Monday, December 9, 2013

WVTK Local & State News December 9, 2013

According to a national report, Vermont ranks 11th in the nation in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and helping smokers quit.  A press release says Vermont spends $3.9 million a year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs.  Due to a looming cut, advocates want state legislators to act to prevent harm to the state’s tobacco control program.  Since 1999, Vermont has reduced the state’s high school smoking rate by 58 percent (from 33.4% to 13.3% who smoke).

A man from Killington is in court this afternoon answering to charges of a deadly case of hit-and-run.  27-year-old Michael DeBellis is accused of hitting a man walking on Killington Road.  The body of 26-year-old Kyle Wilson of Enfield, New Hampshire was found on the side of the road early yesterday morning by friends after he’d called earlier to say he was walking to their home and never arrived.  DeBellis was arrested last night after the investigation by State Police and the Rutland County State’s Attorney’s office led them to him.

Governor Peter Shumlin is joining three other northeastern governors today for an announcement taking on air pollution from other states.  Shumlin is in Washington D-C today along with governors from Connecticut, New Hampshire and Delaware, talking about their joint effort to fight air pollution from the Midwest and South which ends up in the Northeast.  The governors maintain the air pollution is affecting millions in the northeast, and want to see requirements and regulations on businesses and utilities in those nine specific states.

Tomorrow, 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.

Vermont lawmakers have drafted a bill to make it easier to catch jewelry thieves.  Legislation was finalized Friday and it will be voted on next month.  The legislation will require all jewelers, including cash for gold shops to be certified.  They would be required to take pictures of anyone selling jewels and holding that item for 10 days.  Police would create a database of all stolen goods.  Officials offer this tip, take pictures of your stuff.  If it's ever stolen, you'll have a better chance of getting it back.

People who live near six Vermont lakes are banding together to try to focus more resources on lake protection efforts.  Organizers think it will be easier for the state to work with one larger organization.  The group says the state's smaller lakes: Lake St. Catherine, Lake Bomoseen, Lake Dunmore/Fern Lake, Lake Hortonia, and Sunrise Lake, face serious challenges from pollution, invasive species and stress from development.  The Coalition of Vermont Lakes says it will seek to improve conditions through research, education and community involvement.