Wednesday, August 7, 2013

WVTK Local & State News August 7, 2013

The results are in and Vermont needs to hit the books.  Vermont's Agency of Education has released the 2013 school accountability numbers. It's for the New England Common Assessment Program, also known as NECAP.  81 Vermont schools met adequate yearly progress, 214 schools need improvement, and 21 did not meet the requirements.  However, some officials believe this style of testing could use help.  Vermont is switching over to the smarter balance assessment system in 2015 to replace NECAP.

A man was pulled to safety after spending 14 hours stuck in a cave in Weybridge.  First responders were called to the scene off Cave Road around 7 o’clock last night. Rescuers say the man broke his ankle and suffered other injures.  He was transported to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.  Weybridge Fire, Middlebury Technical Rescue, New Haven Technical Rescue and the Vermont Cave Rescue Team were all called in to assist.  That cave is believed to be the largest in Vermont and the second-largest in New England and officials say it should only be attempted by experts.

Vermont is getting another three-point-two million dollars to repair the roads damaged and washed out by severe rainstorms this past spring and summer.  The state already is getting one million dollars through an emergency federal grant. Governor Peter Shumlin says the additional money from the Federal Highway Administration is critical for covering the repair costs of the roads.

You can bet the Vermont National Guard will be glad to see next Monday roll around.  August 12th marks the last furlough day for 500 people working in the Guard.  The furloughs are all tied to the sequester and cuts the Department of Defense had to make.  On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced he’s reducing the number of furloughed days from eleven to six, and August 12th marks the 6th day in Vermont.  The fiscal year ends September 30th.

Half a million gallons of untreated sewage was dumped over a 13 hour period into the Winooski River.  It happened at the Essex Junction wastewater treatment facility after a worker accidentally bumped into a switch, according to the plant manager.  State officials say since January, sewage has flowed in Vermont waters at least 30 times, a number the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources calls unusually high.

Vermont state officials are seeking feedback from the public on how to implement new recycling mandates.  A draft report released by the state Department of Environmental Conservation outlines four different scenarios for implementing the phased-in mandate.  The report says the most expensive option would cost households an extra $4 a month.  Vermont residents will no longer be able to throw recyclables into the trash by 2015, yard waste by 2017 and compostable organic material by 2020.  The report asks for public comments through the end of the month.