Rutland Daily Herald from Rutland, Vermont on November 22, 1995 · 6
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Rutland Daily Herald from Rutland, Vermont · 6

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Rutland, Vermont
Issue Date:
Wednesday, November 22, 1995
Page:
6
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Southern Vermont Popscene page 8 Business page 10 Job Market page 1 1 Rutland Daily Herald Wednesday Morning, November 22, 1995 Windsor, Windham & Bennington Page 6 Embezzlement Leads to Prison Term Southern Vermont Digest Windsor Manager Loses Williston Bid Southern Vermont Bureau WINDSOR Windsor Town Manager David Battistoni lost his bid for a new job in Williston Tuesday when another candidate was hired as manager for the northern Vermont town. Bill Dugan, manager of Essex Junction, was named to the Williston post during an afternoon meeting of the towns select board, said Bert Moffatt, outgoing Williston town manager. Dugan will take over Jan. 1, 1996, Moffatt said. "1 really liked Battistoni and 1 thought he could have brought a lot of innovation to Windsor, said Moffatt, who was not involved in choosing his successor. He would have been a good fit for the town. Recent controversies that have plagued the town of Windsor were not a factor in the final decision, said Herb Goodrich, Williston Select Board chairman. Things happening in Windsor werent really a factor, Goodrich said. Bill is so close to Williston and we felt he could get into the flow of the job faster than someone starting over in a new area. Battistoni said he was not ruling anything out, when asked if he would continue to apply for other jobs. The Windsor town manager was an applicant for the managers position in Hartford, but said hes not the finalist currently negotiating with the Hartford Select Board. If there is an interesting opportunity in the public or private sector that presents itself, Ill consider it," Battistoni said. Battistoni said he would decide before the end of the year whether to extend his contract another year to July 1, 1997. Claremont Man Denies Kidnapping The Associated Press CLAREMONT, N.H. A 62-year-old Claremont man was charged with kidnapping a female I friend during an argument and then smashing into a police car at a road block. Lawrence Panaggio is accused of abducting Robin Caruso on Monday morning from the Claremont Housing Authority where she works. Witnesses told police Panaggio drove off with the passenger door open and Caruso yelling for help. Panaggio pleaded innocent to kidnapping when he was arraigned Tuesday in Claremont District Court. Judge Albert Leahy Jr. ordered him held in lieu of $25,000 bail. Panaggio apologized at the hearing. Im really sorry, he said. I made a heck of a mistake. Police said Panaggio took Caruso to a mutual friends house in nearby Cornish, where Caruso called her workplace to say she was OK. Police said they believe she was forced to make the call. They traced it, con verged on the house, and arrested Panaggio as he tried to swerve around a roadblock. Grafton Man Admits Bank Fraud Southern Vermont Bureau GRAFTON Town resident James Joseph Mills, 47, was sentenced to' 30 days in prison arid five months of home confinement in federal court Tuesday, after he pleaded guilty to using fake social security numbers to apply for bank accounts and loans, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice. U.S. District Court Judge Frank lin S. Billings Jr. also ordered that Mills pay restitution in the amount of $17,105 to the Vermont National Bank and $1,318 to the Chrysler Credit Corp. Mills was also ordered to pay a $50 mandatory special as sessment. On Feb. 9, 1994, a federal grand jury sitting in Rutland returned a 14-count indictment against Mills charging that he filed nuijierous false loan applications and applica tions to open1 bank accounts using different versions of his name and false social security numbers, U.S attorneys said. Mills reportedly filed the applications between 1990 and 1992. On April 6 of this year, Miils en tered a guilty plea to using a false social security number for himself and his wife on an individual de posit account application at the Vermont National Bank. By LIZ ANDERSON Herald Staff A Brattleboro man accused of embezzling money from an elderly woman and using it to pay fines from a previous stock fraud case was sentenced Tuesday to more than three years in jail. The jail term was the maximum allowable under federal sentencing guidelines and was stiffer than that asked for by the prosecutor or defense lawyer. U.S. District Court Judge Frank lin S. Billings also handed Thomas R. Lovejoy a three-year term of supervised release and ordered him to pay more than $280,000 in restitution to his victim at a rate of at least 10 percent of his income each year. Lovejoy and his lawyer, Charles