Monday, March 31, 2014

UPDATE: Fatal Accident In Ascutney Sunday Night

March 31, 2014

By Eric Francis, Standard Correspondent

ASCUTNEY – Weathersfield Police and the Vermont State Police Accident Reconstruction Team are investigating a fatal accident in Ascutney Sunday night that left one person dead and sent another to the hospital.

The passenger in the car, Scotlynn Silfies, 19, of Claremont, New Hampshire was in cardiac arrest at the scene and was pronounced dead shortly after she was taken by ambulance to Valley Region Medical Center.

Seth Smith, 20, the driver, who officials described as Silfies’ “ex-boyfriend” was able to extricate himself from his wrecked Mazda and climb up to the side of Route 131 where he flagged down passing motorists for help. Smith was transported to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center for treatment of what were described as relatively minor back and neck injuries.

The accident happened shortly before 7:20 p.m. on a wooded stretch of Route 131 and resulted in the roadway being shut down for nearly four hours Sunday evening while the accident investigation was taking place.

Silfies was a recent graduate of Fall Mountain High School in Charlestown, N.H. and had taken nursing classes at a local community college late last year. Her father, Chris, and her grandfather, Frank Silfies, had both been members of the Ascutney Volunteer Fire Department in years past.

Members of the Windsor County State’s Attorney’s Office said Monday that the investigation into the crash was still active and added that it was too early to tell whether any criminal charges might be filed in connection with the fatal mishap.

Weathersfield Police are asking anyone who might have information regarding the crash to contact Patrolman Jen Hutchins at (802) 674-1082.

Single Vehicle Crash on Route 131 Resulting in Fatality

Weathersfield Police Department is investigating a single vehicle crash in the area of 1547 VT RT 131, that resulted in a fatality yesterday March 30, 2014 at 7:19 pm.

The operator of the vehicle was Seth Smith, 20; the passenger of the vehicle was Scotlynn Silfies, 19.

Ms. Silfies was transported to Valley Regional Hospital where she was pronounced deceased. Mr. Smith was transported to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, and was treated for his injuries.

The vehicle was reportedly traveling westbound on VT RT 131 when it left the roadway, and overturned. This is currently an ongoing investigation, further details will be released upon conclusion of the investigation.

If anyone has any information regarding this crash, please contact Patrolman Jen Hutchins at 802-674-1082.

The family of Scotlynn Silfies would like to express their deepest thanks to: the good Samaritans that stopped to help, Golden Cross Ambulance Service, Ascutney Fire Department, West Weathersfield Fire Department, Vermont State Police, Hartford Dispatch, VSP Rockingham Dispatch, and the staff at the ER at Valley Regional Hospital for all of their efforts.

Last Day to Sign Up with Vermont Health Connect
Last day to sign up with Vermont Health Connect.

Fire District Meeting Agenda - 3/31/14

Prudential Committee
ASCUTNEY Fire District #2
Monday, March 31, 2014
6:00 pm
Agenda for Monday, March 31, 2014 meeting of the Prudential Committee of Ascutney Fire District #2.
  1. Call to Order
  2. Update on Final Design for improvements to water system
  3. Update on purchase of John Smith property
  4. Review budget for first 12 months of ownership and operation of water system
  5. Review proposed FY15 Budget (7/1/14 – 6/30/15)
  6. Adopt Warning for Annual Meeting on Monday, May 5, 2014
  7. Review and approve payment items and loans
  8. Any new business that can legally be discussed
  9. Adjournment

Fire Commission Special Meeting to be Rescheduled

Due to the tragic accident last evening and the need for the First Responders to attend a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing session, the Fire Commission meeting is going to be rescheduled for another day.

I will keep you all updated.

Route 131 Crash/Fatality, Police Seeking Information


On March 30, 2014 at approximately 7:19 pm Weathersfield Police Department responded to the area of 1547 VT RT 131 for a reported single vehicle crash. Weathersfield Police Department in conjunction with Vermont State Police are investigating a fatality that occurred as a result of the crash.

Golden Cross Ambulance Service, Ascutney Fire Department, West Weathersfield Fire Department, Vermont State Police, and VSP Crash Reconstruction Team all responded to the scene. VT RT 131 was closed to traffic for approximately four hours.

This is currently an ongoing investigation, if anyone has any information regarding this crash, please contact Patrolman Jen Hutchins at 802-674-1082.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Winter Weather Advisory Until 11 am Monday - Flood Watch Through Monday Morning

Inside The Forecast:

A *WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY* is in effect for most of Vermont (except the northern Champlain Valley) and most of New Hampshire until 11 AM on Monday.

A *FLOOD WATCH* remains in effect for the southern half of Vermont and New Hampshire through Monday morning.

The brunt of the messy storm is to our east, but the tail end of it will bring areas of sleet and freezing drizzle tonight, with up to an inch accumulation in spots, especially south and east of the Champlain Valley. Use caution if you have travel plans tonight and early Monday morning, as some roads may get a light coating of ice on them.

The potential for flooding still exists due to the recent rain in Vermont and the possibility of ice jams. Remember to never cross any flooded roads.


Suffragettes No More - The Long Struggle for Women's Equality
"Suffragette" was the label used by those who were the enemies of women's rights. They used the word "suffragette" to belittle those who worked for civil rights and equality.

