SATURDAY, Saturday, MarchMARCH 29, 2014 29, 2014
Good Morning High 37 Low 30
Yankee cleared to run until ’15 By SUSAN SMALLHEER STAFF WRITER
Inside Community news. B6
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Public Service Board on Friday said it reluctantly approved letting the Vermont Yankee nuclear power station operate through the end of this year. The board also approved a private deal between Entergy Nuclear and the Shumlin administration over the closing of Yankee that includes significant money for economic development, clean energy and site restoration. The deal also calls for a potential earlier decommissioning of the Vernon reactor.
But the board made clear that Entergy’s decision in August to shut down Yankee at the end of 2014 had an important effect on its ruling. “If Entergy VY were planning to operate the VY station for another 20 years as originally requested, its track record may well have led us to find that ownership and operation would not promote the general good,” the board wrote. “The company’s sustained record of misconduct has been troubling to observe over the years and has continued to trouble us as we determine whether to grant Entergy VY a license to operate,” the board wrote.
“While its decision to cease operations by the end of next year does not excuse Entergy VY’s past bad conduct, the decision does alter the perspective from which we contemplate that conduct, given that we are no longer assessing the legal and regulatory implications of granting an operating license for the long term,” wrote the three-person board led by James Volz. The memorandum of understanding, reached in late December, calls for an accelerated timetable for the radiological cleanup of
See Yankee, Page A5
An inspiring onelegged skier has been tearing up area slopes this winter. B1
An amendment to look at the tax possibilities of legal marijuana runs into trouble. B1 Weather Lotteries World Nation Editorial Letters Sports Scoreboard Local Business Obituaries Abby Horoscope Comics Calendar TV Listings Community Classified
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SAY WHAT? DANIELSVILLE, Ga. — Authorities say a Georgia teen has been arrested and accused of spending about $25,000 that a bank accidentally deposited into his account. The Madison County Sheriff’s Department said 18-yearold Steven Fields, of Hull in northeastern Georgia, turned himself in Friday. He faces a charge of theft by taking. A home phone number for Fields could not be located. The department said a teller at a bank in Hull inadvertently deposited a check for approximately $31,000 into the wrong account. Authorities said the money was spent on purchases at a car dealership, various stores and a fast-food restaurant. Authorities said there was an effort to come to an agreement between Fields and the bank and that Fields said he couldn’t repay the money. — The Associated Press
e -Paper Don’t miss all of the additional stories and photos we are providing in our electronic edition of The Times Argus. Today that includes more pet coverage. Visit www.timesargus.com/ eed or call Subscriber Services at The Times Argus at 802-479-4040.
JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR / STAFF PHOTO
Students at Rumney Memorial School in Middlesex visit with 17-day-old lambs they named Fudge and Fiona at the school Friday. The lambs belong to Kimberly Hagen of Osprey Hill Farm in Putnamville. Hagen is a Northeast Organic Farming Association farmer correspondent and has been interacting with the class through letters this year. The class will get to visit her farm this spring.
Downtown funding panel to get ax By AMY ASH NIXON STAFF WRITER
MONTPELIER — A panel put in place to manage the stream of funding created by the downtown improvement district will be dissolved, and the City Council is moving toward having Montpelier Alive fill the role. The committee, formed about a year ago, was charged with bringing
to the council proposals to use the estimated $75,000 a year in public money coming through a special assessment on commercial properties for downtown improvements and marketing efforts. About $40,000 of that money comes from private property owners, and the balance, running a year behind, said City Manager William Fraser this week, will be coming from the
By DAVID DELCORE STAFF WRITER
BERLIN — The owner of a Route 12 mobile home park that has been slowly filling up since a devastating flood displaced dozens of its residents nearly three years ago is now looking to expand. It won’t happen next month or even next year, but Ellery Packard is asking the town’s Development Review Board to approve a preliminary site plan that calls for adding up to 43 lots to Weston’s Mobile Home Park.
state’s payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT. At its meeting this week, the City Council discussed how the DID committee’s charge was duplicative of objectives and work of Montpelier Alive, whose office is in City Hall. Mayor John Hollar said concerns had been raised about the process of how the money was
to be allocated, and the council wanted to set long-range goals for the funds. Originally, the DID committee was put in place with good intentions, Hollar said, but “my concern was that we were weakening the structure of Montpelier Alive” by essentially creating a competing entity.
