Thursday, May 30, 2013

WVTK Local & State News May 30, 2013

With temperatures expected to be in the 80's the next few days, a lot of folks will be headed to their favorite swimming holes.  Rescue crews, however, are cautioning people who are considering a dip in a river, pond, or other natural water areas.  Currents right now are strong and as tempting as the water looks, there's danger just below the surface.  Rescue crews say if you get swept into a current, try to hold onto something, and if you see someone needing help, don't go in yourself but instead throw something that person can hang onto.

Tomorrow the revised report is due on the impact of the F-35 jet fighters on the Burlington/South Burlington area if based there.  Burlington and the Air National Guard is the preferred site for newest fighter in the Air Force, but there's a lot of people in South Burlington who are not so enamored with the F-35.  An attorney representing the neighborhood near the airport says studies indicate the loud volume from the jets can lead to permanent hearing damage and lower achievement levels in young students.  However, on the economic side, there's a lot of people who see the jets as one way to retain 11-hundred Air Guard jobs.

A second man has been found guilty in the fatal beating of another man in northern New York last summer.  An Essex County jury earlier this week found 37-year-old Michael Rivers guilty of first-degree manslaughter and felony gang assault in the death of 45-year-old Robert Rennie.  Earlier this month, 20-year-old Scott Denno was convicted of the same charges.  Authorities say the leader of the attack was 40-year-old Paul Taylor, who's charged with second-degree murder.  His trial is pending.  Rivers and Denno will be sentenced Aug. 8.

Supporters of labeling genetically modified food are gearing up for a busy summer.  The team at the Vermont Public Interest Research Group announced plans earlier today for a door-to-door campaign across the state to get Vermonters behind the effort.  The push is designed to let people know what may be in their food and encourage them to contact lawmakers to support legislation that would require the labels.  The team hopes to knock on 70,000 doors.  Legislation requiring the labels passed in the Vermont House this year but did not get taken up by the Senate.

Two organizations are competing to represent up to 7,000 home-care workers in Vermont after legislation was passed allowing workers caring for the elderly and disabled to unionize.  An election is expected in the fall between two labor groups that specialize in organizing public employees and health care workers.  The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union are competing to represent the workers, who offer care to people at home.

The new federal health care reform law has saved young adults millions of dollars in medical bills.  A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine says in the first year that the Affordable Care Act went into effect, young adults who are now allowed to stay on their parents insurance saved nearly $147 million dollars in emergency room bills.  Without the new law, young adults and their families would have had to pay that amount, or hospitals would have had to write it off.