Friday, November 15, 2013

WVTK Local & State News November 15, 2013

A Rutland man has pleaded guilty to setting fires on Green Mountain National Forest land.  Jack Dickson pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to three misdemeanor charges of setting a fire on national land without authority, leaving a fire without completely extinguishing it and damaging government property.  Dickson was fined $500 for each offense as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.  However, the fines will be suspended on the condition that Dickson isn’t charged again with a federal, state or local crime during a two-year probationary period.  U.S. Forest Service agents and state police arrested Dickson after an investigation into a 6-acre wildfire that burned a section of land in Mount Holly in March 2012.

Its business as usual at Winooski schools today after the superintendent said a call about a shooter in the building was ‘‘a panicked response’’ to a home invasion.  Police received a 911 call yesterday about a home invasion nearby.  Then another 911 call came in from someone who reported seeing ‘‘the shooter’’ from the home invasion inside the school.  More than 75 law enforcement officers went to the scene.  About two dozen students were in the building at the time the school went into lockdown.  No one was hurt.  No arrests have been made. 

The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation is warning Vermonters to be aware of potential scams regarding Vermont Health Connect.  The department says they received reports of fraudulent phone calls made to Vermonters by people pretending to sell health insurance in order to obtain personal information.  The scams are efforts to trick consumers into revealing Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or other personal information under the guise of enrolling them in a health insurance plan on Vermont Health Connect.  The state says the federal government and other states have alerted consumers to watch out for people impersonating people helping consumers obtain health insurance policies.  The helpers, called navigators, are state-approved personnel who have been trained to guide people through the enrollment process.

Hubbardton Forge in Castleton has a new owner.  Bunker Hill Capital, a Boston-based investor announced yesterday it’s purchased the well-known Vermont lighting company.  Hubbardton Forge has been in operation for 40 years, creating hand-forged lighting products for homes and businesses.  Bunker Hill is not saying how much it paid for the Vermont business, but says this became a great opportunity to partner with a U-S manufacturer offering unique products.

The Woodstock victory in the Division III Vermont football state championship will stand.  That’s the ruling of the Vermont Principal’s Association on the appeal made by the other team, Mill River.  It all came over a botched call on the third down in overtime in the game Saturday in Rutland.  If the call had been made correctly, it would have been a turnover resulting in Mill River winning, but instead Woodstock scored on the next play and won.  While the committee hearing the appeal voted unanimously to deny it, members agreed to remain open to looking at whether technology like instant replay can be used appropriately in some capacity.

Vermont’s rifle deer hunting season gets underway this weekend.  Because Thanksgiving is late this year, the firearms’ seasons are later than most years.  The rifle season starts Saturday, one weekend later than normal.  Muzzleloader season begins Dec. 7.  The late bear hunting season also starts Saturday and runs through Nov. 24.