Wednesday May 22, 2013

Teen pleads guilty in fatal crash

COLCHESTER -- A St. Albans, Vt., teenager has changed his plea to guilty in a fiery drunken driving crash that killed his passenger.

Seventeen-year-old James Companion pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of driving under the influence with death resulting. Twenty-year-old Tasha Maring of Colchester was killed when the car crashed into a utility pole and burst into flames last May.

Police had said that Companion has never held a Vermont’s driver’s license or learner’s permit.

The plea deal means that the prosecution can request that he serve up to three years in prison and the defense can argue for a 2-3-year sentence.

Vt. health reform group hires insurance helpers

MONTPELIER (AP) -- The organization helping Vermont prepare for the federal health care reform has hired groups to help people navigate the system.

Vermont Health Connect announced Tuesday it had awarded $2 million in grants to organizations that will provide in-person enrollment assistance for health care coverage.

The organizations will manage people who will be trained and certified to provide direct assistance to individuals, families and small businesses.

The groups, called "navigators" will help ensure that Vermonters know what changes are coming and have access to the tools and resources they need to apply for health coverage.

Vermont Health Connect is a marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses can make side-by-side comparisons of private health plans and find financial help to pay for care.