Tuesday, August 31, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 31, 2010

Prep work for paving on Route 30 between Middlebury and Whiting has begun. Be ready for some delays in one-way traffic zones. Be aware that the speed limit has been reduced to 40 MPH and fines are doubled for speeding in work zones.

Construction of the East half of the roundabout continues. All parking from Park St. to the Otter Creek Bakery driveway has been removed permanently. Please be aware of traffic pattern changes in the downtown construction zones, pay close attention to traffic controllers and do not use your cell phone while travelling in these areas.

Construction crews have been preparing a temporary span on Route 125 for use during the upcoming replacement of the Lemon Fair Bridge in Cornwall. Work on the new bridge is expected to start within a couple of weeks.

Some big changes are coming to the Courthouse in Middlebury including the ability to file complaints electronically and potentially see court offices consolidated within a single floor of the building. The goal is to make Vermont one of the few states nationwide to have e-filing as the standard throughout its court system. Changes are occurring in courthouses statewide as a result of a state mandate to streamline court services and cut the Vermont judiciary budget.

The Middlebury select-board is considering an interim zoning change that would allow more business development near the east end of the soon-to-be completed Cross Street Bridge. The board is tentatively set to hold a public hearing on Sept. 28 to receive feedback on the plan. That plan calls for some properties to be changed from “office-apartment” to “village-residential-commercial.”

Opponents of a proposed Hannaford on Route 7 in Brandon have a lot of questions. The Development Review Board approved the proposed grocery store last month and a group of residents filed a notice of appeal earlier this month questioning 17 aspects of the decision. The permit issued removed two extra buildings and half the parking spaces from the original plan.

According to the Rutland Housing Authority the first half of Forest Park should be empty of people by Oct. 1. Excavation could start in early November and construction could start Dec. 1. If everything goes according to schedule, work will be complete in December 2011. The project is in Phase One, which will demolish 37 units, replacing them with 33 units. Current residents have been and will continue to be relocated using Section 8 housing vouchers.

Rutland City police have made another arrest connected to a rash of Rutland break-ins. Police arrested Zachary S. Fredette on felony charges of burglarizing a home on Crescent Street and trespassing at an occupied home on Baxter Street.

The Republican candidate for governor unveiled his ten-point economic plan yesterday. Brian Dubie says his plan is all about job growth and trying to ease the burden on small businesses and taxpayers. Dubie says he plans to hold the state budget to a two-percent increase each year, which he says is above the one-percent inflation rate experts are predicting. He says his cap on state spending will save 240-million dollars over the next four years and wants to return that money to Vermonters by lowering the income tax rate from nine-percent to six- or seven-percent.

While the democrats from the gubernatorial primary wait for the re-count results, they are campaigning together. Peter Shumlin, Doug Racine and Deb Markowitz appeared together at Dealer.com yesterday to lay out their own 5 point plan, which is a combination of the 5 plans from the 5 primary candidates.

A nanny charged with inappropriately touching a 10-year-old boy last year has been sentenced to 25-years-to-life in prison. 25-year-old Donald Shepherd pleaded guilty in July to a number of charges as part of plea deal. He was sentenced in court yesterday. Authorities suspected Shepherd may have preyed on children in other states but have found no evidence or other victims.

Teachers in Winooski were hitting the pavement instead of school books yesterday as they staged an informational picket trying to gain more community support. For the second year in a row, the school board has imposed a work contract without any union support. Informational pickets will be held every morning this week. At this point, the union says it's considering all its options, including a strike.

Monday, August 30, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 30, 2010

Beginning today parking lines will be marked on College St. here in Middlebury. Construction of the East half of the roundabout will begin. All parking from Park St. to the Otter Creek Bakery driveway will be removed permanently. Please be aware of traffic pattern changes in the downtown construction zones, pay close attention to traffic controllers and do not use your cell phone while travelling in these areas.

Rep. Steve Maier has officially withdrawn from the general election ballot. This gives the Middlebury Democratic Committee a week in which to pick someone to run in his place. Maier, chairman of the House Health Care Committee, said he will not seek a fifth consecutive two-year term in the House in order to pursue a new career opportunity. The nine-person committee will gather at the Ilsley Public Library at 5 PM tomorrow to consider nominees.

The Vermont Symphony Orchestra has nearly reached its endowment campaign goal of $3.5 million. Executive Director Alan Jordan reported the VSO has raised $3.14 million and hopes to reach its goal in the coming months. Currently the VSO presents 40 concerts around the state and 200 educational outreach programs in Vermont schools each year. The upcoming 76th season promises to bring excitement to every corner of Vermont. For additional information just visit VSO Dot Org.

On Saturday the City of Vergennes, Towns of Ferrisburgh, Panton and Waltham presented awards to F. Ann Sullivan to show their recognition for her many years of service to the city and surrounding communities. During her 39-year career in education, Ann has traveled the halls of Vergennes Union High School in just about every capacity possible and has touched the lives of three generations.

The body of Vermont National Guard soldier Tristan Southworth, killed earlier this month in Afghanistan is back in the Green Mountain State. Along the route, to his hometown of Hardwick people gathered on roadways, overpasses and driveways, with flags in silent tribute to the National Guard soldier. He will be buried with full military honors on Wednesday.

The uncertified count of statewide votes in last Tuesday's primary election was released Friday, giving Peter Shumlin the win for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. However, second-place finisher Doug Racine was just 197 votes behind, and he wants a recount. That could take another two weeks, and some Democrats worry it creates more uncertainty besides losing two weeks of campaigning before the November general election.

The warm, sunny weather has most northern New Englanders thinking summer. But fall colors are beginning to make an early debut in many parts of the region. In New Hampshire, people in the lakes and Seacoast regions are already seeing some trees give up their greens for vibrant reds, yellows, oranges and browns. Next door in Maine, some species - especially paper and yellow birch - are turning yellow and shedding their foliage earlier than normal because of the dry summer. Vermont.com says fall foliage season will soon arrive. Early on, the higher the elevation the better the chances of bright leaf colors.

A Vermont lawyer facing jail time for lying about his role in a traffic accident goes before the state's highest court Thursday in a bid to have his convictions thrown out. Melvin Neisner of Killington was found guilty in 2008 of gross negligent operation of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, lying to a police officer and impeding a police officer. His appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court says police, prosecutors and the trial judge made errors in his case.

The ACAP After School Program is currently accepting applications for the 2010-2011 school year. Current program sites include Moriah Central School, Schroon Lake Central School and Crown Point Central School. Students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade are eligible to participate. Call 1-877-873-3207 ext. 234 for an application.

The first phase of work on the Saranac River Trail in Plattsburgh will begin today, and city officials are reminding residents that the effort may bring brief disruptions to traffic. Steltzer Road will temporarily be closed to 2-way traffic while work is being done, but residential access will be available.

If your looking for a secluded 92-acre camp in the Adirondacks that can house hundreds of people at once, than the state has the perfect piece of property for you, Camp Gabriels. The former prison will be sold though an auction soon. As for the asking price, the state is comparing 2 different appraisals before releasing the minimum bid amount.

The Chief of the St. Albans Fire Department has resigned. Chief Joe Beaudry had spent the past 33 years at the department, but Mayor Marty Manahan says Beaudry is leaving on good terms after giving 30 days notice. The mayor says he doesn't know yet what will happen to the position, he adds that's a decision for the city council.

The summer vacation is officially over for most kids around Vermont. Most school districts have gone back to the drawing board to keep schools running on shrinking budgets. The Vermont Department of Education reports that school districts will have to face a $23 million shortfall as they prepare their budgets for 2011. That means there are many more cuts to come.

Plattsburgh City School is already transforming its teacher-evaluation system to include data on how students evolved during the school year. School officials are hoping that will provide the district an edge in securing a portion of the $700-Million that New York state just won in the federal Race to the Top competition.

Friday, August 27, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 27, 2010

Base course paving continues at the roundabout east side and bridge approach. Please be aware of increased truck traffic and possible lane changes. College Street paving also continues as well as the start of line painting for parking spaces. Please pay close attention to traffic controllers and do not use cell phones in construction areas.

A New York patrol boat will be on the Lake Champlain narrows for the next couple of weekends to make sure boaters don’t disrupt the construction of the new Lake Champlain Bridge. The 23-foot patrol boat and its two-person crew will assist the U.S. Coast Guard during what Coast Guard officials believe will be busy weekends for boat traffic.

Many Addison County towns recorded voter turnout of over 20% for Tuesday’s Primary Election. Addison County residents showed strong support for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne of Hartland and two local men, Rep. Chris Bray, of New Haven and Starksboro Republican Mark Snelling, both vying for lieutenant governor.

The contents of Monahan Filaments, formerly Specialty Filaments, on Case St., are being auctioned off today. The facility will be open to the public starting at 8AM to inspect tools once used by the company to make filaments for products such as toothbrushes and industrial brushes. Bidding starts at 10AM 

The building is still owned by Monahan and is up for sale or lease in whole or in part.

Construction under North and South streets in Bristol that has kept portions of the roads unpaved all summer is nearing its completion a month ahead of schedule. The project, which included replacing a section of the town’s storm water system and upgrades to the water main in the downtown area, began in April and was originally scheduled to conclude in November.

Champlain Oil Company’s proposal for a Ferrisburgh gas station that includes a convenience store and fast-food restaurant will return to Environmental Court on Sept. 7. The judge hearing the case will make a pre-session visit that day to the site that Champlain Oil hopes to buy and develop.

The Bristol tennis courts are finally getting a much-deserved facelift. The Bristol Recreation Club is replacing the two existing tennis courts, which were originally installed in the mid-’70s and have since been patched, re-surfaced, and re-patched. A fund-raising effort for the new courts began eight months ago.

An armed man tried to rob the Union Street Grocery store in Brandon last Saturday night. The Brandon Police Chief said the lone male allegedly entered the store at 8PM and demanded cash from the owner who sounded an alarm. A fight broke out between the two and continued outside the store in the parking lot.

The town of Moriah transfer station will be accepting brush at no charge on Aug. 28 and Sept. 25 during regular operating hours. Brush will only be accepted from town of Moriah residents. The brush must be three inches around and under.

