Tuesday, March 5, 2013

WVTK Local & State News March 3, 2013

A number of issues and articles were discussed and passed during last night’s Town Meeting in Middlebury.  By a vote on the floor, residents approved the proposed Fiscal Year 2014 Budget of almost $9-million with over $6-million to be raised through taxes.  The rest of the articles are being decided by Australian Vote today.  The polls are open till 7 o’clock.

As thousands of voters head to the polls across Vermont today, voters in Rutland have to decide on who will lead their city.  The current Mayor, Chris Louras, has been in other elections before, and has run without any opposition.  That's not the case this time, as long-time Board of Aldermen leader David Allaire is also running for mayor.  Louras has been in office six years, and Allaire says it's time for a change.  Louras says the city just needs to continue with its momentum of moving forward.  Voters will have the final say.

If the sequester continues for a while, Governor Peter Shumlin says he'll have to re-evaluate his stand on no new taxes.  The forced federal budget cuts reduce federal dollars coming into Vermont by about 15 million over the next seven months.  Educational and environmental programs will take the biggest hit, with up to a thousand defense-related jobs being impacted as well.  Shumlin says he's worried about what this all does to Vermont's economy, and is afraid of another recession.

The Essex County Sheriff's Department is receiving praise from the U.S. Marshals for their handling of federal prisoners.  Since 2008, the Essex County Jail has housed more than 800 federal prisoners awaiting sentencing for the Vermont District Marshal Service which covers Northern New York, Vermont and New England.  The marshals have named Essex County one of the top two prisons among the 15 they work with in the region for their professionalism, organization and support of the operation.

Gun owners opposed to the New York State SAFE Act packed the Essex County Board of Supervisors chambers yesterday.  Many were members of the Essex County Fish and Game Club.  The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, passed Jan. 15, will limit ammunition magazines to no more than seven rounds, or 10 if the magazine is pre-existing. It also, among other details, requires background checks for all gun sales and ammunition purchases.  The ammunition requirement takes effect Jan. 15, 2014, and the magazine rule, April 15 of this year.

The Winter Middlebury Farmers Market opens at Mary Hogan Elementary School off Court Street in downtown Middlebury this weekend.  The market will run every Saturday from 9:30 AM to 1 PM.  Each week, local vendors will offer a variety of goods including greens, beans, radishes, beets, potatoes, eggs, meat, fresh bread, pastries and more.  The market will move to the Middlebury Marble Works in May.