• Lawmakers signal possible compromise to get marijuana sales bill passed

    Members of the House Judiciary Committee listen to testimony on saliva testing for the presence of cannabis at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Wednesday. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
    After Gov. Phil Scott said last week that he would not sign a bill to legalize a regulated market for cannabis sales unless lawmakers also approved roadside saliva testing, Democrats are signaling a new openness to the controversial drug test.
    Some Democratic lawmakers are saying they are considering supporting s
  • Alyssa Black: ‘Andrew is just one story’

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Alyssa Black, of Essex.
    Day 137. As I write this it’s been 137 days since my 23-year-old son Andrew Black walked into a gun store, bought a handgun, drove home and within hours shot himself. On day number three we wrote an obituary, suggesting a way to honor Andrew would be to call your local representative asking for a brief waiting period for gun purchases. It is heartening to see that such a bill is moving forward at the Statehouse.
  • Stanley Sloan: Time to move on

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Stanley R. Sloan, of Richmond, a native Vermonter who is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States, has taught in the winter term at Middlebury College for 15 years, following a career of government service at the Congressional Research Service, the CIA and as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force. His latest book, the basis for several recent presentations in Vermont and in Europe, is “Transatlantic traumas,
  • Walt Amses: A trip down memory lane

    Editor’s note: Walt Amses is a writer and former educator who lives in North Calais.
    I was dug in at home plate as I could be, especially on asphalt, but remained relaxed … “In the zone” before there was such a thing; waiting on a moment I’d been visualizing in my adolescent brain for the last 15 minutes. As the pitcher released the ball I picked up the rotation almost instantly and held firm. It was headed high and inside, toward my left shoulder, maybe even my ea
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  • Patricia Prelock appointed interim provost and senior VP at UVM

    Patricia Prelock was named interim provost and senior vice president at UVM. Photo courtesy of UVM.
    BURLINGTON — The University of Vermont announced Monday that Patricia Prelock, the dean of the UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences, has been appointed interim provost and senior vice president.
    Prelock’s appointment was effective April 15, and she will serve in the position during a time of transition at the university. The university’s next president, Suresh Garimella, st
  • Senate passes proposal to prohibit slavery in Constitution

    Sen. Jeanette White, D-Windham. File photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
    The Senate voted 28-1 in favor of a proposal to amend the Vermont Constitution to clarify that slavery and indentured servitude are prohibited “in any form.”The Wednesday vote was preceded by many of the same arguments that have been made for the last two months as the proposal worked its way through committee.
    Sen. Jeanne White, D-Windham, and Dick McCormack, D-Windsor, were the two key players during debate on
  • Secretary of State Jim Condos proposes streamlined licensing rules for funeral directors, barbers, and cosmetologists

    News Release — Secretary of State Jim CondosApril 24, 2019
    Contact: Eric Covey, 802-828-2148
    Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) filed proposed rules to reform licensing requirements for funeral directors, barbers, cosmetologists, nail technicians, and estheticians this month. These reforms fall under the scope of a Federal Department of Labor grant awarded to OPR last year and are part of a broader effort to update existing
  • Fort Ticonderoga offers new experiences and multi-day visit in 2019

    News Release — Fort TiconderogaApril 24, 2019
    (Ticonderoga, NY) Every day is an event at Fort Ticonderoga and every year is a new experience. Fort Ticonderoga, a historic site, museum, and family destination encourages visitors to build their perfect adventure in America’s most historic landscape, opens for the season beginning on Saturday, May 4.
    This year, Fort Ticonderoga debuts a new chapter in its story. Explore the French Army’s defense against the British invasion, which
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  • Peace picnic – share your ideas about fostering peace

    News Release — Veterans For PeaceApril 24, 2019
    Join veterans and non-veterans for a Peace Picnic and Conversations beginning at 11:00 am onSaturday, May 18 at Spirit In Nature in Ripton. The Will Miller Green Mountain Veterans ForPeace, Chapter 57, invites you to bring your family and a picnic lunch, enjoy walking the paths,and learn about Veterans For Peace and our activities from Chapter members while sharingyour ideas about how peace can best be fostered.
    The event will take place at S
  • VTDigger Minute: Smoking age, hemp rules, high schools transition

