Monday, March 11, 2013

WVTK Local & State News March 11, 2013

Bridport Central School re-opened this morning after taking Thursday and Friday off last week due to the high number of illnesses.  Last week, 71 of the 81 students were sick on Wednesday and not at school.  School officials contacted local and state health officials and the plan they came up with was to completely sanitize the entire school to try and help stop the spread of the stomach bug going around.  Most of the students returned to school this morning, in fact only 2 students were absent today. 

Vermont clearly has the numbers now to back up an ominous fact:  the population in the Green Mountain state is shrinking.  There were two-thousand fewer babies born in Vermont than there were 20 years ago, and many young people are simply not staying.  Besides the baby count dropping, in the past two years Vermont has lost more than two-thousand people to other states.  The last time the state's population declined like this was in 1944.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders says the automatic federal budget cuts will hurt Vermonters.  At a news conference this morning, it was announced that as many as 4,400 families could be affected by cuts in rental assistance, crisis fuel aid and other emergency assistance programs that help keep families in their homes.  As many as 170 children out of the 1,500 enrolled in Head Start in Vermont may also be affected.  Sanders says to reduce deficits, he is calling for closing tax loopholes that let profitable corporations and wealthy individuals shelter income in offshore tax havens.

Vermont State Police are looking for a driver who ditched a truck in a field after fleeing to evade a traffic stop early Saturday.  Police said they were in the area of a reported underage drinking party shortly before 1 AM when they spotted the driver of a truck committing a traffic violation on Basin Harbor Road.  The driver fled when signaled to stop and the truck was later found in a field.  Anyone with information is asked to call Vermont State Police.

Foreclosures are spiking in Vermont, but experts say they don't expect the trend to affect home prices.  As other states begin to rebound from the housing crisis, negative effects are now beginning to ripple through Vermont.  In January, Vermont home sale prices went up six percent.  But in February, 159 foreclosure procedures began in the state.  The foreclosure spike is expected to last for about a year.

Ice fishing shanties in New York have got to go by the end of the week.  That's the word from the Department of Environmental Conservation. Owners who do not meet the Friday deadline will be fined $100.

The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is offline for a while, but it's all planned.  The nuclear reactor was taken offline Saturday night for scheduled refueling.  The plant has not gone off the grid since November 2011, but at times has been scaled back on its power output due to various problems.