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    by Ben Whedon   The Vermont Supreme Court ruled in favor of a law permitting noncitizens to vote in local, municipal elections. In 2021, the state Legislature backed bills to change the local charters of Montpelier and Winooski to permit noncitizen voting in local elections. Though Republican Gov. Phil Scott vetoed those measures, the Democratic Legislature overrode his objections, the Associated Press reported. The city of Montpelier has nine registered noncitizen voters, per the outlet. In Winooski, 55 noncitizens voted on local issues in an election held in March of last year. The Republican National Committee had asked the court to declare noncitizen voting in violation of the state constitution, which the court declined to do. “The statute allowing noncitizens to vote in local Montpelier elections does not violate Chapter II, § 42 because that constitutional provision does not apply to local elections,” the court wrote. Democrats in other states have begun to examine noncitizen voting proposals as well. In Connecticut, for instance, the Democratic state House is mulling a proposal to “allow undocumented immigrants who are residents of the state to vote...
    Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, interviewed John Douglas Hall, a historical performer who portrays “Father of the Constitution” James Madison, about the changes at the museum at the former president’s home, Montpelier. In 2010, Carlyle Group billionaire David Rubenstein gave $10 million to the museum to refurbish the main house and build a representative slave quarters with an exhibit called “The Mere Distinction of Colour.” The exhibit teaches about slavery in Madison’s time and its legacy today. In April and May, the foundation selected a new chairman, a man who was the chairman of the Montpelier Descendants Committee, as well as adding 11 new directors to its board from the MDC and other advocates of parity at Montpelier. Hall said he prefers more information to less, and that the museum is still focused on Madison and his contributions to founding the country. https://youtu.be/YlNxF9ar3Ko   TRANSCRIPT: McCabe: Historical performer John Douglas Hall began portraying the Father of the Constitution, James Madison, before Madison’s home at Montpellier opened as a museum in 1987. Hall told...
    James Madison's role in America's founding has been downplayed in a museum at his own plantation home in Virginia. A number of visitors criticized the museum after a $10 million grant from left-leaning billionaire David Rubenstein funded a new exhibit that focuses on the experience of slaves. Through his grant, the museum worked to renovate the site to “offer visitors a more complete version” of history by giving equal attention to the experiences of the enslaved community that lived on Madison’s land, according to Montpelier's website. However, some museumgoers criticized the move, arguing it places Madison as more of a background character while amplifying the influence of slavery on the nation’s founding. FREEDOM FROM CRT: STATE BANS ON CRITICAL RACE THEORY START IN TIME FOR JULY FOURTH “[It’s] a deliberate attack on those founding institutions,” Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) told the New York Post. “The Left is trying to revise our history and is perpetuating a dishonest narrative.” The criticism comes after the Montpelier Foundation’s board of directors announced in May it would hire a...
    ORANGE, Va. (AP) — The board that manages former President James Madison’s Montpelier estate in Virginia elected 11 new members representing descendants of people once enslaved there. Monday’s vote came two months after the board had retracted a commitment to share power with a group representing African Americans who trace their roots to the historic estate. New members were selected from 20 nominees submitted last month by the Montpelier Descendants Committee, a nationwide group drawn from the descendants’ community of the Orange County, Virginia, historic site, the Culpeper Star-Exponent reported. The new board members include scholars, historians, two university deans and former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien. They will oversee management of the home of Madison, the fourth president known as the father of the Constitution; his wife, Dolley, and their enslaved workers. The Descendants Committee and the foundation’s new appointees invited the candidates who were not chosen to join an advisory council so they all can help, said Cultural Heritage Partners, a law firm representing the descendants committee. All of the candidates agreed to serve. The board reappointed James French,...
    A pair of Vermont towns are ready for their first local elections where foreign nationals will be allowed to vote, even offering ballots in foreign languages. Montpelier, the state’s capital, and Winooski, located just outside of Burlington, are set to hold local elections where, for the first time, foreign nationals will be able to vote. In Montpelier, city officials said one foreign national has registered to vote while about eight foreign nationals have registered in Winooski. In addition, Winooski is ensuring that non-English speaking foreign nationals have ballots in their native languages and is doing community outreach to get as many foreign nationals registered to vote as possible. WCAX3 News reports: Julienne Mugisha moved to Winooski from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2018. The Winooski resident is registered to vote and spoke to us through an interpreter. She says she’s excited that this door is now open for her and other people who are not noncitizens and that it feels incredible to be able to vote for leaders and have support from the community. [Emphasis added] Mugisha is one...
