Saturday January 12, 2013

3 deaths from flu reported in Vermont

MONTPELIER (AP) -- The Vermont Health Department says three people have died in Vermont from the flu so far this year.

Across the country, flu season has struck early, and in many places, hard.

State health officials are urging Vermonters to get the flu vaccine.

Health Department spokesman Robert Stirewalt said Thursday that a total of 10 people died from the flu last year; seven in 2011 and 0 in 2010.

Vt. Legislature makes election results official

MONTPELIER (AP) -- The Vermont Legislature has made official what was already well known, by accepting November’s election results of statewide elected officials.

The Joint Canvassing Committee report was approved unanimously by a joint assembly of the House and Senate on Thursday morning, clearing the way for oaths of office to be administered to officials ranging from Lt. Gov. Phil Scott to Attorney General William Sorrell.

Vermont’s constitution requires that the governor, lieutenant governor and treasurer win a majority of the electorate’s support, or the election is turned over to the Legislature. The secretary of state, auditor and attorney general can be elected by a plurality of the popular vote.

This year, all six winners of statewide offices easily cleared the 50-percent threshold.

Vt. trooper to change plea in overtime case

BURLINGTON (AP) -- The Vermont State Police trooper charged with padding his time sheets is planning to withdraw his not-guilty plea.

There’s a plea agreement in the works for former Sgt. Jim Deeghan, a former state police patrol commander in Chittenden County. A change-of-plea hearing is scheduled for Monday morning in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington.

Details of the plea agreement were not made public Wednesday. Prosecutors and Deeghan’s lawyer have been meeting at the courthouse at a judge’s office.

Deeghan resigned in July. He had pleaded not guilty to two felony charges that he claimed 63 hours of overtime in June that he didn’t work.

Investigators believed Deeghan overcharged almost $140,000 from Dec. 21, 2008 to July 14, 2012.

Vt. man pleads innocent to sugar house break-ins

RUTLAND (AP) -- A Vermont man has pleaded innocent to six burglary charges for break-ins at sugar houses last year.

Bryan Parker of Poultney was in court for his arraignment Monday.

Police say thousands of dollars’ worth of maple sugar-making equipment was taken around Rutland County.

The 29-year-old Parker was arrested last month after hearing from a syrup-making supply store in New Hampshire, where Parker allegedly brought some of the stolen items to exchange for newer parts.

School board to continue to fight methadone clinic

SOUTH BURLINGTON (AP) -- The school board in South Burlington plans to continue to fight a proposed methadone clinic for heroin and prescription drug addicts near two of the city’s schools.

The board decided Wednesday night to appeal the clinic’s permit to the Vermont Environmental Court. The legal action could delay the clinic opening for a year or more.

The move comes after the city’s Development Review Board last week denied the district’s appeal of a permit the city issued in August.

The district has 30 days to appeal the Jan. 4 denial in state environmental court.