Vermont in Brief

Tuesday December 11, 2012

U of Vt. president wants to make admissions harder

BURLINGTON (AP) -- The new president of the University of Vermont wants to make the school harder to get in to for out-of-state applicants.

President Tom Sullivan, who took office in July, says increased selectivity is a part of his vision for "enhancing quality and affordability" of the school.

By the standard measure of selectivity, UVM was slightly less selective in 2012 than it was a decade ago. In the fall of 2002, UVM agreed to admit 71.5 percent of applicants. This year UVM accepted 76.6 percent of applicants.

Sullivan’s goal is to bring the figure down to about 65 percent.

The admissions selectivity for Vermonters will not change, which is designed to ensure the percentage of Vermont students at UVM stays about the same.

Shumlin to listen to plane noise in Florida

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says he wants to know firsthand how the sound of an F-35 fighter jet compares to an F-16.

The governor will join the mayors of Burlington and Winooski this coming week in traveling to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida so they can listen to the two types of aircraft.

The Air Force is looking into basing F-35s at the Vermont Air National Guard base at the Burlington International Airport. Some area residents have said they’re worried about the noise from the planes.

The Vermont air base already houses F-16s, and Shumlin says he wants to learn how much of a change the newer plane would be. The Vermont group will travel to Florida on Wednesday to hear the planes.

Suspect in Vermont murder-for-hire to face N.M. charges

MONTPELIER (AP) -- One of two New Mexico men who authorities say traveled to Vermont to murder two people has waived extradition and will be returned to New Mexico.

Forty-one-year-old Mark Staake is facing a fugitive from justice charge.

Police say Staake and his 23-year-old nephew, Tanner Ruane, were arrested in November at the U.S.-Canadian border in Highgate.

Ruane was initially released but arrested the following day in New York after authorities learned he was wanted for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

A New Mexico police affidavit says Dana Martin, a Vermont man serving a life sentence in New Mexico, sent Staake and Ruane to Vermont to kill two men. Police say Martin, who was convicted in the 2000 slaying of a 15-year-old girl in Barre, later notified authorities about the plot.

Family of trooper killed in 2003 to get settlement

MONTEPLIER (AP) -- The state of Vermont’s insurance company has tentatively agreed to a multi-million dollar out-of-court settlement with the family of a Vermont State trooper who was killed during a car chase more than nine years ago.

Sgt. Michael Johnson was struck by a car driven by then-22-year-old Eric Daley, of Lebanon, N.H., after Johnson laid a spike strip on Interstate 91 to try to stop Daley from fleeing.

Daley later pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and got a 26- to 33-year sentence.

Hartford lawyer John Campbell, who represents the Johnson family, confirmed the proposed settlement Monday but would not say how much it was.

The Vermont Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that Johnson’s family could sue the state’s insurer for as much as $11 million.


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