A major utility trade publication has listed Central Vermont Public Service as one of the 25 most intelligent electric utilities. Intelligent Utility has named CVPS No. 16 on its annual list of the top 25 intelligent utilities. The magazine designation was based on an analysis of productivity, renewable energy reliance, smart grid efforts, demand response and energy efficiency, and information technology investments. This magazine defines an intelligent utility as a company that applies information to energy, maximizing its reliability, affordability and sustainability from generation to end-users.

After a final day of testimony where John Walters says he remembers very little about the night of November 19, 2008 when he was involved in a shootout with a Vermont State Police Sergeant, it will be up to the jury to decide which argument in the case is the right one. The jury will begin deliberations after the prosecution and defense present closing arguments this morning.

The numbers are in and it appears the latest Killington-sponsored event has turned $20,500 into more than $100,000 for area hotels and businesses. Killington’s Economic Development Director Seth Webb released a new report that shows for every dollar the town spent on the American Junior Golf Association tournament Aug. 2-5, it resulted in a $5.62 return.

The state of Vermont is getting $5.7 million in federal aid to help homeowners use smart meters and install new solar hot water technologies. Smart meters are digital electricity meters that use real-time communication to help utilities be more efficient dealing with outages and demand.

The task of certifying Tuesday's primary election is underway. The unofficial results from the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary gives Peter Shumlin the win but only by a slim margin of 192 votes over Doug Racine and 689 votes of Deb Markowitz. Once the results are made official, Racine will decide if he wants a recount.

A mistrial has been declared in the case of a school principal accused of not protecting his students. Prosecutors say Richford Elementary School Principal Roger Gagne failed to do his job by not reporting that a 5th grader may have been abused by her teacher. Gagne says he though the superintendent would report the abuse. Prosecutors have not said if they'll retry the case.

Teachers and administrators in Winooski say they will be picketing Monday Morning at 7 AM. Their protest is in response to the school board imposing a contract for the second year in a row. The imposition means no contracts and no raises for teachers for a second year. The school board decided to impose the contract after year long negotiations broke down.

The Clinton County Health Department wants the Shircliff Mobile Home Park on Military Turnpike in Schuyler Falls closed and empty by October 13. But attorneys for owner Thomas Frey are filing a lawsuit to stop that closure date. The major focus of concern from the county is the park's ongoing water and sewage issues.

A man will be arraigned today on attempted assault and robbery charges, after police say he tried to hold up Simon's Market on Park Street. Police say they received numerous tips after a surveillance photo was released back in July. Those tips led them to 20-year-old Joshua Barrett of South Burlington. Officers say a gun was used, but no money was actually taken.

Burlington Police say they seen a recent spike in the number of cars and homes that are being broken into. That increase has police reminding people to take steps to protect themselves. Besides locking doors and closing windows, police advise your to keep valuables out of plan site and use lighting inside and out so your home appears occupied.

A library aide in Plattsburgh is $200,000 richer. Christine Suruda was 1 of 10 second place winners that will split $2 million. She says she only plays when the jackpot gets big and always plays family birthdays. The librarian says she didn't even realize she had won until she saw the numbers in the Sunday morning paper.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 26, 2010

Base course asphalt will be installed today and tomorrow on the finished side of the roundabout. This will mean increased truck traffic and possible lane closures. Please pay attention to traffic controllers and do not use cell phones in construction areas. The Morse Road Railroad Crossing will be closed again from 5PM today through 6AM Friday for rail replacement. Residents should plan to park vehicles on the west side of the tracks while the crossing is closed.

There still is no clear-cut winner in the Vermont Democrat Gubernatorial Primary. The unofficial results show Peter Shumlin with a 190-vote lead over Doug Racine; and Deb Markowitz coming in third place. Shumlin is claiming victory but neither Racine or Markowitz have conceded. They both say they are waiting for the official results to be released.

Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne is conceding he can't win the five-way race for his party's nomination. In an e-mail to supporters sent late Wednesday morning, Dunne said it was clear he could not win the race.

Nearly 100,000 Vermonters cast ballots in the primary this year, out of about 445,000 registered voters, roughly 23 percent. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Dalton said worries about the effect on turnout because of changing the primary date in response to federal requirements were legitimate, but ultimately proved unfounded.

Since there is no official winner of the Vermont Democrat Gubernatorial Primary, the AARP has postponed a scheduled debate between Republican Brian Dubie and his Democrat counterpart. The debate that was scheduled for tonight has been postponed till September 26.

The body of a missing Lake Clear woman has been found. Troopers found the body of 37-year-old Carrie Bailey yesterday around noon. Bailey had been missing since Friday night, but her family didn't report her missing until Monday, when she was supposed to come home from a camping trip. Police will not say if they suspect foul play. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

The trial of a Proctor man charged with attempted murder for a 2008 shootout with a Vermont State Police sergeant entered its fourth day with two of John Walters' daughters taking the stand. The state rested its case in the morning following the testimony of a ballistics expert. Defense attorney Matthew Harnett then moved for an acquittal, arguing that the state had not shown Walters intended to kill the sergeant. The judge denied the motion. The trial continues today.

A South Burlington mother now admits she drove drunk with kids in the car. Williston police say 37-year-old Mary O'Neil had 7 kids in her SUV back in March when she was driving at more than 4-times the legal limit. O'Neil pleaded guilty to drunk driving and was scheduled to be sentenced yesterday but the judge recommended she get treatment first.

Glens Falls National Bank & Trust Co., known as one of the nation's strongest banks, has earned BauerFinancial's highest 5-Star Superior rating for strength and stability. Glens Falls National has earned this top 5-Star rating for 13 straight quarters. Established in 1851, they operate through 29 offices located in five counties in upstate New York.

A Vermont man has come forward to claim the largest prize given to any one player in the 25-year history of Tri-State Megabucks. Frank Sullivan of Gilman, Vt., bought the winning ticket for the Aug. 4 drawing at Top of the Hill, a convenience story in Dalton, N.H. He said he plays the New Hampshire Lottery about twice a week but bought only one ticket for the $12.5 million Tri-State Megabucks drawing.

A swimmer is safe after being rescued from Lake Champlain. The Coast Guard says 18-year-old Anna Jeffken was rescued Wednesday by a good Samaritan on a passing sailboat. It's believed that Jeffken had set out on a three-mile swim from Appletree Bay to Juniper Island when she became tired.

Vermont's only professional basketball team is coming back for another season, along with its head coach, Joe Salerno. Fans now run the Frost Heaves, which is a team in the Premier Basketball League. The group of fans raised one hundred-thousand dollars to stay in the PBL, and say the team is ready to play in the 2011 season, but still hope to raise another two-hundred-thousand.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 25, 2010

There will be no parking on the east side of College Street here in Middlebury starting today. Parking will re-open when line painting is complete. Base course paving of the roundabout east side and bridge approach will mean increased truck traffic and possible lane changes. You are reminded to pay close attention to traffic controllers and do not use cell phones in construction areas.

Primary day came and went in Vermont without a winner in the Democratic race for governor. The five-way race was too close to call early this morning. Secretary of State Deb Markowitz, state Sen. Doug Racine and state Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin all had earned about 25% of the vote, while Google executive Matt Dunne had just more than 20%. State Sen. Susan Bartlett trailed the group with about 5%. The margin was easily within the 2% range to be eligible for a recount if requested. When there is a winner, he or she will face Republican Brian Dubie in the Nov. 2 election.

The three major party candidates in the Vermont lieutenant governor race have been set. Rep. Steve Howard has won the Democratic primary, defeating Rep. Christopher Bray in Tuesday's election. He now faces Republican Sen. Phil Scott and Progressive Montpelier City Councilor Marjorie Power in the race for the open seat vacated by Republican Brian Dubie, who is running for governor.

Former Vermont parks commissioner Jason Gibbs has won the Republican primary for Vermont secretary of state. The 33-year-old Gibbs, who resigned as commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation to run, defeated Williston lawyer Chris Roy in Tuesday's primary election. Gibbs will now face former state Sen. Jim Condos, who defeated Montpelier attorney Charles Merriman in the Democratic primary.

Policy analyst Doug Hoffer has won the Democratic nomination in his bid to unseat state Auditor Thomas Salmon. Hoffer outpolled state Sen. Edward Flanagan in the Democratic primary Tuesday.

In some of the other primary races from yesterday ... Incumbent U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy has been declared the winner over Daniel Freilich. Paul Beaudry won the GOP nomination to face Representative Peter Welch in November.

By 14 votes, Proctor residents approved a $6.4 million water system enhancement project, expected to improve water pressure and reduce the amount of potentially harmful chlorine byproducts in the system. As a result of the bond passage, current water rates of about $380 a year will likely jump to anywhere from $400 to $540 a year.

Vermont revenues fell more than 4% short of the forecast for July, a sign that the state's economy may not be rebounding as well as had been hoped. The missed target had just been set on the 15th of July, as state officials adjusted the revenue forecasts used by budget writers in the administration and the Legislature.

Two Vermont Guard Members have been killed in Afghanistan. Major General Michael Dubie made the announcement yesterday about 21-year-old Sergeant Tristan Southworth of Walden and 25-year-old Sergeant Steven Deluzio of South Glastonbury, Connecticut. Without releasing too many details, Dubie said the 2 were killed by insurgents while on patrol Sunday morning.

The City of Plattsburgh is seeking candidates for the 2nd season of the North Country's Biggest Loser weight-loss program. The Recreation Department program, which begins October 4, needs 40 participants. You can pick up an application at the City Recreation Center. It must be turned in by September 12. For more information, visit PlattsburghRecreation.com.

With another school just around the corner, police are once again asking drivers to be extra cautious behind the wheel. It may seem like common sense but, officials are also reminding parents to encourage their children to always look before crossing streets, to cross only at corners, watch for turning cars and be especially cautious in bad weather.

There is a new addition to the Elizabethtown Community Hospital, a pediatrician. Until now, parents have been driving to Plattsburgh, Saranac Lake, or even Glens Falls to see a pediatrician. Parents will now have a closer option in getting their children the proper care they need. Dr. Michael Celotti is one of 2 pediatricians serving all of Essex County.

