Thursday, July 17, 2014

WVTK Local & State News July 17, 2014

State Officials say Lewis Creek at Route 7 in Ferrisburgh and Tyler Bridge Road in Monkton are unsafe for swimming. This comes after water tested positive for high levels of E. Coli. The E. Coli level on July 2 at the Tyler Bridge location was 686.67 and at the Route 7 was 272.3. The state standard is 77. The Tyler Bridge site is now owned by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. The Lewis Creek Association tests water quality and Lewis Creek swimming holes and other locations each year.

Seventeen Vermont dairy farmers are sharing in a grant of over $384,000 for projects to improve herd management, cow health and working conditions. The grants fare from the Vermont Farm and Forest Viability Program. Gov. Peter Shumlin says the grants are aimed at improving milk production and the financial viability of the farms. The projects included repairing barn floors, upgrading existing milking parlors, adding robotic milking parlors, replacing bulk cooling tanks, and other repairs.

The RAND Corporation Drug Policy Research Center is conducting a study of the taxation and regulation of legalizing marijuana in the state. According to Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding, the Vermont Legislature requested the study be conducted and have a reported filed in January. The RAND Corporation will also study other public health and safety issues.

Police in Castleton say a 76-year-old man is dead after a confrontation with a bull on East Hubbardton Road Tuesday night. Officers say Harold Stanyon was chased and fell down, but was not stomped or bruised, plus the bull did not have any horns. Stanyon's doctor believes the man had a heart attack.

The Obama administration has asked Vermont whether it can house immigrant children who have crossed into the United States over the Mexican border. Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America have been crossing the border into Texas, overwhelming immigration facilities there. The government is struggling with what to do about the problem and Congress is debating the president's plan for billions in emergency funding for new detention centers and deportation proceedings. In the meantime, the Obama administration is asking states to help out. It's unclear what form Vermont's assistance would take and what type of facilities might be made available.

The state of Vermont has released its Web-based recycling map that connects residents, businesses, and institutions with collection services and food rescue agencies, haulers and composters with food scraps. Vermont's Universal Recycling law bans all food scraps from landfills by July 1, 2020. Larger generators of food scraps need to begin diverting them sooner if a certified compost center is located within 20 miles. Recyclable such as metal, glass, plastics and paper are banned from the landfill beginning July 1, 2015.