Teen gets 2 years in prison for fatal crash
COLCHESTER (AP) -- A Vermont teenager has been sentenced to a little over two years in prison after pleading guilty to a drunken driving crash that killed his passenger last year.
James Companion, 17, of St. Albans had pleaded guilty to one count of driving under the influence with death resulting.
He was driving on May 25, 2012, when the car crashed into a utility pole and burst into flames, killing his passenger, 25-year-old Tasha Maring of Colchester.
"I am truly sorry for what I did," Companion said at his sentencing on Tuesday.
If he had been tried and convicted, he could have faced 1-15 years in prison.
Maring’s mother, Catherine Raymond, told the judge her daughter was a hardworking mother of a 7-year-old boy. She criticized those at the party who either permitted or encouraged Companion to drink, according to the Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/148HVQe).
"I feel sorry for him," she said. "He was 16 years old, had to see this whole incident. Had he had not been brought to this gathering, with all these adults, this wouldn’t have occurred. He needs counseling in order to be able to go somewhere in his life. And if nobody else wants to help him, I want to help him."
Prosecutors also have charged Companion’s mother, Melissa Grant of St. Albans, with buying her son the alcohol he drank that night. She’s pleaded not guilty and awaits trial.
Superintendent recommends reopening high school field
WESTMINSTER (AP) -- The school superintendent in Westminster is recommending reopening the high school athletic field after soil samples showed that the recently installed stadium lights do not pose a safety threat.
The Windham Northeast Supervisory Union was forced to close Hadley Field at Bellows Falls Union High School after the company that installed the lighting couldn’t ensure their safety.
The lights were put up when school officials battled with the Westminster Development Review Board over whether they were legal. The permits weren’t in order.
The lights were provided through a $250,000 donation.
The Eagle Times reports that Superintendent Christopher Kibbe said Wednesday that the soil analysis determined that athletic teams are not in danger on the property.
Arena gets funding to stay open for now
WOODSTOCK (AP) -- A sports complex in Woodstock that faces an uncertain future will remain open for now.
The school board voted Tuesday night to dip into an endowment fund to help pay payroll and outstanding bills.
The board voted to allocate up to $40,000 from the Woodstock Union Arena endowment fund.
The arena is seeking $125,000 to keep running.
The president of the arena’s board says the funding will help keep the complex running into the winter. She told the Valley News (http://bit.ly/153PjMR) that she thought the School Board voted the way they needed to protect the endowment fund, but it wasn’t what the board had hoped for.
Police investigate armed home invasion
EAST MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont State Police are investigating the report of an armed home invasion in East Montpelier.
Police say a man with a gun forced his way into a home on County Road on Tuesday night and demanded money from the homeowner.
Authorities say the man then fled on foot. No one was injured.
Police are asking anyone who may have seen suspicious activity, vehicles or people in the area to call the Middlesex barracks at 802-229-9191.