Tuesday, July 27, 2010

WVTK Local & State News July 27, 2010

The next phase of a major project to rebuild parts of Green Mountain Power Corporation’s Vergennes dam is getting underway this week. Demolition experts will begin what is expected to be about two weeks of blasting to allow replacement of decayed piping. Traffic on West Main Street will be stopped when blasting occurs, and you can expect some delays. The $3-million-plus project began in May with the construction of temporary dams both above and below the west side of the Otter Creek falls.

Vermont State Police seized 31 marijuana plants they pulled near Route 22A in Fair Haven following an aerial search conducted with the Vermont Air National Guard. It was the first such flight of the year, and police will do several more in the coming weeks, weather permitting. Anything more than 25 plants constitutes a felony under Vermont law. A mature plant generally has a street value of $1,000 to $2,000.

The United Way of Clinton and Essex Counties Inc. has begun a new year of fundraising and with a new name. The nonprofit organization — which helps more than 35 partner agencies — has now expanded to encompass Franklin County and has adopted the name United Way of the Adirondack Region. This year's fundraising campaign team will look to raise $750,000. The official kick-off for the 2010-11 fundraising campaign won't take place until this September. For more information about making a contribution to United Way of the Adirondack Region may call 563-0028 or visit www.unitedwayadk.org.

While Vermont has historically been insulated from the growth of illegal drug labs, police say they're seeing more methamphetamine cases. Evidence of that rise comes in last week's discovery of a meth lab inside a St. Albans home, the eighth such find this year. That compares to five cases through all of last year.

A candidate for Vermont secretary of state says troops abroad are getting bad information about the date of Vermont's Aug. 24 primary election. Republican Jason Gibbs says troops in Iraq are being told the primary is Sept. 14, citing an assertion made by Gov. Jim Douglas in a satellite interview from the Mideast Saturday. The outdated information came from a guide published by the Federal Voting Assistance Program, in Washington, D.C.

The Green Mountain Alliance of Amateur Astronomers wants the public to come to the Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site on Thursday. It's the annual "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" program where amateur stargazers can see the night sky. Organizers say people can bring their own telescopes or binoculars plus blankets and bug spray. The free event starts at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday.

The National Museum of the Morgan Horse is leaving Shelburne. The Morgan Horse Association is planning to move this summer, parting ways with the national museum located in the same building, next to the Shelburne Museum. While the association is only moving down the road, the museum is planning to lease a space with more foot traffic, potentially in Middlebury.

The head of the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce is leaving for a similar job. Barbara Brassard will become the program coordinator for the Essex County Retired Senior Volunteer Program starting September 1. The chamber director's job is being advertised now. Resumes need to be submitted by August 6.

Governor Paterson is hinting that layoffs may be coming to the state workforce. That's despite an understanding with the unions that no one would be laid off prior to December 31st of this year. The Governor says the state can no longer abide by the agreement because of drastic cuts in revenue and the unwillingness of the unions to go along with concessions such as furloughs.

Just in time for the upcoming primary, a Vermont web designer has launched his new Facebook application designed to help Democrat candidate Matt Dunne in his race for governor. Tom Bacon created his new Gooroo Facebook application, which allows Dunne to post a video question every day. Bacon says it helps voters voice their opinion and interact with a candidate.

The guidelines have been set and now families in the North Country can apply for free or reduced-price school meals for the up-coming school year. Application forms for the lunch program have been sent to households. Additional copies are available at the principal's office in each school and may be submitted at any time during the school year to the school's principal.

Hot off a concert at the White House, Brandi Carlile is set to bring her unique blend of rock, pop and folk music to Vermont. Scheduled to play the Paramount Wednesday at 8 p.m., Carlile is looking forward to spending time in Rutland. Tickets are available at the box office, or online at www.paramountlive.org.

A man suffered only minor injuries after being run over by a street sweeper in Burlington. Investigators believe the employee driving the street sweeper did not see the worker behind him and backed over him. Luckily the brushes were not running at the time. Both the street sweeper operator and the victim are employed by the same company.

The City of Plattsburgh is looking at re-opening a waste treatment facility. Residents had a chance last night at an informational meeting to voice their opinion. Most said the plant just smelled too much before. City officials want to re-open the plant, this time using a different method to process waste; one they say, will be a lot less smelly.

The Salvation Army in Burlington is asking people to stop leaving donations at the old storage warehouse location. A few weeks ago, they closed storage warehouse. Officials say in most instances, the items people are leaving is not sellable, so then end up having to pay to dispose of them. Officials say you can still drop off donations at 3 stores between 9 and 5.

A Vermont lawyer is guilty of violating the state's rape shield law. The state Supreme Court ruled against Jasdeep Pannu. Last year, Pannu was representing a man accused of statutory rape when he went against the judge's instruction and told jurors about the girl's sexual history. The trial judge found Pannu in contempt. Vermont's highest court supports that ruling.

2 Plattsburgh State students charged in an alleged gang assault have pleaded guilty to reduced charges. Police say, back in April 5 men assaulted a man who went to the Beta Fraternity House to pick up a friend. The man was hospitalized and has since recovered. Recently, Christopher Tommasino and Ryan Stacey both admitted to reduced charges.

The Agency of Transportation is warning residents in South Burlington that there will be a foul odor in the air around Dorset Street Tomorrow and Thursday. They will be repairing a culvert with a resin that has a strong smell like an epoxy or paint. Officials say it isn't harmful. The smelliest time will be on Thursday.