Thursday, September 30, 2010


Central Vermont Public Service and Green Mountain Power are advising customers in the southern half of Vermont of the potential for significant wind and heavy rain damage that could cause extensive damage and power outages this evening and into Friday. Customers across the state could see scattered power outages this afternoon and into Friday.

Utility forecasts include the threat of high wind gusts of more than 50 mph, combined with several inches of rain, which could cause significant power outages in the southern half of Vermont and eastern slopes of the Green Mountains.

Utility crews are on standby and are contacting outside contract crews to ensure a strong response if the wind and rain bring significant problems. Government officials are also coordinating efforts to assure the necessary resources are available.

CVPS and GMP urged customers to be sure to have flashlights, batteries, food and water available in case they lose electrical service, and suggested that friends, family and neighbors check on elderly Vermonters who may need help. Candles are not recommended as light sources during a power outage due to fire risk.

The utilities offered the following advice:
Before outages occur, be sure you have a phone that is hard-wired and does not rely on electricity.

Fill a bathtub with water before you lose service so the water can be used to flush toilets when the power is out. PREVENT UNSUPERVISED BATHROOM ACCESS TO CHILDREN.

Treat any downed line as if it is live. Report the line to your local utility and fire department, stay at least 50 feet away from the line, and keep children and pets away as well.

If using a generator, read and follow the owner’s manual before starting the generator. Never operate a generator inside any structure or near a structure. Use a transfer switch to ensure electricity is not accidentally fed onto a line where line crews must work.

Keep freezers and refrigerators closed as much as possible to prevent food spoilage.

If power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances except one light so you’ll know when service returns. Then, turn equipment back on slowly.

Never use grills inside for warmth, as the fumes can be poisonous.

WVTK Local & State News September 30, 2010

A Marine who died last week in Afghanistan is back home in the Green Mountain State. Hundreds of people stepped out of work and school to line the streets as Lance Corporal Anthony Rosa e was moved through Swanton. His funeral is going to be held this Saturday at 11AM.

A police chase and crash ended with four people taken to the hospital, as well as one arrest. Officers in Burlington say they spotted a car yesterday driven by Jamal Walker who is wanted on several felony drug charges. It ended when he crashed into two other vehicles at Maple and St. Paul Streets and ran off. He was caught a few blocks later. Walker is charged not only on the original warrants, but also some new ones including aggravated assault.

A big grant will help Vermont make primary health care a top priority. The $131,786 federal grant is going to the University of Vermont. With it, the school will plan ways to expand the state's primary health care work force and provide more community-based prevention programs. The grant is part of $320 million awarded nationwide under the Affordable Care Act.

A pair of Crown Point educators is getting set to run for their students. Principal Elaine Dixon and teacher Crystal Farrell of Crown Point Central School will compete in the Marine Corps Marathon and 10K road races in Washington, D.C., October 31st. They will be part of Team CFES, raising money for the “College For Every Student” program at their school. Dixon will run the 26.2-mile marathon, while Farrell will run the 6.2-mile 10K race.

In a recent citizen's forum Crown Point residents discussed if they should scrap the present elected board of assessors in favor of a sole appointed one. About 100 people turned out to question a panel of three assessment experts. The Crown Point town board has debated the issue although no decisions have been made. Much of the meeting was dominated by questions relating to assessment practices and not relevant to the question of appointed vs. elected assessors.

A $50 million stimulus grant is headed to Vermont to help pay for upgrades to the rail line used by the Amtrak Vermonter passenger train. The funding will help improve track, roadbed and bridges along 190 miles of rail lines between St. Albans and Springfield, Mass. The upgrades are expected to reduce trip times and improve reliability.

New York is getting $6.3 million in federal stimulus money to improve the state's broadband service. The state has created an online map to show where broadband is available and to pinpoint areas where there are gaps in service. Vermont will get a total of $172 million to expand broadband services.

Vermont State Police say 2 of their officers acted improperly in voiding a speeding ticket issued to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Shumlin. Shumlin was cited for going 81 miles per hour in a 65-mph zone on Interstate 91. But the June 17 citation was voided after an unidentified trooper contacted him, offering to do so if Shumlin wished. But it was subsequently reinstated, and Shumlin says he paid a $152 fine after pleading guilty.

Two Vermont projects will share $375,000 in federal funding to create jobs and economic opportunities in rural parts of northern Vermont. The Northern Vermont Fiber Optic Connection project will receive $234,000 to expand a fiber optic connection and the Northern Forest Canoe Trail based in Waitsfield will get $141,150 for signs, online planning and access infrastructure for the 740 inland paddling trails across New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Quebec.

A knife-wielding man who was shot by police is headed for a psychiatric evaluation. A judge Wednesday ordered 19-year-old Brendan Houston, of Montpelier, sent to the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury for an evaluation after his arraignment. He allegedly threatened a police officer with a knife before he was shot in the hand.

The state of Vermont says only half of residents eligible for a phone subsidy are taking advantage of the program. The Department of Public Service says the state wants to get the word out about the Lifeline program, designed to ensure low income residents are able to contact emergency and other medical services.

The towns of Ticonderoga and Crown Point have been asked to help fight milfoil in Eagle Lake. The Eagle Lake Property Owners, Inc. has approached each town board asking them to become "lead agents" in the application of a herbicide in the lake. Eagle Lake is located partially in the town of Ticonderoga and partially in the town of Crown Point. The herbicide application will be funded through the Crown Point Invasive Species Grant. There is to be no cost to local taxpayers. The Ticonderoga and Crown Point town boards are reviewing the request to serve as "lead agents." No decisions have been made.

Looking for a good weekend getaway? Well, look no further than right here in Vermont. Boston Magazine has compiled a list of the 52 best weekend getaways in the region for its October issue. Nine Vermont towns are on the list. They're Brattleboro, Brandon, Craftsbury Common, Jay, Manchester, South Burlington, Stowe, Plymouth, and Warren. Lake Champlain also made the list.

Make-A-Wish Idol will celebrate its fifth anniversary as it returns to Murphy's Tavern in two weeks. The event, which raises money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast New York, has raised thousands of dollars to help grant wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. For more information about Make-A-Wish Idol, contact Rosio at 420-5372 or

Volunteers are needed to erect a new playground at Ticonderoga Elementary School. The school Parent-Teacher Organization is looking for 100 people to assist in the project Saturday, Oct. 23. Staff from Parkitect, the company providing the playground equipment, will coordinate the project. Interested people are asked to Email Michele Eicher at

Two Schroon Lake Northway rest stops will close on Dec. 1 because state budget cuts. The rest stops accessible to northbound travelers between exits 27 and 28, and a rest stop for southbound travelers between exits 31 and 32 are affected. The southbound rest stop near Schroon Lake was closed on June 4 due to a failed septic tank. It remains closed.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 29, 2010

Middlebury's new downtown roundabout, also known as a traffic rotary, has been creating some confusion among drivers uncertain regarding which driver gets the right-of-way, who yields and who stops? Roundabouts are the popular choice for New England towns. According to the New England Traffic Council, at least 12 new roundabouts have been built in two states alone recently. All roundabouts are a yield only: If there is a car in the roundabout already you must yield. The vehicle in the roundabout has the right of way.

Several prominent Vermont environmentalists, including Middlebury College's Bill McKibben, were at the forefront of a controversial U.S. 2007 energy independent/climate change bill. The bill championed the use of compact fluorescent lights over incandescent bulbs. But now another U.S. House bill may repeal the "ban" on the Edison light bulb and return exported jobs to the U.S.

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is advising people not to use water from the Lewis Creek and parts of Lake Champlain while the area is being treated with chemicals that kill sea lamprey. A water-use advisory went into effect at 6 a.m. yesterday for the Lewis Creek from Scott Pond in Charlotte downstream to where it empties into Lake Champlain in Ferrisburgh. An advisory for the surrounding areas of the lake went into effect at 6 p.m. The advisories are expected to last three to six days.

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is formally withdrawing as a tenant from the Moran Redevelopment Project. The museum was selected by the City of Burlington in the spring to occupy 7,000 square feet of the former generating plant on the Burlington waterfront with the installation of a museum using Lake Champlain's collection of historic shipwrecks as its theme.

Rutland police say they arrested a Brooklyn, N.Y., man who came to Vermont to sell almost 200 bags of crack in the city. Dewayne L. Griffin pleaded innocent in Rutland District Court yesterday to a felony charge of cocaine possession and a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession. Prosecutors say he has a lengthy criminal record in New York. Griffin was held on $150,000 bail.

A six-county effort to extend broadband into rural towns in the Adirondacks and elsewhere in northern New York was dealt a substantial setback this week, as federal officials announced the pending $39 million grant application through CBN Connect was not approved. The broadband network was to feature fiber-optic hubs in Glens Falls, Chestertown and Ticonderoga. The plans called for constructing a 425-mile loop through Essex, Franklin and Clinton counties, serving 22 communities. CBN Connect's board of directors will be discussing the prospects of broadband in the North Country in light of the grant denial.

Under fire from maple syrup country, Log Cabin All Natural Syrup's makers say they're taking caramel coloring out of it. Pinnacle Foods said Tuesday it's changing the ingredients to address concerns raised by maple syrup makers in Vermont and New Hampshire. Still, Peter Welch says the product's labeling doesn't clearly show it's not all-natural maple syrup, like the stuff produced in Vermont, which has no artificial ingredients.

The Democratic candidate for governor, Peter Shumlin, has introduced his plan for better health care for Vermonters. He says three main things need to happen: control spending, eliminate for profit insurance companies and move responsibility away from businesses that are forced to cover employees. Shumlin says keeping costs down for employers can also help jump-start the economy.

