By Kevin O’Connor | STAFF WRITER
Staffers at Brattleboro’s Boys & Girls Club didn’t know the exact weight of the sandbags they put down before Hurricane Sandy.
“They’re heavy,” director Beth Baldwin said.
But picking up the waterlogged weights after the storm, she understood one thing: “They’re heavier.”
Low-lying Vermont businesses, organizations and offices flooded by last year’s Tropical Storm Irene were spared a replay this week after lifting up stock and laying down sandbags all day Monday. But the payoff came with a price: Lifting up sandbags and laying down stock all day Tuesday.
In Wilmington — the Vermont town hit hardest by Irene, with more than $13 million in damage — Town Clerk Susie Haughwout hired movers last weekend to relocate several hundred record books from a vault that last year flooded with nearly four feet of water. Continue reading
GUILFORD — A Providence, RI man on Interstate 91 carrying drugs and a large amount of cash on Friday.
Bryan Lee Nelson, 27, was in possession of Vicodin without a prescription and $7,377 in cash. The narcotics and cash were seized by police.
Nelson was pulled over for a lane violation prior to a police consent search. He was charged with possession of a regulated drug and will be arraigned at criminal court in Brattleboro Dec. 4.
BRATTLEBORO — The former beer and wine manager at the Brattleboro Food Coop pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge of second degree murder in the shooting death of his boss.
Richard Gagnon, 60, was sentenced to 17 years to life for the murder of Michael Martin, 59, the manager of the food coop.
Gagnon, a Marlboro resident, has been in prison since the August 2011 shooting at the downtown store, and will serve another 16 years before he is eligible for parole, said Windham County Deputy State’s Attorney David Gartenstein.
Gagnon told Judge David Suntag that he was profoundly depressed because the food coop, where he had worked for more than 20 years, wanted him to step down.
According to Gagnon’s statement in court, he tried to kill his wife twice the weekend before he shot Martin and also contemplated suicide.
Two of Martin’s sisters and four of his children either spoke or sent statements condemning Gagnon, indicating no period of incarceration would ever be enough.
A complete story will be in Saturday’s Herald.
BRATTLEBORO — A Vermont hospital says it’s notifying about 200 patients that they were administered drugs recalled by the Massachusetts company linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak.
Officials say the drugs administered at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital were not the same steroid injections that have resulted in 23 deaths around the country and sickened nearly 300.
Jan Puchalski, director of patient safety and risk management, said Tuesday the drugs used include Nalbuphine, which is given for pain, and Hyaluronidase, often used on the eyes.
New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts recalled all of the products produced at its facility on Oct. 6.
The Brattleboro Reformer reports Puchalski said the hospital is following a joint recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
BRATTLEBORO — Town representatives in Brattleboro, Vt., have approved a $14 million renovation plan for their police and fire stations, but have rejected a sales tax that could have helped pay for them.
An extra 1 percent would have been added to a 6 percent sales tax for retail goods. It was voted down at a special town meeting Saturday.
The Brattleboro Reformer reports (http://bit.ly/VumIRg) only a handful of the representatives supported the tax.
Sam’s Outdoors Outfitters co-owner Stanley “Pal” Borofsky said the state’s sales tax has crept up from 3 percent in 1984 to 6 percent today. He said boat sales in his Keene, N.H., and Hadley, Mass., stores far outpace those in Brattleboro.
He also said the 1 percent add would make it harder for locally owned stores to survive.
BRATTLEBORO — A 26-year-old Brattleboro man pleaded guilty to charges he molested a 13-year-old girl after he gave her marijuana to smoke.
Hector “Tony” Vargas was sentenced to 28 months to 13 years in prison on a charge of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
In a plea agreement, two charges of sexual assault and one count of simple assault were dropped.
Vargas also pleaded guilty to violating the terms of his probation, by smoking marijuana. He was sentenced to four to five years in jail, concurrent with the other sentence.
BRATTLEBORO — A committee of the Vermont State Colleges has picked a building in downtown Brattleboro as the site of a new campus for Community College of Vermont and Vermont Technical College.
The Brattleboro Reformer reports the Finance and Facilities Committee voted Wednesday to recommend the Brooks House as the new home of an 18,000-square-foot education center. The building will include classrooms, offices, a library and a multi-function room.
The full Board of Trustees is expected to make a final decision about the recommendation next week.
BRATTLEBORO — Burlington-based Carbon Harvest has furloughed six of its 11 workers in Brattleboro but denies rumors it is closing.
President Don McCormick told the Brattleboro Reformer Thursday he is searching for financing to keep the company operating. He said rumors the company will close are “greatly exaggerated.”
The company is billed as the country’s first integrated renewable energy-to-agriculture and algae biodiesel project.
The company harvests landfill gas and uses it to generate power. Heat captured from the power plant is provided to a greenhouse where food can be grown year-round.
McCormick said the company already is selling basil and lettuce to several grocery stores.
None of the three staffers in Burlington were affected by the cutback.
BRATTLEBORO — History seems doomed to repeat itself when it comes to the Latchis Theatre marquee.
The historic building’s marquee on Main Street, which displays film titles shown at the theater, suffered damage for the second time in 15 months Tuesday afternoon, both incidents the result of apparently lackadaisical truck drivers, the Keene Sentinel reported.
The first incident occurred last summer, when a truck driver grew impatient with halted Main Street traffic and drove onto the sidewalk, colliding with the marquee in the process.
This time, surveillance footage showed a truck from Blue Mountain Produce of Wilmington hitting the marquee at 3:21 p.m., although it didn’t appear the truck had driven onto the sidewalk, said Gail Nunziata, executive director of Latchis Arts.
“I don’t know why it happens, I wish I did,” she said. “We have to really study it and try to see what might (have) happened.”
How much it will cost to fix the marquee — which was finally repaired in August following the previous incident — remains unclear, although the physical damage is more surface and less structural this time.
“We’re going to send a picture of it to the people that made the sign in Ohio, and see what they say,” she said.
As for who will cover the cost of repairs, Nunziata said it’s being worked out.
The truck driver “knew he was responsible, and acted responsibly,” she said.
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) Vermont police say they will release more information about their investigation into the suspicious death in Brattleboro of a 47-year-old woman.
Investigators say a person discovered the woman’s body Friday at a residence on Western Avenue. The circumstances around the death are under investigation.
Officials say the woman has been identified and her family has been notified, but that her name and other information aren’t being released to ensure the integrity of the investigation.
They are promising to release more information, but they did not say when.
Police say there is no threat to the public.