Local & Regional Briefs for Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Canadian Couple Injured In Quechee Motorcycle Accident

Quechee — A Canadian couple thrown from their motorcycle while riding on Route 4 in Quechee on Sunday afternoon continue to receive treatment at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, according to police.

Roger Trembley, 58, of Quebec was driving his 2013 Harley Davidson Road King west on Route 4 near the intersection with Severance Drive when traffic in front of him slowed abruptly at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

He and his passenger, Diane Rachette, 57, also of Quebec were ejected from the motorcycle after Trembley tried to stop. Rachette, who incurred serious, life-threatening injuries, landed in the road. Trembley rolled down an embankment.

Both were taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Trembley was in satisfactory condition Monday, according to a hospital spokesman, who said the hospital is not authorized to release information about Rachette.

Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brad Vail said she remains in critical condition.

“It is still touch and go,” he said. Both victims were wearing helmets; the cause is under investigation.

Ben & Jerry’s Aiding Vt. Gmo-Labeling “Food Fight”

Burlington — Iconic Vermont ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s announced a name change for a popular flavor Monday to help raise money to defend a new state law that requires the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms.

Gov. Peter Shumlin and company co-founder Jerry Greenfield together promoted a legal fund set up to fight the lawsuit outside the ice cream maker’s downtown Burlington store.

“We now need your help to beat the food manufacturers,” the governor said.

Ben & Jerry’s also renamed its fudge brownie ice cream Food Fight! Fudge Brownie for the month of July.

Greenfield said the company and brand he helped found will contribute $1 from each purchase at the Burlington and Waterbury scoop shops to the state’s Food Fight Fund.

Ben & Jerry’s is in the process of transforming all of its flavors to non-genetically modified ingredients. Greenfield said he was thrilled the company decided to stop using GMOs.

Two years ago, before the company had taken a stand on the issue, Greenfield testified on his own behalf before the Legislature in favor of GMO labeling.

Last month, Shumlin signed a first-in-the-nation law requiring the labeling of food made with GMOs. Last week, as expected, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and others sued to block the law, which is due to take effect in 2016.

State officials have estimated defending the law could cost Vermont $8 million. By the end of last week the defense fund had raised about $18,000.

Vermont Woman Gets 13 Months For Embezzlement

Burlington — A former University of Vermont employee who pleaded guilty to embezzling at least $185,000 from the college’s cheese making program is going to prison for 13 months.

Jody Farnham of Burlington was sentenced Monday in federal court in Rutland.

She had pleaded guilty to charges she cashed tuition checks for her own use that were earmarked for the college’s Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, where she was an administrator.

Federal prosecutors say she also used UVM credit cards for personal purchases.

The cheese institute closed in May 2013 after years of operating losses.

Farnham’s lawyer declined to comment.

She was ordered to report to prison next month.

Expanded Medicaid Applications Accepted Starting July 1

Concord — Poor adults eligible for health coverage under New Hampshire’s expanded Medicaid program can begin applying for health insurance July 1.

Gov. Maggie Hassan announced Monday that adults who qualify will begin getting insurance coverage on Aug. 15. Adults making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty limit are eligible for coverage either through the state’s managed care program for Medicaid or through a program that subsidizes existing employer coverage.

The plan lawmakers approved this session calls for using federal Medicaid funds to buy private health coverage for adults initially signed up for managed care. Federal officials must approve using Medicaid funds for private insurance.

Their coverage will end if federal funding drops below 100 percent and ends regardless at the end of 2016 if the Legislature doesn’t reauthorize it.

— Staff and wire reports


New Hampshire residents who are eligible for health coverage under the state’s expanded Medicaid program can begin applying for insurance on July 1. A headline in Tuesday’s Valley News incorrectly described the sign-up timeline.