Tuesday, December 3, 2013

WVTK Local & State News December 3, 2013

The U.S. Air Force has selected Burlington, Vermont to base the new F-35 fighter jets.  The announcement came during a press conference at Camp Johnson earlier today.  The Burlington Air Guard Station was selected because it presents the best mix of infrastructure, airspace and overall cost to the Air Force.  The first F-35As are scheduled to arrive in 2020.  The Air Force says the F-35As will replace the F-16 Fighting Falcons currently assigned to Burlington.  The Vermont Air National Guard base will be the first to host F-35A Lightning II jets.

A fire this morning in Moriah Center has claimed a life.  The blaze at a house on Dugway Road is being investigated by New York State Police as a possible arson, but police have not yet released any details.  The fire was reported at about 5 a.m. this morning.  Police this afternoon say the victim has tentatively been identified as 22-year-old Sierra Daha of Moriah Center.  Officials say the cause of death has not been determined.  Troopers say two other people inside the home made it out safely.

Vermont is bracing for a food stamp fine from the federal government, due to an error in how food stamp amounts were calculated.  Vermont has an 8.5% error rate, when a 5% rate is permitted.  Some households received nearly a thousand dollars for which they were ineligible.  The state expects to be fined, but hopes the federal government will allow them to use the whole fine to pay to solve the issue.

A former Vermont fire captain has been sentenced to 13 months in jail after he was convicted of conspiring to set more than 20 fires on public land in 2008.  U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss said the crimes committed by 30-year-old George Allen were ‘‘truly outrageous.’’ Another former firefighter was given a one-to-two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to fourth-degree arson; another paid a $2,000 fine.

Vermont State police are looking for a driver who took off on foot after crashing a car which then caught fire.  Police say they responded to Hinesburg Road in Charlotte, where fire crews were putting out the flames on a Chevy Malibu.  Witnesses said they saw a man running away from that crash.  A K-9 unit was not able to find the driver.  Police say it appears the person driving lost control and smashed into a tree.  No one else was in the car.

Vermont Health Connect Navigators are in Addison County hosting events to educate Vermonters about new health coverage options.  On Thursday they will be at the Bixby Memorial Library in Vergennes and at the Porter Medical Center Computer Lab in Middlebury from 1:30 to 5 p.m.  The Navigators will also be able to answer any of your questions on health coverage options.  Also, on Saturday, December 7, Vermont Health Connect is hosting enrollment assistance events at 10 computer labs across the state.  The closest one will be at Champlain Valley Union High School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The event focus on Vermonters who are purchasing health insurance plans on their own, as opposed to getting coverage through an employer.