Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WVTK Local & State News May 12, 2010

It looks like the plan to merge four school districts in Addison County into the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union is off the table. Voters in Addison and Vergennes went to the polls yesterday for a re-vote. Residents in Vergennes did not have enough "no" votes to overturn the Town Meeting Day results, but voters in Addison did. Both towns had to vote "yes" to move forward.

Transportation officials from both Vermont and New York say the new Crown Point Bridge should be up and open to the public by September 2011. DOT Officials updated residents last night at a meeting in Addison. They said the clean up of the old bridge is on schedule and a contract to build the new one should be in place by the end of the month. They added the free 24-hour, 7-day a week ferry service will continue till the new bridge is open.

A fire in a ceiling has closed a classroom at Neshobe Elementary School. School officials and firefighters said damage from the Monday-night flare-up was limited to one second-grade classroom. According to Fire Chief Robert Kilpeck the damage was light to moderate. So far there is no information on the cause of that fire. Students have temporarily been moved to another classroom in the building.

The Rutland School Board voted last night to apply for anywhere from $50,000 to $2 million of federal money for Rutland High School and make federally mandated changes there. The school became eligible for a chunk of more than $8.5 million of federal stimulus money for education coming into the state after it was labeled "persistently low-achieving" by the Department of Education in March.

A Bridport man will spend the next 8 to 15 years in prison for attacking his estranged wife. 40-year-old Adam Brouillard pled guilty to a number of related charges. Prosecutors say last March, Brouillard attacked his estranged wife before taking off and leading police on a high-speed chase. The woman suffered a broken shoulder and cuts and bruises.

Police in Rutland are looking for an armed robber. Investigators say the suspect walked into the Midway Mobil at the corner of West Street and Ripley Road just after midnight yesterday. The robber then pointed a handgun at the clerk and demanded cash. The suspect then fled on foot.

Lawmakers and the governor have still not come to an agreement on a budget for next year. Negotiations continued all day yesterday. Lawmakers abandoned a vitamin tax and will allow a federal tax credit to take effect to help manufacturers. Douglas wants to see more tax cuts before he will sign off on the budget. Lawmakers say they still plan to adjourn today.

Farmers in the southern Lake Champlain basin have $250,000 available to fight runoff. The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources said that the settlement of a multistate lawsuit against American Electric Power for violations of the federal Clean Air Act included $500,000 for programs benefiting Lake Champlain, to be done cooperatively with New York.

More Vermont schools failed to meet state standards for student achievement this year than last, mostly with students on free and reduced lunch continuing to miss the mark. According to 2010 Adequate Yearly Progress determinations released yesterday by the state Department of Education, 94 of the state's 306 schools did not reach the progress benchmark required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Governor Jim Douglas signed into law a new alcohol bill. The bill allows hotels in Vermont to install mini-bars in rooms, and allows customers in restaurants to take home bottles of specialty beer or wines, if the bottles are sealed. The law went into effect immediately after the governor signed it yesterday.

More than a dozen animals were seized from a home in Plattsburgh. A concerned citizen alerted the mayor's office to the deplorable conditions of the home on South Acres Road on Friday. City workers spent the day Monday rounding up the animals and taking them to the Eagle's Nest Veterinary Hospital for evaluation and care. City police plan file charges against the homeowner.

Starting next week, 100,000 New York State Workers will have to take one furlough day a week. Now while managers of state agencies are not sure how this will work out, they are looking to minimize the impact to residents here in the North Country. The agencies are developing plans, and we'll have specific plans by the end of the week.

A Rutland City police dog has been placed on limited duty following an incident last month in which a woman was bitten during a domestic disturbance call. King Bricks has temporarily been removed from patrol assignment and the German shepherd will be evaluated and retrained at the Vermont Police Academy before any final decisions are made.

The Great Outdoors Trading Co. on Woodstock Avenue is closing its doors. According to the owner there are many factors for his decision. He said the three remaining Great Outdoors stores in Killington, Okemo and Mount Snow would remain open. The liquidation sale at the Rutland store continues through May 23.

South Burlington Police are looking for information about an attempted carjacking in the TJ Maxx parking lot yesterday morning. Investigators say a man jumped into the passenger seat of a car around 11 AM. The female driver then quickly jumped out of the car and ran for help. The suspect fled on foot. If you have any information, please call the South Burlington Police Department.