Thursday, June 26, 2014

WVTK Local & State News June 26, 2014

Some Vermont legal advocates say they are worried that new health care rules will make some people ineligible for long-term care Medicaid. State officials say that the eligibility requirements are more streamlined but have not changed in law or practice. Vermont Legal Aid's Office of the Health Care Advocate told lawmakers today that the rule, as written, might affect people under age 65 who require relatively short-term intensive care. The rule in question deals with a program called Choices for Care, or long-term care Medicaid.

A Rutland couple whose home was made uninhabitable after it was sprayed for bed bugs with a banned pesticide has reached a $450,000 settlement with the Vermont agency that hired the exterminator. The couple’s attorney says the settlement will allow his clients "to start their life over with a little cushion." Assistant Attorney General Eve Jacobs-Carnahan says the state is admitting no wrongdoing.

Senator Bernie Sanders today introduced legislation to make federal regulators invoke emergency powers to stop speculators from taking advantage of turmoil in Iraq to drive up oil prices and make motorists pay more for gasoline. Wall Street has pushed up the price of crude oil by more than 5 percent since June 12, when militants attacked and took control of several Iraqi cities. Nationwide, the average price of a gallon of gas yesterday was $3.70-a-gallon.

The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation says White Pine Needle Disease is affecting Vermont. White Pine Needle Disease damage was widespread again this spring. Officials say it's been in the region since 2010. The department is working with the U.S. Forest Service and other states to determine the cause and impact of the damage.

The trial for a Vermont man charged along with his wife in the killing of a popular St. Johnsbury teacher has been scheduled for October. Allen and Patricia Prue face kidnapping and first-degree murder charges in the March 2012 death of Melissa Jenkins. Police allege the Prues lured Jenkins from her home and then killed her. They have both pleaded not guilty.