A rebate program aimed at helping to prevent tractor rollover deaths is expanding to Vermont and two other Eastern states where hilly terrain can be deadly to farmers. The program, which is already under way in New York, reimburses farmers 70% of the cost of buying a roll bar and seat belt kit, saving them up to $765.

Construction is under way on a project to double the size of the Community Health Center of Burlington, Vt. The health center serves 13,000 people and officials hope to expand that number by 25% once the project is complete. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders helped get nearly $11 million to pay for the project.

The remains of a U.S. Marine from Swanton killed in Afghanistan are due back in Vermont. The body of 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Anthony Rosa is scheduled to arrive at the Burlington International Airport at noon today. The Vermont National Guard is helping to coordinate a procession from the airport to Swanton. Vermonters are encouraged to line the route carrying U.S. flags.

Vermont State Police say a man has been charged after being shot in the hand as he threatened a Brattleboro police officer. Nineteen-year-old Brendan Houston, of Montpelier, allegedly came at Brattleboro Police Officer Amy Hamilton with a knife Tuesday outside the Brattleboro municipal building, raising it over his head and ignoring commands to drop it.

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy has introduced legislation that would allow dairy farmers to use a visa program to hire seasonal foreign workers. The dairy industry currently is excluded from hiring seasonal foreign workers through the H-2A program due to the year-round nature of dairy farming. The legislation will allow dairy workers and sheep and goat herders to remain in the U.S. for three years. After the first 3-year period, a worker may apply to become a U.S. resident.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 28, 2010

Some very touching messages are on more than 100 colorful T-shirts form Addison County’s version of the “Clothesline Project,” which is part of a national effort to raise awareness about domestic violence. Community members who have been the victims of or witnesses to domestic violence designed all of the T-shirts. They will be on display throughout the month of October in the lobby of the Counseling Service of Addison County’s office building. October is being recognized nationally as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”

Teachers in the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union are once again working under a contract. The board of directors ratified a new two-year agreement last week. The new contract holds the base teacher salary steady throughout the union and stipulates no change in the percentage of health care coverage teacher’s pay. However it does uphold already budgeted stepped increases in salary that will provide scheduled raises to teachers with higher education levels or longer tenures.

Members of the New Haven Development Review Board have signed off on Mike McGrath’s application to place a lot selling up to 100 used cars on his Route 7 property. The DRB tentatively approved the car lot last week, and signed off on the official permit Monday after presenting McGrath with a list of conditions.

Plans for revamping the Lincoln Community School facility have been put on hold. The Vermont education commissioner rejected the school board’s $3 million-$4 million bond proposal early last week. The school board and Building Committee met on Wednesday to discuss possible next steps for the school.

The town of New Haven has hired an assistant zoning administrator to act as a liaison between the regional zoning administrator and the New Haven Development Review Board. Jill Devoe was hired by the New Haven selectboard in July to perform clerical duties for the DRB and also act as a go-between for both the DRB and the Zoning Administrator. She worked for four years as an auditor before resigning to work two days a week as an assistant town clerk.

The state has approved Porter Hospital’s request for a 6.5 percent rate for the fiscal year that begins this Friday. The 6.5 percent rate increase exceeded regulators’ 5.9 percent cap on Vermont hospital rate increases however Porter got the green light because its increase would have landed at just 5 percent had it not budgeted for installation of a digital record-keeping system being mandated by the state.

The Middlebury Energy Committee is studying ways to harness renewable power. They are looking at public waste and the amount of sun shining on several municipal buildings in an effort to reduce the town’s annual $550,000 electricity bill.

Vergennes officials’ first summer of overseeing the city’s Sam Fishman Pool went well. The season ended with a surplus of roughly $10,000. The city accepted ownership of the pool this spring from the Vergennes ID school board. Meanwhile City aldermen approved a proposal by City Manager Mel Hawley to raise the city’s zoning fees for the first time since January 2001. Hawley said the Vergennes Development Review Board had worked with him on coming up with the new fee schedule.

In coming weeks, the Rutland School Board will be given a preview of what the district’s budget for 2012 will look like. It’s expected to be a spending plan 4.4 percent less than the current $45 million budget. 

The state Department of Education recommended school budgets statewide be reduced by a total of $23 million per the Challenges for Change initiative. The goal is to reduce the amount of money schools ask for from the state Education Fund. The school district collected about $26 million from the fund to support its budget this year while city taxpayers paid roughly $12 million into the fund to support education statewide.

Vermont State Police say a kitchen worker has been charged with aggravated assault after he allegedly attacked a co-worker with two butcher knives. The Sept. 20 fight occurred at the Red Mill Restaurant, which is located at the Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes. Forty-8-year-old Joseph Forziati, of New Haven, Vt., allegedly attacked a co-worker with whom he had a history of disagreements after calling the man into the kitchen.

Proctor Gas owner James Taranovich died yesterday following a motorcycle crash Sunday on Route 153 in Rupert. While police tried to piece together what caused the crash, those who knew and worked with the 59-year-old Proctor businessman were reeling from the loss. The accident happened on Sunday and he passed away in the hospital yesterday. Speed did not appear to be a factor in the accident. In addition to running a business in town for more than 40 years, Taranovich also donated money to schools, churches and other local causes.

The state released statistics from last year when it comes to crime in Vermont, and the stats reflected good and bad news. The good news was overall crime in Vermont was down one-point-five percent. The bad news, however, was violent crimes were up with robberies up by more than 25-percent and drug crimes up more than 22-percent.

Someone shot a young bald eagle, and state wildlife authorities want to know who did it. The young bird survived, and is being treated at a rehab facility in Quechee for injuries and a fractured wing. State Fish and Wildlife officers say the eagle was shot on or about September 5th, in the area between East Hill Road and Routhier Road off of Route 100 in Troy. A 25-hundred dollar reward is being offered for information under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Federal drug enforcement officials say northern New Englanders brought nearly six tons of unused and out-of-date prescription drugs to collection sites to be destroyed. In Vermont 1,127 pounds for a total of 5.7 tons were collected as part of a national effort.

Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's is dropping the phrase "all natural" from all labels after a request from a health advocacy group. The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the company confirmed the move yesterday. The CSPI told the company last month it should not use "all natural" if products contain alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, hydrogenated oil or other ingredients that are not natural.

A labor union that represents workers at Vermont Yankee says the plant is safe and that state officials and others weighing its future should stick to the facts. Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 300, which represents about 160 workers at the nuclear power plant in Vernon, called a Statehouse news conference Monday to say they're tired of hearing people talk about Vermont Yankee's problems.

Monday, September 27, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 27, 2010

Police have released more information about a fatal boating accident Thursday on Lake Champlain. It happened around 3 p.m. near Monitor Bay off Crown Point. Police say William Wright of Whiting, Vt., and William Brown of Cuttingsville, Vt., were together in Wright's fishing boat when he lost control and both men were thrown from the craft. Police say the boat continued at full throttle in tight circles striking both men. Brown was pronounced dead at the scene. Wright was hospitalized in stable condition.

The founding director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress will give a talk at 7 PM on Wednesday, October 6th, at the Ilsley Public Library. John Cole’s talk, titled “The Library of Congress: The Ups and Downs of Jefferson’s Legacy,” is part of the First Wednesdays lecture series run by the Vermont Humanities Council. Cole will discuss how Jefferson believed a national library was a necessity for democracy and how the institution he created became one of the most comprehensive research libraries in the world.

Fewer home heating oil dealers in the state are offering pre-buy and price protection plans this season. A PSD survey of approximately 80 fuel oil dealers found that 56 percent offer a pre-buy program. The average September price of pre-buy programs among the dealers surveyed was $2.83 a gallon. The September cash price for heating oil was $2.70 a gallon. The PSD report also found prices for kerosene, propane, diesel and regular gasoline were higher.

Sixty teachers at Mill River Union High School won’t get pay raises next school year. For the 2011-12 school year, union and Mill River School Board negotiators agreed that there would be no salary and no step increases, keeping teachers at the same annual salary and benefit levels as they are being paid in the current school year.

A young man who graduated high school two years ago in Swanton was killed in Afghanistan. The hometown of Marine Corporal Anthony Rosa is reeling after learning the news over the weekend. Details about how he died have not yet been released, only the confirmation of his death by the Department of Defense. There is no word yet on any services or burial.

While its still about six weeks until the voters have the final say as to who the next governor of Vermont will be, Republican candidate Brian Dubie enjoyed one victory over his Democratic rival Peter Shumlin this weekend. It was the first-ever Vermont Governor Grocery Bag-off, and Dubie beat Shumlin by four seconds. The Vermont Grocers' Association hosted the event at the Vermont Food Industry Expo with both candidates having to fill two bags the fastest and best way possible.

Governor David Paterson says that he wants the state to lay off as many as 2,000 employees by the end of the year. The state budget calls for saving $250 million with work force reductions this fiscal year. The Paterson Administration sent a memo saying state commissioners have the "discretion" to use layoffs to achieve the reductions.

A 1,200-member labor union that represents workers at Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is taking its case to the Statehouse. Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 300 have called a news conference today at which they'll call on political leaders and environmental advocates to stick to the facts in debating the future of the plan. The group will make its presentation at 1 p.m. Monday in the Statehouse.

A magnitude 3.1 earthquake sent tremors across much of New Hampshire and parts of Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts over the weekend. The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake occurred at 11:28 p.m. Saturday, but there were no reports of injuries or damages.

It has raised more than $3.5 million and helped conserve almost 8,500 acres of wildlife habit, but the state of Vermont is making a change to its duck stamp program. This will be the last year that hunters, conservationists and stamp collectors will be able to get a duck stamp with an image of waterfowl on it. Instead, beginning in 2011, the stamp will be in the form of a validation sticker like the ones used for hunting and fishing licenses.

