Hearing slated on detention center

NEWBURY—The Vermont Department of Families and Children and private contractors Becket Family of Services have submitted proposals to state and local governments for the privately run Covered Bridge juvenile detention facility in Newbury.
The Act 250 application to the state government, was submitted on July 23, and a site visit followed by a hearing in Bradford on that application will occur on Aug, 25. Becket also submitted a proposal to the town of Newbury, and Becket attorney Jon Anderson expects there to be a town hearing on that application at some point in September.

2A resolution fails in Groton vote

GROTON—Voters narrowly rejected a resolution that would have proclaimed the town a Second Amendment sanctuary during a special town meeting last week.
The vote, held after less than 30 minutes of floor discussion at the Groton Community Building gymnasium, was taken by paper ballot after at least seven residents requested the procedure. The tally was 41 against the resolution and 39 in favor.

Bradford man killed in police shooting

BRADFORD—The Bradford man shot and killed by Hartford Police last week had been living at Veterans Inc. on North Main Street for the last 10 months.
Police say Joseph John Howard, 35, was shot after he punched and strangled a Hartford Police Department officer outside a Paula Street home on the afternoon of Aug. 5. HPD Cpl. Eric Clifford responded to the address after the homeowner called 911 to report that Howard, who he did not know, was making a disturbance in his driveway.

Woman assaulted in carjacking

BRADFORD—A Winooski man faces a slew of criminal charges in Orange County and Washington County in an episode that began with a carjacking in Bradford on Sunday afternoon.
According to Bradford Police Department Officer David Shaffer, Donna Godfrey, 57, of Post Mills was in her car backing out of a parking space at Hannaford Supermarket on the Lower Plain when Christopher White, 37, feigned being struck by her 2017 Chevrolet Equinox. When Godfrey opened the door to check on him, White pulled her out of the vehicle and pushed her out of the way.

Haverhill students need no masks, for now

WOODSVILLE—Students will not be required to wear masks inside Haverhill schools when classes start later this month.
On Monday night, the Haverhill Cooperative School Board voted 3-1 to reject a motion to require students to wear masks until a vaccination is available for children ages 2-11. The vote followed discussion among board members and half a dozen members of the public, most of whom said they were opposed to a mask requirement.
The vote has no bearing on a federal mandate that students and adults must wear masks while aboard a school bus. SAU-23 Superintendent Laurie Melanson said that schools around the country have no choice when it comes to public transportation. But once off the bus, students attending a Haverhill school will no longer have to wear a face covering.
Board members noted that students and staff will have the option to wear masks inside school buildings.

Traffic redesign coming for truck stop

NEWBURY—The P&H Truck Stop will likely undergo renovations to replace old equipment and improve safety for pedestrians and workers.
The existing gas pumps and tanks will be replaced due to age, and new fueling stations will be added for a total of four diesel fueling stations and 12 unleaded gas fueling stations. In addition, the gas canopy will be moved away from the main building.
“It’s going to be much more convenient for the customers,” construction manager Matt Wamsganz said. “This will certainly help with the flow of everything there and keeping customers happier.”
Newbury’s Development Review Board approved the plans on July 1. According to Wamsganz, the project is currently waiting for state approval.

Board votes to send ARPA funds to precincts

HAVERHILL—At the Aug. 2 meeting, the Haverhill Selectboard voted 4 to 1 in favor of allocating funds for improvement projects planned by the precincts of Woodsville, Mountain Lakes, and Haverhill Corner.
The plan was accepted with the understanding that any funding meet the criteria of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which is a under the umbrella of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Mountain Lakes Precinct Commissioner Bob Long presented the case on behalf of all the precincts.
The lively and heated discussion, which dominated the meeting, was on whether relief funds should be allocated to the districts in Haverhill or to use them for town-wide benefit.

NTSB publishes report on balloon accident

BRADFORD—The hot air balloon pilot who died last month in a fall over Bradford had just re-lit the burner shortly before the basket collided with the ground ejecting him and a passenger.
According to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board, Brian Boland and four passengers took off in a balloon from the Post Mills airport at around 6:30 p.m. on July 15.
About 45 minutes later, after traveling northeast above the Connecticut River on a sightseeing trip, Boland reported that the pilot light on the burner was not lit. After changing the propane bottle, Boland could not find the striker to relight the burner. As he searched the basket for the striker, the balloon descended.

Frustrations remain even after broadband funds flow

CORINTH—Dissatisfied with slow internet speeds while neighboring communities pay less for higher speeds, a group of Topsham Telephone customers has a new effort to call attention to their plight with highspeednow.org.
With more people working and learning online over the last 18 months, slow internet speeds in Corinth, Topsham, and other parts of the service area have intensified frustrations even as federal and state coronavirus relief funds targeted improvements.
In October, the Vermont Public Service Department awarded $971,242.50 through the Vermont Universal Service Fund to Topsham Telephone, which has approximately 1,300 internet customers, to build a fiber network to reach 350 locations.

Groton warns vote on 2A resolution

GROTON—Groton will hold a special town meeting on Aug. 4 to vote on a resolution that would declare the town a “Second Amendment sanctuary.”
If approved, the proposal would bar the town of Groton from using funds to store firearms that have been confiscated or are being stored “for the purpose of enforcing any other law that unconstitutionally infringes upon the right of the people of Groton, Vermont to keep and bear arms.”