Vermont Ag Agency reminds farmers no manure spreading

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Officials with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture are reminding farmers that the winter ban on manure spreading is in effect.

The ban began on Saturday and is scheduled to last through April 1.

Winter manure spreading has been banned since 1995. Experts say that when manure is spread on frozen ground it's more likely to run off into rivers and streams, causing water pollution.

During the ban, farmers must either have a storage structure capable of holding manure produced during the ban or they must be able to store manure in a way that doesn't affect waterways.

Vermont woman, 86, found by troopers without heat

GEORGIA (AP) -- An 86-year-old woman was found alone without heat in her home in the town of Georgia Monday by Vermont State Police troopers when the outside temperature was in the low teens, police said.

Police went to the address just before noon after dispatchers received a 911 hang-up call.

"The woman was located in the living room, and was dressed in heavy winter attire. Troopers observed that the home was frigid, and the resident was trying to find blankets to keep her and her small K9 companion warm," a police news release said.

Troopers determined the woman's oil tank was empty. They then retrieved fuel pellets from the woman's garage and started a fire.

Meanwhile, police called the Joyal Fuel Company of Fairfax, which put 100 gallons of oil in the woman's tank even though she did not have an account with them.

Police did not release the woman's name. She was not hurt, but police are reminding Vermonters to check on neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure they have everything they need during weather extremes.

Police contacted other state agencies to ensure the Georgia woman's needs are met.

New Hampshire bill creates separate domestic violence statute

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Legislation coming before lawmakers next year would create a separate domestic violence statute in New Hampshire to keep better track of the crimes.

Thirty-four states and the federal government have specific laws governing domestic violence crimes, but New Hampshire is not one of them. Amanda Grady Sexton of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence says creating a separate statue will not make any crimes stricter, but would add the victim's relationship to the offender.

She says that will make it easier to compile data about domestic violence and help police investigating an assault know if a previous assault was a bar fight or a case of domestic violence. She says it also would help clarify which offenders lose the right to own guns under federal law.

New Hampshire gas prices go up slightly

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The average price of gas in New Hampshire has gone up slightly in the past week, averaging $3.37 a gallon.

The website Gasbuddy.com says that's 16 cents more than the national average.

New Hampshire prices on Sunday were 2.2 cents per gallon higher than the same day a year ago and 11.5 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

The price is based on a daily survey of 875 gas outlets in New Hampshire.

The national average has increased less than a penny per gallon during the last month and stands 3.8 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.