Tuesday’s Local & Regional Briefs
Mascoma School District To Hold Budget Meeting
Canaan — Mascoma Valley Regional School District officials are putting forward a $22.8 million budget for next year.
The budget for the 2014-15 school year represents an increase of $778,697 — or 3.5 percent — over the current year.
Mascoma budget committee members will discuss the spending proposal tonight before a meeting about a renovation plan for the high school.
The budget committee meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Canaan Elementary School Gym.
Settlement: ‘VerMints’ Not Made in Vermont
Burlington (ap) — Vermont has reached a settlement in its lawsuit against VerMints, a company that mislabeled its tins of mints as Vermont products.
The state Attorney General’s Office sued the Braintree, Mass.-based mintmaker in 2012, saying from 2006 to 2011, its metal tins were labeled as “Vermont’s All Natural Mints.”
But the Attorney General’s Office said they were manufactured in Canada from mostly non-Vermont ingredients, thus violating the Vermont Consumer Protection Act.
As part of the settlement, announced Monday, VerMints has agreed to donate $35,000 to the Vermont Foodbank, pay the state $30,000 and add corrective labeling to its products.
Man Arrested in White River Jct. Sentenced on Heroin Charges
Burlington — A 31-year-old Massachusetts man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to heroin-dealing charges, federal prosecutors said Monday.
Chandara Sam, of Lowell, Mass., pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to distribute at least 100 grams of heroin stemming from an arrest last April in the parking lot of the McDonald’s on Sykes Mountain Avenue in White River Junction.
Sam sold about 40 grams of heroin to a police informant, authorities said.
Police linked him to a heroin ring selling an especially potent form of heroin in the Burlington area and searched his Lowell apartment following the April arrest.
In the search, authorities found another 30 grams of heroin, $47,000 cash, part of a hand-gun, and two digital scales, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Two other men linked to Sam, including one arrested with more than 100 grams of heroin in Essex, Vt., have previously pleaded guilty, authorities said.
Authorities said Sam carried handguns while bringing heroin to Vermont and faced up to 40 years in prison.
Judge William Sessions sentenced Sam to 168 months in prison and four years of supervised release.
Oil From Car Dealership Spills Into Claremont Storm Drain
Claremont — State and federal environmental officials were monitoring a waste oil spill at Howe Motors on Charlestown Road into Monday evening.
Claremont Fire Department Capt. Tim Bergeron said the spill was caused by a mechanical failure on a furnace in a storage garage that burns waste oil.
“It came out of the garage and some entered the storm drain,” Bergeron said.
The entrance to the garage is only about 30 feet from the storm drain, which is at the edge of the road.
A boom was set up around the storm drain Monday morning to capture the oil and remained there most of the day.
Later, Clean Harbors, a nationwide environmental services company with an office in Bow, N.H., continued the cleanup.
Bergeron said it was too early to tell how much oil entered the drain but they checked the brooks all the way to the Sugar River, a few miles away, and discovered only a very light sheen in places.
“There is nothing to indicate there was a large amount,” Bergeron said, adding that the exact amount will be “figured out later.”
Bob Devalk, one of the owners of the car dealership, said the rupture of a line on the furnace or sump leak probably happened Sunday.
“Everything was fine when we closed (Saturday) and found it when we came in this morning,” Devalk said. “We have no idea right now what we lost but it was not an awful lot.”
Police: Smoking Likely Cause of Vt. Fire That Killed Father, Son
Dummerston, Vt. (ap) — Vermont State Police say the most likely cause of a fire in Dummerston that killed a 90-year-old man and his 57-year-old son was improper disposal of smoking materials.
Police say preliminary autopsy results on the bodies of Russell Nutbrown and his son Barry Nutbrown determined the two died of smoke inhalation in the Jan. 6 fire.
The single-family home was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.
The fire was investigated by the Vermont State Police fire investigations unit and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, who ruled it was not suspicious.
— Staff and wire reports