Monday, May 3, 2010

WVTK Local & State News May 3, 2010

A jury weighing the case of a Goshen man charged with shooting his girlfriend's estranged husband in the feet was disbanded last week when the 12 members couldn't agree on a verdict. Jurors deliberated for eight hours before announcing that they were deadlocked in the felony aggravated assault case against Jeffrey H. Young. David Fenster, the state's attorney for Addison County, said last week he was weighing his options before deciding whether to pursue a new trial.

The U.S. Education Department will give Vermont $8.5-Million to turn around its persistently low achieving schools. 10 schools were identified by the state earlier this year for failing to meet the progress level of other schools for two years. Those schools must summit their plans for improvement when they apply for the grants later this Spring.

Next year's budget for the Moriah Central School District has a zero percent increase in the tax levy. In order to deal with cuts in state aid, the proposed budget calls for 9 cuts in staff and $453,000 in cuts to a number of programs. The budget is $6,000 less than the current year's budget. The school board will hold a public hearing about the budget tomorrow night at 6 PM.

Mount St. Joseph Academy submitted a budget to the state Roman Catholic Diocese's finance committee for next school year based on an enrollment of little more than 80 students. That enrollment figure falls short of Bishop Salvatore Matano's recent request for 93 students enrolled by Saturday, but the diocese has not said publicly what consequences, if any, MSJ will face for not meeting the target.

The body of a man was found in Lake Champlain. A kayaker discovered the body yesterday morning around 10 AM about 30 feet off South Beach Road in South Hero. The man was fully clothed and appeared to be in his 40's. Police have not released the man's name. They say the man appeared to be in the water for at least a month.

A woman charged with the murder of her ex-boyfriend says his death was an accident. Police say 34-year-old Kathryn Shoemaker, of Chateauguay, strangled Ravin Miller in his Churubusco home back in August. Shoemaker told investigators Miller died during rough sex. Prosecutors say she owed Miller $35,000 and he was about to go to police to report the theft.

A 14-year-old boy who police say shot his 10-year-old friend is facing criminal charges. Investigators say back in January, Corey Parker of Barre was joking with some friends when he pointed a shotgun at an unidentified 10-year-old. Parker then fired. The boy lost 2 fingers and suffered a number of facial injures. Parker faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

The state of Vermont will be selling over 100 surplus state vehicles at an auction this Saturday. The auction will include police cruisers, boats, snowmobiles, buses, dump trucks, plow trucks and front-end loaders. The auction is set for 10 AM May 8 at the state Agency of Transportation's garage, on U.S. Route 302 in Berlin.

A Vermont House committee is scheduled to consider legislation today to give schools more protection when they make negative recommendations about former teachers. The amendment follows the case of Shaun Bryer, who left the Morristown School District for Colchester last year and later was charged with abusing elementary school students in Morristown.

Former North Country Congressman John Sweeney has been released from jail early. Sweeney reported to jail three weeks ago, to begin serving a 30-day sentence, for his second drunk driving arrest. He has been released 10 days early for good behavior. Sweeney served on Capitol Hill for eight years, before losing his seat in 2006, to Kirsten Gillibrand.

Representative Peter Welch has introduced legislation that will help expand maple syrup production. The Maple Sugaring Access and Promotion Act will provide $20 million in grants to open up state lands to syrup production or to encourage private landowners to do so. Opponents say tapping too many trees could lower and hurt the price of maple syrup.

Hundreds of people turned out for a march and rally in Montpelier yesterday in support of a single-payer health care system. They celebrated the state Legislature's passage of bills that would design a system under which a government agency would administer and make all payments for health care.

Get ready for four days jam-packed with music. The All-State Music Festival is coming to Rutland. On Wednesday, the annual festival will start off with a parade. The All-State Parade will make its way through the streets of Rutland at 6 p.m. During the following three days, there will be concerts every night. These concerts will be hosted by Rutland City public schools showcasing the musical talents of students from all around Vermont.

Thousands gathered in Burlington for the annual COTS Walk to raise awareness and money. The 3-mile walk though the streets of Burlington yesterday, from one homeless shelter to the next, is largest fundraiser of the year for the Committee On Temporary Shelter or COTS. This year they had a goal of raising $175,000.