Winter Weather Advisory, Flood Watch - Possible Power Outages
AM Update: Winter Weather Advisory (purple) in effect for Northern NY & Northern VT. This is where a messy mix moves in tonight. 
Best chance of a heavy, wet snow is over N NY & NW VT. Some freezing rain likely, especially in E VT & NH. 
Power outages are possible. Farther south, a drenching rain of 1-3" moves in. 
Flood Watch (green) in effect for some river flooding. - Meteorologist Michael Page

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Week In Review: The Senate
The Week in Review:

The Senate put the parliamentary gears in motion for votes on raising the minimum wage and restoring long-term unemployment benefits. 
A Senate hearing on Thursday looked at why road construction projects and the jobs they generate are in jeopardy this construction season. 
After a rocky rollout, there was a surge in signups for Obamacare. 
Sen. Bernie Sanders said the United States should join major countries in the rest of the world that offer less expensive more effective universal health care. In a Senate floor speech on Thursday, Sanders spoke out against the rising political power of the wealthy in America.

Weathersfield School Penny Sale April 5th 2pm

Grand Prize Tickets on sale for the Penny Sale.

Some of the items are a Pandora Bracelet, Gas Grill with a cooking utensil set and an IPAD.

You do not need to be present to win
Tickets re 1.00 for one or a book of 6 for 5.00.

Tickets can be purchased at the school or the can contact someone from the PTA if they would like to purchase any.

The 7th graders also have tickets

Jim & Tammy Rice 263-5167
Krissy Preston 236-2446
Crystal Thibodeau 230-6104
Kelly O'Brien 263-5373

Wet Wintry Mix To Begin Tonight: Multiple Hazards Possible
Late-March storm to bring a wet wintry mix and a variety of potential hazards to the North Country starting tonight.

Four Individuals Charged With Medicaid Fraud Related To In Home/Community-Based And Personal Care Services That Were Not Provided

Four Individuals Charged With Medicaid Fraud Related To In Home/Community-Based And Personal Care Services That Were Not Provided

CONTACT: Ed Baker, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5511

March 26, 2014

Four individuals enrolled as either caregivers or employers-of-record in Vermont’s Medicaid-funded Home and Community Based (HCBS) or Personal Care programs were separately arraigned yesterday in Vermont Superior Court for Windsor County on felony counts of Medicaid Fraud for allegedly billing for care to children and vulnerable adults that was not provided. Collectively, these individuals are alleged to have submitted thirty-four fraudulent timesheets for almost two thousand hours of care that was not rendered, resulting in overpayments by the Vermont Medicaid program of approximately $18,000.

Theresa Ambrose, age 55, of Springfield, Vermont, was arraigned on one felony count of Medicaid Fraud. According to court documents, Ms. Ambrose was employed as the caregiver for a vulnerable adult enrolled in the Choices for Care Medicaid program. She is alleged to have submitted seven timesheets purporting to have provided 512 hours of care on days when she purported to have worked 24 hours per day, factoring in time spent at another job, including five days in a row. The timesheets resulted in at least $4,600 in overpayments by the Vermont Medicaid program.

Nikiesha McGovern, age 25, of West Rutland, Vermont, was arraigned on one felony count of Medicaid Fraud and one felony count of False Pretense. According to court documents, Ms. McGovern was employed as the caregiver to a minor child with special needs enrolled in the Children’s Personal Care Services Medicaid program. She is alleged to have submitted six timesheets purporting to have provided 350 hours of care when the child was actually in someone else’s care. These timesheets resulted in $2,152 in overpayments by the Vermont Medicaid program.

Magen Hill, age 27, of Perkinsville, Vermont, was arraigned on one felony count of Medicaid Fraud. According to court documents, Ms. Hill was employed as the caregiver to a vulnerable adult suffering from a serious medical condition who was enrolled in the Choices for Care Medicaid program and also on hospice care. She is alleged to have submitted twelve timesheets purporting to have provided 456 hours of personal and respite care that was not actually provided. These timesheets resulted in approximately $4,485 in overpayments by the Vermont Medicaid program.

Crystal Hathaway-Therrien, age 30, of Bradford, Vermont, was arraigned on one felony count of Medicaid Fraud and one felony count of False Pretense. According to court documents, Ms. Hathaway-Therrien was the employer-of-record for a minor child enrolled in the Children’s Personal Care Services Medicaid program. She is alleged to have submitted nine timesheets purporting to have provided 650 hours of personal care that was not actually provided, and forged the signature of the caregiver. The timesheets resulted in approximately $6,357 in overpayments by the Vermont Medicaid program.

In each case above, the court imposed conditions of release governing the defendants’ conduct while the cases are pending. Each Medicaid Fraud felony charge carries a maximum penalty of up to ten years imprisonment and/or fines equal to twice the amount of payments wrongfully obtained. These cases are being prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud & Residential Abuse Unit within the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General.

-- Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Snow & Flood Threat This Weekend
NWS: A significant storm will impact the North Country from late Saturday and through Sunday bringing with it both heavy rain and snow.

Pleasant Today (Saturday), Not So Nice Later Today :(
Inside the Forecast:

Good morning!-- Today will be quiet, with highs in the upper 30s to middle 40s.

Our next storm system arrives tonight. Rain will develop in southern areas. However, central and northern regions will have just enough cold air for snow and a wintry mix to develop.

