Monday, April 14, 2014

WVTK Local & State News April 14, 2014

The Vermont League of Cities and Towns says the Lake Champlain cleanup plan is headed in the right direction, but members have concerns about how the plan will be paid for and how the state can permit municipal roads. Decades of runoff have contributed to polluting the lake causing excessive algae growth, hurting tourism, depressing property values and increasing water treatment costs. Vermont officials sent a hefty plan to reduce pollution in Lake Champlain to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on March 31.

Vermont officials have released a new web resource that allows residents to explore connections between radon, smoking and lung cancer in their communities. Officials say one in eight Vermont homes has elevated levels of radon, a natural but radioactive gas that seeps into houses from soil and bedrock. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Vermonters who both smoke and live in a home with radon are at an extra high risk. About 380 Vermonters die annually from lung cancer, including 50 whose deaths are associated with radon. The resource is online at The health department also has free radon test kits available by calling 800-439-8550 or emailing

Police are once again warning you to be on the lookout for scammers. Earlier today, an elderly Richmond, Vermont man reported a fraud complaint. Police say the man was told that he had won a substantial cash prize from Publisher's Clearing House. The man was presented with a check for approximately $6,000 as an advance of his winnings. Police say the man was told to send $5,000 cash, the balance which was needed to claim his prize, to an address in Baltimore, Maryland. The man sent the money to the Baltimore address. When he tried to cash his winnings, the check bounced. Police are reminding the public that legitimate operations do not require payment to collect winnings.

Starting this November, tougher laws are headed to New York State to crack down on texting and driving among young and new drivers. For the first offense, their license will be suspended for 120 days. For the second offense, their license will be suspended for one full year. Experts say texting while driving takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds. If you're traveling at a speed of 55 mph, that means you're not looking at the road for about the length of an entire football field, while sending that one text. Over the next few days you may notice more police on the roads. It's all part of a state-wide campaign called "Operation hang-up" that targets distracted drivers.

There is a delay in the construction project on Water Street in Middlebury. Work was scheduled to begin starting today but now the startup date has been pushed back 2 weeks. Weather permitting; construction should begin on Monday, April 28.