Friday, October 18, 2013

WVTK Local & State News October 18, 2013

Officials with the AARP are saying scammers are bilking money from seniors confused by the new Affordable Care Act.  They say scammers are cold-calling Medicare-enrolled seniors and telling them to provide Social Security numbers and other private information or risk losing coverage.  The Champlain Valley Agency on Aging and the attorney general's Consumer Protection Bureau have not received any reports of this scam in Vermont yet, though it has been seen at the national level.

If the Air Force decides to base the new and controversial F-35 fighter jets at the Vermont Air National Guard base, there’s little, if anything, the city of Burlington can do to stop it.  That’s the opinion of city attorney Eileen Blackwood who sent a memo on the subject to the City Council.  She also says if the city did try to stop it that could jeopardize federal funding for the Burlington International Airport.  Mayor Miro Weinberger says the information clarifies the decision now before the City Council.

Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell says he has some unfinished business he wants to complete, so the 66-year-old says he'll seek another term next year.  Sorrell has been re-elected every two years since former Gov. Howard Dean appointed him to the post in 1997, but last year narrowly survived a challenge in the Democratic primary by Chittenden County prosecutor T.J. Donovan.  Sorrell says he wants to continue pursuing the state’s crackdown on abusive claims by companies that Vermont businesses are infringing on their patents, so-called ‘‘patent trolling.’’ He says the inclusion of third-party charges on cellphone bills, known as ‘‘wireless cramming,’’ is a new consumer protection concern. And he says child pornography needs more enforcement attention.

The Main Street and Merchants Row Bridge Replacement project is moving into the next phase.  Starting next week, crews will be at various locations up at the street level and down along the railroad surveying the land and taking soil borings as they gather information before the winter starts. 

Someone has helped themselves to 14 laptops at the University of Vermont.  Police say that sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, someone broke into the Old Mill Building, swiping the laptops from the first floor computer lab.  Authorities say the computers were used for homework and research and did not contain sensitive information.  Campus police believe the suspect is the same one behind a string of purse, cash, cell phone and computer thefts last week.

Two men from New York were arrested on heroin charges this morning in Burlington.  During one of the state’s largest bust, authorities seized over 9,000 bags of heroin with a street value of $126,000.  Police arrested 34-year-old Marcus Davis of Brooklyn and 25-year-old Eddie Eason Jr. of Medford.  Authorities say the investigation is continuing and there may be more arrests.