Friday, May 7, 2010

WVTK Local & State News May 7, 2010

Voters in the towns making up the new Addison Northwest Supervisor Union will go to the polls on Tuesday to revisit the issue of creating one school board to oversee all the schools. A "yes" votes means they approve of the merger. Some residents in Vergennes recently voiced their concerns over assuming Addison’s and Ferrisburgh’s debt load.

The 2011 Transportation Bill, which is still in committee, has almost $100-million slated for road and bridge repair in Addison County. About $28-million of the funding will be going to the new Crown Point Bridge but the rest will get spread out over the next couple years for various road and bridge repair projects including the “stoplight bridge” in Bristol.

The new budget for Ticonderoga Central School District eliminates 8 positions to save over $400,000. The school district also saved about $150,000 by switching to a cheaper insurance policy with high deductibles. Although no programs were cut, the spending plan still calls for a 6.5-percent increase in the tax levy. Resident will vote on the budget on Tuesday, May 18.

A West Rutland woman, who admitted she killed her husband, was sentenced to 6 to 15 years in prison. 44-year-old Wendy Pelkey-Grant told police that she shot her husband, 36-year-old Sean Grant, two years ago to protect her children. But prosecutors said the situation did not warrant the use of deadly force.

Before changing charter language pertaining to the Rutland City Police Commission, the aldermen's Charter and Ordinance Committee will seek outside legal representation. The committee voted unanimously to have its chairman and Board President sit down with the mayor and city attorney to figure out how the arrangement would work, particularly in terms of cost.

It's been a month since the last piece of mail was processed at the Center Rutland Post Office, and during that time a small but passionate group of people has emerged, determined to bring back the branch. The movement began with a petition to relocate and reopen the post office, formerly located in Flory's Plaza, whose customers are now serviced by the West Rutland branch.

Vermont Governor Jim Douglas says he will not sign the budget currently being proposed by the general assembly if he doesn't see some changes. The governor says the proposed budget has a number of major tax increases. One of the biggest tax hikes is a one-cent property tax increase. Douglas is also calling on lawmakers to recall last year's increase to the estate tax.

Vermont lawmakers have called for chain restaurant menus to include calorie counts for the items they offer, but the idea could fall victim to fights over another part of the same health care bill. The House on Thursday approved an amendment to a health care bill to require chains with more than 20 restaurants to place on their menus the number of calories in each item.

Congressman Peter Welch is hailing the House of Representatives' passage of an energy efficiency bill as a big step toward energy conservation, job creation and savings for homeowners. The so-called "Cash for Caulkers" bill would give rebates to people who renovate their homes with better insulation and energy-saving windows and doors.

Vermont's House has approved a bill that would ensure a teacher's personnel file follows them to a new school district. The measure is prompted by the case of a former Morristown school teacher who moved to Colchester last year and now faces charges he sexually molested children while in Morristown.

One business is swamped with Mother's Day business, and it's not just flower shops. Vermont Teddy Bear Company is getting thousands of Mother's Day orders packed and ready to ship. Four hundred seasonal workers were hired just for the holiday. The company is taking orders until five p.m. today and expects thousands more new orders. A fleet of delivery trucks is even standing by for last-minute orders.

The town of Plattsburgh has drawn up a new zoning plan for the former Clinton County Airport. Currently the property for sale is zoned Airport. Under the new zoning plan, about half of the property would be zoned mixed residential and commercial. The town council still needs to approve the zoning changes.

CVPH in Plattsburgh just received a new 12,000-pound MRI Machine. If fact it was so big a crane had to drop it though an open sunroof on the building. A hospital spokesperson said this would help them grow their diagnostic capabilities. The new machine should be up and running in a few weeks.