ST. JOHNSBURY — U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy is going to be in St. Johnsbury to talk about a plan to help prevent fires that have devastated a number of Vermont communities.
Leahy is proposing the creation of a tax credit for building owners who install fire suppression equipment.
He’s making the announcement Friday at 2:30 p.m. in downtown St. Johnsbury, which has suffered three major downtown fires since 2000 that killed three people and caused millions of dollars in damages.
Since the turn of the century there have been a series of fires in older buildings in Vermont downtowns.
NEWPORT — A Vermont man sentenced for stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of copper wire from transformers has been ordered to pay $52,000 in restitution.
Raymond Earle of Wolcott was sentenced last year in Orleans Superior Court to 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to possession of stolen property.
The Caledonian Record reports (http://bit.ly/144pwbE) Earle was accused of stealing copper on several occasions from the Lowell Asbestos Mine and selling it to a metals company in Hardwick.
DANVILLE — The principal and superintendent of a Vermont school have been cited into court on charges of failing to report child abuse and neglect of duty by a public officer.
Vermont State Police say the Department of Children and Families received a report in May about a Danville High School student reported to have been inappropriately touched two times by a Danville School teacher.
Police say the incident was reported by principal Noah Noyes, who told superintendent Martha Tucker.
But police say neither reported it to the DCF within 24 hours as required by law.
Tucker said her lawyer would release a statement later Tuesday. Noah did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Police say the allegations of inappropriate contact between the teacher and student are being investigated
ST. JOHNSBURY (AP) — A folk art gallery and park devoted to colorful depictions of dogs has reopened in St. Johnsbury more than two weeks after the suicide of owner Gwen Huneck.
Huneck’s husband, Dog Mountain founder Stephen Huneck, committed suicide in January 2010.
Despite those losses, other staff members at Dog Mountain say they’ll try to keep the business going. The 150-acre site includes an art gallery displaying Stephen Huneck’s dog-themed furniture, prints, jewelry and other items, hiking trails, a swimming pond and the famous Dog Chapel.
Dog Mountain has become a popular tourist attraction in St. Johnsbury, and has been featured on national television programs including Oprah and Good Morning America.
CABOT — The Cabot Creamery Cooperative is planning to consolidate most of its administrative workforce to a 28,000-square facility in Waitsfield, Vt.
The move does not affect employees at the plant in Cabot.
Cabot Creamery employs 599 people in Vermont. A spokesman for Agri-Mark Inc., which owns Cabot Creamery, says about 80-100 workers will gradually move to Waitsfield by early 2014.
The Caledonian Record reports (http://bit.ly/10OtkMB) Agri-Mark, based in Lawrence, Mass., is buying and renovating the Waitsfield facility for $2.8 million. It is in the Waitsfield Industrial Park and formerly housed Northern Power Systems.
Agri-Mark is a cooperative of more than 1,200 farmers in New England and northern New York.
SHEFFIELD — Vermont State Police say they are investigating a car crash that happened after a 12-mile chase.
Police said they tried to conduct a motor vehicle stop on Route 122 in Lyndon on Friday. But they said the car didn’t stop.
Police pursued the car for 12 miles until it failed to negotiate a curve and crashed in Sheffield. The driver, 23-year-old Daniel Camber of Newark, was ejected from the car and was later found in a field.
Camber was hospitalized with serious neck and back injuries.
Police say alcohol and speed appear to be factors in the crash.
NEWPORT — A Vermont man who accidentally shot his friend while hunting bear in 2011 has received a deferred sentence after pleading no contest to aggravated assault.
The Caledonian-Record reports (http://bit.ly/15pgg3d) Conrad Masse of Craftsbury will see the felony expunged from his record if he stays out of trouble for the next 18 months. The maximum sentence is 15 years in jail.
The 78-year-old Masse shot a bear, but also shot Wayne Goff as they hunted in Albany. The bullet entered Goff’s body near his waistline on the right side, traveled through his body, and exited just above his left buttock.
Masse’s lawyer said as part of the plea agreement, Masse will cooperate with insurance companies in resolving a matter in civil court. He said Goff has made a nearly full recovery.
BARNET — Officials are planning to retrieve three freight train cars carrying corn that plunged into a river in Vermont. No one was hurt.
Fire officials said the train derailed at the Cornerford Dam on Monday night. Three cars fell into the Passumpsic River in East Barnet.
The cars were carrying the corn for Washington County Railroad.
State Police say it appears the cars tumbled because of bank erosion.
A Montpelier man walked away with a minor injury, and three cars were totaled in a crash that blocked Rte. 2 in Danville on Thursday, and police said was caused by icy road conditions.
According to police, Philippe Legendre, 75 of Gilead, Maine, was driving east on Rte. 2 near Dole Hill around 6:30 p.m. when he hit glare ice and spun out of control. Legendre hit west-bound cars driven by Melody Peterson, 42, of Danville, and Joshua Irons, 26, of Montpelier.
Irons was treated for a cut on his scalp at the scene. Police said there were high winds and snowy, near-whiteout conditions at the time of the crash, and that the investigation is ongoing. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call Sgt. Denis Girouard or Tpr. Charles Winn, at 748-3111.
EAST BURKE — Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom now has a designated scenic byway.
State officials have approved the 51-mile Northeast Kingdom Byway Main Corridor.
The Caledonian-Record reports (http://bit.ly/14qbtKw) it starts in St. Johnsbury and extends north through Lyndonville, East Burke, Westmore, West Charleston, Derby, and ends in Newport.
David Snedeker, the planning manager for the Northeastern Vermont Development Association, says the new byway designation is an excellent way to promote the area and build on tourism.