Condos loses appeal over nominating process

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont’s secretary of state has lost an appeal over the nominating petition process for independent candidates for president.

Independent candidates for president can get on the general election ballot in Vermont by submitting a statement of nomination with at least 1,000 signatures of qualified voters certified by town clerks to the secretary of state by a certain date. Last year, volunteers gathered 1,400 signatures from at least 22 towns and cities to get Ross "Rocky" Anderson on the ballot, but the Secretary of State Jim Condos said town clerks could only certify names appearing on the nominating petition and not on faxes or photocopies.

Anderson’s campaign manager, Benjamin Eastwood, and others could only get town clerk certification for 580 signatures by the June 14 deadline, noting that driving from one town to another to get the certification was time-consuming. Eastwood and three supporters challenged the constitutionality of the certification requirement that was applicable to independent candidates, but not major-party candidates.

The trial court denied their request to eliminate the certification requirement, but gave them more time to file certified statements of nomination, and told town clerks to accept legible photocopies or faxes.

The state appealed, saying the requirement that town clerks only certify original statements ensures that nominating petitions are authentic and is only a minor burden on plaintiff’s rights. But the Vermont Supreme Court denied the appeal on Friday, affirming the lower court ruling that the requirement unconstitutionally burdens such candidates’ constitutional rights.

Police seek info on Rutland garage fire

RUTLAND (AP) -- Vermont State Police fire investigators are asking the public for information about what might have started a fire that damaged a garage in Rutland.

Police say the fire on Kendall Avenue was reported late Thursday night.

When firefighters arrived they found the homeowner had extinguished the blaze.

The garage and some of the contents inside were damaged.

So far the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Wind tower foes want Shumlin’s help

NEWARK (AP) -- Residents in the Vermont town of Newark are asking Gov. Peter Shumlin to appeal a state ruling that would allow a developer to erect test towers to monitor wind speeds in the area.

Seneca Mountain wants to erect the test towers, with the goal of building about 35 turbines in Newark, Brighton and Ferdinand.

The Vermont Public Service Board approved the nearly 200-foot test towers, one in Newark, two in Brighton and one in Ferdinand.

The Caledonian Record reports citizen groups Newark Neighbors United and Brighton Ridge Protectors sent a letter this week to Shumlin’s office asking him to help fight the board’s ruling.

The governor’s office has not commented yet on the letter.

Rewards offered to solve 36-year-old killing

HARDWICK (AP) -- Vermont State Police and the family of a Vermont man killed 36 years ago in Hardwick in an unsolved crime are each offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction or otherwise resolution of the case.

Sixty-four-year old Bernard Ewen was killed at his residence on July 16, 1977. Police say he was strangled to death.

Ewen’s daughter is now offering a $5,000 reward; Vermont State Police also are offering the same reward.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Kelley Clark at the Vermont State Police Derby Barracks at (802) 334-8881 or to the State Police Crime Information Tip Line at (802) 241-5355. People may also submit anonymous tips by texting "CRIMES" (274637) with keyword: VTIPS or online at http://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

Pickup truck plunges into NH river, 2 arrested

CLAREMONT, N.H. (AP) -- Authorities have arrested two men who escaped from a pickup truck that plunged into the Sugar River in Claremont, N.H.

WMUR-TV reports police stopped the truck at about 3:20 a.m. Friday for erratic driving. But the driver took off and headed down the street, which was a dead end, and plunged into the river.

A dive team initially was called to the river, but the search was later focused on land for the two men. One was later arrested in the area, the other in Vermont. Their names weren’t immediately released.

Police said the truck was stolen out of North Walpole.

Boston will not be host for Wynn casino plan

BOSTON (AP) -- The city of Boston has dropped its request to be considered as a potential host community for a resort casino proposed by Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn in neighboring Everett.

The state gambling commission announced at its meeting on Friday that Boston had agreed instead to accept the status as a surrounding community, which under the state’s casino law will allow the city to negotiate compensation from Wynn but will not give Boston a direct say or vote in whether the project goes forward.

The agreement is a significant victory for Wynn. Had Boston been designated as a host community, Wynn would have been forced to negotiate a host community agreement with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.