Monday, May 20, 2013

WVTK Local & State News May 20, 2013

Vermont is joining the national "Click it or Ticket" campaign which gets underway today and runs through June 2nd.  State, local and county law enforcement officers are conducting high-visibility enforcement of Vermont's seatbelt law.  There were 77 fatalities last year on Vermont roads, and state police report nearly half of those deaths were people not properly wearing their seatbelts.

The U.S. House Agriculture Committee approved a Farm Bill last week on a bipartisan vote of 36-10. The bill is expected to be debated by the full House of Representatives this summer.  Representative Peter Welch said, “This is a good bill for Vermont’s agriculture sector which is vital to the economic health of our state.”  The bill is designed to stabilize milk prices for dairy farmers, provide disaster insurance for vegetable growers, promote local fruits and vegetables in school lunches, and help grow Vermont’s maple industry.

It's a battle between two companies who both have the word "woodchuck" in their business and on their logo.  Woodchuck Hard Cider of Middlebury has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Woodchuck Coffee Roasters in South Burlington.  The hard cider company says the coffee roasters' logo is very similar to its own, adding it's worked hard to build brand awareness for the past 22 years.  The coffee company, which was founded two years ago, say they never intended for their logo to imitate the one from Middlebury.

A hearing date for the legal battle between Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant and the state is now set for June 4th.  The hearing will be in federal court in Burlington involving the latest legal challenge by Entergy, the plant's owner, who is accusing state regulators of delaying approval for a back-up emergency diesel generator.  The plant is under orders from the feds to put in a back-up power source by September, and the Public Service Board has not yet given permit approval for the project.

Upgrading to more energy efficient appliances and don't know what to do with your old ones?  Starting Thursday, "Efficiency Vermont" will haul-away your working refrigerator or freezer and you'll get 50 dollars for it.  They're hoping to collect more than 2,000 of them by the end of the year.  The group says people may not realize how much energy those older appliances use.  To find if you're eligible visit

The annual Middlebury Memorial Day Parade will be held next starting at 9 AM.  The parade route travels north on Main Street and concludes with a ceremony at the Soldiers Monument on Merchants Row immediately following the parade.  The Middlebury Fire Department will also hold an open house at the new Station 1 on Seymour Street next Monday.  The station will be open to the public for two hours immediately following the Memorial Day Parade and ceremony at the Soldiers Monument.