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Police: 9-Year-Old Girl Used To Smuggle Drugs Into Prison

Newport, Vt. — Police say a 9-year-old girl was used to smuggle drugs into a Vermont prison.

Vermont State Police said one of three people who’ve been charged showed the girl how to slip drugs enclosed in cellophane wrap to an inmate during visitation on Sept. 10 at the Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport.

The Caledonian-Record reports that Newport resident Sarah Watson pleaded guilty last week to charges including drug possession and delinquency of a minor. Authorities said inmate Chad Paquette was the recipient, and he pleaded guilty to drug possession. A state police affidavit indicates Paquette swallowed a baggie that was later recovered. It contained strips of an opioid, Buprenorphine.

Officials say inmate Jason Watson orchestrated the deal. He has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy.

2nd ‘Paws’ Bill in Mass Seeks Further Protections for Animals

Boston — The top Republican in the Massachusetts Senate is proposing further protections for pets and tougher penalties for animal cruelty.

Sen. Bruce Tarr said the bill is a follow-up to the Protecting Animals Welfare and Safety Act — or PAWS for short. That 2014 law followed the case of “Puppy Doe,” a year-old dog that was euthanized after being found with fractures, a stab wound and split tongue.

PAWS II, co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Mark Montigny, would require animal cruelty cases be reported to state agencies that protect children, the elderly and disabled. Tarr cited a study showing that animal abusers are also far more likely to be violent toward people.

Other provisions would make it illegal to drown any wild or domestic animal, and prevent discrimination against specific dog breeds.

$5 Christmas Trees Available From Green Mountain Forest

Rutland — The U.S. Forest Service is offering $5 Christmas trees to people who would like to cut them in the Green Mountain National Forest.

This year, all fourth-graders can take advantage of the Every Kid in a Park Initiative and get a free Christmas tree voucher from the Forest Service.

A $5 permit from Forest Service offices located in Rutland, Manchester Center or Rochester is necessary to cut a tree for personal use. The permit must be attached to the tree before transporting it. It’s up to the permit holder to be sure the tree is cut on National Forest land. Trees over 20 feet tall cannot be cut and the stump left after cutting must be six inches or less.

Water Seepage Into Vermont Yankee Turbine Building Slows

Brattleboro — The leaking of groundwater into the radioactive turbine building at the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is creating a multimillion dollar headache for the owners.

Entergy spokesman Joe Lynch said efforts to seal the foundation appear to be paying off because the rate of infiltration had dropped to 200 to 300 gallons a day. That compares to 2,500 to 3,000 gallons a day after Vermont Yankee shut down in December 2014. The Rutland Herald reported that Lynch told the Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel that the problem has cost Entergy $3.2 million so far. The water leaking into the building is collected from by series of sumps.

SNHU Dorm Damaged by Fire,Students Not Hurt

Manchester — Fire officials said a Southern New Hampshire University dorm was damaged but no one was hurt when the three-story building caught fire.

A university spokeswoman said all 55 students escaped unharmed Saturday night. Manchester District Fire Chief Hank Martineau said Greeley Hall suffered severe damage before the fire was brought under control. Six of the 12 units were heavily damaged. The university put the students up in a hotel for the night.

Vt. Man With Muzzleloader Pistol Leads Police on a Chase

Sheldon, Vt. — Vermont State Police said a motorist armed with a muzzleloader pistol and knives was arrested after a high-speed chase through several towns.

Troopers say 50-year-old Philip Katon called the Milton Police Department and threatened to kill officers if they didn’t end the pursuit on Saturday.

Police said Katon traveled from Milton to Sheldon and continued driving on metal rims after a spike mat deflated the tires on his SUV. Police eventually smashed the windows to get him out after he barricaded himself inside the SUV. Katon faces multiple charges including resisting arrest and threats of violence.

— Wire reports

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