Monday, October 28, 2013

WVTK Local & State News October 28, 2013

Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott is now calling for delaying the full implementation of the federal Affordable Health Care law for a few months.  He’s concerned over the technical issues with Vermont Health Connect which has state officials scrambling.  Governor Peter Shumlin says he has, quote, “absolute confidence” the problems will be solved in the next few weeks.  Scott, who is the highest ranking statewide Republican officeholder in the state, says his approach is different from the Governor’s but doesn’t want this to turn into a partisan debate.  

Ticonderoga has taken a major step toward meeting a state order that its water system be upgraded.  Supervisor Deb Malaney says a substantial groundwater source has been located at a second test well site on the east side of Streetroad, Route 9N.  The state has ordered upgrades and/or new water sources be in place by 2016.  Ticonderoga currently obtains its drinking water from Gooseneck Pond and Lake George.  But because the infrastructure for those sources is no longer in compliance with state and federal requirements, the state Department of Health is requiring the town to either upgrade these facilities or look for a new source of water.

There will be major showdown between opponents and supporters of the F-35 in Burlington tonight.  The Burlington City Council will hold a public hearing about the jets and debate whether to try and stop them from coming to Vermont.  There are two resolutions about the F-35's up for consideration.  The first resolution says the city would try to stop the Air Force from basing the jets at Burlington International Airport.  The second measure would simply ask the Air Force to not select Burlington during this round of jet basing.  The public hearing tonight is from 6 to 8 at City Hall in Burlington.  Then the council will debate the two resolutions at a special meeting which starts at eight.

Firefighters believe a front deck fire at a home in Charlotte was intentionally set.  The fire was reported by a passing motorist at about 6:20 Friday Night.  No one was at home and only the deck was damaged.  The State Police Fire Investigation Unit has determined someone intentionally set the fire and is seeking the public’s help with any information.

Vermont’s Senator Patrick Leahy is talking about a bill he’s planning on introducing which would limit just how much electronic spying U-S agencies could do.  Leahy says his bill is not only is supported by Democrats and Republicans but also members of the House and Senate.  Over the weekend the heat was turned up on the Obama Administration over revelations the country has been listening in to phone calls of nearly 35 top world leaders, even those considered close allies such as Germany and France.

Vermont's minimum wage is set to increase to $8.73 per hour on January 1. The current rate is $8.60 per hour.  The Vermont Labor Department says the minimum wage increases each year at the same rate as the Consumer Price Index for the previous year, or at 5%, whichever is less.  Service or tipped employees rate will also increase to $4.23 per hour from $4.17.

Addison County HOPE in Middlebury is looking for volunteers for the holiday season.  They are looking for people to help staff the Holiday Shop and put together food baskets.  In the HOPE Holiday Shop, volunteers will be assisting parents in selecting gifts for their children in the HOPE Holiday Shop.  They also need people to be Salvation Army Bell Ringers and people to help pick up and deliver donations.