Vermont fish and wildlife officials have announced the winners of permits for the state's 9-day muzzleloader season for antlerless deer. The names are posted on a state website. About 18,000 people got the permits, and 6,000 are still available for the Dec. 4 to Dec. 12 season.

An armed robber is on the run in Rutland County. State Police say a young male held up the Smartshop Mobil on Main Street in Wallingford Friday night around 9 p.m. He made off with an undisclosed amount of cash. Police believe the robber may have been loitering outside of the station prior to the robbery.

State Police are trying to find out who is shooting cows from the roadway. Three cows are dead from two such incidents. One was shortly after midnight on Saturday morning, when State Police say a Guernsey cow in Tunbridge was shot four times in its side. About ten miles away and two and a half hours later, two more were shot in a pasture in Randolph Center. Authorities are examining shell casings and bullets extracted from the cows.

Mocked for years on "Saturday Night Live," the governor of New York appeared on the show to dish back. Gov. David Paterson joked that being governor is a lot like "Saturday Night Live." He said "there are a lot of characters, it's funny for 10 minutes and then you just want it to be over."

A program run by the Vermont Foodbank called "Pick For Your Neighbor” is in its second year. The program collects extra apples at 17 orchards throughout the state and then delivers them to more than 280 local food shelves and centers. Only half way through the apple season, the Vermont Foodbank says it's already collected 4,000 pounds of apples. Double what they had all of last year.

Friday, September 24, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 24, 2010

A boating accident on Lake Champlain killed a Vermont man and left another Vermont man seriously injured. It happened after 3 PM yesterday, just north of Monitor Bay in Crown Point, NY. According to Essex County Emergency Services, the driver lost control of the boat. Emergency workers are not releasing the names of those involved at this time. The director says it appears both men were somehow run over by the boat.

The sluggish economy and a slow job market have forced many Addison County residents to increasingly rely on local food shelves and other social services to make ends meet. Demand remained strong this year even during the summer months which is usually when requests for assistance is low. It also appears as though state and federal fuel aid benefits will be less than last year as we head into the heating season.

The Middlebury Development Review Board has denied the Fenn family’s proposal for a 16-acre gravel pit. It was to be on a portion of a 70-acre parcel off Route 116 just north of its intersection with Quarry Road.

UD-3 school officials will explore a 2011-2012 spending plan that is 2 percent less than the current year’s budget. The panel and UD-3 administrators have been directed to develop a budget reflecting a 3.5-percent decrease compared to current spending for Middlebury Union Middle School and High School. That would’ve translated into a cut of just over $558,000.

The Vergennes-Panton Water District Board again this week declined to accept a Vergennes residents’ petition calling for a second vote on the board’s $5.1 million plan for a major upgrade to its lakefront water plant. On August 4, Vergennes and Panton residents voted, 104-49 to approve a bond that would overhaul the district’s 37-year-old plant on Lake Champlain.

The town of Monkton will be putting on its Monkton Creates community celebration from October 8th – 16th. Events ranging from a pie contest to artist receptions will be taking place at various locations around town throughout the week. While many of the events are free and open to the public, proceeds from the various potluck dinners, dances and silent auctions that do charge a fee will go toward funding the restoration of the East Monkton Church, the Boro Schoolhouse and the Russell Memorial Library.

It's been said the best way to help the economy is to shop locally. This idea has sparked a campaign known as $25 on the 25th in New York. The main goal of the campaign is to get people to spend at least $25 in a locally shop or restaurant this Saturday, Sept. 25. The campaign originally began with the New York Press Association in an effort to create some excitement in downtowns across the state.

Green Mountain College has added car rentals to its list of services. The college announced yesterday it has created a partnership with Zipcar, a Massachusetts-based company that rents cars by the hour or the day. The company has arrangements with more than 200 colleges and universities around the country, including Middlebury College and Vermont Law School.

The Crown Point town board has adopted a zero tolerance policy for illegal drug use. The board has voted to randomly test town employees who drive town vehicles and those who have "sensitive" jobs. Crown Point highway workers have been drug tested in the past as part of a state Department of Transportation protocol. The town board has decided to extend that policy to any town employee who drives a town vehicle and others.

Assessments are a hot topic for many, but few people in the town of Moriah seem willing to do anything about them. The town has three vacancies on its board of assessment review. The town has advertised the vacancies three weeks and no one has submitted an application to serve. If Moriah cannot fill the vacancies on its board of assessment review local appeals will be heard by the Essex County Real Property tax Office.

After standing guard throughout Ticonderoga most of the summer, the community's "soldiers" have a final duty. The 30 six-foot tall wooden soldiers will be auctioned Thursday, September 30th. They were part of a street art project sponsored by the Ticonderoga Montcalm Street Partnership. The event benefits the efforts to revitalize downtown Ti and will be held 5:30-8:30 PM at Adam's Rib restaurant.

No criminal charges will be filed against Williston police chief Roy Nelson. That's the decision of Chittenden County Prosecutor T.J. Donovan. Vermont State Police say he appeared intoxicated while at an incident earlier this month, and the chief, who was on duty at the time, admitted to State Police he had been drinking. However, an updated blood alcohol test puts his level below the legal limit.

A nationwide recall of Similac brand powder infant formula includes formula in Vermont. The problem is insect larvae and parts were found in the product. It's one of the products currently provided to 17-hundred Vermont families enrolled in the Nutritional Program for Women, Infants and Children. The Vermont Health Department says a replacement formula is expected to arrive today and the department is urging those with the Similac to keep it to exchange for the replacement formula.

The Vermont Health Department has given the state's nuclear plant a clean bill of health for 2009. The Department has found that no significant adverse health effects from radiological exposures resulted from the plant's operations last year. Even with the leak of radioactive tritium at the plant the state says Vermont Yankee stayed within compliance limits for radioactive releases.

A Vermont consumer group says it has a new program that will make solar installations more affordable for homeowners by offering incentives. Working in conjunction with solar power companies, Vermont Public Interest Research Group announced plans for "solar communities" in Williston, St. George, Waterbury, Duxbury and Moretown that will allow providers to offer discounts by installing solar panels at homeowners and businesses clustered close to one another.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 23, 2010

The man suing Rutland City and some of its police force for the use of a crowd control device on him in January has changed his plea. Jamek Hart was charged with disorderly conduct during the early morning hours of Jan. 1 after city police arrested him outside a downtown bar. Hart initially pleaded innocent to the misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge but changed his plea to no contest last week and accepted a $10 fine and $143 in court surcharges.

Sixth grade science teacher Colleen Pandolph of Peru has been selected as a finalist from New York State for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She was nominated by former Beekmantown Middle School principal Sue Coonrod and was selected by a state selection committee of her peers. A national selection committee in Washington, D.C. will review her nomination and that committee will determine the winner of the Presidential Award this winter.

Rutland city took the first official step toward taking control of the downtown-parking garage yesterday. 

The Community and Economic Development Committee voted to continue conversations with the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services on the subject. Commissioner Gerry Myers recently said he was considering closing the deck from 6 PM to 6 AM during the week and all through the weekend if he could not reach an agreement with the city to take over management of the deck, which is operating at a loss and suffering from frequent vandalism.

Investigators are still trying to figure out what sparked a fire that destroyed a historic landmark. It broke out in Peru, NY, around 1:30 PM Wednesday. Several departments tried to save the barn, but firefighters say the heat was just too intense. The owner of the property says the barn was built in 1800 as a carriage house to accompany the neighboring tavern.

The president of the Vermont Troopers Association held a news conference with Peter Shumlin in front of the Statehouse yesterday to say the union was endorsing him. Shumlin is a Democrat, and in the last four elections for governor, the union had endorsed Republicans.

Police say a man wanted in connection with a stolen drawing believed to be the work of Vincent van Gogh has been arrested in Vermont. Authorities say 45-year-old Edward Laird, of Abilene, Tex., is wanted in New Mexico for selling the alleged van Gogh sketch. He was arrested in Vermont on Aug. 20 for occupying an abandoned camp, burglary and possession of stolen property.

A candlelight vigil has been scheduled and the reward money boosted in the case of a missing Vermont grandmother police believe was abducted from her home. 78-year-old Pat O'Hagan, of Sheffield, was reported missing Sept. 11. The Vermont State Police are offering $5,000 for information leading to the prosecution of the person or people responsible, the FBI is offering $10,000 and O'Hagan's family is now offering up to $5,000. The vigil will be held at 6 PM today at Town Hall in Sheffield. The family has established a web site -

Forty new volunteers have started work in Vermont nonprofits, public agencies and faith-based groups as part of the AmeriCorps and VISTA programs. They were selected Tuesday from more than 300 applicants to the yearlong program. They will work at 27 sites in Vermont.

When Vermonters go to the polls in November to pick a new governor, they'll also decide whether the state should allow 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections. A proposed constitutional amendment would allow them to do so if they'll turn 18 by the date of the general election. Supporters say the idea is to get young people voting sooner. But town clerks are opposed to the ballot item.

Health officials say most children in Vermont are getting vaccinated but not all are getting the doses they need. The Vermont Department of Health says overall vaccination rates for children age 19 months to 35 months remain high. But Health Commissioner Wendy Davis said Tuesday that the rates of children getting the recommended and available doses of vaccines against 14 life-threatening diseases is now below the national average and the lowest in New England.

