The Brattleboro Reformer from Brattleboro, Vermont on June 10, 1986 · 2
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The Brattleboro Reformer from Brattleboro, Vermont · 2

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Brattleboro, Vermont
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Tuesday, June 10, 1986
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2
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Page 2 Jirattleboro Reformer, Tuesday, June 10, 1986 New England State Senate races: Democrats confident, GOP optimistic DAVID GRAM MONTPELIER (AP) - With five months to go before Novembers elections, Democratic members of the state Senate are confident they can maintain a majority, while Republicans say thats still open to question. L Democrats currently enjoy a majority of 18-12 in the Senate, a margin that Sen. Peter Welch, D-Windsor, the president pro tern of the upper body, believes they can maintain. It looks quite good ... as long as we dont take anything for granted, Welch said. He said incumbent Democrats appear strong in Washington and Caledonia counties, the only two where Republican challengers have announced to date. In Washington County, former state police Trooper Larry Wade, a Republican, is running for one of three seats now held by Republican William Doyle and Democrats Mary Just Skinner and Jeb Spaulding. Welch said Skinner is a proven vote-getter, and Jeb Spaulding did an .outstanding job in his first term. He was out there at the selectmens and school board meetings and worked very hard, But Claudia Sherry, former executive director of the state Republican Party and now campaign manager for the gubernatorial bid of Lt. Gov. Peter Smith, said her party has a good shot at picking up a seat in Washington County. Of course we have a chance, she said. She noted the recent switch of former Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Edward Kehoe from the Democratic to Republican Party, and his announcement that hell seek one of the Washington County Senate seats. Welch said he was quite disppointed by Kehoes switch, adding, I have a enormous respect for Ed Kehoe and that he has often sought Kehoes advice on fish and wildlife issues. Skinner said she would not take reelection for granted, but that she would point to her record, which she said would show an impressive performance by her as chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She said she had shepherded several key criminal justice bills through the Senate this past term, including a victims assistance bill, legislation aimed at drug conspiracies and more effective seizures of property gained through drug trafficking, and a bill to allow children who are victims of abuse to testify on videotape. Skinner also has been criticized for the failure of her committee in the recent session to report out a bill calling for a mandatory life sentence for first-degree murder. She has said the bill needed more study than her committee could give it in the crush of the sessions final weeks. Both Sherpy and Sen. Robert Gannett, R-Windham, said it is too early to tell how all the races around the state will shape up because, as Sherry put it, there are several counties that have yet to be finalized, as to who is running and which incumbents are seeking reelection. Gannett, a seven-term Brattleboro Republican, said he had not made up his mind whether to seek reelection, but would reach a decision in the next week to 10 days. A key race is expected to be in Bennington County, where Democratic Sen. Jane Gardner of Arlington has announced shell not run this year. No Republicans have declared for that seat yet, Welch said. But even if one does, he added, he or she will face a tough campaign against Seth Bongartz, a former Republican House member from Manchester who recently changed his party affiliation to Democrat. In Rutland County, Republican John Bloomer said he still had not made up his mind whether to seek a second term, and Welch said three-term Democratic Sen. Gilbert Godnick was also unsure. Godnick could not be reached. Bloomer said no one challengers or incumbents had announced yet whether they would seek one of the countys three Senate seats. Gannett said the Republicans are expected to mount a strong challenge in Caledonia County with the candidacy of well known conservative Repubican John McClaughry for the state Senate. But Welch said Sen. Scudder Parker, D-Caledonia, has an absolutely terrific ability to campaign, and added that he had won the support of business people in his district through his work as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee on the interstate banking and other bills. No one has announced a bid yet in Addison County, where eight-term Republican Sen. Arthur Gibb announced last month he would not seek reelection, according to Welch and Sherry. In Lamoille County, Welch said Democrat Lee Viets, who lost narrowly in 1984 to Republican Sen. Henry Manchester, had a better chance uf winning this year due to greater name recognition. News in Brief Police probe disappearance ST. JOHNSBURY (AP) - State police say they now suspect foul play may have led to the disappearance of a Walden man who has been missing for a month. Russ Bovit, 30, was last seen late on May 6. Since that time, state police in St. Johnsbury, New York and Connecticut