Burr Morse has been making maple syrup on his farm in Montpelier all his life."We tap about 3,000 trees," Morse said. He said this season is off to an excellent start.
But in Williston it's a different story for Denny Lewis. Instead of boiling Monday, the Lewis was installing locks on his sugar house. Thieves recently made off with thousands of dollars of his sugaring equipment. "This is where we had the vacuum pump -- it's up ten feet in the air and it was probably a couple hundred pounds and I don't think one person could have taken it out. I think it had to be at least a two person job," he said.
A filter press was also stolen, along with several other pieces of equipment. This is just the latest sugar house to be hit by thieves.
Matt Gordon, Executive Director of the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association, said his organization does not keep track of maple thefts, but that could change. "This might be something, if it is happening more often, we do want to know and be able to let our members know to be more vigilant if there is a lot going on in their area," Gordon said.
Missing equipment is nothing new for sugar makers. What is new is what is being taken. "We used to lose sap buckets when we had sap buckets on trees by the roadside -- this was 30 years ago. I guess that was the beginning of it, but now it seems like it has jumped up a notch or two with expensive equipment, vacuum pumps and the like," Burr Morse said. "It's really sad," he added.
Lewis has had to spend thousands of dollars to replace the stolen equipment in order to save this sugaring season and that expense is going to eat into this year's maple profits. Lewis figures it will take him two years of sugaring to make up for the loss. "You can't stop, you can't let it stop you. You have to just keep rolling. It was certainly a let down, but you pick yourself up and keep on going," he said.
And other sugar makers are now keeping a closer eye on their property. "I live within 300 feet I get up frequently during the night at my age and I look down here at the sugar house so the sugar house doesn't stand alone... hardly at all here without eyes on it," Morse said.
Williston police are continuing to look for suspects. A $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the recovery of Lewis' equipment.
Monday, May 20 2013 4:52 AM EDT2013-05-20 08:52:37 GMT
The Paramount Theater in Rutland, is looking at diversifying their shows, and the city may help cover the costs. The theater is in the works of purchasing a high-definition projector and other equipmentMore >>
The Paramount Theater in Rutland, is looking at diversifying their shows, and the city may help cover the costs.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 4:49 AM EDT2013-05-20 08:49:35 GMT
Governor Peter Shumlin will sign Vermont's new end of life legislation into law Monday, nearly 10 years after advocates started their push. Once signed, the law takes effect immediately. Several VermontMore >>
Governor Peter Shumlin will sign Vermont's new end of life legislation into law Monday, nearly 10 years after advocates started their push.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:39:09 GMT
"Awesome -- I lost it when I finished I have to say, but it was great. It was great," said Amy Sullivan. The 2013 Boston Marathon runner was all smiles as she and 450 other runners crossed the finishMore >>
A race in southern Vermont Sunday gave runners who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon a second chance at the finish line.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:38 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:38:13 GMT
They come from all over the state and wait in line for hours. "It's become sort of a yearly event for us. We've been doing it for eight or nine years now -- we're having a blast," said Ed Sayers ofMore >>
Dozens of drivers gathered in Chelsea for a record setting road rally -- full of riddles that keep drivers and passengers on their toes.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:36 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:36:52 GMT
College graduation season is in full swing -- and Sunday in Burlington it was a big one. A crowd of nearly 10,000 attended the 211th commencement ceremony at the University of Vermont.In all, more thanMore >>
A crowd of nearly 10,000 attended the 211th commencement ceremony at the University of Vermont.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:28 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:28:28 GMT
Fire destroyed a barn in Clinton County, New York Sunday morning.It happened in the town of Mooers. Officials say the barn on Eddy Road was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just before 11:30More >>
Officials say the barn on Eddy Road was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just before 11:30 a.m.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:27 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:27:13 GMT
A Berlin, New Hampshire man is dead following a kayaking accident.It happened on a stretch of the Upper Ammonoosuc River in the town of Dummer. Officials say Keith Whitten, 58, was paddling with his wifeMore >>
A Berlin, New Hampshire man is dead following a kayaking accident.More >>