Thursday, July 11, 2013

WVTK Local & State News July 11, 2013

While Vermont leads the nation with enrollment of three and-four-year-olds in pre-kindergarten classes, it’s about to become easier for more to join the ranks.  Governor Peter Shumlin says thanks to grants, 12 Vermont communities will receive about 800-thousand dollars’ worth of student aid funds.  Right now, a year of pre-K can cost parents as much as eight-thousand to ten-thousand dollars.  Those qualifying for state subsidies and provider scholarships, however can save as much as six-thousand.

State health and agriculture officials are increasing their monitoring of the population and movement of mosquitoes in the Brandon area.  They hope to be more proactive against the spread of the mosquito-borne diseases Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, and the West Nile virus.  State Health Commissioner Harry Chen was addressing a crowd last night at the Brandon Town Hall, where state officials unveiled an updated plan on how they will monitor mosquito movement and determine risk of exposure to humans and other mammals.  More information regarding EEE and the West Nile virus and the work being done to monitor mosquitoes can be found at

The fight against domestic violence is getting a major financial boost in Rutland County. The community was selected to receive a 2-hundred thousand dollar grant from the Department of Justice. The money will be used to track domestic violence cases, with the ultimate goal of preventing homicides or severe assaults. Rutland's police chief says he sees some of the highest percentages of temporary restraining orders issued, but some of the lowest numbers of permanent orders.

The Winooski City Council is saying “No” to the F-35’s.  The Air Force wants to base the newer, faster and noisier jets at the Vermont Air National Guard base in South Burlington.  However, the council voted unanimously Thursday to send a letter to the Pentagon asking for the planes to be based somewhere else.  On Monday, the South Burlington City Council voted three to two to support basing the planes in Vermont, reversing its decision a year ago to oppose the F-35’s.

A Winooski police officer has been indicted by a grand jury for shooting a mentally ill man.  Police say Corporal Jason Nokes and another officer confronted Isaac Sage while investigating a trespassing call.  Nokes said Sage became combative. Sage was shot in the leg after officers tried to arrest him for assaulting them.  Sage was deemed insane at the time of the incident.  If convicted, Nokes could face up to 17 years in prison. Nokes is slated to be formally charged later this month.

The Rutland Police Department has a new sergeant.  Gregory Sheldon was promoted this week. He joined the Rutland Police Department 14 years ago.  He developed and manages the Police Cadet Program and worked to revitalize the department's Hostage Negotiation Team.  Sgt. Sheldon will be a commander on the night shift.