Friday, June 21, 2013

WVTK Local & State News June 21, 2013

Did spraying for mosquitoes on Fern Lake end up killing fish there?  That’s what the state is trying to find out.  They were testing the water today.  Everyone who lives there says it’s notorious for being buggy, and for more than 20 years the Mosquito Control District has been spraying it.  Earlier this month, several dozen dead fish were found in a cove and there’s concern about a link between the spraying and the fish kill.  Spraying resumed Wednesday night, and water samples collected today are hoped to determine if and what chemicals are on the lake’s surface.

With summer officially here, the Vermont Department of Health has a summertime warning about a tiny pest.  Mosquitoes are back, and last year two people died in Vermont from Eastern equine encephalitis while three were diagnosed with West Nile virus, all spread by infected mosquitoes.  The Health Department has a hotline to answer questions and concerns about the illnesses, and is warning people to wear long sleeves, avoid outside activities at dawn or dusk and use a good insect repellent.

For the first time in ten months, Vermont's unemployment rate saw an increase.  The Vermont Department of Labor released May's seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment number.  It was at 4.1%, a slight increase from April's 4.0%.  Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan says the recent news of the IBM layoffs is not reflected in the rising number.  The national average was 7.6% for May, which is also up slightly from April.  The Department of Labor says Vermont still has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

The New York State Liquor Authority approved a motion to change the time alcohol can be served from 4 to 3 a.m. during their meeting earlier this week.  Officials say, it will go into effect immediately once a letter has been sent to the county.  Judy Garrison, Clerk of the Board of Supervisors said she is working with the County Attorney to figure out the protocol for notifying county business owners.  The action overturns the 2005 decision made by the Essex County Board of Supervisors and the New York State Liquor Authority that changed the hours from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m., the state’s latest allowable time to serve alcohol. 

Rutland Manor is planning to close its doors by September.  The facility, run by Genesis HealthCare, issued 90-day notices to its 20 residents and their families last week, but a spokeswoman said they hope to close prior to the September 14 deadline.  The Nichols Street facility has 32 rooms and offers staff coverage 24 hours a day.  Genesis operates other facilities in Rutland and one in Claremont, N.H.