Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WVTK Local & State News February 27, 2013

A mix of snow, sleet, and rain will make for a messy commute this afternoon, especially the further south you go.  The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for much of the listening region.  Snow totals by the time this is all done will range from 1-3 inches in the valleys to as much as 10 inches in the higher elevations.  You can expect this wintry mix to continue through tonight, before getting much lighter after midnight.

The House Health Care Committee took a revote on the beverage tax that they voted down last week.  The committee voted 7-4 in favor of the penny-per-ounce sugar tax.  Supporters say it could discourage consumption of products that contribute to obesity.  However, opponents say the tax will send more shoppers out of state.

Three people have pled not guilty to manufacturing meth in Hancook.  Court documents indicated that the Vermont Drug Task Force made controlled purchases of methamphetamine from each of the men in November 2012.  If convicted, they each face between 5 to 20 years behind bars.

A lawmaker is proposing state registration for bicycles.  State Senator Norm McAllister is calling for a 20-dollar registration similar to a license plate for those 18 and older who want to ride bikes on Vermont roads.  The lawmaker points out millions have been spent on widening roads and making paths for bicycles, so tags would mean the bikers have to follow the rules of the road.  The bill was introduced yesterday, and is now with the Transportation Committee.

A coalition of physicians says Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed abortion rights bill will hurt women, forcing many into lifetime bouts with depression and guilt while making late-term abortions more common and more dangerous.  They say they know of no case in which a late-term abortion was needed to protect the health of a woman.  A Cuomo spokesman says the proposal would simply codify the federal law, not expand late-term abortions. But the governor still hasn't released the specifics of his bill.

St. Albans police say a leaking exhaust system is what lead to the death of a 17-year-old boy.  Logan Newell's car was idling in a Park and Ride lot Sunday in St. Albans, and police say carbon monoxide came in through vents, and within seven to nine minutes there was enough in the car to kill him.  As part of the investigation into his death, police discovered two leaks in the car's exhaust system.  Authorities say the teenager was aware of the exhaust problem and intended to fix it this week once parts he ordered were delivered.

Voters in Vermont have until 5:00 PM tomorrow to register to vote for Town Meeting Day.  All town offices will be open from 3 to 5 PM to allow residents the opportunity to have their names placed on a checklist.  Mailed applications are also due by 5 PM tomorrow.  Town Meeting Day this year will be March 5.