Cops: New Hampshire postal worker stole cash from envelopes

Police say a Vermont woman working at a New Hampshire post office was caught on camera opening envelopes and pocketing gift cards and cash.

Kim Smith, 50, of Hartland, is facing a felony theft charge. Police say Smith was caught by a video surveillance camera installed at the Meriden post office after police received complaints from residents that their mail had been tampered with.

Plainfield Police Chief Paul Roberts says Smith could be seen holding envelopes to the light to gauge their contents. After she pocketed any cash or gift cards she found, she says, she would use a glue stick to reseal the envelopes.

Roberts says Smith is cooperating and has handed over 17 gift cards and about $200 in cash. He says she told police she doesn't know why she did it.

"She just didn't understand why she did that," Roberts says.

No phone listing for Smith could be found. It was not immediately known if she has a lawyer.

Smith is a part-time employee who travels from one post office to the next as needed. Roberts says other police departments are checking to see if they have had similar crimes in their towns.

Roberts says in one instance, Smith took $9 in cash a woman had sent her grandson for his birthday and then sent just the card through the mail.


"When I think of stealing money from kids in their Christmas cards and birthday cards, I see nothing but evil," Roberts said. He says the surveillance camera captured two weeks' activity at the Meriden post office, which also serves Plainfield.

Vermont GMO labeling law survives congressional challenge

Vermont appears to have dodged a bullet, at least for now, after Congress declined to invalidate a state law that aims to require labeling of genetically modified foods a little more than six months from now.

A federal court challenge still seeks to block Vermont's law from taking effect July 1.

But a push in Congress to block states from passing such labeling laws appears to have fallen by the wayside. The House passed a bill in July that would have pre-empted states' authority over the issue. The Senate declined to take it up, despite heavy lobbying from the food and biotechnology industries.

That was followed by a push to include pre-emption language in a must-past spending bill, but that effort has fizzled as well.

Vermont's largest solar installer lauds tax credit extension

Vermont's largest solar installer is hailing news that a federal tax credit seen as a boon to the industry has been extended for another five years.

The 30 percent income tax credit for solar investments was set to expire, but Congress has agreed to let it continue.

Officials at Waterbury-based SunCommon are calling that great news.

But recent events have not been all sunshine for Vermont's burgeoning solar industry. Some utilities in the state have been shutting down their offers for net-metering, in which solar investors get to sell them power. The utilities say they've reached their capacity to take such power.

– The Associated Press