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The Burlington Free Press from Burlington, Vermont • Page 13
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The Burlington Free Press from Burlington, Vermont • Page 13

Burlington, Vermont
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tlTfje Turlington Jfrct prejefsf INSIDE Community 2B Towns 4B Neighbors 5B Sports 8B Mount Abraham reaches Division II field hockey final, Sports, 11B SECTION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2000 METRO EDITOR ED SHAMY 660-1862 or (800) 427-3 124 PAGE IB Vermont on's disappearance remains a mystery Debate focuses on I hi rpZ disagree sS i For 20 years, parents find no answers By Leslie Koren Free Press Staff Writer There is a gravestone in East Cemetery in Williston. It marks a name and a memory. But for 20 years, Lillian and Wilfred King have been searching for a body to bury beneath it. Their son, Wilfred "Butch" King III, was last seen alive Oct. 24, 1980.

He was 37 at the time, estranged from his wife and recovering from a bad automobile accident that had changed him dramatically and forced him onto crutches for two years. The disappearance 'was suspicious from the start and has haunted his parents' lives ever since. "It's the not knowing what happened. That's the worst thing. Not knowing where he is, how much he suffered," said Lillian, as she sat with her husband in their kitchen on the eve of the 20-year anniversary.

"We are getting older," said Wilfred, 83. Lillian is 75. "Before we pass away, I hope it is (solved)," said Lillian. "I could die with a free heart. It wouldn't be so heavy." King's bloody crutches were found by hunters in the woods near Colchester the day he was reported missing.

A couple of weeks later, his truck was found in a sand pit in Williston. Essex police have spent thousands of hours on the case, said Lt. Gary Taylor, who was a patrol officer at the time of the disappearance. They are developing leads, but there have been 1 ALISON REOLICH, Free Press Lillian and Wilfred King of Essex sit in their kitchen Monday night with a portrait of their King III, who disappeared Oct. 24, 1980.

The Kings still hope to discover what happened Candidates By Candace Page Free Press Staff Writer COLCHESTER Gov. Howard Dean and Republican challenger Ruth Dwyer disagreed sharply Tuesday night about the cause and solutions to Vermont's health care problem. Progressive Anthony Pol-liria criticized both his opponents for taking large amounts of money from their political parties. The three spoke during a one-hour debate on Vermont Public Radio's Switchboard program. They questioned one another as well as taking questions from callers.

"How many kids would you cut off Dr. Dynasaur?" Dean asked Dwyer. The Medicaid program provides coverage for 55,000 Vermont children; Dwyer has criticized the program for helping middle-income families. "I'm not talking about cutting children off from the health care system," Dwyer responded. "That's the last thing any of us want to do." She said families earning $50,000 shouldn't need state help to afford coverage for their children.

She said it was Dean's fault that they need that help. "The cost of health insurance is very high. The reason is that you have driven all the private insurers out of the state with your policies," Dwyer said. Later, Dean returned to the subject and said, "Dr. Dynasaur has become a mid- "Before we pass away, I hope it is (solved).

I could die with a free heart. It wouldn't be so Lillian King, mother of Wilfred "Butch" King III no arrests and they are not close to making one. "It's one of those cases you go to bed with every night and get up with every morning," Taylor said. Butch was the Kings' second child. They have five others and all but their oldest daughter live nearby.

Butch lived next door, in a home he built when he was a teen-ager. He took over his father's paving business. In 1966, he married Diane Irish of Underbill and the two had three children: Joey, Angela and Michael. In 1978, Butch was struck by a vehicle across the street from his home. He was in a coma for weeks and the chances for full recovery Blazer after dinnertime on the fateful Friday evening.

To Lillian and Wilfred King, what happened next is clear, but it has never been proven in court nor have charges ever been brought. Diane King hired someone to kill Butch so she could have the estate, they said. She moved back into Butch's house. She was hanging around with bad company two boyfriends State States drug plan moves ahead i CAMPAIGN die-class entitlement, which I am very proud of." Dwyer then challenged Dean, saying she's been told by doctors and nurses that the state's underpayment for Medicaid patients makes their lives more difficult. Dean said that while the state doesn't pay the full cost for Medicaid patients, it's far better than nothing at all.