The snow/mix/rain will continue, but become more scattered by Sunday afternoon. It's a very tricky forecast in terms of snow/ice amounts. At this time it appears the valleys will see 2-6" accumulate, but 4-8" are possible across the high terrain. The best chance for the highest amounts will be across the peaks of Adirondacks. Also, if less mixing occurs, then even higher amounts are possible. It's a tricky forecast, so check back for updates.

Southern areas could see more than 1" of rain. The rain coupled with snow melt could create a rise in rivers, leading to some isolated ice jams. If you live in an ice jam prone area, please keep a close eye on the nearby waters.

I'll have a full update coming up on "The Weekend" starting at 8am.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Inequality for All: Focus of Town Meetings Hosted by Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday, 3/30/14
Today's news from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.):

Inequality for All: Income and wealth inequality in America will be the focus of town meetings hosted by Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday at Middlebury, Brattleboro, St. Johnsbury and Bennington.

He will show the Robert Reich documentary, “Inequality for All,” The Addison County Independent, WPTZ-TV, WFFF-TV and WVNY-TV reported.

Sanders called wealth and income inequality “the great moral, economic and political issue of our time,” in columns published on Friday in the Brattleboro Reformer, Bennington Banner and The Caledonian-Record.

Rule by the Rich: In a Senate floor speech on Thursday, Sen. Sanders spoke out against the rise of the wealthy in United States politics. “We have a nation in which the economics and politics are controlled by a handful of billionaire families, [where] it doesn't matter what party is in power because the real power rests with a billionaire class,” he said. The Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, Sanders argued, “allows the super wealthy to spend as much as they want on elections,” meaning that the “billionaire party is now in fact the major political force in this country ... led by people like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson,” The Huffington Post reported.

Health Care: Universal health care systems cost less and provide better care than the private insurance system in the United States, Sen. Sanders told Ronan Farrow Thursday on MSNBC. “I think we need to get the profit motive out of health care. We need to guarantee health care to all people as a right. We need to do it in cost-effective way,” Sanders said. He hopes Vermont “will lead the nation in showing what a single-payer system can do."

Highway Funds in Jeopardy: Vermont Agency of Transportation Deputy Secretary Sue Minter says the possible shortfall in federal transportation funding could hurt jobs in Vermont. Minter testified Thursday before a U.S. Senate committee at the invitation of Sen. Sanders. His office said projects may be cancelled unless Congress replenishes the federal Highway Trust Fund, which is projected to run out by July, The Associated Press, the Burlington Free Press reported.

Continue reading here:

Have You Seen This Bear?
....if not, you might be seeing one of his cousins soon! Vermont's black bears are out and about so it's time to take down your birdfeeder. Secure your garbage, bring in your pet food, turn on the electric fence around your beehive or chicken coop, and be bear aware in your yard. Remember: "A fed bear is a dead bear!"

For more information on Vermont's wildlife responding to the late winter, check out our latest blog post

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Phone Scam... Do NOT Answer Calls

We received this warning via email. Please keep an eye out!

WARNING: there is a phone scam going on right now that is out of India, a foreign person calls from a 000-000-0000 or similar number claiming there is something wrong with your computer, wants you to go in and change settings, They will lock you out of your own computer, I just got off the phone with the Vermont Justice Center and they are warning people to just STOP answering the calls. They have been calling me four times a day even after I hang up, this personally happened to me and the VJC says they lock you out of your computer and then demand money to unlock it via credit card then steal your credit card number! PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS!!

We're Not Done Yet - Winter Weather Advisory - Snow, Sleet, Freezing Rain - Midnight Tonight Through Noon Friday
One more shot of Winter before we get some Spring-like temperatures on Friday. 
Winter Weather Advisories are up for most of Vermont, New Hampshire and northern New York for midnight to noon on Friday. 
Snow will overspread the region tonight, accumulating 1 to 2 inches, mixing with sleet and freezing rain. 
Roads may be slippery Friday morning before temperatures warm up, changing everything over to rain. 
We're on the air from 5 to 7pm with more, including a chance at some 50s next week. -Dan

Dog License Due By April 1, 2014

If you have a dog in the Town of Weathersfield - or the State of Vermont - it's license expired on December 31st.

By law, it must be registered with the Town Clerks Office by APRIL 1st.

If you have not registered your dog (over the age of 6 months), please do so IMMEDIATELY!

When are dog licenses due, and what do I need to bring with me?
In the State of Vermont, dog licenses are due by April 1st of each year. We are required by law to have on file for each license a current Rabies Vaccination Certificate, signed by the veterinarian, which includes the rabies tag number. We also need proof of spaying or neutering. Dog or wolf hybrid owners shall pay $9.00 to license each neutered dog, and $13.00 to license each un-neutered dog. Licenses issued after April 1st include late fees and are $11.00 for each neutered dog, and $17.00 for each un-neutered dog.
If a new dog or wolf hybrid is licensed after October 1st, the license fee is $7.00 for each neutered dog, and $9.00 for each unneutered dog.
A portion of the fees is forwarded to the State Treasurer, to fund the rabies
The Ascutney Volunteer Fire Association sponsors a Rabies Clinic every March. 
This Years Rabies Clinic will be Saturday, March 29th.
Call the Town Clerk's office for details.
There is a dog running loose on my road. Who do I call?
Contact our Animal Control Officer, Cathy, at 603-477-1229, to report a stray dog, or other dog related problems. Report dog bites promptly to the Town Health Officer, at [802] 674-2626.

