Author: Ian Lord

Crime & Punishment

State Rep. Suzi Wizowaty, D-Burlington, in pink, leads a discussion about criminal justice reform at the Cosmic Bakery in St. Albans Wednesday night. Her non-profit organization, Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform, is working on a grassroots effort to make changes in the state’s judicial...

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Sheriff’s bid to vote

ST. ALBANS — The St. Albans Town Selectboard has warned a special meeting on Dec. 10, where residents will be asked whether the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office should be awarded the town police contract for the next three years. The decision to place the non-binding article on a town wide ballot was made at a special meeting of the board held Wednesday evening. The town’s other option for police services is to extend the St. Albans Police Department contract that is up on June 30, 2014. Article 1, to be voted on by Australian ballot, asks, “Shall the legal voters of the Town of St. Albans advise the selectboard to contract for police services with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office for a term of three years, with an option for two one-year term extensions, commencing July 1, 2014, at a first-year cost of $684,068.55?” The sheriff’s second year (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016) contract would cost the town $696,987, and its third year would be for $714,411.70. The sheriff’s proposed optional extensions would be worth $732,272 for year four and $750,578 for year five. The polls on Tuesday, Dec. 10 will be open at Collins Perley Sports & Fitness Center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The current St. Albans Police Department contract with the town runs out on June 30, 2014. That contract also contains two,...

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‘I am a terrorist’

ST. ALBANS — What by many accounts was a joke gone very wrong led to the arrest and arraignment of a Romanian immigrant Wednesday. Radu Chereches, 46, a Romanian immigrant who is now a U.S. citizen from Ridgeland, S.C., pleaded not guilty after he was arrested in St. Albans that morning for disorderly conduct and creating a false public alarm. According to the police affidavit, around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Chereches entered the South Main Street ReMax real estate office with two backpacks, and asked office workers if he could leave them there while he went to the U.S. Passport...

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Police: Men had $16,000 in bogus bills

ST. ALBANS — Two men appeared in court Monday after being arrested by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department for the use and possession of $16,000 in counterfeit money. Matthew J. Dillon, 30, of Hudson Falls, N.Y., and Francis H. Hamblin, 30, listed as homeless, were arraigned Monday on felony counts of possession of counterfeit money. Both men, with public defender Rory Malone representing them, pleaded not guilty. According to the police affidavit, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, Oct. 19, received a complaint from an individual who sold a Yamaha four-wheeler to two men at the Jolley Store in Enosburgh. The two men found out about the four-wheeler for sale on the Internet classified site, Craigslist. The complainant said the $3,500 paid to him in $100 and $50 bills did not have the same texture as regular currency. He checked with the store’s counterfeit money test, which showed the bills were fakes. Upon arrival, sheriff’s deputy spoke with the complainant, who described the blue Dodge Dakota with New York registration and a trailer the two men were using. A be-on-the-lookout bulleting was issued to area police agencies for the vehicle. Another sheriff’s deputy described seeing a similar vehicle traveling on Route 105. The responding deputy checked the cash used in the transaction, and in the affidavit, described the bills as being counterfeit, based on previous experience with fake...

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Town seeks police bids

ST. ALBANS — The Town of St. Albans on Wednesday released its request for proposals (RFP) for a new police services contract. The proposals to be completed by area police agencies interested in providing law enforcement coverage for the town are due to the town on Friday, Oct. 25, said Town Manager Carrie Johnson. A study conducted by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLTC) outlined what services from a law enforcement agency the town would need. The RFP was designed taking the VLTC study into consideration, Johnson said. Johnson anticipated the St. Albans Police Department — which is under contract to the town until June 30, 2014 — and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office would both submit proposals. The town had employed the sheriff’s office exclusively until three years ago when the St. Albans force entered a competitive and successful bid. That set off a long but unsuccessful legal battle launched by the sheriff, who claimed St. Albans Police had capitalized on an unfair advantage. The RFP details the town’s next contract terms, which would once again be for three years, ending on June 30, 2017. Two fixed-priced one year extensions are included in provisions, according to the RFP. The town still holds the option on extending the St. Albans Police contract for a year. The agency awarded the contract is required to provide all regular police...

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