When it comes to food being sold in Burlington school cafeterias, district officials are making a healthy shift. Chefs from the New England Culinary Institute spent time yesterday training staff from 12 different schools. Training included instruction on how to prepare nutritious meals; adding more fruits, vegetables, and non-fried foods to the menu.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 24, 2010

Today is Primary Day in a number of states including Vermont. One of the biggest races on the ballot this year is the 5-way race for the democratic gubernatorial candidate to face Republican Brain Dubie in the general election in November. Polling places around the state are open until 7 PM tonight.

All parking on College Street and Academy Street, including the parking lot, will be available during today’s Primary Election voting here in Middlebury.

With a Republican runoff in the Addison-4 House district; a write-in campaign for the state Senate; two local men vying for lieutenant governor; and a five-way race for the Democratic nomination for governor that should give Addison County residents extra incentive to head to the polls for today’s primary election. Voter participation is usually low for mid-term elections. Officials in Vermont are particularly concerned about light turnout this year because of the early primary date.

Vergennes aldermen have taken a step toward determining the value of some land that the Vergennes ID school board deeded to the city earlier this year. The aldermen agreed to fund a topographical survey of the land off New Haven Road. The land runs behind homes on the east side of New Haven Road.

Vergennes aldermen have agreed to apply for a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant on behalf of the John Graham Emergency Homeless Shelter. Shelter officials hope to use those and other private grants and donations within the next year to complete a $500,000 upgrade of the building at the corner of Main Street and Monkton Road.

The Bristol Friends of the Arts and The Bristol Historical Society are sponsoring a show and retrospective of local artist Jack Wendel. He’s painted many local scenes and homes in and around Bristol. His work will be on display at the WalkOver Gallery and will open with a reception this Friday. This is the first time a significant body of his work will be seen together.

Police said an eight-month drug investigation ended with the arrest of a New York man over the weekend. Matthew J. Richardson of Flatbush, N.Y., pleaded innocent yesterday in Rutland District Court to three charges of aiding in the commission of a felony – one each selling heroin and cocaine and one trafficking heroin. If convicted on all counts, he could face a maximum of 45 years in prison.

Police in Fair haven are investigating how $1,600 disappeared from the town office last week. Police Chief William Humphries said they have not made an arrest, but a video system installed last year has helped with the investigation progress. They did not believe it was a town employee, based on observations and interviews.

Torrey Allard has become the 14th head football coach for Mount St. Joseph Academy. He takes over for interim coach Conrad Looney who had stepped up to fill Chip Forte’s place when he abruptly resigned the position on August 13th, just three days before the start of football practice.

By ten o'clock last night, nearly everyone had their power back after losing it Sunday night in fierce storms. Bennington, Rutland and Addison counties were hit hard, with about 14-thousand Central Vermont Power Service customers losing electricity around midnight.

If you're running for a statewide elected office, you may want the Professional Firefighters of Vermont on your side. The union says it has a 100% record of endorsing winning candidates for governor and lieutenant governor along with other races it's been involved in since 2002. This year, the 325-member group is supporting Republican Brian Dubie for governor and in today’s primary, Democrat Steve Howard for lieutenant governor and Democrat Jim Condos for Secretary of State.

More information will be released later today but there are reports that a Vermont solder may have been killed in Afghanistan. The Vermont Guard says it cannot confirm nor deny the death of 21-year-old Tristan Southworth of Walden. There are also reports that a second member of the Vermont guard was killed in the same incident.

The water in Plattsburgh appears to have a yellow tint to it, but officials say it's safe to use and drink. The Water Department received numerous calls yesterday complaining about the water. Officials conducted a number of tests and the results all show the water is safe. Often times, the water runs clear after running the tap for a few minutes.

The Winooski School Board has imposed a contract on teachers for the second year in a row. The school board voted 4 to 1 last night to impose the contract. Teachers are now looking at their options, which could include a strike. The imposition came after both sides failed to reach an agreement on a new contract after nearly a year of negotiations.

Police are investigating an armed robbery in Milton. Investigators say a man entered the Mobile Short Stop on Route 7 around 7 AM yesterday morning armed with a knife. The man demand money from the clerk and left with an unknown amount of cash. Police say the suspect may have fled the area in a silver sedan.

Vermont State Police investigating 2 fires in St. Albans say they are arson. Police say the first one happened Saturday, around 10:30 PM to a storage shed on Corliss Road. Police say only a portion of the shed was damaged. Police then returned to the same address early yesterday morning, but for a different shed. According to police, that shed was destroyed.

A 49-year-old man could spend the rest of his life in a Vermont prison. Edward Johnson of Barre was sentenced to 20 years to life under the habitual offender statute. Johnson's past convictions include attempted assault, arson and another case of exposing himself. He currently faces more charges. Johnson could go on trial for those charges sometime this winter.

A Plattsburgh man will be behind bars for the next 15-years for repeatedly preying on a young girl. 40-year-old James Bell was arrested earlier this year after authorities found out about his crimes against the girl, who had been younger than 13 when the incidents occurred. He is expected to be released from prison in 2022.

Monday, August 23, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 23, 2010

Construction continues this week here in Middlebury on the new roundabout at the Cross Street Bridge. All parking on College St. and Academy St., including the new parking lot, will be available during Primary Election voting tomorrow. Also, final paving on College St. is expected to be done on Wednesday. College St. does remain permanently one-way West. On Thursday & Friday base course asphalt will be installed on the finished side of the roundabout up to the bridge. And parking lots behind the Isley Library and Mr. Ups have been improved and are open!

High winds and heavy rains that began crossing our region last night had knocked out power to about 8,200 CVPS customers. As of 9:50 PM last night, 7,200 remained without power. That included 1,300 in Rutland County. Outages were still showing in various towns this morning from Bristol to Rutland.

Addison County Transit Resources will begin a new and improved Shuttle Bus schedule Wednesday, September 1, 2010. The Tri-Town Vergennes will change the most with needed improvements to the route. New schedules will be distributed around the county at multiple locations including the Town Halls in New Haven, Middlebury, Vergennes and Bristol as well as public libraries around the county. Details of the new schedule are also available on the ACTR website, www.actr-vt.org.

Voters in Proctor will be asked to approve a $6 million water replacement system tomorrow to help the town avoid getting penalized for higher-than-normal chlorine level standards and bad water pressure. Current water rates of about $380 a year will likely jump to anywhere from $400 to $540 a year.

Green Aviation technology is coming to Vermont with GE at the forefront. That technology, and the role the Rutland GE plant plays, was highlighted last week at a meeting of the Vermont Aerospace & Aviation Association The Rutland GE plant is building parts for the next generation of jet engine. It's the engine that will power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the company's newest passenger plane, and the Boeing 747-8.

It's into the final stretch for candidates in Tuesday's Vermont primary, with most analysts saying the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination too close to call. Five candidates are vying to be the Democratic standard bearer who will face Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie in November in a race for a governor's office that's open for the first time in eight years.

The Legislature and Gov. Jim Douglas' administration have reached consensus on the scope of next year's state budget shortfall in Vermont. With an agreement, discussions can begin on how to close the gap. The Times Argus newspaper says a $112 million general fund deficit is projected for fiscal 2012.

More jobs are coming to a Rutland cracker company. Westminster Crackers is getting nearly $240,000 from a state Employment Growth Incentive over the next five years. It will help add 36 new jobs to its 45-person workforce at the company's Howe Center location.

Ticonderoga Federal Credit Union is calling for students to compete for great prizes, including a $5,000 college scholarship, by submitting videos about how to use debit, credit & ATM cards responsibly. The "Get Carducated" video contest is open to members of participating credit unions, between the ages of 16 and 21 who are currently attending college or will be college-bound by October 2012. Interested students can visit www.getcarducated.com to find out more about the contest and how to enter.

Starting today, the new radiation wing of Fletcher Allen Healthcare will start seeing patients. There was an official ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday for the wing known as the "Garden Pavilion". Officials say the wing will provide cancer patients better treatment with new state-of-the-art equipment and more comfort with private changing rooms and more spacious waiting areas.

The Old Navy store is leaving Church Street in Burlington. Old Navy has been a part of the marketplace for the past 10 years. Officials say the store plans to move out by March 1st. The retailer reportedly wants to find a smaller space. No word yet on what businesses will move into the Old Navy space.

Upgrades on the Churubusco border crossing are on hold for now. The Canadian Government recently announced that they would be closing their side of the border crossing in the spring; making it a one-way crossing. Since then, the 15-Million-Dollar upgrade has been under sharp criticism. The project will likely be on hold till both countries work something out.

State Police are investigating at least 5 business burglaries that took place in Schroon Lake this weekend. Police say the Morning Star Bistro, Crunch Time Bakery and Deli, Flannigan's Pub, Timberwolf Pub, and Pitkin's Restaurant all reported money stolen during burglaries that took place overnight Friday and Saturday. The investigation continues.

South Burlington Police are urging residents to lock their car doors after reports of nearly 50 break-ins since last Thursday. That's in addition to the dozen that occurred last week at the University Mall and hotel parking lots across the city. Police are saying the same thing now as they did a few days ago, take your valuables out of your car and leave it locked.

The Chittenden Unit for Special Investigators is warning the city of Burlington about the release of a high-risk sex offender. 71-year-old James Villa was released from prison after serving a maximum sentence of 13 years. Villa is no longer on probation or parole but he is considered high-risk because he failed to complete the treatment program.

With the national outbreak of salmonella in eggs, many people are wondering if the local eggs are safe? The outbreak has been traced 2 farms in Iowa. Local egg producers say the eggs you buy in the store are usually a little fresher since the birds are going outdoors which is healthier for them. Experts say the bottom line is, cook your food properly and you should be fine.

Friday, August 20, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 20, 2010

Five agencies in Vermont will receive about $4.7 million to provide solar thermal and solar hot water technologies for Vermont families. The Vermont grant recipients were among 120 organizations across the country selected to receive $120 million under the U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program. Locally the Bennington-Rutland Opportunity Council, Inc. will receive $900,000 and the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, Inc. will receive more than $1.1 million, and will undertake program management and evaluation in addition to the project. Vermont leads the nation in taking dramatic steps toward energy efficiency.

