Tuesday January 29, 2013

Vt. to hold meetings on deer herd

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont deer hunters will get a chance this week to weigh in on hunting regulations.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is holding two public hearings to evaluate the impact that hunting rules and antler point regulation have had on hunters.

The evaluation will include surveys from hunters, three regional working groups and five public meetings to be held around the state this spring.

The public hearings will be held at the Kehoe Conservation Camp in Castleton on Wednesday and at Spaulding High School in Barre on Thursday.

A deer biologist will talk about the department’s new deer management planning process at each meeting. Hunters will be asked to fill out surveys and get a chance to ask questions. Both meetings will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Bennington man walking to mailbox struck by car, dies

NORTH BENNINGTON (AP) -- Police in North Bennington say a man was struck by a car and killed while crossing a road to check his mail.

Henry Chalifoux, 79, was gravely injured and became unresponsive while en route to the hospital Saturday morning.

Police identified the driver of the car that struck him as 86-year-old Georgianna Carter of North Bennington.

Police are still investigating the accident.

Chalifoux opened the Hairport hair salon in Bennington in 1978, followed by the Academy of Cosmetology in North Bennington in 1994.

Vermont Farm Show starts Tuesday

ESSEX JUNCTION (AP) -- The Vermont Farm Show returns to the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction this week.

The 81st annual show takes place Tuesday through Thursday and includes more than 150 agricultural exhibits from tractors to livestock to equipment.

This year includes a Buy Local Market, with foods and products from Vermont farms. There also will be a "Capital Cook-off" on Wednesday night, in which teams from the Vermont House of Representatives, Senate, and Agency of Agriculture will have 90 minutes to create a dish using Vermont products.

Application process open for N.H. Moose Plate grants

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire’s Department of Cultural Resources is accepting applications for its Conservation License Plate Grant Programs - also called "Moose Plate" grants - through April 26.

The department receives a percentage of funds raised from the sales of Conservation License Plates each year. It sends it directly back into communities through grant programs facilitated by the Division of Historical Resources, the State Library and the State Council on the Arts.

The programs have funded projects such as restoring window and door frames at Dorchester’s Historic District School House Museum; and conserving, microfilming and digitizing Nelson Town Records through the 1800s.

Mom insists N.H. son innocent of murder conspiracy

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- A woman whose ex-husband and son were convicted in the 2005 death of a Derry, N.H., handyman says court and medical records prove that her son wasn’t involved in the murder plot.

Jesse Brooks is serving 15 to 30 years in prison for helping his father recruit friends to kill Jack Reid, whom he accused of theft. Jesse Brooks’ alleged involvement included attending a planning meeting in Las Vegas, but Lorraine Brooks says her son was in court and at a doctor’s appointment that day.

At a news conference Monday, her team of hired investigators said defense lawyers erred in ignoring his alibi at his trial, and suggested prosecutors failed to do basic investigating that would have revealed the truth.

Neither prosecutors nor defense lawyers immediately returned calls Monday.

BAE laying off 300 workers, most in N.H.

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) -- Defense contractor BAE Systems is laying off 300 employees, two-thirds of them at its plant in southern New Hampshire.

The company said in a statement Monday that affected employees will be notified by March 4.

About 4,600 employees work at the plant in Nashua, N.H. Other reductions in the 11,000-employee workforce will take place in Wayne, N.J.; Greenlawn and Endicott, N.Y.; Manassas, Va., and Austin, Texas.

The company said in a statement from its Electronic Systems sector in Arlington, Va., the layoffs are a necessary response to changing staffing requirements and the overall economic climate for its industry.

BAE said it believes the result of the action will be a stronger, more competitive business.

Dates set for special Senate election in Mass.

BOSTON (AP) -- A date has been set for the special election to fill U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s seat.

Secretary of State William Galvin says the election will be June 25, with a primary on April 30. Galvin says he’s confirmed the date with Gov. Deval Patrick, who by law officially sets the date.

Patrick said Monday he expects to announce a temporary interim senator on Wednesday.

Kerry is expected to be confirmed by the Senate as the nation’s new secretary of state Tuesday.

Galvin said Kerry will submit a letter of resignation Tuesday, effective Friday.

Candidates will have four weeks to collect the 10,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Edward Markey has already announced he will seek the seat. Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is considering running on the Republican side.

Future of farming in Maine looks good

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- The executive director of the Maine Farmland Trust says the future of farming in the state looks good, but there are still major challenges in the way.

John Piotti said Sunday at the Forum on the Future event at the University of Maine at Augusta that Maine’s abundant land, growing conditions and location in the Northeast make the state well-positioned for growth in agriculture.

He says in the past 15 years, Maine has gained about 1,200 farms, and the acreage in production has increased 4 percent. Most of the growth has been among small farms that sell to a few restaurants or stores or directly to consumers at farmer’s markets.

He says the challenges include land prices, the workforce and infrastructure to support farms.