Tuesday, September 10, 2013

WVTK Local & State News September 10, 2013

The Vermont Public Service Board is set to hear from the public tonight on the proposed natural gas pipeline to serve Addison County.  The board has set a public hearing on the pipeline proposal by Vermont Gas Systems for 7 o’clock, tonight at Middlebury Union Middle School.  Supporters say it will boost western Vermont’s economy by providing low-cost energy.  Critics are planning a rally outside the school an hour before the hearing.  They say the gas is coming from wells in Alberta that use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which Vermont banned within the state’s borders in 2012.

The Vermont Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security is urging people to be prepared for unexpected emergencies.  September is National Preparedness Month and Gov. Peter Shumlin has urged Vermonters to prepare themselves for potential disasters.  A proclamation signed by the governor notes that events such as Tropical Storm Irene and other destructive storms in the last two years showed the importance of preparing for any potential disaster.  Among the suggestions are that Vermonters can take a few simple steps such as preparing a kit, making a plan, and being informed can help ease the effects of a disaster.  People can also buy extra cans of food, a reliable flashlight, extra batteries, and other essentials.

Vermont State Police are investigating a grand larceny case in Ferrisburgh. Unknown individuals stole a purse containing personal property from a unlocked cabin located at Basin Harbor Club in Ferrisburgh.  The total value of the bag and contents was approximately $1,000.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Vermont State Police New Haven troopers at 802-388-4919. Information can also be submitted anonymously online at www.vtips.info or text CRIMES (274637) to keyword VTIPS.

Police are warning people about some scam phone calls.  The caller claims he is a U.S. District Court clerk with the Warrant Division.  He says the victim needs to send him $300 in Wal-Mart Money Pak payments to deal with the debt.  Police say they spoke with the alleged caller and his story is a fake.  They remind people that police agencies will never ask for money over the phone, and if you're ever in doubt, call police.

Vermont Natural Gas says that its goal is to bring natural gas to Rutland by 2020. The company is currently in a three-phase project to bring gas from Burlington to Rutland.  The project will cost $230 million. The company says it will begin holding public meetings about the proposal in 2014.

The Chittenden County Transportation Authority and the drivers union have reached an impasse.  The union says that the problem is that drivers operate morning and evening rush hours, but are on standby the rest of the day.  They do not get paid while waiting to be called back to work.  The last contract, just two years ago, was settled hours before a planned strike.

All that rain at the beginning of summer is apparently affecting the fall pumpkin harvest.  Farmers say pumpkins took a hit early on with all the rain over three weeks stunting their growth.  The pumpkins look good, but are just smaller, with the actual number of pumpkins down just a bit.