Town Clerk
Flora-Ann Dango  - tclerk@weathersfield.orgAssistant Town Clerk
Marion J. Ballam -

Office Hours
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday - 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Thursday - 9:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.
Friday - Closed
The Town Clerk's office is located in Martin Memorial Hall, at 5259 Route 5 in the hamlet of Ascutney, Vermont.

Mailing Address:
Weathersfield Town Clerk
Post Office Box 550
Ascutney, VT 05030-0550

Martin Memorial Hall
5259 Route 5
Ascutney, Vermont

Telephone: [802] 674-9500
Facsimile: [802] 674-2117

Vermont AG: Perkinsville Woman Falsified Time Sheets

By Chris Garofolo | Mar 26, 2014

WEATHERSFIELD — The Vermont Attorney General’s office reported Tuesday a Perkinsville woman knowingly submitted more than $4,000 worth of false Medicaid claims from October 2012 to April 2013 while serving as a part-time caregiver.

Magen Hill, 27, of Upper Falls Road, pleaded not guilty to a felony count of Medicaid fraud in a White River Junction courtroom Tuesday morning and was released on bail after she was issued a citation for filing false service claims to ARIS Solutions, a state contracted payroll facilitator, for an estimated $4,485.

Prosecutors say Hill entered more than a dozen time sheets to ARIS Solutions for services that she did not render. If convicted, she could spend up to 10 years in prison or payback twice the amount of the money wrongfully obtained.

Jefferson Krauss, a detective with the Medicaid Fraud & Residential Abuse Unit in the Attorney General’s office, received a report from the Vermont Department of Health Access Program Integrity Unit on June 3, 2013 regarding an alleged case of Medicaid fraud. He found Hill was hired to provide personal care services as early as October 2012 for an elderly homebound man who suffered from a serious medical condition.

Designated caregivers complete a time sheet for provided services and have it signed by an employer to attest to the accuracy of the form. Hill’s duties were not for any hands-on personal care, rather she cleaned the house and picked up groceries until she stopped working in mid-April 2013.

According to court documents, Hill routinely worked twice a week for two hours at a time and rarely exceeded that despite the fact that multiple forms show her presence for greater lengths of time. She admitted to Krauss she did not provide all of the personal or respite care services she was compensated for during her time as a caretaker.

Hill, whose criminal history shows two prior felony and four misdemeanor convictions, was paid a net total of $4,169 on 15 time sheets, representing 229 personal care and 227 respite care hours. The gross amount paid by Medicaid was $4,485.

“Hill reportedly admitted to her probation and parole officer that she had committed fraud associated with this care,” Krauss wrote in an affidavit filed with the Windsor Criminal Division of the Vermont Superior Court. “I therefore have probable cause to believe that Magen Hill committed the offense of Medicaid fraud by aiding and abetting in the submission of time sheets documenting her care of [the subject] when she did not provide the services and receiving payment for those false claims.”

Krauss’ report also notes Hill received payment for work provided by her boyfriend at the time, Joey Bergeron, who is currently incarcerated at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. Hill made claims she was provided prescription narcotics by the recipient’s family, but a review of the hospice records do not show any apparent discrepancies related to the physician-ordered dosages.

A criminal investigation into the alleged fraud was jointly conducted with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General.

Two Ways to Fix Inequality
By:  Judith Levine
Working people can't afford to eat. Last year one in five Americans was on food stamps. In Vermont, the number was one in six. These people work: Six in 10 households nationally earned money the month they started getting help; nine in 10 worked in the previous or following year.

People earning the minimum wage can't afford to eat if they also want to live indoors. With heat.

At Vermont's 2013 minimum wage, $8.46 an hour (it's now $8.73), two full-time, year-round job holders bring in a total of about $2,900 a month. According to Hunger Free Vermont's analysis, based on the basic-needs budget of the Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office (JFO), their bills leave them a deficit of about $2,100 each month.

Of course, not all families have two earners. Almost a third of Vermont's children live with one parent, and a third of the state's single mothers are poor even though they work full time.

Government subsidies help. Still, the working couple described above, with two kids, enrolled in every program on the menu — food stamps, childcare, tax credit, etc. — will find itself about $15,000 in the hole by the end of the year.

It's no wonder that 2,800 Vermonters are either homeless or "precariously housed" on any given night. And thousands more have no food in the fridge. "In low-income families, food is paid for last," says Dorigen Keeney, program director at Hunger Free Vermont. "So when they don't have enough money to live, they're hungry."

Montpelier is proposing an increase in the minimum hourly wage to $10 in 2015. That would bring the wage up to its 1979 level, accounting for inflation. In other words, even if the minimum wage is raised to $10, the lowest-paid workers will not have had a raise in 35 years.

Meanwhile, Vermont's total personal income grew 20 percent from 2002 to 2012, while median income dropped 5.5 percent, according to Public Assets Institute.

The woman changing the hotel sheets is not making money. Maybe you aren't, either. But someone is.
In fact, the Washington Post reports that America's wealthiest have gained back everything they lost in the recession, "and then some." And yet, we are told, Vermont's employers cannot afford to pay their workers enough to eat and still pay the rent.

"We support the idea that everyone should be making a living wage, but we need to balance that with employers' ability to pay those wages and not drive them out of business and create higher unemployment," Lucy Leriche, deputy secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development, told Vermont Watchdog.

