Friday, June 12, 2015

WVTK Local & State News June 12, 2015

Authorities believe 34-year-old David Sweat and 48-year-old Richard Matt, two inmates who escaped Clinton Correctional Facility on Saturday, June 6, are still together. A perimeter has been set up off of Route 374 in Cadyville since Wednesday. Police have been following the latest lead, in hopes it brings them closer to Sweat and Matt. This morning, Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie confirmed that bloodhounds picked up the scents of Matt and Sweat near Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, and followed it east to Cadyville. The Mobil gas station also has a Subway restaurant, and DA Wylie says there is a chance the inmates were looking for food. Officers are looking at surveillance video to see if they can confirm the inmates were in that area. Both are considered to be a danger to the public. Anyone with information is asked to contact New York State Police at (518)-563-3761.

On Tuesday, voters in Bristol will go to the polls again, this time to vote on a speeding plan for Bristol Elementary School. This will be the third try for a budget for the next school year. The proposed spending plan of $4,918,334 represents a 2.48-percent increase compared to the current budget, which runs through June 30. The polls will be open from 7 am to 9 pm at Holley on Tuesday.

The comprehensive energy bill passed by the state legislature this week is now law. Governor Peter Shumlin signed the bill yesterday, saying it will create over one-thousand jobs and save residents 390-million-dollars on energy costs. The measure also creates a new program where state utilities will help customers to reduce fossil fuel use and cut their energy costs. It establishes new renewable electricity requirements of 55-percent by 2017.

Senator Bernie Sanders wants to help more workers with families get paid leave and vacation. He's co-sponsoring a package of bills that would provide employees with 10 days of paid vacation after working for a year, and guaranteeing workers get at least seven sick days a year. Sanders also called for paid leave if an employee has a baby, or is diagnosed with a serious medical condition.

The Vermont Ski Areas Association says the 2014-2015 skiing and riding season was the best on record. The nearly 4.7 million skier visits topped the previous record set in 2001. Vermont Ski Areas Association President Parker Riehle says "a near-perfect winter" allowed the resorts to open early end keep operating until late in the season.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

WVTK Local & State News June 11, 2015

U.S. Rep. Peter Welch says he plans to make a decision soon on whether he will give up his seat in Congress to run for governor. Welch, now in his fifth term as Vermont’s sole congressman, emerged as a potential candidate following Gov. Peter Shumlin’s surprise announcement Monday that he will not seek a fourth term in 2016. Welch this morning said he continues to enjoy serving in Congress. Despite the Democrats’ minority status, Welch said he has recently managed to push legislation into law, including energy efficiency requirements and funding for the National Institute of Health.

Governor Peter Shumlin has confirmed that homicide suspect Jason Kendall is dead. Authorities say they received a call from the Kansas Highway Patrol that police attempted to pull over a silver Honda Accord with stolen Massachusetts license plates. Police say a high-speed chase ensued, and the car eventually crashed. After the crash, the man was found dead in the car, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Investigators say Kendall shot and killed his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child Molly Helland in Windsor on Monday. Shumlin said Kendall was an opiate user, and called this case a drug-related tragedy.

The New York State Senate passed a bill to create a terrorist registry. A press release says the bill would do the following: create a registry, based on the state's highly successful Sex Offender Registration Act and require individuals convicted of terrorism to be added to the registry. This bill is currently in the Senate and Assembly, where it is hoped that immediate action will be taken to approve this legislation before the end of session.

Governor Peter Shumlin says they are working tirelessly to get escaped inmates 34-year-old David Sweat and 48-year-old Richard Matt back behind bars. Shumlin is urging Vermonters not to panic, but use common sense and stay vigilant. At a press conference this morning, Gov. Shumlin says Vermonters can expect to see more law enforcement, especially along Lake Champlain and remote areas where there are hunting camps. Shumlin says they have no new information regarding the escaped inmates plans to head to Vermont. Officials in Vermont are working closely with police and officials in New York to locate the escaped inmates.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

WVTK Local & State News June 10, 2015

It's day five of the manhunt for two escaped prison inmates from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora. Governor Peter Shumlin and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo held a joint press conference this afternoon. During the press conference they announced that both Vermont State Police and New York State Police are working together along with other state agencies on both sides of the lake. It was also discussed that Vermont was a possible destination of the escaped convicts. Earlier today, authorities were once again going door to door in the Dannemora area. Yesterday, officials followed a lead in Willsboro and have not found anything yet. Both governors reiterated the fact that these two escaped convicts are dangerous, if you see them or have any information, call police immediately.

