Thursday, May 16, 2013

WVTK Local & State News May 16, 2013

There's a big lighting problem on the new Lake Champlain Bridge, which connects Chimney Point, Vermont with Crown Point, New York.  Many of the lights are out, and according to the New York State Department of Transportation, water is getting into the electrical pole boxes on the bridge, damaging the wiring.  Crews are now working to find out how it happened and keep it from happening again.  The original lighting on the 76-million-dollar bridge which opened just a few years ago cost one-point-two million.  Estimates to fix the problem are set at another half-million dollars.

Voters are saying "no" to the third school budget proposal for the 2014 school year in Rutland Town.  It was defeated by a very slim margin of just 12 votes.  The proposed budget of seven-point-nine million dollars is about 300-thousand more than the current budget, but the cost to tax-payers is actually a one-and-a-half percent decrease from the 2013 fiscal year.  The budget deadline is June 30th.

If you're a teen looking for a summer job in New York, you're in luck!  Governor Cuomo says more than 18,000 jobs will be made available.  It's all thanks to New York State's Summer Youth Employment Program.  $25 million in funding will be distributed to all 57 counties in New York to help bring youth into the workforce.  There are requirements to the program, if you meet them you're asked to contact your local department of social services.

Police in Essex Junction are looking for a man who brandished a handgun during a robbery at a convenience store.  Police responded to Champlain Farms shortly before 11 p.m. after a report of an armed robbery.  They said the man took some cash and fled. No injuries were reported.  Police released video surveillance photos.  They described the man as white, 5-foot-8, 135 pounds wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black cap and gloves.

The Vermont National Guard says the number of furlough days for about 500 of its federal technicians is being reduced from 14 to 11.  The Vermont guard's technicians work within the Army and Air National Guard in numerous positions to include administration, maintenance, and operations.  Vermont officials say they are acting on a decision made by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.  The furloughs are due to federal budget cuts.

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says 10 cliffs and hiking trails across the state are closed to protect peregrine falcon nesting areas.  Biologist John Buck says peregrine nesting season is well underway and falcons are sensitive to the presence of humans.  Buck says the areas that are closed include the portions of the cliffs where the birds are nesting and the trails leading to the cliff tops or overlooks.  In many cases the lower portions of the trails are still open.