Addison dairy man Rob Hunt spoke with Channel 3 news in November for a series entitled “Foreigners on the Farm,” which focused on the illegal immigrants working in Vermont agriculture. He’s since received a federal subpoena requiring that he explain how such workers arrive in the country. He’ll testify before a grand jury this week.
One of his south-of-the-border employees, 18-year-old Jose Cruz Balcazar of Tabasco, also appeared in the segment. The youngster is now in jail after being arrested at the Burlington International Airport earlier this month when he attempted to fly home.
Charles Coughlin, a Rutland-area McDonald’s franchise owner, recently became the target of a bizarre robbery and ransom request.
According to a report in the Rutland Herald, the thieves took jewelry and books worth between $50,000 and $100,000 from Coughlin’s home and left a lengthy letter stating: “I am currently in possession of your most prized accomplishment.” It went on to indicate that if Coughlin didn’t deliver, the item would be buried with enough air and water “for 72 hours.”
No Coughlin family members or pets are missing. Herald staff writer Brent Curtis writes, “The sinister sounding plan is an empty threat, according to a state police official familiar with the case, who said the jewelry and valuable books the thieves made off with wouldn’t suffocate or starve to death in the frozen earth.
“‘We don’t know what he means,’ said the official . . . ‘It makes no sense.’”