Archive for September 15th, 2011
Vt. drifter admits killing woman, 79, with hammer
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. (AP) – A Vermont drifter has admitted beating a 79-year-old woman to death with a hammer as she made biscuits in her home.
Charles “Punky” Haynes, 53, pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder and one count of burglary in exchange for 20 years to life in prison.
Police say he attacked 79-year-old Raynetta Woodward in her mobile home in Woodstock in July 2009. Police say Woodward’s money belt was missing $470, which is what Haynes was carrying when he was arrested. They say a blood stain on his pants matched her DNA.
Residents had described Haynes as a vagabond known for breaking into houses to steal property and food. But police say they didn’t report it.
Haynes has already served two years in prison.
Woodstock Early Bird believes it should be made clear that when we say roads in Vermont are passable, that is literally what we mean. It does not mean a full-on joyride through the countryside.
For example, for those of you who have not yet experienced it, Route 4 EAST from Woodstock to White River Junction is now “experiencing” traffic delays in the area of the Taftsville Bridge. A bank coming off of Route 4 there lost a tremendous amount of bank and heavy equipment is being used to fill in that bank with loads of rock. Bottom line: One lane every 10 to 15 minutes. Passable. Not a joyride. Give yourself some extra time as you “move about the cabin.”
We’re hearing the same along Route 4 to Rutland — even to Bridgewater. Construction equipment is still out there. Workers are still on the job. The road goes from okay to bumpy to torn up to sandy to one lane and back. Welcome to Land-Rover and Jeep world. If you don’t have good struts and shocks…to coin a well-used phrase…It’s gonna’ be a bumpy ride!
Rep. Alison Clarkson has confirmed to Woodstock Early Bird after conferrring with the Gov. Peter Shumlin’s Office what many locals in the Woodstock area have known for a couple of hours:
State Route 4 which travels across Vermont from White River Junction to Rutland is now passable and open to the public.
This news follows paving and construction efforts by VTrans and its contractors who worked overnight last night and steadily for the two plus weeks along a road used by many — including truckers — to gain access from New Hampshire through to New York State via Vermont.
The road has been inpassable since Tropical Storm Irene caused massive flooding from Woodstock to Bridgewater, Bridgewater Corners to Killington and Mendon. The flooding of rivers, streams and brooks along the thoroughfare caused full collapse of pavement sections that left drops two to three feet deep and more in what had been Route 4. It cut off communities including Bridgewater, Killington and Mendon from Rutland and Woodstock.
As one example of the importance of this road, its destruction meant some initially had to drive six hours from Rutland south through Massachusetts to get back to Woodstock, a normally 45 minute drive. A linen cleaning service in New Hampshire was initially stymied from providing sheets and pillowcases to Rutland Regional Hospital. And the effects and costs to normal interstate truck transportation are yet to be known.
Route 4 in also key to Vermont’s tourism business, providing access to colorful Fall playgrounds and the small picturesque communities that support them.
A massive effort. Worthy of congratulations. Gov. Shumlin will travel to Route 4 in Killington tomorrow to see the progress in person. He will make a brief ”ribbon-cutting” appearance at 11am at the small white church that still stands by the roadside there.