Friday, October 4, 2013

WVTK Local & State News October 4, 2013

There are questions, support and opposition to a proposed bill regarding shoreland protection in Vermont.  The Lake Shoreland Commission itself was established by the Legislature this year, and the bill focuses on cleaner lakes and ponds, with new regulations to improve quality for state waters.  It’s already passed in the House but has yet to be reviewed by the Senate, with some lake community residents and property owners already taking sides on the proposed regulations.  Lawmakers say they want feedback from the public before the bill is dealt with by the Senate in January.

A woman from Addison has been charged in connect with the wave of Addison County burglaries.  29-year-old Nicole M. Burgos was cited for a felony charge of possession of stolen property.  Burgos is already facing a charge from a marijuana-cultivation operation police said they found while searching the property in the burglary investigation.  Police say she will be arraigned later this month. 

Vermont Gas Systems has announced plans to advance its proposed “Phase II” pipeline segment from Middlebury to the International Paper Co. in Ticonderoga.  Officials from Vermont Gas anticipate filing a formal petition with the Vermont Public Service Board around November 19.  Phase II will follow the Phase I project already being reviewed by the Public Service Board.  That project calls for a natural gas pipeline to be constructed from Colchester to Middlebury, beginning with the town’s Exchange Street (industrial park) area next year.

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Mary Kay Foundation has awarded the Rutland County Women’s Network and Shelter a $20,000 grant for critical services and programs.  The shelter’s services include a 24/7 crisis hotline and emergency shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

Gov. Peter Shumlin is proposing new legislation to help keep guns out of the hand of domestic abusers.  Current law prohibits people arrested for domestic violence from possessing firearms.  Officials say there is a shortage of facilities to store seized weapons.  The governor announced yesterday that he will push legislation to allow law enforcement to charge a fee to the defendants to cover the cost of secure storage.

The Burlington City Council was supposed to hold a forum and vote Monday on the controversial proposal of basing F-35 jet fighters at the airport, but now the session is on hold.  The problem is the councilors need to deal with a city insurance issue on Monday instead.  Opponents of the F-35 proposal were hoping for the vote as a last-ditch effort before the Air Force makes its final decision, since four Progressives on the city council are in favor of banning the new jet from the city airport.  So far, the forum and vote on the F-35 has not been rescheduled.