It took three times but residents from Addison Northeast and Northwest Supervisor Unions passed budgets for their high schools. The Vergennes Union High School spending plan of $10,258,933 passed by a vote of 814-645. And the Mount Abe budget passed 852 to 597.

The Vermont Air National Guard announced 150 members are deploying to the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan by the end of the month. The National Guard says the deployment, in support of the Pacific Command Theater Security Package, will provide forces capable of a variety of operations, including disaster relief, global situational awareness, combating piracy, active defense and power projection. About 10 F-16 Fighting Falcons will also be sent to Japan for the deployment. The National Guard says throughout the week, communities may see transient military aircraft in the area.

The annual count of homeless people conducted by the federal government shows a drop of more than two-percent in Vermont's homeless count this year. The report shows that at the end of January, there were a little over 15-hundred homeless people in Vermont. Those findings are supported by the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness and the Chittenden County Homeless Alliance.

Officials say changes to the Vermont Health Connect Insurance Exchange say they have sped up the process for changing personal details of the people who use the system. The old system took more than 30 minutes to process while the new system takes took about five minutes. Officials say they expect to have a current backlog of more than 10,000 backorders cleared up by fall.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

WVTK Local & State News June 9, 2015

The speculation is beginning over who will be running for governor of Vermont now that Peter Shumlin is not seeking re-election next year. Congressman Peter Welch and state House Speaker Shap Smith are among the Democrats now believed to be interested in running. Republicans Phil Scott, Scott Milne and Randy Brock are also expected to launch campaigns for governor. Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger says he will not be a candidate for governor next year.

Residents in both the Addison Northeast and Northwest Supervisory Unions will go to the polls today to decide the fate of budgets for VUHS and Mount Abe. The VUHS board has proposed a $10,258,933 budget for the 2015-2016 school year that is $211,000 lower than the plan defeated on Town Meeting Day. Voters in the Addison Northeast Supervisory Unions are looking at a $13,947,738 spending plan that offers lower tax rates and a 1.02-percent decrease from the current spending plan.

Police say an arrest warrant has been issued for a man wanted in connection with the killing of his former girlfriend. Vermont State Police are looking for 27-year-old Jason Kendall of Windsor, on a second-degree homicide charge. Police say they received a 911 call Monday morning from a person who heard screams and gunshots near Main Street. When police arrived at the scene, they found a woman, identified as 22-year-old Molly Helland dead. Police say Kendall fled the area after the shooting in a silver 1996 Honda Accord, which they now believe has Massachusetts license plate 842YM3.

The Winooski Police Department is investigating an armed robbery at Chuck's Mobil on East Allen Street in Winooski last night. Police say a man, displaying a weapon, ordered the clerk to give him all the cash just after 11:15 last night. The man left with an undisclosed amount of money. Police say no one was injured during the armed robbery. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Winooski Police Department at (802)-655-0221.

Monday, June 8, 2015

WVTK Local & State News June 8, 2015

Governor Peter Shumlin announced this afternoon that he will not seek re-election at the end of this term in 2016. During a press conference this afternoon he announced that he wants take the next 18 months in office to complete the goals he has laid-out for his administration.

For the third time this year, voters in the five Addison Northwest Supervisory Union towns will head to the polls tomorrow to try and pass a budget for Vergennes Union High School. The VUHS board has proposed a $10,258,933 budget for the upcoming school year that is $211,000 lower than the plan defeated on Town Meeting Day and $55,000 less than the proposal that lost on May 5. If the budget is defeated again, state law says VUHS will operate at an assumed budget of 87 percent of the current spending until voters approve a new plan.

Also heading to the polls tomorrow are voters in Bristol, Monkton, Starksboro, Lincoln and New Haven as they too will be trying for a third time to pass a school spending plan for Mount Abe. The current proposal is $13,947,738, which is a 1.02-percent decrease compared to the current spending plan.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is offering a $100 thousand reward as the search expands for Richard Matt and David Sweat, the 2 convicted murders that escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora early Saturday morning. It is the first escape ever from the Up-State New York Prison. Police say both prisoners are considered to be a danger to the public. They say if located, do not approach them. Contact 911 or the New York State Police immediately.

