Monday, February 10, 2014

WVTK Local & State News February 10, 2014

The bill to require foods made with genetically modified organisms to be labeled in Vermont has been approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee. Although, it’s not heading to the Senate floor yet, Attorney General Bill Sorrell says there are still legal issues to deal with, and now the bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary committee. Sorrell says Vermont will almost certainly be sued by one of the big corporations that use GMOs. The Senate Judiciary committee may choose to include a "trigger clause" in the bill, which was struck down by the Senate Agriculture committee. A trigger clause would delay the law from going into effect until other states have a GMO labeling law, protecting Vermont from being the first to be sued. Maine and Connecticut have both passed GMO labeling laws with trigger clauses that require other states to have laws first.

Residents in Panton on Town Meeting Day will be deciding how their local government officials are elected. The proposed charter change will ask voters if they should continue to elect their own town clerk, treasurer and delinquent tax collector, or give that power to the Panton selectboard. If the voters support the change tot the town charter, it will still need to be approved by the Vermont Legislature before it can go into effect.

Police are searching for a New Hampshire man whose car was found at the Quechee Gorge in Vermont this weekend. Family members of 42-year-old Michael Hayward of Sunapee say he was last seen Friday afternoon in the Enfield area. The vehicle was unoccupied and no signs of foul play were observed. His credit cards were found near the road Saturday and his wallet was found Sunday.

Nearly 70 employees who work for CCTA could go on strike in two weeks. The Teamsters Union says employees have been negotiating a new contract with CCTA since May. The union says CCTA gave its best offer just over a week ago. On Sunday, 53 employees voted it down compared to 4 who approved it. Employees aren't happy about three things: part-time workers taking hours away from full-time employees, workers on call for almost 15 hours a day, and higher wages offered to new employees. The union says if there is a strike bus services would stop to Middlebury, Montpelier, and others. CCTA says it's ready and willing to continue negotiating to reach a settlement.

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is seeking public input for the update of the long-range management plan for Mt. Philo State Park in Charlotte. An on-line survey has been developed to offer an opportunity for input into this process. To complete the survey go to: The deadline for submission of survey is April 6.