Police return cockatiel to owner in Schnectady
GUIDERLAND, N.Y. -- The wayward cockatiel that found its way to a state police firing range earlier this week has been reunited with its owner, police reported Friday.
"Rocko" was returned to its owner, Jenny C. Ramsundar, on Friday afternoon after the bird flew from its home in Schenectady.
The bird was found by recruits Tuesday at the State Police Academy, when it landed on a recruit's hat during firearms training at the Guilderland range on Grant Hill Road.
At that time, police reported the bird was "unfazed" by the gunfire and had been taken into custody for safe keeping. Police gave no motive and did not say whether Rocko was accepted into the academy.
-- Zeke Wright
VSP warns elderly of phone scams
BENNINGTON -- State police are warning the elderly to beware of the "grandchild-in-trouble" phone scam.
Police out of the Shaftsbury barracks say the scam involves a person calling an elderly victim and pretending to be their grandchild, claiming they are in trouble and need money. They usually claim to have been in a car crash or arrested and fear telling their parents. Sometimes they call claiming the victim has won something or has a package waiting for them and money is required to collect. The scammers ask that the money be sent via a wire service.
Police say scammers are adept at using personal information about their victims to make the calls sound legitimate. People who get such a call are asked to hang up, call police, then contact the person who is allegedly in trouble.
More information on phone scams can be found at the Vermont State Police Website www.vsp.vermont.gov by clicking the Crime Prevention tab. More information is available at Senior Scam Screen (seniorscamscreen.org).
Shaftsbury pickup crash investigated
SHAFTSBURY -- Police are investigating a single-vehicle crash on Holy Smoke Road after the driver left the scene and attempted to tow his pickup truck from the scene.
Vermont State Police Trooper Justin Walker said police responded to Holy Smoke Road Thursday around 7:45 p.m. for the reported crash. Walker said the driver, 18-year-old Kristopher Watson, of Shaftsbury, was driving the 2000 Ford Ranger pickup when it rolled over into a field near the intersection with East Road.
Walker said Watson cited bad tires as the reason for the crash. Watson and several other people pulled the truck out of the field and attempted to tow it further down Holy Smoke Road, Walker said.
The investigation is ongoing, according to Walker. Irene film to air on Vt. Public Television
PITTSFIELD (AP) -- A Vermont filmmaker has put together a documentary of how Tropical Storm Irene affected her town of Pittsfield.
Vermont Public Television will broadcast the hour-long film, "Flood Bound," three times over the next 10 days.
Filmmaker Marion Abrams told Vermont Public Radio (http://bit.ly/NJH9V8) that something amazing happened after Irene hammered her town. Residents helped each other by digging out, schooling children, cutting hair, cooking, teaching yoga, and other services.
"The guys with the excavators just started working without being asked, without being told," she said. "And the medical people set up a medical facility and parents started running a school to take care of kids on the green."
VPT will air the film on Thursday, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m., and Monday, Aug. 20 and Saturday, Aug. 25, at 4 p.m. For more information about the documentary, look online at www.FloodBound.com
Vt. unemployment rate for July is 5 percent
MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont's unemployment has inched up three-tenths of a percentage point to 5 percent last month.
State labor officials said Friday that the July rate is the fifth lowest unemployment rate in the country.
The national rate for July increased by one-tenth of one percent to 8.3 percent.
Vermont Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan says the state economy added 2,500 more jobs last month. She says construction, financial and leisure and hospitality industries all posted notable job growth.
Police find 11 teens at underage drinking party
CHARLOTTE (AP) -- Vermont State Police say an investigation into a car crash led them to an underage drinking party, where they issued court paperwork to 11 teens.
Police said they were in the town of Charlotte following up on the accident early Thursday when they heard voices from a thick wooded area near the crash scene. They were looking for two men who fled the crash. Instead they found the house where the party was going on. They said the teens were from Charlotte, Hinesburg, Williston, Burlington, South Burlington and Shelburne.
Police said they later found the two men in the crash in Monkton.
Mass. man charged with going 117 mph in Vt
SHARON (AP) -- A Massachusetts driver is facing charges in Vermont of reckless endangerment and speeding after police say he was driving 117 mph on Interstate 89 with a 9-year-old child in the vehicle.
Police say 45-year-old Rony Shapiro was arrested in Sharon on Wednesday afternoon.
Police say he was driving 117 mph in a 65-mph zone.
Police say 5 fires at Vt. summer camp were arson
BENSON (AP) -- Vermont State Police fire investigators say five separate fires reported at a summer camp for troubled youth in the town of Benson were arson.
The fires were reported at about 7 p.m. Thursday at Camp E-Wen-Akee.
The Benson Fire Department was assisted by several area agencies including the West Haven and Orwell fire departments.
The initial investigation determined the fires were intentionally set.
There were no injuries. Damage was estimated at less than $25,000.