New England Common Assessment Program-- or NECAP-- science tests are administered to 4th, 8th, and 11th-graders in Vermont. Fourth-graders did the best on the assessment, with 54 percent scoring proficient or higher. That's up 2 percent over last year. Eighth-graders showed the most improvement, but still only 29 percent scored proficient or higher. That's a five-point increase from 2009. Only 28 percent of 11th-graders achieved a proficient or higher score this year-- up one point from last year.

Many New York state parks may have opened late this year but that didn't stop people from visiting. Attendance is up 3.5 percent from last year. State officials say more than 42 million people packed the parks through the end of August, 1.4 million more than last year. Meanwhile overall visits to Vermont's state parks are up nearly 20 percent over last year.

The United Way of the Adirondack Region Inc. has officially begun its 2010-11 fundraising campaign. The nonprofit organization, which helps partnering agencies in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties announced at its annual campaign kick-off breakfast it aims to raise $750,000. For more information, contact the local United Way office at 563-0028 or visit

The Hinesburg South County Chorus and the Hinesburg Community Band seek new members for the fall rehearsal season. No auditions are required just bring a little talent and lots of enthusiasm for music. Chorus rehearsals are held on Monday from 7-8:30 p.m. at CVU High School in Hinesburg, Room 160. You can participate on a concert-by-concert basis, or for both semesters. For more information about these groups, call Rufus Patrick at 482-3010, email, or go to the Hinesburg Artist Series website:

The 21st Poultney Chili Cook-off sponsored by the Rotary Club takes place this weekend. The event attracts nearly 1,000 people, who for $8 can taste the creations of about 20 local cooks. The Chili Cook-off takes place in downtown Poultney from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM and coincides with Green Mountain College’s Family and Friends Weekend, and the Farmers Market Food and Craft Fair.

The Eastern States Exposition, also known as the Big E is underway in Springfield, Massachusetts and already Vermont has won some major competitions. For the first time, the agricultural exposition is including a wine and cheese competition, with Vermont really cleaning up. Putney Mountain won best fruit wine while Shelburne Vineyards was the only winery to win a double gold medal. Best cheese in the show honors went to Cobb Hill Cheese. The Big E runs until October 3rd, with Saturday being declared Vermont Day.

The Stafford Technical Center school store reopened its doors as a certified green store yesterday. The student-operated store has been working for two years to achieve this certification from the Vermont Business and Environmental Partnership. The store has undergone changes to its space, equipment, and inventory to earn this. The Stafford store is the first student-run operation in the state to achieve this certification.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 22, 2010

The 2011 Vermont Teacher of the Year is at Vergennes Middle School. Language Arts and Social Studies teacher Jennifer Lawson is the winner of the state title, which she hopes to use for a bigger purpose. Lawson says it means opportunity to become a student again, and to learn from others who were named Teacher of the Year. She says it's an opportunity for her to become more aware and active in state and national initiatives regarding education. Lawson, who has been teaching for 12 years, is now a candidate for National Teacher of the Year, and will travel to the White House for a reception next spring.

A Vermont Railway cargo train derailed near South Main Street and Park Street in Rutland yesterday afternoon. Traffic was backed up from about 5:45 to 6:15 PM as rail workers attempted to get the derailed train off of South Main Street, where it came to a halt after three cars nearly tipped over on the tracks behind Creed Ice Co. and KFC. No one was injured and Vermont Railway has yet to determine what caused the derailment.

Last night marked the fourth time Democratic candidate for governor Peter Shumlin and the GOP nominee Brian Dubie debated the issues. And, it was far from low-key. Hundreds of people attended the debate, with both candidates not wasting any time making their points on issues regarding the corrections department, health care and the projected budget deficit.

The major candidates for Vermont lieutenant governor are differing sharply in their philosophy of government, with the Democrat stressing expanding early childhood education and health care and the Republican talking up self-reliance. Republican state Sen. Phil Scott and Democratic Rep. Steve Howard expressed those views as they squared off for an hour-long debate last night before a crowd of about 80 in St. Albans.

A group that wants Vermont Yankee nuclear plant closed is getting involved in the Vermont governor's race in a big way. Green Mountain Future launched a second TV spot bashing Republican candidate Brian Dubie for supporting the troubled nuclear power plant, which is seeking a 20-year license extension. Democrat Peter Shumlin wants Vermont Yankee closed.

Labor officials say Vermont's unemployment rate for August remained at 6% for the second month in a row. The national unemployment rate for August ticked up to 9.6%, from 9.5% in July. Around Vermont, unemployment rates ranged from 3.5% in Hartford to 7.3% in Newport.

Police across the country will be working to get prescription drugs off the streets this weekend in the first-ever Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back event. Authorities are asking people to clean out their medicine cabinets and turn in unused pills so they don't end up in the hands of addicts. The collection will take place at locations all over the country on Saturday. There are 54 collection sites in Vermont alone.

The Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation just wrapped up Operation Care Package. Thousands of people donated money for the group to send care packages to our troops overseas. They just started arriving this week. In all, about 50 will go to airmen and women stationed in Saudi Arabia and more than 1,500 care packages are headed to Afghanistan.

The newspaper industry is facing new challenges and that's prompted two Vermont newspapers to make some big changes. In response to a decline in subscriptions, the Rutland Herald and the Barre Times Argus will begin offering new electronic versions of the papers starting Oct. 1. The e-edition will differ from the website in that it will include additional content such as embedded video and audio clips, and photo galleries, in addition to several other distinct features.

New Hampshire and Vermont residents will get some help heating their homes this winter. Vermont is getting nearly $600,000 and New Hampshire is receiving $800,000 in emergency aid from the federal government. The money will be distributed to qualified homeowners and renters through the state's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

New York Gov. David Paterson is calling the Legislature back before Election Day. Paterson will use the session to try to force lawmakers to pass his proposed local property tax cap. New York's school and government taxes are some of the highest in the nation. A date for the session will be set this week.

The Vermont Youth Orchestra kicks off its new season Friday night. The VYO was established in 1957 by a group of parents who wanted to create musical opportunities for kids. Today, it serves more than 600 each year from Vermont, New York and New Hampshire. The season kicks off Friday at St. Mary's Church in St. Albans. Then they have a matinee performance Sunday at the Flynn.

As a variety of hard ciders continue to grow in popularity throughout Vermont and beyond, Champlain Orchards invites autumn visitors to experience the Green Mountain State's apples, cider, and local food pairings at the state's first ever CiderFest on Saturday, Oct. 2nd from 3–7 p.m. at Champlain Orchards on Route 74 in Shoreham. CiderFest will showcase regional apple wines, sweet ciders, and hard ciders paired with local foods and Vermont products plus other events like hayrides and apple picking. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased online at, by calling 802-897-2777, or by visiting Champlain Orchards.

West Rutland will hold its semiannual town wide yard sale Saturday. The event is set for 8 a.m. to noon. For more information, call the town office at 438-2263.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 21, 2010

Weather Channel Meteorologist Ray Stagich Says Sunny Today with a High Around 70.

A new, statewide body to spur innovations in Vermont’s agricultural industry is set to begin work. The Agricultural Development Board, which includes five Addison County members, will address a range of agricultural topics. Last week members were preparing for the board’s first meeting, which will take place late this month or early next month. The board will likely address the Vermont Seal of Quality, fluctuating milk prices, the Farm to Plate initiative, and other hot-button topics in agriculture.

Chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court Paul Reiber kicked off a series of talks he’ll deliver around the state at Mount Abraham Union High School on Friday. The goal is to further educate students about their country’s judiciary system. He hopes that this classroom visit will be the first of many and is going to be involved in starting a project that will get local judges into schools and classrooms all over the state to help educate high school students about civics.

The United Way of Addison County officially launched its 2010 fund drive last week. United Way officials this year have set a campaign goal of $775,000 whish is the same financial goal that was set last year. United Way officials hope to attain this year’s goal with a lot of hard work and by trying to expand its traditional base of givers. For more information just visit

Middlebury Police Chief Tom Hanley received a significant bump in rank. On September 14th he was elected president of the New England Association of Chiefs of Police. That’s an organization through which law enforcement agencies from throughout the Northeast collaborate on training, management and crime-solving techniques.

Middlebury business leaders, town officials and Middlebury College have joined forces in an effort to help stimulate more business growth here in town. This would be achieved through an array of options including a new position of “economic development director.”

The Essex County Clerk's office is now selling original EZ Passes for $25. You can purchase them Monday through Friday between 8AM and 5PM. They will also be available at the Ticonderoga Department of Motor Vehicles office Tuesday and Wednesday from 8AM – 3:30PM.

The Rutland aldermen have narrowly passed a combined water and sewer rate increase of 10.54 percent. No figures were provided to the aldermen about what the new rates would be set at or what the increases would equate to for average two-person and four-person homes. The bulk of the proposed increase is in the water rate.

Vermont State Police are now reviewing photographs taken during Sheffield Field Day, for any clues about a missing woman. It's been more than a week since Pat O'Hagan vanished, and state police say the woman was kidnapped from her home. One of her friends supplied pictures taken during the town's annual event on Labor Day, a few days before her disappearance. Police have not said what they're looking for in the pictures, but are still asking the public for any shots taken at Field Day this year.

Vermont Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Dubie says Democrat Peter Shumlin's plan to trim the state's corrections budget by releasing some nonviolent offenders is irresponsible and reckless. Shumlin maintains the money could be saved if Vermont found community placements for offenders with convictions for drug crimes and other nonviolent offenses. Dubie says Shumlin's plan to release 780 nonviolent offenders would allow someone convicted of child pornography or of selling methamphetamine to children to be released into Vermont communities.