    VTDigger Minute is a weekly news digest from Vermont PBS. Tune in every Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Thursday at 6:30 a.m. to hear about the week’s top stories.
    This week on the Minute:
    House advances bill to increase smoking age to 21
    The Vermont House has given preliminary approval to a bill that would raise the state’s legal smoking age from 18 to 21. If it passes, Vermont would join at least twelve other states that have made the shift. Only 14 members voted against the bill, wi
  • ArtisTree Music Theatre Festival returns for Season 3

    News Release — The ArtisTree Music Theatre FestivalApril 24, 2019
    CONTACT:Marie Cross | Marketing & Communications DirectorArtisTree Community Arts Center802.457.3500www.artistreevt.org | communications@artistreevt.org
    South Pomfret — The ArtisTree Music Theatre Festival offers a season of live, professional musical theatre productions that run from August to October each year. Our Festival is modeled after the “summer stock” tradition of staging shows: we use a resid
  • Fact-check: Sanders set off a firestorm over prisoners voting, but his facts are straight

    Bernie Sanders speaks to a crowd at a campaign rally in Concord, NH on March 10. Photo by Kit Norton/VTDigger
    “In my own state of Vermont, from the very first days of our state’s history, what our Constitution says is that everybody can vote. That is true. So people in jail can vote.” — Sen. Bernie Sanders at a CNN town hall on April 22, 2019.In comments that flooded national headlines, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Monday night that he believes all prisoners &mda
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  • Margolis: When legislation can wait another year, it usually does

    Rep. Nader Hashim, D-Dummerston, of the House Judiciary Committee listens to testimony on a proposed waiting period for firearm purchases at the Statehouse last month. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
    Jon Margolis is VTDigger’s political columnist.
    On March 22, after subjecting it to the usual procedure – public hearings, committee meetings, amendments, floor debate – the state Senate passed S.169, requiring a 24-hour waiting period before most handgun purchases.
    Continuing the
  • Noise map to show more homes affected by F-35s

    An F-35 Lightning II at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.
    The first noise map for the Burlington International Airport that includes the F-35s coming this fall is “substantially complete” and won’t include any surprises, airport officials say.The map is consistent with findings in the Air Force’s Environmental Impact Statement and will be published May 28, according to Nick Longo, the airport’s deputy director of aviation.
    The are
  • New website makes it easy to find humanely produced products in Vermont

    News Release — Health Hero FarmApril 24, 2019
    Media Contact: Robert Fireovid, Health Hero FarmHealthHeroFarm@gmail.com , 802-233-0064
    South Hero, VT — Health Hero Farm announced today that a group of Vermont farmers are collaborating on a project to help consumers find farms, restaurants, stores, and CSAs that offer products made with higher standards of livestock care across the state. The project created a website ( https://www.ethicaleatervt.org/ ) listing Vermont outlets for welf
  • First Rutland community nursing symposium to be held in Killington

    News Release — Rutland Regional Medical CenterApril 23, 2019
    Rutland, VT: The Nursing Excellence Department at Rutland Regional Medical Center has partnered with the VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region, Genesis Mountain View Center, Rutland Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Bayada Home Health Care, The Pines at Rutland and the Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region to host the First Annual Rutland Community Nursing Symposium, Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at the Killington Gran
  • Burlington ranks as one of the cleanest cities for air quality, finds 2019 ‘State of the Air’ report

    News Release — American Lung AssociationApril 24, 2019
    Williston, VT (April 24, 2019) – The American Lung Association’s 2019 “State of the Air” reportfound Vermont’s Burlington- South Burlington-Barre metro area is ranked as the 12thcleanest city for year round particle pollution in the U.S., and was one of only 6 cities nationwide to also record zero bad air days for ozone and short-term pollution. Vermont is repeatedly considered one of the cleanest state fo
  • Vermont Wild and Phoenix Books = books for bears

