Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WVTK Local & State News October 3, 2012

Roadwork this week in Essex County includes Route 9N in Port Henry. Traffic continues to be reduced to a single lane in alternating directions from Bridge Road to County Route 2 due to road construction over Grove Brook at Island Way.  Also on Route 74 in Schroon Lake. Traffic there is reduced to one lane between Pyramid Road and Hall Street. Work will take place between 8 AM and 4:30 PM. Remember to slow down and use extra caution in all constructions zones for your safety and the safety of the work crews.

A Monkton residence was robbed Monday. On Tuesday Vermont State Police responded to a report of a burglary at a residence on Monkton Road in Monkton.  The burglary is believed to have occurred during the previous day.  There was no force used to gain entry as the door was unlocked. Items taken included cash and jewelry meanwhile in a second Monkton house break in, Vermont State Police are also investigating a burglary that occurred Monday, between the hours of 8:25 AM and 4:40 PM on Pond Road. The criminal entered the residence by kicking the north door open.  Multiple items we stolen from the house as well. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Vermont State Police in New Haven at (802) 388-4919. Information can also be submitted anonymously online at or text "CRIMES" (274637) to Keyword: VTIPS

Since 2008, the Willowell Foundation in Monkton has sought to engage community members, educators and students in wildlife through the renowned Keeping Track Wildlife Monitoring Program with Susan Morse.  The Program will once again be offered and participants will learn behavioral ecology, track identification and track patterns, ecosystem connectivity, wildlife habitat and food resources, land use and connectivity and how it affects and relates to human residents of Vermont, as well as gain a deeper exposure to the story of the forest. For more information about Willowell or to register for the course visit

In mid-October, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s schooner Lois McClure returns to the lake, concluding a four-month journey to ports in Canada, on the Great Lakes, the Erie Canal, and the Lake Champlain Basin.  A welcome home reception will take place at Vergennes Falls Park on Friday October 12th from 3 – 4 PM. Public Boarding of the Lois McClure will follow from 4 – 6 PM on Friday and on Saturday and Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM.

Crown Point Central School has been named a School of Distinction by the College For Every Student program for a third straight year.  Ticonderoga Middle School also received the award.  College For Every Student, a national non-profit that helps under-served students get to college, granted the award to 20 schools nationwide for their success in meeting goals during the 2011-12 academic year. The award is given for success in C-F-E-S’s primary programs — mentoring, bullying prevention, college campus visitation, college exploration and leadership.

Selling marijuana will remain completely illegal in the City of Rutland.  The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously Monday to approve an ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries and the growing of marijuana for such dispensaries within city limits. There was no debate on the measure, which had unanimously cleared the Public Safety Committee the previous week.  Act 65, which authorized the licensing of four medical marijuana dispensaries around the state, allows municipalities to opt out by using either zoning or an ordinance to forbid such facilities.

Rutland Police are warning of potential Internet scams targeting those who want to make donations in the wake of the crash that killed high school student Carly Ferro.  No specific charitable efforts have been deemed fraudulent. But city police Lt. Kevin Geno said Monday that police have opened an investigation into at least one of several online donation campaigns proclaiming to raise funds for the 17-year-old’s family.  The Rutland City Public Schools Superintendent said that the only charity that the school district had verified as legitimate was the Vermont Golf Association Scholarship Fund.

Several people are homeless after a fire Monday destroyed an apartment building on The Portage in Ticonderoga. The building had three apartments, and the North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross was helping all the occupants. Everyone got out safely and the cause was determined to be accidental and electrical in nature.

The Hannaford supermarket chain recently purchased the building it currently occupies in downtown Brandon.  Land records show that Hannaford Brothers Company purchased the building and about 10.34 acres of land on Supermarket Drive for $2.9 million. The building is located next to the Rite Aid pharmacy in town. Janet Mondlak, director of the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce, said the company’s purchase of the building is a good sign for the downtown, as having a supermarket is an anchor for the town. She said, although it is speculation, by Hannaford purchasing the building it seems they intend to stay and eventually expand.

