Friday, November 20, 2009

WVTK Local News November 20, 2009

Federal immigration officials are cracking down on Vermont dairy farmers asking them to provide records to prove their workers are legal. So far, 4 dairy farms have been served subpoenas. Dairy farmers in Vermont and elsewhere have turned to imported help because of the difficulty hiring people locally to do the work.

Work on access roads for the new Crown Point Bridge Ferry is expected to start today. Meanwhile, operational trials started yesterday. The new 40-car ferry arrived yesterday and immediately began running trial runs between Crown Point and Chimney Point. Operators of the Ticonderoga Ferry say they will try to keep running until the new ferry goes online.

Governor David Paterson announced yesterday that a $2.9 million economic-assistance program will help businesses affected by the sudden closure of the Crown Point Bridge. He said the program will address the region's full range of economic industries by awarding grants and making low-interest loans.

Plattsburgh City Councilors voted in favor of keeping fluoride in the city's drinking water. The vote came after about an hour's worth of comments from the public and debate among the council. The measure to remove the chemical from the city’s drinking water failed by a 4 to 2 count.

There is a free public H1N1 flu clinic at the South Burlington Middle School on Saturday. From 9 to 3, both the nasal mist and the shot will be available but only for those in a priority group will be able to get them. Health officials expect a large turnout for the clinic, so it's recommended that people get there early.

A federal agency says 136 people died in New England from work-related injuries last year. That's 27 fewer than in the previous year and the lowest number since it began compiling the statistics in 1992. The 2008 preliminary figures show there were 24 deaths in Maine, 10 in Vermont, seven in New Hampshire and six in Rhode Island.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the nomination of a Vermont state judge to become the state's next federal judge. The office of U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy says the nomination of Judge Christina Reiss (Rice) of Essex Junction was passed yesterday without discussion. The nomination must now be confirmed by the full Senate.

Ice cream icons Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield and former Governor Phil Hoff lent their voices yesterday to those who want the state Legislature to turn thumbs down on Vermont Yankee's request for a 20-year license extension. Cohen says the nuclear power plant flies in the face of Vermont's image as having a pure environment.

A local café and Middlebury College venture will either sink or swim at the end of the year. The cafe, 51 Main, is owned by the college. The school started the space as a student idea, part of an initiative to integrate student life and the town. The deadline for the decision is early December, and the school's president will have the final say.

Police say someone broke into the Small Dog Electronics Store in Waitsfield last week. An unknown suspect entered the store at about 1:30 AM November 12 by smashing a window. Computer equipment and software were taken. This incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Vermont State Police or Central Vermont Crime Stoppers.

Vermont State Police are issuing warnings about phone scams that seem to be targeting senior citizens. According to police, the callers use blocked numbers and ask the recipient to send bail money because a relative has been arrested in Canada. Other scams involve promises of lottery money that requires $1,000 to secure the prize.

Authorities are investigating a strong armed robbery at the Champlain Farms Fast Stop in Waterbury. Police say it happened just before 7 last Friday night. Police say an unknown man, dressed in dark clothing, grabbed a store clerk by the back of the neck and then demanded money. Police say the man did not display a weapon during the attack.