Monday, June 14, 2010

WVTK Local & State News June 14, 2010

People should be able to start appling for jobs to build the new Crown Point Bridge in the next couple weeks. Both governors Jim Douglas and David Patterson were at the official ground breaking cemeromny on Friday. Officials at Flatiron Constructors, the company that will build the new bridge, say they will start hiring once they setup offices on both sides of the lake.

Rutland police say a late-night card game ended in a shooting sending one man to the hospital and another to jail. Investigators say a fight broke out just before midnight Saturday between 37-year-old Andrew Williams and 57-year-old Bobby Adams. Adams ended-up getting shot. Officials say he will recover. Williams surrended to police yesterday morning and is now behind bars.

According to the town of Benson Route 22A needs wider shoulders, better maintenance and more traffic enforcement. Those were the three main areas of concern to emerge from a recent discussion of a proposed management plan for the highway. The Rutland Regional Planning Commission is working on the plan and talking to select boards along the road. The Commission plans to continue gathering input from towns along Route 22A in the coming weeks.

New York officials say that despite a recent upturn in milk prices, 1 of every 10 dairy farms in the state could fail in the next 6 months if something isn't done. Vermont officials agree; infact, they predicted that about 20-percent of the dairy farms in Vermont will close this year. Federal authorities are considering changes in milk price regulation, but that bill isn't expected until 2012.

New York state offices and agencies could be headed for early closure today if lawmakers can't approve an emergency-spending bill. That bill is expected to pass today to keep government running for another week. The emergency bill includes more than $300 million in cuts to mental health and social services programs.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie launched his campaign for Governor Saturday at the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds in Essex and followed it with rallies across the state. Dubie spoke about educating youth, clean energy, and creating jobs in Vermont.

The Vermont Secretary of State's office is reminding independent candidates for elected offices in the November election that there are new filing deadlines. To be on the November ballot, candidates must file petitions with the Secretary of State by 5 p.m. on June 17th.

Vermont's two U.S. Senators are urging the state not to try to collect money from seniors who are getting federal Medicare prescription drug rebates. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy say many Vermont seniors are hurting financially, and the state should reconsider its plan to collect the money.

The ranks of Vermont's Roman Catholic Church are dropping. The statewide Diocese of Burlington says it has 118,000 members, making it by far the biggest church in Vermont. But that represents a 20% drop from the 149,000 members the church had in 2005.

A new project in Plattsburgh will save the city money and is good for the environment too. Using only federal stimulas money, the city will begin work on a new geo-thermal heating system for the city police station. Officials have already designiated a site for the system that extracts power from heat stored in the earth. Digging is expected to start in the next few weeks.

City officials in Burlington are currently work on next year's budget and they say they will hold the line on taxes. The exact details of the spending plan are not finished yet but they say that Burlington Residents should only see a slight increase in property taxes for next year. They are currently predicting only a 1-percent increase.

A home in Johnson was destroyed over the weekend when fire raced through it. Firefighters say the home on the Whitcomb Island Road, just off Route 100, was fully engulfed when they arrived. No one was home at the time, and no one was hurt fighting back the flames. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Walkers took the streets of Burlington yesterday to raise money and awareness for the American Heart Association. Survivors of heart disease, or those whose families have been touched by the number one killer of Americans were out there with a goal of raising 88-thousand dollars. That money will remain in the state, going towards research done by Vermont doctors.

The federal government is giving a local group $4.5 million to make Rutland County buildings more energy efficient. Neighbor Works of Western Vermont hopes Rutland County will lead the state in energy efficiency. Helping homeowners make such improvements has been a goal for the group since an "energy summit" it organized in September. Neighbor Works will offer efficiency audits, which look at what improvements can be made to a home, and then manage the construction while those improvements are made.