Friday, November 6, 2009

WVTK Local News November 6, 2009

Work toward a temporary 24-hour ferry near the closed Champlain Bridge is under way. The states of New York and Vermont are applying for the proper permits to operate the temporary ferry. Officials say, as we work with the various permit agencies, both state and federal, ranging from environmental to historic to archeological, engineers are working on the dock and road design.

State health officials say they’re making headway in the local fight against the H1N1 flu. So far about 23-thousand doses of the H1N1 Vaccine have been administers to adults, another 5-thousand have been given to children. Only 4 schools have closed temporally. And there are about 40 more vaccination clinics planed in the next couple weeks across the state.

A prosecutor says state Senator Edward Flanagan will not face charges over allegations he engaged in inappropriate conduct at a Burlington health club. Addison County State's Attorney Chris Perkett, who reviewed the case, says he cannot prove Flanagan intentionally engaged in the behavior inside a men's fitness room at the YMCA.

The sentencing of former Plattsburgh Assemblyman Chris Ortloff has been delayed again. Ortloff has been in federal custody since last April. He pleaded guilty to trying to meet with two preteen sisters. Ortloff was due to appear in court next week to face a minimum 10-year sentence. Federal prosecutors now say the sentencing won't happen until next year.

The cases of two men charged in connection with the death of John Reiss have been moved to Vermont District Court in St. Albans. Reiss' daughter, Christina Reiss, presides over the Burlington courthouse at which 27-year-old Brad Lussier and 39-year-old Joseph McCarthy were arraigned in May on manslaughter charges. The move helps the court avoid a conflict of interest.

The Vermont Transportation Agency said Vermont 108 through Smugglers Notch from Stowe to Jeffersonville is closed, perhaps for the season. Officials don't know whether the road will be opened again before spring. In any event, the road is expected to remain closed through at least today and maybe through the weekend.

One of the three main tenants in the Moran plant renovation is pulling out. The Green Mountain Children's Museum said the economy has changed since the project began, and it can no longer afford the $2 million price tag to renovate, so it's looking for a new location. The museum was one of three main tenants to share the cost of renovating the old power plant with the city.

H1N1 Flu is not the only strain of the flu to hit the Champlain Valley. Officials say H3N8 has hit the area. Although it does affect humans, H3N8 or dog flu can cause some complications in our canine friends. Experts recommend the dog flu vaccine for dogs that spend time with other dogs. Dogs that spend time in dog kennels, dog groomers, or at dog hospitals should get the vaccine.

Governor David Paterson is calling the Legislature back to Albany for a special session to cut the budget and possibly vote on legalizing same-sex marriage. Paterson wants the Senate to give final legislative approval to same-sex marriage. But there's no guarantee there are enough votes to carry the measure, which passed the Assembly.

Girls on the Run Vermont is in the process of expanding its roster to 115 sites statewide, and volunteer coaches are needed in the areas of Westford, Essex, Hinesburg and Charlotte. Coaches could be school staff members -- teachers, nurses, guidance counselors, principals and paraprofessionals -- or parents and community members. New volunteer coaches should sign up by Nov. 30. Girls on the Run is the umbrella organization for two experiential learning programs: Girls on the Run, for grades 3 through 5, and Girls on Track, for grades 6 through 8. The programs are offered nationwide and incorporate training for a 3.1-mile run/walk into self-esteem enhancement. Girls on the Run aims to encourage positive emotional, social, and physical development, and community building. In about 1,800 girls in Vermont took part in the program. A training session for new coaches scheduled for Nov. 18 in Burlington is full, but sessions will be held throughout January and February in various locations around the state. Two sessions are planned for Feb. 1 and 2 in Essex. For detailed training information, visit the Girls on the Run Vermont Web site,, or call 246-1476. Returning coaches' training information is also posted on the Web site.