SHELDON CRASH KILLS FAIRFIELD MAN

SHELDON: According to the Vermont State Police, one man is dead after a single vehicle crash on Duffy Hill Road in the town of Sheldon.

The call came into emergency crews at around 10:50 pm on Wednesday evening for the one car motor vehicle crash. The location is near 3980 Duffy Hill Road, just north of the Fairfield/Sheldon town line.

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ST. ALBANS POLICE SEARCHING FOR ESCAPEE

St. Albans Police responded to an apartment complex at 305 South Main Street in St. Albans City Sunday, according to St. Albans Police Chief Gary Taylor, for the report of a wanted man standing outside of the apartments.
When police arrived, they identified Andrew S. Brace, 34, of St. Albans City, but when they attempted to talk with Brace, he fled into one of the apartments, shouting “Yo, get the gun.”

Andrew Brace, seen in this recent mug shot released by St. Albans Police Wednesday morning.
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POLICE INVESTIGATE DOUBLE FATAL CRASH IN ST. ALBANS TOWN

Members of the crash reconstruction team, part of the Vermont State Police, set up in front of the former Energizer building in St. Albans Town, at the scene of a double fatality Tuesday. Gregory J. Lamoureux, County Courier

St. Albans Police are investigating a double fatal crash on Route 7, just north of the city line.

The St. Albans Town Fire Department responded to the call at around 12:38 pm today, along with St. Albans Police and AmCare Ambulance Service.

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JUDGE SETS BAIL FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER SUSPECT

ST. ALBANS: “He told his Realtor several times that he wanted to put a bullet between her eyes,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Deb Celus of the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office.

Celus was referring to attempted murder suspect Jeffrey Cota, 53, of Bakersfield, who allegedly told his Real Estate Agent he wanted to shoot his estranged partner, Gerry Manchester.

This came during an arraignment for a felony charge of attempted murder of Harley Demag, Jr. on Sunday in Bakersfield, as well as two charges of violating an abuse prevention order. Demag is the son of Gerry Manchester.

Cota sat in court making very little noise, but weeping for most of his 25 minute hearing.

The State argued for an order to hold Cota without bail until further adjudication could happen, but the defense asked the judge for a more lenient sentence, which is ultimately what happened.

“He was found with ammunition in his vehicle after the crash,” Celus pointed out to the court, noting that the release of Cota would be dangerous for not only the victim but also the victim’s family and the general public.

The defense introduced Cota’s mother as a responsible adult that could take responsibility and house Cota if he was released.

Cota’s mother also agreed to turn over three firearms to the Vermont State Police, firearms that belonged to Cota that were moved to his mother’s address when he was issued a temporary relief from abuse order. Since that order was issued to Cota, he was also staying with his mother in Milton.

According to records, Cota tried to sideswipe the vehicle Demag was driving on Route 36, before turning his vehicle around and hitting the vehicle head-on. That vehicle was owned by Demag’s mother and Cota’s estranged partner, Gerry Manchester.

Judge Scot Kline ultimately ordered Cota to be allowed to be released on $50,000 bail, which could allow the man to walk by putting up as little as $5,000.

The County Courier will update this story as more information becomes available. Follow our Facebook page and website for more local news.

LA QUINTA STABBING VICTIM, WITNESS ARRESTED FOR ROBBERY

Hannah Bockus, left, and Tyler Bushey in their mug shots released by SAPD on Monday morning.

St. Albans Police were working with Tyler Bushey last week in an attempt to identify the perpetrator who tried to kill him by stabbing him at the LaQuinta in St. Albans Town, but not that same man is being charged by police with Attempted Assault and Robbery.

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VSP: BAKERSFIELD CRASH WAS ATTEMPTED MURDER

Rescue crews work to free Jeffrey Cota Sr. from a vehicle positioned over an embankment on Sunday afternoon after Cota allegedly ran head on into his stepson’s vehicle. Gregory J. Lamoureux, County Courier

BAKERSFIELD: Vermont State Police say a crash that occurred on Route 36 in Bakersfield Sunday afternoon was an act of attempted murder.

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POLICE INVESTIGATE EARLY MORNING STABBING

St. Albans Police investigate an early morning stabbing at the LaQuinta in St. Albans Tuesday morning.

ST. ALBANS: The victim of a stabbing showed up at the Emergency Department at Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans just after 2 am this morning, according to police, who were called as part of a medical protocol at the hospital for such wounds.

Officers from the St. Albans Police Department were told by the 18-year-old’s girlfriend, who said she witnessed the incident, that a black male stabbed the victim outside the LaQuinta Hotel while the two sat in their vehicle.

The girlfriend drove the victim to the hospital, according to St. Albans Police Chief Gary Taylor.

Taylor said he was later transferred to the University of Vermont Medical Center where he was admitted into the intensive care unit with life-threatening injuries.

Taylor did not identify the victim of the stabbing, or the girlfriend who witnessed it, but the County Courier has confirmed that the victim in the stabbing is Tyler Bushey.

