Tuesday, September 24, 2013

WVTK Local & State News September 24, 2013

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is granting $2 million for relocation costs for Vermont’s Department for Children and Families, which was displaced from the Waterbury State Office Complex by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.  The funding represents FEMA’s 90 percent reimbursement of a total eligible cost to the state of $2.3 million to relocate staff and provide call center facilities through completion of the rebuilding process at the Waterbury State Office Complex.

Vermont Gas Systems CEO Don Gilbert says he is confident that the state will approve the company’s 43-mile natural gas pipeline in Addison County.  Gilbert hopes to have approval for phase one of the project by the end of the year, and his team is planning to submit its application for phase two by Nov. 15.   Phase two would have a pipeline under Lake Champlain to fuel the International Paper plant in Ticonderoga.  He hopes the Public Service Board will approve a permit for that second phase in 2014.  Phase three of the company’s southern expansion is to Rutland.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, fall colors are near peak display in the higher elevations in Vermont.  Fall colors are expected to be the most vibrant during the next couple of weeks in the higher elevations.  Beginning each September, the Forest Service says they track the progress of fall color.

The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant’s owners have taken the first of two formal notification steps to let the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission know the plant is shutting down.  An Entergy Corp. executive wrote to the NRC on Monday to submit formal notification of intent to shut the Vernon reactor down in the fourth quarter of next year.  The company says it doesn’t have a specific shutdown date yet because it’s not certain when the fuel now in the reactor will be completely spent. The company says it will provide a final shutdown date later.

The body of a swimmer who disappeared in Lake Champlain Friday night has finally been recovered.  State Police divers brought up the body of 23-year-old Mason Smith late Monday afternoon after sonar found his remains 75 feet below the surface.  Friends say they were all on a boat together when the young man from Burlington jumped into Malletts Bay for a swim, and vanished.