Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WVTK Local & State News October 16, 2013

Three sisters accused of hoarding more than 50 cats were in court today.  Eileen, Caroline and Linda Generess all pleaded guilty to two counts each of animal cruelty, after 55 cats were seized from their mobile home in North Clarendon.  The sisters were all given a four-year deferred jail sentence and ordered to seek treatment immediately for their hoarding disorder.  They are also required to pay $6,000 in restitution to the Humane Society.

A Vermont investment board has announced the availability of $40,000 in grants for investment into poultry processing projects.  Applications received by the Working Lands Enterprise Board must be for the construction of a mobile or fixed, commercially inspected poultry slaughter and/or processing facility.  A mobile facility operating under the 20,000-bird exemption would be considered.  The board began operations in August 2012.  In the fiscal 2013 budget year it awarded over $1 million in grant funds.

Vermont has a new Supreme Court justice.  Gov. Peter Shumlin swore in Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Crawford today at the Costello Courthouse in Burlington.  Crawford replaces Associate Justice Brian Burgess, who recently announced his retirement.  Crawford is a graduate of Yale and Harvard Law School.

They’ve been grounded for two weeks, but the Vermont Air National Guard pilots are back in the air.  A spokeswoman for the Guard says the pilots are resuming training operations in order to maintain readiness levels.  The majority of Guard members have been working and paid ever since returning to work October 7th, but stopped from doing much because the purchase of fuel, new parts and ammunition were suspended.  Not anymore, thanks to new direction from the Air National Guard allowing flight operations and any logistical support needed for those missions.

Prescription drug abuse is a growing public health epidemic.  The National Safety Council has released a report showing 47 states must improve existing standards if they are to reduce the number of deaths involving prescription drug overdoses.  Kentucky, Vermont and Washington were the only states that met standards.  The NSC is calling on states to take immediate action to improve the prescribing, monitoring, treatment and availability of opioid pain relievers.

Vermont Legal Aid and Law Line of Vermont have just launched a redesigned, easy-to-use website, Vermont Law Help, that provides up-to-date guidance on health care access, health insurance issues, and other civil legal issues.  One of the goals of Vermont Law Help is to inform and empower Vermonters to help themselves, find resources they can use, and know where legal services are available. Guided interviews show visitors how to complete common court documents, and form letters help them address specific problems.