Monday, November 30, 2009

WVTK Local News November 30, 2009

Plans for a temporary Lake Champlain ferry service aimed at providing a temporary link for the now-closed Lake Champlain Bridge are moving ahead, with the state of Vermont hiring a contractor to build the ferry landing on the Vermont side.
The state Agency of Transportation chose Kubricky Construction, of Mechanicville, N.Y., to do the Vermont land work. Starting Monday, the company will build approach roads in preparation for in-water construction of ferry docks. Similar work is under way on the New York side. The bridge, linking Crown Point, N.Y., and West Addison, Vt., was closed suddenly Oct. 16 amid safety concerns. The states of Vermont and New York plan to demolish it and build a new one, and the ferry service is being started to carry vehicles across Lake Champlain until the new one is built.

The second part of Vermont's archery season for deer began Saturday, and state wildlife officials say hunters are seeing more big, older bucks thanks to antler restrictions begun four years ago. Muzzleoader deer season began yesterday, too.

Vermont State Police say a routine traffic stop led to the discovery of hallucinogenic mushrooms and the arrest of a New Hampshire man. Twenty-3-year-old Jason Collins, of Claremont, N.H., was stopped for an unnamed minor motor vehicle violation Nov. 20 on Interstate 91 in Hartland.

A large, wet snowfall stranded drivers in Buels Gore, Vt., near the Appalachian Gap, and caused others to skid off Route 17. The road was salted and cleared of snow. Police said several vehicles were unprepared for the winter driving season because they did not have snow tires on their vehicles.

The Vermont State Employees Association and the Vermont chapter of the National Education Association say they haven't received a seat at the table to add to the discussions. State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding says the unions have been asked repeatedly for input on alternatives, but haven't made any recommendations.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to face tough questioning during a reappointment hearing this week, and 1 of Vermont's U.S. Senators says he won't support another term for the Fed chief. Senator Bernie Sanders says Bernanke is "part of the problem" facing the U.S. economy. Bernanke's nomination will be considered Thursday.

A legislative committee that reviews rules issued by the executive agencies of state government appears poised to object to one that would allow all-terrain vehicles on state-owned land. 5 of 8 members of the Legislative Committee say they believe the question of ATVs on state land should be settled by the full Legislature.

New England scallopers are wondering why new restrictions have been placed on what has for years been the region's healthiest fishery. The number of fishing days has been cut from 37 this year to 29 next year. That's lowered the projected catch by about 11 million pounds. The reduced days are aimed at increasing the number of scallops.

Northern New England's ski industry is viewing the upcoming season with optimism, saying the amount of snow nature sends the region is a much bigger factor in determining how well the ski areas fare. Improvements continued through the off-season at New England resorts, although not on a scale as when times are better.