Friday, June 4, 2010

WVTK Local & State News June 4, 2010

More than 100 local workers will be needed to help build the new Crown Point Bridge. Officials from Flatiron Constructors have started to arrive and they expect to start hiring once the equipment arrives and offices are built. Offices will be built on both sides of the lake. The groundbreaking for the new bridge is expected to be held within the next few days.

Goodrich in Vergennes has just landed a big military contract. The U.S. Army will pay $54 million dollars for its helicopter maintenance diagnostic system. The so-called HUMS system tells mechanics when something on the helicopter is about to fail. The technology helps keep choppers in the air, rather than undergoing unnecessary inspections on the ground.

Governor Jim Douglas is allowing a school bill to become law without his signature. The bill urges local school districts to consolidate. Douglas says he supports the idea of school district consolidation as a way to help rein in on school spending but doesn't see how this bill will help control costs. Meanwhile the Addison Central Supervisory Union board took another small exploratory step into the arena of school governance consolidation, electing to create an ad hoc committee that will help coordinate debate on the controversial issue.

Shoreham voters will soon get a chance to decide whether the town should build new municipal offices or incorporate them into a Newton Academy re-build that would also include a community center. Plans call for the Shoreham select board to prepare a list of three options to address the town’s quest for more municipal office space and to potentially fill the void left by the April 7 burning of the historic Newton Academy on School Street.

Former Vergennes Police Chief Michael Lowe’s case in Addison County District Court concluded on May 26, when the Judge denied motions by Lowe’s attorney to reduce the six-month sentence he gave him on May 5. Lowe reported on May 12 to the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield to await transport to an out-of-state prison.

A live-in drug rehab center for youth is planning to make its new home in Rutland County but the director isn't saying where, just yet. Hope and Community Inc. is planning to announce its new location Monday. The nonprofit's idea is to set up an aftercare facility for youths out of jail and those recovering from drug and alcohol abuse, ages 14 to 22.

The Rutland City Department of Public Works has completed a $32,000 energy efficient lighting project at the wastewater treatment plant. About 200 lighting fixtures and control units were installed to replace less-efficient equipment under the scope of the project, which is expected to pay for itself through energy savings within three to five years.

The principal of Poultney High School has resigned and is taking the same job at Weathersfield School in Ascutney. 

The resignation of Jean Marie Oakman wasn't a surprise and interviews with four potential new school leaders started yesterday. Oakman submitted her resignation letter to the Poultney School Board on May 18. 

The district plans to have a new school leader hired as soon as possible.

Governor Jim Douglas has signed a bill that will unify the court system in Vermont. The bill cuts the number of probate court districts down to 5 in the state and makes a number of other changes to the system, which will operate under the jurisdiction of the state Supreme Court. The changes will take about 2 years to implement. Meanwhile

Residents in Clinton County have a chance to dump old batteries and other hazardous waste for free. Tomorrow, people can bring items to the Clinton County Landfill from 8 to 3. The service will be free to county residents, but proof of residency may be required. Officials said it is a safe outlet for the disposal of normal household hazardous waste materials.

The newest addition to the Community College of Vermont is now officially open. Officials cut the ribbon yesterday, marking the opening of the $17 million building in Winooski. It will be home to more than 2,000 students this summer. It's also now the largest CCV campus. The building includes 35 classrooms science labs and art studios.

38 communities around Vermont will be getting municipal planning grants that will help local leaders plan for growth and development. The grants of up to $15,000 are being awarded by Vermont Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development. The grant money can be used for a number of projects like updating town plans, maps and zoning bylaws.

The Department of Homeland Security has decided to close the Morses Line Border Crossing. The closing spares a family farm that would have had some of its fields taken by imminent domain. Senator Patrick Leahy says, closing the hardly used border crossing makes financial sense because improvements would have cost the government more than $5-Million.

Vermont's labor commissioner says people calling the state's unemployment call centers are seeing shorter wait times. The commissioner says fewer busy signals could be a sign that the economy is improving. The number of Vermonters collecting unemployment benefits has dropped from 26-thousand a week last winter to about 20-thousand.

Tomorrow is Vermont Adult Learning's Big Truck Day in Middlebury taking place from 10am to 2pm at the American Legion on Boardman Street. This fun-filled family event will feature many big trucks and lots of Kid friendly fun with clowns, face painting, games and activities! There will also be a 50/50 raffle as well as lunch food and baked goods for sale. Stop by from 10 – Noon and meet Bruce & Hobbes from the Wake-Up Crew! You’ll even have the opportunity to have your picture taken with our K-9 friend☺! Admission is free for children; $5 for adults. It’s all to benefit students of Vermont Adult Learning and the Vermont Adult Learning Childcare Center.

Tomorrow people across Addison County will take to the woods in celebration of National Trails Day. In the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area, visitors will find events designed to educate the public about the options available to them on the nearby trails, including bird watching, hiking, biking and trail maintenance. The celebration will be based at Blueberry Hill Inn and Cross Country Ski Center in Goshen.