Monday, April 26, 2010

WVTK Local & State News April 26, 2010

Commuters between Vermont and New York will soon have another way of crossing the lake. The Ticonderoga Ferry is getting ready to open for the season. After an almost total overhaul, this will be one of the earliest openings in history for the seasonal ferry. Starting Wednesday morning at 8:30 the Ti Ferry will start crossing the lake between Ticonderoga and Shoreham.

The Benson School Board is set to take a second shot at passing a budget on Tuesday. The board will hold an informational meeting at 7:30 p.m. today at the Benson Community Hall. Voting is scheduled to take place there by Australian ballot from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow.

Addison County organizers are hoping that the first state conference on migrant farm workers will seed new community organizations in other counties that will help a population many believe is vital to the future of Vermont’s dairy farms. About 150 people turned out Saturday at the McCardell Bicentennial Hall on the campus Middlebury College. The conference was organized to spread awareness of not only the issues that face immigrant workers but also the steps that can and have been taken in Addison County to deal with the problems.

Rutland City aldermen are poised to approve the Summer Farmers' Markets expansion into Evelyn Street at their next meeting, however they learned last week that not all in the city are in favor of the plan. Two businesses in the area of Depot Park recently contacted the mayor's office and the Downtown Rutland Partnership to say that the Saturday road closure was bad for their businesses.

A local man charged with holding a woman captive and abusing her for two days is in jail awaiting arraignment on a felony charge. Bruce Fuller allegedly barred a woman last week from leaving a Main Street apartment in Shoreham. Fuller was arrested days later when he visited the state Probation and Parole Office in Rutland. He will be arraigned in Middlebury District Court on the felony domestic assault charge May 24.

Hubbardton Forge, the Castleton company that makes hand-forged lighting products, is being honored by the state for its pollution prevention efforts. The company, 1 of the nation's oldest and largest commercial forges, will get a Vermont Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention.

Vermont's agriculture secretary has a grim outlook for Vermont's dairy farms. Roger Albee says in a worst case scenario 200 dairy farms might shut down by the end of the year. The state currently has just over 1,000 dairy farms. Albee says the collapse of milk prices last year might put 20-percent of those out of business.

Burlington based,, one of the fastest growing web companies is launching a $10-Million expansion. The company had recently considered a number of expansion options including moving to California, but officials announced on Friday that they will be staying in Burlington and hiring around 300 more employees.

A Vermont hospital is planning what it says is the first forum ever exploring the potential health impacts caused by industrial wind turbines. The forum, scheduled for May 6 at Rutland Medical Center, will feature two physicians: Dr. Michael Nissenbaum, of Northern Maine Medical Center, and Dr. Robert McCunney, of Massachusetts General Hospital. Hospital President Thomas Huebner will serve as moderator. People who live near industrial wind turbines have reported suffering from hypertension, nausea, depression and sleep deprivation, and the forum will examine the potential effects of wind turbines in relation to those ailments.

A 19-year-old from Montpelier is facing a number of charges after leading police on a high speed chase in a stolen vehicle. Police say Brendan Houston stolen a black Mercedes Friday afternoon in Montpelier and fled to St. Albans were he stole gas and liquor. Police spotted the car southbound on Interstate 89. The chase ended in Waterbury when he crossed the median and hit another car and fled on foot. Houston was caught in a nearby wooded area. Police say a woman and her two children involved in the collision are OK.

Senator Charles Schumer is fighting for more funding for Anti-Drug Trafficking programs along the border. The proposed federal budget would cut 15-percent from the programs. Schumer says the North Country is one of the greatest places to raise and family and doesn't want that to change. He says he wants to at least see the funding restored, if not increased.

A North Underhill man was involved with an armed stand-off with police for almost 2 hours yesterday. Vermont State Police arrived at the house just before noon. Traffic on Route 15 was re-routed during the incident. The man finally surrender to police and was taken to Fletcher-Allen for evaluation. No one was hurt during the stand-off. His name is not being released.

A man wanted in Vermont on attempted murder charges is now in custody in Ohio. 33-year-old Michael Kirkman is now awaiting extradition back to Vermont. Police say Kirkman stabbed 2 men outside of a restaurant in Barre 2 weeks ago. Both victims spent several days in the hospital with serious injuries but have since been released.

The Vermont Senate passed its version of the annual tax bill on Friday. It calls for a 1-percent increase in property taxes among a number of other differences from the House version. Senators also rejected a move to pass an increase in the federal domestic production tax credit on to local manufacturers.

Senator Patrick Leahy is encouraging Vermonters to create a "Postcard from Home" message, a video card, so to speak, for our more than 1,300 troops overseas. Once it's created, it can then be uploaded to YouTube, where soldiers can log on and view them. For information, go to the special Website here.

With the warmer weather, more and more people are taking their motorcycles out of storage. Police are now issuing a warning to motorcycle rider to be careful. Each year the number of motorcycle fatalities increases while the numbers decrease in every other vehicle class. The most obvious tips for motorcyclists are to drive defensively.

A Colonial-era boundary dispute between two Vermont towns is finally going to be settled. The dispute between St. George and neighboring Shelburne dates back to 1763, when both towns were established with overlapping land maps. It took a couple building a home on property in the disputed area to settle the matter. Both towns get some land under the deal.