Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WVTK Local & State News April 16, 2014

Flood warnings are out for most our later listening area due to rivers spilling over their banks and the rising level of Lake Champlain. The National Weather Service is saying the lake is expected to reach flood stage by tomorrow. In the meantime, a number of state and local roads are closed, and more were anticipated overnight. Drivers are being told to stay on paved roads, and avoid back roads, at least for now.

Vermont is one step closer to requiring manufactures to label genetically modified foods. Yesterday the State Senate gave preliminary approval to the bill. The bill would require manufacturers, starting in July of 2016, to label products made with GMOs, only if the food is for human consumption. GMO corn used to feed cattle, for example, would not need to be labeled; nor would the milk or meat from those cows. If the bill makes it to the governor’s desk, Shumlin has indicated he’s likely to sign it, making Vermont the first state in the nation to pass such legislation.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a flood state of emergency for six counties including Essex County. A press release says during state of emergencies, critical resources that are normally restricted to state use are mobilized to assist local governments. To receive emergency information in your area, sign up for free alerts and notifications at NY Alert’s website:

Vermont's largest hospital wants to construct a new building that would contain 128 private patient rooms. The Burlington Development Review Board looked at plans for the 160,000-square foot building that would be located above the entrance to the emergency department and a parking lot at Fletcher Allen Health Care. The new building would replace two floors in a separate building that dates to 1961.

Snowmobile Season has officially come to a close. Yesterday marked the end of the season in Vermont. The Vermont Association of Snow Travelers reports a banner year with the best riding conditions in years. VAST says next year snowmobilers will be able to purchase trail passes online and the organization is also working on upgrades to its interactive maps and phone apps.