See Panel, Page A5
Those lots aren’t needed today, according to Packard, who said this week that 31 of the 70 mobile homes wiped out by Tropical Storm Irene three summers ago have yet to be replaced. However, he said the rebuilding process, while slow, has been steady. The number of vacant lots has been cut by more than half since the floodwaters from the Dog River wiped out most of the park in August 2011. “We’re picking up 12 to 14 (new mobile homes) a
By ERIC BLAISDELL STAFF WRITER
BARRE — A potential plea deal for the alleged ringleader of a Barre gang fell apart Thursday, although the accused sounded like he actually wanted the deal. James A. Manning, 22, aka “Rabbit,” of Barre, in Washington County criminal court is facing two counts of felonious sexual
See Weston’s, Page A5
JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR / STAFF PHOTO
Students in Brad Miller’s civics class at Spaulding High School make a presentation on homelessness to a panel Friday at the State House. The course features a two-week unit called Project Citizen, designed to acquaint students with issues in their community and give them the tools to enact change. Students elected to examine homelessness in Barre and make recommendations to address it. Speaking from left are Kyle Cooke, Bailey Kuban, Robert Parizo and Eric Tucker.
assault on a victim under 16 and a misdemeanor charge of unlawful mischief for allegedly sexually assaulting his underage followers. He is also facing four counts of felonious sexual assault on a victim under 16 for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 14-yearold girl. In Rutland County, Manning is facing a felony charge of repeated
aggravated sexual assault that stems from allegations he sexually assaulted a teenage boy in Rutland in 2012. Manning was scheduled for a change of plea hearing on the Barre charges Thursday, but his lawyer, James Lamonda, said that “unfortunately, we have no plea.” The details of the potential agreement weren’t discussed in
court, and Deputy State’s Attorney Megan Campbell said the offer was no longer on the table. The case was set for trial in June. Before the hearing was over, Manning said, “I would like to go with the plea deal, but it seems to me that’s changed.” Judge Thomas Zonay told
See Plea, Page A5
Local & State News
The Times Argus
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Drug epidemic focus of panel N O RT H F I E L D — A forum April 8 at Norwich University will feature Dr. Harry Chen, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health, and other panelists speaking on “What Ails Vermont: Is There a Cure to the Drug Epidemic?” The free public forum with the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation kicks off a series at Norwich University for 2014. The event will be at 4 p.m. in Plumley Armory on the Norwich campus. Gov. Peter Shumlin will offer keynote remarks. Then the panel will focus on prevention strategies, which a news release from Norwich says is “an underdiscussed area in ongoing statewide discussion” about the epidemic. In addition to Chen, the other panelists are: Col. Tom L’Esperance, Vermont State Police commander; David Orrick, who has been teaching a course at Norwich on drug abuse and crime since 1979; and Max Schlueter, who is director of the Vermont Center for Justice Research and who analyzes statewide crime data for the purpose of informing policymaking.
One of a kind PHOTOS BY JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
atching an expert W skier carve up a black diamond run can
Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, a nonprofit that offers sports activities for be impressive. Watching athletes with disabilities. Vasu Sojitra do it on one Recently Sojitra competed leg is nothing short of in the Unconventional inspirational. The 22-year- Terrain Competition old UVM graduate develat Mad River Glen and oped a blood infection placed 14th out of almost in his leg when he was 100 skiers. Above, Sojitra 9 months old and had his carves up a high-speed leg amputated just below groomed run at Sugarthe hip. He hasn’t slowed bush Resort. Left, skiing down since. In fifth grade steep bumps at Mount he started skiing, using Ellen. Below, Sojitra’s special outrigger poles sunny attitude is infecto help with balance, tious. He’s thinking about and quickly progressed, getting into recreation often chasing his older therapy and possibly brother down the slopes. Paralympic competition. Sojitra is an intern with Don’t bet against him.
