Thursday, February 28, 2013

WVTK Local & State News February 28, 2013

Animal welfare advocates presented Governor Shumlin a petition to strengthen animal abuse laws in the state.  A press release says that the advocates urged lawmakers to pass legislation that would ban extreme confinement of breeding pigs in gestation crates, strengthen standards for commercial dog breeders, require complex surgical procedures on animals to be performed by veterinarians and to expedite hearings on animal cruelty cases to allow for the adoption of animals into new homes more quickly.  The petition delivered to Shumlin had more than 1,300 signatures on it.

The fund which steps in to help Vermont families when their heating tanks are about to run dry is nearly running on empty itself.  Governor Peter Shumlin announced Wednesday the state's emergency fuel assistance program for low-income Vermonters will run out of money by the end of the week.  He's now asking lawmakers to come up with additional funding, despite the threat of across-the-board federal spending cuts likely to be activated as of Friday.  So far this year, the program has helped more than 45-hundred families.

Addison County Transit Resources have announced some changes to the Snow Bowl Shuttle Bus Schedule during the NCAA races next week.  On Wednesday, March 6, ACTR will add back in a modified winter weekday schedule from Adirondack Circle on Middlebury College’s campus with the first run departing at 10:15 am.  There will be no early am or pm commuter runs on Wednesday.  On Thursday, March 7, and Friday, March 8, regular winter weekday commuter runs will be in operation in the morning and evening.  And on Monday, March 11, the SBSB’s four-day spring/summer/fall weekday schedule takes full effect with service Thursday through Sunday until the end of March.

Vermont lawmakers on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution honoring the late Representative Greg Clark.  That tribute included the presentation of a check totaling over $7,000 toward a newly established Greg Clark Scholarship Fund that will benefit graduates of Mount Abe, where Clark taught social studies for 18 years. 

Gov. Peter Shumlin says Vermont's emergency fuel assistance has run out of funds, and that he's looking for another $900,000 to get people in need through the next three weeks.  Vermont budgeted $2.8 million this year for emergency fuel assistance.  Shumlin says he wants to look at a way to make the program more efficient, including examining eligibility requirements and stepping up weatherization of low-income Vermonters' homes.

The Vermont National Guard will welcome their new adjutant general tomorrow afternoon.  A press release says the Guard will celebrate a long military transition as Brigadier General Steven Cray assumes the position as the 23rd Adjutant General of the state of Vermont.  Cray will replace Major General Thomas Drew.  The ceremony will take place at the Green Mountain Armory in Colchester.

A new poll shows about half of Vermonters support moving to a single-payer health care system.  The survey by the Castleton Polling Institute shows 52 percent favor a public-funded single-payer system; 30 percent are opposed and 17 percent are undecided.  The support is slightly higher than a similar poll conducted last May.