The state, our leaders tell us, cannot ask the put-upon employers to raise wages and still pay workers for the time they need to go to the doctor or stay home with a sick child. Not yet, anyway. "At this point in time, there really isn't enough support to pass the [earned sick leave] bill," Speaker of the House Shap Smith told Vermont Public Radio, explaining why he is not bringing the bill to the floor. "These are the kinds of things that take some time to move forward." Smith suggested that more study might be needed.

Support, history, data? This bill has them all. Thirty sponsors, 72 percent support among Vermonters polled. Public institutions from Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility to the Times Argus editorial board are behind it.

Earlier versions of the paid sick day bill "date back a decade or more," VTDigger reported.
Studies of the effects of both a higher minimum raise and paid sick leave are plentiful — and positive. "In most of the minimum wage studies performed to date, the expected reduction in demand for labor has either been nonexistent or of relatively small magnitude," notes a recent memo on the minimum wage prepared by Kavet, Rockler & Associates for the JFO.

The economists calculated that a rise to $10 might cost 250 jobs in Vermont, or less than 0.1 percent of total employment.

In San Francisco and elsewhere, raising the minimum wage has coincided with job growth and has had a negligible impact on profits.

But do we really need more data to show that higher wages are good for low-income workers? That taking time off when you're sick is good for the sick person, her coworkers and — if she happens to serve food, which a large number of minimum-wage workers do — her customers?

I mean, has there ever been an improvement to workers' lives that the Chamber of Commerce did not decry as the first step toward widespread catastrophic business failure? The Chamber of Commerce will never support higher wages or better working conditions. Can we just stop asking them, and move on?

There are only two ways to fix economic inequality.

One is for employers to pay more, which means that executives and stockholders earn less. Since CEOs were earning 209 times their workers' salaries in 2011, there's room for redistribution. But companies won't do this on their own. And unions, which once had the power to force them, are weak. It's up to government to make it happen.

The other way is for the government to make up the difference in workers' buying power. If we were interested in ensuring economic security for everyone, it would mean a lot of workers and a lot of money.

After all, a graph in the Kavet memo shows that for a single parent with one child to earn the state's living wage, without government subsidy — that is, to take in enough for groceries and clothing, rent, gas, childcare and the rest, plus insurance and savings — she'd need $30 an hour.

And if we are in a "post-work" economy, as some economists believe — where global capital doesn't need as many Americans, or as many humans, as it did — a whole lot more of us will soon be short of buying power.

At the moment, the government is disinclined either to mandate better pay or to do what it takes to save the hindmost from the devil. Republicans in Washington are even arguing that penury is good for poor people — that, as Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan put it, a child receiving a free school lunch has "a full stomach and an empty soul."

But even in our Democratic state, lawmakers' distaste for discomfiting the comfortable ends up hurting the already hurt. Remember that $15,000 deficit in the minimum-wage earners' family budget? What prevents them from getting ahead is called the "benefit cliff." They reach a point where they earn too much to qualify for the subsidies and tax credits but not enough to make ends meet without those benefits.

The Kavet memo, while unreservedly endorsing a $10 wage, finds that a hike to $12.50 would have this perverse effect.

That is not an argument against raising the minimum wage, however. It is an argument for figuring out how to ensure that a raise in pay will mean a rise in standard of living. The memo's authors recommend that the legislature reconcile benefit-eligibility guidelines with higher wages.

Signing the National Industrial Recovery Act in June 1933, which put millions of people to work by winter, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared: "It seems to me to be ... plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By 'business' I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry ... and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level — I mean the wages of decent living."

What economy deserves to exist if it cannot provide even a bare subsistence for everyone? Can any moral Vermonter argue that it is bad for the economy to pay poor people more? What, after all, is an economy for?

Doyle Poll Shows Support for Bigger Government

Doyle Poll shows support for bigger government

By Bob Kinzel
Vermont Public Radio | March 26,2014

The preliminary results of Sen. Bill Doyle’s Town Meeting Day survey show very strong support for a number of bills that expand the role of state government.

But the survey — which the Washington County Republican has distributed for more than four decades — comes with big caveats. It’s not a scientific poll, and the results represent the views of a self-selected group of people who filled out the survey on Town Meeting Day.

But many lawmakers pay attention to the results in the second half of the session because roughly 14,000 people participate. This year there’s very strong support for three bills that will be considered during the next few weeks.

By more than a 3-1 margin, people responding to the survey support raising the state minimum wage. Doyle isn’t surprised.

“A number of people are having a hard time making it in Vermont,” he said.

The overwhelming hardships facing some Vermonters “erases some of disadvantages of raising the minimum wage,” Doyle said.

Eric Davis, a retired Middlebury College political science professor, said there could be a downside if lawmakers raise the minimum wage much beyond $10.10 an hour because some people could lose their eligibility for a number of state benefit programs.

“So the Legislature is going to have to figure out carefully how to increase the wage for low-income workers without at the same time causing their total bottom line of earned income and benefits to drop,” Davis said.

The Doyle survey also showed very strong support for legislation that requires the labeling of food products made with genetically modified organisms.

Davis said the big question at the State House is whether Vermont should go it alone and risk a major lawsuit from national food processors or wait for several other states to pass similar legislation.

“How is it written in such a way to make a challenge less likely if a legal challenge does occur?” Davis said. “And where will the money be in the attorney general’s office budget to defend the bill in court?”

Also, legislation banning drivers from using cellphones received very strong support on the Doyle survey. The bill passed the House with a huge majority vote and it’s now pending in the Senate.

