Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WVTK Local & State News March 26, 2014

State officials are asking people to stay off the ice because it’s weakening. Despite the cold weather, Vermont Emergency Management says the sun’s high angle is warming up the water. The warmer water is melting the ice from the bottom up. Officials say that even if the surface seems solid … it’s not.

It’s not your imagination if you think it’s just getting too expensive to rent in Vermont. A new report says Vermont is the 13th most expensive state in the country, in terms of affordability. The study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition says a fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment is one-thousand-seven dollars. That same study says 62-percent of renters pay more than what’s considered affordable for their income, with a typical renter here earning eleven-dollars-and 24-cents an hour.

The list of places where you can smoke in Vermont might be getting shorter. A bill working its way through the State Legislature would ban smoking in many new places, including any indoor location where the public has access. That includes offices, restaurants, stores, businesses and any sort of lodging, like a hotel or motel. The ban would extend to certain outdoor locations as well, like within 25 feet of state offices and hospitals. It would also prohibit smoking outside child care facilities or on public school grounds, or at public school events. Finally, the bill would ban smoking in cars with children of car-seat age.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is warning New Yorkers of tax season scams. A press release says individuals prey on seniors or college students by impersonating tax authorities to obtain personal information. In an effort to help New Yorkers avoid tax-themed scams, the Attorney General’s Office offered the following tips: The IRS and legitimate government agencies never demand payment by phone; If you owe money, you will receive a legitimate notice in writing that identifies the agency and the reason you owe money; Do not give out personal information, including your Social Security number or bank account information, to telephone callers; Legitimate government organizations will never threaten arrest or deportation for failure to pay a debt.

Police are investigating an armed robbery that happened at the Cumberland Farms Store at the corner of Bridge Street and West Main Street in Richmond. The armed robbery happened at around 11:30 last night. Police say the store clerk called 911 after being robbed at gun point. The man then fled the store on foot. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vermont State Police at (802)-878-7111.