Wednesday, May 8, 2013

WVTK Local & State News May 8, 2013

A bill creating a sort of driver's license and identification for illegal immigrants passes in the House, and Governor Peter Shumlin says he'll sign it. Yesterday, the legislation passed creating drivers' privilege cards which will also be I-D's but will look different from regular drivers' licenses. It's estimated about 15-hundred immigrant workers live in Vermont, and are considered vital to the state's dairy industry.

After rejecting the House version of the doctor-assisted suicide bill yesterday, the state Senate agreed to debate it again this morning.  The vote came late yesterday on whether to allow Vermonters who have less than six months to live to ask their doctors for a prescription for a lethal dose of medication.  The sticking point between the House and Senate is government safeguards, something the House wants and the Senate does not.  Supports of the bill hope a common ground is reached before the Legislature adjourns this weekend.

The Vermont State Police arrested a man for aggravated sexual assault.  Police say 48-year-old Brandon Shackett Jr. of Brandon is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl during a sleep over last month.  If convicted, Shackett faces a maximum term of life in prison and may be fined no more than $50,000.  Shackett is due in court next month. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has given Vermont verbal approval to begin demolition of flood-damaged buildings at the Waterbury Office Complex.  Governor Peter Shumlin Shumlin says that work should begin this summer.  Vermont is still waiting to find out how much money it is getting from FEMA.  The state is expecting $40 million-$50 million and is confident it will get it.

New York State Police arrested two people on meth charges in Mooers.  Police say they arrested 54-year-old Warren Inman and 41-year-old Donald Labarge Jr. of Champlain, for unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine.  Police initially went to a residence located on Bashaw Road to investigate a petit larceny complaint when they discovered remnants of a meth lab.  Both suspects were arraigned and were committed to the Clinton County Jail on $15,000 cash bail.  Additional charges are pending. 

A plea deal involving a fatality and a drunk driving charge fell apart in court Tuesday.  17-year-old James Companion is charged with D-U-I with death resulting from an accident nearly a year ago in Colchester.  His passenger, 25-year-old Tasha Maring died when the car ran into a utility pole and caught on fire.  The plea bargain anticipated Tuesday didn't happen because defense attorneys want more time, including having a pre-sentence investigation done beforehand.  Both sides hope to have a deal in place later this month.

Students and community members have petitioned Middlebury College to rethink its support of the natural gas pipeline expansion project proposed for Addison County.  At a small demonstration held outside the Old Chapel building on the Middlebury campus yesterday afternoon, about 20 students and community members presented a petition with more than 1,400 signatures to college officials.