Thursday, September 5, 2013

WVTK Local & State News September 5, 2013

Farmers and gardeners may want to cover their crops when temperatures are expected to dip into the 30s in parts of Vermont and New York tonight.  The National Weather Service has issued a frost advisory for the area.  The forecast calls for temperatures in the low to mid-30s from midnight to Friday morning.  The Weather Service says the frost may damage sensitive plants and crops.

Twenty miles of train tracks between Rutland and Leicester will be upgraded, thanks to an $8.9 million grant to Vermont from the Federal Railroad Administration.  The Vermont grant is one of 52 projects in 37 states.  Vermont rail officials have worked for years to upgrade the railroad network from Bennington to Burlington to improve the connection with rail lines in New York.  They’re hoping the upgrades announced today will improve freight service in western Vermont, and improve chances that Amtrak eventually will serve the Rutland-Burlington corridor.

A Vermont firefighter has been accused of setting his own car on fire to defraud his insurance company.  Police were called to the fire on Aug. 12 on Route 7 in Brandon.  Jeremiah Shaw of Brandon told police he was driving when he noticed flames in the back of his car and pulled over. The car was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.  The 31-year-old Shaw later confessed to burning the car to get insurance money.  He’s been charged with arson, burning to defraud and insurance fraud.

Defense contractor General Dynamics has announced it is cutting its Vermont workforce by 35 employees.  Spokesman Karl Johnson says the company is consolidating two divisions in St. Petersburg, Fla.  General Dynamics’ Vermont workforce now drops to 275 with the cuts.  The jobs that were cut included engineering, administrative and program management positions.  The company’s Vermont operation is part of its combat systems division, which makes guns and ammunition for fighter aircraft, tanks and other military vehicles.

The apple picking season is kicking off, and it’s going to be a good crop for Vermont this year.  The New England Apple Association says this fall, unlike last year, the weather is working with Vermont farmers and harvests will be up throughout the region.  In Vermont, the 2013 crop is anticipated to be 35-percent above last year’s.  Over the next six to eight weeks, residents and tourists alike will be in the pick-your-own orchards, having their own apple harvests.

Here's something that may make making lunch a little easier. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' popular coffee machines will soon be making soup.  The Campbell Soup Company says it will start offering soup in K-cups that can be used in Keurig coffee makers. The K-cup will hold powdered broth that is brewed over a packet of dry pasta and vegetables. The companies are calling the soup packs a "snack."  Green Mountain Coffee Roasters CEO Brian Kelley says the product marks a first step beyond beverages for the Keurig system.