Monday, August 26, 2013

WVTK Local & State News August 26, 2013

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus has been detected for the first time this season in mosquitoes in Sudbury.  The mosquitoes were collected by the Agency of Agriculture last week, and confirmed by the Health Department Laboratory on Friday.  This year, West Nile virus has been detected in Leicester, Whiting, Pittsford, Brandon, Shoreham and Fairfax.  Both EEE and West Nile virus are spread to people and some animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.  The Health Department continues to urge everyone to take actions to avoid mosquito bites, no matter where you live.

Contracts will be signed on Wednesday for a construction firm in Colchester to build a new police headquarters for the Hinesburg Police Department.  Town official selected Millbrook to build a 3,500-square-foot police department building in town on Friday.  A total of three bids were submitted.  The two other bids outpaced Millbrook's by about $1 million.  The winning bid was just under $900,000.  The new police station is slated to be built next to the existing fire station, but not connected to it. 

Folks in Central Vermont and parts of the Adirondacks got an unexpected wake-up call Sunday morning when the ground rattled and shook.  A small earthquake rocked the region at about 9:30, measuring two-point-seven magnitude.  The region is known to have several fault lines, but no damage was reported from this latest quake.

Vermont is marking the second anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene this week.  Wednesday marks two years since the storm dropped up to 11 inches of rain on parts of the state, killing six people, damaging or destroying 500 miles of roads and 200 bridges and displacing thousands.  Gov. Peter Shumlin says the anniversary is going to be an opportunity to recognize the state’s recovery and to remember those who have not yet recovered.  On Wednesday, he’s going to be in Wilmington to celebrate the community’s recovery by eating chili at Dot's, the iconic restaurant heavily damaged by the storm that is once again in business.  On Thursday, Shumlin is going to be in Waterbury, where he will announce federal funding for repairs to the Waterbury state office complex.

Vermont’s Head Start programs will serve fewer needy children this year following the mandatory federal budget cuts known as sequestration.  Vermont’s seven Head Start programs will be getting $800,000 less this year.  That means the program has had to cut 15 teaching and seven home visit positions and will serve 199 fewer needy children and their families with services such as health and dental care referrals.  The state had 1,572 spaces for children and pregnant women in their programs in September 2012. That number will drop to 1,373 next month.

So how fast could you run to the top of Mount Mansfield?  The annual Race to the Top is up that mountain’s famous toll road and covers four-point-three miles.  Top athletes can make in in a little over a half hour, but for many the steep run takes them well over an hour.  Sunday, the winner was Olympic skier Liz Stephen of East Montpelier.  The annual race is a fundraiser to help the Catamount Trail Association maintain 300 miles of back country ski trails.