Gov. Peter Shumlin opposes the bill, but Davis questioned whether the governor would actually veto the legislation if it reaches his desk.

“The better part of valor for the governor on this issue might be, if his personal views continue to be strongly opposed, (to) simply let the bill become law without his signature,” he said.

The survey also found that respondents were split on the issue of legalizing marijuana. Forty-four percent said “yes,” 45 percent said “no” and 11 percent were undeci

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Motor Vehicle Crash - VT 131 at I-91 North Bound Ramp

On 3-26-14 at approximately 1713 hours Officer Norton responded to a reported two car motor vehicle crash on VT131 at the I-91 north bound on ramp. The operator of one of the cars was transported to the hospital for possible injuries by Golden Cross Ambulance. WPD was assisted by Ascutney Volunteer Fire Association & Windsor Police Dept. This crash is still under investigation..

Karen Bushway

Karen Bushway, 56

Enjoyed Gardening, Interior Design And Visits To The Beach

PERKINSVILLE - At her request, there will be no services for Karen A. (Langevin) Bushway, 56, who died March 19 at her home.

She was born Nov. 17, 1957, in Morristown, N.J., daughter of Robert and Mary (Kordos) Langevin.

She attended elementary schools in New Jersey, and graduated from Green Mountain Union High School, class of 1976.

She was employed as a para-educator in the primary grades at the Flood Brook School in Londonderry for 37 years. On March 18, 1995, she married Mark G. Bushway in Springfield.

She enjoyed flower gardening, interior design, decorating her home, traveling, going to the beach and visiting
Colonial Williamsburg.

Survivors include her husband, Mark of Perkinsville; her father, Robert Langevin of Jupiter, Fla.; two sisters, Donna Bischofberger and Nicole Moriarty of Londonderry; and eight nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Springfield Hospital Oncology Department, 25 Ridgewood Road, Springfield, VT 05156.

A memory page has been set up at www.facebook. com/KarenLangevinBushway.

Arrangements are under direction of Davis Memorial Chapel in Springfield.

Go to to view this obituary and leave condolences.

Weathersfield News, Week of March 23, 2014

Weathersfield Mourns The Passing Of Sonny Grover

t is with a heavy heart that I share the news of the loss of a great man.

Clarence “Sonny” Grover passed away Saturday, March 22, 2014.

He was a founding member of the West Weathersfield Volunteer Fire Department and served the department for 47 years.

He served the Town of Weathersfield as Fire Warden for 44 years and as Chief for 35 years.
Visitation will be held at the Davis Memorial Chapel in Springfield, on Friday, March 28 at 10 a.m. A service will follow at 11 a.m. A reception will be held immediately after at the VFW in Springfield. Sonny's burial will be held in May at the Pine Grove Cemetery in North Springfield. Memorial contributions may be made to the Bow Baptist Church, PO Box 522, Ascutney, Vt. 05030 or the West Weathersfield Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 196, Perkinsville, Vt. 05151.

I grew up in the WWVFD, surrounded by many great men. Only one of which was Sonny. He now joins Charlie Frank, Chick Barr, Bob Howe, Kerry Stapleton and Ray Horton. (Please forgive me if I have left anyone out.) There are a few of the “Old Guard” still around, but the number gets smaller every year. These are my 'honorary uncles'. They each hold a special place in my heart.

My family and I send our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

Sonny will be greatly missed.

Lynn Esty 

Pomfret Woman Arrested After Police Pursuit

By Eric Francis

Standard Correspondent

SCUTNEY — A North Pomfret woman was hospitalized for hypothermia early Friday morning after police found her trying to hide from them in an icy creek at the conclusion of a pursuit she’d led them on down Route 131 in Weathersfield.

Elizabeth Stuart, 20, was taken to Springfield Hospital’s emergency room where later on Friday morning she was issued citations to appear in court on May 13 to answer charges of attempting to elude law enforcement, negligent operation of a vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident and providing false information to police.
Vermont State Police Trooper Ryan Wood said the incident began at 1 a.m. at the Downer’s Four Corners intersection where Routes 106 and Route 131 meet in Weathersfield.

Wood said that when troopers attempted to pull Stuart over because of defective equipment and “marked lane violations” they’d observed, Stuart took off heading east past the West Weathersfield Fire Station on Route 131. “Stuart lost control of her vehicle while attempting to negotiate a sharp corner on Route 131 and crashed into a section of guardrails before coming to a stop in the middle of the road,” Wood noted in a press release.

Although police ordered Stuart to step out of her car, Wood said
she began driving eastward again on Route 131 toward Ascutney and the intersection with Interstate 91 when she once again crashed, this time into a telephone pole, near the intersection with Goulden Ridge Road.

“Stuart fled on foot immediately after the crash while (her) passenger complied with the state police,” Wood recalled.

The troopers requested help from surrounding agencies to mount a search for Stuart in the pre-dawn darkness and officers from Springfield, Windsor and both Claremont and the New Hampshire State Police converged on the area to assist. Vermont State Police Trooper Kevin Hughes and his canine
“Bohdan” also arrived and began searching a wooded area behind a nearby home.

“After tracking in deep snow and searching an area around Mill Brook, Stuart was found attempting to hide from police by sitting in the water of Mill Brook behind a pile of snow and ice,” Wood wrote. Ascutney Fire and Rescue treated Stuart at the scene for hypothermia before she was transported to the hospital.

