Monday, July 7, 2014

WVTK Local & State News July 7, 2014

Meteorologist Steve Glazer from Fox 44 / ABC 22 says we can expect some severe Thunderstorms this afternoon. Which could include strong winds and possibly hail.

Infrastructure projects across the state are in jeopardy of losing their funding. If Congress doesn't fund the Federal Highway Trust Fund, VTrans says, it will have to delay 38 bridge, rail and road projects. Transportation Secretary Brian Searles says that's frustrating because that would mean a record highway construction season may now end prematurely.

The cost of the Natural Gas Pipeline from Burlington to Middlebury will cost about 40-percent more than originally thought. Vermont Gas has announced that expanding gas service to Addison County will cost $35.6 million more than originally planned, to a total of about $121.6 million. Vice President Jim Sinclair says it's "premature" to determine how rates will be affected, but they would still offer a savings over current energy costs in the area the pipeline will serve. The Public Service Board is expected to review the increase.

Rutland Police say a man is recovering from surgery after he was stabbed over the weekend. It happened at an apartment on Pine Street early Saturday morning. Police say 21-year-old Eric Furtado stabbed another man at the apartment where they were hanging out with friends. Police found the victim bleeding on a street corner. He underwent surgery, and is in stable condition. Furtado was charged with aggravated assault.

Porter Medical Center and the Counseling Service of Addison County are joining forces to help more opiate addicts. The move will allow Bristol Internal Medicine to deliver Suboxone to around 80 to 90 patients, up from the current 25. Suboxone is a medication that has proven effective in reducing the symptoms of opiate dependence.

Some local officials across Vermont say the state's new open meeting law has some unintended consequences that are prompting some communities to take down their websites. Some town officials say the new law's requirement that minutes be posted online within five days of a meeting will create excessive burdens. Others fear that if posting deadlines are missed, actions taken during those meetings could be ruled invalid. Vermont lawmakers say they may revisit the legislation next year. Even open government advocates agree there are problems with it.

Two new electric vehicle charging stations are opening today. The stations were installed by Green Mountain Power and will be located at the Red Hen Baking Company lot in Middlesex. It's all part of the effort to create an "EV Corridor" in the state, since electric cars only have about a 60 mile range. There are currently 27 charging stations in the state, with 15 more in the works.