Fall apple picking season has arrived a little early this year. Many area orchards have already begun to offer pick-your-own apples, because their earliest apples are already ripening. Champlain Orchards apples are about 10 days early this year, one of the earliest crops they’ve ever seen.

Middlebury’s local option tax revenues continue to slightly out-pace the amount needed to meet debt service on the new Cross Street Bridge project. This is a good indicator the local economy is recovering. It is also likely to spark future community debate on what should be done with any excess funds.

Vermont State Police received help this week from a retired trooper and another citizen in arresting a Starksboro man. Police arrested Michael LaFlam of Starksboro and charged him with the string of burglaries. He was held for $25,000 bail. They also cited Crystal King of Starksboro as an accessory to the break-in in New Haven.

Paving in Vergennes this fall will focus on the city’s northwestern streets for the most part. Comfort Hill and High Street is due to be resurfaced along with two portions of MacDonough Drive: one from Main Street to Battery Hill and the other being two-tenths of a mile long and running from the west end of the Northlands Job Corp campus to the city line.

Goshen residents will find four town-related items on the ballot at next Tuesday’s Primary Election. The first item is a proposal to change the town’s trash pick-up arrangement. Currently the town makes arrangements with an outside contractor to deal with trash pick-up. However in recent months it has run across difficulties enforcing rules on what can and can’t get picked up.

Workers this week have been busy shoring up the foundation of Middlebury’s former train station on Seymour Street. The 109-year-old building will see several improvements aimed at making the former train station more attractive to prospective tenants while honoring its historic integrity.

Voters in Proctor will be asked next Tuesday to approve a $6.4 million dollar bond to pay for necessary improvements to the municipal water supply, converting it from a surface water system out of Chittenden to a ground water system sourced from within town. The Proctor water system was put on notice by the state water quality division four years ago.

The Neshobe River Winery in Brandon will be welcoming visitors during the first Vermont Vineyard and Winery Open House Weekend this Saturday and Sunday. This is a great opportunity to learn about one of the state’s newest agricultural endeavors. Vineyard and Winery owners all around Vermont are looking forward to meeting everyone. For more information: www.vermontgrapeandwinecouncil.com

Over a third of Vermont’s farmers’ markets currently accept EBT cards, allowing beneficiaries of 3spuaresVT to use their benefits to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and other market products. “Harvest Health Coupons” double EBT benefits at all participating farmers’ markets statewide. Here in Addison County that includes the Middlebury Farmers’ Market and the Bristol Farmers’ market.

The Downtown Rutland Partnership will look at what it can do with Evelyn Street. The partnership, along with the city and the Rutland Redevelopment Authority, is applying for a planning grant from the Vermont Community Development Program to do a study of possibilities along the street.

The restructuring of Vermont’s judicial system took another step forward this week with the appointment of 14 clerks who will oversee the civil, criminal and family courts in each county. As part of legislation passed during the last session, Vermont’s courts were ordered to reduce the number of clerks in each county as a way to save money.

If every Essex County employee who has expressed interest in early retirement accepts the incentive package they've been offered, there will be a big savings for the cash-strapped government.. County supervisors overwhelmingly endorsed two local laws Monday adopting the retirement incentives for employees who don't meet typical retirement standards. It would mean roughly a $3 million savings for the county over the next five years.

Vermont election officials and political campaigns are worried that a date change for this year's primary election could spell low turnout, with people unaware of Tuesday's balloting or too busy enjoying the end of summer to participate in it. The election was moved from Sept. 14 to comply with a new federal law requiring states to provide 45 days before a general election for ballots to be sent to overseas voters and back.

The Rutland Regional Airport in Clarendon is getting almost $1 million to update equipment. It will allow the airport to purchase a new, state-of-the-art Radio Navigation Landing System known as ILS. The purchase is expected to bring the site up to speed with similar-sized airports in the region.

A group of Rutland firefighters who said their pay raises weren't big enough have lost their lawsuit against the city. A jury deliberated for about an hour Wednesday before finding for the city on the single breach of contract claim. The judge had dismissed other complaints alleging negligence and false information by the city.

You will soon start to see some differences when using and purchasing Gift Cards. Starting Sunday, Gift Cards will be good for a minimum of 5 years. And since stores and banks won't be able to charge a maintenance fee for holding the balance, some stores will now be charging a fee for the card at the time of purchase.

Housing inspectors in the Burlington Area say Bed Bugs are invading. This year, the city has seen 13 cases, whereas all of last year, there was only 1 case. Bed bugs usually move from place to place as stowaways in luggage, furniture, clothing, pillows, boxes, and other such objects. They are not known to spread diseases, just cause irritating rashes on your skin from their bites.

Police in South Burlington have arrested a man they say held up the Mobile Short Stop on Williston Road Wednesday Night. Police say, just before 11 PM, 40-year-old Todd Gorton entered the store, threatened the clerk with a knife and demanded money. He fled the scene but was located by police and K-9 teams shortly afterwards.

Authorities have released the identities of the 2 people found dead in a home on North Avenue in Burlington on Monday. They are 38-year-old Tracy Mazurek and 41-year-old Ronald Clark. Police say they are awaiting autopsy and toxicology results to determine how they died but say there's no indication of foul play.

St. Albans Police have arrested 3 of 5 suspects named in a Meth Lab Case. A 4th suspect is already in custody and a warrant is out for the arrest of the 5th suspect. Prosecutors are not saying if the suspects are connected to the seizure and evacuations last month of 3 suspected Meth Labs, 2 in St. Albans and 1 in Georgia.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 19, 2010

If you have pets and live in the Hinesburg area, you may want to keep them inside. Dozen of people say theirs cats are missing and some residents have reported seeing a quick-moving, brown creature running around. They suspect that there may be a fisher, a type of weasel with sharp teeth, living in the area.

Rutland City parks are on their way to becoming smoke-free zones. The Charter and Ordinance Committee voted 3-0 this week to recommend banning the use of tobacco products in city parks and playgrounds. The recommendation will go before the full board of Alderman at its regularly scheduled meeting next month.

The State Board of Education has voted to replace the New England Common Assessment Program with a new test using national assessment standards. That means after 2013 the NECAPS will be a thing of the past. States that agree to the national standards become eligible for millions of dollars in grant money.

The Arts Council for the Northern Adirondacks announced changes in its Strategic Opportunity Stipend grant program. Artists can now request support ranging from $200 to $1,500. Also, deadlines will now be two times a year instead of three. SOS grants are designed to help individual artists of all disciplines take advantage of specific, unique opportunities that will significantly benefit their work or career.

Rutland City will decide on a $350,000 bond issue for improvements on routes 4 and 7 in November. Some on the Board of Aldermen hope to do the project without borrowing any money by applying for a grant and using funds already set aside. The project will extend the left turn lane from Strongs Avenue up to Clover Street and replace sewer lines and storm water drainage from West Street to Strongs Avenue.

Vermont's Public Safety Department says it has fixed the glitches in the sex offender registry. A resent audit found several errors, including names that didn't belong on the list. The Public Safety Department will present their new policies for managing the system to lawmakers before putting offender's addresses online.

There are some law changes coming soon for teenage drivers in New York. Starting in September, drivers under 18 can only have one passenger under 21 who is not a family member. Teenagers will also have to complete 50 supervised hours behind the wheel before getting their license. The DMV hopes the law changes make the road safer for everyone.

Police in Plattsburgh say they have captured the prime suspect in a rash of recent burglaries. While investigating some of the break-ins, police noticed a pattern and decided to stake-out an office in the Healey Avenue Plaza. They caught 25-year Jon Headley in the act. He is now being held at the Clinton County Jail for lack of bail.

The man that was rescued from a burning building in Winooski has died. Officials say the fire on West Street appears to have started on the back porch around 1:30 yesterday morning. Winooski Police say firefighters found 26-year-old Kaldon Goodwin unconscious in a downstairs apartment. He was taken to Fletcher Allen Health Care, where he was pronounced dead.

Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom will receive $5.5-Million-Dollars to extend advanced high-speed Internet access to its most rural customers. Company officials say they already provide 100-percent high-speed Internet coverage to their customers in Addison, Chittenden, and Washington Counties. They say they will use the funding to provide even faster connections.

Police say the death of a woman discovered late yesterday afternoon in South Burlington is apparently from natural causes. Her body was found along Interstate-189 and Route-7 in South Burlington. Police say that area is known to be a place where homeless people often camp. According to investigators, the woman had some sort of illness.

A Starksboro man has pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and robbery charges. 29-year-old David Dean says he was part of a big cocaine ring that operated out of a South Burlington car detailing shop called Rizzo Brothers. Federal agents busted the alleged ring earlier this year, arresting 20 people.

Hunters will have more chances to bag a wild turkey this fall. The shotgun season is increasing from seven to nine days, bow hunting is being expanded statewide and some areas will be open for shotgun hunting for the first time.

The New York State Department of Transportation will host a public meeting tonight to present information about a proposed project to replace the Route-22 bridge over Interstate 87 in Plattsburgh. One of the plans to keep traffic flowing while the bridge is being replaced is to use a temporary bridge. The meeting is scheduled from 5 to 7 PM at the Town of Plattsburgh Offices.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 18, 2010

The Sierra Club has declared Green Mountain College the “coolest” school in the country. The college topped a list of colleges and universities doing the most to fight global warming and educate their students on sustainability. Green Mountain College’s president said the listing validates all the work done at the college since it rebranded itself at an “environmental liberal arts” school in 1995. Two other Vermont schools made the top 20. Middlebury College tied with UC-Santa Cruz for 11th place and University of Vermont tied with UC-Davis for 16th.

An agreement has been reached between educators and school officials in Rutland Town, ending a 17-month contract battle and averting a strike before the start of classes next week. Teachers and members of the School Board reached a tentative agreement during a closed-door negotiating session. The details of the agreement are still under wraps until both sides ratify it.

The Rutland Herald is suing state police and the state attorney general for documents from an investigation into child pornography possessed by a Vermont Police Academy trainer who committed suicide earlier this year. They sued after Assistant Attorney General John Treadwell declined to release the records, saying they were exempt from disclosure "because the records deal with the detection and investigation of crime." The newspaper contends the exemption ended when the investigation closed last month.