Some Vermont communities are taking inventory of their intersections. Residents in Burlington, St. Johnsbury, Rutland and Brattleboro, are invited to participate in surveying how safe their streets are for walking. They're taking part of the Complete Streets Week: Making Vermont Walkable for All Generations. Volunteers will evaluate how roads address walkers’ needs, such as whether there are adequate traffic signals, crossing signals, properly marked crosswalks - and if there's enough time to cross the street.

The Republican candidate for Secretary of State, Jason Gibbs, crashed his car early Friday morning. His vehicle veered off Route 100 in Duxbury and got stuck in a ditch. The accident occurred just before 1:00 a.m. Gibbs says exhaustion due to a busy campaign season is to blame. He has been cleared by police.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation just launched V-Transparency, a new on-line tool designed to help Vermonters easily access information on roads, bridges and culverts. You can get bridge inspection reports, pavement condition reports, and find out about future projects in your neighborhood -- right from your home computer.

You no longer have to be married to adopt a child in New York. Governor David Paterson signed a law to update the state's adoption regulations. The new law allows unmarried straight and gay couples to adopt children. Individuals already had that right. The goal of the new law is to make sure that all kids are cared for and have insurance -- even if a couple splits up.

The Vermont Cancer Center at the University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care won a 100-thousand dollar "Hyundai Hope on Wheels" grant. The money will be used to support innovative work and treatment of kids with neuroblastoma. That's an often-fatal cancer that affects very young children. The Vermont Cancer Center is one of seven sites in New England to receive the Hyundai award.

Addison County residents are gearing up for the Middlebury Lock-Up on September 29th. Residents are being accused of “having a big heart for Jerry’s Kids.” Business executives are volunteering to be “arrested and serve time” in a mock jail at Swift House Inn in an effort to raise money for the local MDA. Participants or “Jailbirds” are asked to raise $1,600 to send two children to MDA summer camp. Anyone interested in donating money to the MDA Lock-Up or would like to Volunteer can contact Piper Allport at 802-862-6424 or

Vermont is an old state. According to the latest census figures about 14.5 percent of Vermonters are 65 years old or older. That translates into just over 90-thousand people.

Monday, September 20, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 20, 2010

Weather Channel Says Sunny Today with a High around 66.

24-year-old Jake Lacy is one of the stars of a new sitcom, Better With You, debuting on ABC this week. He’s living in Los Angeles and living a dream he’s held for years of making it as an actor. Raised in Pittsford from the age of 4, Lacy credited his Lothrop Elementary School theater teacher with first inspiring him. In high school, Lacy performed in plays as a member of the drama club under Jeffrey Hull and he acted in the Addison Repertory Theater. He graduated from Otter Valley Union High School in 2004. ABC’s “Better With You” airs at 8:30 PM on Wednesday.

It's going on eleven days since a grandmother was kidnapped from her home in Sheffield. Vermont State Police are appealing to the public for any pictures or video taken from the Sheffield Field Days celebration. On Saturday, more than 100 ATV's from clubs across the state joined in the search across mountainous terrain around Sheffield and Wheelock, looking for any piece of evidence to crack the case.

The Vermont State Police says the blood-alcohol level for the new police chief in Williston was under the legal limit when was pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving. WCAX-TV reports a state police investigation stemmed from an incident last week when a state trooper pulled Roy Nelson aside. A blood-alcohol test was conduced at the state police barracks.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is hosting a town meeting on the future of broadband in Vermont. The meeting is set for 10 a.m. Sept. 25, at Judd Hall, on the campus of Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center.

On Sunday the President of Senegal came to Vermont. President Abdoulaye Wade was welcomed by Governor Jim Douglas and National Guard Major General Michael Dubie. The State Partnership Program, which fosters connections between states and foreign countries, linked up Vermont and Senegal two years ago. Since then, the leaders of both places have met several times, and National Guard members have participated in more than 15 missions with the military from Senegal.

New York's unemployment rate rose slightly last month. The state's jobless rate was 8.3 percent in August, up from 8.2 percent in July. At the same time the state added 2,500 private sector jobs. While more New Yorkers are looking for work, Gov. David Paterson announced he intends to go ahead with state employee layoffs.

Jobs might be scarce in this economic climate, but some Vermonters are finding their way and making ends meet through temp and freelancing jobs. According to some the temporary work in Vermont is better than it has ever been. Companies and organizations are hiring freelancers and temps now more than ever due to the recession.

The administration of President Barack Obama says it will seek to raise permanently weight limits on interstate highways in Maine and Vermont. At the request of U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Susan Collins of Maine, a temporary rule that allows trucks weighing up to 100,000 pounds on the interstates in the two states will be made permanent through a provision included in a federal appropriations bill.

Vermont revenues bounced back last month-- exceeding expectations. For the month of August Vermont took in $81 million in general fund taxes. That is $7 million above the consensus revenue target. But that total was boosted by a one-time surge of $5 million in the bank franchise tax. For the year, tax collections are now slightly ahead of expectations and ahead of last year.

Vermont saw a huge jump in alcohol-related driving fatalities last year. According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 23 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in Vermont in 2009, up from 12 in 2008.

It's fall foliage season, and people who want to see it are getting a hand from states that put out reports with real-time tracking of where the colors are changing. Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Vermont are among the states that put out foliage forecasts using observations from volunteer spotters. The "leaf peepers" deliver reports about what roads to drive, which kinds of trees are turning and when the peak periods of color will be.

Hundreds are expected to attend the 9th annual Renewable Energy Future Conference and Expo on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington. The highlight of the two-day conference is a gubernatorial debate on energy and environmental issues, co-sponsored with the Vermont Natural Resources Council, on Oct. 1 from 3:30 to 5 PM.

Friday, September 17, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 17, 2010

Weather Channel Meteorologist Ray Stagich says becoming Sunny later today with a High in the Lower 60’s.

The Cross Street Bridge appears that it will be completed on time. The new roundabout intersection is taking shape on Main Street and the new span is ready for railings and lights. Project directors are so optimistic of an on-schedule finish that they are already looking ahead to a grand unveiling celebration on Oct. 30. The celebration will feature a fireworks display, entertainment, a “first vehicle over the bridge” ceremony and more.

Middlebury’s Ilsley Public Library is participating in a statewide project that will allow global, on-line access to up to 100,000 pages of Vermont newspapers published from 1836 to 1922. The “Vermont Digital Newspaper Project” will make available through the Internet a wealth of historical and genealogical resources contained in microfilmed archives that can now only be accessed at specific sites where that information is stored. The project is funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Since the passage 20 years ago of the 1990 Farm Bill the demand for healthy, sustainably produced food has skyrocketed and with it, the demand for organically certified products. People don’t always know how or where their food was produced, so organic certifications give them more information to use when making purchasing decisions. Two decades later, local farmers are still weighing the costs and benefits of going organic, with some saying it helps market their products and others saying national standards are too onerous.

Members of the Bristol Historical Society and their supporters appealed to the Bristol selectboard this week to change its decision to move the police department’s offices into the basement and west wing of Howden Hall. The decision to move the police will result in the loss of a public meeting space in Howden Hall and the historical society will not be able to expand its museum in the historic West Street building.

The New Haven Development Review Board tentatively approved Mike McGrath’s plan to add a 100-car used car lot to his property on Route 7 in a 6-1 vote this week. The property is currently home to McGrath’s Flooring Center Inc. and several self-storage units. The DRB Chairman is compiling a list of conditions for McGrath’s lot and the decision is expected become official at Monday’s meeting.

The Bristol selectboard is moving forward with plans for repair of the South Street Bridge, which was closed a little over a month ago due to safety concerns. Out of the three proposed options, the board decided to go with the first and most expedient option. This puts the reopening of the bridge on track for summer of 2012 at the earliest.

The Addison County Humane Society is seeking to renovate and expand its Middlebury headquarters on Boardman St. in order to better serve the area’s homeless animals and enhance their prospects for adoption. The Middlebury Development Review Board will review the humane society’s plans on September 27th. Those plans include replacement of exterior sheds and outbuildings with a new 2,800-square-foot barn. Renovations to the existing main building are also in the plan.

Stephen Beck of Leicester started work earlier this month as Brandon’s economic development officer. He expects a large part of his role will be to help the town decide collectively what direction to move in and then help bring people together to make it happen. He said he also saw a lot of potential in the community. He said the town might need to make a better effort to make itself known as it could be overlooked because of how it is nestled between Rutland and Middlebury.

The town of Ferrisburgh has placed the 35-acre parcel it owns at the junction of Routes 7 and 22A on the market. The asking price is $375,000. The site has permitted wastewater capacity, level topography, high traffic volume, easy access to rail transportation and frontage on two of the state’s busiest highways. However the land does come with some conditions for the buyer.

In the wake of a new Environmental Court ruling the Ferrisburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment will handle an amended Champlain Oil Co. application for a Route 7 gas station, convenience store and fast-food restaurant. On Sept. 8, Environmental Court Judge Thomas Durkin made a site visit and then issued a decision that Champlain Oil must go back to the ZBA with its proposal to increase the acreage in its application.

According to the latest crime report issued by the FBI, crime dropped in Vermont and around the nation in 2009. 

But police chiefs around the state said this week that while some categories of crimes and violent crimes in particular dropped, property crimes and drug activity increased in many areas.

It's now been exactly one week since anyone has seen Pat O'Hagan of Sheffield. Yesterday, a National Guard Helicopter scanned remote quarries, fields and forests in the hills above the Northeast Kingdom community. State Police detectives are now saying the 78-year-old grandmother is the victim of a kidnapping, but will not give any details about what led them to that conclusion. The FBI is even now involved in the search for her. Police are offering a five-thousand-dollar reward for any help in solving the mystery of what happened to Pat O'Hagan.

