Saturday November 3, 2012

Storm means changes to Amtrak service

ST. ALBANS (AP) -- Amtrak service in Vermont has been disrupted because of Superstorm Sandy.

The Vermonter, Train 55, will originate in Springfield, Mass., rather than St. Albans. The Vermonter, Train 56, will operate normally from Washington, D.C., and end its route in St. Albans. The changes went into effect on Friday.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Vermonter trains 54 and 56 will operate normally between St. Albans and New York.

The Ethan Allen Express service -- trains 290 and 291 -- to and from Rutland is not running due to track damage south of Albany, N.Y. Amtrak officials do not know when the service will be restored.

Search for Vt. education chief
down to 4 candidates

MONTPELIER (AP) -- A search for a new Vermont education secretary has been narrowed to four finalists.

About 30 candidates had applied for the post.

Stephan Morse, chairman of the Vermont Education Board and head of the Secretary search committee, said that the process is a month ahead of schedule.

He said four candidates have been picked by the committee and interviewed. The committee will recommend three names to Gov. Peter Shumlin. Morse says the panel hopes to make a proposal to the full board on Nov. 13.

The committee was formed after a law was passed that gives the governor the authority to make that appointment. It also elevates the state’s chief education official from a commissioner to a Cabinet-level secretary.

Group plans emergency shelter
in Bennington

BENNINGTON (AP) -- Vermont’s Bennington Coalition for the Homeless is looking to open an emergency shelter to help people escape from the cold.

Executive Director Kendy Skidmore said people would be able to use the North Street location without prior planning.

The group operates other facilities in and around Bennington that provide shelter and housing for the homeless, but those locations require prior approval.

Skidmore tells the Bennington Banner her organization operated a warming shelter on Depot Street for several months last winter. The new location on North Street would provide a more permanent solution for the homeless during the winter.

Barre settles
ex-firefighter’s harassment suit

BARRE (AP) -- The city of Barre has settled a sexual harassment case filed by a former member of the fire department. The city will pay $250,000 to Rachel Wyatt, who sued the city, its fire department, chief, deputy chief and two firefighters for sexual harassment and wrongful dismissal.

Under the agreement no party makes any admission concerning the strength or weakness of any claim.

One of Wyatt’s lawyers said that the settlement was a satisfactory resolution. She said her client wanted to "send a strong message that women who enter into nontraditional fields should be able to expect that their rights will be respected."