Tuesday, June 22, 2010

WVTK Local & State News June 22, 2010

Bristol selectmen and Police Chief Kevin Gibbs adjusted a police district-spending plan for 2010-2011. The new cuts call for canceling the town’s contract with the Addison County Sheriff’s Department; relocating the police department after Dec. 31 and trimming overtime pay for the department’s four officers.

School officials at Mount Abraham Union High School are planning to build a homegrown cooperative that could, in time, expand to serve elementary schools in the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union. They are searching for a new food services manager and that person will head up the new Addison Northeast Food Cooperative. The approach is modeled on the nationally recognized cooperative that the Burlington School District uses for its food services.

A relatively dry, cool spring has helped limit Addison County’s mosquito population. Those in charge of battling the bugs warned that just one substantial rainstorm could change that. So far officials have not received one complaint call regarding mosquitoes.

Officials of the John W. Graham Emergency Shelter are working toward a major renovation of the shelter’s original building in Vergennes. On June 8, the Vergennes City Council agreed to support the homeless shelter board’s application for a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant that could pay for a portion of a project that would follow sensitive historic preservation guidelines.

At its annual meeting last Thursday night, the Better Middlebury Partnership honored Middlebury College President Ron Liebowitz as Citizen of the Year and J.P. Carrara & Sons, Inc. as Business of the Year for their significant roles in building the Cross Street Bridge, a town goal that has been 50 years in the making.

Killington town leaders will decide tonight how to move forward with the Green Mountain National Golf Course, that has more than $4 million of debt. 

The main item tonight on the town Select Board’s meeting agenda is a review of the most recent and long-term financials of the municipally run golf course. The three-member board must decide if the town should continue to borrow in the short term to cover a long-term debt.

A new report shows Vermont has the second highest graduation rate in the country. According to the publication "Education Week," Vermont's high school graduation rate was 82-percent in 2007, the last year for which detailed records were available. That's second only to New Jersey. The national average was 69-percent. The report also says Vermont's graduation rate had one of the highest percentage increases over the past ten years in the country.

The New York Legislature passed the latest emergency spending bill last night, but not without some consequences. Because the bill was passed after 5 PM yesterday, some of the 153,000 state workers due to be paid tomorrow, likely wouldn't get paid until at least Thursday. Also included in the bill is a hike in the cigarette tax, making the price for a pack of cigarettes $9.20.

After 2 years of searching, Williston now has a new police chief. Roy Nelson of Cornwall, Connecticut has been hired to fill the position. Nelson starts on July 19, replacing acting Chief Doug Hoyt. Williston has been without a full-time police chief since July 2008, when Chief James Dimmick suffered a stroke.

A car crash in Willsboro has claimed the life of a Plattsburgh woman. Police say 37-year-old Leona Geddes was traveling north on Mountain View Drive and went off the road into an embankment. Someone driving by at 7:30 yesterday morning noticed the car and called police. Police are unsure why the vehicle went off the road.

Residents in St. Albans are cleaning up after vandels broke a number of windows around city this past weekend. Sometime late Friday Night or early Saturday Morning, someone broke 8 windows at the Blooming Minds Enrichment Center, a St. Albans daycare. Vandals also used a BB Gun to destroy the windows of 7 parked cars and a home.

Plans for a Whole Foods store in South Burlington are on hold. The organic grocery chain announced plans last summer to build its first Vermont store off Williston Road, behind the Holiday Inn. City officials expressed concerns about access and traffic. Whole Foods has since withdrawn its application, but the city expects the developers to return with an updated proposal.

24 men from Vermont and New York have been implicated in a drug trafficking operation. A federal grand jury indicted 17 of the suspects, and 7 others have already agreed to plead guilty. Prosecutors say the group distributed large quantities of cocaine and marijuana in Vermont between 2006 and 2009. Some of the charges could bring up to 40-years in prison.

CVPH Medical Center has entered into an agreement with Team Health to run the Emergency Care Center. Team Health helps hospitals across the country with emergency department management services. CVPH has been looking for a new medical director for the emergency department since April 1. The transition will be complete by October 1.

Neighbors around the Cabot Creamery are worried that the plant is using so much water that it’s drying up the wells on their properties. The company back in 2007 discovered they need a water permit from the state. Neighbors say they want the state to study the cheese maker's impact on neighboring wells before issuing the permit.