Thursday, August 8, 2013

WVTK Local & State News August 8, 2013

More mosquitoes in Addison County have tested positive for West Nile virus.  The Vermont Health Department says two more pools of mosquitoes had the virus, bringing the total number of pools that have tested positive up to three.  The department says those pools were in Leicester and Whiting.  Last year, three people got sick from West Nile virus, but there have been no reports of people getting sick this year.

So what are the standards to earn the “made in Vermont” label?  It’s actually not spelled out, and business owners want to see that happen.  The Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture says they’re building the community base agriculture needed to create quality products to compete in the global market.  Chuck Ross says  they’re close to achieving that, and are trying to make a system where it’s clear that products made in Vermont can be sold and recognized as such.  

Vermont's largest electric utility is helping three nonprofit groups in the Rutland area go solar.  The three organizations will receive $20,000 matching grants to help build solar projects that are part of a broader effort by Green Mountain Power to make Rutland the solar capital of New EnglandGMP says the grant winners are the Vermont Farmer's Food Center on West Street, Rutland Regional Community Television on Scale Avenue in Howe Center, and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Hillside Road.  A fourth grant is available but has not yet been given out.

Police say a Burlington man is accused of vandalizing scores of vehicles, including a police cruiser and vehicles owned by car dealership in the Vermont city.  Authorities say they discovered tire and/or window damage to about 32 vehicles early this morning.  The vehicles were at the Burlington Public Works Department and in a parking lot nearby on Lakeside Ave.  Police say many of them are owned by Heritage Automotive Group and some were city vehicles.  Police have arrested 26-year-old Kyle R. Pecor.  He’s facing numerous counts of unlawful mischief and is being held at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.  It’s unclear if he’s being represented by a lawyer.

A pretrial hearing has been scheduled this month in Vermont federal court in the death penalty case of Michael Jacques, who's charged with kidnapping and killing his 12-year-old niece Brook Bennett five years ago.  The Aug. 15 hearing in Burlington is 19 days before jury selection is planned to start.  The hearing is expected to be about how to select an unbiased jury.  Judge William K. Sessions III has said that as many as 5,000 Vermonters could be questioned before a jury is selected.  The process is expected to take a month and the trial is estimated to take two months or longer.