Author: Mike Donoghue

Essex drug dealer receives six-year sentence in federal case

By MIKE DONOGHUE BURLINGTON – A Philadelphia man who officials say set up a drug distribution business in Essex has been sentenced to six years in prison. Wendell E. Saunders, 41, learned on Friday he will be on federal supervised release for three years after he is discharged from prison. He also is wanted for a possible parole violation in Philadelphia. Saunders had already pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to knowingly possessing heroin with intent to sell on Sept. 17, 2015, the day he was arrested in Essex Jct. An Essex Police informant told investigators he started buying...

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Backstage Pub loses license for week

MONTPELIER – The Backstage Pub & Restaurant will lose its liquor licenses for seven days because the owner, Vincent Dober Sr. was found intoxicated on the premises, the Vermont Liquor Control Board has ruled. The board also agreed to renew the annual liquor licenses for the bar at 60 Pearl St. but handed down tight restrictions: Dober will be prohibited from drinking or being under the influence of alcohol or any substance while on the premises, the board ruled. He also must cooperate fully and submit to a breath or blood test at the request of any law enforcement...

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Hoague returns to Essex PD as captain

St. Albans Police Capt. Ron Hoague is stepping down after 10 years with the city to accept the No. 2 position with the Essex Police. Hoague ends his employment with St. Albans on Friday afternoon, and said with a laugh, he “gets Saturday and Sunday off” before beginning Monday as a captain in Essex. Essex had two captains, but Rick Garey was promoted to police chief in January. Detective Capt. George Murtie retired in November, and both seats have been vacant for at least six months. Hoague, 48, of Fairfax said the new job will be a chance to...

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Vallee and friend file double-diamond lawsuit

The owners of two major gas stations chains and convenience stores have filed a federal lawsuit to try to block the construction of the so-called “double diamond” traffic project on U.S. 2 & 7 by Interstate 89 near the Colchester-Winooski line. Rodolphe “Skip” Vallee, on behalf of R. L. Vallee, and David Simendinger, on behalf of Wesco and Timberlake Associates, believe the project violates the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Administrative Procedure Act, the lawsuit maintains. The Vermont Agency of Transportation and its secretary, Joe Flynn; and the Federal Highway Administration and its secretary, Elaine Chao,...

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Essex cow abuse case goes to court diversion

By MIKE DONOGHUE For The Essex Reporter The son of an Essex farmer linked by police to nearly two dozen dead cows this spring will not face public prosecution for cruelty to animals. Officials said the case of Jonathan Matthews, 34, of Essex is being sent to the Court Diversion Program, a secret program that allows people to avoid criminal convictions often by doing volunteer work, offering apologies and possible other steps proposed by a community panel. Matthews was due for arraignment in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington on Tuesday morning, but his name was off the schedule when...

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