Wednesday, July 2, 2014

WVTK Local & State News July 2, 2014

Green Mountain Power is responding quickly to outages caused by thunderstorms and strong winds across Vermont. The company encourages the public to stay safe and to report outages and any down lines they encounter. In addition to responding to outages, GMP is positioning workers in areas expected to be hit hardest. GMP also has contract line workers and tree trimmers available if needed to assist GMP crews in restoring power quickly. Customers may now sign up for text service to report outages and get updates. Simply text REG to 46788 or GMPVT, or sign up online at

It's the earliest Eastern Equine Encephalitis has ever been detected in the Northeast. Mosquitoes trapped in Grand Isle County a couple of weeks ago have now tested positive for the virus. Department of Health officials say part of why it may be detected earlier than usual is because they're doing more testing earlier. Triple-E, as it's usually called, can be deadly and just two years ago proved fatal for two people in Vermont.

Raw milk can now be delivered to farmers markets in Vermont. It's all a part of a new law that was signed by Governor Peter Shumlin during the 2014 legislative session. According to Rural Vermont, an organization that represents farmers, the new law says raw milk can be delivered to farmers’ markets by Tier 2 raw milk producers. The new law does not allow farmers to sell the raw milk at a farmers market. They can only deliver the product to customers who have already paid for the product.

New York State Police are stepping up their patrols to catch drunk and distracted drivers over the July 4 weekend. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said earlier today that the effort will run tomorrow through Sunday. He says 500 electronic message boards will be placed alongside state roadways warning motorists against driving while intoxicated. In addition to increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints, state police say they'll devote more resources to stopping underage drinking.

Vermont lawmakers are going to be taking an independent look at health care costs over the coming months. The legislature's Health Reform Oversight Committee met today to begin planning an analysis that will examine who pays for health care in the state, both directly and indirectly. The committee is expected to choose a contractor to perform the analysis within the next two weeks.