Funeral set for Vt. boys killed in Ky. fire

BARRE (AP) -- A funeral service has been set for Jan. 9 at Spaulding High School in Barre for Solon and William Bailey, who died in a Christmas Day fire while visiting their grandparents in Louisville, Ky.

Meanwhile, the Courier-Journal of Louisville reports that fire investigators are focusing on an attic next to the room where the boys, 12 and 10, were sleeping when the fire broke out, and a dining room immediately below it, as possible sites where the fire started.

The home of Irv and Cathy Bailey was heavily damaged in the blaze.

The Bailey family is asking that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in honor of Solon and Liam to The Beauregard Foundation: Solon and Liam Fund, c/o Chrysalis Ventures, 101 S. 5th St., Suite 1650, Louisville, KY 40202.

2 officials in town face DUI charges

SPRINGFIELD (AP) --Court records show that two leaders in a Vermont town face drunken driving charges.

Mark Blanchard, chairman of the Springfield Select Board, and Lawrence Kraft, chairman of the Springfield School Board, have drunk driving charges pending in White River Junction District Court.

The Rutland Herald reports the 41-year-old Blanchard was arrested in Chester on Nov. 20 after he crashed his pickup. He was arraigned on Dec. 8 and was released. Blanchard is fighting the charge.

The 61-year-old Kraft pleaded innocent Oct. 6 to a misdemeanor charge of drunken driving, stemming from a Sept. 17 traffic stop at a construction site.

Blanchard and Kraft both work for Springfield Hospital. Blanchard is in charge of the hospital’s engineering department and Kraft is head of the Springfield Hospital Foundation.

Man pleads guilty to 1982 killing

BARRE (AP) -- A Vermont man has admitted to killing an 18-year-old girl in 1982 in a plea deal with prosecutors.

Forty-seven-year-old Theodore Caron of Barre was arrested in February in the strangulation death of Pamela Brown. A DNA sampled linked him to her slaying.

Caron initially pleaded innocent to first-degree murder. On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder. That’s punishable by a 15-to-35-year sentence, but Caron’s attorney said he is likely to become eligible for release in less than seven years, based on 1982 sentencing rules.

The state Parole Board would determine whether to release Caron once he become eligible.

Brown was found behind a school the day after people crowded downtown to attend a festival. She had been strangled with a cord from her blouse.

New bridge designs presented Monday

VERGENNES (AP) -- The public will get a second chance to weigh in on six possible designs for a new Lake Champlain Bridge linking New York and Vermont.

The 80-year-old bridge was demolished this week, after it was deemed unsafe.

Vermont and New York transportation officials will hold a public meeting Monday night in Vergennes to present designs for a new bridge.

Officials say the event will give residents who could not attend a Dec. 12 meeting in Ticonderoga, N.Y., a chance to hear and discuss details of the designs and offer opinions on what they like best.

The two states are taking public input on the designs until Jan. 11.

The meeting will be held at the Addison County Eagle building at 67 New Haven Road at 6 p.m.

Quechee woman dies in crash

QUECHEE (AP) -- A Quechee woman has died in the Vermont’s fourth fatal crash in three days.

Vermont State Police say the car driven by 44-year-old Dyann Dundulis went off an icy road on Tuesday night, rolled on its side and hit a tree.

Police say Dundulis was unconscious and unresponsive when found, and had to be extradited from her totaled vehicle.

Authorities say she was not wearing a seat belt and speed likely contributed to the crash.

The Burlington Free Press says the Quechee crash was the state’s fourth fatal accident since Sunday.

State workers ratify contract with pay cuts

MONTPELIER (AP) -- The union representing most Vermont state workers says its members have ratified a new two-year labor contract that calls for temporary, 3 percent pay cuts.

Vermont State Employees Association Director Jes Kraus says the contract, which takes effect July 1, temporarily cuts wages by 3 percent and leaves them frozen until June 30, 2012, then restores the 3 percent cuts.

Kraus says union members agreed to the pay cut in light of Vermont’s economic downturn and the damage it has done to state revenues.

Group wants city to end instant runoff voting

BURLINGTON (AP) -- A civic action group says it has gathered enough signatures to challenge the instant-runoff voting system used in mayoral elections in Burlington.

The group "One Person, One Vote," wants to place the issue before city voters on Town Meeting Day in March.

The Burlington Free Press says the group wants to return to what supporters feel was Burlington’s earlier, simpler electoral process for mayor. They believe the old system would boost voter turnout, enliven debates and yield more decisive city leadership.

Instant-runoff voting allows a voter to rank mayoral candidates.

Last March, Mayor Bob Kiss received 29 percent of the vote in the first round, but was elected in three rounds using the instant runoff system.

Woman arrested in bank robbery

LYNDONVILLE (AP) -- Vermont State Police say a 20-year-old woman has been arrested on charges she robbed a Lyndonville bank.

Police say Paige Ely was taken into custody at a local inn after a police dog followed tracks from the bank.

Police say surveillance video from other area business also helped tracked Ely from the bank back to the inn.

Police say they seized clothing from Ely’s room that appears to have been worn during the robbery.

On Tuesday, police said a suspect demanded cash from a teller at the Passumpsic Savings Bank and then fled with an undisclosed amount of money. No weapon was displayed.

Ely is due in court Wednesday to answer the bank robbery and other charges.