Deb Markowitz still leads Democrats running for Vermont governor in fundraising, but Peter Shumlin is catching up. Republican Brian Dubie meanwhile is far ahead of any Democrat. New reports show Dubie had more than $1 million in contributions campaign-to-date. Markowitz has raised more than $620,000 so far.

Fort Ticonderoga is receiving a prestigious federal grant awarded to just 20 institutions nationwide. Officials say the National Endowment for the Humanities has announced that Fort Ticonderoga is receiving nearly $160,000 to be used for a program for teacher education. The funds will be used to immerse dozens of New York teachers in weeklong workshops that focus on Fort Ticonderoga's role in the American Revolution and the history-changing battles at Saratoga in 1777.

The American Red Cross is urgently asking everyone to donate blood. Officials with the Red Cross say they have had a tuff time this summer getting enough blood to meet the demand. Donors with all blood types are needed, especially those with Type O-Negative. The Red Cross says that type of blood can be given to patients with any blood type.

The Burlington International Airport is open today but investigators will be on the scene trying to determine what caused a fire last night in the north stairwell of the parking garage. The blaze, which broke out about 7:15 last night, temporarily caused the terminal to be evacuated. No was injured and the airport was reopened but construction on that area has been suspended for now.

Raymond "Foxy" Gagnon will spend the next 5 years in federal prison. Gagnon plead guilty back in February and was sentenced yesterday on charges of buying and selling child pornography. The retired teacher from Stafford Middle School in Plattsburgh was arrested in June of 2009, after authorities linked him to an international child porn ring.

Police are investigating the death of 2 people at a Burlington residence. The 38-year-old woman and 41-year-old man were found in a home on North Avenue. Police will only say while the deaths are suspicious in nature, no obvious signs of foul play were discovered. Their names are being withheld until family is notified.

The state of Vermont is facing a shortage of judges. 2 judges recently retired and 2 others are unavailable: 1 is deployed with the Vermont National Guard in Afghanistan, and another was struck by a car while bicycling. And due to budget problems, 1 vacancy remains unfilled. To cope with the problem, 9 retired judges are working part-time to cover the workload.

Vermont is getting a half a million dollars in federal funding for law enforcement agencies. Vermont Sheriffs will get 100-thousand-dollars to upgrade equipment while 100-grand will help fund Special Investigation Units. The Vermont Department of Public Safety will receive 100-thousand for school resource officers and 200-thousand is going to the Vermont Police Academy.

A Lake Placid man fell to his death in a rock-climbing accident in Keene. 35-year-old Dennis Murphy had reached the top of a climbing route on the Upper Washbowl Cliffs in Keene Valley just after 6 last night when he lost his footing and fell more than 100 feet. Investigators say his death has been ruled accidental.

General Motors is voluntarily recalling nearly 250-thousand crossover vehicles because their seat belts may not latch properly. The recall affects 2009 and 2010 models of the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook. Dealers will inspect the belts for damage and reshape the plastic on them to enable the buckle to close easier.

If your not a registered voter, than you'll need to do so before the end of today in order to vote in the primary election next week. To register to vote, you need to visit the town clerk's office where you live and fill out a short form. While office hours vary from location to location, all clerks are required to take registrations from 3 PM to 5 PM today.

Vermont music fans have another chance to hear one of the state's favorite bands. A concert appearance by Waitsfield's Grace Potter and the Nocturnals was just announced. The band will open for the rock band My Morning Jacket on the lawn at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction this Friday night.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Emergency 15-minute outage in Weybridge/New Haven area Wednesday Morning

CVPS crews will have to interrupt service to about 800 customers in New Haven, Weybridge, north Cornwall, and a handful of customers in Middlebury and Vergennes tomorrow morning (Wednesday August 18, 2010) at 4:30 a.m. The outage is necessary for crews to safely replace a damaged insulator on a line in New Haven. The outage will begin at 4:30 a.m. and end at 4:45 a.m.

WVTK Local & State News August 17, 2010

The Addison County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Middlebury has been named as one of Yankee Magazine’s top 25 towns in New England for fall foliage travel. This is the first time the magazine has ever ranked towns by this standard and Middlebury is ranked fifth. The September/October issue will on newsstands August 24th. Manchester, VT also makes the top 5.The

Lathrop Limited Partnership has appealed the denial of an Act 250 permit for its proposed Bristol gravel pit. The company’s years-long effort to get approval to extract sand and gravel from a lot off Rounds Road in Bristol returns to the Vermont Environmental Court.

State Police say a fire that destroyed a vacant home on North Railroad Avenue appears to have been set intentionally. Firefighters from Brandon and Pittsford were called out at 2 a.m. Saturday to fight the blaze. State Police are asking anyone with information about the fire to call the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program at 1-800-32 ARSON or Brandon Police.

A new computer use policy allows Rutland city employees to make personal use of the Internet at work as long as they don’t overdo it. The Rutland City Board of Aldermen unanimously approved the policy that was drafted by the board’s general committee. The new policy forbids sending or viewing sexually explicit images or messages and accessing websites “that are inappropriate in a business setting.”

Officials with the Southern Vermont Drug Task Force arrested 50-year-old Paul Turgeon following an investigation into cocaine distribution in the West Rutland area. Police say Turgeon sold cocaine to an undercover agent on two separate occasions. And they say he was found with 9 grams of coke at the time of his arrest. He's due in court next month to answer three felony charges, plus a charge of selling on school grounds.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has resumed clean-up work at a Superfund Site in Burlington. The EPA said repairs would be made at the Pine Street Barge Canal to an underwater cap that's aimed at stemming the spread of oil and tar residue into nearby wetlands and Lake Champlain. Work started yesterday will continue through late November.

Doug Racine, one of the democratic candidates for governor of Vermont, has released his economic development plan. Racine says he will focus first on stabilizing the economy. Racine says, if he's elected, his first economic priority will be a review of all state policies and programs to make sure dollars are being spent wisely.

A new law has gone into effect in New York, anyone convicted of drunk driving will be required to install an ignition interlock for 6 months. The devise requires the driver to blow into it; if their blood alcohol level is above a .025 then the car will not start. New York is the ninth state to mandate ignition interlocks.

Environmental advocates say the candidates for governor should focus on the state's natural assets when they discuss the state's economy. The head of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, Elizabeth Courtney, says the state's pristine image is the foundation of its economy.

The top official from New England's power grid operator says a cooperative approach holds the best hope for meeting New England's renewable energy goals. A report by the New England States Committee on Electricity in July encouraged the six states to work together to select projects and line up bidders.

Investigators in Jay, NY, are trying to figure out what started a fire that destroyed a historic home yesterday morning. Smoldering lumber is all that remains of the home that has overlooked Jay since the late 1800's. Neighbors say smoke started filling the house around 9 AM. Just a few minutes later, it was all up in flames.

A Vermont State Representative has passed away. Sonny Audette was 78 years old. He served in the legislature for the last 9 years representing South Burlington, but was not running for re-election this year. Audette was also the Public Works Director in South Burlington for more than 30 years. He served on the transportation committee for the last 6 years.

The condition of a man shot Friday night by a stray bullet fired in target practice is now downgraded to critical. 76-year-old Peter Damone was on his back deck Friday night when he was struck in the face by a bullet police say was fired at least a quarter mile away. At this point, prosecutors have not yet decided if they're going to file any charges.

Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak is beginning to work on the 2011 budget. He says the goal for the 2011 budget is to keep the tax levy and tax rate stable, as well as water and sewer rates, without cutting jobs or services. The mayor will present his plan to the council by October 1st, as required by the City Charter.

In a motion filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, FairPoint Communications is seeking approval of the appointment of Paul Sunu as CEO of the company. Sunu will replace David Hauser, who has been the CEO for the past 14 months. Under the plan, Hauser will remain as a consultant to FairPoint until its emergence from Chapter 11.

A priceless Catholic Relic is back at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. Vermont state police discovered the religious artifact in Royalton after a man told police his partner, Earl Frost, had it in his possession. The religious artifact is said to have been made from the cross that Jesus was crucified on. Police are still looking for Frost who fled after turning the relic over to police.

Ticonderoga Federal Credit has begun their school supplies drive for area children in need. You can bring school supplies to any TFCU branch or ATM site, for collection. They will donate supplies collected at each site to the schools in closest proximity to that location, including: Ticonderoga Central School, St. Mary's School, Putnam Central School, Crown Point Central School, Moriah Central School, Westport Central School, Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School and Schroon Lake Central School. Standard supplies such as notebooks, pencils, and crayons are always popular and appreciated. However, larger items are in high demand such as backpacks, pencil boxes, binders, and calculators. Contact any TFCU branch for questions, or to obtain a wish list.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Yankee Magazine Names Middlebury #5 on its List of Top 25 Foliage Towns

Yankee Magazine Names Middlebury #5 on its List of Top 25 Foliage Towns!

Middlebury, Vermont – August 16, 2010 – The Addison County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Middlebury has been named as one of Yankee Magazine’s top 25 towns in New England for fall foliage travel. This is the first time the magazine has ever ranked towns by this standard and Middlebury is ranked fifth. (The list includes many ties, so the ranking goes from first place to 13th place.) The September/October issue will on newsstands August 24, 2010.

In hearing the news, chamber president Andy Mayer said, “We know that Middlebury and all of Addison County is a phenomenal foliage destination. To have Yankee Magazine recognize us as such means that the word will get out to many potential visitors to our area…and that’s okay!”

To determine the listing for the article — “The Top 25 Foliage Towns in New England,” by Michael Blanding and the editors of Yankee Magazine — a variety of tourism professionals, as well as Yankee’s own writers and editors, first nominated communities for an initial review. The top contenders were then scored on a scale from 0 to 5 in 14 essential attributes of a perfect fall foliage outing: color intensity, scenery, vistas, nearby water, scenic drives, hikes, culture, farmers’ markets and farmstands, orchards, covered bridges, state or local parks, the quality and variety of shops to browse, tourism amenities such as hotels and restaurants, and a category called “uncrowded” — giving a boost to less touristy locations.

