Tuesday, August 27, 2013

WVTK Local & State News August 27, 2013

Another aerial bombardment of pesticides is planned for tonight (Tuesday night) in Whiting.  The problem is mosquitoes, some of which may be infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus.  Both have been detected in Whiting, and a two-mile square section of Whiting was sprayed last Thursday.  The same area will be sprayed again this evening (Tuesday evening) at dusk, weather permitting, with people being told to stay inside and close their windows.

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant will be shut down and decommissioned by the end of next year.  New Orleans-based Entergy announced today that they plan to cease power production after its current fuel cycle and shutdown in the fourth quarter of next.  The decision to close Vermont Yankee in 2014 was based on a number of financial factors, including:  an increasing natural gas market, and the high cost of repairs at the Vernon facility.  Since 2002, the company has invested more than $400 million in the safe and reliable operation of the facility. 

A Vermont man pleaded guilty today to kidnapping, sexually assaulting and killing his 12-year-old niece in an elaborate ruse involving a fake pool party and phony evidence to manipulate authorities into thinking she was killed by someone she met online.  After today’s plea, 47-year-old Michael Jacques of Randolph avoids a federal death penalty trial for the 2008 slaying of Brooke Bennett.  When the judge asked him if all of the allegations were true, Jacques replied saying, ‘‘I'm afraid it is, sir.’’  It could take several months before Jacques is sentenced as a judge still needs to approve the plea agreement.

A house fire in Brandon left six people homeless today.  Crews arrived on the scene to find fire coming from the living room area of the building with flames coming out the adjacent windows.  No one was injured in the blaze.  Investigators say a lamp, which was knocked over by their cat, caught the couch on fire which spread to the rest of the house.  Officials say the building is a complete loss.  The American Red Cross is helping the family displaced by the fire with food, clothes and replacements for other items lost in the fire.  The family will stay with relatives tonight.

Vermont Health Connect has launched its “Small Business Estimator” tool to help small businesses answer important questions about offering health coverage in 2014. The tool, available at VermontHealthConnect.gov, is an important resource for Vermont small businesses to determine if they are eligible to use the health insurance marketplace and to compare the cost of providing health insurance with not providing coverage.  If a small employer decides to offer health insurance through Vermont Health Connect, they can choose through the menu of plans that will be available to their employees and the amount that they will contribute.