Friday, June 27, 2014

WVTK Local & State News June 27, 2014

Flying's not cheap these days, and prices are about to go up. Next month, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) fee you pay on your airline ticket will jump, but not all of that added revenue is going toward security. Starting July 21, the TSA will increase its fee on flights. Right now, the TSA's passenger security fee is $2.50 per flight. The new charge will be $5.60 flat fee. So a roundtrip, nonstop flight will now cost passengers $11.20 versus $5.

The Vermont Gas pipeline is getting some strong support from two Rutland business organizations. The company just got its last permits to bring the natural gas pipeline from Colchester to Middlebury. Phase 2 is still in the planning phase and now the Rutland Economic Development Corp. and the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce have sent a letter to Vermont Gas asking for preliminary work on Phase 3 to bring the pipeline to Rutland. They've asked for a preferred route by the end of the year.

Vermont’s new rules on smoking go into effect starting next Tuesday. The new law, which takes effect July 1, bans smoking in hotel rooms, state property, and any other area within 25-feet of state-owned buildings and offices. It also extends protections to school grounds and sponsored events, child care facilities, and in motor vehicles when young children are present.

Works at FairPoint will vote next month on whether or not to strike. Officials with the IBEW and CWA say they'll vote July 12 on whether to hit the picket lines when their contract expires in August. The workers from Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine say they have been in contract talks with FairPoint for several weeks now and negotiations are going nowhere. Union officials contend the company has fallen short on its promise to grow jobs.

The Vermont Army National Guard's 86th Infantry Brigade is coming home. The men and women have been training in Fort Polk Louisiana for the last few weeks. They'll be coming in on charter flights starting today. Training in Louisiana focused on leadership skills. The soldiers will be tested in future training exercises.