In addition to the pending criminal charges, Stuart was also issued written warnings for the initial defective equipment complaint and for failing to stay in marked lanes along with a ticket for driving despite having a suspended license.

Appointments Open - Town of Weathersfield - Step Up, Residents....

      A.  Ancient Roads Committee
      B.   Budget Committee (Five Openings)
                  -     Jeff Slade
                  -     Alan Hudson
                  -     Mike Todd
                  -     George Lamb
                  -     Gregg Adamovich
      C.  Connecticut River Development Corporation
      D.  Connecticut River Joint Commission
      E.   CRJC Mt Ascutney Subcommittee
      F.   Conservation Commission (One four year term open)
      G.  Emergency Management Coordinator
      H.  Energy Coordinator
                  -     Julia Lloyd-Wright
      I.    Fence Viewer (Two Openings)
                  J.    Martin Memorial Hall Trustees (One Opening)
                              -     Janet Bristol
                  K.  Parks and Recreation Commission (Three Openings)
                              -     Julia Lloyd-Wright
      L.   River Connection Regional Partnership Representative
      M.  Southeastern Vermont Community Action, Inc. Representative
      N.  Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commissioner
      O.  Southern Windsor County Transportation Advisory Committee
                  -     Jeff Slade
      P.   Southern Windsor/Windham Counties Solid Waste Management District
                  -     Jeff Slade
      Q.  Veterans’ Memorial Committee
                  R.   Weathersfield Planning Commission (One Opening)
                              -     Gilbert Whittemore
      S. Weathersfield Zoning Board of Adjustment (Four Openings / Three            members, one alternate)
      T.   Weigher of Coal

To fill an appointment, all you need to do is put a request in writing (email also works) to the Town Manager, Jim Mullen, at 

Weathersfield Fire Commission Special Meeting ~ Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Weathersfield Fire Commission
Special Meeting
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 ~ 7 pm
Ascutney Volunteer Fire Station

Meeting Agenda

1. Open Meeting, 7 pm
2. Attendance
3. Comments from Board Members, Citizens for Items Not on Agenda
4. Repeater Grant
5. Haz-Mat Questions/Information for Select Board Meeting April 7, 2014
6. Next Regular Meeting, April 22nd, 7 pm, Ascutney Volunteer Fire Department
7. Adjourn

Wind Advisory for Windsor County, Vermont
NWS Burlington: Strengthening low pressure passing east of Cape Cod will develop strong northwesterly winds across portions of the North Country today. 
A Wind Advisory has been posted for Windsor County of Vermont. 
See graphic below for details!

Windy, Cold - Then Warmer and Rain!
Inside The Forecast:

A powerful Nor'easter will stay well to our east today. We will get blustery north winds out of it, but that's about all.

As the storm moves away from New England tonight, it will pull some very cold air down from the north. Many spots will drop below zero again by Thursday morning.

But then we'll start to warm up! Thursday looks like a real nice day with highs in the 30s. We'll be warmer on Friday, but it will also be breezy with rain. And that rain will start out as a wintry mix of snow & sleet early Friday morning.

We'll keep the warmer temperatures around through the weekend and into next week. A couple of clippers will bring some rain/snow showers - the first one late Saturday into early Sunday. The second one will be on Tuesday.

The sap will finally be flowing with these upcoming warmer temperatures! -Gary

VT Ice Weakening

2014 Town Meeting Day Survey Results from Vermont Senator Bill Doyle
Wanted to make sure you had seen this--Vermont Senator Bill Doyle has released the results for his annual Town Meeting Day Survey.

The 2014 survey asked the opinion of hot topics currently being debated at the Vermont Statehouse.

Some of this year’s topics include health care, legalizing marijuana, drug use, natural gas, wind turbines and minimum wage.

Doyle says over 13,000 Vermonters took the survey.

1) Should drivers be prohibited from using cell phones while driving?

74% (yes); 19% (no); 7% (not sure)

2) Should Vermont legalize marijuana?

44% (yes); 45% (no); 11% (not sure)

3) Should wind turbines be constructed on Vermont ridge lines?

48% (yes); 33% (no); 19% (not sure)

4) Should Vermont increase its minimum wage?

71% (yes); 20% (no); 9% (not sure)

5) Are you concerned about the increasing use of opiates in Vermont?

89% (yes); 5% (no); 6% (not sure)

6) Should we reduce the Vermont prison population through the use of alternatives for offenders?

71% (yes); 17% (no); 12% (not sure)

7) Should food products sold in Vermont produced with genetic engineering be labeled?

76% (yes); 15% (no); 9% (not sure)

8) Do you believe that Vermont is an affordable place to live?

26% (yes); 60% (no); 14% (not sure)

9) Are statewide cell service and broadband important to the future of Vermont’s economy?

89% (yes); 5% (no); 8% (not sure)

10) Should natural gas be an important part of Vermont’s economy?

55% (yes); 21% (no); 24% (not sure)

11) Should Vermont create a state bank?

23% (yes); 38% (no); 39% (not sure)

12) Do you believe that Vermont health care is moving in the right direction?

41% (yes); 38% (no); 21% (not sure)

13) Do you believe that increasing costs of education are unsustainable?

69% (yes); 17% (no); 14% (not sure)

14) Do you believe that our national government collects too much information on the lives on American citizens?