An organization that represents 1,500 North American businesses in the organic products industry is moving its headquarters from Massachusetts to Vermont. The Organic Trade Association has announced that it will move operations about 20 miles from Greenfield to Brattleboro, Vt. this fall. About a dozen employees will make the move.

The Crown Point State Historic site is celebrating its 100th anniversary with two days of festivities. The Festival of Nations gets under way this morning when school groups from Vermont and New York visit the grounds where the French and British built forts in the 18th century. Saturday's activities include a walking tour, lectures on archaeological digs conducted at the site and museum displays. French, British and American forces battled for control of Crown Point for much of the 1700s.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 16, 2010

Weather Channel Meteorologist Ray Stagich says we’ll have occasional rain by this afternoon with a high in the mid 60’s.

State police have arrested a Westport man for allegedly striking a young boy during a biddy soccer game Tuesday afternoon. Richard F. Jensen was arrested on charges of assault of a child younger than 7 and endangering the welfare of a child. He was arraigned in Moriah Town Court and released on his own recognizance. With a charge of second-degree assault, he could face a maximum of seven years in prison.

The Brandon Development Review Board’s decision on a proposed shopping center is under attack from both sides. Massachusetts Developer William McCabe said he would appeal the board’s decision to allow him to build a Hannaford at the corner of Route 7 and Nickerson Road while disallowing associated retail space and another building intended to hold a restaurant. Fifteen Brandon residents filed a notice of appeal in August, followed by a nine-page document questioning 17 aspects of the decision.

Rutland High School will use the bulk of an $850,364 grant for teachers and technology with the ultimate goal of improving student test scores over the next three years. The grant was largest award in the state among 69 schools in need of improvement. The school became eligible for the grant in March after the state was federally mandated to determine which schools in Vermont were in the most need of student improvement or “persistently low-achieving.”

A Rutland man charged with trying to rob two South Main Street businesses remains behind bars on $50,000 bail. John J. Burke pleaded innocent in Rutland District Court recently to a pair of felony charges of larceny for allegedly entering a Dunkin’ Donuts and Cumberland Farms convenience store and demanding cash from the registers.

With an eye on future development, Supervisor Bethany Kosmider has asked the Adirondack Park Agency to review its land use map in Crown Point. She has met with the APA and discussed changing the Sugar Hill area from moderate-intensity zoning to hamlet. Hamlets are exempt from APA regulation. Before any action, the APA is required to notify landowners of possible changes and public hearings must be held.

Matthew J. Courtright is the new executive director of the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce. For the past three and a half years Courtright has been with Silver Bay YMCA, most recently holding the position of conference relations and marketing director. The chamber board is confident that it has chosen an excellent leader who will guide the chambers efforts as it continues to promote and support area businesses and the region. He was born and raised in Ticonderoga and currently resides in Port Henry with his family.

The Ticonderoga Police Department along with many other state and local departments nationwide will participate in the national drug "Take Back" initiative. The Drug Enforcement Administration will be collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at sites nationwide on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. The collection site in Ticonderoga will be at the Ticonderoga police station.

It's now been six days since Pat O'Hagan disappeared from her home in the Northeast Kingdom, and State Police are now calling it a kidnapping. However, they are revealing little about what led them to that conclusion. On Wednesday, a Vermont State Police Major said while they believe it's an isolated incident, they're reminding people to lock their homes and vehicles. State Police have been joined by the FBI, firefighters, local volunteers and the Vermont National Air Guard in their search for O'Hagan.

Children and those who work around them should be vaccinated against whooping cough. The illness is a highly contagious bacterial infection that settles in the lungs. The Vermont Department of Health says nine cases have been confirmed in the state, with five in just the past two weeks. School entry laws in Vermont require kids be vaccinated before entering kindergarten, and it's suggested parents, siblings or anyone spending time near infants should get vaccinated as well.

In November, voters across Vermont will not only be asked to elect a number of officials, but they will also be asked to approve an amendment to the state constitution. The amendment would allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries if they turn 18 by Election Day. The amendment was designed to boost voter interest in younger citizens.

Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie's campaign for governor continues to attract large numbers of donations. The Republican Dubie says he's raised more than $150,000 in the past 30 days, bringing the total so far in the campaign to nearly $1.2 million from 4,727 donors. According to campaign finance reports filed Wednesday, Democrat Peter Shumlin has raised $59,000 in the reporting period, of which a little under $1,000 came from himself or his family.

If money matters in politics, the race for Vermont's open secretary of state's office this year could be a close one. Campaign finance reports filed Wednesday show Republican Jason Gibbs and Democrat Jim Condos in a virtual dead heat with just over $40,000 each raised so far in the campaign. Meanwhile, incumbent Republican Auditor Tom Salmon holds a slight fundraising edge over Democratic-Progressive challenger Doug Hoffer. Salmon has raised about $22,000 so far in the campaign, while Hoffer has collected about $18,000.

The state Health Department says Vermont woman have the highest rate in the country of breast-feeding their babies at their first birthdays. Almost 40% of Vermont woman breast-fed 12 months after birth and more than 86% of babies are breast-fed at some point. Health Commissioner Dr. Wendy Davis says the high rate of breast-feeding is 1 of the reasons Vermont consistently ranks among the healthiest states in the country.

This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of the Crown Point State Historic Site. The Historic Site began life in 1910 as a gift from a Port Henry businessman who bought the property and turned it over to the state. The two-day cultural event will honor the nations that sought control of a colonial territorial prize: the Lake Champlain valley.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 15, 2010

Weather Channel Meteorologist Ray Stagich says a Mix of Sun & Clouds Today with a chance of a Shower – High around 60.

The strike has been called off and students in Winooski will have school today. At around 2:30 this morning, after 8-hours of negotiations, the teacher's union and the school reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. Details of the deal will not be released until the school board and the WEA ratify it today or tomorrow.

With 79-percent of the votes in, it looks like Matt Doheny has won the Republican Primary from the 23rd Congressional Seat. Although locally, he didn't do so well. According to the unofficial results, Doug Hoffman was ahead in both Clinton and Essex Counties. The final results may not be known for a couple of weeks, as absentee ballots still need to be counted.

Political novice and tea party ally Carl Paladino has beaten the Republican designee in the race for the party's nomination for New York governor. Paladino rode a wave of voter anger on his way to defeating former Congressman Rick Lazio. It's another blow to the GOP in a heavily Democratic state.

The state of Vermont will be getting $19-Million-Dollars to support education jobs. The funds from the U.S. Department of Education are part of $10-Billion-Dollars being distributed to states by a formula based on population figures. States then can distribute the money to school districts based on their our formulas.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is buy one of their Canadian competitors, Van Houtte for $890 million. The Montreal company roasts and markets gourmet coffee for homes and offices and distributes it through direct-to-store delivery and coffee services networks in Canada and the U.S. The deal is expected to be closed by the end of the year.

Formal results aren’t in, but according to some Rutland and Killington business owners, the Killington Classic motorcycle rally was profitable during a time otherwise dominated by the Vermont State Fair. Both the Killington and Rutland Region chambers of commerce reported good results from the ninth-annual touring rally. This is a big difference from last year when the rally bypassed downtown Rutland because of miscommunication.

It's nearly been five days since Mary Pat O'Hagan was last seen in her hometown of Sheffield. State Police have called her disappearance "suspicious" and are calling in the FBI to assist in what they now believe to be a possible abduction. Detectives say she was likely kidnapped from her home during the late afternoon or evening hours on Friday. State Police are continuing to offer a five thousand dollar reward for information that will help break the case.

The Vermont State Employees Association is backing Democrat Peter Shumlin for governor, saying he'll do a better job preserving state services - and state workers' jobs - than his Republican opponent, Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie. Dubie also has picked up some labor endorsements, including from the Professional Firefighters of Vermont and two locals of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The Vermont State Police hopes to arm most of its officers with Tasers. State Police Capt. Robert Evans said yesterday that a handful of state police officers have been armed with Tasers for the past four years as part of a pilot program to test the weapons in the field. 

Based on that experience, a state police committee recommended to top commanders that all uniformed officers ranging from lieutenants to troopers be armed with Tasers.

Charges against a group of Vermont Yankee protesters have once again been dropped. In August, police cited eight women with unlawful trespassing. The protesters, known as "the Raging Grannies," blocked the main gate while calling for the immediate shutdown of the reactor. Now, for the ninth time in a row, the Windham County State's Attorney's Office dropped the charges, saying it would take too many resources to prosecute the alleged crime.

Officials at the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity say that they will start the heating season this year with little funding to assist those in need, due to a lack of donations to the Warmth Program. Also, the Shareheat fund, which serves CVPS customers, has a deficit of several thousand dollars. Authorities say they have never seen a heating season with so few resources.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 14, 2010

Weather Channel Meteorologist Ray Stagich says we have a slight chance of Showers today with a High around 65.

The Addison Northwest Supervisory Union has scheduled a series of public meetings this fall to explore the possibility of a Town Meeting Day 2011 unification vote. The first meeting will take place tonight at the Vergennes Union High School library from 6:30 – 8:00PM.

It's Primary Day across New York today. A hotly contested race for Ticonderoga highway superintendent is 1 of only 2 local contests in Essex County today. Clinton County has only 2 local primaries as well. Voters will also decide who will face Bill Owens in the general election for the 23rd Congressional District Seat. The polls are open today from noon to 9 PM.

A freeze that destroyed a large number of apple crops in our area last May caused the U.S. Department of Agriculture to designate Addison County as a natural disaster area. The designation makes area farmers eligible for low-interest loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program. That is a federal program that provides grants to farmers who have had substantial crop losses due to weather and natural disasters.