“I’ve been to every town on our list, and each one offers special, unique qualities,” editor Mel Allen says. “Locals and travelers alike will have their own opinions of what makes a top foliage town; in one sense, a New England autumn gives all of our towns a ranking of among the best in the world. But if you take all the experiences that we feel make up a perfect fall day … well, some towns just had more of them … an orchard, or a waterfall, or a covered bridge, or a terrific inn. It’s meant to be fun—but also a real guide for readers who look to Yankee to take the guesswork out of a New England trip. I say let the discussion begin!”

The article includes a write-up and a chart showing each town’s category results, serving as convenient travel guide for leaf-peepers.

The following towns are included in the list:

1.       Kent, Connecticut

2.       Bethel, Maine

3.       Manchester, Vermont

4.       Williamstown, Massachusetts

5.       Middlebury, Vermont

6.       Camden, Maine (tie)

6.       Waitsfield, Vermont (tie)

7.       Conway/North Conway, New Hampshire

8.       Sandwich, New Hampshire

9.       Rangeley, Maine

10.    Blue Hill, Maine (tie)

10. Woodstock, Vermont (tie)

10. Waterville Valley, New Hampshire (tie)

10. Amherst, Massachusetts (tie)

11. Grafton, Vermont (tie)

11. East Haddam, Connecticut (tie)

11. Walpole, New Hampshire (tie)

12. The Cornwalls, Connecticut (tie)

12. Litchfield, Connecticut (tie)

12. Jackson, New Hampshire (tie)

13. Jeffersonville, Vermont (tie)

13. Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts (tie)

13. Montgomery, Vermont (tie)

13. Stowe, Vermont (tie)

13. Hanover, New Hampshire (tie)


To view a slideshow of winning foliage towns and to share comments, visit: http://www.yankeemagazine.com/25towns
The Addison County Chamber was solicited by Yankee Magazine last month to submit several photos of the area as part of their search and selection process for New England’s best foliage towns. Images from several sources were submitted, and one of the photos selected, and seen in Yankee’s above-mentioned slideshow, was provided by local photographer and graphic designer, Mark Favreau.
About Yankee Magazine

Yankee Magazine was founded in 1935 and is based in Dublin, New Hampshire. It is the only magazine devoted to New England through its coverage of travel, home, food, and features. With a paid circulation of over 350,000 and a total audience of more than 2 million readers, it is published by Yankee Publishing Incorporated (YPI), a family-owned, independent magazine publisher. In 2010, Yankee Magazine was named a finalist in the national City and Regional Magazine Association’s annual awards in two categories: Multimedia and Excellence in Writing. 2010 marks Yankee Magazine’s 75th year as New England’s magazine. YPI also owns the nation’s oldest continuously produced periodical, The Old Farmer’s Almanac. More information about Yankee: New England’s Magazine is available at: YankeeMagazine.com/press

Yankee invites the media to interview our editors, who are experts on where to go and what to do during the fall foliage season in New England. For interviews, in-studio visits, artwork, listener giveaways, or more information, contact Heather Atwell, heathera@yankeepub.com or 603-563-8111 x180.

About Addison County Chamber of Commerce
The Addison County Chamber of Commerce (ACCOC) is an association of individuals representing business interests, working together to promote commercial business and tourism in Addison County. The Chamber can be found on the Web at www.addisoncounty.com.

WVTK Local & State News August 16, 2010

Commuters who use the temporary ferry crossing between Addison and Crown Point are being warned of delays on Thursday and Friday afternoons. Officials at Lake Champlain Transportation say they've noticed a sharp increase in traffic in the past couple weeks. They expect to see the heavy traffic flow though foliage season in October.

More than 20 towns and cities across Vermont will share $1.8-Million in tax credits to help downtown revitalization projects. Some of the towns and cities included Middlebury, St. Albans, Winooski, and Montpelier. In Barre the money will go to help rebuild one of the buildings in the center of the downtown that fell victim to arson.

A Bridport man is recovering today after being shot by a stray bullet over the weekend. Police say 35-year-old Tracy Stone was target shooting in the woods about a half a mile away when a bullet he shot hit 76-year-old Peter Damone as he was talking on the phone while grilling dinner. Damone is listed in stable condition at Fletcher Allen Medical Center.

According to the school’s new interim coach football is on at Rutland’s Mount St. Joseph Academy. 

Despite rumors about the private Catholic school ending the program, practice starts this morning. MSJ football’s future was thrown into question last week when Chip Forte resigned as head coach of the Division III team, two days before practice was to begin.

Several people are homeless after flames ripped through a Westport apartment building. Flames broke out at the Marks Road building, which housed four apartments, around 4pm yesterday. No one was seriously injured in the fire but at least two pets could not be saved. Several departments responded to the scene. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance has formed with an eye toward improving the local economy. The group has the support of the Ticonderoga town board. So far, 50 Alliance members have pledged $25,000 to the cause, as well as help in a handful of early alliance backed projects. The alliance's assistant executive director says the group will unite the community and spur economic growth. For information Email ticonderogarevitalization@yahoo.com.

The Vermont Chamber's Aerospace and Aviation Association is holding an open house Thursday at the Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport. The event, which is sponsored by GE Aviation, will focus on the company's role in the production of the GEnx engine. It will also celebrate improvements at the North Clarendon airport. U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, U.S. Rep. Peter Welch and Boeing Co. executive Rick Stephens are among the featured speakers.

Vermont's five Democratic candidates for governor will get another chance to debate before the Aug. 24 primary election. A forum will be held Thursday in St. Albans. At the event - sponsored by a new union representing early educators - the candidates will take questions about early education issues and from the public. The forum, which is open to the public, will held at the St. Paul's United Methodist Church at 6:30 p.m.

Starting in September, workers at Nova Bus in Plattsburgh will be switching to a 3-day workweek. Officials with the company blame the lagging economy for a drop in work orders. About 80-percent of the staff will be affected by the change in work schedules. The company hopes to return to a full production schedule as soon as possible.

Today we observe Battle of Bennington Day. State and City Offices are closed today in observance of the pivotal Battle that took place in 1777 during the Revolutionary War. Most Banks, the American Red Cross Donor Center, Post Offices, Federal Offices, and Federal Courts are open today.

A new law in New York will help clean up the state's waterways including Lake Champlain. The state's making it illegal to sell dishwashing detergent that contains phosphorus. Stores have 60 days to sell off their inventories. Starting in 2012, a similar ban will apply to lawn fertilizers. 16 other states including Vermont have similar bans.

A construction zone flagger was struck and killed by a passing vehicle Friday afternoon. 33-year-old Zachariah Brown from Derby was directing traffic while work crews were repaving the road. He was struck by a pickup truck driven by a 76-year-old man from Newport Center. Police say it appears the driver was distracted, and was neither speeding nor drunk.

While they've been held in Europe for years, a special auction held on Saturday in Randolph Center was a first for this country. The "landscape auction" was a way for people to help protect Vermont's landscape. Some of the items auctioned off were maintaining a habitat for ruffed grouse, stock Atlantic salmon in the White River, as well as maintaining a covered bridge.

The Crown Point Bird Banding Association marked a milestone during the spring migration by capturing and releasing its 100th species of bird, an American Kestrel. It was the first small falcon ever banded on the Crown Point peninsula. Established in 1976, the bird migration monitoring station at Crown Point State Historic Site has banded a total of 15,976 birds.

Ticonderoga Girl Scouts have been busy. In early January scouts began knocking on doors taking orders for the annual cookie sale. While they were out taking orders as part of their community service project they were also asking for everyone to purchase an extra box which would be shipped to the troops overseas. 23 cases or 276 boxes were shipped to troops overseas. The Scouts thank all those in the community who helped make the community service project a huge success and to The American Legion Post 224 who helped with the distribution of these cookies to our troops overseas.

Friday, August 13, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 13, 2010

Officials say so far so good on the new Crown Point Bridge. As construction crews continue to build the new span that will cross Lake Champlain, state officials say there have been no delays so far on the project. Right now crews are installing 7 new concrete piers that will support the new bridge. Then they will begin steal work on both sides of the lake.

Middlebury selectmen have agreed to seek a lower speed limit on Route 7 South between Middlebury village and East Middlebury. This was prompted in part by last week’s fatal accident at the intersection of 7 and Cady Cross Road. Scott Foster of the Middlebury Development Review board urged selectmen to petition the Agency of Transportation to lower the 50 mph limit between G. Stone Motors and Route 125.

After more than a year and a half of planning and permit deliberations, the McDonald’s Restaurant here in Middlebury closed last Wednesday for demolition and rebuilding. The demolition, reconstruction and preparation for the restaurant’s reopening are scheduled to take about 90 days.

A small part of the $16 million Cross Street Bridge project is continuing to take up a large part of Middlebury selectmen’s time. The question is what to place in the middle of the new roundabout that workers began to build this week at the bridge’s downtown end. In late June, a committee appointed by selectmen recommended a prominent public work of art that should be 20 to 25 feet tall, lighted at night, and designed to be appreciated from a safe distance.

The Leicester Select Board is seeking an individual to serve as an alternate delegate from the town to the Addison County Regional Planning Commission. They are also looking for full or part-time residents to serve on the town planning board to help with revisions to the town by-laws. For more information call 247-3786 for the Planning Commission position or 247-5305 for the Planning Board.

The Brandon Town Players will be holding auditions for their 5th annual Murder Mystery Dinner Theater August 31st and September 2nd at 6:30PM at the Brandon Town Hall. There are rolls for men, women and young adults who are at least 16. Performance dates are October 29th and 30th at the South Station Restaurant in Rutland. For more information contact Kathy Mathis at 247-6720.

New campaign finance reports show the two Vermont incumbents for Congress -- Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative Peter Welch -- are far ahead of their opponents in campaign contributions. Leahy has raised a total of $4.1 million and has $3.2 million in cash and Welch has brought in $759,700 and has $1 million.

The co-owner of a now-closed Vermont slaughterhouse has pleaded not guilty to an animal cruelty charge. Frank Perretta of Grand Isle was arraigned yesterday, three days after he turned himself in following his arrest on a fugitive from justice charge in New York. Perretta was released on $10,000 bail that he posted when he surrendered and the condition that he not be around livestock.

