Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WVTK Local & State News July 17, 2013

With another day of above-90-degree temperatures, New Englanders are being asked to conserve power, especially in the afternoon and evening.  More and more people are keeping their fans and air conditioners on, and electric companies are saying if customers conserve power now, heat-related brown-outs later will not be necessary.  Green Mountain Power is making the request, along with I-S-O-New England, the power grid operator for the region.  Both say it’s a way to keep supply and demand in balance, with the heat wave not expected to break until the weekend.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is urging IBM to make public the number of employees it laid off last month at its Vermont facilities.  And the governor says if he and his lawyer conclude the Vermont Public Records Act requires it, his administration will release the number whether IBM wants to or not.  IBM doesn't make layoff numbers public. It reported them to the state, but is telling Vermont officials the number is commercially sensitive and exempt from disclosure under the law.  Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan is asking IBM to explain its position on the law by noon tomorrow. 

The Vermont attorney general’s office is warning about scam lottery letter being mailed to Vermonters.  The letter from Trans Financial Company- Lottery & Resource Management typically says the recipient has won $250,000 in a sweepstakes.  The letter says the company is working with New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Entertainment and lists a number of businesses with addresses in the U.S. and South Africa.

Vermont State Police are searching for an unidentified man who robbed a convenience store on Route 103 last night.  Police say at 9:30 p.m. a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and gray T-shirt entered the Mac's Convenience Store in East Wallingford and demanded money from the register.  Investigators say the clerk complied and the robber fled the store with an undisclosed amount of money.  No customers were in the store at the time of the robbery.  Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call state police.

A Hinesburg teen arrested for making meth at his parents' home has accepted a plea agreement.  Police say Jacob Berino was injured when his makeshift meth lab exploded last October. He was later arrested on federal drug charges.  According to court documents, Berino has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to manufacture narcotics.  He remains jailed while awaiting sentencing.

Amtrak's Ethan Allen line is now letting people bring their bikes on board.  CafĂ© cars are being fitted for bikes to let passengers bring their own wheels when they head north to take advantage of the biking trails.  It's a limited time offer, and Amtrak will use this time to gauge demand for this program on other lines.  Bicycles on Board is also available on lines from Boston to Portland and New York to Charlotte.