Thursday, August 1, 2013

WVTK Local & State News August 1, 2013

Vermont’s largest electric utility wants to increase its rates by 2.46 percent on Oct. 1 and as much as 2.5 percent on Oct. 1 of 2014.  Green Mountain Power today asked the Public Service Board to approve a two-year rate increase package that utility officials say will stabilize costs.  The extra money is needed to offset $24 million in increased electric transmission costs.  This is the first rate increase sought by GMP since the utility merged with the former Central Vermont Public Service Corp.  While GMP is seeking a 2.46 percent rate increase to take effect in October, the size of the 2014 increase would not be decided until after the Public Service Board studies the utility’s operations.  It would be capped at no more than 2.5 percent.

One of two unions battling to represent seven-thousand home care workers in Vermont is pulling back.  Service Employees International Union is stepping back in order to avoid a bitter dispute with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.  An organizer with S-E-I-U says the rivalry between the two unions over who would represent the thousands of workers threatened to get too divisive, and was not in the best interest of the labor movement in Vermont.  The legislature passed a bill in the last session designating home care providers as state workers for the purpose of collective bargaining.

Two people from Addison have been arrested and charged with burglary.  Yesterday, Vermont State Police executed a search warrant at the residence of 37-year-old Raymond Ritchie and recovered a number of items believed to have been stolen.  Police obtained a second search warrant and continued to recover more stolen good this morning.  A large amount of the property included jewelry, silver and sports memorabilia.  Raymond Ritchie and, his girlfriend, 29-year-old Nicole Burgos were arrested.  The investigation still continues into the 103 reports of burglary in Addison County and more arrests and charges are still pending.

Police in Winooski say they have caught the man who stole $25,000 worth of iPads from a school.  22-year-old Charles Ring of Winooski was arrested today.  Police say during Ring's arrest, they recovered six iPads stolen from JFK Elementary School.  The suspect was caught on surveillance cameras in the school taking the iPads Tuesday.  Fifty iPads were stolen from the school in two separate thefts.  Police would like to hear from anyone with information on where to find the remaining stolen iPads.

The 20th annual Three Day Stampede, a community event headed up by the Bedard family to collect money for cystic fibrosis research, raised $120,000 this past weekend in and around the Bristol Recreation Park.  Organizers say they blew last year’s number out of the water.  Last year they raised $110,000.