Thursday, July 31, 2014

WVTK Local & State News July 31, 2014

A court diversion program for some drug offenders in Vermont's largest county is going to be part of a national study to see how effective it is. Chittenden County's Rapid Intervention Community Court will be part of the second phase of a research project, funded by the Department of Justice, and other groups. The Chittenden County program will be one of three sites in the country participating in the second phase of the study. The study is designed to look at the effectiveness of the program, which offers alternatives to some people charged with crimes such as theft, drug possession or writing bad checks.

Tensions are rising after protesters were at a Vermont Gas construction site in Williston yesterday. Those belonging to Rising Tide Vermont temporarily blocked the entrance to the site, issuing a stop work order to the company. This is part of a project to extend natural gas pipeline service to Rutland. When police were ready to issue a trespass warning, protesters marched away to avoid being arrested. A spokesperson at Vermont Gas says while they understand the right to free speech, they believe safety has become a major issue.

A construction worker removing fog lines on Interstate 89 was killed after being hit by a car yesterday. Vermont State Police say 61-year-old Robert Stanhope was hit by a Prius driven by a 22-year-old South Burlington woman just after 11 p.m. Police say the incident happened on the northbound side of I-89 in South Burlington. Stanhope, of Richford, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say he worked for the Whitcomb Construction Company. Police say the investigation is ongoing and asks that anyone with additional information please call the Vermont State Police in Williston at (802)878-7111.

Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture, Chuck Ross, will join Rutland County legislators at the Rutland Downtown Farmers’ Market to kick-off National Farmer’s Market Week this Saturday. The market, located at 98 Merchant’s Row in Rutland’s Depot Park, is one of eighty farmers’ markets across the state. Per capita, Vermont has more farmers’ markets than any other state in the nation. According to Ross, Vermont’s thriving farmers’ market community is a reflection of the values of Vermonters.

Champ Day is coming back to Moriah after a short hiatus. Organizers are hoping for a big turnout for this Saturday's event. Major setbacks, like flooding and bridge construction in the area caused organizers to take a year off, and that gave them time to make this year's celebration even better. For those who grew up here near Bulwagga Bay in Moriah, the stories and sightings of Champ the lake monster are abundant.
Organizers said they hope this year's Champ Day will be bigger and better, especially since Champ Day was called off last summer. Saturday’s events includes a 5K run, a cardboard boat race, and hopefully a visit from the guest of honor.