Tuesday, February 25, 2014

WVTK Local & State News February 25, 2014

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed into law a mid-year budget adjustment bill that increases funding for Medicaid by more than $7 million, but achieves nearly that much in savings on the state employee health insurance plan. The budget adjustment bill also increases state reserve funds, expands opiate addiction treatment and adds money for emergency housing services, homeowners’ and renters’ rebates.

Vermont police are searching for female suspects in two armed robberies in Rutland County. The physical description provided in the two Monday evening robberies is similar, but investigators aren’t saying if they believe they are searching for a single suspect. The first robbery was reported at about 8:15 p.m. at the Family Dollar store in West Rutland. The second was reported just before midnight at the Cumberland Farms in Wallingford. The suspect in both robberies was reported to be a petite, white female, about 5 feet 2 inches tall who told store employees she had a handgun. After the robberies the suspect fled on foot.

The major health care provider for the Ticonderoga area is slashing jobs. Inter-Lakes Health, which includes Moses-Luddington Hospital and Heritage Commons nursing home, announced earlier this month it has laid off 13 workers, is cutting 10 more jobs through attrition and is turning another 10 full-time jobs into part-time positions. Company officials say the cuts are needed to address ongoing financial issues. They say the cuts will not reduce staffing of the hospital emergency room or diminish care levels at the nursing home.

The FDA is making changes to the nutritional facts label. Those changes may come Thursday when First Lady Michelle Obama celebrates the 4th anniversary of the Let's Move campaign. Little change has come to the labels since it was introduced 21 years ago. Those changes, according to the FDA, will be based on the latest science-based nutrition recommendations. So far, no word on what those changes may include.

Gov. Peter Shumlin has ordered an investigation into the death of a toddler who was returned to her parents from state custody. 31-year-old Dennis Duby is charged with murdering 2-year-old Dezirae Sheldon. Sheldon was returned to the home of Duby and her mother, Sandra Eastman, just months after Eastman was convicted of child abuse for breaking Dezirae's leg. Family members say they warned state officials the girl was in further danger. Shumlin says he wants to know if the Department of Children and Families and others involved handled the case properly.