"What doctors will tell you is that they are glad people have Medicaid because that means they have insurance," he said. "Doctors treat people whether they can pay or not. If they don't have insurance and can't pay anything, then (doctors) have to shift that cost onto somebody else." Dean went on to say that his goal remains providing health insurance coverage for all Vermonters. Pollina criticized both his opponents for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from their national parties. Much of that money, he said, was raised from pharmaceutical companies.

"How or why should Vermonters believe you are willing to stand up to the pharmaceutical industry and fight to make them lower the prices they charge?" Pollina challenged Dean. Dean said he believed his See DEBATE, 3B ALISON REOLICH, tree Press two weeks left in the campaign but we feel very good about the direction the numbers are moving," Key said. "We're obviously trying to do everything we can to help. We also recognize Dean has made an appeal and received several hundred thousand from national parties," Key said. Summers said the Dwyer campaign has raised more than $700,000 $300,000 from the party and the rest from private donors.

Raising more money than in 1998 when she had less than $300,000 to spend and lost the race to Dean was crucial for Dwyer. A hefty bank account allows candidates to record advertisements and buy time on television and radio. Dean campaign manager Kate O'Connor said she couldn't provide the fund-raising total for his campaign Tuesday night. He started the campaign with about $300,000 left over 1998. Today, candidates will file their final pre-election finance reports.

I I late son, Wilfred "Butch" to their son 20 years ago. who also moved into Butch's house after he disappeared and harassed the King family, they said. Diane King did not return a phone call seeking comment. In a 1981 Free Press article, she denied any in- volvement in the disappearance. Taylor would not com ment on the possibility of her involvement.

He said that any contact they have had with her has been lniti ated by the police. She does not call seeking resolution to the case. The disappearance tore up the family. Joey King and his mother found themselves facing each other in court over his property. At See KING, 3B Notes "It's a whole new concept," Bristol said of the public transportation initiative in Franklin and Grand Isle counties.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. this morning at the North Hero Elementary School to mark the start of the new service between the islands and Chittenden County. Two Essex teen-agers sentenced for break-in ST. ALBANS Two Es sex teen-agers who broke into a Georgia residence June 15 and "terrified" two family members who returned home a short time later were sentenced to prison Tuesday in Vermont District Court. Scott B.

Tower, 18, who had a prior assault conviction for which he was on probation, was sentenced by Judge Dean Pineles to 21 months to five years with credit for serving 93 days. Joshua M. Mulholland, 17, was sentenced to 18 months to five years with all but 18 months suspended. He also was placed on probation. "This is an extremely serious offense which sends chills down the spines of law-abiding citizens," Pineles said.

"It's easy to understand that they were terrified by what happened." Pineles referred to Frances Ballard, who spoke in court during the sentencing hearing, and her son, Garth. They returned to their Sodom Road residence about 6:15 am and found inside Tower and Mulholland, who ordered them into the basement. Deputy Franklin County State's Attorney Derk Wa-das said Tower had a crowbar while Mulholland had what appeared to be a pistol, which turned out to be a fake gun. From staff, wire reports were minimal. He survived, and learned to get around first in a wheelchair and then on crutches.

His relationship with his wife suffered, the Kings said, and she moved out of their home. The two youngest children went with her. Joey stayed with his father. Butch and Diane filed for divorce. Butch was last seen driving off in his 1979 Chevrolet 1 have no pharmaceutical insurance.

"That's a good approach. Can we do better? Sure. But I'm a guy who believes in practical results. Why not try (the buying pool)? As soon as we get it done, seniors are going to have lower prices for their pharmaceuticals. I think that's worth trying." The buying pool first would include Medicaid recipients in the three states, about 330,000 people, then the hope is to open it later to such people as nicipal employees, state workers and businesses, Shaheen said.

