Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WVTK Local & State News July 31, 2013

A bridge on Route 7 in North Ferrisburgh had to get some quick, emergency repairs last night after a car smashed into the guardrail.  Police say a driver from Middlebury slammed on his brakes in order to miss hitting the cars slowed down in front of him and his car skidded into the rail.  The driver was taken to the hospital with an injured shoulder.  While it was patched together last night, more work is still needed, and that could mean delays this afternoon on Route 7.

Vermont Health Connect has announced the finalized rates for the health insurance marketplace.  According to a press release, through Vermont Health Connect, Vermonters will be able to compare up to 18 plans and premiums side-by-side and, for many, have access to financial help to lower the cost of the plans.  Plans will be offered at four levels: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The costs of each level will vary the amount of premium vs. out-of-pocket costs. Vermont Health Access says all of the plans offer the same quality benefits, including preventative care, mental health services, and dental and vision coverage for children.  Vermonters can start comparing the plans starting in October.

Officials say New York's Department of Motor Vehicles computer system is back to normal operation a day after a glitch slowed transactions to a crawl in local offices statewide and online.  A DMV spokesman says the system is being monitored and the agency will make allowances for anyone who missed a deadline.  The breakdown Monday also affected the ability of police to check motorists' records.  The agency says the problem developed after a mainframe server was upgraded Sunday and tested properly, but couldn't handle the load of actual business Monday morning.

The state has received two federal grants to help unemployed Vermonters.  The first $50,000 grant will help long-term unemployed people start their own businesses. Gov. Peter Shumlin says it will help 50 people that have been unemployed for at least 26 weeks. The second grant is for $1 million and will go toward training and job matching. This is the second $1 million Re-employment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) grant the state has received.  The state also received a separate grant from the U.S. Labor Department to help long-term unemployed people start their own businesses.

Some retired teachers in Vermont will be getting their monthly pension payments a day late because of a bank processing delay.  The state Treasurer’s Office says TD Bank did not process banking files on time for electronic payment to 7,059 retirees of the Vermont State Teachers’ Retirement System. As a result, funds normally available today will not be available until 8 a.m. tomorrow.  The issue only involves retirees who receive their pension payments electronically. TD Bank will cover any late charges, overdrafts or other penalties that result from the delay.

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant is about to cut 30-jobs.  The parent company of Vermont Yankee, Entergy, announced Tuesday it’s undergoing restructuring after a disappointing earnings report.  Eight hundred of its total 15-thousand jobs will be dropped in a move anticipated to save up to 250-million-dollars by 2016.  Critics of Vermont Yankee are afraid cutting the jobs will be cutting back on safety.  Entergy’s vice president for nuclear communications denies that charge, however.