The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is working to stay ahead of the weather to keep roads open and safe for the travelling public. Lake Champlain has reached historic levels following continued precipitation throughout April and melting snow pack from the very snowy winter, and numerous rivers and streams are at flood level across the state. VTrans has maximized its resources to shore up roads wherever possible, and implement detours where needed, in order to keep the travelling public safe. In an effort to keep the public aware of the road conditions across the state as of Wednesday, the Agency of Transportation reports the following state road conditions across Vermont (note that this report does not cover the status of town roads): State Road Closures: Route 129 in Isle La Motte, (just ahead of West Shore Road) is closed due to water over the roadway and possible culvert damage. Motorists are advised to avoid this section of roadway. Route 36 in St. Albans, between Georgia Shore Road and Bronson Road (1 mile west of St. Albans) is closed due to flooding. Motorists are advised to avoid this section of roadway. Route 125 near Chimney Point between Route 17 and Town Line Road is closed approximately 13 miles west of Middlebury. Route 17 remains open following VTrans’ action to add fill to flooded areas. Maid Stone State Highway is closed due to flooding. Motorists are advised to avoid this section of roadway. Route 73 in Brandon, along the Otter Creek is closed. Motorists are advised to avoid this section of roadway. Smugglers Notch, Jeffersonville to Stowe, remains closed, weather pending. Areas of Ongoing Concern: With continued precipitation, VTrans, in association with Vermont Emergency Management, continues to monitor several problem areas, particularly roads along Lake Champlain and swollen rivers. These roads are not currently closed but may be reduced to one-lane traffic. I-89 South bound in Milton will be one-lane traffic due to instability of the right lane. Route 2 Causeway (Milton) is open to traffic. VTrans is working to keep this road open with gravel and stone. Road may be reduced to one-lane travel to accommodate VTrans activities. Motorists advised to proceed with caution. Route 2 in Alburg, between routes 78 and 129, Wagner Point. Some water in the road but both lanes are open. Motorists are advised to reduce speed and exercise caution. Route 118 between Montgomery and Belvidere. There are multiple locations (on 118) that are reduced to one-lane traffic due to slope slides. These are extended events that will last until further notice. Route 122 in Lyndon, between the Interstate and Wheelock Road. One-lane traffic due to slope failure. This will be an extended event that will last until further notice. Route 114 between Canaan and Island Pond, through Norton. Motorists will experience several single-lane areas due to multiple slope failures. For more information please call 802-828-2648 (7am -5pm) or 211 (Vermont Emergency Management). Road condition information is also found at: 511vt.com. This site is updated throughout the day between the hours of 7am -5pm. ##30##
21 years laterA man, who was evading Police for the past 21 years for the murder of his wife, was hauled before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Monday.Philbert Thomas, 46, appeared before Magistrate Leron Daly and was not required to plead to the indictable charge which stated that on September 5, 1998 at Cubacalli, Waini, North West District, Region One (Barima-Waini) he murdered Viola Thomas.Philbert ThomasAccording to Police information, Thomas allegedly murdered his then 23-year-old wife, a resident of Cubacalli, Waini, North West District, during a fun day in 1998.It was reported that Thomas stabbed his wife several times about her body, and then made good his escape.However, it was only recently that the accused was arrested, charged and remanded to prison for inflicting grievous bodily harm to his ex-lover and her companion.It was after him being charged that the mother of the late Viola Thomas saw his photograph in the newspaper as Philbert Thomas. For that charge, he gave his name as Gilbert Thomas but the woman nonetheless went to the Police. The dead woman’s mother went to the Acquero Police Station and made a report stating he was the man who is wanted in connection with the murder of her daughter.Following the killing in 1998, the Director of Public Prosecution had recommended that the suspect be charged with murder, as the fugitive was in hiding. The matter was heard at the Acquero Magistrates’ Court, Region One, where several witnesses testified against Thomas, who was charged in absentia.Eight years later, the matter was recalled at the same court and was adjourned with no appointed date for resumption (sine die).Following his identification recently, a court order was filed and Philbert Thomas, called Gilbert Thomas, was identified by the murder victim’s mother and he subsequently confessed to the crime.The accused was remanded to prison and the case will continue on September 9, when he will appear before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan for reassignment.Thomas was last month charged for felonious wounding committed on his ex-lover Dally Gobin and her friend Leaymond Smith. It was reported that on the day in question, the victims were imbibing at Gobin’s house when the suspect showed up without being invited. This resulted in a heated argument which led to a scuffle. Thomas allegedly whipped out a knife and dealt Gobin one stab to her breast. He then turned his attention to Smith and stabbed him once before fleeing the scene.The victims were taken to the Kwakwani Hospital, where they were treated and referred to the Linden Hospital Complex. There they were admitted, and subsequently discharged.Thomas was arrested while hiding at a camp in the Hururu Backlands, and was subsequently charged.