    The Vermont State Colleges System has adopted an "anti-racism pledge" that calls for a regular "racial equity audit" of campuses. A spokesperson confirmed that the college system's board of trustees voted to adopt the pledge during its Oct. 25 meeting.  The Vermont State House, located in Montpelier, Vermont at dusk. Montpelier is a city in the U.S. state of Vermont that serves as the state capital. Montpelier has the distinction of being the smallest state capital in the United States. Montpelier is situated among foothills just to the east of the Green Mountains Lynn Dickinson, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Vermont State College System told Fox News that the pledge is voluntary, but that it was adopted after being recommended by the Student Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. "The Board of Trustees of the Vermont State College System (VSCS) approved a motion to support and adopt the Anti-Racism pledge proposed by the Student Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, as recommended by the Board's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee," Dickinson said. "The pledge is voluntary...
    Noncitizens who reside in Vermont's capital city Montpelier are now one step closer to being able to vote in certain local elections after the state Senate approved such a measure on Tuesday. "I believe if someone wishes to be able to vote they should be a citizen," Vermont state Sen. Brian Collamore told Fox News in an interview. "The Montpelier bill allows what is defined as a legal resident of the United States to be able to vote in city elections. ... If someone is here on a permanent basis, why would he or she not want to participate in the process to become a citizen?" RNC ASSAILS DEMOCRATS' HR 1 AS A 'HOSTILE TAKEOVER' OF THE ELECTION PROCESS Democrats in two Vermont towns are pushing for noncitizens to be allowed to vote in certain elections but must seek approval from state lawmakers first. The Vermont House of Representatives approved the changes earlier this year. "All resident (or non-citizen) voting in local elections has failed to make it to the floor twice before in the #VT Senate. Today it passed in...
    Montpellier, Nîmes and Saint-Raphaël all won on Friday evening for their first match played in 2021. The Héraultais won with difficulty at home against Toulouse, the Gardois walked to Chartres. The World Championship in Egypt did not leave too many marks on the side of three of the top Lidl Starligue. Montpellier, Nîmes and Saint-Raphaël, all showing on Friday evening for the 15th day of the championship, have perfectly negotiated their first outing of the year 2021. With victories for the dolphin of PSG as for two of his pursuers, certainly with more or less difficulty. Nîmes, traveling on the floor of the 12th Chartres, thus offered a little walk in the park (35-28) against the Chartrais fallen in particular on a ruthless Mohammad Sanad (7 goals). Saint-Raphaël, who received Créteil, suffered more (success 29-25) to also have the pleasure and the privilege of restarting on a good note after this World Cup which left the Blues, fourth, hungry. Unsurprisingly, Raphaël Caucheteux, author of 11 goals in this game, and Var goalkeeper Mihai Popescu (14 saves, at...
    BARRE, Vt. (AP) — The man convicted of the first homicide in Vermont's capital city since the 1920s has been sentenced to 25-years-to-life in prison, the attorney general's office said Monday. Jayveon Caballero was sentenced Monday by Vermont Superior Court Judge Marry Morrissey in Barre. Caballero was convicted last November by a jury of second degree murder for the 2017 shooting death of Markus Austin. At the time, police said it was the first murder in Montpelier since the 1920s. Prosecutors say the two men got into an altercation in a Barre bar. Caballero then obtained a pistol, drove to Austin’s apartment in Montpelier, waited for him to return and then shot him to death in the parking lot. During the trial, defense attorney Daniel Sedon had argued that the killing was accidental, saying the bullet fired by Caballero ricocheted off Austin’s car windshield and hit him as he was standing near the vehicle. The case was prosecuted by the attorney general's office. “I hope this sentence gives Markus Austin’s family some form of justice and some semblance of peace...
