Wednesday, May 1, 2013

WVTK Local & State News May 1, 2013

Prepare to start spending more the next time you go to the gasoline pumps.  Vermont’s new gasoline tax goes into effect today.  The average is just six cents per gallon, but every bit counts.  Governor Peter Shumlin says the tax is needed to pay for transportation costs, and is expected to bring in 25-million dollars every year.  It’s also going up on diesel by two cents, as of this July.  The governor signed it into law earlier this week in a private ceremony.

Work will begin next week on the lighting issues on the Lake Champlain Bridge.  A spokesperson for the N.Y. Department of Transportation says, water got into the pole boxes on the bridge and impacted the wiring, causing the lights not to work.  Crews will fix the wiring and make sure the pole boxes are water tight.  Work is expected to be completed by June.

Residents in Brandon defeated the latest municipal budget.   The budget had been approved in March by an 8-vote margin, 428-420.  It prompted a successful petition campaign to put it on a special ballot.  Yesterday, the proposed budget was defeated by 282 votes.  The Select Board will now work on reducing the budget before it goes before voters again.

A New York man is dead after an ATV accident in the Adirondacks.  State police say 49-year-old Tyler Middleton of Ballston Spa, was riding alone on a logging road in Westport late Monday night when he rolled off the trail and down a small embankment.  He was trapped under the overturned ATV and suffocated.  Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the accident.

House lawmakers gave preliminary approval yesterday to legislation that would require every school district in the state to provide publicly funded preschool to children as young as 3.  In a 97-43 vote that split mostly along party lines, advocates for early education won a victory they say will expand opportunities for kids during a critical period in their lives. For lower-income children especially, supporters of the legislation say, the bill would provide the head start needed to promote academic success later in life.

Essex County lawmakers are just one vote cast away from making bar closing times an hour earlier.  The final vote is at 10 AM next Monday in the Old County Courthouse in Elizabethtown.  The change from 4 AM was proposed by Mac MacDevitt of the Essex County Substance Abuse Prevention Team of Ticonderoga.  MacDevitt had asked for a reduction to 2 AM, but supervisors compromised on 3 AM after some tavern owners objected.

May is Stroke Awareness Month and the American Heart Association is urging everyone to take control and learn the warning signs.  They say stroke warning signs can come suddenly and fast. 
There's an easy acronym to help your remember these common signs called FAST.  F- Face drooping / A- Arm weakness / S - Speech difficulty / T - Time to call 911  Often times, people miss the warning signs and go hours, sometimes days before getting medical attention.  The quicker stroke is recognized, there's less of a chance for long term damage.  Health experts say it's important to call 911 as soon as possible.