Tuesday, December 10, 2013

WVTK Local & State News December 10, 2013

The Vermont Health Department says no cases of influenza have been reported in the state this season, but the flu is on its way.  Officials are urging everyone age 6 months and older to get vaccinated, this week is National Influenza Vaccination Week.  Cases of the flu have been reported in surrounding states and in the province of Quebec.  Those most at risk for serious illness, hospitalization, and death from the flu are pregnant women, children too young to be vaccinated, people age 65 and older, and people with chronic conditions.

A vote in Vergennes today could decide if the Addison county pipeline expansion project gets the town's support.  The city council already supports it, but some people say there wasn't enough public input.  Also on the ballot, a $2.9 million bond for Vergennes Union High School.  If you want to voice your opinion on either issue head to the polls today.  You can vote until 7 o’clock tonight at the Green Street Fire Station.

Firefighters in Middlebury were busy yesterday battling an equipment fire.  About 30 firefighters responded to a blaze at the Champlain Valley Equipment facility on Exchange Street.  The Middlebury fire chief says there's smoke damage to the back shop, but they are open for business today.  Officials don’t think the fire is suspicious.

Police dogs throughout the state are getting protective gear, thanks to a program called Vested Interest in K-9’s Incorporated.  22 in all, with a dozen being state police dogs and the others from municipal departments now have the vests protecting them from being shot or stabbed.  Each vest costs nearly a thousand dollars and has a five-year warranty.  Vested Interest in K-9’s is a non-profit based in Taunton, Massachusetts.

Vermont's cut-your-own firewood lottery is back and registration for the program is now open.  Under the program residents are allowed to harvest wood from designated lots in state forests.  The trees are marked for cutting near forest roads.  Each lot costs $30 and yields about three cords of wood. This year the lots will be open for two weeks in January in Duxbury, Orange, Johnson, Groton, Westmore and Sutton.  The cutting rights will be awarded by lottery.

School Board Members in the UD-3 will be meeting next Wednesday, December 18th, to finalize a budget for the 2014-2015 school year at Middlebury Union middle and high schools.  The currently proposed version has a 2.8-percent spending increase as well as 3.2 fewer educator positions at MUMS.  Current projections call for MUMS enrollment to fluctuate from the current 298 students to 256 in 2014-15, then bump up to 273 in 2015-16 before leveling off in the 250-range for the following 3 or 4 years.  They hope to have the budget finalized at next Wednesday’s Meeting and ready to present to the voters on Town Meeting Day.