have conducted unsuccessful searches of the Walden area. At this point, were looking for him alive or possibly dead or a grave site, Detective Sgt. Richard Perry said. According to police, Bovit had recently sold his Walden farm, The Last Resort Farm, and was planning on attending the University of Vermont in the fall. Five days after he disappeared, police discovered his car, a 1973 Renault, on a back road in Walden, Perry said. Several weeks later, police found stains on Bovits mattress when they searched his apartment, Perry said. He said police have not yet determined whether the stain is blood. Police said they doubt that Bovit, a rock climber and hiker, intentionally disappeared. Perry said Bovit had taken trips before, but called this disappearance out of character with his normal behavior . Bovits father, Richard Bovit of Ridgewood N.J., has offered a $50,000 reward for information that leads to the location of his son. , Bovit is described as 6 feet tall, 160 pounds, with blue eyes and dark brown hair and mustache. Auction to benefit AFSC BURLINGTON A benefit auction for the American Friends Service Committee in Vermont will be held on Saturday, June 14. The Edmunds School Cafeteria on Main Street in Burlington (Vermont) will be the site of the event which begins at 11a.m. A preview of items will be open at 10 a.m. The auctioneer will be Richard Hathaway of Montpelier. Items to be auctioned include: antiques, small appliances, furniture, tools, jewelry, crafts, photographs, and more. There will also be silent auctions for original art and services. We stressed quality items in this and past auctions, said Eric Broque of the Auction Committee. We offer items which have been thoughtfully relinquished. Food will be available all day. Apple Blossom a Season SAVE UP TO $250.00 Whether you're a teacher, student, or in business We have a rebate for you ! Micro Services is blooming with deals and rebates on an assorted variety of the tastiest Apple Products ever ! Such as the Apple lie, the most popular , computer in, education. Or the Apple Macintosh, the computer you don't have to study to learn. The rebates are up to $250 but you will have to hdrry this is a limited time offer. Apple and the Apple logo are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc Macintosh is a trademark of McIntosh Laboratory, Inc. and is being used with express permission of its owner SffWICdS Keene, New Hampshire 03431 Retail Store Corporate Sales Riverside Plaza "We Make House Calls" (603) 357-1113 ( 603) 357 2920 We will pay you a $1 a mile call for details! comPAa A iat 141' V AP TOTE THAT BALE U.S. Customs agents unload part of a cargo of almost 17 tons of a substance believed to be marijuana from the hold of the seized MV Juan Robinson Sunday in Boston. The Coast Guard seized the boat and arrested its crew of nine for suspected drug trafficking Wednesday. Judge rules gas company liable for sludge cleanup MONTPELIER (AP) - A Superior Court judge has ruled that Gas Company of Vermont is liable for cleaning two coal-tar sludge tanks found to have contaminated land and a river near downtown Barre. The two storage tanks are a source of the coal tar migrating off company property onto adjoining property and into the Stevens Branch River, Judge Stephen B. Martin wrote in a ruling handed down Friday in Washington County Superior Court. The ruling said the tar found in the groundwater and river contains concentrations of known carcinogens as well as traces of toxic metals, such as arsenic and selenium, that are far in excess of safe drinking water levels. Seepage of sludge into the river may be dangerous to those who swim there or drink the water, or those who eat contaminated fish, Martin said. Martin said the gas company must pay for lessening the release and Look for our computer classes in Leisure Weekly BRATTLEBORO REFORMER Black Mountain Rd., P.O. Box 802 Brattleboro, Vt. 05301, (USPS No. 063-400) 802-254-2311 Published every day except Sundays, New Years, Manorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, , k Christinas. ION RATES Single copy, store and vending 30 By carriu , 81.80 per week By motor route, $8.00 per month or $25 quarterly payable in advance. BY MAIL inside outside county county 1 mo. 8.00 9.00 3mos. 23.50 26.00 6mos. 46 00 50.00 12mos. 90.00 96.00 Single mailed copy, current 45; back copy 70 For foreign country subscription, double thorite. Postal regulations require payment in advance. All charge orders must be paid within 15 days. College students. 20 discount. Postmaster: Send address changes to : Brattleboro Reformer P.O Box 802 Brattleboro, Vt 86301. Second class postage paid at Brattleboro, Vermont 05301 threatened release of hazardous materials coming from the two large tanks. In his ruling, he also chastised the gas company for failing to address the problem of the leaking tanks before the state became involved in the matter. Martins ruling said the gas company failed to prove that any other entity is reponsible for the toxic material seeping from the 82-year-old tanks. The gas companys lawyer, Tupper Kinder, argued May 22 that previous owners of the property dumped substantial amounts of coal ter into the ground. He maintained that resulting sludge, and not the leaking tanks, is the source of coal tar contaminants found in the river and the soil. The