Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WVTK Local & State News July 10, 2013

It took 4 times, but voters in Brandon have passed a spending plan for the fiscal year that started on July 1st.  The nearly $149,000 in cuts made by town officials to the budget got the approval of voters yesterday when they passed the over $3-million municipal spending budget, 516-399.  This was the fourth time that the budget was presented to voters.

Officials with Vermont’s health and agriculture agencies are planning to discuss a new plan to react to the threat of mosquito-borne viruses.  State officials plan to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services office to track and respond to cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile virus.  Officials will share the details of the plan with the public tonight in a meeting at the Brandon Town Hall from 5 to 7 PM.

Police in Monkton are investigating a break-in in which the burglar made off with thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry.  Authorities say someone broke into the home of a 71-year-old woman Tuesday afternoon and got away with more than 2,000 dollars in cash and close to 3,500 dollars in coins and jewelry.  If you you have any information you're asked to call police.

Someone picked the wrong senior to try to scam.  According to State Police, an elderly man living in Dummerston says he received a telephone call from someone trying to get money from him.  The caller said the man’s great-grandson was in jail, and the man needed to go to a Western Union location to wire bail money.  He didn’t fall for it, but promptly called State Police instead.  Vermont State Police are asking for anyone else getting a similar call to notify them.

Weybridge residents will be asked in September to weigh in on possible uses of a $475,000 in insurance reimbursement money the town has received after the embezzlement case involving former Town Clerk and Treasurer Karen Brisson.  Weybridge Selectwoman Gale Hurd said the money must be earmarked for municipal projects, and not for schools.  Residents could also recommend returning all or a portion of the funds to taxpayers by lowering the municipal property tax rate.

Senator Bernie Sanders is continuing to push for moving the interest rate on federal student loans back to 3.4 percent, reversing its doubling to 6.8 percent as of July 1st.  Speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Sanders read excerpts from emails from Vermonters who were either still in school or out in the workforce and struggling to pay off their loans.

Vermont is joining 14 other states and cities in calling for the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt proposed new rules calling for big cuts in pollution from vehicles by 2017. The standards would cut smog-producing emissions from vehicles by 80 percent and soot by 70 percent. Attorney General William Sorrell said the so-called Tier 3 standards will cut air pollution emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 33 million of today’s vehicles off the road.