Monday, May 13, 2013

WVTK Local & State News May 13, 2013

As part of the contract negotiations between Rutland City and labor unions city pension plans are on the chopping block.  The Rutland Pension Board is considering eliminating pension participation for future city employees because of a shortfall in funding it, and new hires will instead go in the state Municipal Employees Retirement System.  New contracts call for current members to be able to stay in the program.  The fire department was the first union to agree to end city pension plans for new hires, and the Department of Public Works is now talking about it.

Vermont lawmakers say they're giving up their effort this year to make the state's income tax more progressive.  The move came after Gov. Peter Shumlin insisted he wanted no changes.  Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell says lawmakers had been pushing for capping the home mortgage interest deduction and making other changes designed to get more revenue from high-income taxpayers and less from middle- and lower-income Vermonters.  Campbell says lawmakers will take up the issue when they come back in January.  Meanwhile, he says he's still hopeful they can wrap up their business for 2013 by tomorrow night.

The Vermont Health Department is holding the second of 3 clinics to test people for the mosquito-borne disease eastern equine encephalitis that killed two Vermonters last year.  The clinic will be held tomorrow from Noon to 7 PM at the Sudbury Town Hall.  The study of volunteers is to determine how many people have been exposed to the virus, but have not gotten seriously ill.  A clinic was held last month in Brandon and another will be held May 29 in Whiting.

Voters in the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union tomorrow will decide whether to support a proposal put forth by the Vergennes Union High School board for a five-year, $600,000 loan to put a new roof on the school’s leaky classroom wing and auditorium.  If voters back the $600,000 loan, payments would add about $10 of annual taxes per $100,000 of assessed home value.  Those who are eligible for prebates would not pay the full amount of that increase.

Police in Bristol have arrested a 17-year-old on charges of selling drugs on school property.  Saturday night, they were called to the recreation fields for a report of a 13-year-old girl in need of medical attention.  The girl was treated and transported from the school by the Bristol Rescue Squad.  Yesterday, 17-year-old Zachariah Matthew Rusk was arrested.  Police say additional evidence obtained during a search warrant of his home may link him to other drug activities.

Vermont State Police in New Haven said they received two reports of catalytic converter stolen from cars parked at the Larabee Point State Fishing Access on Hanson Road in Shoreham.  The first came up missing on Friday.  Then on Sunday a catalytic converter was taken from a car between 1 and 5 PM.  Anyone with information is asked to call Vermont State Police.