Monday, January 13, 2014

WVTK Local & State News January 13, 2014

The Vermont Health Department is encouraging health providers to screen for alcohol abuse. The Vermont Health Department says only 9% of Vermont adults in the past year were asked by a doctor, nurse or health care professional about their alcohol use. The department hopes to educate health care professionals about the importance of asking adults about drinking habits and behaviors as part of a regular checkup or appointment. The Vermont Health Department says high risk drinking is a public health problem in Vermont. Half of all young adults age 18 to 24 drink in excess. The Health Department recently received a $9.9 million Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) grant to help medical professionals provide brief interventions to reduce the risk of substance abuse.

Hundreds of people gathered to remember Vermont Senator Sally Fox on Sunday. Her fellow legislators say her helping hand to those in need will be missed. Her funeral was held at Temple Sinai in South Burlington. Fox died Friday after a more than year-long battle with cancer. Her friends describe her as compassionate, strong, and hardworking. She began her legislative career more than 25-years ago. House Speaker Shap Smith says she was a great role model for all legislators. A resolution will be read in her honor this coming Wednesday in the senate. Fox was 62.

Rutland City Police are investigating another knifepoint robbery of a convenience store. According to police, shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday, a man wielding a hunting knife entered the Irving convenience store on South Main Street and demanded money. After receiving some money, the man ran from the store heading south. There were no injuries. Saturday’s incident was the third convenience store robbery in eight days and the fourth knifepoint robbery in the city since the start of the new year.

The Vermont Attorney General's office has settled a lawsuit against VerMints. According to a press release VerMints labeled flavored mints as a "Vermont" product when it was made in Canada with mostly out-of-state products. The Vermont Attorney General's office claimed this violated the Vermont Consumer Protection Act and Consumer Protection Rule 120.  The settlement requires VerMints and its President Gary Rinkus, of Braintree, Mass., to donate $35,000 to the Vermont Foodbank, pay the State of Vermont $30,000, and add corrective labeling to its products for 18 months.

Vermont business leaders gathered this morning to share their concerns with Governor Peter Shumlin. The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce invited 350 community members and businesses to attend the Legislative Breakfast. Governor Peter Shumlin updated business owners on the state's economic recovery. He said the key to a healthy economy begins with affordable health care, balanced budgets and access to education. The governor will share more of his economic vision, and his plan for how to close the state's $70-million budget gap this Wednesday during his budget address.