    News Release — Phoenix BooksApril 23, 2019
    Best-selling “Vermont Wild” author Megan Price and Phoenix Books will celebrate national Independent Bookstore Day by donating to a portion of the profits from the sale of the best-selling outdoor adventure series to benefit orphaned black bear cubs.
    “WCAX recently reported the Kilham Bear Center (KBC) is overwhelmed caring for 66 cubs, with more expected this spring,” Price noted.“Vermont’s orphaned cubs go the
  • Scott and Agency of Transportation announce recipients of $2.2 million in federal transportation grants

    News Release — Office of the GovernorMonday, April 22, 2019
    Contact:Scott Robertson, Agency of Transportation802-793-2395; scott.robertson@vermont.gov
    Rebecca Kelley, Office of the Governor802-828-6403; rebecca.kelley@vermont.gov
    Montpelier, Vt. — Governor Phil Scott today announced the recipients of nearly $2.2 million in federal funds for municipal grant projects under the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) for stormwater quality improvements across Vermont.
  • VeggieVanGo provides free produce monthly at Gifford

    News Release — GiffordApril 22, 2019
    For more information:Maryellen Apelquist 802-728-2284
    RANDOLPH, Vt.—Beginning May 9, area community members in need of food assistance are invited to pick up free vegetables and fruits from VeggieVanGo on the second Thursday of every month at the Gifford Medical Center Visitors Entrance.A program of the Vermont Foodbank, VeggieVanGo will be at Gifford from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the following dates:
    May 9June 13July 11Aug. 8Sept. 12Oct. 10Nov. 14
  • Paul Scharre wins Colby award for book on AI and autonomous weapons, ‘Army of None’

    News ReleaseApril 23, 2019
    Contact:Scott Manning646-661-6665603-491-0995 (C)scott@scottmanningpr.com
    Daphne Larkin802-485-2886dlarkin@norwich.edu
    NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Paul Scharre has won the 2019 William E. Colby Award for his book, “Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War.” Now in its 20th year, the Colby prize is awarded annually by Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., to a first solo work of fiction or nonfiction that has made a major contribution to the under
  • Eric Hanson wins GMP-Zetterstrom Environmental Award

    News Release — Green Mountain PowerApril 23, 2019
    Contact: Steve Costello – GMP (802) 793-4031Karen Bourque – VCE (802) 649-1431 x209
    Eric Hanson, a biologist at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) who spearheaded recovery of the formerly endangered common loon in Vermont, was presented the 2019 GMP-Zetterstrom Environmental Award today.
    The award, named for Milton resident Meeri Zetterstrom, who inspired recovery efforts that lead to the removal of the osprey from Vermont&
  • Duxbury man sentenced under federal crack house statute to time served and three years of supervision

    News Release — U.S. Department of JusticeApril 23, 2019The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that U.S. District Court Judge William K. Sessions III sentenced Mark Russell (a.k.a. “Snake”), 61, of Duxbury, Vermont, to time-served for violating the federal “Crack House Statute.” This statute prohibits making a place, such as a residence, available for manufacturing, storing, distributing, or using any controlled substance (the sta
  • Climate movement testifies for ban on new pipelines at public hearing

    April 23, 2019
    Contacts:Julie Macuga, 350VT Extreme Energy Organizer, 802-238-5777, resist@350vt.orgMaeve McBride, Director 350VT, 802-999-2820, Maeve@350vt.orgKanika Gandhi, VPIRG Clean Energy Advocate,802-798-2960, kgandhi@vpirg.orgMari Cordes, State Representative (introduced H.175),802-989-926, mcordes@leg.state.vt.usMary Sullivan, State Representative (introduced H.51) 802-598-8139, msullivan@leg.state.vt.usMONTPELIER, VT: Over 130 people flooded the State House Tuesday night for a public h
  • As the Legislature winds down, don’t miss a thing. Sign up for Final Reading.

