Friday, May 28, 2010

WVTK Local & State News May 28, 2010

The commander of a Vermont National Guard brigade serving in Afghanistan says 5 of his soldiers were wounded in an attack on the Bagram Air Force Base. Colonel Will Roy says one soldier, with non life-threatening injuries, was wounded serious enough to be sent back to the United States for treatment. None of the names have been released.

Weybridge Democrat and member of the Addison County Democratic Committee Spencer Putnam confirmed this week he would make his second bid for the Vermont House. He is hoping to replace current Rep. Christopher Bray of New Haven in the Addison-5 House district that includes Weybridge, New Haven and Bridport.

Two area nonprofits, a local art gallery and the former “first family” of Middlebury College are teaming up to establish a new charity that will help Addison County better react to future human services crises. It’s called the “Addison County Funders’ Collaborative for Emerging Needs” and will be managed by the United Way of Addison County and the Vermont Community Foundation.

This Memorial Day weekend, the Granville board of directors of the Corner School Resource Center will hold its second annual town-wide yard sale and barbecue at the Town Hall, in order to raise funds for the renovation of one of the town’s older one-room schoolhouses. If all goes according to plan, Granville will have a center that serves as a meeting space and a haven for historical research and computer access within five years.

Ferrisburgh selectmen met this week with other officials and members of the town’s historical society to begin talking about the future of the town-owned Union Meeting Hall. The building is showing its age, and selectmen are wrestling with the cost of maintaining it, which is not covered by the rent paid by a church that uses it for weekly worship and other meetings.

Plans to build a new Community College of Vermont campus at the corner of West and Wales streets in Rutland could be ready to move forward in a matter of days. The college, now located on Merchants Row, has been looking for a new home for the last several years. 
The 15-member Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees is meeting June 3 and a decision on a specific property may be made then.

Rutland Town teachers are not ruling out the possibility of a strike, after contract negotiations ended abruptly Tuesday with the School Board imposing an agreement that includes no salary increases on the base for one year. Teachers will meet June 8 to discuss all legal options, including a strike, which is not likely to begin until next year as the last day of school this year is June 16.

Poultney and West Rutland will get new computers and other services as part of a pilot program run by the Vermont Council on Rural Development. The Council announced earlier this month that the towns were two of the 12 chosen to participate in the "e-Vermont Community Broadband Project," a pilot program aimed at helping Vermont towns make better use of the Internet. The two-year program, which will bring in 12 more towns next year, has $3.7 million in funding. Bristol was also chosen to be part of the program.

Rutland Firefighters and AmeriGas technicians conducted a second propane burn at the Asa Bloomer Building yesterday while repairing a faulty release valve on a 2,000 gallon fuel tank. The valve and overfilling of the tank were blamed for a leak earlier this week that forced the evacuation of hundreds of employees from the state and federal offices housed in the building.

Governor Jim Douglas has vetoed the Current Use bill. The Current Use Bill gives tax breaks to people who conserve land. About one-third of all land in Vermont is in the program and it costs the state about $50 million. The bill would have made changes to the program forcing landowners to pay more in taxes.

Governor David Paterson says an agreement has been reached to have all 178 New York State Parks and Historic Sites open for the Memorial Day Weekend. Details on the exact funding are still being worked out. But $11-Million will be set aside for parks and historic sites this year. Legislatures are expected to vote on the agreement today.

A federal judge is expected to make a decision today about New York Governor David Paterson's plan to have 100,000 state workers take one furlough day each week. Earlier this month the court blocked Paterson from enacting the furloughs, which he proposed to help slash the budget. Now the judge will decide whether this approach is "reasonable and necessary."

Vermont officials say damage from late-spring frost is widespread across the state. The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation have been conducting an aerial survey to determine the extent of the damage. The most notable damage is to sugar maples, but many other tree species are affected, including some balsam fir Christmas trees. State Forest Health Coordinator Barbara Burns says frost damage looks alarming, but she expects trees to recover quickly.

Two Burlington men have been arrested in connection with 2 cow art sculptures being vandalized downtown. Police say 23-year-old Christopher Healy and 21-year-old Christopher Newton tipped over the cow sculptures in front of Leunigs Bistro and Eddie Bauer. Each are estimated to be worth $3,500. Both Healy and Newton will appear in court on June 1.

St. Albans police say they have 3 people of interest in connection with an attempted attack on an elderly woman early Wednesday Morning. According to reports, the 82-year-old woman woke around 2 AM Wednesday to find a strange man in her house demanding money and medications. Police say they've received numerous tips. So far, no arrests have been made.

The Vermont National Guard has a new recruiting office. A special ribbon cutting ceremony was held yesterday in South Burlington at the new location on Williston Road. The guard says recruiting is steady right now. The South Burlington storefront replaces the previous one, at Maple Tree Place.

The Clinton County treasurer has postponed the public tax-foreclosure auction that had been scheduled for Wednesday, June 2. It will instead be held at 11 AM, Wednesday, July 21, at the Westside Ballroom in Plattsburgh. For more information about the auction or buyer's seminar, go to

A Rutland man is going to federal prison for 15 years for shooting a teenage girl. 44-year-old James Aitchison fired 6 shots at a minivan parked on School Street in Rutland 2 years ago, wounding a 17-year-old girl. Aitchison was reportedly there to collect a debt from the girl's brother and says he never saw the girl in the car. She survived.

A new proposed ordinance in Burlington would ban people from sitting on the sidewalks along five streets near the marketplace. Accord to police, its a safety hazard for pedestrians having to walk around those sitting on Pearl, Cherry, College, Bank, and parts of Main Street closest to the marketplace. The proposed ordinance is now under review by a city committee.

This Sunday it’s the 22-annual Key Bank Vermont City Marathon. Travel around the city will be tricky on Sunday Morning. During the marathon a number of streets will be closed and parking will be prohibited. You can find a list of all the street closures and traffic advisories at The marathon starts Sunday Morning at 8:03 sharp.