Vermont news roundup: Candidate makes Emily's List, jobless rate steady, more

Testing close to defining PFOA range

The commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation says testing in North Bennington is close to determining the extent of the area where groundwater has been contaminated with a potentially cancer-causing chemical.

Commissioner Alyssa Schuren says she believes testing for the chemical PFOA beyond a 1.5 mile radius of the former Chemfab plant thought to be the potential source of the contamination should show just how far the chemical has traveled.

Tests of about 100 private wells showed levels of the chemical above the state's advisory level.

On Thursday test results showed that PFOA in a public water supply in Pownal that serves about 450 people.

People with contaminated water supplies are being given bottled water or having filters installed on their systems.

Candidate gets Emily's List nod

A national group that supports Democratic women electoral candidates who support abortion rights has endorsed Kesha Ram for Vermont lieutenant governor.

Ram, of Burlington, was chosen by Emily's List.

Emily's List has 3 million members around the country and is considered a plum endorsement and good source of fundraising for female candidates who support reproductive choice.

Ram is in her eighth year in the Vermont House and has been outspoken on a range on issues including advocating for victims of domestic and sexual violence, affordable child care and tax credits to promote economic growth.

She faces state Sen. David Zuckerman in the Democratic primary. Republican Randy Brock also is seeking the lieutenant governor's post.

Jobless rate remains same for February

The Vermont Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in February, unchanged since January.

Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan says Vermont continues to be in a period of economic growth, with many educational and job programs to help people prepare for work.

The February rate of 3.4 percent was compared to 3.7 percent in February 2015.

Unemployment in Vermont's 17 labor market areas ranged from 2.6 percent in Burlington to 7.5 percent in Derby.

Woman convicted in man's death

A Vermont woman has been found guilty of charges in connection with a double shooting that left a man dead.

A jury on Thursday convicted 29-year-old Emily Perkins of voluntary manslaughter and attempted second-degree murder in the 2011 shootings of 48-year-old Scott Hill and then-19-year-old Emma Jozefiak.

Authorities have said Hill was found shot to death with Jozefiak wounded inside Hill's Bethel trailer.

Prosecutors said Perkins, of South Royalton, shot Hill and Jozefiak while visiting Hill for a gun-for-drugs deal.

Perkins' attorneys had said her now-deceased husband wrote a letter saying he killed Hill and inadvertently injured Jozefiak because Hill made sexual advances toward Perkins.

Perkins faces up to life in prison at her sentencing.

The defense says they're disappointed because they believe the state didn't sufficiently prove its case.

Man denies threat to two children

A Vermont man has pleaded not guilty to charges he threatened two children with a gun.

WCAX-TV reports 51-year-old Marvin Martin, of Orange, entered the plea Thursday to charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A judge agreed to release Martin on conditions after his lawyer argued that he wasn't a flight risk.

Police say the youths told them Martin fired a gun into the air in their presence on Wednesday. When troopers arrived at his Route 302 home, he allegedly pointed a rifle out the window and approached officers while telling them to leave his property.

Police say Martin was arrested after several hours of negotiations.

Court papers say police confiscated 47 guns and several hundred rounds of ammunition from his home.

Fish and Wildlife to host open house

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is planning an open house to talk about managing many of the state's game species.

People attending the Saturday event at Montpelier High School will be able to talk with some of the state's experts about the management of deer, black bear, moose and furbearers. There will also be a discussion of Vermont's wildlife habitat.

Some of the officials expected to be at the meeting include Commissioner Louis Porter, wildlife director Mark Scott, deer biologist Nick Fortin, moose biologist Cedric Alexander and bear biologist Forrest Hammond.

The meeting is scheduled to run from 1 to 4 p.m.


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