Monday, July 22, 2013

WVTK Local & State News July 22, 2013

Vermont's lone representative to the U.S. House of Representatives says the nation's veterans need better access to their health records from their time in the military.  Representative Peter Welch said earlier today that he's a co-sponsor of legislation that would require the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans' Affairs to find a better way to share records.  Welch says the DoD and the VA have been working on the issue for 15 years, but they haven't solved the problem.  Welch says the 21st Century Health Care for Heroes Act has dozens of sponsors from both political parties so he's hopeful it will pass.

So far this year, eastern equine encephalitis or EEE has not been spotted in Vermont.  Testing is being conducted with mosquitoes collected from 50 sites all over the state.  Lab technicians are looking for 2 things, EEE and West Nile Virus.  However, the Department of Health reported on Friday that the West Nile virus was detected in mosquitoes collected July 10 from a trap in Leicester.  It was the first detection of West Nile this year in Vermont.  The Health Department has made a risk assessment of EEE, which is available as a map on its website.  The maps shows a moderate risk stretching from Middelbury down to Brandon.

The Moriah water department will turn the water off on Wednesday, July 24, 9 a.m. to noon to work on the pressure reducer valves.  The water will be off on Tarbell Hill Road down through to the top of Broad Street at the town line, Fisk Road and all of Water District #4.  It is recommended that people shut off the main valve coming into their home to prevent the possibility of siphoning water from a boiler or hot water heater.  People who do not have a main valve or who are unsure of its location can contact the water department at 942-3340.

Burlington's deputy police chief is facing a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.  Vermont State Police say troopers pulled over a motorist on Route 105 in Sheldon for failure to use a turn signal shortly after midnight Sunday.  The operator was Andi Higbee of Colchester. He was arrested for drunken driving and later released on a citation.  He was off duty at the time.  Burlington Police Chief Mike Schirling said in a statement that Higbee has been placed on paid administrative leave.  Higbee has a court date scheduled for August 12th.

Senator Patrick Leahy says he wants the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up legislation that would protect journalists and their sources.  Leahy chairs the Judiciary Committee. He says his decision to place the Free Flow of Information Act on the Committee's agenda comes after committee members met last week with Attorney General Eric Holder.  At that meeting they discussed the Justice Department's guidelines for getting information from the press.

The Three-Day Stampede is coming up this weekend in Bristol.  It's the 20th anniversary of the fundraiser, which has raised $1.3 million so far for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  The event includes yard sales, barbecues, dancing and crafts.  This year, there is also a new film called "How to Live to be 100" that highlights the community's involvement.  The movie will be screened this Thursday, July 25, at 8 p.m. on the Bristol Green. The Stampede kicks off Friday and lasts through the weekend.  For more information, visit their website: