Monday, December 2, 2013

WVTK Local & State News December 2, 2013

Vermont Health Connect will off-line tonight while officials are processing updates to the health insurance website.  It’s expected the upgrade will take until late tomorrow morning.  Premium processing for small business customers is still being tested.  Later this week after the upgrade is complete, bills will be mailed to individual and families who have selected plans through the website. The bills must be paid by check or money order by January 7.  Credit card payments will not be accepted until security testing of the payment function has been completed.

Vermont State Police troopers from the New Haven office are warning chain saw owners to lock up their saws after a spike of chain saw thefts.  The most recent theft was reported today after a Poulin Pro chain saw was stolen from a shed in Lincoln.  The saw has a 16-inch bar on it and an estimated value of $175.  Troopers say they have seen a recent spike in chain saw thefts. 

A powerball ticket worth $40,000 was sold in Colchester last week.  Vermont lottery officials say the winning ticket, which was sold at Kevin’s Kwik Stop, matched four out of the five numbers, plus the powerball.  By adding the $1 powerball option, the winner quadrupled their prize amount of $10,000 to $40,000.  The winning numbers were 05-26-44-45-57 and the Powerball was 29.  The jackpot for the drawing was $70,000,000.  Wednesday’s jackpot is estimated at $81 million.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Vermont will be holding public meetings as part of an effort to seek public input on a recently released draft proposal to clean up Lake Champlain.  They first meetings are being held today in St. Albans and Swanton.  Meetings in our area are scheduled for December 10th in Middlebury and Burlington, and December 11th in Rutland

Flu season is approaching its peak months and still a lot of people have not been inoculated. Health experts say, don't delay, get vaccinated.  Authorities have noticed a slight uptick in the number of cases, most of which have been diagnosed in the southern part of the country.  Although there's no sign of a major outbreak at this time, that doesn't mean you shouldn't get vaccinated.  This year, the CDC is recommending that anyone six months and older get inoculated.  Study after study has shown the best way to fight the flu is to get the shot.

A second round of high-level talks is uderway today for Governor Peter Shumlin, the owners of Vermont Yankee and other officials.  The talks deal with the decommissioning of the nuclear power plant, which its owners, Entergy, plan on shutting down for economic reasons.  While the state and Entergy have been at odds for years, state officials say they hope to get an agreement with the company on the terms of decommissioning.  The talks are covering a lot of issues such as dismantling the plant and removing radioactive components.

A pair of bells from the old Mineville and Moriah schools will have a new home, at Moriah Central School thanks to a local Girl Scout.  12-year-old Brooke Mildon, a Cadette Girl Scout led the project to retrieve the old school bells from storage and place them near the entrance of the current school in Port Henry.  A dedication ceremony for the bells will be held this Saturday at 1 p.m. at the school.  Refreshments will follow in the school cafeteria.