Friday, July 26, 2013

WVTK Local & State News July 26, 2013

The hunt for infected mosquitoes carrying potential deadly illnesses continues.  Earlier this month, West Nile virus was found in trapped mosquitoes, with the Agency of Agriculture having technicians set up and check traps on about 30 sites in Addison and Franklin counties.  No other samples have turned up West Nile or Eastern equine encephalitis, also known as triple-E.  Last year two people in Vermont died from triple-E.

North Country Community College may expand its Ticonderoga campus to include the former Lowe’s building.  College officials plan to submit a funding application for a feasibility study that could lead NCCC to purchase the vacant store on Wicker Street and convert it to an applied technology center.  If the project becomes reality, NCCC will expand its degree programs in Ticonderoga.  A specific curriculum has not been identified yet, but officials say it will more than likely have an emphasis on green technology.

Green Mountain Power is making it easier to monitor and alter your usage.  Customers with smart meters can log in online to review hourly electric data.  Green Mountain Power hopes the information can be used to make meaningful changes to energy use in your home.  Green Mountain Power is offering a prize for energy saving!  If you make changes between now and August 30th send an e-mail to Green Mountain Power and you will be entered to win a new iPad!

A rare stomach bug has been reported in eleven states. Those states are Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey and Ohio.  Health officials say this outbreak might spread even further.  The intestinal illness can cause weeks or even months of pain and discomfort. Symptoms include fatigue and weight loss, among some other things.  It's commonly linked to fresh produce, but health officials say they aren't sure whether a domestic or foreign product caused the outbreak.

A Vermont man has been arrested on three counts of counterfeiting paper money.  Police in South Burlington said a video surveillance camera caught a man passing a fake bill at Zachary's Pizza on Monday.  The video led to the arrest of 28-year-old David Horn of Shelburne yesterday.  Horn has since been jailed at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility. 

Federal funding for the Low Income Heating Assistance Program is expected to drop more than $1 million for next year, again.  This is the second $1 million cut in federal funding for the program designed to help low-income families with their heating costs.  The federal government will provide $17.3 million to the program next year in Vermont.  The average benefit of the program is expected to decline to $717 per household for the season, the lowest benefit since 2005.  In 2012-2013, the benefit was $898.