Friday, November 1, 2013

WVTK Local & State News November 1, 2013

The Shumlin administration is now rolling out alternatives for the Vermont online health insurance exchange.  Like the national website, the Vermont one has had its own share of glitches, and a test Wednesday night revealed even the expected fixes of major flaws are not working right either.  New options unveiled Thursday allow Vermonters to extend their current coverage until March 31st, and small business owners can deal directly with insurance carriers instead of trying to buy online insurance for their workers.

We could find out as soon as Monday if Burlington will be the new home to F-35 fighter jets.  As you might remember, the Vermont National Guard is one of 6 bases in the running. The Air Force has said it thinks Burlington is one of the top sites.  A final report about the different bases was released last month.  The secretary of the Air Force needed to wait at least 30 days before making his decision.  It could be anytime after Monday.

Millions of Americans who rely on food stamps will soon see a change in benefits.  Starting today, food stamp benefits will be cut.  More than 47-million people currently receive food stamps.  The average benefit per person now stands a little over $133 a month.  That amount will be reduced.  In total, the cuts add up to $5 billion.  

A Vermont man has been arrested after police say he hit a teen girl and left the scene on Halloween night.  Vermont State Police say the crash happened when a 13-year-old girl was crossing Route 110 in the Town of Washington.  29-year-old Christopher Roberts of Washington, hit her with this truck just after 7 p.m. and then fled the area.  Roberts is facing two charges, including leaving the scene of an accident and careless and negligent operation.  She suffered some bumps and bruises and is otherwise, recovering fine.

New unemployment claims increased for the third time in the last four weeks, but still only to a historically modest level. For the week of October 26, 2013, there were 656 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont. This is an increase of 161 from the previous week's total, and 134 fewer than they were a year ago.

Another transmission project is being proposed to link hydro-power in Canada with consumers in southern New England, but this one would travel 150 miles through Vermont, and would be entirely underground or underwater.  It’s called the New England Clean Power Link, running from Southern Quebec and buried on the bottom of Lake Champlain before traveling to Ludlow where it would plug into the New England Grid.  Transmission Developers Inc. is the developer for the project, with the money coming from private investors.