    Read the story on VTDigger here:As the Legislature winds down, don’t miss a thing. Sign up for Final Reading..
  • State freezes association health plan growth amid federal legal fight

    Mike Pieciak is the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation. File photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
    Association health insurance plans in Vermont must stop marketing and cannot enroll new employers due to uncertainty in the wake of a federal court decision, the state’s Department of Financial Regulation says.
    The department’s new bulletin also says the state won’t approve any new association plans until the federal court ruling, which labeled association p
  • Woolf: What can be done to reverse Vermont’s population decline?

     Editor’s note: Art Woolf is an associate professor of economics at the University of Vermont. He served for three years as state economist for Gov. Madeleine Kunin beginning in 1988.More than half of Vermont counties have fewer residents today than when the 2010 Census count was taken, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates for 2018. Populations shrank in the three Northeast Kingdom counties — Caledonia, Essex and Orleans — and in the four southern Vermont counties
  • Minimum wage bill stalls over question of raises for health care workers

    Rep. Tom Stevens, D-Waterbury, questions Joyce Manchester of the Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Office, not seen, as the House General, Housing and Military Affairs Committee considers a bill that would raise the minimum wage on Tuesday. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
    A bill that would increase Vermont’s minimum wage to $15 is idling in a House committee over concerns about whether some Medicaid-funded health care workers should see higher pay, if the legislation becomes law.A discussio
  • Burlington police union sues city for footage of hospital altercation

    Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo, center, speaks during a press conference in Burlington on April 10. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
    BURLINGTON — The Burlington police union has sued the city, seeking Officer Corey Campbell’s body camera footage from an altercation currently under investigation by the Vermont State Police.Douglas Kilburn, 54, died days after an encounter with Campbell at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Police say Kilburn punched Campbell in the fac
  • Judge tells lawyers in firearms magazine ban case to be ‘trial ready’ in November

    Gun magazines on display wall at Parro’s Gun Shop in Waterbury. Photo by Jim Welch/VTDiggerA judge has told attorneys in the legal fight over the constitutionality of the high-capacity magazine ban that went into effect in Vermont late last year to be ready for trial in November.
    Judge Mary Miles Teachout laid out a schedule Tuesday in Washington County Superior civil court for the case going forward.
    It was the first hearing since her ruling last month that rejected bids by both sides to
  • Bennington PFOA case advances in federal court

    The former ChemFab plant in North Bennington is considered by state officials to be the source of PFOA contamination of groundwater supplies in a wide area around the factory. Photo by Ben Garver/Berkshire Eagle
    RUTLAND — Bennington residents with PFOA-contaminated drinking water are seeking to expand their lawsuit to include others affected by the chemical exposure.A group of Bennington residents who filed a lawsuit in 2016 against Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics are seeking to have the
  • Kamala Harris steps foot in Bernie Sanders’ stomping ground

    Sen. Kamala Harris takes the stage at New Hampshire’s Keene State College on Tuesday as she brought her 2020 presidential campaign to the first-in-the-nation primary state. Photo by Kevin O’Connor/VTDigger
    KEENE, N.H. — At first glance, the younger black woman from the West and the older white man from the East couldn’t appear more different. Yet when California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris brought her 2020 presidential campaign to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New
  • Laurene Allen: The PFAS fight in New Hampshire

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Laurene Allen, of Merrimack, New Hampshire, who is a member of Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water.
    As a mother living in a community impacted by toxic PFAS contamination, I strongly support pending Vermont legislation to hold polluters accountable (S.37) for the harm they cause.
    Due to the extensive contamination in our community, I have become a citizen advocate and cofounder of Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water. PFAS chemicals, used in a wide range o
  • Rosanne Greco: The F-35 and nuclear capability

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by retired Air Force Col. Rosanne Greco, who spent 30 years on active duty in the Air Force, including as a delegate to four international nuclear arms control negotiations, including the Strategic Arms Reductions Talks (START). She is a former chair of the South Burlington City Council and a member of Save Our Skies VT.The Department of Defense’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review contained a message of enormous significance for Vermonters. It designated t
  • Michael Seaver: In support of the child care bill

