Friday, March 28, 2014

WVTK Local & State News March 28, 2014 Second Update

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch along with a Winter Storm Warning for our area. Throughout the weekend we will see Rain, Freezing Rain, and 6 or more inches of snow along with melting snow which could lead to localized flooding and ice jams.

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office is warning consumers to not respond to calls or texts about a debit card problem. Its Consumer Assistance Program has received a number of reports of fraudulent texts. Some of them claim to be ‘‘Merchants Bank’’ or different bank, indicating that the consumer’s debit card number has been locked and that the consumer should call a number to fix the problem. The attorney general’s office says these are fraudulent text messages and are not affiliated with any bank, part of a scam to try to obtain confidential personal information. The office says consumers who have already responded should contact the bank that issued the debit card immediately to protect their accounts.

Middlebury College is giving the town most of 1.4 acres parcel of land behind the Ilsley library as well as the Lazarus Building at 20 Main Street. Middlebury town officials are pleased with the college’s decision to donate the so-called Economic Development Initiative parcel. The selectboard will next decide how to proceed with soliciting input on how the property should be used and developed. It is currently the site of a municipal parking lot serving the library and downtown businesses.

A leader of the bus driver’s union that has been on strike for nearly two weeks in Burlington says there is going to be a meeting to seek a solution to the strike. Chief Steward Mike Walker says union negotiators and representatives of the Chittenden County Transportation Authority are meeting today. Unionized bus drivers have been on strike since March 17. The two sides are haggling over wages, disciplinary action from anonymous tips, part-time drivers and split shifts.

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is urging people to take down bird feeders because hungry bears are beginning to emerge from winter hibernation and finding there isn’t any food because of the late spring. Biologists say bears typically begin to emerge from their winter dens when food becomes accessible, but this year the animals aren’t finding much to eat. State Wildlife Director Mark Scott says the state is urging Vermonters to take down bird feeders, seal garbage and turn on the electric fence around your chicken coop or beehive.