A little boy missing in AuSable Acres yesterday has been found.  Searchers, including State Police and fire department members combed the area.  Clinton County Fire Control dispatched calls asking for assistance for Essex County at about 2:50 PM yesterday.  The report said they were searching in the area of the pond at AuSable Acres.  But the 2-year-old was discovered later in the afternoon, unharmed, according to Ray Brook-based State Police.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer's legislation aimed at cracking down on prescription-drug theft is headed to the president’s desk for signature.  The Safe Doses Act passed by Congress will help law enforcement fight prescription-drug theft at every point of the supply chain, from the drug warehouse to the delivery truck to the pharmacy.  The legislation calls for increased penalties, more police access to wiretaps and other tools to help infiltrate drug rings.

Top state health officials are considering whether Vermont needs to test adult mosquito populations on its own, instead of outsourcing samples to laboratories in other states.  The move would likely shorten the turnaround time between the state catching mosquitoes and knowing if they are carrying deadly viruses like the eastern equine encephalitis that has killed numerous animals and two humans in Vermont, one in Brandon and one in Sudbury, this year alone.

A woman is okay but remained trapped inside her car for a while after live power lines fell around her.  Police say the car driven by Emmy Kearns of Fairlee drifted off Route 5 in North Thetford Tuesday evening.  The car hit a utility pole, which then split in half, entangling the car in live electrical and telephone wires.  Rescue crews managed to get Kearns out, while power remained out in the area for several hours.

Employees of Vermont's Green Mountain National Forest are gearing up for what's expected to be peak foliage in many parts of the state. Officials say there will be an influx of local and visitor traffic in the coming weeks. They're encouraging motorists to be mindful of where they park and to use extra caution when driving in the forest.

The U.S. Labor Secretary has toured a Vermont school's dairy farm. Hilda Solis visited the Vermont Technical College in Randolph yesterday. She talked with students and staff who are going to be implementing a $3.4 million program to support food production, waste disposal and energy production.

Governor Cuomo is announcing that second round applications for the Land Bank Program are now available online.  The program allows municipalities to develop or convert vacant or abandoned properties into something that better serves the community.  Cuomo says more communities will have access to this important resource for economic development and job creation.

The family of 17-year-old Carly Ferro, the Rutland High School student whose life was taken last week in what police say was a criminal crash, has established a foundation to honor the teenager and her love of golf.  Named “The Purple Angel Foundation” after Ferro’s favorite color, the family issued a statement Tuesday thanking the community for its support and vowing to make positive change the legacy of the popular student’s life. Donations can be made at any branch of the Merchants Bank including at the bank’s two locations on Route 7 in Rutland Town and Woodstock Avenue in Rutland.

Republican Mitt Romney's campaign has sent letters to election officials in Vermont, Wisconsin and Mississippi demanding that the deadline for receiving ballots from military and overseas voters be extended.  The letters sent last week and Monday say election officials in each of the states missed the September 22nd deadline for mailing some ballots to overseas and military voters.  Romney's push is part of a broader effort to court the veterans’ vote.

A Vermont board says budgets for Vermont's 14 hospitals for the next fiscal year are not on a sustainable path.  The Green Mountain Care Board says it has approved budgets that will result in 5.1% increase in hospital net patient revenue for fiscal year 2013. The board had set a target increase of 3.75%.  Three hospitals exceeded the 3.75% limit, even after some exemptions. Copley and Porter hospitals were told to reduce their budgets and Copley was ordered to make a better case for needing a new orthopedic surgery practice.

The Vermont state airports in Morrisville and Newport will receive more than $900,000 in federal grants to buy equipment, design a project and conduct an environmental assessment.  The Vermont Transportation Agency Aviation Director says the money will allow the state to deal with immediate and future operational and safety needs and ensure passenger service amenities.

Brandon Music on Country Club Road in Brandon will present vocalist Philip Hamilton this Thursday at 7:30pm. General Admission is $12.  Brandon Music offers an Early Bird dinner special, which includes a ticket for the jazz performance, for $22 per person. Philip Hamilton is revered as one of the most exciting contemporary vocalists on the international jazz and world music stages. With a rich voice that conveys a “warrior’s strength, a blues man’s soul and a romantic’s heart” Hamilton is a true original who has performed or recorded with Pat Metheny, Spyro Gyra, and Steely Dan’s Donald Fagan.  For Information & Reservations (802) 465-4071 / 

The Brandon Town Players proudly present “A Night On The Town In Brandon”, a vaudeville style variety show incorporating skits, sketches, solos, duets, small groups and large chorus numbers. Performances are this Friday & Saturday at 7:30 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM in the Brandon TownHall. Tickets are $8.00 in advance, $10.00 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Carr's Florist & Gifts or at the door the night of the show.