Humpstone, asked Billings for the minimum 30-month term, noting that Lovejoy was the sole caregiver for his 74-year-old mother, who is in frail health. My primary care is for my mother and the care she receives, Love joy said, reading from a prepared statement. He made no mention of his feelings about the charges. Prosecutor John Conroy, however, said Lovejoys offense was against another older woman and' was committed at the time she was beginning to show signs of Alzheimers disease. He asked for a sentence of 30 to 33 months and also asked that Lovejoy be ordered to make restitution at a rate of 20 percent of his income, a higher figure than generally ordered. Lovejoy, 41, had pleaded guilty in July to two counts of transporting stolen money between states. He entered his plea shortly before he was scheduled to go to trial on a 29-count indictment, including 25 counts of interstate transportation of stolen property and charges of mail fraud and wire fraud. The guilty plea settled the case without a trial. Billings was allowed to consider the other charges against Lovejoy at his sentencing. The June 1994 indictment alleged that Lovejoy defrauded an elderly Brattleboro woman out of more than $282,000, deceived two other investors of $50,000 in a bogus stock sale and committed interstate wire fraud and mail fraud. Lovejoy operated as an investment adviser to the woman. Bernice Malloy, through a corporation he owned called First American Financial Counselors. Federal prosecutors charged that Lovejoy told Mal-(See Page 7: Fraud) Police Quash Escape Attempt By MONTE MORIN Southern Vermont Bureau SPRINGFIELD - A Springfield man led police officers on a foot chase down Main Street Monday afternoon when he briefly escaped from custody, police said. Gary L. Blair, 39, ran from the Springfield Police Station at the o C' ii Springfield Spnngtield Town Hall stair Photo by Mont Morin Springfield Crash Rescue workers help a Springfield woman after a two-car collision on Route 106 in Springfield that held up lunchtime traffic for nearly an hour Tuesday. In the 12:46 p.m. accident in front of the Community College of Vermont, Kimberly Gendron, 19, suffered injuries to her head and her left arm, police said. She was treated at Springfield Hospital and released. The other driver, Lydia G. Dzewaltowski, 61, was also taken to the hospital but was found to have no injuries. Each vehicle suffered more than $5,000 worth of damage, police said. Survey Shows Risky Student Behavior By JULIE RASTER Southern Vermont Bureau HARTFORD Students in the Upper Valley are doing a lot more than studying on school grounds. According to a recently released survey, many area youths are also fighting, smoking and buying drugs on campus. The survey of students in grades eight through 12 revealed several similarities in attitudes and experiences between students from the Hartford School District (Hartford High School and Hartford Memorial Middle School) and those attending Woodstock Union High School and middle school. The inci dence of student fights, cigarette smoking and getting high at school were particularly surprising, teachers and administrators said. More than 2,000 Vermont youths participated in the Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey 1995. Similar surveys are published by the Vermont Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program every two years. Students anonymously answered questions relating to drug and alcohol use, physical safety at school and at home, sexual behavior, suicide, body image and gambling. Two-thirds of all supervisory unions in the state and 79 schools were included in the survey. In Windsor County, secondary students from the Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union and Dresden district schools, which include Norwich, did not participate. Administrators from the Windsor Southwest Supervisory Union said' their pupils also werent involved in the study. Statewide results, released Monday by Health Commissioner Dr. Jan Carney, showed that more students are drinking and smoking marijuana than in 1993. Cigarette smoking was up 7 percent overall over the last two years, from 31 percent to 38 percent, and a larger proportion of eighth, ninth and 10th- graders were illegally smoking. School administrators from ,the Hartford and Woodstock school districts were among a number of educators across the state who have raised doubts about the validity of the test. Hartford Schools Superintendent Carl Mock said portions of the survey did not reflect the experiences of teachers and administrators. When you look at some of the data, it seems that some of it is out of Whack, Mock said in a phone interview Monday night. At a very quick blush, the numbers for some categories are way too high com-(See Page 7: Survey) 1 as officers were processing him on charges of domestic