Friday, May 23, 2014

WVTK Local & State News May 23, 2014

While you’re traveling this weekend, be sure to have your seatbelt on. Law enforcement agencies across the area have kicked off the “Click It or Ticket” campaign. In order to enforce seat belt and other traffic laws, state, county and local law enforcement agencies began stepping up enforcement will continue the campaign through June 1 with high-visibility patrols and safety check points throughout Addison County highways.

The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) announced $4.6 million in farmland conservation grants. A press release says the grants will protect 3,093 acres of agricultural land on 18 farms. The grants will be used to purchase developmental rights from farm owners and protect the land from development and provide capital to farmers. The farms that will be protected under the grant include operating dairies, commercial crop farms, beef farms, and farmland providing additional land to existing farms. Funding for VHCB’s farmland protection program comes from both federal and state sources.

Matt Doheny may have an edge in New York's 21st Congressional Race. According to research firm Public Opinion Strategies, Doheny is leading opponent Aaron Woolf 43 to 21 percent. This comes from a survey of possible general election voters. Congressman Bill Owens decided he would not seek re-election this fall.

Now might be a good time to start looking for a house. Mortgage rates are at the lowest level since October. Freddie Mac says the average rate for a 30 year, fixed-rate loan fell to 4.14 percent. Lower mortgage rates however have not boosted the housing market.

A majority of Vermonters support the idea of making marijuana legal. This comes from a survey conducted by Castleton's Polling Institute. 57-percent said they're fine with taxing the drug and regulating it, similar to alcohol. The survey polled a little more than 600 Vermonters. The Vermont legislature approved a bill last month that would look at the potential impact of legalizing marijuana in the state.