Monkeys seized from home, man charged

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Wednesday, June 13
WATERBURY (AP) -- A man who kept two monkeys as pets was charged Tuesday with illegally importing and possessing them, and they were seized by the state, authorities said.

One was a Rhesus Macaque, an Asian species; the other a Debrazza's Monkey, originally from Africa.

John W. Aszklar, 56, of Eden, was charged with unlawful importation and possession of an exotic wild animal. If convicted, he could faces $2,000 in fines and a three-year loss of hunting and fishing privileges in Vermont.

Vermont state game wardens had been tracking Aszklar and the monkeys for about two years, getting tips about their whereabouts. "Every time they would check out the tips, he would be gone," said Darren Allen, a spokesman for the Agency of Natural Resources.

"Illegal wildlife that is imported into Vermont poses a serious threat to human and domestic animal health and safety," said Col. Robert Rooks, director of law enforcement for the Agency.

The monkeys will be taken to an exotic wild animal rescue organization outside Vermont, Rooks said.

Vermont Air Guard investigates why missile fell from jet

SOUTH BURLINGTON (AP) -- The Vermont Air National Guard will stop mounting dummy missiles on its jets until it figures out what caused one to accidentally fall from an F-16 during takeoff.

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The Guard is also appointing a safety board to investigate Monday's mishap at Burlington International Airport, in which a 6-foot long, 340-pound anti-aircraft missile fell from the plane, skidding down a runway. No one was hurt.

Until officials know why the missile fell, no more missiles will be mounted on planes, said Lt. Col. Lloyd Goodrow.

"It's better safe than sorry," Goodrow said. "Our main point is to fly safely. We look at it as the right thing to do right now, just go through every checklist and every procedure to make sure everything that didn't work right, works right the next go round."

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The missile involved has the same electronic capability as a live weapon, but carried no explosives and could not fly on its own. The airport was closed for about a half an hour while Air Guard personnel retrieved the missile and made sure the runway was clean of debris. The jet was undamaged.

Group: Klan has outposts in Vermont

RUTLAND (AP) -- An organization that tracks hate groups across the country says the Ku Klux Klan has active chapters in Rutland and Hardwick.

But no official in Rutland or Hardwick has detected the presence of the KKK in the areas.

Mark Potok of the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center said the organization was active in the Rutland area in 2006.

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He said the KKK was linked to Rutland through a local post office box. "When a group claims chapters in a given place, we list them unless we have a reason to believe it is false," he said. "Our listings say that at some point in calendar year 2006, this group was active."

Rutland police Detective Sgt. Kevin Stevens said he'd never heard of the KKK being active in the area. But Potok said the KKK, which refers to itself as the "invisible army," could still be there.

"Very frequently, authorities in a given community are surprised to find a hate group operating in their town or operating a mailbox, especially if it turns out to be a drop box," Potok said. "Especially in a state like Vermont, where the Klan is not very popular, you won't see your local Klan in public. Just because local police and local anti-racism groups don't know about it does not make it not true."

Man sentenced for taping woman in shower

BENNINGTON (AP) -- A man was sentenced to 20 days on a work crew for videotaping a woman getting in and out of the shower. Donald McCabe, 55, of Manchester, pleaded no contest Friday and was given a 6-month to 9-month suspended sentence.

A woman who rented a room from McCabe in a mobile home told police she found a camera hidden in the bathroom where it was pointed at the bathtub. She also allegedly found a tape of herself getting in and out of the shower.


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