Local & Regional Briefs for Wednesday, March 26

Canaan Man Charged With Sexually Assaulting Girl

Canaan — Police arrested a Canaan couple Friday on charges that the husband sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl and that the wife knew of the abuse and did nothing to stop it, according a news release from Canaan Police.

Raymond E. Estes, 36, was held on $50,000 cash-only bail for the charge of aggravated felonious sexual assault following an arraignment in Lebanon District Court on Tuesday. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

His wife, Niessa A. Estes, 34, was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, both Class A misdemeanors that carry a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine of up to $2,000 on each charge. Her bail was set at $5,000 cash-only following the arraignment.

The couple is being held at Grafton County House of Corrections, according to the news release. The investigation is ongoing.

VTC President to Retire, Takes Leave of Absence

Randolph (ap) — The president of Vermont Technical College is retiring as the school continues to face financial struggles.

VTC President Phil Conroy is stepping down on Nov. 15. VTC officials say he will be on a paid leave of absence until then.

Conroy became president in 2011. Since then the college has had deficits from a declining student enrollment. Vermont Public Radio reports that Conroy told the board in January that he was anticipating a $2.4 million deficit for the current fiscal year, which was $1 million higher than initially expected. The board and state colleges chancellor said they supported Conroy.

Dan Smith, director of community relations and public policy for the state colleges, will be VTC’s acting president.

Vt. Police: Inmate’s Death Not Suspicious

St. Albans, Vt. (ap) — The death of an inmate at Vermont’s Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans on Tuesday is not suspicious, said police investigators, who were awaiting the results of an autopsy before determining the cause of death.

Prison staff noticed 43-year-old Shayn Turner, formerly of Burlington, was experiencing an unspecified “medical episode,” at about 1:40 a.m., police said. Turner was sentenced last month to 40 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a girl when she was 6 and 7. — Staff and Wire reports