Author: Tom Benton

Governor unveils new opiate iniatives

MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott announced next steps to fight opioid abuse in Vermont at a press conference Thursday afternoon, based on the recommendations of his Opioid Coordination Council (OCC), which released its final report at the same time. The Vermont Department of Labor will begin career counseling and employment services at treatment centers, first in Burlington in April, followed by Rutland and Brattleboro in July. Scott said those services will be available at treatment centers statewide by the end of the year. The Vermont Agency of Education’s Tobacco Use Prevention Education Coordinator will become a Substance Use Prevention...

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Fireworks at Swanton meeting

SWANTON — The town selectboard lit up the town’s 2018 budget, literally, at the board’s Jan. 2 meeting. The board added $3,000 for a fireworks show to its 2018 budget, learned of a municipal grant that could offer $50,000 for Swanton’s downtown and decided on a dedication for the town’s annual report at that meeting. The fireworks show could be an addition to the Swanton Chamber of Commerce’s ninth annual car show festivities, though that decision rests with the chamber, with which selectboard members have yet to consult. The possibility of additional local fireworks came from Town Administrator David...

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Alleged shooter pleads not guilty

ST. ALBANS — The man at the center of an officer-involved shooting on Lincoln Street Tuesday night was arraigned in Franklin County Superior Court Wednesday, while a state police investigation into the shooting itself continues. At question is how many shots police fired, according to Vermont State Police (VSP) Det. Sgt. Robert McKenna’s probable cause affidavit and a press release issued by the VSP Wednesday afternoon. The press release stated the VSP Crime Scene Search Team is still examining the scene of the shooting, and have found “an additional spent cartridge casing.” In addition to what, the VSP has...

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Santa preparing for weekend flight

ST. ALBANS — Winter Storm Dylan looms on the horizon this Christmas Eve weekend, but Old St. Nick himself, Santa Claus, told the Messenger not even a storm could keep him from his rounds this Christmas. “I haven’t felt so holly and jolly in years,” Claus said. Much of that, Claus said, is due to the children and families of Franklin County, who leave him some of the country’s sweetest treats on Christmas Eve. “The maple sugar, goodness,” Claus exclaimed. There’s plenty of goodness to go around this year, according to Claus, who said his naughty list is now...

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Lighting up the holiday

SWANTON — Many holiday light displays here impressed the Swanton Chamber of Commerce judges in this year’s lighting contest, but two shone brighter than the rest. Those are Ramesh Bansee’s house on Country Club Estates, “the most high-tech, modern display,” chamber president Suzanne Washburn said, in an email, and Terrance Sayers’ home on the corner of Canada and York streets. “We felt the dark blue house” — that’s Sayers’ — “gave us a feeling of a really homey Christmas house, where we could see the decorated trees inside through the lovely arched windows,” Washburn said, also in an email....

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