The American Federation of Teachers says that a tentative agreement reached for full-time faculty at Vermont State Colleges. According to the union, after months of negotiation, terms of the 2015-2018 deal include: compensation increases of up to four percent, three point five percent, and three point five percent over the next three years, preservation of faculty job security, intellectual property, and academic freedom, and additional compensation for developing and teaching master's courses. The Vermont State Colleges Faculty Federation will hold a ratification vote in the fall.

Governor Peter Shumlin is promoting an upcoming job fair with 35 employers looking to fill more than 600 positions. The Vermont Career Connections Job Fair runs from noon to 6 p.m. at the Sheraton in South Burlington on Friday. Shumlin says it's encouraging that so many jobs are available.

Friday, June 5, 2015

WVTK Local & State News June 5, 2015

Hinesburg's police chief stands by his assertion that Joseph Marshall would have been charged with second degree murder for a recent crash that killed a bicyclist. A forum was held last night, where Chief Frank Koss said Marshall driving 83 miles per hour in the village on a Sunday morning was a deliberate and deadly act. Marshall also died in the crash, and his mother says that the charge would have been involuntary manslaughter, not murder. Koss says this case shows teenagers that they must be responsible while driving.

Police responded to a three car crash on Route 7 this morning just before 11 a.m. Police say 28-year-old Michael Lapore-Capek of New Haven, was traveling southbound when he struck a Casella tractor trailer traveling northbound. After colliding with the tractor trailer, Lapore-Capek's van spun and then struck a second northbound vehicle. No one was injured in the crash. Police arrested Lapore-Capek for driving with a suspended license. Police say when they arrived all three vehicles had significant damage. The crash is still under investigation.

13 pink slips have been handed out to Vermont state employees, and a second round of layoffs is possible. Vermont's new Secretary of Administration made his first layoffs this week. The number, 13, revised down yesterday from 14 earlier this week, is much smaller than the 300 to 400 thrown out there earlier this year. 51 open positions will also not be filled, with a total of 64 job cuts this round. The cuts are not a surprise; during the Legislative session, the administration tried to convince the state employees' union, the VSEA, to open their contracts and give up pay increases. The union fought back with rallies, marches and news conferences, calling for higher taxes on the rich to fill the budget gap instead of cuts to state employees.

A federal report says a proposal to move Canadian electricity to southern New England via two power lines buried beneath Lake Champlain and then across Vermont to Ludlow would have little impact on the lake or surrounding areas. The U.S. Department of Energy issued the draft environmental impact statement as part of a proposal for the $1.2 billion New England Clean Power Link, which would carry 1,000 megawatts of electricity.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

WVTK Local & State News June 4, 2015

Vermont is officially laying off 14 state workers next month. The state has notified the affected employees that they will be losing their jobs on July eleventh. The layoffs include four employees in the Department of Taxes, and two each at the departments of Mental Health and Financial Regulation. Governor Peter Shumlin is also planning to eliminate around 50 vacant positions as he seeks to achieve ten-million-dollars in labor savings.

A public forum is being held tonight in Hinesburg to discuss an April crash that killed a teenage driver and a bicyclist. The family of 17-year-old Joseph Marshall asked for a forum to discuss allegations made against him after his death. The town police chief says Marshall likely would have been charged with murder if he survived because of his negligence. Bicyclist Richard Tom died after being struck by Marshall's out of control car.

The new Shorewell Community Health Center on Route 22A in Shoreham is officially open. The new home of Dr. Allan Curtiss’s Practice is now in it’s new home, one that has plans for expansion. The new $1.8-million facility will eventually become a base of operations for a second physician, dental practice and a bevy of other services that will be offered to citizens regardless of their income and health insurance status. A grand opening for the Shorewell Community Health Center is planned for Saturday, June 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) announced they are lowering rates on new student loans. VSAC says they offer rates as low as 5.50 percent APR for both graduate and undergraduate students who need additional financing for postsecondary education or training. Vermont students attending college in the U.S. or abroad or students from out-of-state attending a Vermont institution are eligible.

The principal at Mount Abraham Union High School will be leaving at the end of the school year. Principal Gaynell Lyman confirmed earlier this week that she will be leaving the position she has held for just one year in order to pursue another career opportunity. Addison Northeast Supervisory Union Superintendent David Adams has a proposed itinerary that will see a new principal hired by July 21.