Tuesday, May 21, 2013

WVTK Local & State News May 21, 2013

A man arrested in connection with a fire set at a car dealership in Pittsford in July 2011 has pleaded not guilty to a federal arson charge.  29-year-old Steven Browne of Middlebury was arrested after a fire was set at Curtis Auto Sales.  He was initially charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after he allegedly tried to escape from police custody.  Police said they found Browne behind the wheel of a stolen car taken from the Curtis Auto Sales lot.  They said he was at a Rutland bank attempting to cash checks taken from the dealership.

Rutland is getting a Forbes 500 company and a new solar project.  N-R-G, the largest solar developer in the country now has a partnership with Green Mountain Power to start up a pilot program for community solar leases.  The two companies will build a new solar array in the town, and from that 50 customers can lease the power generated.  A consultant says those customers may be people renting apartments or others who cannot do solar on their own.  While it's not known what the savings will be, G-M-P officials say the customers are likely to pay less for solar than they are currently paying for electricity.

As Governor Peter Shumlin put his name onto a bill known as the End-of-Life Choices legislation yesterday, he was creating history.  The new law allows doctors to prescribe lethal doses of medication to terminally ill patients and is the first ever such law in the nation passed by state lawmakers.  A handful of other states have similar laws on the books, but those all came into being by referendum.  Supporters say now that the law is in place, the number of patients who follow through with taking the prescription will be small, but opponents say there's no oversight, and they will set up a hotline for reports of abuse.

Area residents will have an opportunity to comment on proposed Lake George boating regulations aimed at preventing the spread of invasive species.  #The Lake George Park Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed plan Wednesday, June 12, at 6 PM at the Best Western in Ticonderoga.  The Lake George Park Commission adopted a Draft Invasive Species Prevention Plan and Environmental Impact Statement April 23.  Before the draft can become final the public will have 60 days to comment.

Vermont State Parks are set to open this weekend.  A press release says the Memorial Day holiday, the unofficial start of summer, marks the beginning of the prime season for all 52 Vermont State Parks.  Officials are hopeful that this year's park visitation will at least match last year's 20 year record.  Vermont State Parks saw more than 915,000 visits last summer.

This Sunday is the Vermont City Marathon, the first marathon in Burlington since the bombings last month in Boston.  That means the security will be tightened, and Burlington Police have plenty of safety recommendations for runners and spectators alike.  People are being asked to bring their belongings in clear plastic bags instead of coolers, back packs and boxes.  They're also being told to expect random searches and to carry out their own trash, because fewer trash barrels will be available.