Monday, July 8, 2013

WVTK Local & State News July 8, 2013

Officials with Vermont’s health and agriculture agencies are planning to discuss a new plan to react to the threat of mosquito-borne viruses.  State officials plan to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services office to track and respond to cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile virus.  Officials will share the details of the plan with the public on Wednesday in a meeting at the Brandon Town Hall from 5 to 7 PM.

A Bristol man drowned on Thursday.  A 26-year-old Bristol man was swept away while swimming in the New Haven River between the twin bridges on Route 116 north of Bristol village.  Members of Middlebury Technical went out into the water Thursday afternoon in an attempt to locate the victim, but according to a VSP statement, a violent rainstorm forced them to suspend operations due to dangerous conditions.  Officials recovered the body at 10:15 Friday morning.  The victim was identified as 26-year-old Steven Orvis of Bristol.

Two Vermont cities are holding public meetings to discuss potential noise problems from a proposal to base F-35 fighter planes at the Burlington International Airport with the Vermont Air National Guard.  The meetings are being held tonight in South Burlington and Winooski.  The South Burlington City Council voted last year to oppose the new fighter jets while Winooski has remained neutral.  The South Burlington Meeting starts at 6 o’clock at Chamberlain Elementary School.  The Winooski meeting will be at 6:30 at City Hall.

A man in Pittsford is in court today to answer to charges of second-degree murder.  Christopher Sharrow is accused of killing his girlfriend early Friday morning, with the couple’s three children home at the time.  Neighbors called 911 after hearing loud screams from what they thought was a family fight, and troopers forced their way in, finding the body of Kristen Parker.  The three children, all younger than eight, are now under the care of other relatives.

High water levels in Lake Champlain are causing some concern after days and days of rain in Vermont.  Water levels usually are highest in April and recede throughout the summer until the end of the year and then increase during March.  This year, Lake Champlain water levels have been steadily going up.  The National Weather Service says lake shore properties should keep an eye on the water levels over the next few weeks and watch out for any flood warnings.

More than 200 volunteers are going to be monitoring Lake Champlain this summer for signs of blue-green algae blooms.  Heat and low winds encourage growth of the toxic blooms. Peak season for them is in August.  Authorities say boaters, swimmers, water-skiers, waders and pet-owners should avoid contact with blue-green algae. Children are at higher risk because they are more likely to drink the water.  The volunteers have been trained by the Lake Champlain Committee which, along with the Department of Environmental Conservation, assists with surveillance and sample collections.  They also are working with the state Health Department.