Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WVTK Local & State News February 6, 2013

The Postal Service is cutting their Saturday mail delivery service to trim costs.  A press release says during the week of August 5, 2013 they will transition to the new delivery schedule for mail delivery. This means mail will be delivered Monday through Friday.  The exception is package delivery which will still have Saturday service.  The changes are expected to save the post office $2 billion annually once the plan is fully implemented.

Vermont student test scores were released today from the New England Common Assessment Program also known as NECAP.   The results show the percentage of fifth graders who scored proficient in writing increased 5 points from 46% proficient in 2011 to 51% in 2012.  Writing at the 8th grade level increased 7 points from 59% last year to 66% last fall. High school students saw scores drop 2 points from 48% to 46%.  The NECAP exams are given in collaboration with Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

After two years of work and revamping, the state has a new sex offender website.  A 150-thousand-dollar federal grant paid for the project.  The new website gives the public more information about registered offenders and Vermont, and also makes it easier to find them.  Another feature allows citizens to receive e-mail alerts if a sex offender moves into their town.

Rutland County sheriff's deputies say they have three teenagers who went on a three-night shooting spree.  Dozens of windows in businesses and cars were shot out in late January, adding up to more than 50-thousand dollars' worth of damage.  The Rutland Herald is reporting Cody Vanguilder, Jacob Eels and Cade Bowen are pleading not guilty to multiple charges of unlawful mischief and reckless endangerment.  If convicted, the teens face up to 30 years in prison.

Once again, officials are warning people about the unsafe conditions on the ice.  It happened again on Lake Seymour this past weekend, when the ice buckled under the weight of a truck which crashed through.  Both the driver and passenger got out safely, but there's the problem of fluids leaking and causing environmental issues.  The most recent thaw, and the roller coaster of temperatures is to blame, with anglers planning on participating in an ice fishing tournament this weekend warned to be extra cautious.

A Green Mountain College student is behind bars, denying charges he beat and assaulted a fellow student.  According to reports, 22-year-old Arthur Field of Warwick, New York, allegedly assaulted a female student in his dorm room on January 26.  He is facing repeated aggravated sexual assault, a charge that carries a possible life sentence.  Green Mountain College has placed Field on an interim suspension.

Vermont lawmakers are once again raising the sticky subject of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.  Advocates are calling for a penny per ounce excise tax on soda and other sweetened drinks.  The goal is to generate money for anti-obesity programs, while creating a disincentive for people to buy the beverages.  Critics say the tax will not reduce consumption, but could hurt merchants in border towns.  The beverage industry says it should not be singled out from other sugar sources.