Saturday February 2, 2013

Police lie in wait for alleged beer burglar

MANCHESTER -- After surveillance videos failed to identify an alleged beer thief who had repeatedly been breaking into a local restaurant, police decided to simply lie in wait for him.

According to an affidavit by Manchester Police Officer Daniel Steere, on Jan. 25 he was sent to the Gourmet Deli and Café to speak with owner Melanie Allen, who said that morning she discovered a back window had been broken and $45 in beer was missing. She said a few weeks prior to this, the front door had been forced open and beer and change stolen.

Allen told police a video surveillance system was also installed, which Steere viewed and saw a male enter the business through the window, see the camera, and pull up his hood to walk past it.

Steere said on Jan. 30 he learned the Gourmet Deli was broken into three more times and the surveillance images showed it was the same person each time, but police were unable to identify who it was.

"Due to the number of break-ins at this restaurant it was decided to have an officer wait inside the establishment during the closed hours in an attempt to gain custody of this subject," Steere wrote, adding that Allen agreed to this plan.

He wrote that Manchester Police Officer James Bossong stayed in the building overnight on Jan. 30 with no results, but the next night, at around 11:24 p.m., Ryan S. Baker-Miller, 22, of Dorset, forcibly entered the Gourmet Deli and Café and was arrested without incident.


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Steere wrote that Baker-Miller admitted to having broken in to the restaurant five times, and to breaking the window with a stick, which police said did $100 in damage. All told, Baker-Miller is accused of stealing $90 worth in beer, which he told police he consumed.

On Friday, in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division, Baker-Miller pleaded not guilty to five felony burglary counts, one count of petit larceny, and one count of unlawful mischief. Judge Cortland Corsones placed $5,000 bail on Baker-Miller, and should he post it he will not be allowed to go to the deli or consume alcohol. He must also obey a check-in schedule at the Manchester Police Department. He was sent to the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility in Rutland for lack of bail.

-- Keith Whitcomb Jr.

Rensselaer Sheriff overhauls website

TROY, N.Y. -- The Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office was touting an overhauled, user-friendly website this week.

In a written release, Sheriff Jack Mahar said the new website was designed to provide a "comprehensive guide to our agency's many services and responsibilities."

It's available at www.rensco-sheriff.com.

The new online presence enables users to find data on the department's highway patrol and the bureau of corrections, or the county jail. It also allows easy reference to commonly requested phone numbers, services provided by the civil department, and information about alternatives to incarceration and community programs run by the sheriff's office.

Visitors can also find information on pistol permits, look up information on registered sex offenders, and read crime prevention tips. "Our mission is to provide our citizens with one of the best law enforcement offices in New York State. We will continue to update and make changes to this site in an effort to better keep the residents in our county informed," said Mahar.

"As more and more people rely on websites to access information, the functionality of our site needed to be improved," said Yvonne Keefe, the department's public information officer. "Though the redesign has been applied to most major sections of the site, some additional sections will continue to be updated over the next year."

The website was created collaboratively between the sheriff's office of public affairs and L&P Media, a Troy advertising and marketing company that does web design.

-- Zeke Wright

Day Spa employee facing lewd, lascivious charge

STRATTON -- A 35-year-old male employee of the Day Spa at Stratton Village has been placed on paid administrative leave following charges of lewd and lascivious conduct. A court date has been set for March 12 in Windham Superior Court.

According to the Vermont State Police, on Jan. 27, the Winhall Police Department received a report of sexual misconduct by Ivan Boles, 35, of South Londonderry, a massage therapist at the Stratton Mountain spa. Due to the nature of the case, it was forwarded to the Vermont State Police.

Detectives with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation learned that during a Swedish massage, Boles inappropriately touched a female client's breasts. She reported the incident to the day spa staff and the complaint was forwarded on to law enforcement.

On Jan.29, Boles was taken into custody at his residence in South Londonderry by the Vermont State Police, police said.

Boles was arrested and issued a citation to appear in Windham Superior Court to answer to the charge of lewd and lascivious conduct. Boles was placed on paid administrative leave from the spa as soon as the report was made.

-- Manchester Journal

Vermont Tech opens South Street campus

BENNINGTON -- Vermont Technical College celebrated the 15th anniversary of its Associate's Degree in Nursing Program and the opening of its Bennington campus at 210 South Street on Jan. 18.

"We were delighted to open this wonderful, modern facility to meet the growing demand for our programs in Bennington," said President Philip A. Conroy. "Vermont has a critical need for professional nurses, and we are creating more space and more programs to meet increasing demand for high-quality, applied educational opportunities."

Vermont Tech has had a presence in Bennington since 1997, operating both the Practical Nursing (PN) Certificate and the Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center campus. Building on this success, and in response to increased demand for Vermont Tech's award-winning nursing programs, the college opened a larger campus with modern facilities in two renovated floors of an historic building in downtown Bennington. This fall, Vermont Tech plans to further expand nursing programs by offering a new, online Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.

"Our LPN program has been fully accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission since 1994, and our ADN program since 2001," said Anne Smeglin, site director of the Bennington Campus. "Vermont Tech is a strong presence in the state, and with the growth of our facilities and online program, there is good reason for students to believe their dreams of becoming professional nurses will be realized in the near future."

During the ceremony, the nursing department honored recent Vermont Tech retirees Patricia R. Menchini, MS, RN, former dean of academic affairs, and Mary R. McMahon, former Bennington campus site director, for their many years of service and commitment to Vermont Tech. Both women received Lifetime Achievement awards in recognition of their teaching excellence, and support for nursing students and the profession of nursing.

"We're thrilled to celebrate Pat and Mary's long-standing ties to the College and to the nursing program at the Bennington site," said Anna Gerac, director of nursing education programs. "They are truly role models for our community and for thousands of nursing professionals in our state and beyond."

Menchini joined Vermont Tech in 1988 as a faculty member in the Practical Nursing Certificate program, and facilitated the opening of the Associate's Degree in Nursing Program in 1997.

McMahon taught part time as a clinical instructor in the Practical Nursing Program in Bennington from 1974 until 1981, and in 1986, accepted a full-time faculty appointment. She continued to teach in Vermont Tech's Practical Nursing Program until 1993, when she accepted the position of site director for the Bennington Campus. McMahon retired in June 2012.

"We took great joy in honoring Patricia Menchini and Mary McMahon because they are valued members of the Vermont Tech community, and particularly the Nursing Department," said Smeglin. "They are exemplary nurses, teachers, administrators, and colleagues. Our community and college are stronger and better because of their long-standing commitment to excellence and professionalism."