Vermont utilities have signed off on a new long-term power-purchase contract with Hydro Quebec. Under the deal announced yesterday, Vermont will purchase up to 225 megawatts of power -- equal to about a quarter of that state's demand for electricity -- starting in November 2012 and ending in 2038.

Two northeastern Vermont communities are considering joining forces to build a small wood powered electric generating plant. The proposal by officials in the villages of Orleans and Barton would generate enough electricity for the customers of the municipal utilities in the two communities.

The biggest audience Maiden Vermont ever sang to was a crowd of about 900 at one of the Castleton Concerts on the Green. 

The all-women barbershop chorus, whose members are primarily from the Rutland and Middlebury area, will shatter that record next week when they sing national anthems before a Red Sox game at the 38,000-seat Fenway Park. The Red Sox play the Toronto Blue Jays on Aug. 21, so the chorus will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “O, Canada.” The group will follow up its Fenway appearance with a benefit for the Brandon Town Hall Aug. 28 and one for the New Haven Town Hall Aug. 29 and then a show Sept. 11 at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society in Middlebury.

Drivers should expect delays and bumpy roads through the end of the summer as Rutland city continues road-paving projects. 

Traffic on Church Street has been delayed for the last week as contractors dig up the road for a fresh coat of pavement, and travelers should expect the same on portions of Crescent Street, Stratton Road, Grove Street, Gleason Road, Clinton Avenue and Campbell Road before winter.

Crown Point State Historic Site will host a British, French and Indian war encampment Aug. 14 and 15. No vast battles, only skirmishes, were fought at Crown Point in the 1700s, so four tactical weapons demonstrations are scheduled for the public to view during the encampment weekend. The "battles" will take place between at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on both Saturday and on Sunday.

Central Vermont Public Service and Green Mountain Power have signed a 26-year deal with Hydro-Quebec. Starting in November of 2012, Vermont will purchase about a quarter of its power, or up to 225 megawatts of energy, mostly hydroelectric the Canadian utility. The new deal also protects Vermonters from sudden price hikes.

A Massachusetts woman is recovering today after being rescued off of the Monroe Trail, which runs up Camel's Hump. Rescue crews from 4 different agencies raced up the trail to find 67-year-old Deborah Gardner, who was hiking by herself when she slipped and fell and fractured her hip. Some nearby hikers were able to help Gardner call 911 for help.

Police say a paternity test proves a New York inmate was lying about being raped by guards. Rhonda Dufoe is serving time for manslaughter in the Franklin County jail. In April she reported being 5 months pregnant after guards attacked her. The baby was born and tests prove the father is Richard Oakes, her boyfriend, who is also doing time for manslaughter.

39-year-old Eric Edson is going to prison for the next 10 to 14 years for breaking into a home in North Hero in 2008. Since 1987, Edson has been arrested 37 times on felonies. This time, the judge gave him the maximum sentence for burglary. Edson still faced other charges in Lamoille County that could have him spending the rest of his life behind bars.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 12, 2010

The search continues for a missing Rutland man. Searchers used four tracking dogs through the northeast and northwest sections of Rutland yesterday but found no physical trace of Danny Goldstein. The 33-year-old was last seen at his North Main Street home two weeks ago, where he left all his possessions except the clothes he was wearing. If anyone has any information please contact Police.

Proponents of a rail line from Bennington to Burlington have made another try for federal funding. The state applied late last week for an almost $60 million grant. Vermont got $50 million in stimulus money for rail projects earlier in the year, but none for the western corridor. While the extension would offer Amtrak service between Rutland and Burlington it would be largely aimed at passengers from outside the region.

Vermont is getting another $25.5-Million for schools, and that's in addition to the $19-Million announced earlier this week as part of the Jobs Bill. The extra money is part of another round of stimulus funding. Vermont's congressional delegation said the extra aid will ensure Vermont children continue to have access to an excellent education.

The Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation is collecting money to make care packages for our troops overseas. By the end of the month they hope to have $75-thousand set-aside. Right now they are still $65-thousand short of their goal. You can donate at any TD Bank Branch in Vermont or at SupportVermontGuard.org.

Five pieces of public art are taking shape at the Carving Studio in West Rutland. 
A group of sculptors are working on large marble blocks making pieces that will be displayed in different parts of the Rutland area. One will go in downtown Rutland. Where the other four will go remains undecided. The $54,000 project is supported by a National Endowment for the Arts grant of about $17,000. Donations covered the rest.

The almost 2,000 bicylists taking part in Velo Quebec Grand Tour will head to Rouses Point and then on to Canada today. Last night they stayed in a make shift village setup at Clinton Commnity College. They will traveling to Rouses Point via Lake Shore Road and Route 9B. The cyclists are expected to arrive in Rouses Point in small groups between 10 AM and 3 PM.

It's official; a company in Rochester, New York has purchased Magic Hat. North American Breweries has purchased Independent Brewers United, which owns Magic Hat, Pyramid, and MacTarnahan's. The purchase includes the 3 breweries, 5 Alehouses, and a retail store. Officials at North American Breweries would not disclose the cost.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deb Markowitz says Vermont businesses are choking on health care expenses, and she says a state-run self-insurance system for health care would help. Markowitz is 1 of 5 candidates in the Aug. 24 Democratic primary.

South Burlington Police are investing a rash of car break-ins. According to police, there have been over 200 break-ins this summer and at least a dozen in just the last few days. Police say the thieves have become more daring; they're now breaking windows and popping locks during broad daylight to get to electronics and any other valuables.

State and local officials are already joining forces for brainstorming sessions on the future of the Lyon Mountain prison site. The 14-acre property was recently assessed for $5 million. Details are still limited but officials know the prison will close in January and a limited amount of gaurds will remain at the property till its sold.

Plattsburgh Housing Authority's Housing Choice Voucher Program will be accepting applications for the rental assistance beginning next Wednesday. Applications may be picked up at 39 Oak St., Plattsburgh, Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 12:30 PM and 1:30 to 3 PM. To be eligible, applicants must meet criteria including income limits.

A Highgate man has admitted to robbing a Swanton pharmacy this past spring. 47-year-old Gary Reynolds pleaded guilty this week to robbery and assault charges. Reynolds held up the Swanton Rexall Pharmacy in March, just minutes after he called in a bomb threat to Missisquoi Valley Union High School to divert police.

Organizers of the Vermont Reggae Fest have received a land use permit. The permit was the last piece of the puzzle. The festival is this weekend and vendors along with entertainers have been on stand by for the past 3 weeks. The Vermont Reggae Fest will be held at the site of the Lamoille County Field Day starting this Friday and running thru Sunday.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 11, 2010

Vermont State Police are seeking assistance from the public with the recent rash of daytime burglaries in Addison County. Police are asking people to report any suspicious activity including unfamiliar people knocking on doors and unfamiliar or suspicious acting vehicles. Anyone with information is asked to call the Vermont State Police New Haven Barracks at (802) 388-4919.

Rutland City Police are investigating several burglaries and attempted break-ins on Woodstock and Harrison avenues over the weekend. Three businesses, including Ginger China, the Flower Exchange and a dog obedience school were broken into Saturday night and thieves tried unsuccessfully to pry open the door of another business on the block. Anyone with information about the break-ins is asked to call the Rutland Police Department.

The town of Poultney will hold a public forum on its participation in the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project at 7PM today in the Poultney High School Library. Poultney was one of 12 towns chosen by the Vermont Council on Rural Development to participate in the project that makes technical assistance available for projects that are created locally.

According to Essex County officials the search for a new site for the Veterans' Administration clinic in Elizabethtown may soon be over. The owner of the former State Police barracks in Westport has submitted an application to Westport's Planning Board to renovate the single-story brick building for use as a new site for the VA Clinic. The project will still need the approval of the Westport Planning Board, which will hold public hearing on the issue August 25th.

Second Blessings thrift shop in Crown Point is collecting back-to-school supplies for local students. Items needed include crayons, glue sticks, pocket folders, small drinking cups, tissues, plastic pencil boxes, no. 2 pencils, boxes of assorted color pencils, pencil cap erasers, loose leaf paper, composition notebooks, highlighters, gallon-size zip lock bags and book bags large enough to carry books, sneakers and extra clothes. You can bring your donations to Second Blessings on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays during the next few weeks. Second Blessings thrift shop is located on the corner of Creek Road and Route 9N.

Teachers in Vermont and New York who have lost their jobs because of budget cuts might be going back to work. Yesterday afternoon, President Barack Obama, signed the "Jobs Bill" which will provide millions of dollars to both states to protect teachers and other public workers. But officials are still waiting to see if there are any strings attached.

Senator Patrick Leahy will meet with first responders at the Montpelier Firehouse this morning at 11. Senator Leahy has long supported first responders and has ensured they have the resources they need to do their job safely and effectively. He also worked to pass the Dale Long Emergency Medical Services Providers Act, which qualifies volunteer EMS personnel for benefits that were previously only available to professional emergency workers.

Vermont businesses and organizations are going to use $4.5 million in federal stimulus money to train unemployed and underemployed people for green jobs. The 2-year grant will train people for a number of fields, including weatherization, renewable energy, recycling and sustainable agriculture.

The state of Vermont is studying the impact of a federal ruling that said California's renewable energy program is not permitted under federal law. Vermont Public Service Department Commissioner David O'Brien says a new Vermont law is similar to one in California that requires utilities to pay more for local green energy.

Former Assemblyman Chris Ortloff will spend the next 12 and half years behind bars. Ortloff pleaded guilty last year to federal child sex charges after being caught in a sting operation in October of 2008. He was also order to pay a $50-thousand fine. The 62-year-old represented the North Country in the state Assembly from 1986 to 2006.

New York State Police say they have found human remains in Minerva that may be a woman who was murdered over 30-years ago. Thomas Collard allegedly confessed to police recently that he had killed his wife. Some of the bones are now being DNA tested to make sure they are the remains of Judy Collard. Mr. Collard is awaiting an appearance before an Essex County grand jury.

There's a job opening at Burlington Telecomm. The General Manager, Chris Burns, has taken a job out of state. Burn has been GM since the creation of B-T in 2002. He will be leaving at the end of the month. Dorman and Fawcett, which has served as an advisor to the city on B-T, will takeover as interim management.

