Vermont Briefs

Saturday January 26, 2013

Red Cross responds to cold spell
by opening emergency shelter in Burlington

BURLINGTON (AP) -- With the cold weather, emergency shelters in Burlington have run out of space so the Red Cross has stepped in and opened a temporary shelter.

The space on Pine Street will be open to house people from Friday through Monday morning.

A spokesman for the Vermont and the New Hampshire Upper Valley Red Cross says the shelter has the capacity for 100 to 125 people.

That this week temperatures in Burlington dropped to as low as 12 below zero, according to the National Weather Service.

The forecast calls for overnight lows of 3 degrees and minus-2 degrees over the weekend with highs in the mid-teens during the day.

Irene recovery group in Vt. prepares to close

WATERBURY (AP) -- A long-term recovery group in Waterbury, Vt., formed after Tropical Storm Irene hit is finishing its work and is preparing to close its doors at the end of January.

Rebuild Waterbury formed early after the August 2011 storm and flooding and raised money quickly.

Vermont Public Radio reports the group received a $250,000 matching grant from the Stiller Family Foundation, which is affiliated with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The town of Waterbury offered to loan the group $100,000, although the group never needed to borrow it. The group also relied on volunteers who made sure residents had safe housing. They put in kitchens, bathrooms flooring, and fixed other problems.

Eight other long-term recovery groups remain active.

’Cruiser Crusher’ hospitalized

NEWPORT (AP) -- A Vermont man charged with driving a tractor over seven police vehicles and crushing them has been hospitalized by court order.

Roger Pion of Newport, had already been involuntarily committed to the custody of the state commissioner of mental health after being found incompetent to stand trial.

An assistant attorney general said that Pion was hospitalized on Wednesday on an emergency basis after family members and other people cited concerns about his mental stability.

The 34-year-old had faced multiple criminal counts after police say he drove his dad’s tractor over six cruisers and a van at the county sheriff’s department in Derby in August, causing about $300,000 in damage.

Police say he was angry over a previous arrest for marijuana possession. Pion pleaded not guilty.

Vt. man gets 7 years in drugs and gun case

BURLINGTON (AP) -- A 30-year-old Vermont man is going to prison for seven years after being convicted on charges he tried to trade drugs for a firearm in Burlington.

Kareem Campbell was sentenced Thursday.

Campbell was arrested last March after a confidential informant acquired a handgun for him that he paid for with 4.5 grams of cocaine and $50. Campbell was arrested immediately afterward.

Law enforcement agents recovered the .40 caliber Glock pistol, about $1,317 in cash, and more than 12 grams of marijuana.

He reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in September.

Prosecutors say Campbell told investigators he had been acquiring distribution quantities of cocaine from a source in the Winooski area after he was released from prison in June 2011.


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