Category Archives: Bennington County

Bennington County news and events.

Woman bites child, police say

BENNINGTON — A Pleasant Street woman was ordered held without bail on Monday after police accused her of biting her 2-year-old child hard enough to leave marks.
Christina F. Crandall, 20, of Bennington, was arraigned in Bennington criminal court on Monday on a felony charge of domestic assault and a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to a child younger than 10. The domestic assault was charged as a felony based on Crandall’s previous conviction for violating an abuse prevention order.
In an affidavit, Officer Jason Burnham, of the Bennington Police Department, said he was dispatched to Crandall’s home at 10:20 p.m. on Sunday.
Burnham said a relative reported the bite to police. Burnham said Crandall was uncooperative, denied biting the child and attempted to keep him from seeing the bite mark. Continue reading

Man charged with DUI on a snowmobile

BENNINGTON — A Massachusetts man was arraigned on Monday after a state warden said he believed the man was driving a snowmobile drunk on Jan. 11 and led wardens on a pursuit for 4.5 miles after they attempted to test his blood alcohol level.
David Carpenter, 48, of Lenox, Mass., was charged in Bennington criminal court with misdemeanor counts of operating a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol and operating a vehicle in an attempt to elude law enforcement officers.
In an affidavit, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Warden Trainee David Taddei said he and another warden were out on Jan. 11 around 2:30 p.m. conducting safety patrols in Woodford. Taddei said they came across Carpenter and a few other men and noticed an open can of beer on Carpenter’s snowmobile.
While Carpenter said he had only had a few beers during the day, Taddei said he noticed signs of impairment. The wardens decided to escort Carpenter back to their truck so they could conduct a blood alcohol content test, Taddei said.
However, Taddei said Carpenter drove off instead, leading to a pursuit that lasted 4.5 miles until wardens caught up with him in a parking lot in Heartwellville. Taddei said Carpenter admitted to trying to elude the wardens.
Carpenter refused to submit to blood alcohol content testing, according to the affidavit.
On Monday, Carpenter pleaded innocent and asked for time to hire an attorney. He was released on $500 bail.

Two Vermont hospitals to get help in ‘fiscal cliff’ deal

MONTPELIER — Two small, rural Vermont hospitals are getting a bonus courtesy of the “fiscal cliff” compromise passed last week by Congress.
The legislation that averted steep increases in federal taxes and steep cuts in federal spending includes about $2 million in funding for the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington and the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.
Since 1990 a federal program helped small rural hospitals that have a high percentage of Medicare patients cope with fluctuating reimbursement rates. That program expired on Sept. 30.
Vermont’s Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter Welch worked to include funds for the program in the legislation.
Welch tells Vermont Public Radio ( ) the funding provides fair reimbursement for those critical access rural hospitals .

New Year’s Eve concert

MANCHESTER — The Manchester Music Festival (MMF) invites both young and old to welcome 2013 with two New Year’s Eve concerts on Monday, Dec. 31, at 4 and 6 p.m., at the First Congregational Church.
Ariel Rudiakov, artistic director of the MMF, is urging you to come and celebrate as “MMF rings out the old on the doorstep of the new, with its third annual New Year’s Eve musical bash. In original and arranged versions, the Festival Strings, a group of 10 top players from the New York and Boston areas will perform music by Vivaldi, Strauss, Oscar Peterson, Lennon-McCartney, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and more, a lot more!”
MMF will perform two concerts. The 4 p.m. family friendly show will feature an appearance by regional actor Peter Langstaff. Local theater-goers may recognize him, as he guides the audience through a musical tour of three centuries, assisted by the talented students of MMF’s Michael Rudiakov Music Academy. Langstaff’s characterizations have become a time-honored tradition at these holiday concerts.
The festivities continue with the full evening concert at 6 p.m. Bass-baritone Keith Kibler will join the Festival Strings and present works by Bach, Handel, and Mozart, explore the music of Shostakovich and Holst, and perform popular standards. Kibbler is known as an interpreter of Baroque and Classical arias. After the 6 p.m. concert, refreshments include chocolates and bubbly (non-alcoholic) in the vestry.
Tickets for the Family Concert are $10, free for those under 18; for the 6 p.m. concert, $27, $10 for students with a valid ID; call 362-1956, or go online to The First Congregational Church is on Route 7A, across from the Equinox Hotel.

