Monday, December 28, 2009

WVTK Local & State News December 28, 2009

The demolition of the Lake Champlain Bridge is on schedule for Monday, according to John Zicconi, spokesman at the Vermont Agency of Transportation. The local landmark connecting Crown Point and Addison, Vt., is scheduled to be blown-up at 10 a.m. Construction on a new bridge is scheduled to start this spring, with an opening date expected in the summer of 2011.

Good news for commuters between Vermont and New York … starting today, ferry service between Charlotte and Essex will run 24 hours a day. The new winter schedule has the ferry departing every 30 minutes from Vermont and New York to make it easier for commuters that used to travel over the Crown Point Bridge.

A Pew Research Center survey finds northern New Englanders are among the least religious people in the country. The survey ranked states based on what percentage of the population said religion was very important in their lives. New Hampshire and Vermont, which were lumped together for the survey, were at the bottom of the list.

Vermont is opening a firewood lottery on Jan. 4. Registration for the 200 "cut-your-own" lots across the state ends Jan. 15. Each lot costs $30 and yields about three cords of wood. People interested in the lottery can register online or call the state Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation.

Swine flu concerns have been a boon to one Vermont business. Triosyn Corp. recently started around-the-clock production of anti-microbial respirators, which can help health care workers and emergency responders who come in contact with the virus. The Williston-based company says it has hired 80 people since July, boosting total employment to 90.

A 36-year-old Readsboro man jailed on a first-degree aggravated domestic assault charge after Vermont State Police say he threw a person out of a moving vehicle during a fight. Troopers say Michael Chase's driver's license also was suspended in Vermont and had been suspended 43 previous times.

Police say a Good Samaritan who stopped at what he thought was a car accident ended up getting stabbed in the hand by a man who had just rammed into his wife's car. Twenty-2-year-old Alexey Mameav of Quechee was charged with drunken driving, domestic assault and five other charges after the incident late Wednesday night.

Vermont is on track to finish 2009 with the lowest number of homicides in 45 years. The Burlington Free Press reports there were four cases police classified as murder: three stabbings and one fatal beating.

In the town of Dorset, they're facing a pleasant dilemma - how to spend a $252,000 surplus discovered by the town's auditor. Town Manager Rob Gaiotti says the decision should be left to the Select Board, but believes putting the money into a reserve found - to be used over the next three years - makes sense.

Vermont State Police are investigating a robbery in which a man entered a pharmacy in Cambridge and demanded the narcotic oxycodone. Police say the man entered the store, demanded the drug from staff there and fled in an unknown direction. Oxycodone has been a favorite target in pharmacy holdups around the country.