Wednesday, May 7, 2014

WVTK Local & State News May 7, 2014

A ban on hand-held electronic devices including cellphones in Vermont is expected to be heading to the governor’s desk soon. A conference committee of state legislators has come up with a bill that would make it illegal to use a hand-held electronic device while driving. Offenders would receive fines but not points on their license. Both the House and Senate are expected to pass the committee version of the bill and although Governor Shumlin has been against such legislation, an aide has said he likes the compromises in the bill and will likely sign it.

The Chittenden County prosecutor says the fatal shooting of an Army veteran by one of his two teenage children was legally justified because the man had threatened to kill his family with a gun. Authorities say 44-year-old Kryn Miner was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury from multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was killed at his Essex Junction home April 26. No one will be charged in the shooting.

New York lawmakers have passed a bill to boost the availability of a drug that reverses heroin overdoses. The bipartisan measure would allow health care professionals to provide orders for the drug known as Narcan to certified training programs and pharmacies. Pharmacists would then be able to issue the kits to anyone at risk of an overdose or their caretaker and instruct them on how to administer the drug. The bill now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

It's a very big step in a long anticipated recovery from Tropical Storm Irene. Tuesday the foundation was laid for in Waterbury for a new 86-thousand square foot state office building. Nearly three years ago, floods from the tropical storm displaced more than 15-hundred state workers from the destroyed office complex. A new one comes at the cost of 125-million dollars for what Governor Peter Shumlin called the launch of the single biggest capital construction project in Vermont's history. It's slated for completion in December 2015.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says 110 AmeriCorps members will serve with over 75 organizations in the state. Shumlin announced yesterday that the state has received $1.2 million from the Corporation for National and Community Service. The AmeriCorps members will tackle challenges in Vermont that include supporting veterans and military families, preserving the environment, assisting low-income Vermonters in securing and maintaining safe, affordable housing. The Vermont AmeriCorps positions are among $205 million in grants across the country that will allow more than 43,000 Americans to serve as AmeriCorps members.