Monday, October 14, 2013

WVTK Local & State News October 14, 2013

It's 14th day in the government shutdown and just three days before the U.S. Government bumps up against its projected borrowing limit.  Talks both on ending the shutdown and avoiding the debt ceiling have shifted to the Senate.  Senators began discussions this weekend, but at this point there are still no signs of progress.  The Senate reconvened earlier this afternoon. 

Prices at the pump are down!  Gas prices are at a one-year-low in some areas.  Here in Middlebury, we have has some of the lowest prices around.  Its $3.44 a gallon for unleaded.  According to gasbuddy,com.  Drivers in Rutland are enjoying even lower prices - Shelling out an average of $3.39 a gallon.  The U.S. average is about $3.37 right now.

Vermont is in line to receive up to an estimated $4 million in additional funding to help reduce future flood damage, and communities have just over a month to apply for the money, which can be used for such projects as buying out flood-prone properties or replacing undersized culverts.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency granted the state an extension through Dec. 1 to apply for more funding. The state oversees the applications sent to FEMA and has set a Nov. 18 deadline for towns to file theirs.

The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing is seeking people interested in becoming tourism ambassadors for the state.  The department will hold a free training workshop next month in Montpelier, Rutland and Bennington.  The workshops are open to employees of Vermont businesses and organizations.  The goal is to provide visitors with readily available travel information throughout the state and to provide businesses with the know-how and resources to help provide quality customer service.  Those attending the workshops will learn about tourism opportunities in the arts, history, food, agriculture, recreation and lodging.

Before last weekend, the city of Burlington was not insured against airport-related issues.  The debate over F-35 jets landing in Vermont brought the issue to light.  Friday the city purchased a $5 million policy for lawsuits in the future.  This came after the city attorney discovered it was not insured in this capacity.  Some city officials are pushing a ban on F-35 fighter jets in Vermont.

The East Charlotte tractor parade attracted farmers and spectators from all over.  The 13th annual tractor parade marks the end of the harvest season.  Over 150 tractors participated this year.  During the first tractor parade in 2000, only 20 tractors were in the parade. Charlotte Grange 328 organized the event.