trial will resume Thursday when the court hears arguments on three issues, including the need for further investigation at the site and whether the parent company, North American Utility Construction Co., must share in the cleanup costs, said Assistant Attorney General Robert Simpson. He said Martin also will set a timetable for cleanup. LAWTON Dry Cleaners Pickup & Delivery Brattleboro's only cold storage vault in this area! No payment until fad. Unstuff your closets & protect your investment - dean and seasonal store with us! 254-9380 Cornet of Church & Elliot Sts. Brattleboro, Vermont 05301 N.H. legislation limits personal-injury lawsuits By NORMA LOVE CONCORD, N.H. (AP) New Hampshire consumers will have less time to file lawsuits, can collect less for pain and suffering and, if their suits are declared frivolous, may be required to pay court costs under changes in the states civil liability laws. Theyll have a harder time winning suits against doctors and bartenders who follow guidelines adopted by the Legislature, and they can only collect from cities, towns and school districts up to $150,000 each with no more than $500,000 in total claims allowed per incident. Consumers will be entitled to 60 days notice of cancellation of liability insurance policies in writing, including reasons, and a similar notice if the price goes up 25 percent or more. But despite these changes and others, everyone seems to agree the legislation, signed Friday by Gov. John Sununu, wont guarantee a reduction in premiums or availability of liability insurance the Legislatures original objective to most businesses, day care centers and others who cried for help. To some, the legislative message was a symbolic forewarning of more radical changes in victims rights might be made if businesses cant get the insurance they need to survive. The message, says Sen. George Freese, is that residents will have to assume more responsibility for their actions to reduce the risk of multimillion dollar lawsuits. By doing that, theyll be able to buy insurance at reasonable costs, said Freese, R-Pittsfield, a prime mover behind the legislation. But neither side guaranteed results, and critics complained the Legislature curtailed victims rights without making sure consumers will benefit in return. I dont think doing this alone in New Hampshire is going to change premiums very much, acknowledged Freese, who believes a collective effort by state legislatures is needed. Freese said the changes are only a beginning and expressed disappointment limits on lawsuits werent stricter. Others liave vowed to seek more changes next year. The pivotal issue remains a $875,000 cap on jury awards for pain and suffering, well above the $250,000 Freese proposed. The cap does not apply to medical or economic losses, which insurance companies say they can predict. Concord lawyer Martin Gross, lobbyist for the American Insurance Association, also considers the cap excessive. I cant say it (the bill) was strictly symbolic, said Gross, but I also cant say itll lower costs. But David Minnis, lobbyist for the New Hampshire Coalition for Victims Rights, believes the cap strips victims of a bargaining chip by establishing a take-it or leave-it situation in settlement negotiations. The fundamental question on caps is not what it does in the courtroom, he said. Its the clout, the leverage it gives insurance companies in making settlements. Cap supporters hope a study commission established by the bill will lower it, while opponents want it abolished. This sessions battle may be just a skirmish if the commission recommends other changes discussed in the final hours of negotiations. Besides looking further into caps, the commission is charged with examining the historical principle of joint and several liability, which means victims can sue those only partly at fault for 100 percent of the damages. The practice was based on the premise that victims shouldnt suffer if those primarily at fault had no money, but is now being challenged by some as unfair. Maybe we ought to throw out the cap and modify the joint and several rule, said House Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Donna Sytek, who supports studying the issue. Its really outrageous when someone 1 percent at fault ends up paying 100 percent. Freese supported a change this year. It probably would do much more than any other thing to stabilize insurance rates, he said. The bill does modify the joint and several principle to exempt municipalities from paying 100 percent in pollution cases unless they are more than 50 percent at fault. House negotiators rejected an across-the-board change in the rule in favor of more study. Others want the commission to consider insurance industry reforms or a rollback of premiums instead of more changes in the civil liability laws. Provisions in the pa ckage : Allow people sued for more than their share of damages to sue other defendants to try and recover the excess. See LAWSUITS, Page 12 Business loan? Our Barry Emerson has the lowest prime rate in the state. 257-7826. The brand new good old B Bank of Mamoot P 0 Bo827. 185 Main Streq BraltWoro 257-7747 RAILROAD SALVAGE Canal St.. Turners Falls. Mass. WHEELBARROW 4CU. FT. CONTRACTORS 22 VALUE $39.95 NOW Opon Dolly 10-9 ammVnmfa mni riming v I 9

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