Friday, December 6, 2013

WVTK Local & State News December 6, 2013

Governor Peter Shumlin has ordered that flags at Vermont facilities be flown at half-staff to honor the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela.  Shumlin issued the order today following a Presidential Proclamation.  All U.S., state of Vermont, POW and other flags at state public buildings and grounds will remain at half-staff through sunset on Monday.

Vermont State Police are investigating the theft of approximately 12 Christmas trees from Green Haven Nursery in New Haven.  They were stolen overnight sometime between Wednesday and Thursday.  Police say the value of each tree is worth approximately $40.  The nursery recently had about 500 Christmas trees delivered.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Vermont State Police at (802) 388-4919.

A new website tracks Vermont's drinking water quality.  A press release says the website displays data that tracks the presence of 10 contaminants such as arsenic, nitrate, uranium, and the pesticide atrazine.  The website is supplied by 100 community water systems and serves 400,000 residents.  The Health Department says, “We wanted to provide a site for people to learn more about water quality and health issues in the towns where they live.”

The Middlebury Selectboard will meet next Tuesday, before their regularly scheduled meeting to review the town's proposed fiscal year 2015 General Fund Budget.  That meeting will take place from 4:30 to 6:15 in the Large Conference Room at the Town Offices.  Then at 7 o’clock, they will have their regular meeting.

New labels are on the way next year for Maple Syrup.  Beginning next year, the rules will change for the way Maple Syrup is graded.  Instead of the Fancy, Grade A Medium Amber, Grade A Dark Amber, Grade B, and Grade C System.  The new descriptions will be Golden Color/Delicate Taste, Amber Color/Rich Taste, Dark Color/Robust Taste, Very Dark Color/Strong Taste And Processing Grade.  Other maple syrup producers throughout the U.S. and Canada currently use a similar system to describe their syrup by color and taste.  Producers here in Vermont will have until January of 2015 to fully implement the new grading rules.

Hundreds of Vermonters could lose unemployment benefits early if Congress doesn't act.  Unemployment assistance varies across the United States, but millions will see theirs cut short December 28 if current law isn't changed.  In Vermont, 6,300 receive an unemployment benefit check. But the deadline only applies to emergency benefits, a 14-week extension to the state's regular 26-week limit.

On Tuesday, voters in the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union will decide on the fate of a $2.88 million bond request for work at Vergennes Union High School.  Most of the money will be used to funk a new kitchen and cafeteria and upgrades to the school auditorium that would return it to full use.