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State Budgets Pushed to Brink by $710-a-Day Drug

It's the latest pharmaceutical pricing controversy

(Newser) - A newly approved drug is being hailed as a major advance in treatment of cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease that clogs the lungs with mucus and makes patients struggle to breathe. But it comes with a punishing price tag—about $710 per patient per day. Orkambi—taken as two... More »

Passerby Saves 83-Year-Old From Burning Home

Her wheelchair got stuck as she tried to escape

(Newser) - A passing construction worker saved the life of a disabled woman on Wednesday after noticing smoke billowing from her home in Milton, Vermont. Marie O'Connor, 83, was home alone and cooking when a grease fire erupted around 10:30am. She tried to escape, but her battery-operated wheelchair got stuck... More »

Leader Behind Aid-in-Dying Law Uses It to End Life

Richard Walters had been diagnosed with lung cancer

(Newser) - Richard Walters, a leader in the effort to get Vermont to pass aid-in-dying legislation, used the rules established under the law to end his own life on Friday. He was 90 years old and had been battling cancer. Walters, the leader of Patient Choices Vermont, died at a retirement community... More »

How a Tortured City Fought Back Against Heroin

Rutland is working to shed its reputation as 'heroin city'

(Newser) - Rutland, Vt., is fed up with heroin. Tom VanEps and his neighbors used to just watch, disgusted, as dealers worked Baxter Street, their buyers sometimes littering the ground with used syringes. Now, they confront the dealers and the junkies. "We'll make them throw their crap right down that... More »

Randy Quaid, Wife Freed From Jail

Judge couldn't find probable cause to continue holding them

(Newser) - Released from Vermont custody, actor Randy Quaid and his wife said Thursday they will now turn their attention to resolving five-year-old criminal charges in California that they squatted in a home they once owned and vandalized the property. A Vermont judge dismissed fugitive-from-justice charges against the couple and released them,... More »

Gross Twist in Randy and Evi Quaid Case

A fellow jailed woman slipped something unwanted into Evi's cell

(Newser) - Vermont corrections officials say a woman jailed on an attempted murder charge put feces into the cell of Evi Quaid, wife of actor Randy Quaid, on Sunday. A department official says that the two women had no physical contact and that Quaid was in her cell. He says the other... More »

Amtrak Train Hits Rock Slide, Derails in Vermont

The Vermonter was reportedly traveling southbound

(Newser) - Amtrak has confirmed that its "Vermonter" train derailed while heading southbound in Vermont on Monday. NBC News reports the accident happened about 10 miles south of Montpelier, in Northfield; the Burlington Free Press reports the train hit a rockslide. A rep for the Montpelier Fire Department tells NBC that... More »

This Guy Just Skipped a Stone Across a Lake

The impressive shot isn't even Kurt Steiner's best

(Newser) - Prepare to feel self-conscious about your stone-skipping abilities. Professional stone skipper—apparently that's a real title—Kurt Steiner just skipped one across Vermont's Lake Paran in a dozen or so bounces, reports UPI . No estimate on distance, but the feat caught on video looks pretty impressive. However, it'... More »

Guy Clocked at 112mph Was on Way to Court ...for Speeding

Now he has new speeding charges to deal with

(Newser) - A Vermont state trooper pulled over a 33-year-old man driving 112mph and weaving in and out of traffic on the interstate (speed limit: 65mph) yesterday. Where was the guy, who hails from Connecticut, headed in such a hurry? Traffic court, where he was due to take care of a speeding... More »

Cops Nab 2 DUIs in 1 Traffic Stop

Speeding, drugs, and idiocy are a potent combination

(Newser) - One traffic stop netted two drunk-driving arrests in Vermont after police say a backseat passenger jumped in the driver's seat. State police say they stopped a car early today on Interstate 91 in Rockingham after it was clocked doing 106mph. Authorities say they got driver Erik Polite out of... More »

