Thursday, October 3, 2013

WVTK Local & State News October 3, 2013

Federal employees in Vermont who are furloughed during the current government shutdown may be eligible for help from the state.  The Department of Labor is ready to help those who may be eligible for unemployment benefits as a result of the furlough.  Although the state labor department is about 80-percent federally funded, its unemployment insurance program will continue without interruption, according to the state’s Labor Commissioner.

A federal court jury has now done what a state jury did: convicted a man of murder.  Frank Caraballo has been found guilty of murder in the killing of Melissa Barratt in Dummerston two years ago, but he was found not guilty of firing the gun that killed her.  Prosecutors say Caraballo was operating a drug network in Brattleboro, and believed the woman stole 10-thousand dollars’ worth of drugs from him.  His defense lawyers say there’s no proof their client was at the scene, and it’s just as likely his partner killed the woman.

Home care workers in Vermont have overwhelmingly voted to unionize.  1,412 workers voted to organize while 566 were opposed.  The 71 percent in favor easily surpassed the simple majority needed.  There were 23 voided ballots.  The workers will organize under the umbrella of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.  Legislation passed this year allowed independent home care workers to unionize for purposes of negotiating with the state.

Rutland Police have arrested the 46-year-old man wanted in the beating of a 14-year-old boy last month.  Jean Gaboriau was taken into custody Wednesday night after police said they recieved a tip from someone.  Gaboriau is charged with simple assault and interference with emergency services, according to police.  Police say the incident took place on September 11 when four teenagers on the playground at Rutland Intermediate School got into a physical altercation and it then escalated from there.

A new program in Vermont is helping create domestic violence awareness in the work place. Safe at Work is a project launched by Women Helping Battered Women. It is designed to help employers created domestic violence awareness in the work place, and create a safe place for employees and community member to turn to for help. There are currently seven businesses involved statewide. If you are interested in learning more about the Safe at Work project, visit the Women Helping Battered Women website.