Vermont is trying to get a lawsuit over Lake pollution, tossed out of federal court. The Conservation Law Foundation is suing the state, saying its regulations allow too much phosphorous to enter Lake Champlain. Vermont officials are urging the judge to throw out the suit because New York shares responsibility but is not named in the complaint.

Details about a new power contract between Hydro-Quebec, Central Vermont Public Service, and Green Mountain Power will be released during a press conference tomorrow. Officials say Vermonters will be happy with what they hear. Tomorrow's press conference is scheduled for 11 AM at The Essex (formerly known as the Inn at Essex).

The 162nd Annual Essex County Fair opens today on Route 9N in Westport. This year's fair includes the Torres One-Ring Family Circus; agricultural exhibits; rides; daily magician shows with Jeff Boyer, the Mad Scientist; and much much more. The fair starts today and runs thru this Sunday.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 10, 2010

Vermont State Police are seeking assistance from the public with the recent rash of daytime burglaries in Addison County. Police are asking people to report any suspicious activity including unfamiliar people knocking on doors and unfamiliar or suspicious acting vehicles. Anyone with information is asked to call the VSP New Haven Barracks at (802)388-4919.

Voters last Wednesday approved the $5.1 million upgrade of the Vergennes-Panton Water District plant on Adams Ferry Road. That vote cleared the way for the first major upgrade of the Lake Champlain plant since its construction in 1973.

Interim Ferrisburgh zoning administrator Thomas Mansfield is leaving at the end of 2010. Town selectmen have decided to meet on Aug. 17 with Mansfield and the heads of the town’s planning and zoning boards to discuss the position’s job description and hours. Mansfield also currently works part of the time in Charlotte.

Representative Peter Welch was in Addison County last week as part of an “energy tour,” surveying local businesses’ renewable energy initiatives and products. His stops included Nathaniel Electronics in Vergennes, which is working on new solar technology, and the Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport, part of CVPS’s Cow Power Program, which is one of the state’s largest and most successful manure-to-energy power systems. Welch plans to use feedback from those visits to shape future federal legislation aimed at making Vermont a national hub for development of green energy.

Cornwall Historical Society members have until December to present the select board with a plan to renovate the former Lavalley Store on Route 30. The idea is to prepare the building to the point where it could once again accommodate a small business.

Health officials are warning you to keep small children away from pet food. The Centers for Disease Control says dry dog food has been linked to cases of salmonella in 21 states. Experts think the kids probably became infected by touching dirty pet food dishes, and then putting their hands near their mouths.

New York State Police are investigating an apparent drowning at a motel in Plattsburgh. Investigators say an 8-year-old boy drowned in the pool at the Super-8 Motel early last night. The boy was staying at the motel with his family. Police are not yet releasing the boy's name or where he is from.

Ski resorts in Vermont are spending tens of millions of dollars in the off-season on capital improvements. Jay Peak is undertaking a $140 million expansion project. Mount Snow is planning to spend $25 million. Other resorts are investing in hotels, snowmaking systems, and other projects.

The Vermont Labor Relations Board has ruled in favor of a state employee who was told he had to use his 15 days of military leave up front instead of spread through the year. The ruling came in a grievance filed by state Department of Corrections worker Shawn Stocker.

Police in Essex Junction are investigating a robbery at a convenience store. According to reports a man entered the Maplefields on Route 15 just after 4 AM yesterday morning demanded the money in the cash register. The suspect made off with an undisclosed amount of money. If you have any information, please call the Essex Junction Police Department.

FairPoint Communications isn't giving up just yet on state regulators. The panel earlier this year turned down the company's plan to emerge from bankruptcy. While FairPoint had been considering trying to get a federal bankruptcy court to overturn the decision, the company has decided to go back to the Vermont Board first.

Work has resumed on a number of construction projects across New York. Back in May, when there was no budget in sight, funding for state construction projects was halted. Among those projects were the Tom Miller Road Bridge in Plattsburgh and roadwork on Route 9N in Ausable Forks.

New York State Police have arrested 3 teenagers for allegedly setting off "works bombs" in Keeseville over the weekend. Police say 17-year-old Jerald Goucher and two 15-year-old's threw a homemade bomb into a yard close to where people were standing. Authorities said nobody was injured.

A woman was rescued from a mountain in Stowe. Rescue crews were called a little after 2 yesterday afternoon, to Pinnacle Mountain in Stowe for a stranded hiker. The woman was rescued after 5 hours. Crews say she injured her leg when she slipped on the trail on her way down from the top of the mountain.

The Hague Fish & Game Club and Justy Joe Charters will be conducting a fishing clinic for kids and their parents at The Hague Fish & Game Club on Aug. 18 from 6-8 PM. At the clinic, kids will learn such skills as casting, knot tying, fish identification, rigging and game laws. The clinic is free and the first 18 kids to arrive will receive a free rod and reel. There will also be free hot dogs and refreshments available for all in attendance.

Kids in Burlington soon won't have to go far to play in the great outdoors. Crews yesterday started working on the City Park’s first "natural playground" on St. Paul Street. In a "natural playground" there are no slides or swings. Instead kids will be challenged to play on natural items like rocks and logs. The park is funded through Penny for Parks and should open in a couple weeks.

Monday, August 9, 2010

WVTK Local & State News August 9, 2010

A West Rutland man died Friday when the car he was driving rear-ended a tractor-trailer. It happened on Friday Afternoon along Route 7 at the intersection with Cady Road in Middlebury. Police said 57-year-old Edmund Young Jr. was headed southbound on Route 7 when he collided with a tractor-trailer, which had stopped to make a left turn.

Middlebury College has received a $1.7-Million grant to purchase a new research boat. The doubled-hulled catamaran will help students to conduct science research on Lake Champlain. It will replace a 25-year-old lobster boat currently used by the school. The new vessel is expected to launch in 2012.

Rutland’s Routes 4 & 7 Committee will meet this week to discuss how the city would progress if the project receives its “categorical exclusion,” essentially the green light to move forward with construction. According to the municipal project manager it appears likely the project is about to receive that go ahead, as well as its environmental permits. The local share of the project that needs to be raised is expected to be between $250,000 and $350,000 and would likely be generated by a city ballot question.

In the wake of two recent drownings, officials are reminding residents about the inherent dangers of Adirondack waters. Last month, a 12-year-old boy from Florida drowned in the Ausable River in Keene and last weekend, another man died after jumping from a 60-foot cliff at Rock Pond in Ticonderoga.

Taxes in New York for anyone buying shoes and clothing will be going up. Governor Patterson issued a temporary reinstatement of a 4-percent state sales tax on clothing and shoe purchases of $110 or less. The clothing tax hike will take effect on October 1st and stay in place through March 31 of next year.

Bethany Bosch of West Rutland will be participating in an 8-mile Lake Swim on Lake Champlain that raises funds for the Greater Burlington YMCA’s aquatic programs. 

The 14th annual Lake Swim happens at 9 a.m. Saturday, beginning from the YMCA Camp Abnaki in North Hero. Anyone who would like to make a donation to Bosch’s fundraising effort can mail it to her at P.O. Box 2, West Rutland, VT 05777.

The annual Travis Roy Wiffle Ball Tournament was a huge success this year, bringing in more than $300-thousand this year. Hundreds came from all around this weekend to play in the charity wiffle ball tournament. The money raised this year brings the grand total raised over the past 9 years to over $1-million for spinal cord injury research and for those living with spinal cord injuries.

Starting today, the Vermont Agency Of Transportation will begin installing signs around the state reminding drivers to move over and change lanes if they see an emergency vehicle. According to the group Move Over America, in the last 10 years, 167 police officers have been killed on the side of the road by on-coming traffic.

The co-owner of a now-closed Grand Isle slaughterhouse wanted on animal cruelty charges has been arrested in New York. The attorney general's office says 51-year-old Frank Perretta of Grand Isle was arraigned Friday in St. Lawrence County as a fugitive from justice and released on $2,000 bail.

North Country Community College will hold new student registration session on the Saranac Lake, Ticonderoga and Malone campuses on Aug. 27. Registration begins at 9 a.m. This is the final open registration prior to the Aug. 31 start of the fall 2010 semester. For more information contact North Country Community College enrollment management at 891-2915 ext. 686 or admissions@nccc.edu.

All area youth are invited to two free movie nights on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 11 and 12, at 9 p.m. The Adirondack Regional Outreach Work in cooperation with local churches and community groups will host the event at the Schroon Lake Boathouse on Dock Street. Parents and youth leaders are also welcome to attend. The featured movie is "To Save A Life," a PG-13 indie-movie, about the real-life challenges facing the teens of today and their choices.

A couple from Florida walked away from a plane crash Saturday afternoon. Police say Everett Glines and his wife were experiencing engine trouble when their single engine plane crashed into the runway at the Morrisonville-Stowe Airport, eventually sliding off the runway and flipping onto its roof. Both were able to climb out of the plane with no problems.

The Plattsburgh City Council has awarded a contract to begin construction on the new Saranac Trail. The project will bring a paved trail from the footbridge behind Plattsburgh High School to the now-closed Saranac Street Bridge. It will feature informational markers identifying plants, animals and historical locations while also providing a well-lit path for outdoor adventurers.

The home which once belonged to President Calvin Coolidge has a new addition. The expansion at the Coolidge homestead in Plymouth Notch involves a museum, classroom space and visitor's center. Elected as vice president in 1920, Coolidge was sworn in as the nation's 30th president in 1923 after the sudden death of President Warren Harding in 1923.

The nation's oldest long distance hiking trail is celebrating a milestone. The Long Trail, which runs 273 miles from the Massachusetts border to the Canadian border, turns 100 years old this year. The trail was built in 1910 by the Green Mountain Club. Since it's construction, the Long Trail has inspiring even longer trails such as the Appalachian trial, and the Continental Divide trail.

Good news sports fans, Vermont's only professional basketball team is returning for another season. The new leaders of the Frost Heaves announced the team is returning for its 5th season in Barre. There was doubt the team would be back. But a group of fans took over the team, raised money and received the okay on Friday from the league to continue.