SHAFTSBURY -- On March 10, Vermont State Trooper Elliott Justinger pulled over a silver Toyota pickup truck for having a headlight out. During the traffic stop, Justinger reported detecting a strong odor of marijuana. The operator of the vehicle, Jonathan Chilla, 22 of Pawlet, refused to provided consent to search the vehicle. The vehicle was seized and Justinger applied for a search warrant. The next day, March 11, the search warrant was granted. The search yielded 24 grams of processed marijuana and one unknown pill. Criminal charges are pending based on the results that will be coming back from the forensics lab, said Justinger in his report. Under a 2013 law, possession of under an ounce of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense in the state of Vermont. Instead, first-time offenders receive a $200 fine, which increases to $300 for the second offense, and $500 for each consecutive offense. Crash, DUI
BENNINGTON -- On March 13 at approximately 4:45 p.m. Bennington Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on North Branch Street in Bennington. It was reported that a vehicle had crashed into a pole, wires were on fire, and the pole was near the vehicle. It was also reported that the driver was unresponsive. Upon arrival, the police escorted the operator, Timothy S. Bartlett, 54, of Bennington, to an ambulance for care and treatment. Barlett was transported to the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, and later transferred to the Albany Medical Center with internal injuries. He was later processed for driving under the influence of alcohol. Green Mountain Power had to cut power to a large section of Bennington for many hours as a result of the crash. The wooden utility pole was splintered, requiring it to be repaired. The Bennington Rural Fire Department and the Bennington Rescue Squad also responded to the crash and assisted at the scene.
~ Derek Carson