69% (yes); 17% (no); 14% (not sure)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Weathersfield Police Department - Calls for Service 3/16/14 to 3/22/14

For the week of 03-16-14 thru 03-22-2014 the Weathersfield Police Department responded to the following:

3200 Accident-Damage - DMV Report 1
3617 Careless Negligent Motor Veh 1
AMAS Ambulance or Medical Assist 2
ASST Agency Assist 1
BACK Background Investigation 1
CITA Citizen Assist 2
DBOD Dead Body 1
FDAS Fire Dept Assist 3
PSC Suspicious Person/Circumstance 1
PWAT Property Watch 3
THAZ Traffic Hazard 1
VIN Vehicle Serial # Inspection 2
WELF Welfare Check 1
OVIOL Traffic Stop 18
Total Incidents for This Agency: 38

Calls for service comparison
01-01-2013 thru 03-22-2013: 95
01-01-2014 thru 03-22-2014: 298

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cold Weather, Deteriorating Conditions Tuesday into Wednesday

Inside The Forecast:

Nice day today - if it were mid-January. But it's not. This is way too cold for the end of March. Another cold night with a lot of sub-zero temperatures is on tap again for tonight..

A really intense nor'easter will be battering the New England coast late Tuesday into Wednesday with snow & wind. 
 But we will be on the far outer fringes of that storm, and just get a little bit of snow and wind out of it . But if you have travel plans to the east towards the coast, you will run into rapidly deteriorating conditions.

Temperatures will finally moderate to near normal levels by the end of the week. Friday will start out with a wintry mix, but it will change to just plain rain showers during the day as highs climb into the 40s.


Book Drop Now Available at Jiffy Mart/Downers Corners Store


Now, thanks to a few Weathersfield community supporters, there is a place to drop off your library materials right in Perkinsville at the Downer's Corners Store. Earlier this year Carol Peebles, a library patron, asked Nancy Tusinski, Library Director, about getting a book return in Perkinsville for convenience. "The library used to have a book return in Perkinsville, and it's a great idea, but where?" 

 Carol spoke with June French at Downer's Corner Store in Perkinsville and June was happy to be able to offer this service to the community.  "It's a great community service." said June French, Manager of Downer's Corner Store. 

Word got around to Len LeBrun, another Library patron, who offered to design and build the book return, deliver it to the store and donate it to the library. Library Assistant Lynn Esty will pick up books from the book return several times a week.   

The book return is at Downer's Corner Store and ready to be used, thank to the creative spirit of these Weathersfield community members!

The Weathersfield Proctor Library is open Wed 10 - 6, Thurs & Fri 12-6 and Sat 9-1. 
Contact the library at 674-2863 or

Photo courtesy Nancy Tusinski- from left to right in photo
Nancy Tusinski, Library Director, Len LeBrun, June French, Manager Downer's Corner Store, Susan Whittemore, new Library Trustee and Ernie Shand, Chair Library Board of Trustees.

Nancy Tusinski, Director
Weathersfield Proctor Library
5181 Route 5 PO Box 519
Ascutney, VT 05030-0519

Clarence N "Sonny" Grover

Clarence N. “Sonny” Grover

Weathersfield, Vt. — Clarence N. “Sonny” Grover died on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at Genesis Eldercare, Lebanon Center in Lebanon, N.H.

He was born on August 28, 1934 in North Springfield, Vt., the son of Clarence N. Grover Sr. and Mary (Snell) Grover. He attended school in Springfield before serving in the Navy during the Korean Conflict. Clarence Married Dorothy Lindgren On August 23, 1952 in Springfield. 

 He was employed for 31 years at Jones and Lamson, where he worked in the heat treatment division. Later, Clarence went on to work for several years at the Mack Molding Company in Cavendish, and finally for the Springfield School District. 

Clarence was very active for the town of Weathersfield, serving as the fire chief for the Weathersfield Volunteer Fire Department for 35 years, and as the Fire Warden for the town, an office that he held for 44 years. He enjoyed being outdoors, taking care of his property, visits from his grandsons and hosting family events.

Clarence was predeceased by five sisters; Ramona Komulainen, Helen Varney, Mary Austin, Florence Sain, and Evelyn Stonestreet.

He is survived by his wife Dorothy of Weathersfield; two sons, Richard G. Grover of Memphis, Tenn. and Matthew J. Grover of Bentonville, Ariz.; a daughter, Mary M. Hankins and her husband Dale of Sumter, S.C.; four grandsons, Austin, Dylan Grover, Andrew and Reese Hankins; three sisters, Esther Ballou of Vineland, N.J., Rachel Brown of White River Jct., Vt., and Althea Bender of Denver, Colo.; a brother in law, Ted Lindgren and his wife Flossie of Springfield, Vt.; three sisters in law, Lois Leary and her husband Dick of Chestnut Hill, Mass., Roberta Griswold of Roaring Branch, Pa., and Donna White and her husband Thomas of Danvers, Mass.; and many nieces and nephews. 

A visitation will be held at the Davis Memorial Chapel, 99 Summer St, Springfield, Vt. on Friday, March 28 at 10 a.m. A service will follow at 11 a.m., Rev. Walter McDaniel of the Bow Baptist Church will officiate. Reception to follow at the VFW in Springfield.

Burial will be held at a later date in the Pine Grove Cemetery, North Springfield, Vt. The Davis Memorial Chapel in Springfield was entrusted with arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Bow Baptist Church, PO Box 522, Ascutney, Vt. 05030 or the West Weathersfield Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 196, Perkinsville, Vt. 05151.