Thursday, July 24, 2014

WVTK Local & State News July 24, 2014

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding announced a spending reduction for the current fiscal year. A press release says revenues in the state are projected to climb by three percent, instead of the 4.8 percent increase previously projected. In order to ensure that the state's budget is balanced, the Shumlin Administration is proposing to trim approximately $31 million from Vermont's $1.4 billion general fund budget, about a two percent reduction.

Voters in Brandon have once again defeated the municipal budget. The vote was 600 no to 425 yes. The $3-million spending plan, which looked for almost $2.5-million to be raised through property taxes. The selectboard will meet on Monday at 7 p.m. to go over their options looking forward.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a heart valve procedure tested at Fletcher Allen and UVM. Fletcher Allen says the procedure tested during a clinical trial replaced heart valves using catheters instead of open heart surgery. The procedure called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) have been added to the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology guidelines. Fletcher Allen and UVM are currently enrolling patients in a national, randomized clinical trial comparing the safety and effectiveness of TAVR versus standard surgery in these lower risk patients. For more information on this trial, contact the Cardiology Research office at (802)-847-4746.

Rutland police say a study found the number of calls for service in the Vermont city dropped almost 25 percent in the first six months of this year compared to 2013. Police Chief James Baker says they're still working to make sure the numbers are correct and if so what caused the drop. Baker says burglary and larceny reports are down 2 percent, but drug complaints were up. He says he'll release the report once the numbers have been verified, which he expects to take about a week.

The bridge connecting Middlebury and East Middlebury on Route 125 is finally complete. The structure was damaged by decades of storms, including Tropical Storm Irene. The construction maintained the bridge's historic arched design. The work also included new pedestrian walkways that provide access to the Middlebury River. It's one of six bridges VTrans is working on in Rochester and Middlebury.