assault and drunk driving, Springfield Police Chief Nicholas Picerno said. Blair bolted from the station shortly after calling up his lawyer, the chief said. He was talking with his attorney, and then handed the telephone to an officer like his lawyer wanted to talk with him, Picerno said. Then he just booked. Blair dashed from the station and headed north along Main Street, hiding at .times behind buildings, Picerno said. Springfield Police Officer William Otis and Corporal Jody Small chased Blair down 15 minutes later in front of the high-rise Huber Building at 80 Main St. It was shortly after 4 p.m. Monday when police first apprehended Blair in connection with a domestic abuse call at 120 Main St., Picerno said. Blair had reportedly threatened his girlfriend, whose n'ame police have withheld, outside the residence. The victim told police that Blair had pulled a Buck-type knife on her following an argument and threatened to slit her throat; Picerno said. Instead, Blair reportedly stabbed a tire on the womans car, saying, Ill show you abuse to a woman,' Picerno said. Officers arrived at the residence (See Page 7: Escape) Judge Drops Charges In Fatal Car Accident Husband Had Been Indicted in Case The Associated Press WOODSTOCK A judge dismissed the charges against a Stock-bridge man accused of running his estranged wifes car off the road and leaving her to drown in a brook. Douglas G. Lunna, 53, was indicted in February on charges of careless and negligent driving with a death resulting and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. The body of Cheryl Lunna, 42, was found on the morning of April 22, 1992, lying halfway out of her overturned car, which had rolled down an embankment into the Camp Brook. An autopsy determined she drowned. Windsor County Superior Court Judge Shireen Fisher said she dismissed the charges against Douglas Lunna because there was no evidence to support the charge that he was in the car that collided with Cheryl Lunnas car or that the collision caused her death. Cheryl Lunnas sister, Jill Jesso, said there was a history of abuse and justice was not served. We have a diary that chronicles abuse by him for a long period of time, Jesso said. I think Doug Lunna did get away with murder. I think that he had abused his wife. I think that he then killed his wife and he then got away with it. Douglas Lunnas lawyer had asked the court to dismiss the charges. Lunna kept quiet in the courtroom Monday and declined comment as he left. Court documents said that on April 26, 1992, between 9 and 1 1:30 p.m. Cheryl Lunna was driving to work in Randolph from her fathers home, where she moved after separating from her husband. Vermont State Police accident reconstruction expert John Palmer said in court documents that someone passed Cheryl Lunnas car and lightly made contact, side panel to side panel. The two cars then stopped at a pull off. After an undetermined period of time, Cheryl Lunnas car backed up into the roadway and then accelerated over the bank. Prosecutors said police found Douglas Lunna's blood all over the victims car. Police also found a fresh cut on his hand. Douglas Lunna told police he had not been near his ex-wifes car for two months prior to the accident. He also told police he had not seen the car in the brook. Fisher said that despite the apparent inconsistency between the evidence and Douglas Lunnas statement to police, there was no evidence that he was driving the car that sideswiped Cheryl Lunnas car. Furthermore, she said, although the blood indicates Douglas Lunna was at the scene of the accident, it does not prove that he was involved. Green Lights Staff Photo by John Gregg Two workers for Hemenway Electric of Springfield string holiday garlands on light poles along Sprinields Main Street Tuesday afternoon. Town Budget Increase Proposed By ROBERT F. SMITH Herald Correspondent BELLOWS FALLS The proposed $2,598,000 Rockingham budget for 1996-1997 presented to the Rockingham Select Board Tuesday night represents a 3.1 percent increase over the current years budget. Town Manager Paul McGinley presented the budget, which in-n i . 1 eludes the Rockingham general fund plus highway and cemetery expenditures, but not include the school budget. In a quick overview of the proposal; based on a grand list of $3,196,000, McGinley said the budget included no new programs, but instead concentrated on completing projects already begun. The budget included a 2.5 percent wage and salary increase for town employees, McGinley said. He said that the $41,500 budgeted for employee health insurance, a 5 percent increase, would still be short. In January 1996, insurance rates would already be increased by 15.7 percent, he said. That would raise that part of the budget by $5,000 to $6,000. (See Page 7: Budget)

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