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Michael Seaver, who is the president of People’s United Bank.
    Throughout the course of my life I have had countless opportunities to learn the same lesson: When you engage with children and invest in them at a young age, their opportunity for success skyrockets.
    In January, I joined fellow business leaders, state legislators, early educators and community members at a Statehouse press conference announcing new legislation proposing significant inv
  • Bennington College president leaving to head national foundation

    Mariko Silver speaks at the Bennington Museum just before her inauguration as Bennington College president. Photo by Holly Pelczynski/Bennington Banner
    When Mariko Silver was first hired as the president of Bennington College, she said she was flooded with emails, letters and calls from friends, all telling her that the most interesting person in their lives had gone to Bennington. For a college with an enrollment of 700, that wasn’t something she was expecting to hear.
    “I always say
  • VTDigger releases 2018 Annual Report

    Thanks to our readers, VTDigger has continued to build a statewide newsroom that has the capacity to cover the most important Vermont stories of the day and pursue deep investigations on issues that matter most to readers.
    Information about how we have grown, where our money comes from and how we spend it can be found in our 2018 Annual Report.
    In 2018, we increased revenues by 11 percent over the previous year, making it possible for us to expand our editing capacity and our newsroom with the
  • House advances bill to increase smoking age to 21

    Rep. George Till, D-Jericho, speaks in favor of a bill to raise the age for tobacco use and purchase to 21 at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Tuesday. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
    With little opposition and only a brief debate, the House on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would raise Vermont’s legal smoking age from 18 to 21.
    A final vote is required in the House on S.86, and the Senate will have to consider a House amendment to change the effective date to Sept. 1. But
  • Statewide workshops for community and school gardens

    News Release — Vermont Community Garden NetworkApril 23, 2019
    CONTACT: Libby Weiland, Vermont Community Garden Network, (802) 861-4769, libby@vcgn.org
    Vermont Community Garden Network’s Grow It! workshops are back this spring! Join fellow gardeners, educators, organizers and enthusiasts of community-based gardening for a workshop on “Growing Your Community of Gardeners,” at a location near you. Brainstorm solutions, share stories, and swap ideas for stronger garden commun
  • Vermont Story Lab to host storytelling skill-building labs for nonprofit professionals

    News Release — Vermont Story LabApril 23, 2019
    MEDIA CONTACTMeg CampbellPreservation Trust of Vermont802-442-8951meg@ptvermont.org
    Burlington, VT – Vermont Story Lab will host five storytelling skill-building labs for nonprofit professionals, May-July 2019, in Waterbury, Burlington, North Bennington, and Grand Isle, Vt. Two of the labs are at the introductory level to help attendees find their storytelling voices, while two of the labs are intermediate to help attendees share stories
  • Girl Scouts are learning to lead at the Statehouse

    News Release — Girl ScoutsApril 23, 2019
    Contact: Ginger Kozlowski, Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains gkozlowski@girlscoutsgwm.org or 888-474-9686
    MONPELIER, VT – Girls interested in making the world a better place can find many opportunities to do just that through Girl Scouts, and those interested in doing so through politics and the law can learn about government through Girls Rock the Capitol. This six-month-long internship program offered by Girl Scouts of the Green a
  • Steelhead rainbow trout will soon be jumping

    News Release — VERMONT FISH & WILDLIFEApril 23, 2019
    Media Contacts: Pete Emerson 802-751-0485
    ORLEANS, Vt. – One of the state’s premier wildlife watching opportunities will soon be taking place in Vermont. The steelhead rainbow trout have started their upstream migration, leaping up waterfalls in a spectacular display of determination on their way to their spawning grounds.
    Steelhead can be spotted moving up the falls during warmer days in mid to late April into early May
  • Welch unveils legislation to protect local pharmacies from anti-competitive practices

