Thursday, March 14, 2013

WVTK Local & State News March 14, 2013

For the second year in a row, Ronan Howlett, an 8th grader from Middlebury Union High School, has won the Vermont State Spelling Bee.  Howlett beat 42 other students that were competing in the Vermont State Spelling Bee.  The press release says Emily Ballou, of South Royalton School, came in second. Nicholas Knudsen, of Frederick H Tuttle Middle School came in third.  Next Howlett will travel to Washington D.C. to compete against top spellers from every other state in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in June.

Governor Peter Shumlin and Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross announced a statewide Workplace Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program today.  The program will allow Vermont State employees to purchase locally grown food and produce at numerous sites around the state.  More than 30 employees participated in the pilot project in 2012, about 75 percent had never previously participated in a CSA.  About 15 state buildings across the state have been identified as possible sites.

A young man whose father lives in Vermont is one of the latest casualties in Afghanistan.  Twenty-one-year-old Army Specialist Zachary Shannon was one of five people killed Monday when a Black Hawk helicopter went down.  The Vermont National Guard says Shannon's father lives in Guildhall, plus his grandfather lives in Vermont as well.  Shannon, who graduated from high school in Florida, was assigned to an aviation regiment out of Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia.

Lawmakers are taking testimony today on a controversial bill that would allow migrant farmworkers in the country illegally to get Vermont driver's licenses.  Sen. Transportation Committee Chairman Dick Mazza said today that the bill has a lot of issues that need to be resolved before it can be voted on by the committee and then the full Senate.  Vermont dairy farms employ an estimated 1,500 Mexican farmworkers who say they are isolated in rural areas and have to ask farmers or others for rides to the grocery store or doctor.

A rollover crash on Route 7 yesterday sent a Salisbury man to the hospital with abrasions and contusions.  Police say 77-year-old John Lewis was driving north on Route 7 when he drove onto the shoulder, eventually leaving the road and hitting trees.  His Jeep Patriot was destroyed.  Lewis was taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

Rutland City is getting a big financial surge to fight domestic abuse.  A new federal initiative aimed at reducing deaths in domestic abuse cases is awarding 200-thousand dollars to the city.  Rutland is just one of a dozen cities getting the federal funding.  The Lethality Assessment Program in Rutland has victim advocates and police working together to identify high risk offenders and potential victims.  City officials believe their work with that program is what earned the attention and award from the feds.