Wednesday, December 9, 2009

WVTK Local & State News December 9, 2009

As of 5AM: The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Addison, Rutland and Essex County, NY through 10PM. A High Wind Warning also in effect for Rutland County through 7PM. Weather Channel Meteorologist Ray Stagich says to expect Snow, heavy at times mixing with Sleet and Rain later, 3-6 inches possible with a High around 35.

A Rutland woman has died in a car crash in Ferrisburgh. Police say 61-year-old Joan L. Wing was killed when she lost control of her car on a slush-covered Route 7 yesterday and hit an oncoming vehicle. The other driver was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources says it cost up to $800 million dollars and 15 years to clean up Lake Champlain. A draft of a revised report, released Monday, recommends that more experts be hired to help farmers reduce pollution, require more stormwater control by property owners and change the way town roads are designed to keep pollutants from waterways. The concern is phosphorous that reaches the lake and drives summer algae blooms and weed growth. Plan author Julie Moore tells the Burlington Free Press the cost could range between $500 million and $800 million in addition to the money already being spent. Moore says the agency won't ask the Legislature for more money. The hope would be to get federal money.

A state program that taps one of Vermont's most abundant natural resources to help low-income families will keep the home fires burning for about 500 households this winter, state officials said Tuesday. Wood Warms, a partnership between the state government and nine community organizations, provided more than 1,400 cords of wood -- or about $350,000 worth -- since last fall through cut-it-yourself lots on state land and by delivering wood to nonprofits to be split into logs and delivered to people in need. Applications are still being taken for wood for this winter.

Vermont State Hospital attorney Kristin Chandler says the hospital is sorry that no one notified a judge or prosecutors about the 1-day release of an elderly man accused of firing a barrage of rifle shots at his neighbor. Lawyers say the Thanksgiving Day release was designed to lift the man's spirits.

The governor's top spokeswoman is leaving for a new job with the Republican Governors Association in Washington. Twenty-8-year-old Dennise Casey began working for Governor Jim Douglas when she was a senior at the University of Vermont. She managed his re-election campaigns in 2006 and 2008.

Amtrak had record-breaking ridership on Thanksgiving week, including some New England routes. The Vermonter run between Washington and northern Vermont had an 11 percent increase in passengers over last year. But the Ethan Allen route between New York City and Rutland saw a 7.2 percent decline.

The Peace Corps says Vermont is the nation's top volunteer-producing state. Vermont has 60 active volunteers in the Peace Corps. On a per-capita basis, that's the best showing in the country. Since 1961, Vermont has turned out 1,380 Peace Corps volunteers.

Vermont State Police are investigating a crash in Roxbury between a freight train and a United Parcel Service truck that resulted in the truck driver being airlifted to a Burlington hospital. Police haven't released identities of those involved and offer few details in the crash at the Oxbow Road crossing south of Roxbury village.

The federal government says it distributed nearly $80 million in disaster relief funds to four New England states following a devastating ice storm a year ago. The storm of Dec. 11-12, 2008, knocked out power to an estimated 1.4 million electric customers in the region. Some were without power for almost two weeks.