Monday October 1, 2012

16 Vermont schools provide food for kids on weekends

BARRE (AP) -- Some Vermont kids get key nutritional help from free and reduced-price lunches in schools, but what happens when they go home for the weekend?

Sixteen schools around the state are participating in the BackPack Program, which provides kids with items to bring home with them on Friday to eat between then and Monday.

The program got a recent boost from Shaw’s Supermarkets, which donated fruit cocktail through the Vermont Foodbank.

Vermont Foodbank CEO John Sayles says the BackPack Program has tripled in size since its inception five years ago and now serves 650 school-aged children.

Shaw’s has donated enough fruit cocktail to last the program from now until March.

Drought worries spread around Vt.

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Worries about dry conditions are spreading around Vermont.

Some homes in Weathersfield have been without water this month.

State climatologist Dr. Lesley-Anne Dupigny-Giroux says southeastern Vermont tends to be the most drought-prone part of the state. She says it’s worrisome that drought worries are spreading through Lamoille, Caledonia and Addison counties.

Dupigny-Giroux also says Lake Champlain’s levels are lower than usual.

And some tree species, like white birch, are showing signs of stress by dropping their leaves earlier than usual.

Maine man arrested after pursuit in Vt.

WESTFIELD (AP) -- Vermont state police say a laid-off worker trying to steal scrap metal is in custody after a brief pursuit.

Troopers say 24-year-old Michael Adams of Dixfield, Maine, attempted to elude a trooper who noticed his vehicle with its headlights off behind a business early Saturday in Westfield, Vt. Troopers say Adams crashed into equipment in a lot used by PLC Construction Co. while fleeing.

Sgt. David Robillard says Adams, who was arrested a half-mile away, told investigators that he’d been laid off from PLC and had planned to take scrap aluminum.

An official at Newport Correctional Facility said Saturday that Adams was being held on $1,000 bail on charges of attempted larceny and attempting to elude an officer. There was no indication that he had an attorney.

Bonnie and Clyde guns sell for $504K at New Hampshire auction

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) -- Two guns that were in the possession of notorious gangsters Bonnie and Clyde when they were killed in a hail of gunfire have sold at auction for more than half a million dollars.

The guns were two of 134 artifacts that sold for a total of $1.1 million at an auction Sunday in Nashua, N.H. About two-thirds of the auctioned items were from Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, but items also came from other notorious criminals such as Al Capone, Pretty Boy Floyd and John Dillinger.

RR Auction Vice President Bobby Livingston said Bonnie Parker’s .38 Detective Special that she had taped to her thigh when she was killed in 1934 sold for $264,000.

Clyde Barrow’s 1911 Colt .45-caliber automatic sold for $240,000 to the same bidder.

Dutch printmaking exhibit opens at Currier Museum

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire’s Currier Museum of Art has a new printmaking exhibit showcasing the works of Rembrandt and his contemporaries.

The prints were purchased by the museum in 2010. The collection shows how Dutch artists began to explore a variety of genres and find new subjects worthy of artistic representation.

On display are 75 prints by more than a dozen artists.

The Manchester museum is open every day except Tuesdays.

4 charged with selling counterfeit merchandise at fair

DEERFIELD, N.H. (AP) -- Police say they’ve seized half-a-million dollars in alleged counterfeit merchandise and arrested four people as part of an undercover operation at the Deerfield Fair.

About a dozen undercover police officers Thursday afternoon purchased wallets, clothing, jewelry and other items that allegedly were knock-offs of name brands with labels such as Gucci and Coach.

Authorities say they conducted the investigation after receiving a tip that several vendors were selling counterfeit items at the fair.

The vendors are due in court Oct. 17 on charges of counterfeiting and fraud.

Maine gets big grant for teacher compensation

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Education says it’s awarded nearly $25 million to the Maine Education Department to improve pay and provide more educational opportunities to teachers in poor school districts.

The Maine Department of Education was one of 35 winning applicants nationwide out of more than 120 applications.

The Teacher Incentive Fund grant provides $8.8 million in the first year and a total of nearly $25 million over five years to encourage school districts to upgrade teacher compensation through career ladders or performance-based pay.

The money will be applied to 17 schools in six school districts.

UMass president embarks on statewide bus tour

BOSTON (AP) -- The president of the University of Massachusetts is launching his second annual statewide bus tour to mark the upcoming 150th anniversary of the five-campus system’s founding and to tout the system’s contributions to the state economy.

Robert Caret’s four-day, 500-mile tour starts Monday with jaunts to Springfield, Holyoke, Amherst and Lowell. He’s scheduled to be in Boston and Gloucester on Tuesday; Boston, Wareham, Barnstable and Dartmouth on Wednesday; and New Bedford, Fall River and Worcester on Thursday.

The tour marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Land Grant Act, which resulted in the founding in 1863 of Massachusetts Agricultural College, now known as UMass-Amherst.

Caret is scheduled to visit alumni startups, business incubators, research centers and other key drivers of the state economy.