Archive - Jun 2, 2008
By THATCHER MOATS
BRANDON — A major sweep in Rutland County last week of more than three dozen people accused of drug-related crimes netted 10 Brandon residents and a handful of individuals from Addison County.
Brandon Police Chief Chris Brickell, whose department was one of 10 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies involved in the three-month-long effort dubbed “Operation Marble Valley 2008,” said on Thursday that he hopes the arrests will scare other drug dealers, preventing them from setting up shop in Brandon.
“We’re not foolish,” he said. “We know this isn’t the end, but we’re hoping yesterday was step one.”
Nine Brandon residents were arrested Wednesday and one on Thursday. Authorities also arrested or put out warrants for four Addison County residents in connection with the operation.
In addition to Brandon police, Operation Marble Valley included Vermont State Police, the Vermont Drug Task Force (VTDTF), Rutland police, the Rutland County Sheriff, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Rutland County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Vermont Attorney General, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The effort displayed the regional approach that Brickell was hoping for when authorities began clamping down on Rutland-area drug activity in February. He said he had been worried that focusing solely on Rutland would flush criminals out into surrounding towns.
While the Addison County State’s Attorney’s Office was not directly involved with the operation, they will be monitoring the court’s disposition of the cases. Addison County Deputy State’s Attorney Christopher Perkett said he does not anticipate this latest crackdown on drug activity in Rutland County will prompt a spike in such activity in other locations, like Addison County.
By ANDY KIRKALDY
FERRISBURGH — The off-and-on delays experienced by Route 7 drivers in Ferrisburgh and northern New Haven will last right through the summer and into late September, according to a Vermont Agency of Transportation spokesman.
AOT communications director John Zicconi said it simply takes time to prepare for and complete a 10.5-mile, $3.8 million paving project.
“It’s not a small project,” Zicconi said. “This is something that takes a while.”
When completed, Route 7 will be resurfaced between the Charlotte town line and the intersection of the state highway with Lime Kiln Road, just north of New Haven Junction.
In the meantime, local drivers, commuters and day-trippers to Burlington can expect less than smooth sailing along Route 7, especially during rush hour. Zicconi said about 8,300 cars a day cruise on the southern end of the road to be repaired, and about 13,200 along the northern stretch.
“You would naturally conclude the delays will be longer in the northern end of the project,” he said. “People should expect the longer delays in the peak driving hours.”
Other than rush hours, delays will be unpredictable. There may even be times project contractor F.W. Whitcomb pulls workers and equipment to meet deadlines on other jobs, Zicconi said.
“They’re doing different things at different times,” he said, both on the job and at other sites.
Those familiar with other north-south roads might find the going easier there at times, but Zicconi said the AOT would not be setting up detours “through anybody’s neighborhood.”
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — It’s been an eventful few years for Middlebury’s Bill Edson, to say the least.
During the spring of 2006, Edson was a U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class, who, as a part of Task Force Saber, was treating injured soldiers in and around the war-torn city of Ramadi, Iraq.
He returned as a decorated veteran and — after a brief stint at Fletcher Allen Health Care — transitioned into a less intense vocation of selling medical supplies.
But Edson last month returned to the front lines of health care, this time as supervisor of operations for the Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association (MVAA).
“It was really appealing to find a position I was suited for right here at home,” Edson said during an interview last week.
He replaces Scott Supernaw, who recently left to become top administrator for the Brandon Area Rescue Squad.
In the MVAA, Edson takes over a nonprofit organization based off Elm Street that counts around 60 staff and volunteers and a fleet of four ambulances, a heavy rescue truck and a mass casualty trailer. The 30-year-old organization responds to approximately 1,800 service calls per year in Middlebury, East Middlebury, Bridport, Shoreham, Orwell, Ripton, Salisbury, Cornwall, Weybridge, Whiting and New Haven.
While Edson’s main duties involve coordinating MVAA activities and tending to administrative chores, he also plans to become involved in ambulance runs. He is seeking recertification for emergency responder qualifications needed to respond to calls.
Like most people affiliated with the MVAA, he knows he will not be working a regular 9-to-5 job. Calls can come in at any time of the day or night for a service that must be provided 24/7.