Monday, March 17, 2014

WVTK Local & State News March 17, 2014

The cost to take the ferry is going up. According to Lake Champlain Ferries, the new rates will go into effect on Thursday, April 3, 2014. The increased price rates do not include the fuel surcharge. The cost of a car and driver will be going from $9.50 to $10 per trip; an adult passenger will go from $3.75 to $4. Lake Champlain Ferries says the last time rates were increased was in 2008. The 30% commuter discount will remain in place.

One person is under arrest and two others are recovering after being shot. Vermont State Police say it happened early yesterday morning in a Killington apartment on Killington Road. Jessica Martome and Matt Dunn were both shot in the legs and were taken to Rutland Regional Hospital where they were treated. Investigators determined there was a fight involving the two victims, Justin Bitar and Karl Albert. Bitar is now charged with several crimes including aggravated assault, while Albert was cited for simple assault and released.

Commuters that use the CCTA Buss Service are using other forms of transportation today as the drivers are on strike. The only routes that are in operation are some of the Montpelier Link Express and the 116 Commuter runs because those runs are done by GMTA or ACTR. Chittenden County Transportation Authority bus drivers and supporters have been picketing since 6 a.m. at the CCTA garage. They’re also picketing near the bus stop on Church and Cherry streets in Burlington. Bus drivers say the strike is over hours. Union officials say the company wants drivers to go from a 12 ½ hour shift to a 13 ½ hour shift. CCTA officials say the union can restore negotiations by submitting a formal counter proposal to CCTA’s last contract offer.

The Vermont Department of Labor says the state’s unemployment rate for January was 4 percent, a drop of two-tenths of one percent from December. The Vermont rate, the fourth consecutive reported monthly decrease for the state, compares to a national unemployment rate of 6.6 percent for January. Unemployment in Vermont’s 17 labor markets ranged from a low of 2.5 percent in Warren-Waitsfield to a high of 7 percent in the Newport area.

For the first time, the public is invited to nominate next year’s Vermont Teacher of the Year. Nominations are now open and can be made online. In the past, educators nominated the state’s top teacher but now the public can join in the process. Eligible candidates must have a current Vermont teaching license and a minimum of five years of teaching experience, and must work in a public, private or approved independent school in the state. The education agency says the most important qualifications, though, is a superior ability to inspire learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. For more information, visit