Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WVTK Local & State News April 28, 2010

The National Weather Service continues its WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY THROUGH 11 AM. Weather Channel Meteorologist Ray Stagich Says Snow Mixing with Rain Today – High 40.

A spring storm in northern New York and New England has dumped more than a foot of snow in some areas. Some of the heaviest-hit places are in Vermont. The National Weather Service says North Underhill received more than 13 inches of snow as of early this morning and Jericho had 12 inches.

The Ticonderoga Ferry opens for the season today. Starting today, the cable ferry will cross Lake Champlain between Ticonderoga and Shoreham. The Ti Ferry will run from 8 AM to 6 PM daily till July when the hours are extended to 7 PM.

The Marble Valley Regional Transit District (The Bus) announced that Winter Shuttle passes and coupons expire on Friday. The Summer Shuttle passes are now available for $150 and can be used on the Rutland Killington Commuter; Route 103 (Ludlow); Route 7 South (Manchester); Route 4 West (Fair Haven/Castleton/Poultney); and The Connector to Middlebury. Schedules are available at

The Vermont Senate has approved a $4.7-Billion budget for the next fiscal year, which begins in July. The budget includes over $3-Billion in federal funds funneled though state agencies. Lawmakers aren't done yet, they still need to find $38-Million in savings through the Challenges for Change Program. Lawmakers hope to decide on all the cuts before they go home for the season.

New York lawmakers say state budget talks are going "nowhere." The now-late budget was due on April 1, but with the state facing a $9.2 billion deficit lawmakers and Gov. David Paterson haven't been able to reach a compromise. Now there's a new hurdle. Assembly Democrats want to borrow up to $2 billion to cover the budget, but Senate Democrats are ruling out more borrowing. Paterson has indicated that he's also against more borrowing.

A coalition of lawmakers, medical specialists and the New York Organ Donor Network are pushing legislation to make it easier to be an organ donor in New York. The legislation would make New York the first state to automatically enroll all driver's license applicants as potential organ donors unless they indicate otherwise. Currently people have to actively choose to be a donor.

The vision for generating four-season tourism in Killington has expanded to include small grants for local businesses and an online one-stop-shop for information and reservations. A matching grant program and online booking on an updated are two of many new economic drivers being revealed over the next month.

Plattsburgh State University officials are warning student to be on alert after a female student was attacked by 3 men. According to University Police, the victim said one of them held her down while the others went through the contents of her backpack on the path behind Wilson Hall. The victim also said the attackers fled without taking anything.

After 8 hours of deliberations, a Burlington Jury has found a mom and her husband guilty of sexually abusing her daughter. This is the second trial for Stacy Parnitzke and Shane Casey. The first one ended in a hung jury. No word on when sentencing will be. Both each face up to life in prison. The defense attorney for Stacey Parnitzke said they will appeal.

Vermont State Police detectives resumed their search of a 78-year-old woman believed to have been killed and burned by her daughter in 2006 and then buried by her grandson. Authorities focused their search for the remain of Mary Wilcox in an area behind Westford Elementary School. Police found nothing, they plan to continue the search at a later date.

Instant runoff voting or IRV is now a thing of the past in Burlington. On Town Meeting Day, residents in Burlington decided to get rid of IRV. Since it's a city charter change, the repeal required legislative approval. Governor Jim Douglas signed the repeal of the controversial voting system on Monday.

Fire fighters in Plattsburgh saved an apartment building. Crews were called to a Sharron Avenue apartment around 12:45 PM after a fire broke out inside an upstairs bedroom. Everyone made it out safely. The blaze is still under investigation, but officials say it does not appear to be suspicious. Fast response from Plattsburgh fire fighters saved the rest of the building.

The Vermont Community Wind Farm is backing away from plans to build in Rutland County what could have been the state's largest wind farm. Community Wind had proposed building 45 wind turbines in Ira, Clarendon, West Rutland and Poultney. Officials say the permitting process is too uncertain to go forward; but added if circumstances change, the project could be revived.

Some Vermont companies are stepping up to make sure our solders deployed overseas have jobs when they return. Nine companies signed Statements of Support, saying they will keep jobs held by guard members open while they are away and helping them secure jobs now and in the future. Those companies include Green Mountain Coffee Roaster and Vermont Tire Company.

State Police and local law enforcement will be conducting DUI sobriety checkpoints in the Rutland area this week. Motorists are urged to use a designated driver when necessary and to wear seat belts.