Sid Couchey, in 2003, with cartoons of the three "bad guys," featured in a comic book about local western star Tom Tyler. Couchey passed away Sunday, March 11.
Bruce the Moose
The simple euthanasia of a moose in the Wilmington Notch turned into a firestorm of protests and defending the decision to kill the injured animal, which earned the name Bruce the Moose.
From the story: “Certainly euthanizing the moose wasn’t the outcome we wanted or hoped for, but it ended up being the most humane choice for the moose,” Lance Durfey (of the Department of Environmental Conservation) said.
“We were hearing that people didn’t think what was done was right or they were angry the moose had to be euthanized, but what was done was part of the protocol for our department,” Durfey said. “We get involved when wildlife is impacting people, it’s one of our department’s responsibilities.”
“The question is was there were any alternatives? They didn’t ask if there were any alternatives,” Pam Smith said. “What’s the difference of them taking him out sedated or dead?”
Junie meets donor family
Harold “Junie” Tart of Essex was given the gift of life when he received a liver transplant, while another family grieved the loss of a loved one. Almost a decade later, the two families came together in Willsboro.
From the story: On Nov. 2, Leslie Cowty and Lisa Szewczyk landed at the Burlington International Airport, just moments after Linda Buttery, another of Tart’s daughters.
“We met, hugged each other and immediately started sharing,” Buttery said. “It was really awesome. I am a gabber, especially when I get nervous, and we just talked and talked.”
Over the next three days, the two families got to know each other, talk about Linda Reilly and the life that Junie Tart has had thanks to his new liver.
“I feel a lot better because I feel that her liver went to the perfect person,” Cowty said about Tart. “He is hilarious, a super down-to-earth person and has an amazing family.”
Siblings flee burning house
On the morning of Feb. 8, Alex Steele of Westport awoke to a burning house. He acted quickly to make sure that he and his sister, Moira, were able to escape the fire, which engulfed the house.
From the story: "It's very nice, but I happened to be the one that woke up first," Alex Steele said. "Initially, I was not sure what was happening, but the smoke was so thick that I knew something was wrong. I went to her room and slapped her feet like I would any morning, but this was a little more urgent."
"I think that it is lovely that they are honoring him," Moira said.
"It is such a pleasure to be here with this young man and to recognize his actions,' Dan Connell said.
"The community has helped us a lot getting clothes and aid," Alex said. "It has been pretty bizarre and hectic since, but we have made a transition. My friends have been great, and we would not have a lot of things if it were not for our classmates, the faculty and the community."
Throughout 2012, a committee of village officials, supervisors from two towns and residents has been pondering the fate of the Keeseville village government, with a vote on the matter set for Jan. 22.
From the story: Mayor Dale Holderman said that he wanted a petition to come forward, which allows the dissolution plan to come under permissive referendum.
“The reason we wanted a petition to come in is because it gives the residents a chance for a second vote,” Holderman said. “It was never our intent not to have a vote. We wanted to give them the chance to have the total say.”
Holderman, who has stated his opposition to dissolution, said that he was happy that the dissolution committee process was coming to an end and that he felt it was an important part of the process.
“If we had not had this jump, we would have been in trouble,” Holderman said.
Farewell, ‘Sid the Kid’
One of the most beloved figures in the North Country, cartoonist Sid Couchey, passed away March 11 in Inman, S.C. He was remembered by friends and family at a June 23 memorial service in Essex.
From the story: “We had many opportunities to talk together, laugh together and pray together,” Rev. John Hunn said. “He once told the members of a Meadowmount ensemble that he was thankful they had come to church because they lowered the average age of the congregation from 80 to 70. It has been a delight to know Sid and to have been his pastor.”
Charlie Lewis spoke of his rendition of the Lake Champlain monster, Champy.
“It will warm the hearts of local residents and people worldwide as long as the water crests on Lake Champlain.”
“His relaying of amazing stories always had us in stitches, and his delivery was magical,” Ronnie Hollingsworth said.