St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church in Vergennes will hold its 2013 Harvest Supper on Sunday, October 21st. The annual supper is a popular event in downtown Vergennes and is open to all residents of Vergennes.  Tickets for the 4 PM and 6 PM sittings will be available at the parish office and at Jackman Fuels.  Adult admission is $10, Children ages 6 – 12 are $5, ages five and under are admitted free.  There will be a 50/50 raffle held at the supper servings with a drawing at 7 PM.

From Fox 44 & ABC 22 News – Your Voice in Vermont & New York:

A thief stole the ashes of an infant that were in the mother's home. Police say a home in Monkton was broken into yesterday - and among the jewelry and other items, the baby's urn was taken. I stopped by the mother's home, she rightfully didn't want to do an interview, but she did send us a picture of the urn in the hopes that someone saw or heard something who can ultimately bring her baby home.  Just six short months ago, a mother had to cremate her baby. On Monday, the tragedy struck again, and all of the emotions of the loss came rushing back.  "It's horrible," neighbor Michelle Burritt said.  Burritt lives on the same street where the robbery happened, she doesn't know her neighbor, but is sympathetic to her great loss.  "It's bad enough losing your child," Burritt said.  Police say a robber kicked in the front door of a home on Pond Road in Monkton... an oak jewelry box, with costume jewelry and a gold ring with a garnet stone was taken. As well as the urn with the infant's ashes inside. It's four inches tall with a screw on top.  I asked Burritt, "If you saw this, would you think that this was an urn?" She said, "No."  And police say the thief probably didn't either.  "They take whatever they can see in plain view and very quickly," Vermont State Police Trooper Keri Starr said.  "And if they did, they're horrible," Burritt added.  Police say the odds of the thief returning the ashes back to the home are slim, because there's of course the chance that he or she could get caught and items that are stolen are so rarely ever returned.  "I would hope that they wouldn't dump the ashes and that they could return that at least, be civil," Burritt said.  If the motive was money, funeral home owners say the crook isn't going to get much. When I called a half dozen places, they all said, pewter urns like the one in the picture, at retail value are between two and four hundred dollars... but selling it to a scrap metal yard or a pawn shop, you'd be lucky to get thirty bucks.  Burglaries in general are on the rise in Addison County, so police say to report suspicious cars, or people. And because most people work, the majority of the break in's are happening during the day, like this one. So if you have any information and can help bring this baby home, contact police.

A Trader Joe's in South Burlington? It could happen. The applicant who wants to bring the health food store to the city is in the second stage of the 3-step process.  The plans include two buildings, a main store by Dorset Street, and a second by "Healthy Living."  This would be the first Trader Joe's in all of Vermont.  "The zoning and the planning in that area is looking for the walk able, pedestrian friendly, mix of uses in a future downtown of South Burlington," The South Burlington Zoning and Planning Director Paul Conner said.  The development review board is looking at the project now. It will be up to the city council to approve -- or deny it.

Last month police say a Winooski, Vermont man broke through the Burlington International Airport fence.  No one was hurt, but it caused a scare, and about $10-thousand dollars in damages.  On Tuesday, nearly a month later, Brent Rutledge, 39, of Winooski, Vt., faced three charges from the incident, including unlawful mischief and trespass.  "The next case is state vs. Brent P Rutledge," said a Vermont superior judge.  But Rutledge failed to show up.  "Is Mr. Rutledge present?" said the judge.  "No, your honor," said a court officer.  Because Rutledge wasn't there, the judge issued a warrant for his arrest, which was later reduced to having police issue a citation for him to show up at another point.  In a way airport leaders say last month's incident was a blessing because after it they walked along the rest of the fence they found and discovered a number of problems. Now they're making changes before the end of the year.  "We have quite a few gates so now we're going to as we move forward do away with those gates and put in more re-enforcement's," said Burlington International Airport Director Gene Richards.  As for the busted fence, it's been replaced and airport leaders say the gate is much stronger than the other one.  They also took a look at how police and airport workers handled the situation and decided to make no changes.  "I couldn't have been any happier, it was dealt with by the minute perfectly," said Richards.  Police say they haven't been able to locate Rutledge and issue a new court date.  Until that happens they won't tell us when he's due back in court.