Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WVTK Local & State News February 20, 2013

A new bill being considered at the Vermont State House would limit cell phone use in Vermont public schools.  According to the bill, H.282, students would be prohibited from using cell phones or similar devices while classes are in session.  Under the bill, each school district would have to develop a policy on cell phones.  Exceptions can be made by the school district like cell phone use during lunch or non-classroom times or as teacher-directed component of a learning experience

Through the end of March, Rural Vermont will host several regional raw milk meetings to help raw milk producers prepare for inspection by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture.  The meetings will also be an opportunity for farmers and homesteaders to voice their opinions about ways in which the raw milk law could be improved, and to network and share a meal with other raw dairy farmers.  Rural Vermont has been informed by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture's Dairy Section and Animal Health Division that they will be resuming inspections of farms selling raw milk direct to consumers.

Vermont Gas will hold a public meeting February 27, at 7 PM, at the VFW Hall on Exchange Street in Middlebury.  The meeting will review the controversial second phase of the Addison Natural Gas Project.  The meeting will review the project and discuss opportunities for community input into the transmission line routing through Middlebury, Cornwall and Shoreham.  The meeting will be moderated by Middlebury Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay

Essex County could be hosting a casino soon.  The state is considering granting more regions permission to host casinos.  The only casino in the state outside of those on Native American land is the casino near the Saratoga Springs horse-racing track.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed building up to three casinos in upstate New York as part of a plan to enhance the state’s economy. 

Shots were fired at a school in Colchester Tuesday.  It happened at the middle school around 3 PM.  Luckily, students had already been dismissed and no one was hurt, though the school was in lockdown for about 40 minutes as athletic events were taking place inside.  Police say a 17-year-old boy fired BBs from the backyard of a home next door to the school, damaging two windows.  No word yet on if the juvenile will face any charges. 

Governor Peter Shumlin is planning on launching a statewide home energy challenge tomorrow.  A press release says 75 town energy groups have signed on to the Vermont Home Energy Challenge.  The challenge could save Vermonters more than $2.6 million on their heating bills every year.

The Rutland Architectural Review Board today approved the design of Green Mountain Power’s planned Energy Innovation Center.  The design will be an art deco motif that honors the building’s past as it symbolizes a new chapter in downtown Rutland.  The EIC will be the focal point of GMP renewable energy development, including efforts to make Rutland the solar capital of New England, with the highest reliance on solar per capita of any city in the region.