Cabot man cited in assault CABOT — Vermont State Police say a Cabot resident has been cited on a charge of simple assault. State police say they received a report Thursday that Zachary Ducharme, 19, of Hardwick, had been assaulted by Benjamin Younce, 21, of Cabot, outside Younce’s house on Coits Pond Road. State police say Ducharme suffered minor injuries. Younce is to appear in Washington County criminal court May 8 to answer the charge.
Barre man faces DLS charge MIDDLESEX — A Barre resident has been cited on a charge of driving with a suspended license. Cory Tillotson, 42, was southbound on Interstate 89 in Middlesex on Thursday when he was pulled over by Vermont State Police. After an investigation, state police say, it was discovered Tillotson has a criminally suspended license. Tillotson is to appear in Washington County criminal court May 8 to answer the charge.
Manure spreading ban ends soon The annual ban on manure spreading will be lifted Tuesday. However, the extended snow cover this year will make it a challenge for farmers to begin spreading manure, according to the state Agency of Agriculture, which issued a news release on the situation Friday. The annual ban is to avoid damaging water quality. With the ban about to be lifted, the agency says, “manure must still be applied in a way that does not result in runoff of manure to surface water or across property boundaries. Once the snow begins to melt, manure can be carried away to the low points in the landscape.” By taking extra recommended steps while applying manure with snow still covering the ground, farmers can help minimize any runoff of manure that could occur during snow melt, the state says. For more information, call 828-2431. — Staff reports
Marijuana amendment gets smoked By NEAL P. GOSWAMI VERMONT PRESS BUREAU
MONTPELIER — A parliamentary procedure in the House killed consideration of an amendment to study the revenue impacts of legalizing marijuana that was supported by more than a third of the chamber. Rep. Kristina Michelsen, D-Hardwick, and more than 50 co-sponsors offered an amendment to the
By PETER HIRSCHFELD VERMONT PUBLIC RADIO
The University of Vermont and Vermont Law School have begun holding closed-door meetings to discuss the future of their business relationship. At a meeting of the Royalton Select Board this month, a resident asked about a rumor circulating around
miscellaneous tax bill Friday seeking the marijuana study. It would have required the Joint Fiscal Office to report back to the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee on specific revenue projections should the state move to legalize the drug. But it was found to be not germane to the underlying bill by House Speaker Shap Smith after an inquiry by Rep. Thomas Koch,
town. Word had it, the resident said, that UVM was going to buy up Vermont Law School and move operations to Burlington. Ever since the UVM board of trustees convened an ad hoc work group in January to explore the university’s relationship with VLS, questions have surfaced about what
R/D-Barre. Smith’s ruling came on the heels of another amendment by Rep. Cynthia Browning, D-Arlington, that was also found to be not germane. Browning’s amendment sought to require Gov. Peter Shumlin to disclose a financing plan for his proposed publicly funded health plan, as required in Act 48. Her amendment also sought subpoena power for the Legislature if he did
exactly the schools are up to. Asked about prospects for a merger, the heads of the institutions issued a joint statement this week. It said the schools were “exploring programmatic and academic opportunities between the institutions.” Larry Trottier, chairman of the Royalton Select Board, said VLS officials
not comply by April 30. Smith issued his ruling before conferring with Michelsen and Koch. He then called them to the podium for a discussion before clarifying his ruling, which prevented consideration of the amendment. The tax bill was then passed on a voice vote. Smith said he supported the
have indicated to him that they’ll have more information about talks with UVM later this spring. But Trottier said he doesn’t see the law school moving. “If it came out that, you know, the law school was going to move out of the town of Royalton and go to UVM, you know that might hit hard,” Trottier said.
See Smoked, Page B3
“But I don’t think that that is going to happen. When I say that ... my gut feeling is no.” The meetings of the UVM work group are closed to the public. The board has indicated that the meetings are held in executive session for the purposes of
See Talks, Page B3