Thursday, August 15, 2013

WVTK Local & State News August 15, 2013

Health officials are reminding parents the first day of school is rapidly approaching, and so is the time to have those childhood vaccinations done.  More than 87-percent of Vermont school children get vaccinated every year, although there are a few exemptions to the requirements, including philosophical, religious and medical reasons.  Vermont has the second-highest rate of philosophical exemptions in the country.

The Lake Champlain Bridge will be down to one lane starting Monday.  The lane reduction will be in place on weekdays from about 7 am to 5 pm until approximately September 24th.  Crews will be adjusting the bearings underneath the bridge as part of the process to close out the contract to construct the bridge.  Don’t forget, fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone.  It is imperative that motorists remember to drive carefully through this construction zone, for their own safety and the safety of the workers.

Vermont State Police say a Middlebury man was injured Tuesday night in a rollover crash on Route 30.  Investigators say 19-year-old Michael Morse was driving north at about 9 pm when he swerved to avoid an animal and lost control.  The car went off the road and rolled over once.  Morse, who was wearing his seat belt, was taken by ambulance to Porter Hospital in Middlebury.  A nurse at the hospital said yesterday that Morse was no longer at the facility.

A Ripton man was arrested after Brandon Police said they found cocaine and prescription pills not prescribed to him.  40-year-old Eric K. Manning was arrested in the Hannaford supermarket parking lot in Brandon after police said they found 6 grams of cocaine and a bottle of prescription pills in his car.  Manning was cited on a felony charge of cocaine possession and a misdemeanor offense of possessing regulated drugs.  He is scheduled to appear in Rutland criminal court next month.

Burlington police are investigating the discovery of a body in Lake Champlain.  Police were called to the Harborwatch condominiums on the Burlington Bay around 9:45 this morning after a passerby reported a male body floating in the water close to shore.  The medical examiner was at the scene earlier today and is working to identify the man.  Police Chief Mike Schirling says there are no known missing people in Burlington.

A consumer advocacy group says Vermonters are strongly in favor of labeling foods containing genetically modified organisms.  The Vermont Public Interest Research Group launched a statewide petition drive this summer, and the group says it received unprecedented support for labeling legislation.  GMO foods are grown from seeds that are engineered to resist insects and herbicides.  Most of the country's corn and soy crops come from GMO seeds.  GMO opponents say there has not been enough research to be sure the foods are safe and that consumers should have the right to know what's in their food.  Opponents of the move say the labels would wrongly imply the foods are unsafe.  A labeling bill passed the Vermont House last spring and will be up for debate in the Senate next session.