Tuesday, July 8, 2014

WVTK Local & State News July 8, 2014

Work is underway to revitalize part of Rutland. The city has received more than one-million dollars to fix or demolish run-down properties in the Pine Street area. All in all, the money will be used to fix twelve homes in need of repair or tear them down. The money will also help families buy a home here. Work began yesterday in the demolition of one of the blighted properties. Neighbors say it's a start to improve the look and safety of their streets. The money comes as a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Work on the homes is expected to take place during the next five-years.

Over the holiday weekend, Vermont State Police took part in a national enforcement campaign called Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort or Operation CARE. The goal was to reduce serious injury and deadly crashes. There was an increase in fatal crashes, two this year. There were none last year. Alcohol related crashes fell from 12 to 9 and speeding violations issued dropped by 140.

The Vermont Attorney General's Office has announced the team that will take on the lawsuit against Vermont and its GMO labeling law. It includes the help of a D.C. firm that will be paid nearly $1.5 million. Attorney General Bill Sorrell has named Assistant Attorney General Megan Shafritz as the lead attorney on the case. Kate Duffy, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Human Services, is returning to the Attorney General's Office to be part of the GMO lawsuit team.

New York has become the 23rd state in the country to authorize marijuana as a medical treatment. Although the state will have one of the most restrictive programs in the U.S. Under legislation signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, patients with one of 10 different diseases including AIDS, cancer and epilepsy will be able to obtain non-smokeable versions of the drug.

Blodgett Ovens is moving another manufacturing company to Essex. The Middleby Corporation, the parent company of Blodgett, bought the assets of Market Forge Industries back in January and has moved all the production, sales, and engineering for the company from Everett, Mass to Essex, Vermont. Market Forge makes steam cooking equipment.

An organization that accredits colleges has placed Burlington College on probation because of concerns about the school's finances. The school has been making strides to grow enrollment. But the New England Association of Schools and Colleges thinks more need to be done. The college now has two years to prove they are financially sound. The probation does not affect academics or financial aid at Burlington College, which will continue to operate normally.