Author: Tom Benton

Dog abuse case hits 3-year mark

ST. ALBANS — Next Monday, Feb. 5, marks three years since police arrested Richford resident Randall Sheperd abusing eight dogs, and still the case remains unresolved. State’s Attorney Jim Hughes and Sheperd’s defense attorney, public defender Michael Ledden, have reached a plea agreement. The State will dismiss five of the eight charges of animal cruelty. Sheperd will plead guilty to the three remaining charges, for which he will receive a sentence of 120 days to 1 year, all suspended but 120 days, with two years’ probation. Per the plea agreement, Sheperd can have no animals or pets. The agreement...

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Landlord steps up for teen center

SWANTON — A man who donated $5,000 toward the Swanton Teen Center’s next year operating costs has signed a purchase and sales agreement for the building to which the center is moving. The man is Tyler Stanislas, a local landlord, who, with his father Norm, donated a total of $10,000 toward the teen center’s operating costs at a November multi-board meeting. Stanislas said the teen center was his motivation to purchase the Blake Street building, which currently houses Swanton Wayside Furniture. Stanislas said he did so because it seemed clear the teen center’s managers were not interested, or not...

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New swan for Swanton

SWANTON — The Swanton Chamber of Commerce is bringing a new swan to Swanton. The swan will replace the most recent incarnation of Betty, who passed away in October, barely more than three months after she and the latest incarnation of Sam arrived in the village park. Even then, the Chamber secured the swans only after years of negotiation with state agencies and, basically, swan dealers. The State of Vermont officially considers swans an invasive species, and Betty’s previous incarnation passed away with similar abruptness in 2009, cause of death undetermined. But Swanton Chamber President Suzanne Washburn said this...

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Legislators discuss pot, school taxes

  SWANTON — Locals questioned Franklin County legislators regarding school spending and taxes, marijuana legalization and gender options on licenses during a legislative breakfast at the Swanton Village Municipal Complex Monday morning. The so-called “pot bill,” which Gov. Phil Scott signed yesterday, allows people over 21 years of age to have an ounce of marijuana or up to two plants in their home. The law goes into effect July 1. Only three of Franklin County’s legislators supported the final bill, Rep. Barbara Murphy, I-Fairfax, Rep. Cindy Weed, D/P- Enosburgh, and Rep. Dan Connor, D-Fairfield. Connor said he would gladly...

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Man who ran over woman pleads guilty

ST. ALBANS — A young man who reportedly drove over his ex-girlfriend’s head pleaded guilty in Franklin County Superior Court Thursday morning as part of a plea agreement significantly reducing the State’s charges. Chad Ely, 29, faced six felony charges for the December 2016 incident, including three counts of second-degree attempted murder and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Each of those three attempted murder charges carried the possibility of a life sentence. Per the plea agreement, Ely pleaded guilty only to two counts in court yesterday: aggravated domestic assault and aggravated assault with a deadly...

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