Teen Driver Who Killed Bicyclist Was Very High

John Marshall was 7 times over the legal limit in 2 states that let people smoke it

(Newser) - A car crash in Hinesburg, Vt., in April left the teen driver of the car, as well as the 47-year-old bicyclist he hit, dead. Now, a police report indicates that 17-year-old Joseph Marshall had marijuana in his system, and apparently a lot of it, reports the Burlington Free Press . The... More »

Hunt for NY Escapees Switches to New State

Gov. says he has info pointing to Vermont

(Newser) - "Vermont is cooler" isn't the state's new motto, it's the reason why Gov. Peter Shumlin thinks prison escapees Richard Matt and David Sweat may have made their way across the border to the Green Mountain State. Shumlin says he has information that suggests the convicts thought... More »

Here's One (Risky) Way to Get Out of Jury Duty

James Lowe could have spent some time in the real deal for his jail jumpsuit

(Newser) - A Vermont man has escaped jury duty—by getting dismissed for wearing a prisoner costume. James Lowe of Barnet says he was released from jury duty yesterday when he showed up to court wearing a black-and-white-striped jumpsuit with a matching beanie. The Caledonian Record reports that Lowe showed up on... More »

How You Could Win Your Very Own Bakery

Submit essay, $75—and cupcake recipe

(Newser) - With just $75, an essay, and a cupcake recipe, you could win a Vermont bakery. Vermont Public Radio reports that those interested in owning the Mix Cupcakerie and Kitchen in Waitsfield have to write about why they want it and submit the essay along with an idea for a cupcake... More »

Vermont Lawmakers: Make Pot Legal or We Ban Booze

Pair introduces bill to reinstate Prohibition in the state

(Newser) - Two Vermont lawmakers fed up with delays to legalize marijuana in the state introduced a headline-grabbing measure this week designed to move things along: one that would outlaw alcohol. Legislators Chris Pearson and Jean O'Sullivan admit they have no interest in reinstating Prohibition, but they want to make a... More »

Woman Channels Inner 5-Year-Old for Mugshot

Linda MacDonald shows how she feels after being arrested for DUI in Vermont

(Newser) - Linda MacDonald was sent to adult timeout (the Vermont State Police's Brattleboro barracks) after she crashed her car into a fence Monday night and was subsequently arrested for drunk driving, CBS Boston reports. And, like a sullen toddler receiving a consequence, the 55-year-old Massachusetts woman posed for her mugshot... More »

Vermont Legislature Might Have to Pick Governor

Neither candidate got threshold of 50%

(Newser) - It's one of the stranger outcomes of election night: The race for Vermont governor is so close that the state legislature might have to decide the winner, reports AP . More precisely, the state constitution stipulates that if no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, lawmakers must pick... More »

Pair Put Booze in Disabled Boy's IV, Killed Him: Cops

Vermont mom, boyfriend charged in Isaac Robitille's death

(Newser) - Thirteen-year-old Isaac Robitille was born with disabilities so severe he depended on feeding tubes and IVs to keep him alive. When he died in August, an autopsy found that his blood-alcohol content was 0.146—nearly twice the legal limit for adult drivers, reports the AP . Today, Isaac's mother,... More »

Outrage as College Picks Cop-Killer as Grad Speaker

Mumia Abu-Jamal to give prerecorded speech at Goddard College

(Newser) - A small Vermont college has chosen a highly controversial commencement speaker: Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing a Philadelphia cop in 1981. Officer Daniel Faulkner's widow calls the move "despicable," Fox News reports: "It seems like our justice system allows murderers to continue to have... More »

Man Breaks Into Police Station— Accidentally

John Dettor thought he was breaking into a school, cops say

(Newser) - Police say a man who thought he was breaking into a Vermont school actually got into the local police station. Police say the man, identified as 59-year-old John Dettor, used a traffic cone to break the glass to get into the police station in Shelburne just before midnight on Thursday,... More »

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