Monday, July 28, 2014

WVTK Local & State News July 28, 2014

The state airport in Rutland has won an $8 million dollar federal grant to make safety improvements. The money will be used to extend the runway and additional 300 feet, which will provide a larger margin of safety and also allow departing aircraft to carry more fuel. They'll also clear an area at the end of the runway in case planes over-shoot their landings. State officials say Vermont's congressional delegation helped secure the grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Vermont Senior Senator Patrick Leahy said he hopes a bill approved by Congress will help victims of domestic violence get cell phones -- phones that can serve as 911 lifelines in case of emergency. The bill sponsored by Leahy and approved last week gives consumers the chance to switch cell phone carriers without changing phones. Organizations like Women Helping Battered Women hope that change leads to more donations of used phones so they can give them out to victims of abuse.

Novelist, poet and Middlebury College instructor Julia Alvarez has won a National Medal of the Arts.
Alvarez, who lives in Weybridge, will receive the award along with other recipients at a White House ceremony today. Alvarez is author of "How The GarcĂ­a Girls Lost Their Accents" and "In the Time of the Butterflies." Her latest book, "A Wedding in Haiti: The Story of a Friendship," is a nonfiction story that starts at a farm and literacy project she and her husband set up in the Dominican Republic.

It’s back to the drawing board for the selectboard in Brandon. On the heels of the municipal budget’s last defeat, they are meeting tonight to discuss further cuts to the budget in order to get it passed by the voters. One of the cuts being proposed is cutting one position at the police department. Police Chief Christopher Brickell is warning town residents that cutting an officer position would make it very difficult to continue 24/7 police coverage. One of the budget proposals that was expected to come up tonight also includes a 10 percent cut for the library and a 10 percent cut for the senior center.

A beverage company Honest Tea decided to test just how honest people really are when no one's watching. They conducted an experiment in all 50 states, setting up unmanned kiosks full of drinks and snacks. People are asked to pay a dollar for each item, and buy based on the "honor system." Honest Tea said they're expecting the best from the green mountain state. Last year Vermont was 95 percent honest. The national results will be released on August 19th.