense, forced nine more CVU turnovers and hit 19 of 24 free throws to escape with the victory.

Bissonnette was a key offensive weapon in that third period comeback, hitting 11 of his 16 points including three straight treys. Donnelly, who nailed only one of six shots in the first half, wound up with 21 points including six of 13 from the floor. He also had five assists.

Spaulding’s top gun was lanky, smooth-moving senior veteran Evan Tullar. He opened with a 10-point first quarter and finished with a game-high 23 on nine for 14 from the field.

After Tullar put up a three-point play early in the third period, CVU coach Scott Bliss sent in senior Nick Spencer to take on Tullar dude-to-dude. The Tide star then had to labor for his final two hoops over the last quarter-and-a-half.

Senior Lucas Dutil was the Tide’s fourth quarter leader as he canned eight straight free throws and 11 of 12 plus a hoop to finish with 20 points.

Andrew Gale came off the CVU bench to contribute a team-leading seven rebounds along with four points. Spencer hauled in five rebounds and had a steal.


Tullar 9 5-8 23, Mayo 1 0-1 2, Carrier 0 0-0 0, Dutil 4 11-12 20, Blouin 2 1-2 7, Grubb 0 0-0 0, Cody 4 0-0 8, Brouillette 0 0-0 0, Gallo 0 4-4 4. Totals 20 21-27 64.

CVU (58)

Donnelly 6 9-12 21, Bissonnette 4 5-6 16, Keen 0 0-0 0, Kohlasch 1 0-0 3, Russ 3 2-3 8, Boland 0 0-0 0, Karnes 1 2-2 4, Spencer 0 0-0 0, Lambert 1 0-0 2, Gale 2 0-2 4, Pierson 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 18-25 58.

Spaulding 14            11            10            29   –   64

CVU 9            10            20            19   –   58

Junior Varsity: CVU 57, Spaulding 40

Redhawks to meet Rebels in annual Cup clash

CVU’s hockey win streak stopped with Essex tie

Jan. 27, 2011

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

After their rumble through the regular season schedule slowed but did not stop Saturday in a 1-1 deadlock at Essex High, the Champlain Valley Union High boys hockey team was gearing up this week for its annual Chittenden South Youth Hockey League Cup contest with 3-5-1 South Burlington High.

The game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at Cairns Arena.

First, the 9-0-1 Redhawks had some business to take care of Wednesday, after press deadline, with Burlington High at Cairns.

On Jan. 22, a tough Essex team put out a solid defensive effort in becoming the first unit to limit CVU to fewer than three scores.

“We came away with a tie in a tough road game,” a philosophical Redhawks coach Mike Murray said after the tense match, which spectators from both camps considered a fine hockey contest.

Essex scored first, catching CVU in a line change, when hard-skating sophomore Steve Jurkiewicz knocked his own rebound past Hawks’ net minder Jason O’Brien. The CVU goalie turned in a solid, 19-save performance.

CVU got the equalizer on a power play goal with 7:41 left in the second reel.

Freshman defenseman Teddy Marshall began the scoring episode with a wicked slap shot from the point that appeared to catch part of the cross bar before winding up in back of the net. The GDL Lamplighter Line then blitzed the Essex net, with Kyle Logan batting in a rebound with assists to fellow line mates Derek Goodwin and Robbie Dobrowski.

CVU had a great opportunity to get the lead when it opened the third period with a two-man advantage. But Essex goalie Pat Campbell, a junior, was equal to the occasion with three stops under serious CVU pressure.

“Their goalie did a good job,” Murray said of Campbell, who had 15 stops for the afternoon.

CVU had to play shorthanded on three occasions but got sharp penalty killing from a unit of Griffin Brady, J. P. Benoit, Jamie Thayer and Quinn Kropf to keep the Hornets from scoring.

Essex came away with a 7-1-2 mark. It was lone regular season meeting between the Redhawks and Hornets.

Essex cools CVU hoops offense

Trip to St. Albans next for Redhawk girls

Jan. 27, 2011

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

Champlain Valley Union High’s Shae Hulbert (right) blocks a shot during Monday’s loss to Essex High. (Observer photo by Shane Bufano)

Coach Jeff Evans and the Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team will be out to restore their winning ways Thursday night. The Redhawks motor to St. Albans for a 7:30 p.m. game, their first meeting of the season with Bellows Free Academy.

The Comets are 5-5 but coming off a 41-28 victory over defending Division 1 champion St. Johnsbury Academy Monday night.

For CVU, this will be the finale in a four-game stretch of road games. The Redhawks return home Monday night to entertain Vergennes Union High.

While the recent cold weather snap ended Tuesday, the Redhawks are hoping that their offense can heat up Thursday after going through a deep chill Monday night. A 41-19 loss at Essex High snapped CVU’s six-game victory string, leaving the season mark at 8-4.

The CVU shooting woes (7-for-40) of 17 percent were greatly encouraged by a stifling defense put up by the veteran Hornets, who ran their record to 8-3.

There was little doubt about the outcome after the first period. CVU, perhaps rusty after a 10-day layoff, turned the ball over six times in the first three minutes to fall behind 8-0.

With 1:34 remaining in the quarter, Essex sophomore Kari Lavalette of Williston rang up the first of two consecutive three-pointers and Jamie Panton added a deuce for a 16-0 Hornet lead at the end of the quarter.

Carlee Evans ended a zip-for-11 CVU shooting drought from the field with a soft jumper from the key to start the second reel, but Essex guard Ali Wells answered with a trey to put the Hornets up 19-2. The Redhawks never got closer than within 14 points after that.

Lavalette, who was coming off an ankle injury, wound up with 10 points while Panton paced all scorers with 12.

Shae Hulbert led CVU with six points while Elana Bayer-Pacht hauled in nine rebounds and had three steals for the Redhawks.

Essex bagged 18 for 48 shots from the field for 37 percent shooting.

CVU (19)

Hulbert 2 2-5 6, Bayer-Pacht 0 0-2 0, Donnelly 1 1-2 3, A. Kinneston 1 1-2 3, C. Evans 1 0-0 2, Riordan 0 0-0 0, Giles 0 0-0 0, Leach 0 0-0 0, Schenck 0 1-2 1, Lozon 0 0-0 0, Limanek 2 0-0 4, E. Kinneston 0 0-0 0, R. Evans 0 0-0 0. Totals 7 5-13 19.

Essex High (41)

Lavalette 4 0-0 10, B. Panton 1 0-0 2, Sheftic 1 0-0 2, Wells 2 0-0 5, J. Panton 6 0-1 12, Harris 0 0-0 0, Esposito 2 0-0 4, Miles 1 0-0 2, Barry 0 0-0 0, Maglione 1 2-2 4, Taylor 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 2-3 41.

CVU 0            9            6            4   –   19

Essex 16            9            8            8   –   41

Junior varsity: Essex 41, CVU 39