Haitian immigrant freezes to death north of Swanton Sector border

by Guy Page

This month, a Haitian man froze to death north of the border trying to cross into the U.S. in the Border Patrol’s Swanton Sector, reported January 29.

The death of Fritznel Richard occurred as illegal border crossings are at an all-time high for the Swanton Sector, which covers the Canadian border with Vermont and part of New Hampshire and New York. In less than four months (October-January), Swanton Sector’s apprehensions (about 750) have surpassed the combined two prior years (FY2021-2022).

Richard was reportedly trying to enter the U.S. to be reunited with his wife. A Border Patrol official blamed the tragedy on human smuggling organizations: ‘Unfortunately, the transnational criminal organizations that stand to profit from the increased flow of human traffic care only about profits and have no concern for the welfare of those whose plight they seek to exploit for financial gain.’

Orleans County State’s Attorney appointed – Farzana Leyva, of Westfield, has been appointed by Gov. Phil Scott as Orleans County state’s attorney.

Farzana has served as acting state’s attorney since Governor Scott appointed former state’s attorney Jennifer Barrett to the superior court.  Judge Barrett was the only candidate on the ballot for state’s attorney and cannot assume the role, leaving the vacancy.

Leyva has worked in the Orleans County state’s attorney’s office since 2018, first as a law clerk and then as a deputy state’s attorney. Previously, she worked for the Vermont Judiciary in 2015. During her time with the State’s Attorney’s office, Leyva has prosecuted many cases including those involving domestic violence, sexual assault, DUIs, aggravated assault, robbery, juvenile cases, and Vermont Supreme Court appeals.

Leyva graduated from Howard College School of Law, South Africa in 2005. She was admitted as an attorney to the South African Bar in 2007. In 2018, she passed the New York Bar Exam and in 2019 was admitted to the Vermont Bar. Leyva is a resident of Westfield and has lived in Orleans County since 2014. Source: Office of Gov. Phil Scott.

School district flag policy opens door to BLM – Despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision appearing to not allow school districts to fly (for example) a BLM flag and not fly (for example) a Christian flag, the White River Valley Union Supervisory Board School has approved a flag policy that would appear to allow just that, if certain requirements are met. 

The supervisory union allows school districts to set a flag policy that puts the decision in the hands of students. According to a report in The Herald, “Only students and school groups can request a flag be flown, and the request must align with ‘the district’s vision, goals, and student learning outcomes,’ and must ‘comply with existing district and WRVSU policies.’”

A lone school board member strongly advised that only governmental flags (U.S., Vermont) be allowed on school flag poles, but he was voted down. 

Workers comp insurance rates decline, again – Governor Phil Scott and Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) Commissioner Kevin Gaffney announced January 25 that Vermont businesses will see another rate decrease in workers’ compensation insurance in 2023. This will mark the seventh consecutive year for such cuts. The rate reduction, which takes effect April 1, will save Vermont employers more than $11 million in premiums in 2023.

“Reducing the costs of doing business in Vermont is critical if we hope to attract and retain employers in our state, and this will make a difference,” said Governor Scott. “I want to thank our team at the Department of Financial Regulation for overseeing the rate approval process, ensuring workers are well-protected while their employers obtain the best coverage at the most cost-efficient rates.”

The multi-year decreases reflect the continuing efforts of Vermont employers to maintain safe workplaces and a continued focus by the Department on workers’ compensation insurance. The 2023 rate reduction follows many years of decreasing loss trends: -2.5 percent for indemnity (wage replacement) and -3.0 percent for medical claim costs in 2023. The Department expects the trend of decreasing claim frequency to continue. Vermont employers will pay nearly 47 percent less in workers’ compensation premiums than they did in 2016.

Employers purchase workers compensation through one of two markets: the voluntary market and the assigned risk market. Loss costs are the primary component of workers’ compensation rates. In the voluntary market — the open competitive market — loss costs will decrease by an average of 6.7 percent. About 90 percent of Vermont employers acquire voluntary market coverage. In the assigned risk market — the market for employers unable to obtain coverage in the voluntary market — rates will decrease by an average of 6.9 percent. The continued rate relief in the assigned risk market is particularly good news for new businesses which are often required to obtain coverage through this market due to a lack of a claims history. – Source: Office of Gov. Phil Scott

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Categories: SHORTS

4 replies »

  1. Every Vermont elected official, including phil scott- whom scoffs at repudiating current
    US Border policy is complicit in the death of Fritznel Richard. Likewise, these elected
    elitists are complicit in deaths attributed to fentanyl, heroin and the other drugs crossing thru our unprotected borders.
    “Qui tacet consentire videtur”. Silence gives consent.

    • This is not Texas or Arizona. If the powers-that-want-to-be cannot protect lives on a tiny State border like ours then what good are they? What could possibly be more important? Are their New York friends at public radio reporting this? Get a grip already. This was totally avoidable. Total shame.

  2. When the Truth comes out about who is paying and profiteering from these operations, many will be shocked to their cores and the betrayal felt will reverberate through every community.

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