Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WVTK Local & State News May 29, 2013

The last of three Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE) research study clinics is being held this afternoon until 7 o’clock 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.

Governor Shumlin signed the 2014-2015 Capital Budget into law earlier today.  A press release says the budget amounting to more than $173 million for projects across the state.  Governor Shumlin says "Not only is this the largest Capital Bill appropriation in the history of the state, but these projects will create jobs for Vermonters in the coming years."

Police in Rutland are investigating suspicious fires in the city.  The fires were just before 8 PM and 9 PM Tuesday in swampy areas off Spruce Street and behind the old Hannaford building on South Main Street.  Both were put out before anything was damaged.  Police say a witness spotted a man running from the second fire. He's described as being in his mid-20s, clean-shaven, with short brown hair, wearing a long-sleeve gray shirt with a red logo and brown shorts.  Please call Rutland City Police if you have any information.

The board that oversees Vermont's enhanced 911 emergency phone system says the wireless provider Sprint Nextel is ending a six-month test that allowed people to report emergencies with text messages.  The E911 board says the trial that began in December is scheduled to end May 31.  While no emergency messages were transmitted during the test period, officials with Vermont E911 and Spring both say the test was a success.  E911 Executive Director David Tucker says Sprint is ending the test as it prepares to make text-to-911 service available nationwide by May 2014.

Three former Grand Union stores in Vermont and another 6 in New York are now under new management.  Tops Markets have taken over.  The locations in Vermont are Northfield, Rutland, and Hardwick.  The company says shoppers can expect to see changes in amenities and more variety on the shelves.  Tops Markets now operates close to 160 supermarkets and employs more than 15,000 people.

Members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency are in Vermont this week, assessing damage from the flooding late last week triggered by heavy rain.  The FEMA teams are concentrating on Chittenden and Lamoille counties, and will be working with V-Trans and town officials to see if the state met a one-million-dollar threshold.  That determines if a public assistance disaster declaration is made.    Any disaster assistance request has to also have the approval of FEMA, as well as President Obama.