Tuesday November 27, 2012

N.M. man in custody in murder-for-hire
plot in Vermont

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Police say two New Mexico men in Vermont as part of an alleged murder-for-hire plot that targeted two people in St. Albans ended up at the Highgate Springs border crossing with Canada last week after getting lost.

At the border on Nov. 19, 41-year-old Mark Staake was arrested by the Vermont State Police on probation violation charges and his traveling companion, his nephew, 23-year-old Tanner Ruane, was released.

New York State Police spokesman Mark Cepiel says Ruane was arrested the next day in the Albany area after police learned he was wanted in New Mexico for conspiracy to commit murder.

Staake recently got out of prison in New Mexico where he had befriended Dana Martin, serving life for the 2000 killing of 15-year-old Deandra Fluorucci, in Barre.

Vt. to do random
audit of voter tabulator results

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos says the state’s election division will be doing a random audit of voter tabulator results in the recent election.

On Thursday the votes in the races for U.S. representative and Vermont state treasurer in the town of Barre Town, Brandon, Essex and Newfane will be hand counted.

Condos says ensuring that the election process is both honest and accurate is as important as voting itself.

Ice, snow make for slippery Vt.commute

WILLISTON (AP) -- Light snow turned Vermont highways into skating rinks during the morning commute on Monday, contributing to one fatal crash in Rutland and the closure of parts of Interstate 89.

Donna Arnado, 43, of Rutland, was killed when her vehicle spun around on an icy bridge on Route 7 and struck a pickup truck in the oncoming lane shortly before 7 a.m. The driver of the pickup was taken the hospital with bruised ribs.

A Vermont State Police dispatcher at the Williston barracks reported at around 7:45 a.m. that police were "getting hammered" by reports of crashes along the interstate.

The northbound lane on Interstate 89 was blocked on French Hill in the town of Williston while the southbound lane was closed just north of exit 16 in Colchester due to the icy conditions that made the roadways impassable, police said.

Traffic was moving again around 9:45 a.m., but motorists were warned of slippery conditions and advised to slow down.

Snowfall and glare ice caused crashes around the region, police said.

Burlington police closed the beltline, also known as Vermont Route 127, due to minor crashes and reopened it later. Several drivers also lost control on Colchester Avenue heading downhill into Winooski.

Utility says snow caused loud wind turbines

LOWELL (AP) -- Vermont’s largest electric utility says snow stuck to turbine blades caused a roaring sound that drew noise complaints shortly after the Lowell Mountain turbines started operating.

At least 21 neighbors complained about the noise, which began on the morning of Nov. 3 and lasted into Nov. 4.

The neighbors complained to the Vermont Department of Public Service.

GMP spokesman Robert Dostis says the excess noise was caused by the weather conditions.

Dostis said neighbors should call the utility when they have noise complaints so technicians can modify the operation of the turbines or shut them down.

GMP just completed construction of its 21-turbine project on Lowell Mountain.

4-turbine Vt. wind project nearing completion

MILTON (AP) -- A four-turbine wind power project is nearing completion on Vermont’s Georgia Mountain in the towns of Milton and Georgia.

The first two turbines were erected last week and work is continuing on the others.

Georgia Mountain Community Wind Project manager Martha Staskus says the four turbines will be in place in time to meet an end-of-the-year deadline for a 30 percent federal incentives on the $28 million project

Two of the turbines will be in Milton and two in Georgia.

The turbines stand 426-feet tall. They will produce power for the Burlington Electric Department.

Some neighbors favor the project while others are opposed.

Staskus says that by mid-December all four towers should be connected to the electric grid.