Police responded to the LaQuinta in an attempt to talk with the suspect, but workers could only give them a limited description of two black males who had rented a room not long before the stabbing, then began arguing before fleeing the area, traveling north on VT Rte. 104 from the hotel.

Taylor said he does not believe there is any immediate harm to the public, and that Bushey and the suspect likely knew each other.

If you have any information that could help police crack the stabbing that took place around 2:10 am, you are asked to call the St. Albans Police at 524-2166.

CO-OP MEMBERS APPROVE MERGER WITH DFA

Members of the St. Albans Co-op meet at the American Legion on Monday morning just before shutting the doors to the public to discuss and vote on a merger with DFA. Gregory J. Lamoureux, County Courier

Gregory J. Lamoureux
County Courier

ST. ALBANS: About two hundred people attended the St. Albans Co-operative meeting this morning, held at the American Legion in St. Albans. Top on the agenda and at the forefront of most farmers’ minds was the proposed merger with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA).

The members in attendance were asked to approve the merger but had to vote in a 2/3 majority in order for the merger to go through.

The County Courier confirmed with farmers leaving the vote that the merger had indeed gone through, although specifics had yet to be released publicly. A press conference is scheduled for 4 pm this afternoon.

According to a farmer we spoke with, the vote was overwhelmingly in support of the merger. With 99 farms approving of the merger and nine voting against it, the vote passed with 92% backing the Board’s merger plan.

The vote took place behind closed doors, barring the County Courier and numerous other media outlets from access to the meeting, discussion, and vote.

The results were announced to members at the meeting at around 1 pm Monday.

Check back here as well as our weekly print edition for more coverage of the vote.

The County Courier was the first news agency to publish the news on Monday afternoon.

The proposed merger was announced early last month after the St. Albans Co-op Board voted unanimously to advance the proposal to their entire membership.

CHCC TEACHER IS FINALIST IN $1 MILLION GRANT CONTEST

Editor’s note: This news brief originally ran in the July 18th edition of the County Courier. Subscribe to our print edition to keep up with all our news, even the news that doesn’t make our website. Visit mkt.com/courier

ENOSBURG FALLS: As a way to promote their brand, Harbor Freight Tools, is running a grant for high school skilled trades programs, and Baxter Weed, the Automotive Technology teacher at Cold Hollow Career Center in Enosburg is among the 50 finalists for the award.

There were almost 750 contestants in the initial round, according to the organizers of the grant, which include automotive as well as construction, welding, manufacturing, and agriculture mechanics.

The $1 million will be split between the winners, with the top place finisher picking up $70,000 for their school, and $30,000 for themselves to help continue their work. Second place winners will receive $35,000 for their school and $15,000 for themselves.

Weed is among 50 finalists who have advanced to the next round of judging where they will be asked to respond to online expert led video learning modules designed to solicit their insights and creative ideas about teaching practices. The contenders will be asked how ideas from the modules might be used to inspire students to achieve excellence in the skilled trades.

Now in its third year, past winners of the competition have dedicated their winnings to modernizing their shops, investing in specialized tools, promoting their programs to families and purchasing equipment to prepare students for higher level accreditations. Semifinalists whose school, district or state policy prohibits receipt of the individual portion of prize earnings were eligible to apply on behalf of their school’s skilled trades program. If they win, the entire prize will be awarded to the school, according to organizers.

POLICE SEEK SUSPECTED BURGLAR

By Gregory J. Lamoureux
County Courier

GEORGIA: The Franklin County Sheriff Office needs your help finding a suspect in a burglary in Georgia yesterday, less than 24 hours after he was arrested and released by Vermont State Police.

The incident happened just after 5pm at a home on Mill River Road. Nobody was at the home when the burglary took place.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, Miles Lawler was seen on a Ring doorbell moments before he burglarized the Mill River Road home.

The Sheriff’s Department says he stole two young, 5 1/2 week old Pitbull Puppies during the burglary.

Lawler was arrested the previous day, Monday, after he was reported to be the assailant in an incident near Toure 7 in the town of Georgia.

According to Trooper Nicholas Olsen of the Vermont State Police, the alleged victim, in that case, reported that Lawler had left the scene, driving north on Route 7.

Miles Lawler appears in a mugshot less than 24 hours before police believe he was involved in a burglary in Georgia.

He was later located at Mobil North in St. Albans, intoxicated- a violation of conditions of release in an unrelated case.

The Trooper issued him a citation to appear in Criminal Court in Franklin County on Tuesday to answer to the charge of violating conditions of release. It is unclear if he was released on additional conditions or if he failed to show up to court.

A man called the County Courier about an hour after this story was first published online, identifying himself as Lawler, making threats in an attempt to get this news story removed.

The man claimed he had already talked to police, who told him the story would be removed, but when asked the name of the Deputy he spoke with, he became very belligerent and hung up the phone.

After calling the number back, a woman who would only identify herself as Sasha refused to say where Lawler was but said she had just dropped him off at a store after he asked to use her phone.

If you have any information, you are asked to contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department at 524-2121.

© County Courier 2019