Monday, June 28, 2010

WVTK Local & State News June 28, 2010

Recent Middlebury College Graduate Katherine Lupo is raising $12,000 to make a giant mural out of a painting by one of her fellow Middlebury College alumni. She did a 500-foot mural with the help of students and volunteers in her Connecticut hometown last summer. Now she’d like to bring Sabra Field's "Cosmic Geometry" to life on the side of the Wright Theatre. The college’s Committee for art in Public Places pledged $12,500 for the project if Lupo could raise the same. She’s working with the alumni office and targeting specific donors who might be interested.

Green Mountain Beverage, the maker of Woodchuck Hard Cider, has made the commitment to buy 25 percent of its electricity through Cow Power — the manure-to-energy program run by CVPS. Woodchuck Hard Cider’s 62,000-square-foot Middlebury plant uses 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year. Green Mountain Beverage President Bret Williams said he was sold on Cow Power after a tour of the Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport. 
The 20-year-old company has also made other improvements to help the environment.

Rutland businessman J.R. Bullock is close to breaking ground on a store and office building at 199 Stratton Road. The 5,000-square-foot ground floor of the two-story wood frame building will be home to Olivia’s Market with the second floor dedicated to three offices. The L-shaped building would also have a drive-through beverage redemption center, a kitchen for food preparation and approximately 21 parking spaces.

Vermont officials are warning restaurant owners of a scam involving con men posing as state food inspectors. The Vermont Department of Health says the bogus inspectors call and threaten to impose fines if a restaurant does not book an appointment for an inspection. Similar scams are reportedly targeting food establishments elsewhere across the country, including New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Vermont State Police have charged a Saranac Lake, N.Y., man with intentionally causing a head-on collision that seriously injured a woman. Police say 28-year-old Brandon Lane purposefully drove his vehicle into oncoming traffic on Route 7 before the June 20 crash in the Town of Rutland. A passenger in the other car, 58-year-old Joyce Rule, of Vergennes, suffered a broken wrist, broken ankle and broken vertebrae in the crash.

Lester Daby was honored for 50 years service during the 136th annual Port Henry Volunteer Fire Department banquet recently. He received tributes and proclamations marking his anniversary with the department. Approximately 70 people attended the traditional event that recognized several of their members for many years of service to the department and community.

Senator Bernie Sanders secured over $140 Thousand Dollars in federal funding for Rutland Area Programs. $50 Thousand Dollars will go towards programs designed to help at-risk children. $43 Thousand Dollars in federal funds were also given to a new six-week summer program in Rutland Public School District. School Officials say the funds will be spread out in all levels of programming in the district. The Dodge House in Rutland, which provides assistance to war veterans, also received $30 Thousand Dollars to make repairs to its facility.

Five Democrats seeking to run for governor in Vermont want to jumpstart the economy, create jobs, promote small businesses and expand high-speed Internet access. Susan Bartlett, Matt Dunne, Deb Markowitz, Doug Racine and Peter Shumlin are all eager to show recession-weary Vermont voters they have the answers ahead of the August 24th primary.

The Vermont School Boards Association has held formal talks with a quarter of the state's 60 supervisory unions in the three weeks since a school consolidation bill became law. Associate Director Winton Goodrich tells The Times Argus that many supervisory unions have long considered mergers - and the new law might provide further incentives.

The state says about 310,000 pounds of contaminated soil and other waste from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is being shipped to a licensed radioactive waste disposal facility in Utah. The plant tells The Brattleboro Reformer that soil that's built up as a result of construction work done at the plant over the years is also going to be shipped out.

Despite months of negotiations, contract talks between Burlington teachers and the city School Board are at an impasse. Both sides have agreed for a mediator to come in and try to reach some sort of agreement, but a date for the mediation has not been set. The school board is facing a deficit of a million dollars, caused by such things as increasing costs and extensive school renovations. The teachers' current contract expires in August.