Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WVTK Local & State News July 14, 2010

Opponents of a proposed shopping center in Brandon say they like the town’s new Hannaford where it is and will go to court to keep it there. The attorney representing a coalition of residents fighting the placement of a Hannaford at the corner of Route 7 and Nickerson Road said the group would appeal the decision of Brandon’s Development Review Board to give a permit for the new store.

The Community College of Vermont is seeking approval from the city of Rutland to begin construction of a new campus. Rutland residents have expressed concern over demolishing a church that has been standing since 1913, but so far the historical society has not raised any concerns. The location on West Street requires that three vacant buildings be demolished so a new structure can be built.

After several months of meetings and union negotiations, the Rutland Free Library’s trustees have settled on a budget that avoids layoffs and a projected $70,000 deficit. 

A large part of bridging the budget gap came down to changes in personnel hours. 
The library has 13 employees, 10 of whom are union members. Each year about 75 percent of the revenue that funds the library’s budget comes from tax support from the five municipalities it serves.

The U.S. Department of Education says Vermont schools need to do more to help special-education students. The review found Vermont was deficient in evaluations of students seeking special-education services and in submitting timely and accurate data to the federal government. About 15 percent of Vermont students qualify for special education services.

The New York State Budget battle continues. The Senate and Assembly are both refusing to accept Governor David Paterson's revised revenue bill. The bill would allow state and city universities to increase some tuitions and financial aid. It would also establish a $1-Billion contingency fund should federal Medicaid money come up short.

The remains of a fallen soldier will be back in Vermont today. The arrival is not open to the public. But the wake and funeral for Specialist Ryan Grady are. The wake will be held on Friday evening from 5 to 8 PM at the North Congregational Church in St. Johnsbury. The funeral will be Saturday at 10 AM.

Congressman Peter Welch is trying to get funding to make old buildings more energy efficient. Yesterday he announced a new piece of legislation called "Building Star." It would provide money to retrofit old commercial spaces into apartment buildings and businesses. Welch says it would not only save energy, but it would also get construction workers back to work.

The Vermont Legislative Committee on Mental Health Oversight will meet in Rutland on Thursday. 

The committee is seeking a community view of how the infrastructure of care is meeting the mental health care needs of people in the Rutland County area. The meeting will be held at noon tomorrow in the Leahy Conference Center of the Rutland Regional Medical Center. An agenda can be found on the Vermont Legislature’s website.

A critic of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is lobbying the six major-party candidates for governor. The Vermont Public Interest Research Group delivered to the candidate’s more than 2,000 postcards yesterday calling for Vermont Yankee to be shut down.

Vermont will be among the states on the itinerary as the White House promotes its work to develop electric cars. The chair of the White House Council on Environment Quality will visit Vermont on Friday to tout research on advanced batteries and new electricity-powered vehicles.

A business group that favors the relicensing of Vermont Yankee is bashing the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for excluding it from a meeting with plant critics. The Vermont Energy Partnership says the Wednesday meeting between the NRC Chairman and representatives of 6 anti-nuke groups will be one-sided and send the wrong message to supporters who want fact-based assessments.

A fire has damaged part of an Ethan Allen furniture mill in Vermont. No injuries have been reported. The fire broke out yesterday afternoon after an explosion in the system that vacuums sawdust throughout the mill in Orleans. Most of the plant should be back in operation today. The cause of the fire hasn't been determined.

Town officials in Clarendon want residents and business owners to return assessment surveys regarding their water supply and wastewater disposal systems located within the village and surrounding area. The information will be used to assist the town in determining what, if any, course of action needs to be taken to address water and sewer concerns.

Construction has begun on the new Tractor Supply Company store in Shelburne. The Shelburne branch will be Vermont's 6th. The company operates in Bennington, Derby, Montpelier, Rutland and St. Albans. There also is a store in Plattsburgh. The new store is scheduled to be completed by November and open in late January or early February.

There soon may be more flights flying in and out of the Burlington International Airport. Airport officials are in negotiations with the airlines that are already flying out of Burlington. The airport is hoping to add non-stop flights to Baltimore, Atlanta, Tampa, Charlotte, and Boston. Officials say if they can't strike a deal with the current carriers, then they will talk with other airlines.

Sentencing for former Plattsburgh Assemblyman Chris Ortloff has been delayed for the 5th time. As with previous delays, the defense asked for more time to address issues in the pre-sentencing report in hopes of reducing the amount of jail time Ortloff will get. Sentencing guidelines call for 10 years to life. The hearing has been rescheduled for August 10.

The pilot and a teenage passenger are OK after the glider they were in made an emergency landing in Huntington. The aircraft landed in a farmer's pasture yesterday just before noon after they dropped too low to return to the airport. The pilot and teenage passenger are from a summer camp in Sugarbush for teens that want to learn how to fly. The incident is still under investigation.