Thursday, February 7, 2013

WVTK Local & State News February 7, 2013

Some Vermont lawmakers will be holding a press conference to discuss new F-35 legislation.  According to a press release, Representative George Cross (D-Chittenden-6-7) and the Stop the F-35 Coalition unveiled a bill to delay the F-35's from coming to the Burlington area.  He also proposed a complimentary bill designed to protect those who live in the 65 db impact zone.  The decision on whether or not to base the jets in Burlington is up to the Department of Defense.  No word yet on what location the Defense Department selected to house the F-35's.

Two dozen co-sponsors believe a soda tax is needed to fight obesity in Vermont.  The bill was submitted yesterday.  The bill would implement a penny, per ounce tax on sodas and sugar sweetened beverages.  Many doctors and other health leaders are on board.  Testimony for the bill, known as SSB, begins tomorrow morning in the House Healthcare Committee.

Should there be security cameras in the Rutland neighborhoods which have more crime?  That's what a local landlord is proposing, with the suggestion going to the town's Public Safety Committee after the Board of Aldermen first heard the idea .  The suggestion is to put surveillance cameras on public property in residential areas to cut down crime.  Rutland's police chief says while the cameras in downtown have helped, he wants to hear what the community says before he offers up an opinion for the neighborhood cameras.

It's not required now, but the whooping cough vaccination could eventually be required for every man, woman and child in Vermont.  That's what the bill now before lawmakers is calling for, as the illness can be especially dangerous, even deadly, for infants and children.  While 2010 recorded just 18 whooping cough cases in Vermont, the number spiked last year to nearly a hundred.  The Governor and Health Commissioner, however, are opposed to the bill as is the Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says federal and state officials hope to complete funding arrangements for the rebuilding of the Waterbury state office complex by the end of the month.  The two sides are working to determine how much FEMA will contribute to the cost of reconstructing the Waterbury campus, most of which was flooded and made unusable by Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011.  The state has designed a project that would demolish some of the existing structures in Waterbury, repair others and build new structures above the flood level.

A member of the Middlebury College men's basketball team reached a milestone with scoring his 1000th point.  Jake Wolfin is now the 18th player in school history to pass that mark, and now actually has one-thousand-and four points in 108 games after the game this week defeating Lyndon State.  Another team member, Nolan Thompson did the same thing last month.  The Middlebury Panthers are currently ranked fifth with a 20-and-one record so far this year.