Thursday, June 24, 2010

WVTK Local & State News June 24, 2010

A lot of people felt it, but no one was hurt when an earthquake centered in Quebec rattled northern New England, including Vermont and upstate NY. The magnitude was confirmed at 5.0, and the epicenter was about 38 miles north of Ottawa. When the earthquake hit shortly before 2 yesterday afternoon, reports were called in to WCAX from people feeling it from as far north as Newport and as far south as Brattleboro.

The Essex-Charlotte ferry crossing is back to two-boat service. The run was down to one boat-- cutting service in half. Lake Champlain Transportation couldn't immediately bring in another boat because it's strapped providing temporary ferry service at the Champlain Bridge. But a second boat arrived Saturday allowing them to resume normal service.

A middle school leader from New Hampshire will be Poultney High School’s new principal beginning this coming school year. 

Thomas Fitzgerald is the former four-year principal of the Goshen Lempster Cooperative School in Lempster, NH. Fitzgerald is also a licensed high school English teacher and will officially start July 1.

Governor Jim Douglas says the state will need to eliminate some positions in the state government in the coming months. But he says he hopes to achieve job reductions through attrition, not layoffs. Douglas says one of his Administration's goals in the next 3 months is to determine how to reduce state spending by as much as $20 million.

Vermont Yankee confirms it had to fix two cracks last week in a water-cooling tower at the nuclear power plant. While that's one problem another one is growing over the fact Entergy, the plant's owner, failed to notify state regulators about it. While Governor Jim Douglas is far from happy about it, he says he's leaving it up to state regulators to determine if Entergy violated any rules.

The Vermont State Police say a Hinesburg man charged with assaulting his estranged wife and two other people is in custody. Thirty-5-year-old Shaun Freeman was taken into custody in the case of aggravated domestic assault and multiple counts of aggravated assault.

A Plattsburgh business is getting new owners. Mold-Rite Plastics makes jar caps, child-resistant closures, and vials. Irving Place Capital of New York City is buying the company. Officials at Mold-Rite say the owners plan to keep the plant open and even grow in Plattsburgh. Mold-Rite currently employs 350 people in Plattsburgh.

A member of the U.S. Coast Guard in Burlington is preparing to help with the oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico. The Burlington station was directed to find volunteers from the unit that would be willing to help out. The Coast Guard doesn't know how many additional members will be needed on the Gulf Coast, but they are given about 30 days notice from the time of their departure.

About three dozen endangered turtles were released into Lake Champlain Wednesday. The spiny soft-shell turtle has seen its population slowly dwindling, so the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is taking measures into their own hands. When raised in captivity, this unique species is four times more likely to survive.

The Vt. Labor Commissioner is leaving her job to work for the private sector. Patricia Moulton Powden announced Wednesday she is leaving her job to work for the Vermont Chamber of Commerce in Berlin as Vice President of Public Affairs.

A former Saranac Lake medical worker is accused of stealing $100,000 from her former employer. 61-year-old Mary Harvey worked in the office at North Country Family Physicians for more than 10 years. Police aren't saying how Harvey allegedly stole the money, but say they were contacted after administrators at the clinic found problems while sorting through records.

A Burlington man is facing charges after police say he used a baseball bat to attack another man. Authorities say 50-year-old Buddy Miele attacked another man around 9 PM Tuesday Night on Pine Street. If you have any information about the attack, please call either the Burlington Police Department or Champlain Valley Crime Stoppers.

The Chittenden County Emergency food shelf will be able to feed more families than originally planned. The food shelf was presented with a check for $732. The money was raised by the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, at its "business after hours" events. The Food Shelf says the money will help feed about 45 families for the next month.

Friday Night Live will kick-off tomorrow night in Rutland. This downtown signature event attracts hundreds of people each week with the promise of shopping, dining and entertainment, returns to celebrate its fourth season. This year you can expect it packed with a wider variety of musical offerings and special events like last year’s inaugural Trash to Art competition and the infamous, world’s-largest Twister board of two summers ago.

Fort Ticonderoga will host more than 700 re-enactors during its Grand Encampment this Saturday and Sunday. Visitors will experience the battle each day at 1:30 p.m. The program hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The weekend will also feature on-going demonstrations of military, civilian and American-Indian camp life including cooking, weapons demonstrations, children's activities and more. For information visit Fort Ticonderoga Dot org.