Monday, December 7, 2009

WVTK Local & State News December 7, 2009

Firefighters responded to a call early this morning at CVU High School. Officials say there was a small fire in the dust collection system in the wood shop. Four departments helped keep the damage to a minimum. Officials say the cause does not appear suspicious but they can't say exactly what sparked it. CVU is closed today.

Some parts of northern New England got a half-foot or more of snow in this weekend's pre-winter storm. And more may be in store for later in the week. While Saturday's snowfall won't set any records, it left New Hampshire covered with a blanket of white. Madison got 7 inches, Dover got 5, Concord 4 inches and Gorham only an inch.

Professional firefighters of Vermont are chipping in to help Vermont National Guard members and their families as soldiers deploy to Afghanistan. The group is hosting a chili supper on Friday in South Burlington to benefit the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation. Sen. Patrick Leahy is expected to attend. The supper will be held at the South Burlington High School from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through Professional Fire Fighters of Vermont. Details are on the group's Web site at

The Vermont State Police have 10 new troopers. The 10 graduated Friday from the Vermont Police Academy in Pittsford, and will go on to complete a four-week training period before joining field stations as members of the State Police. Col. Thomas L'Esperance, the director of the Vermont State Police, says the new troopers will make for a greater presence around the state.

Rutland's secret Santa has struck again, for the third year in a row. An anonymous letter dropped off at the Rutland Herald on Thursday told the newspaper that 15 of 30 cards containing cash have been handed out to unsuspecting holiday shoppers so far this season. The anonymous donor is expected to give out 15 more, with each containing either a $20 or $50 bill.

A Vermont church that's down to its last $8,000 is selling a valuable stained-glass window to boost finances and keep open a homeless shelter it runs. The multicolored image of St. John the Divine is a Tiffany original that has been in the First Baptist Church in Brattleboro for almost 100 years. Church leaders say they already have bids in the $70,000 range.

Investigators will be in Putney on Sunday evening in hopes of getting new leads in last month's fire at the Putney General Store. Police say they want to interview drivers who routinely pass through town around the hours the fire started.

The new Canadian ambassador to the U.S. was in Vermont last week as part of his strategy to spend less time in Washington and more time in states building support for trade policies. At a press conference , Gary Doer called trade an ongoing opportunity and ongoing challenge and said he disagrees with a provision of the U.S. stimulus package requiring funds be spent only on American-made products.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has approved legislation extending federal benefits to volunteer paramedics and EMTs who are killed or injured in the line of duty. The bill is named for Dale Long, who died in June in an ambulance crash in Bennington.

Praise is paying off in the form of better student behavior at a Vermont school. Teachers and administrators at the Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler Elementary School in Burlington have heaped at least 12,000 compliments so far this year on students who follow the rules. The approach to discipline, known as positive behavioral support, is being tried in 54 Vermont schools.

A group devoted to protecting the Connecticut River and its tributaries is looking for volunteers to help watch over the streams. A training session is being offered this Thursday at Tracy Hall in Norwich, Vt., for people who want to join the effort. Those interested can call Deen at 802-869-2792. Again that number is 802-869-2792.