Thursday, June 19, 2014

WVTK Local & State News June 19, 2014

Vermont Gas announced today that they have reached and signed a memorandum of understanding with Shoreham on Phase II of the proposed natural gas pipeline project. Phase II calls for the construction of a line to serve the International Paper Mill in Ticonderoga. The agreement with the Select Board includes distribution of natural gas to homes and businesses; conditions on how and where the 10-inch underground transmission pipeline is built; the creation of a community fund, and enhanced emergency training and safety management measures. Shoreham is also considering converting its municipal buildings to natural gas.

Fletcher Allen Healthcare announced earlier today that they are changing their name to the University of Vermont Health Network. A press release says the name change is to reflect ties with the University of Vermont and collaboration among hospitals in the region. CVPH Medical Center will adopt the name Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and will use that name with the University of Vermont Health Network. Central Vermont Medical Center and Elizabethtown Community Hospital will also use their name with the University of Vermont Health Network. The new branding will begin once Fletcher Allen receives approval from Vermont and New York. Fletcher Allen says the rollout is expected to start this fall and take approximately 12-18 months.

Vermont's Congressional delegation is opposed to U.S. military intervention in response to rising conflict in Iraq. Sen. Patrick Leahy opposed sending U.S. troops to Iraq 11 years ago and still feels that way. Sen. Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch also oppose any military action in Iraq and says a regional solution is needed. President Barack Obama has been weighing a range of responses, including sending a small contingent of U.S. special forces to Iraq to help train security forces there and launching limited airstrikes.

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that Vermont's moose hunt auction is open until August. A press release says auction winners will hunt in one of several wildlife management units across the state during the October 1-7 archery season or the October 18-23 regular season. A minimum bid of $1,500 is required, and winning bids are typically at least $4,000. Bids do not include the cost of hunting licenses. Additional information about the auction is on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website (