Man cited for DUI after driving onto AA co-founder’s lawn

DORSET — A Massachusetts man was cited for drunken driving after police said he drove onto the front lawn of Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson’s property on Christmas Eve.
Donald Blood III, 55, of Marlboro, Mass., was cited to appear in Bennington criminal court on Jan. 14.
In a press release from the Vermont State Police, Trooper Christopher Burnett said police were called to The Wilson House on Village Street in Dorset about 7:30 p.m. Dec. 24.
Burnett said police determined that Blood had driven his vehicle on the front yard, thinking it was a parking lot.
Blood was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol after an investigation, Burnett said.
The Wilson House, built in 1852, is the birthplace of Wilson. Its website describes it as a “place of sanctuary where people can come to give thanks to God for their new lives.” The building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, hosts several Alcoholics Anonymous meetings each week.

Winhall teacher charged with sexual misconduct with student

WINHALL - An eighth-grade teacher at the Mountain School was arraigned on two felony counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child on Monday after police said one of his students had reported he had kissed her and touched her buttocks.
Bryan Love, 37, of Hebron, N.Y., pleaded innocent to the charges on Monday in Bennington criminal court. He was released without bail.
Detective Anthony Silvestro, of the Bennington Police Department, said he had been assigned to the case because of his assignment with the Bennington County Special Investigations Unit. Silvestro said he was notified by the Department of Children and Families.
The girl, who is 14, told investigators she had a crush on Love. While many of the incidents she described involved the girl making comments or overtures to Love, she also said he had touched her buttocks and kissed her in the gymnasium.
According to the girl, both incidents took place at the school.
Silvestro said when he contacted Love on Nov. 26, Love told him the Mountain School had put him on leave with pay based on an allegation made to the school through the Vermont Department of Children and Families.

- Patrick McArdle

College to delay dorm construction

BENNINGTON - Officials at Southern Vermont College say that a new four-story residence hall, which had been expected to be open for the 2013-14 school year has been delayed for at least a year. Katherine Kalker, director of communications for the college, said officials would take another look at the project next year.
“This had been decided by the board (of trustees) and our bankers a few months ago. They just decided that it was best to hold for about a year,” she said.
Kalker specified that the project would be reconsidered in about a year, not that the project would necessarily be started in about a year.
The new residence hall was expected to add almost 140 beds on-campus, which James Beckwith, acting president and chief financial officer of Southern Vermont College, said in June was needed because enrollment is growing. At the time, Beckwith said the expectation was that all the beds would be needed by the time the new hall was done.
However, Kalker said there were no expectation that more students would be placed in the current dormitories. She said the college’s staff would help students who need housing find places off-campus if necessary.
When the residence hall was announced, Beckwith said it was expected to be financed by a third party, who was not named, which would then lease the space back to the college. Kalker said she couldn’t comment on whether the third party was still involved in the project.
The college’s most recent residence hall, Hunter Hall, opened in 2009 with 110 beds.

Missing boy found alive

Update, Missing Child Found Alive in Sunderland: Vermont State Police Press Release:

Sunderland, VT – Today at approximately 9:30AM Joseph “Jo Jo” McCray  age 6 of Arlington was located alive and well by a ground search team. Jo Jo was located approximately 1 ¾ miles from where he was last seen off of US Route 7, Exit 3, Sunderland where he was hunting with his family.

Jo Jo was able to walk out of the woods on his own; but will be evaluated as a medical precaution.

All units are clearing the scene. No one was injured during the course of this search and rescue effort. There were approximately 120 volunteers and members from the Vermont State Police Search and Rescue, Fish and Game, Vermont State Police K9 unit, and local fire departments that assisted in the search. A Customs and Border Protection air and marine unit helicopter and Vermont Army Aviation helicopter both responded to assist in the search.

The Vermont State Police appreciates all of the help and support of the assisting agencies, volunteers, and media in bringing this incident to a positive resolution.

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Woman, baby, and passenger hurt in Sunderland crash

SUNDERLAND — A Pownal woman, her baby and a friend were injured Sunday morning when her car went off Route 7 in Sunderland and went down an embankment.
Vermont State Police said LeEssa Brown, 22, of Pownal, had turned around to check on her baby, Zoeriah Clinton, one year old, in the back seat when she lost control of her vehicle and left the road, rolling over.
Brown and the baby were taken to Southern Vermont Medical Center for non life-threatening injuries, police said.
Brown’s front seat passenger, Joshua Clinton, 22, was airlifted to Albany Medical Center for significant injuries to his head and torso areas. Police said Joshua Clinton was in stable condition.

Bennington-area school closures Tuesday

From Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union (Schools in Bennington, North Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury and Woodford) website: Tuesday, October 30th there will be no school. Closed will be all of the School Offices and the Central Business Office.