Tuesday, May 28, 2013

WVTK Local & State News May 28, 2013

Smokers in Vergennes could soon have fewer places to light up.  The city council today is considering a measure to ban smoking on the city green and at the city pool.  Alderman Mike Ouellette argues that smoking is a personal choice and that residents should not be subjected to second-hand smoke.  Earlier this year Vergennes students pushed the council to make the move.  The proposal would also ban smoking at city-sponsored events.

The last of three Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE) research study clinics will be held tomorrow from noon to 7 PM at the Whiting Town Hall.  The first two clinics, held in April and early May at the Brandon Senior Center and Sudbury Town Hall, were well attended.  A total of 316 volunteers have donated blood samples that will be tested for antibodies to EEE.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board is holding three public hearings on proposed changes to trout and bass fishing regulations.  The board proposes reducing the daily creel limit for brook trout by half and opening 11 new river sections to catch and release trout fishing with artificial flies or lures outside of the normal season.  The first public meeting was today at the St. Johnsbury Elementary School, the second one will take place tomorrow at the Pavilion Auditorium in Montpelier and the third one will be held on Thursday at the Kehoe Education Center in Castleton.

Vermont Gas Services Inc. on Friday unveiled a natural gas pipeline route through Cornwall that it believes will comply with the community’s town plan and setback requirements while creating taxable infrastructure. Company officials said the pipeline would pour an estimated $240,000 into the municipal coffers during its first year of operation while allowing a limited number of local tie-ins.  Vermont Gas officials will present further details of their plans at a community meeting tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, June 5, at Cornwall’s Bingham Memorial School. The Cornwall selectboard is also expected to hold an informational meeting on the topic within the next few weeks.

Moriah Central School eighth-grader Nicholas Manfred is a North Country “spellebrity.”  After all, beginning today, the 13-year-old will compete for the second consecutive year in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.  Nicholas earned his spot in the national competition in March, when he outlasted 51 other area students to become the champion of the Champlain Valley Educational Services Regional Spelling Bee.  The young spellebrity won the Regional Bee last year, as well, and spelled his way through the first three rounds of the 2012 national competition’s preliminaries before being eliminated.

Killington can now go on record as not only being the largest ski resort in Vermont, but staying open the longest in the Northeast.  A few more inches of fresh snow Sunday morning added to the three-foot base already there, and the skiers rushed in for one more day.  The lift tickets were free, with only one open and one trail below.  This wasn't the latest the ski area was open, because in 1997, the season didn't officially end until June 22nd.

For thousands, the annual Memorial Day parade in Vergennes is a tradition not to be missed.  Vergennes may be considered Vermont's smallest city, but every year it's the site of the state's largest Memorial Day parade.  It has all the traditional parade elements: student bands, shiny fire trucks and special guests.  But, the parade watchers and participants say it's much more than that, calling it a way to share pride, and say thank you to those who paid the ultimate price for freedom.