Thursday, July 15, 2010

WVTK Local & State News July 15, 2010

People are being warned to NOT to go into the Neshobe River in downtown Brandon. State officials have discovered gasoline in the river and are trying to determine were it is coming from. So in the meantime, people are being asked NOT to go into the river and to keep your pets away from the water as well.

The education property tax rates in Killington that appear on bills for the rest of the year are down for both residents and nonresidents. 

The Town Manager attributed the slight decrease in rates to a more than 2-point jump in the town’s common level of appraisal. Town officials said they were hopeful a town wide reappraisal would further reduce taxes in 2011.

The Rutland School district’s two top administrators will get pay raises each year over the next two years. 

Eight members of the 11-member School Board unanimously approved a 2.5 percent raise for Superintendent Mary Moran for the next two years and a 3 percent raise for Assistant Superintendent Robert Bliss for the same time period.

Sidewalks will be little bit wider, safety signs little more numerous, and kids a little healthier this fall, as the Vermont Agency of Transportation announced a grant of $1.3 million to upgrade walking and biking routes to schools around the state. After submitting proposals, 22 institutions received a slice of the federal money, supplied through the Safe Routes to School project.

The School District in Crown Point has hired a new principal and guidance counselor. Elaine Dixon, a social studies teacher at Crown Point since 2004, became principal July 1. She replaces Agatha Mace, who has retired after 38 years in the district. Andrea McDonald has been named guidance counselor. She replaces Cathy Russell, who leaves Crown Point after 20 years to become principal at Seton Catholic in Plattsburgh.

Moriah has a plan to expand its courthouse. Champlain Valley Tec students will construct a 576 square foot addition at the current court building to help the town meet a state mandate. The town will lay the foundation this summer and students will erect the addition starting in September. New York State has mandated court expansion in Moriah since 2008.

Critics of Vermont Yankee made their case to get the nuclear plant shut down once its operating license expires in 20 months. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission chair held a public forum on the plant yesterday in Brattleboro. Opponents of the plant told him they're concerned about safety and angered about the handling of this year's tritium leaks.

The body of a Vermont National Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan is back in Vermont. A roadside bomb killed 25-year-old Ryan Grady on July 2 near Bagram Air Force Base. Four other Vermont National Guard soldiers were wounded in the same attack. A funeral for Grady has been set for Saturday in St. Johnsbury. About 1,500 Vermont National Guard soldiers are serving in Afghanistan.

Stores along the New York border in Vermont are seeing a boost in cigarette sales. The tax increase, which took effect on July 1, has raised the price for a pack of cigarettes in New York to over $9. That has residents now traveling to Vermont to save a few dollars on smokes. While being on the Vermont side of the border, most also take advantage of cheaper gas prices too.

Unless more funds are found, the North Country Teacher Resource Center will be forced to close its doors. The state Legislature created teacher centers all over the state in 1984 to help educators by providing professional development for teachers. Due to budget cuts, there is no funding for the teacher centers across the state.

Not a whole lot of the details have been released but police say a pair of teenagers from Barre admitted to set the fire that destroyed the old Key Bank building on Memorial Day. Investigators say the teens are also responsible for a number of other crimes in the Barre area. They were arrested recently in New York for stealing a car and burglarizing a supermarket.

The Ethan Allen furniture plant in Orleans is back open after a fire there Tuesday. The blaze erupted after an explosion in the plant's sawdust vacuum system. Some 350 workers were in the plant at the time, everyone made it out OK. Quick repairs were made and the plant re-opened yesterday.

The Burlington Department of Public Works will be flushing hydrants in the New North End of the city of the coarse of the next few weeks. Officials say if you notice your water is rust colored or has a strange odor, don't worry, its just sediment in the system, let your water run for several minutes and it should clear up.