Friday, July 19, 2013

WVTK Local & State News July 19, 2013

The woman who served as town clerk and treasurer for Weybridge is going to federal prison for two years.  Karen Brisson received the sentence Thursday in what the judge called one of the largest and most flagrant cases in a long string of public and private embezzlements in the state.  A forensic audit came up with more than 476-thousand dollars taken from the years 2006 to 2012.  Brisson apologized in court, saying she is sorry for the theft and how she disappointed family, friends and taxpayers.

I-B-M ended its fight to keep confidential the number of Vermont jobs cut in its latest round of layoffs.  Turns out the total was 419 people lost their jobs.  Big Blue was required to give the state details within 24 hours after all the layoffs were final, but had held off, saying it could cause competitive harm to the company.  The Labor Department gave I-B-M until noon yesterday to legally prove that claim, and the company dropped the objection and released the number.

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy says Vermont and New York are winning the fight against sea lamprey in Lake Champlain.  Leahy, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced a $600,000 appropriation for continued treatment of lamprey, an eel-like invasive species that wounds other species native to the lake.  He and other officials also showed off a new 26-foot boat recently acquired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to handle sea lamprey control on the lake.

A Pittsford man arrested for the murder of his girlfriend tried to kill himself in prison.  35-year-old Christopher Sharrow is charged with murdering 32-year-old Kristen Parker earlier this month.  Vermont Corrections officials say Sharrow tried to hang himself in his cell at the state prison in St. Johnsbury.  He is now hospitalized in stable condition in Boston.  Corrections officials say Sharrow had been on a suicide watch where he was checked every 15 minutes.

Vermont State Police are still investigating a car crash in Bridport.  According to investigators, when the arrived at the scene of the crash last Sunday, no one was there.  Witnesses say three people, possibly migrant farmworkers, walked away from the scene.  But police have not figured out who they are.  Police say the car is registered to the woman who heads the immigration advocacy group Migrant Justice.  Police have been unable to interview her.  State Police say they're meeting with the state's attorney next week to see how his office would like to proceed.

Vermont’s unemployment rate climbed to 4.4 percent in June, the second consecutive month-to-month increase.  The comparative national rate in June was 7.6 percent, which was unchanged from May.  Despite the increase, Vermont’s unemployment rate remained the fourth lowest in the country.

Green Mountain Power has selected Positive Energy, a solar developer with offices in Poultney, Vt., and Granville, N.Y., to build the College of St. Joseph Solar Farm atop the Rutland college’s athletic center.  Positive Energy will build the system with assistance from students in the Green Mountain College Renewable Energy and Ecological Design major, and will use materials largely sourced from Rutland-area suppliers.  The College of St. Joseph signed an agreement with Green Mountain Power last month to host the company’s first rooftop solar farm in the city of Rutland.