Tuesday, June 8, 2010

WVTK Local & State News June 8, 2010

Voters in the town of Benson will try to pass a school budget today. This will be the third time a spending plan for next year has been proposed to the voters. There was an informational meeting last night. The polls are open today at the Community Hall from 10 to 7.

Expect some slow-downs in New Haven as you head through the village over the next few weeks as work begins on the town’s first sidewalk. Kennedy Construction of North Ferrisburgh is expected to break ground next week on the project, which will slightly enlarge the village green, install sidewalks along the green and North Street to Beeman Elementary School, and construct a safer crosswalk across Route 17.

For the second year in a row, Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects launched a special fund-raising campaign in order to meet the growing demand for services by Addison County residents still weathering tough economic times. The organization is seeking to raise $145,000 in donations and another $6,700 through special events including a fashion show this fall. Anyone interested in donating to the HOPE fund-raising campaign should call the agency at 388-3608.

Vergennes aldermen have given permission to Vergennes Opera House backers to sell the theater’s no-longer-used fixed chairs as a way to help pay for the sprinkler project. The cost of that project recently increased by $20,000 when it was learned there was not enough water pressure in the original design to reach the top of the structure and an extra pump would be needed.

The Rutland city treasurer and school district chief financial officer support a recommendation from Mayor Christopher Louras that the pension board be reconstituted as a professional board of financial specialists. At Monday's meeting, Louras introduced language for the board to consider as a possible revision to the ordinance that outlines the terms of the city's pension plan.

Vermont State Senator Susan Bartlett has formally kicked off her campaign for the Democratic nomination for Governor. Bartlett has represented Lamoille County in the Senate since 1993. She faces four other Democrats in the August primary. Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie is the sole Republican candidate for governor.

Central Vermont Public Service Corp. and Mount Snow Resort are among five companies that will share in $92 million in federal stimulus bonding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. CVPS was authorized for $25 million from the tax-exempt Recovery Zone Facility Bond Program. The bonding will help finance $48 million in capital projects this year, including infrastructure, transmission, distribution, buildings and generation.

Vermont Yankee has been ordered to reimburse opponents for money spent investigating misleading statements nuclear plant officials made to state regulators and lawmakers. The state Public Service Board granted reimbursement requests from the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, the New England Coalition and the Windham Regional Commission. The board said Vermont Yankee must pay attorney's fees and other costs related to the plant's misrepresentations about whether it had underground pipes that carried radioactive substances.

The New York state Department of Environmental Conservation is launching a new program to promote training and licensing of organic lawn care providers. A searchable list of local Be Green qualified yard care and landscaping companies will be available on the DEC's website.

Two New York lawmakers say it's time for prepaid cell phone users to identify themselves. That's rattled some civil liberties groups, who say the bill may threaten privacy rights. Prepaid phones can be a lifeline for people with limited incomes or poor credit. But since they can be purchased anonymously, they're a favored tool of drug dealers and other criminals looking to cover their tracks. Prepaid phones also have been linked to suspected terror activity.

The Burlington City Council is looking to changing the way the city elects its mayor again. Currently a mayoral candidate only needs 40-percent of the vote to be elected. The City Council voted last night to change the city charter so a candidate for the office would need a 50-percent majority. The measure now goes to the Charter Change Committee.

Police, schools and other groups in New York are joining together to prevent kids from committing crimes at school. The Coalition for Safe Schools recently launched a campaign to keep kids safe. It will work with school districts in Essex and Clinton counties. Coalition leaders said they will respond to school violence and hopefully prevent it.

A Morrisonville man has admitted to causing a deadly crash last fall. 33-year-old Aaron Trombley pleaded guilty to several charges yesterday in Clinton County Court. Police say on October 16, last year, he was driving while on drugs in the Town of Plattsburgh when he hit another car head-on. 2 of the passengers in that car died as a result. He is facing up to 15 years in prison.

About 9,000 Vermont Seniors will be getting a one-time, $250 rebate check. The checks are to help close a gap in Medicare Coverage for prescription drugs. The first round of checks will be mailed out on June 10 for seniors who have already paid over $950 for prescriptions this year. People covered under Medicare Part D should receive a check automatically.

Teens looking for something to do this summer now have another resource. Susan Hull Grasso and Sarah Vincent , 2 stay at home moms, that have several teenagers themselves, have created a website to help kids age 13 and up find jobs and volunteering opportunities. The women say there are a lot of opportunities out there. The website is TeenOpps.com.

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced it would close the Morses Line border crossing and now there is a group of people that is fighting to keep it open. Local residents on both sides of the border say, it’s the cheapest and most convenient way for them to cross the border. They say closing it could have devastating effects on local farms and businesses.

This up-coming weekend is Vermont Days. It’s your chance to visit one of the many state parks or historic sites for free. This Saturday is also Free Fish Day; the one-day of the year you don't need a fishing license in Vermont. For more information or a complete list of activities surrounding Vermont Days, go to VermontDays.Vermont.gov.