Tuesday, June 29, 2010

WVTK Local & State News June 29, 2010

A company based in Anchorage, Alaska, has won the latest five-year contract with the U.S. Department of Labor to operate Northlands Job Corps in Vergennes, the federal job-training center for disadvantaged youths. An official of that company said few changes are planned in staffing and programming. The transition will become official on Thursday.

The Rutland City aldermen approved budgets and a combined water and sewer rate that will raise ratepayer’s costs by about 14.9 percent in the new fiscal year. While a 4 percent cut from what the City Hall administration originally proposed, the hike will equate to about a $12.94 quarterly increase for the average two-person household.

A steering committee of state, regional and local officials started talking about how to deal with erosion on the Neshobe River. 

The group, organized by the Rutland Natural Resources Conservation District, plans to spend the next 10 months using a recent study to assemble a corridor management plan for the river and organizing projects to reduce erosion along it.

A Rutland teenager was rescued yesterday afternoon from the lower gorge in Clarendon after falling from a rope swing. The 16-year-old girl was taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center with unknown injuries. She was conscious and talking to rescue crews after falling roughly 20 feet into the Cold River.

Governor David Patterson says he will veto the legislature's budget. He calls the spending plan unbalanced, irresponsible. Lawmakers made 6,900 additions to the budget yesterday, just hours before approving the spending plan that's 3 months late. The budget is estimated at about $136-Billion.

Vermont Utility Regulators have rejected FairPoint's plan to get out bankruptcy. Maine regulators last week approved FairPoint's plan for reorganization in that state. New Hampshire hasn't acted yet. The Vermont Public Service Board says the proposed reorganization plan doesn't do enough to promote the good of Vermont.

Sixty-six members of the Army Guard's air ambulance company will be leaving on a deployment to Iraq in September. The unit will be flying medical support missions for U.S. forces. Some of those members could be seen in the skies of Chittenden County this week conducting special aerial training.

The former head of the Vermont State Police is returning to law enforcement. Retired Col. James Baker has accepted a temporary job as police chief of Manchester. Baker most recently served as interim director at the Vermont Police Academy in Pittsford. He succeeds Chief Manfred Wessner, who is retiring after nearly 40 years. Baker will serve as chief until town officials choose a permanent replacement.

State Troopers say Senate President and candidate for governor, Peter Shumlin was pulled over for speeding earlier this month. He clocked going 81-miles-per-hour on Interstate 91 near Fairlee. Shumlin says it was a simple mistake. He has since paid the ticket. So far, the other candidates for governor have not been cited or caught speeding.

The Burlington City Council has passed a budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1st. After a nearly 5-hour session last night, the council passed the $53-Million budget with a 10 to 3 vote. Most of the discussion was not about property taxes but about Burlington Telecom owing the city $17-Million. Mayor Kiss says the situation is under control.

Mount St. Joseph Academy is continuing its battle against low student counts by aiming for a reputation as a sustainable school. 

The private Catholic high school will give each of its 25 incoming freshmen a mini-laptop computer. 
School administrators received word yesterday that MSJ is one step away from getting a prized accreditation it failed to get earlier this year. The focus of the school’s latest fundraising efforts and development of the school’s technology and arts programs is to get more students inside MSJ’s doors, regardless of their financial status.

The Addison County Parent-Child Center was started 30 years ago and has grown into its own building on Monroe St. with a staff of 40 full- and part-time workers offering more than two-dozen programs and services. Co-director Sue Harding will be retiring this year. Longtime employee Sue Bloomer will succeed Harding to team up with Co-director Donna Bailey. The federal Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs selected the Center as one of four parent-child centers nationwide for special funding to develop innovative educational and counseling offerings for teen parents-to-be.

The Tuesday Concert Series of the Ticonderoga Festival Guild begins on July 6 with a concert by Towne Meeting. All concerts begin at 8 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Pavilion behind their building on Montcalm Street. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Towne Meeting appeared on the Ti Festival Guild stage in 2009 and has been brought back by popular demand.