Jeff Trewhitt, spokesman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a trade organization in Washington, D.C., representing about three-quarters of those companies, said the plan has potential. "It depends on whether it involves the pharmacy benefit manager truly negotiating with pharmaceutical companies in the competitive, private marketplace," he said. Gov. Howard Dean, Ruth Dwyer and Anthony Pollina gather in a Vermont Public Radio studio in Colchester to ask and answer each others' questions Tuesday night. They also responded to listeners' questions.

Parties fuel Vt. campaigns JIM COLE, The Associated Press Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, announces plans to start the nation's first multi-state drug purchasing pool Tuesday in Concord. Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are seeking bids from companies to run the pool in an effort to lower the cost of prescription drugs. Governors push for buying pool to lower costs By Mike Recht The Associated Press Govs.

Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Howard Dean of Vermont and Angus King of Maine said Tuesday the three states are ready to take the next step in a plan to lower prescription drug costs. In July, they agreed to organize a regional buying pool to negotiate lower drug costs and to provide discounted prices, and now they are putting the plan out to pharmacy benefits management companies for bids. They expect to review the bids in January, choose one in the spring and start the plan July 1. It would be the first multi-state drug-buying pool in the country. The expectations are that it can add 10 to 15 percent in savings to previous plans, cutting 23 to 35 percent off prescription drug costs.

"Too many people are struggling to pay for the prescription drugs they need to stay healthy, and too often they can't afford them," Shaheen said in one of three news conferences held by the governors in their states. "For businesses and governments, the increasing cost of prescription drugs is also straining budgets. She said it will save state government, taxpayers, businesses and uninsured people money. "This is crucial in holding down the cost of prescription drugs, especially for seniors, who are literally having to make choices between buying food and paying for medications," Dean said. King called it "literally life and death." Air show reports donations to charity Despite dreary weather and low attendance at this year's Burlington International Charity Airshow, there was money left over to donate to local agencies and foundations.

Air show promoter Jim Parker said concession sales helped build up $15,000 to be given to charities such as the Make-A-Wish Founda- tion, the Special Olympics, the King Street Youth Center and Crimestoppers. About 10,000 people attended the show Sept. 23 and 24 at Burlington International Airport, about 28,000 fewer than Parker expected. Advance ticket sale helped the show break even. Bus network expands to Chittenden County ST.

ALBANS The Northwest Vermont Public Transit Network which serves Franklin and Grand Isle counties, has expanded service into Chittenden County. Jackie Bristol, executive director of the largely federally funded, St. Albans-based network, said buses depart three times a day early morning, early afternoon and late afternoon from several stops in the five Grand Isle County towns. The southbound buses stop at Chimney Corners on U.S. 7 in Colchester, at Essex Junction High School, the Amtrak station and the lobby of IBM.

Connections may be made at the Amtrak station to buses operated by the Chittenden County Transit Authority. The northbound network buses make return trips to Grand Isle County, with the last stop at 7:45 p.m. at the Alburg Town Garage. 4 By Candace Page Free Press Staff Writer National Republicans pumped $150,000 into the gubernatorial campaign of Ruth Dwyer in recent days a sign of their rising hope she can win. Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee has given Gov.

Howard Dean an additional $97,000, bringing his total from the party to $367,000. Dwyer's new money came in two installments $25,000 from the Republican National Committee and $125,000 from the Republican Governors Association. In all, the Republican National Committee and the Republican Governors Association have given Dwyer $300,000, said campaign manager Kathie Summers. Clinton Key, executive director of the Republican Governors Association, said the group decided to give Dwyer more help because their own tracking polls found the race "really close," and to offset Democrats' contributions to Deaa "We feel like there's still Government "I don't think there is any more important issue right now. What's really being purchased here is quality of life," he said.

"We've decided that you can get old waiting for something to happen in Washington." King said he thought the plan would continue to go forward even if Shaheen or Dean lost re-election bids. Dean spoke about the buying pool during a gubernatorial debate Tuesday night on Vermont Public Radio. Progressive Anthony Pol-lina challenged Dean for not supporting price regulation of pharmaceuticals. Dean responded that the three-state buying pool was quicker, since state attempts to regulate prices would probably end up in court. "By May of next year we will deliver lower pharmaceutical prices to all Ver-monters, seniors and others, of any income level who.

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