    It was a bustling Thursday at Montpelier Farms in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, as kids raced around on playground equipment, friendly alpacas greeted visitors and hungry goats sought families with bags of food. In that sense, it was a very normal day under sunny skies at one of the D.C. region’s more popular fall festivals. But its weekday timing, instead of a weekend, was also one more indication that things were different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’ve limited our capacity; we’re only allowed so many people in here at one time,” said Adrianne Dunn, one of the owners of the farm here. “Even though it’s an outdoor venue, masks must be worn the entire time on the premises,” per county regulations, she said. The alpacas greeted visitors at Montpelier Farms in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. WTOP/John Domen Hungry goats waited to be fed by visiting families at Montpelier Farms on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. WTOP/John Domen “We’ve limited our capacity; we’re only allowed so many people in here at one time,”...
    EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Work is underway on the construction of trail bridge over the Winooski River between East Montpelier and Berlin. The 200-foot bridge is a central piece of a larger project to build miles of new trail connecting the Montpelier bike path, according to the Cross Vermont Trail Association. The association said it was a awarded a large federal highway grant that will cover 80% of the $1.2 million cost of the bridge but needed to raise the remaining 20%. “It’s been a big lift, but over the last five years hundreds of local individuals, businesses and municipalities have all pitched in and we are at long last ready to go,” the grass-roots trail association said. The site work has started and a celebration took place on Friday. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Vermont
    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The pandemic-induced free parking on city streets in Montpelier and Barre is coming to an end. The Vermont cities will resume metered parking on Monday, but reminders will be issued initially, instead of parking tickets, the Times Argus reported. Parking enforcement workers returned from voluntary furloughs on Monday. The Montpelier City Council is expected to reinstate parking enforcement at its Aug. 12 meeting, but has indicated that active enforcement won't start until Aug. 17. Parking at city-owned lots in Montpelier will remain free until mid-September. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Vermont
    MONTPELIER, Vt. The retired Montpelier police chief has a new job as chief of enforcement and safety for the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles. The appointment of Anthony Facos of Montpelier, was announced Friday by Motor Vehicles Commissioner Wanda Minoli. “Director Facos has a wealth of law enforcement knowledge and experience with modern policing practices that will truly benefit the DMV and Vermonters,” Minoli said in a statement. Facos will start Aug. 10, succeeding Col. William “Jake” Elovirta, who is retiring after 33 years with the state, including 22 years at the DMV and five years as enforcement and safety director. The division is responsible for vehicle inspections, licensing and training management, dealer regulations, investigations, commercial vehicle regulation, and motor carrier safety. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Vermont
    By LISA RATHKE, Associated Press MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont is getting what is believed to be its first Black police chief at a time of protests in Vermont and nationwide over racial injustice and police brutality. Brian Peete, the former police chief in Alamogordo, New Mexico, officially becomes police chief in Montpelier, the capital city of the largely white state, on Wednesday. He was chosen before the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and is believed by the city to be the first Black police chief in the state. Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling called the timing “fortuitous," saying he arrived when “modernizing policing and confronting racism and bias in Vermont and beyond is so crucial." In addition to his skills and experience he will "add perspective not directly available to our current cadre of law enforcement leaders,” said Schirling, a former police chief in Burlington, by email. Peete said he's encouraged and inspired by the protests — “it’s an entire generation, and it’s people from all walks of life, backgrounds, colors, everything that...
    A Black Lives Matter mural outside Vermont’s statehouse was vandalized just hours after being painted, police said. The mural, painted Saturday in Montpelier by more than a hundred volunteers, was smeared early Sunday with several gallons of dirt and oil, leaving one of its 25-foot, yellow letters on State Street defaced, Montpelier police said. A “considerable amount” of graffiti was also found on a sidewalk nearby but referenced “government spending” and did not appear to be connected to the mural, Police Chief Anthony Facos told The Post on Monday. “$400 million gone,” one spray-painted sidewalk message read. A person of interest has been identified – a white man in his 50s — but no arrests had been made as of early Monday, Facos said. “We’re hoping to have closure fairly soon,” the chief continued. “There’s still evidence to be processed and more investigation needs to be conducted.” More than 100 volunteers turned out Saturday to paint the mural, which will need to be “touched up” after the weekend vandalism, Facos said. “The community is actually committed to repainting it so...
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