Tuesday, July 20, 2010

WVTK Local & State News July 20, 2010

A series of storms that swung through our area made quite an impact in Middlebury. Lightning struck the corner of a home on Buttolph Road just after 5 PM yesterday. The fire chief says there was smoke at first, but crews were able to contain it. No one was injured in the incident.

New York State Police have released the name of the man that was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Moriah this past weekend. 31-year-old Joshua D. Novak of Port Henry was killed instantly when he was hit by a car early Sunday morning in the Deckers Flats section of town. Police say no charges are expected to be filed immediately as the investigation continues.

Middlebury officials plan to create a committee to decide what to do with any surplus local option taxes the town collects beyond what is needed to pay off the Cross Street Bridge. However they will not establish such a panel until the $16 million project is completed.

The town of Leicester held a community forum to start updating the 2003 Town Plan, which was supposed to have been updated in 2008. Last week year-round and summer residents filled out questionnaires at the Leicester Meeting House, answering questions on everything from their favorite areas of town to their thoughts on a number of sample zoning ordinances.

Tax bills in Rutland City will increase by about 6.5 percent this year, according to information the mayor and treasurer presented to the Board of Aldermen on yesterday. That total increase mostly comes from a jump to the education homestead tax rate. 

The municipal tax rate meanwhile grew by a little more than 4 cents. 
The first quarter city tax bill is sent out Aug. 31.

The Great Brandon Auction will serve as a sort of yard sale for the Stephen A. Douglas Birthplace this week. The auction, which begins at 4 this afternoon in Brandon’s Central Park, features a number of pieces taken from the historic house. The auction is an annual fundraiser for the chamber. This year’s proceeds will go toward the bill for the recently completed renovation of the Douglas birthplace into a museum and visitor center.

The president of Castleton State College said the school is planning to add a new 150-bed dormitory and an open-air pavilion to the Castleton State College Campus. The college has put out a request for proposals from architects and engineers on the $13 million project that will also include a new physical plant building. The school will also have to relocate six tennis courts. The school hopes to hire architects and engineers by early August, work through the fall and winter on design and permitting and then begin construction next year.

The state attorney general's office has settled consumer claims against debt settlement firms in Florida and Indiana. State officials say the firms will pay back residents and the state more than $206,000. 1 of the firms will complete negotiations with its customers' creditors while the other will stop all business in Vermont.

J.D. Power and Associates has ranked CVPS highest in the East for customer satisfaction among mid-sized utilities. The company surveyed customers for the results. CVPS also scored well for its corporate citizenship and communications.

Its official now, the Chittenden Bank is now the People's United Bank. The name change went into effect yesterday at all 46 branches throughout the state. 2 years ago Chittenden Bank was bought by Connecticut-based People United Bank. Company officials say operating under one name will be more efficient and it will also give customers easier access to their money all over New England.

A new restaurant has opened in the former Sirloin Salon building on Shelburne Road. The Shelburne Steakhouse recently opened to public. The Shelburne Steakhouse is the latest of several new businesses on Route 7, just south of Burlington. The new restaurant owners plan to have an official grand opening in the near future.

The New York State Board of Regents is changing the way students are graded on standardized testing. Under the new scoring system, students will have to answer more questions on Math and English correctly in order to be considered proficient. Next week, schools will get the results of tests administered in the spring under the new scoring system.

The nanny in Grand Isle that is charged with inappropriately touching a 10-year-old boy in his care has changed his plea to guilty. Donald Shepard was charged in June of 2009. The trial was scheduled to start today. Shepard changed his plea yesterday as part of a plea deal in which the state dropped a number of other charges. He faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Officials with Chittenden County Transportation Authority are once again looking at moving the bus station downtown. The current station in Burlington is outdoors on Cherry Street. They want to build a station somewhere else downtown that can offer more amenities for riders. Right now CCTA is only in the planning phase, they hope to have a new station open in 5 years.

There is a new Chief of Police in Williston. Chief Roy Nelson became official yesterday during a swearing-in ceremony at the Williston Police station. Nelson comes from Cromwell, Connecticut where he worked for 28 years. He says he's humbled and honored to begin serving the community. Chief Nelson takes over for interim Chief Doug Hoyt.

A new crack has been discovered in Vermont Yankee's steam dryer. Officials says the crack doesn't pose any risk to operations at the plant and that it is actually an extension of an an old crack that was found back in 2004. The steam dryer removes moisture from the steam before it goes into the turbine that produces electricity.

If you see helicopters flying low in the skyes around Plattsbugh and Mechanicville, don't be alarmed, its just NYSEG conducting inspections of their power lines. They expect to conduct the inspections over the course of the next week. Officials say they will delay the inspections if the weather does not cooperate.

The 63rd edition of the Clinton County Fair opens today at the fairgrounds in Morrisonville. This year's fair features a Beatles Tribute Show, Truck and Tractor Pulls, A Demolition Derby, North Country's Got Talent, and much more. For more information, visit ClintonCountyFair.com. The fair runs until thru Sunday, July 25.