Last Wednesday a number of people gathered here in Middlebury for a forum on the local dairy industry. Many issues were identified that seem to be holding back the industry but not many solutions were offered. The group was comprised of dairy farmers, community members, politicians and government employees. The primary reason for the gathering was to discuss the struggles Addison County dairy farmers face. Future meetings are expected to focus on specific dairy issues and local solutions.

The Hub teen center in Bristol has been working all summer to expand the skate park. Skateboarders, inline skaters, and riders of scooters and bikes use the park. Thanks to the donation of many ramps and features from the town of Hinesburg and the donation of time and services from many local businesses and organizations, the skate park has doubled in size.

The state is considering closing the downtown parking deck in Rutland earlier on weeknights and entirely on weekends. The commissioner of the state Buildings and General Services, said he was looking at decreased hours as an option if the state cannot reach an agreement with the city to lease the bottom four levels of the deck. He said lack of users and vandalism were driving the consideration. Mayor Christopher Louras said the city and the state have been talking for some time and the question of the city leasing the deck will go before the Community and Economic Development Committee on Sept. 22.

Now officially the Democrats' nominee, Peter Shumlin is launching his fall campaign for governor of Vermont, taking aim at Republican opponent Brian Dubie. On Monday, Shumlin outlined his plans in an appearance in Burlington. He says he'll stress the economy and jobs and contrast himself with Dubie's record as lieutenant governor under Gov. Jim Douglas.

A contingent of Vermont National Guard air ambulance company members is headed for Iraq. They left yesterday from South Burlington on a chartered jet. The group's helicopters were flown south on Saturday, headed to the mobilization station at Fort Hood, Texas. The soldiers are headed to Iraq for a 1-year deployment.

The Vermont State Police are offering a $5,000 reward in hopes of cracking the case of a missing Northeast Kingdom woman. Seventy-8-year-old Mary Pat O'Hagan, of Sheffield, has been missing since Friday. State Police say they'll pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the resolution of the case.

Boston has reclaimed its blood collection title from Rutland. Rutland set the record last December for the biggest one-day blood drive, collecting 1,024 pints at the Paramount Theatre. But Boston now has the record after pulling in 1,177 pints Saturday at Fenway Park. Rutland will try to regain the title at this year's Gift of Life Marathon, scheduled for December 21st.

Scores are up for Vermont students taking the SAT and ACT tests. On the SAT exam, math scores increased the most, up 3 points from a year ago. Critical reading scores rose 1 point and writing scores remained the same. On the ACT's, Vermont students turned in the 5th best scores in the nation.

A business that helps fire crews around the state needed firefighters yesterday. Charbonneau's Body Shop in Highgate suffered severe structural damage in a fire. Highgate's Fire Chief says it appears the shop was hit by lightning during a quick storm. He says crews got the blaze out quickly. Charbonneau's works on fire trucks from departments across the state.

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe has been awarded a $10.5-Million-Dollar grant to bring broadband capabilities to the Akwesasne reservation. The grant will help 3,750 people, 200 businesses and 42 institutions on the reservation obtain high-speed Internet connections. Officials say more than 780 jobs could be created.

Monday, September 13, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 13, 2010

Weather Channel Meteorologist Ed Leevy says Scattered Showers and Thunderstorms possible today with a High In The 60’s.

Construction continues on the Cross Street Bridge. Grand opening day of the bridge is Saturday October 30th! Vehicles are not allowed on the bridge at this time and it’s very important that you NOT walk on the bridge either. The temporary wooden railings are not designed to protect pedestrians especially children. Your patience and understanding is much appreciated by the town!

Prep work for paving on Route 30 between Middlebury and Whiting continues. Sections from Cornwall village north will also be widened to accommodate bikers and runners. Be ready for some delays throughout the construction zone and be aware that the speed limit has been reduced to 40 MPH with fines doubled for speeding in work zones.

The owner of a now-defunct insurance company in Fair Haven has been charged with stealing $2,700 from one of her clients. Jody L. Hewes of Fair Haven insurance Inc., which went out of business this summer, has been charged with embezzlement. She took insurance payments made for home and auto insurance by an unidentified couple and deposited them into her own bank account.

The Crown Point State Historic Site will mark its centennial during the annual Festival of Nations. The Friends of Crown Point Historic Site have planned a reception at the site this Saturday (Sept. 18) at 1PM to commemorate 100 years as a state-owned historic site. The site will host an informal bring-your-own picnic hour prior to the centennial ceremony. The historic fort ruins at Crown Point became a permanently preserved state park April 22, 1910.The annual Festival of Nations will be held Friday & Saturday at the site. The event is co-hosted by Mount Independence.

Six helicopters with the Vermont National Guard departed Saturday in formation, destined eventually for Iraq. The choppers will first fly to Fort Hood, Texas for training. A total of 66 members of the Guard will be going with the helicopters, with many of them leaving today. The deployment will last about a year.

It's now full-speed ahead in the race for the next governor of Vermont. On Friday, a recount settled the question of who the Democratic nominee would be, with Peter Shumlin the winner in that five-way race. He's running against Republican and current Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie.

Descendants of Vermont Indian tribes have renewed hope for state recognition that some have sought for decades. A new state law creates a process for a Vermont board to recommend tribal recognition. The Abenaki seek such recognition to sell their crafts as Native American and seek federal funding for education and other benefits.

Say cheese: The Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site is hosting a festival dedicated to it. The Plymouth Cheese & Harvest Festival, set for Sept. 19 in Plymouth Notch, will feature cheese tastings, cheese making and a cheese recipe contest that's open to the public.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials say they're closing a popular Poultney fishing area for repairs. The fishing access area at Lake St. Catherine State Park has a propeller wash hole that drops off sharply at the end of the ramp and has started to undercut the concrete ramp. Starting Sept. 20, the access will be closed so the ramp can be extended. The closing is expected to last three weeks. Other lakes with state fishing access areas can be found on Lake Bomoseen, Lake Hortonia, Burr Pond, and southern Lake Champlain.

Vermont State Police say the case of a missing 78-year-old woman now has suspicious circumstances. Missing is Mary Pat O'Hagan of Sheffield. She has not been seen since Friday, when she came home and parked her car in her driveway. If anyone has any information about where she may be, they are urged to call the St. Johnsbury Barracks of the Vermont State Police.

The New York State Labor Department warns job seekers of a growing number of online employment scams that promise high pay for little work. Some of the scammers ask their victims to pay a fee for an interview that may never take place. Others ask for personal information before they will provide additional details about the fictitious job, that info then gets used for identity theft.

The Comfort Inn and Suites in Plattsburgh will be open by the end of the month. The hotel was partially destroyed by a fire in November of 2008. Since then, not only have the sections that were destroyed been rebuilt, including the lobby, health club, pool area and several rooms, but the entire place has been done over. Once they open, they expect to increase the workforce to 125 people.

Plans are still up in the air for 200 pre-school children after the YMCA Program at Edmunds Middle School was displaced. The Y had looked at leasing space in the Miller Center but remodeling the space would have cost too much. Burlington City Councilor Ed Adrian wants to take the issue up before the council meeting tonight on Monday to see if the city can help.

A resent study done by ranked Burlington one of the top ten college towns in the country. Burlington came in number 8 on the list because of a number of factors including its scenic beauty, bike trails, and endless number of ski slopes. Gainesville Florida topped the list of Best of College Towns.

Friday, September 10, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 10, 2010

Construction continues on the Cross Street Bridge. Grand opening day of the bridge is Saturday October 30th! Vehicles are not allowed on the bridge at this time and it’s very important that you NOT walk on the bridge either. The temporary wooden railings are not designed to protect pedestrians especially children. Your patience and understanding is much appreciated by the town!

Prep work for paving on Route 30 between Middlebury and Whiting continues. Sections from Cornwall village north will also be widened to accommodate bikers and runners. Be ready for some delays throughout the construction zone and be aware that the speed limit has been reduced to 40 MPH with fines doubled for speeding in work zones.

Addison Central Supervisory Union teachers are back to work without a new contract for the second year in a row. Negotiators remain optimistic an accord will be reached with the benefit of renewed talks. For the first time ever all of the school unions are negotiating as a single collective bargaining unit. The unresolved issues relate primarily to salaries, health insurance and working conditions. There are no new scheduled talks at this point but teachers are willing to return to the bargaining table.

Teachers and Addison Northwest Supervisory Union officials have come to a tentative agreement on a new two-year contract. Pending approval by the supervisory union board the contract will maintain the status quo on salary and benefit levels for teachers at the Vergennes-area schools, with the addition of the already budgeted salary increases.

The Lincoln Community School building committee has recommended major renovations and expansions to the aging school. After further study of the options and a public comment period, the full school board plans to seek voter support on Nov. 2 for a bond of between $3.5 and $4.2 million to pay for the work.

A judge says the public can learn the identity of Rutland city employees who were investigated for allegedly viewing pornography at work. Employees of the police and public works department were investigated for allegedly viewing pornographic images on the job. The employees were suspended without pay. The city is appealing a superior court judge's ruling that the names of the employees should be made public.

The Coin and Jewelry Road Show Buying Fair will be in the Ticonderoga area on Tuesday, Sept. 14, and Wednesday, Sept. 15. Roger and Tom from R&T Antiques will be at the Best Western offering top cash prices for gold jewelry, large diamonds, gold and silver coins, sterling silver items, old paper money, pocket watches, military collectibles, and fine antiques. They have been visiting the Ticonderoga area for years and have paid thousands of dollars to many satisfied area residents.

