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Bradford , Vermont
January 22, 2014     Journal Opinion
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January 22, 2014

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.=i MX" 07099 SMALLTO~,~ PAPERS 217 W COTA ST (ISSN-0746-1674) Volume 149 * Number 4 An Independent Weekly Newspaper Since 1865 January 22, 2014 Dense fog settled in over the Upper Valley over the course of several mornings last week. Hunter Paye of Newbury shot this photograph on the Bradford Golf Course on the morning of Jan. 14, "1 was literally running to get the shots for fear that the sun would fully break through," he said. COURTESY PHOTO BY HUNTER PAYE by Alex Nuti-de Biasi CHELSEA--Atrialcouldbeheldas scheduled to begin on Monday, Feb. that there was sexual contact soon as next month in the case of a 24 with a three-day trial scheduled between my client and the corn- former coach and physical educe- to get underway later that week. plainant prior to her 16 th birthday," lion teacher at Oxbow accused of Neither Musty nor his attorney Sleigh said. sexually assaulting a former stu- David Sleigh were in Chelsea. Vermont's sexual assault stat- dent. ..... Sleigh, who is basedin St. Johnsbury, utes have different penalties for Brian Musty, 44, was arrested in participated in the hearing via defendants convicted of crimes November 2012 following allege- telephone conferencing. Musty is against minors under the age of 16 tions by a former student that she out on bail. Orange County State's and if the defendant served in a was repeatedly assaulted in the late Attorney Will Porter was in court. "parental role" with respect to the 1990s. On Friday, attorneys ap-Much ofthe hearing was devoted victim. Ifconvicted on that charge, a peered in court finalizing a trial to discssion over a proposed defendant faces a minimum sen- schedule and reviewing proposed questionnaire to be given to pro- tence of at least three years in jury instructions should a trial get spectivejurors, and, in particular, to prison. If convicted under another underway, a single question devised by Musty' s sexual assault statute, the defendant During a 30-minute hearing at attorney and which appeared to could face a penalty that does not Orange County Superior Court in indicate at least part of a strategy for have a minimum prison sentence. Chelsea on Jan. 17, Judge Robert P. the defense team should the case Both Sleigh and Porter agreed to Gerety Jr. spent a portion of the proceed to trial, continue conversing aboutthejury session outlining the calendar for "I don t think there's much of a jury selection and trial with the secret that the defense intends to prosecutor and defense attorney, assert that the state will not be able See Trial on page 7 For now,jury selection in the case is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt by Cicely Richardson FAIRLEE--After months of ru- Signage requirements were modi- Dollar General. by Alex Nuti-de Biasi Vermont Public Service. service center in Wells River and mors and speculation, plans for a fied and lighting was recently added A single driveway into the Dollar BRADFORD--For the first time Under the merger, GMP ab- CVPS operating a maintenance DollarGeneralstoreinFairleehave through two new interim bylaws. Generalparkinglot, lining up with since electricity was introduced to sorbedCVPS into its operations as office in Bradford, company offi- comebeforethelocalzoningboard. DRB chair David Fracht said the AdamsRoad, would serve both that ' 1 l Bradford in 1897, the utility part of a plan to achieve $144 cialshad°utlinedaplanthatw°uld OnJan. 14, the Fairlee Development board spurviewis,imited, store and the lot next door. providing that service will soon not million in rate savings over the consolidate those two offices into Review Board opened a joint "Ourjobistotrytofindabalance According to ttolman and Ponessi, bemaintaininganofficeinthetown, ensuing decade. And one of the one. Instead, both offices will be hearing on applications for a minor between what the commercial the plan calls for 29 parking spaces, The move comes as a result of the proposals that merged entity had in closed and line workers and other subdivisionandsiteplanreview, developerproposesandtherightsof facing each other and the store. The 2012 merger between the two place to get those savings is to utility employ ees will be basedin Two dozen or so neighbors, thesurroundingneighbors, whether drivewayisa31-footwide, two-way largest electric utilities in Vermont, consolidate service centers. St. Johnsbury ands:Wilder, Tespec- abutters and other interested resi- residential or other businesses. It loop running from Route 5 past the Green Mountain Power and Central With GMP rtmning apre-merger tively. ..... dents and business owners attended might not be an easy job," he added, store toward the railroad track. The That scenario prompted a visit by the hearing which ran for nearly Theboardmustconsidersafety, 9,100 square foot store would run in representatives fromGreenMoun- three hours before being recessed adequacy of circulation, parking and the same direction between the Fire hits Bradford home ta ,Powerto aBradford Selectboard to continue at 7:15 p.m. on Jan. 28. loading facilities as well as land- parking lot and the adjacent Walker BRADFORD--A family offive had to spend the night elsewhere after meeting earlier this month to allay The site for the proposed store is scaping, screening and setbacks to property. a second alarm fire on Goshen Road heavily damaged an upstairs concerns that the closures could a portion of the open lot south of be compatible with and protect Dollar General's prototypical bedroom and burned a hole through the roof on the moming o f Jan. 20. There were no injuries, but several area fire departments were called to the home of Larry and Tara Russ on 2565 Goshen Road at approximately 8 a.m. The American Red (;ross was notified by the Bradford Fire Department that adults and three children between the ages of 7 and 17 would need temporary housing. The fire was largely put out by approximately 9:30 a.m. and many of the fire department units were sent home. A large hole in the roof surrounding the chimney was visible from the roe& 0 by Lillian Gahagan ORFORD After sparsely attended