Thursday, November 5, 2009

WVTK Local News November 5, 2009

The area between Old Ferry Road in the Village of Crown Point, NY and Crown Point Road in Vermont is being considered for a temporary bridge. Work crews have been collecting soil data under Lake Champlain. Ideal conditions of rock to support a bridge foundation have not been found as the drill approaches its 200’ limit. Further analysis of the soil samples will need to be completed to determine if the soil is suitable for a temporary bridge foundation. Once the drilling reaches its limit the crew will move to the potential ferry dock location immediately south of the existing bridge to determine soil conditions at the location of the potential dock.

The former director of finance for Specialty Filaments in Burlington and Middlebury pleaded innocent Wednesday to a federal charge of bank fraud. 

Paul Mammorella, 54, of Williston, appeared in U.S. District Court in Burlington to answer the charge that he submitted false reports to Wells Fargo, eventually costing the company $1 million. Mammorella was released on conditions pending a trial that has not been scheduled, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Vermont said. 

Specialty Filaments went bankrupt in 2007 and was bought by the Illinois-based Monahan Filaments. Monahan announced in September it would close the plant on Case Street in Middlebury. The company made filaments for use in products ranging from industrial brushes to toothbrushes. 

According to the indictment, Specialty Filaments had a line of credit with Wells Fargo allowing them to borrow 85 percent of the value of its last 90 days worth of accounts receivable and 50 percent to 66 percent of the value of its inventory. 

The company had to give Wells Fargo periodic reports on its collateral so the bank could adjust its credit line. 

Federal prosecutors said Mammorella falsified those reports from June to December of 2006, inflating the company's accounts receivable and its inventory, getting the bank to loan substantial sums of money. 

Mammorella's alleged actions cost Wells Fargo and the Vermont Economic Development Authority, which guaranteed a portion of the loan, $1 million when Specialty Filaments went bankrupt, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. 

Mammorella faces up to 30 years in jail and a $1 million fine if convicted.
Source: Rutland Herald

The animal lab at Johnson State College is closed-- and closed for good. A staff member was in Bentley Hall this past August and detected an odor coming from inside the lab. Upon entry, dozens of animals were found dead-- others were malnourished and clinging to life. The director of the lab is now facing criminal charges.

A massive search was under way last night in Plattsburgh for an illegal alien who escaped from authorities. 42-year old Linda Bjork Magnus-dottir of Iceland was awaiting arraignment in federal court when she asked police to use the bathroom and then took off. She is not considered dangerous.

The U.S. Senate voted to extend unemployment benefits for an additional 14 weeks. In Vermont, the extension would help about 1,800 Vermonters whose benefits are about to run out. The House is expected to finish action on the bill and send it to the President later this week. The measure also would expand the $8,000 dollar tax credit for first time home buyers.

Treasurer Jeb Spaulding has outlined a plan to move a portion of the expenses of the teacher retirement system to the school districts. Spaulding heads a commission that is looking for ways to cut expenses in the teacher and state employee pension programs. Under the plan, annual teacher pension expenses would be paid by the school districts instead of the General Fund.

Lyndon Institute is the latest school to close due to the amount of students out sick. Now there are no confirmed cases of the swine flu at Lyndon Institute but school officials have closed the school for the remainder of the week. School officials will be meeting Monday to discuss how they'll make up those days.

The City of Plattsburgh will host its first half marathon next spring. Councilors recently decided to throw their official support behind the 13.1-mile road race through city streets April 18. The race is expected to draw anywhere from 300 to 500 runners and will start at the U.S. Oval on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base and work its way south, then up to the Center City.

Vermont State Police say they have busted a big burglary ring Central Vermont. Police say they have identified four people, two of them teenagers, who were behind hundreds of burglaries over the past year. Police say the group had hit homes and businesses, stole catalytic converters from cars, and even stole dynamite and other explosives from the Rock of Ages Quarry.

According to the Vermont National Guard, both Burlington and Milton will contribute 55 troops to the upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. In all --- more than 250 communities will be represented by 1,210 soldiers in Task Force Phoenix, which is scheduled to spend most of 2010 on the ground in Afghanistan.