Friday, January 31, 2014

WVTK Local & State News January 31, 2014

Four out of the five towns that make up the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union could see slight tax increases because of next year’s proposed school budget.  According to the numbers supplied by the district, New Haven would be the only town not seeing a small increase.  School boards in all five towns have been working hard to keep district-wide costs down in budget proposals that will go before voters on Town Meeting Day.

Vermont will be receiving $2.5 million more in federal money for heating assistance.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reports it has dispersed more than $19 million to Vermont so far for fiscal year 2014.  Vermonters seeking home heating assistance may visit the website of the Department of Children and Families.

Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is going to be holding a town meeting in Montpelier about constitutional rights and privacy.  According to Sanders’ website, the National Security Agency’s ‘‘surveillance of millions of Americans’ telephone and email records’’ will be the topic for Saturday’s meeting.  Sanders says the United States must be vigorous in protecting Americans from terrorist threats. He says this can be done ‘‘without undermining the constitutional rights which make us a free society.’’  U.S. Rep. Peter Welch will also be in attendance.  The 1 p.m. meeting at Montpelier City Hall also will be streamed online.

The 10-year-old boy injured in a Benson snowmobile crash last weekend has been upgraded to fair.  Brian Norton of Benson was learning to ride a snowmobile on Route 22A Sunday afternoon when the snowmobile he was operating with the help of Mark Lussier drove over a snowbank, launched into the air and struck a tractor-trailer on the road.  48-year-old was killed in the crash.  Norton was taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center where he was initially listed in serious condition.

If you have a "Vermont Strong" license plate, you may be able to keep it on your bumper longer.  The plates were sold after Tropical Storm Irene to raise money for flood victims. Over 39,000 plates were sold, and the law that allowed drivers to have them is set to expire in June.  A bill in the State Legislature would extend that expiration date two more years.  There are about 3500 plates still available for purchase. They cost 25 dollars. Of that, 5 dollars goes to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the rest goes to a fund that helps flood victims.  The bill to extend the expiration date is currently being debated in the Senate Transportation committee.