Vermont news in brief

Vermont company turns candidates into pet toys

MONTPELIER >> Ever thought your least favorite presidential candidate deserved to be mauled by a cat or chewed and slobbered on by a dog? It could happen, thanks to a new line of presidential candidate pet toys out from a Vermont company.

Fuzzu, a team of toy designers from Waterbury, has just launched its Presidential Parody Pet Toys modeled on Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. The feline versions are stuffed with catnip, while their larger canine counterparts contain squeakers to add a little excitement to a dog's life.

There's also a 27-inch jumbo size for humans — a conversation piece for the bookshelf.

Couple giving UVM med school $3 million for palliative care

BURLINGTON >> The University of Vermont College of Medicine has announced a $3 million gift to establish a new position for someone to chair a section devoted to palliative care. That's care that is focused on relief of pain and other symptoms from serious illness, including at the end of a patient's life.

Vermont philanthropists Holly and Bob Miller are making the gift, capping decades of support for clinical services and end-of-life care.

Friday's announcement coincided with the appointment of Dr. Robert Gramling to the newly endowed chair. Gramling comes to the UVM College of Medicine from the University of Rochester, where he held several positions, including research co-director in the Division of Palliative Care there.

Few snow days contribute to early end to school year

PLAINFIELD >> A mild winter with schools taking few to any snow days, and an early start to the academic year, means school's out for summer on time at many Vermont schools— a rarity.

Rutland City schools took no snow days, which Superintendent Mary Moran described as very unusual. School also started a bit earlier on Aug. 26 due to the date of Labor Day.

The last day of school was Friday, the earliest Moran could recall in 20 years.

At Twinfield Union School in Plainfield, students were let out for the summer Thursday. Superintendent Nancy Thomas said it was one of the earliest dismissals ever.

According to the National Weather Service, Burlington had the warmest winter on record and the third lowest snowfall for the season from November through April.

Police: Attempted bank robbery suspect tried to kidnap woman

BURLINGTON >> Vermont police say a man arrested in connection with an attempted bank robbery in Burlington has been charged with trying to kidnap a 21-year-old woman earlier that same day.

Burlington police say 44-year-old James Bristol, of Burlington, pleaded not guilty Friday to second-degree unlawful restraint and simple assault charges. It wasn't immediately known if Bristol has a lawyer.

Authorities say he grabbed the woman on a city street at about 2:30 a.m. June 3 and hit her in the face when she tried to break free. Authorities say she eventually managed to get away from him and hid on a porch until a friend came and got her.

Bristol has been in custody since the attempted robbery at the Citizens Bank on College Street, police said. He is a registered sex offender, according to the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations.

Investigators said that when the woman told Bristol to leave her alone, he said words to the effect of "I'm not taking no for an answer. You're coming with me."

– The Associated Press


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