    News Release — Rep. Peter WelchApril 22, 2019
    Contact:Lincoln Peek, Communications Director(202) 440-3340
    RUTLAND, Vt. – At a press conference this afternoon at Rutland Pharmacy, Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) unveiled two bills that will protect Vermont’s local independent pharmacies that are at risk due to anti-competitive practices by middlemen in the prescription drug market. There are 41 independent pharmacies in Vermont employing 381 full time employees.
    “When Vermonters
  • Burlington names top city in Northeast and fourth in country for solar per capita

    News Release — Mayor Miro WeinbergerApril 22, 2019
    Contact: Olivia LaVecchia(802) 734-0617
    Burlington, VT – Burlington has more solar PV capacity installed per capita than any other city in the Northeastern United States, a new report from Environment America finds, and is ranked fourth in the country for solar capacity per capita.
    “All Burlingtonians should be proud to see our City’s environmental leadership highlighted in this report,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger.
  • Burlington named top city in Northeast and fourth in country for solar per capita

    News Release — Mayor Miro WeinbergerApril 22, 2019
    Contact: Olivia LaVecchia(802) 734-0617
    Burlington, VT – Burlington has more solar PV capacity installed per capita than any other city in the Northeastern United States, a new report from Environment America finds, and is ranked fourth in the country for solar capacity per capita.
    “All Burlingtonians should be proud to see our City’s environmental leadership highlighted in this report,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger.
  • Top game industry recruiters come to Champlain College to scout top game talent

    News Release — Champlain CollegeApril 22, 2019
    Who: Champlain Game Development Graduating Seniors
    When: Friday, April 26, 2019. Senior Show: 5:30–8:00 PM
    Reception and Game Playing: 8:00–11:00 PM
    Where: Champlain College, Center for Communication & Creative Media,
    Alumni Auditorium and Art Gallery
    375 Maple Street, Maple St, Burlington, VT 05401
    BURLINGTON — Now in its 12th year, Champlain College’s annual Game Studio Senior Show an
  • Oral arguments heard in Stowe and Elmore-Morristown Act 46 case

    Vermont Superior Court Judge Robert Mello hears oral arguments in the Stowe and Elmore-Morristown Act 46 case. The towns, which do not want to merge school districts, argue that the state consolidation law is unconstitutional.
    The Stowe and Elmore-Morristown school districts had their day in court on Monday. Lawyers for the towns argued the state erred when it decided to merge the two districts under Act 46.
    The merger of the Elmore-Morristown and Stowe districts was one of the State Board of Ed
  • Wired for Safety: Biases can hamper cybersecurity

    Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the International Cybersecurity Conference in Moscow in July 2018. Kremlin photo
    Editor’s note: Wired for Safety is a column on cybersecurity and other tech issues. Duane Dunston is an assistant professor of cybersecurity and networking at Champlain College. He received his bachelor’s and master’s of science from Pfeiffer University. From 2001 to 2011 he worked in cybersecurity for NOAA. He is a doctoral student at Northeastern Univers
  • Welch targets ‘anti-competitive practices’ of prescription middlemen

    U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., speaks at a press conference in September at the Vermont Statehouse. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger
    Six months after Rutland Pharmacy launched a court battle alleging unfair business tactics in the drug industry, U.S. Rep. Peter Welch is lending legislative support to the fight.
    Welch, D-Vt., visited the pharmacy on Monday to announce two bills aimed at what he called “anti-competitive practices” by pharmacy benefit managers, who act as middlemen between i
  • Two additional suspects arrested as accessories in Burlington shooting

    The scene of the shooting on North Willard Street in Burlington is taped off by police. Photo by Aidan Quigley/VTDigger
    Two additional suspects have been identified in the shooting death of 23-year-old Benzell Hampton in Burlington’s Old North End, after four individuals were arrested in connection with the death late last week.
    Burlington police announced Monday that during the investigation into the “circumstances of the flight” of the original four suspects, Angeline Pearson

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