Saturday, February 24, 2018
News Roundup

Q&A: Vermont crime rate low despite death of Melissa Jenkins

Vermont crime rate still low

I've been following the story of the young teacher murdered in Vermont. I thought Vermont was a pretty safe state?

Melissa Jenkins, a 33-year-old science teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy in St. Johnsbury, a town of about 7,500 in northeast Vermont, was kidnapped March 25. Her 2-year-old son was left unharmed in her car. Jenkins' body was found the next day in the nearby Connecticut River, which separates Vermont and New Hampshire.

Allen and Patricia Prue have been arrested and charged with murder. According to reports, they had decided "to get a girl," told Jenkins their car had broken down and asked her for assistance. When the teacher got out of her car, police say, Allen Prue strangled her.

The Prues have pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

Vermont, a largely rural state of about 626,000 residents, is one of the states where a person is least likely to be a homicide victim.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Vermont had a homicide rate of 1.3 per 100,000 population in 2009, which would rank it tied with Iowa for 49th among states. For Vermont, that meant 8 homicides. New Hampshire's 0.9 rate was the nation's lowest.

Florida's rate was 5.5 and the national average was 5.1. Washington, D.C., was the most dangerous area, with a rate of 24.2, and Louisiana had the highest rate among states at 12.3.

For all violent crimes, Vermont was also 49th with a rate of 140.8 incidents per 100,000 population. Maine's 119.4 was best. Florida's rate was 688.9, and the national average was 467.2. The District of Columbia's rate was 1,437.7, with Nevada had the worst rate among states at 727.5.

Economy slows new quarters

When the government made state quarters, they were readily available. Now they are issuing the national park quarters and nobody seems to be able to get them. Why is the distribution so poor?

The economy drives demand for the coins. "When the economy runs slower, there are fewer coins made," Mike White, spokesman for the U.S. Mint, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The America the Beautiful Quarters Program, which began in 2010 and depicts national parks and other national sites, has between 60 million and 70 million per coin, while the state quarters program, which ran from 1999 to 2008, was about 400 million per state coin.

The America the Beautiful Quarters Program will feature 56 sites, with new coins issued through 2021. Eleven have been issued. Five are planned for 2012, and the El Yunque National Forest coin has been issued already (Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico, Acadia National Park in Maine, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska are still to come).

Sets can be purchased from the U.S. Mint's website at usmint.gov.

Comments
Live blog: 2018 Gasparilla Distance Classic

Live blog: 2018 Gasparilla Distance Classic

The Tampa Bay Times will be there for every step of this year's Gasparilla Distance Classic. Whether you'll be walking, skipping, jogging or sprinting across the 5K, 8K, 15K or half-marathon finish, join us by using #gasparillarun.(function(d, s, id)...
Published: 02/24/18

High school scoreboard for Feb. 23

Friday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 2, Crystal River 0BaseballCalvary Christian 9, Countryside 2Northeast 15, Tarpon Springs 1
Updated: 9 hours ago
Florida Capitol Republicans promise ‘complete investigation’ of what went wrong

Florida Capitol Republicans promise ‘complete investigation’ of what went wrong

TALLAHASSEE — A bombshell that South Florida police ignored tips that a teenager was planning an assault on a school and then failed to stop him when he attacked seems destined to complicate the election-year discussion around mass shootings.Even in ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Top Justice official alerted White House 2 weeks ago to ongoing issues in Kushner’s security clearance

Top Justice official alerted White House 2 weeks ago to ongoing issues in Kushner’s security clearance

WASHINGTON — A top Justice Department official alerted the White House two weeks ago that significant information requiring additional investigation would further delay the security clearance process of senior adviser Jared Kushner, three people fami...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Indiana man killed, two hurt as boats collide on Little Manatee River

Indiana man killed, two hurt as boats collide on Little Manatee River

RUSKIN — Arthur D. Showley, 75, went fishing early Friday morning, something he did two or three times a week, friends said. When they saw his car and trailer still parked near a community boat ramp at 2 p.m., they thought that was strange."He never ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Here are the GOP’s responses to the Parkland massacre. Would any have worked?

Here are the GOP’s responses to the Parkland massacre. Would any have worked?

Gov. Rick Scott and Republican leadership in the Florida Legislature have rolled out their ideas for change in response to the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But would these measures have made a difference in the worst mass...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Former Florida congressmen say gun control measures need to go much further

Former Florida congressmen say gun control measures need to go much further

TAMPA — A bipartisan pair of former congressmen spoke Friday about gun safety measures that are more drastic than those being considered following the Parkland school shootings, and about hopes for a national youth movement comparable to the 1960s an...
Published: 02/23/18
Restricting bullets rather than guns might cut toll of school shootings, some experts say

Restricting bullets rather than guns might cut toll of school shootings, some experts say

This is the sad new math in the age of school slaughter.If one student comes to school with a firearm and 10 ammunition magazines filled with 30 bullets each, and another comes with a firearm and 30 magazines filled with 10 bullets each, who can crea...
Published: 02/23/18
Epilogue: Lee Davis, businessman and adventurer, survived many a scrape

Epilogue: Lee Davis, businessman and adventurer, survived many a scrape

TAMPA — Friends and family have a saying about Lee Thornton Davis Jr. Once you met him, even for just a moment, you knew him forever."He was the most outgoing person I’d ever met," Dick Greco said, which is something coming from Tampa’s gregarious, 8...
Published: 02/23/18
Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

The head of the Pinellas and Hillsborough career centers under multiple investigations into the way they report job placement figures says he has no intention of stepping down.That’s unless he is paid five months severance.In a letter from his attorn...
Published: 02/23/18