Monday, February 24, 2014

WVTK Local & State News February 24, 2014

A Poultney man accused of beating a toddler to death is being arraigned today. Vermont State Police say 31-year-old Dennis Duby is facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of his stepdaughter Dezirae Sheldon, who was just 2-years old. An autopsy report said Dezirae died from blunt force trauma and the death has now been ruled a homicide. Dezirae passed away on Friday at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, just two days after she was taken to the ER at Rutland Regional Medical Center.

CCTA drivers will be going on strike soon. Last night the union issued a statement that a marathon 15-hour negotiation session had ended without resolution. They also said that people should plan other travel arraignments for March 10th, as that's when drivers intend to strike. The two sides have been in a standoff since September when contract negotiations first failed. The two sides are at odds over working hours, the hiring of part-time drivers and working conditions. Back in 2011, a deal was struck between drivers and the CCTA just hours before a strike was set to begin.

The Vermont Legislature is considering a disposable bag fee. According to the bill, a 10 cent fee would be charged to someone carrying goods, food or other products from a retail establishment. Exemptions include bags provided by pharmacists containing prescription drugs or bags used to deliver newspapers, dry cleaning, baked goods, flowers, or prepared foods. The bill would also prohibit a business from selling, distributing wholesale, or distributing at retail a disposable carryout bag made of plastic or paper unless the bag can be recycled and meets content and label requirements. If passed, the bill would take effect July 1, 2015. The bill is currently in the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee.

Forecasters say the snowstorms we had this month could mean spring flooding. These storms have piled up snow in the mountains heading into the last month of winter and emergency planners say it could cause flooding when it melts, especially if we also get heavy rains. The National Weather Service has begun issuing reports on the spring flooding threat and says everything depends on what happens in the next six weeks.