Wednesday, December 3, 2014

WVTK Local & State News December 3, 2014

A judge has thrown out a lawsuit against the town of Middlebury, the Middlebury College trustees, the publisher of the Addison Independent, and the architecture company Bread Loaf Corp. Middlebury resident, 64-year-old Alpine Bingham alleged that the parties being sued caused “undue influence” in two elections this spring. The first election in question happened in March when voters approved the new Town Office Building Project. After which more than 230 voters petitioned for a re-vote of the project. The second election took place on May 13 and residents passed the bond once again. Bingham has since said that the judge made errors in the decision and he is writing up an appeal.

The fallout from criminal cases handled by suspended Colchester Police Detective Tyler Kinney is starting to take place. Prosecutors were forced to drop felony heroin trafficking charges against two people this week because evidence from the cases has vanished. The cases involved more than 60 bags of heroin that were confiscated during an arrest that are now gone. Kinney was in charge of the Colchester police evidence locker for more than two years before his arrest last month, and is now in a drug rehabilitation center.

The Vermont Attorney General's Office says they are continuing to enforce the state's Home Improvement Fraud statute. The statute protects homeowners who enter in contracts with contractors who do not perform the required work or repay homeowners for down payments. A press release says since January, the Attorney General's Office has had 2 convictions and is currently investigating 5 others for violating the statute. Homeowners can report a complaint of Home Improvement Fraud should contact their local police department and file a report with the Consumer Assistance Program.

Towns across Rutland and Addison Counties will share nearly $100,000 in grants from the state’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development to fund special planning projects within their communities. Clarendon will receive approximately $8,000 to update their town plan, Middletown Springs will receive $7,800 to revitalize their village center, and Middlebury will get about $20,000 to research how to make a Route 7 intersection more pedestrian-friendly. ​