public forums on the 2014-2015 Rivendell budget in Orford on Jan. 7 and West Fairlee on Jan. 14, the school board approved a budget of $9,816,383 that includes a capital reserve transfer of $50,000. That amount is 1.71 percent higher, or $164,594, than last year's budget of $9,651,789. The board unanimously supported the budget that had been presented at the forums in a brief school board meeting following the Jan. 14 hearing. When board members first reviewed the fiscal year 2014-15 budget on Dec. 10, administrators had prepared a budget that was about 2.4 percent greater than the current year's version. After a lengthy discussion, superintendent Brenda Needham was directed to come back with a proposal limiting the increase to 1.75 percent and prioritize where the cuts would have to be made. At that time, Needham told board members that if they wanted to reduce the budget there were various ways of limiting the increase. One option would be to cut personnel or programs or cuts could be made across the entire budget. But she eventually opted to make small cuts to several line items throughout the budget to limit the spending increase. Since the Dec. 10 meeting, further information on the number of tuition students has been received. Tuition for incoming high school students is $14,500 per student. Nine students from Warren, four from Piermont and one from West Topsham are planning to attend Rivendell next year, which will generate $203,000 in "local" revenue. According to Orford board member Cicely Richardson, who was reached by phone on Jan. 21, contracts for all educators and administrators have See Rivendell on page 17 IIll!!!!!tl!!l!l!!ll II delay responses to outages and Wings Market, known as Adams adjacent property, as well as a storewouldnotbesuitedtoFairlee, prolong the amount of time emer- Field. The three-acreparcel, owned "harmonious relationsh{p between Holman said. Instead, they were gency responders have to stand by bythe John R.Adams Estate Trust, is proposed uses and existing adjacent proposing a building with clapboard waiting for utility workers to arrive on the east side of Route 5 between uses." siding, architectural elements, a on a scene ofa downed wire. the highway and the railroad right of The plans were presented by pitched, standing-seamroof, anda Mike Burke and Greg White, - Scott Holman of Zaremba Program couple of options for windows. both of GMP, told selectmen that way;fhe property lies in the com- Development LLC, the develop- The store would be open from 8 after the utilities merged there were mercialzone, as designated in the ment company that represents a.m. to ,9 p.m. with employees See GMP on page 7 by Ed Ballam BRADFORD--The board members of the Oxbow High School District #30 have set the budget for the 2014- 2015 school year which reflects nearly level funding across the board with an anticipated 1.67 percent increase over the current fiscal year. At their meeting last week, the board voted unanimously to present to the voters a budget that was up $120,026.28 over the current fiscal year budget. The proposed budget to go to the voters is $7,319,684.60. Oxbow Principal Larry Walsh, who will be leaving at the end of the current school year, said it was "very difficult" to come in with a budget that was essentially level funded. The $120,026 increase can be attributed to items like electricity, health insurance cost increases and a two percent salary increase for staff. Even though the budget is up only slightly, the board is bracing for an increase in the tax rate of up to seven cents per $100 of assessed valuation to cover the high school spending because of the way state funding is expected to be allocated. The meeting was also a time for the public to comment upon and ask questions about the proposed budget, however, there were few people to comment. Only one person commented, suggesting the board be prepared to do some "public relations" work to explain the potential seven cent increase in the tax rate and how the state rate contributes to the increase. "I thank you for coming back with a budget that is within the 2,5 to 3 percent increase the governor had recommended," board member Dan Smith of Bradford told Walsh. Walsh said to make the mark, there were some things that had to be removed from the budget. He itemized most recent zoning bylaws. The Dollar General, and consulting arriving an hour ahead of opening, nearest neighbors, across the road engineer Chris Ponessi. The subdi- and lights out half an hour after and next door to the south, are visionproposalwoulddivideAdams closing, except for a few low-level several homes. Both retail stores Field into two lots, with the security lights. andresidences are permitteduses in southernmost 1.72 acres to be Ponessi said the lighting would the commercial zone whichrequire bought by Dollar General. aim for night sky compliance. There a zoning permit from the zoningThe other 1.28 acres will stay in wouldbe"no giantglow" andnolight administrator, following site plan the hands of the Adams trust and spillage beyond the property lines, approval by the DRB. could be combined with an adjacent he said. But, he added, the lighting The DRB has the authority to lot to the north which also belongs needs to be adequate for safety. review, modify and place conditions to the trust. Together, those two This store would be one of the on site plans with respect to traffic parcels have enough road frontage areas, circulation, and parking, as to allow two more conforming lots See Dollar General on page 17 well as landscaping and screening, between Wings and the proposed from Rivendell Academy and Trinity Robotics in Manchester get ready to do battle during Sunday's them for the board and said although they would have third annual Green Mountain VEX Robotics Challenge at Thetford Academy. A team from RA was presented been nice to keep in the budget, their removal does not an excellence award and a pair of teams from TA were named tournament champions to earn the right to feature at the New England Regional Championship in Worcester, MA and the U.S. Open Championship in See Oxbow on page 7 Omaha later this year. For more photos from Sunday, see p. 18. JO PHOTO BY RICHARD SWENSON Rotary Basketball Tourneyupage 13 Calling all babies of 2013---page 8