Tuesday, March 18, 2014

WVTK Local & State News March 18, 2014

The Vermont House is has given preliminary approval to a bill setting a statewide policy on training police officers before they are issued electronic stun guns. The measure won preliminary approval this morning on a voice vote with little debate. Backers say the bill is aimed at ensuring uniform standards for police use of the weapons throughout Vermont. But critics say the bill is inadequate.

It’s Day Two of the Chittenden County Transportation Authority bus strike. Drivers went on the picket line Monday before sunrise at the C-C-T-A garage as well as at the Cherry Street Bus Station, with Burlington High School students joining them to show support. Talks between the drivers’ union and management fell apart over the weekend when the union rejected the idea of third party arbitration. Sticking points remain working conditions and long split shifts.

Thousands of New Yorkers have had their driver's licenses suspended after legislation was approved last year that strips driving privileges to people who fall behind more than $10,000 on their taxes. Once a notice is mailed, drivers have 60 days to set up a payment plan or a second letter is sent. If another 15 days pass with no response, the State can direct the DMV to suspend a license until a payment is made. The State will allow people to apply for a restricted license, so they can drive to work.

The Fish and Wildlife Department said Vermont state law requires that ice fishing shanties be removed from the ice before it becomes unsafe or loses its ability to support the shanty or before March 30, whichever comes first. The same Vermont law requires the name and address of the owner to be on the shanty. The fine for leaving an ice-fishing shanty on the ice can be up to $1,000, and shanties may not be left at state fishing access areas.

The American Red Cross released a new flood app. A press release says the app will provide users instant access to local and real-time information so they know what to do before, during, and after a flood. Some of the features of the app include … One-touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to send a message letting family and friends know that they are out of harm’s way and Locations of open Red Cross shelters. The app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android smart phone users.