Fort Ticonderoga hosts its annual Revolutionary War Encampment this weekend. Events will be held 9:30 AM to 5 PM Saturday and Sunday. More than 600 re-enactors are expected to bring the American Revolutionary War experience to life for visitors during the weekend. A full schedule and information on events, including the Revolutionary War Encampment, can be found at

The 2011 town budget isn't due for months, but the Ticonderoga town board has started work on the spending plan. They’ve asked all department heads to submit their requests for next year while keeping increases a 0 percent. As part of the budget process the town is beginning talks with its employee unions on new contracts.

Five wild animal attacks in Rutland over the last few days have city and state officials warning about rabies. According to the Community Relations Officer one fox has already tested positive for the virus that can be transmitted to humans and animals. The most common rabies carriers are foxes, skunks, raccoons, possums and bats. Any wild animal that appears thin, lethargic, confused, displays lack of fear or aggression toward humans or constant head bobbing should be considered rabid and reported to the police.

Central Vermont Public Service will purchase two-thirds of the output of Iberdrola Renewables’ planned Deerfield Wind Project in Readsboro and Searsburg, Vt., under an agreement announced yesterday. CVPS will purchase 20 megawatts of the project’s planned 30-megawatt output for nine years. Deerfield Wind is proposed to be built on U.S. Forest Service land, near the existing Searsburg wind project, in Readsboro and Searsburg.

The recounting of ballots from the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary is nearly finished. Only Windsor and Chittenden counties remain, and that's likely to be finished today. WCAX reports so far, there has been no significant change in numbers.

An Illinois-based gas distributor is warning officials in 12 states that some propane deliveries may have lacked enough of an odorant needed to alert homeowners of possible leaks. The company said the propane could have been shipped to more than a dozen states including New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. The company said it's ceased shipments from the facility while it investigates.

Vermont Democrats say Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Dubie and the Republican Governors Association coordinated the filming of a TV commercial on his behalf, skirting Vermont law restricting such expenditures. In a letter to state Attorney General William Sorrell, a party spokesman asked for a civil investigation into expenditures by the RGA, saying the parties may have violated Vermont campaign finance laws by working together on producing the commercial.

Vermont is getting $300,000 in a multi-state settlement with Publishers Clearing House over allegations its mailings deceived consumers. Thursday's development followed allegations that PCH's mailings in recent years violated an earlier order settling states' consumer fraud allegations. A total of 32 states are receiving $3.5 million.

The Essex County Board of Elections was busy yesterday, packing and sending electronic voting machines to communities across the county. Next week, for the first time, all voters in the Empire State will use the scan machines for an election. So far, only people with disabilities have used them. On Primary Election Day next Tuesday, the polls are open from 12-9 p.m. statewide.

New York students now have more protection against bullies. Gov. David Paterson has signed a new law protecting public school students from discrimination and bias-based bullying. Schools now have to set up programs to prevent such incidents. They also must report bullying incidents to the state if they occur on school grounds or at school functions.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 9, 2010

Weather Channel Meteorologist Ray Stagich says Cloudy with a chance of Showers throughout the day with High around 60.

Construction continues on the Cross Street Bridge. Grand opening day of the bridge is Saturday October 30th! Vehicles are not allowed on the bridge at this time and it’s very important that you NOT walk on the bridge either. The temporary wooden railings are not designed to protect pedestrians especially children. Your patience and understanding is much appreciated by the town!

Prep work for paving on Route 30 between Middlebury and Whiting continues. Sections from Cornwall village north will also be widened to accommodate bikers and runners. Be ready for some delays throughout the construction zone and be aware that the speed limit has been reduced to 40 MPH with fines doubled for speeding in work zones.

More Vermont National Guard troops are headed to Iraq. Sixty-six members of the Army Guard's air ambulance will leave tomorrow for a 1-year mission. The Guard members will travel first to Fort Hood, Texas, for training before they head to Iraq.

Human remains found in the woods in Rutland have been identified as 34-year-old Daniel Goldstein, who has been missing for more than six weeks. He was found Saturday in a wooded area behind Kathy Drive in Rutland Town. Although a medical examiner made a positive identification yesterday, the cause and manner of death have not yet been determined.

A recount aimed at settling last month's Vermont Democratic gubernatorial primary election has gotten under way. In all 14 of the state's counties yesterday, volunteers working under the watchful eyes of court officials began recounting ballots cast in the Aug. 24 primary, which left Peter Shumlin with a 197-vote lead and second-place finisher Doug Racine wanting a recount. The recount will take at least several days, and may run into next week.

Officials say an ample supply of flu vaccine is allowing clinics to get a jump-start on preventing the flu this season. Health officials say only one shot is needed to prevent three strains of the virus, including H1N1 and seasonal flu. The Rutland Area Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice is working with Dorset Nursing and the Coalition for Adult Immunization to offer the season's first flu and pneumonia inoculation clinics in the Rutland area, Sept. 22 through Nov. 11.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says Vermont Yankee needs a better program for evaluating and managing buried underground piping. The NRC released an on-site audit of the Vernon plant that was conducted while plant owner Entergy Nuclear applies for a 20-year license renewal. NRC officials say the application does a good job describing key safety systems, but it doesn't cover the system blamed for a tritium leak this past winter. Entergy has agreed to take another look at its piping program and potentially change its license renewal application.

The states of Vermont and New York along with federal wildlife officials are set to go after sea lamprey. Lampricide will be put in the Salmon River, Little Ausable River, Ausable River, and Putnam Creek in New York, and Lewis Creek in Vermont. The treatments will start next week in New York and will begin in Vermont by the end of the month. Officials say keeping the lamprey population in check helps boost salmon and trout populations in Lake Champlain.

Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell says Vermont and six other states have settled a complaint against the former president of a Florida payment processing company. Under it, Derrelle Janey, former president of Your Money Access LLC, agreed to a personal ban on participating in the debiting of consumer bank accounts and a $625,000 judgment.

The Ticonderoga Emergency Squad has cleared another hurdle in its efforts to construct a new building. The town planning board recently approved the squad's proposal for a new 4,100 square feet home to be built at the site of the former Ticonderoga Civic Center. According to the Squad Secretary ground should be broken in the next month or so and should take approximately 4-5 months from start to finish.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

WVTK Local & State News September 8, 2010

Weather Channel Meteorologist Ray Stagich says we have a chance for showers throughout the day with a High in the Low 70’s.

Prep work for paving on Route 30 between Middlebury and Whiting continues. Sections from Cornwall village north will also be widened to accommodate bikers and runners. Be ready for some delays throughout the construction zone and be aware that the speed limit has been reduced to 40 MPH with fines doubled for speeding in work zones.

Construction continues on the Cross Street Bridge. Grand opening day of the bridge is Saturday October 30th! Vehicles are not allowed on the bridge at this time and it’s very important that you NOT walk on the bridge either. The temporary wooden railings are not designed to protect pedestrians especially children. Your patience and understanding is much appreciated by the town!

A planned retirement home here in Middlebury got a $1 million boost yesterday. Gov. James Douglas announced a community development block grant for the 99-unit nonprofit Eastview at Middlebury facility. The project is expected to employ up to 100 people during construction and will create between 29 and 45 permanent jobs once it opens. They plan to break ground in October, completing some units in fall 2011 and others the following spring.

An Addison County man hit in the head by a stray bullet has been released from the hospital. Three weeks ago Peter Damone was on the back porch of his home in Bridport when a bullet struck him. Police say the shot was fired by Tracy Stone who was target shooting with a .45-caliber handgun in his backyard a half mile away. Police have not decided if Stone will be charged.

Rutland City parks will go smokeless later this month. The Board of Aldermen voted yesterday to ban use of tobacco products in the parks. The new rule takes effect in 20 days and violations will be punishable by a $100 fine.

Winooski teachers are working without a contract, and now have set a strike date of September 15th. This is the third consecutive year the Winooski Education Association members have started a school year without a contract. Teachers say they will not walk out until next Wednesday, but hope a deal can be reached before it comes to that.

General election season is officially under way. Both the Republican and Democrats for governor kicked off their campaigns yesterday morning. Both sides employed unique ways to spread their message. Republican Brian Dubie kicked off his 26.2-hour marathon tour of the state with an appearance on the radio. In the meantime, the Democrats arrived in St. Albans, kicking off their unity tour at the Cosmic Bakery.

Central Vermont Public Service will begin to clean up and restore a former gas-production and utility site on Cleveland Avenue in Rutland this week. Access to the property will be restricted during remedial activities. Adjoining property owners have been notified by mail. The property was used to produce gas from coal between 1901 and 1947 before CVPS existed and later used for operations and equipment storage. They hope to complete the entire project by mid-October.

After a spectacular summer, what could be a better way to follow it up than with a dazzling fall? Vermont's Chief of Forest Management says they're very optimistic for a colorful autumn, after getting the right amount of rain this summer, but some cold nighttime temperatures are needed to make it a showstopper. The season is a big moneymaker for B & B's and hotels, especially here in the smaller Vermont towns.

If the 1981 hit “Jessie’s Girl” is the last you heard of Rick Springfield, you might want to play catch-up. 

That iconic ‘80s tune was just one of 17 Top 40 hits recorded by the Australian-born rocker. Ever since, he’s been cutting albums on a regular basis and performing 100 plus shows a year. His next stop is the Vermont State Fairgrounds in Rutland at 7 tonight.

The Child Care Coordinating Council is offering Safe Schools Healthy Students Play groups beginning Monday September 13th from 9-11:30AM at the Moriah Elementary School. The group will meet every Monday. Playgroups at Ticonderoga Armory gym are under way between 9AM to noon every Thursday. Playgroups provide opportunities for social learning, art exploration, and circle time. Call 561-4999 for more information on parenting programs and play groups.