Vermont News in Brief


Vermont Grinch takes food, walkers from adult community

PITTSFORD >> Residents of an adult living community in Vermont awoke Christmas morning to find that a Grinch-y thief or thieves had stolen food, gifts and walkers overnight.

Vermont State Police say the National Church Residences Village Manor in Pittsford was hit sometime Thursday by a thief or thieves who pinched Christmas cookies, salad, several turkeys, frozen chicken, loaves of bread, canned vegetables and 10 pounds of potatoes. Also taken were Christmas CDs, puzzles, a television, stereo and 10 walkers.

The burglary didn't stop Christmas from coming, though: Police say the community rallied around the Manor's 30 residents and supplied them with enough food for a Christmas feast and meals into next week.

Vermont basketball player suspended for reselling textbooks

BURLINGTON >> (AP) A University of Vermont basketball player has been suspended for eight games for reselling textbooks.

The university's athletic department said Thursday that junior Dre Wills violated its student athlete code and NCAA rules regarding his athletic scholarship by selling the books. In addition to the suspension, Wills must pay back an unspecified amount of money and perform community service.

The eight-game suspension includes three games Wills already has sat out, making him eligible to play again Jan. 18 when Vermont hosts UMass Lowell.

In a statement, the Indianapolis native apologized and said he realizes his actions were wrong.

A spokesman for the men's basketball team called the incident a disciplinary issue and said he couldn't comment on why Wills wasn't allowed to sell the books.

Fire in Stone Hut near top of Vermont's tallest peak

STOWE >> (AP) Stowe firefighters who carried water to near the top of Vermont's tallest peak by chairlift and snow cats say the historic Stone Hut that was built during the 1930s and has been available for overnight stays is likely a total loss.

The fire in the hut near the top of Mount Mansfield that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps was reported Thursday morning.

The hut is now run by the Stowe Mountain Resort and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and it can be rented for overnight use.

WCAX-TV reports the hut is heated by a wood stove. It's unclear if the hut was occupied Wednesday night.

No injuries were reported.

A fire investigator is going to look for the cause of the fire.

Mayor seeks info after bullets in fatal raid hit house

BURLINGTON >> (AP) The mayor of Vermont's largest city says the Drug Enforcement Administration will investigate the fatal police raid in which police-fired bullets hit a neighboring house.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger says he's been assured that the DEA's office of Inspector General will investigate the raid Tuesday night that ended with the death of Kenneth Stephens.

Police say state Trooper Matthew Cannon and DEA agent Tim Hoffmann fired 13 shots from their rifles after Stephens, suspected of dealing heroin and cocaine from the apartment, pointed a muzzle-loading rifle at officers who were entering the home under the authority of a federal no-knock search warrant.

Neighbors say at least one of the bullets went into their home, narrowly missing people inside.

Meanwhile, a number of people held a candle-light vigil Wednesday evening.

Vermont towns set to lose planning funds from nuclear plant

VERNON >> (AP) Seven Vermont towns are writing their budgets without emergency planning money from the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

Vermont Public Radio reports the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says Entergy Vermont Yankee can eliminate the 10-mile emergency planning zone around the plant now that the reactor has been shut down. That means nearby towns won't be getting the money Vermont Yankee has doled out each year.

Vernon, Brattleboro, Guilford, Halifax, Marlboro and Dummerston each received annual payments before the plant shut down last year. Those were about $32,000 last year. Westminster also got some money because the town has an emergency reception center.

Entergy paid out about $2 million to fund emergency planning and radiological testing this year. Officials are negotiating for the company to continue making payments.

U of Vermont Medical Center among 'greenest' hospitals

BURLINGTON >> (AP) The University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington is among the "50 greenest hospitals in America."

The medical center says it was selected for the list by Becker's Hospital Review, an industry journal.

Among the UVM Medical Center's efforts that were noted included efforts to reduce energy consumption, chemical use and the waste stream, as well as committing itself to energy efficient construction standards and serving healthy and locally produced foods.

Facilities Management Director Wes Pooler says it's the result of taking small steps to be the most environmentally responsible organization possible.

Last of settlement money to help with Vermont foreclosures

MONTPELIER >> Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell says $190,000 left over from a settlement with Bank of America is going to be given to Vermont Legal Aid and the state's judiciary to assist with home foreclosures.

The original $1.25 million settlement with Bank of America resolved claims the bank did not live up to its agreements with homeowners during foreclosure proceedings.

A fund was set up with settlement money to compensate Vermonters.

Of the remaining money, the judiciary will use $10,000 to help develop a website for people representing themselves. Legal Aid will use $180,000 to pay for lawyers to represent Vermonters in foreclosure proceedings over the next three years.

Last year, there were almost 1,200 new home foreclosures in Vermont. and more than 75 percent of homeowners didn't have lawyers.


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