Monday, August 18, 2014

WVTK Local & State News August 18, 2014

Former Vermont U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords has passed away. He was 80 years old. Senator Jeffords spent 32 years in Congress. First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974, he retired in 2006 after serving his third term as a U.S. Senator. According to a press release, Senator Jeffords became a household name and earned a spot in Senate history in 2001 when he left the Republican Party, creating a Democratic majority in the Senate.

Vermont's unemployment rate inched upward last month for the second straight month. The Vermont Department of Labor says the seasonally-adjusted statewide jobless rate for July was 3.7 percent -- that's three-tenths of a percent point higher than the rate in June. The equivalent national average was 6.2 percent, down a tenth.

Vermont's Fletcher Allen Health Care has been recognized as one of 78 hospitals in the country to meet certain standards by switching to electronic health records. The requirements were developed by the federal government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The standards are part of the centers' Meaningful Use program, which help hospitals focus on electronic records to improve patient safety, quality of care and health system efficiency.

Rutland Police are searching for two suspects behind an assault and robbery this morning. Police say three men beat up and robbed Joshua Cave behind a building on West Street. They tracked down one of those suspects to an apartment at 17 Pine Street. He was arrested and identified as Brandon Burns. Those two other men are still on the loose.

Next Monday night, Vergennes residents will have a chance to learn more about and comment on a new municipal plan that city officials are calling an update to the award-winning 2009 Vergennes plan. They stress that this is not a rewrite. The Vergennes City Council set a public hearing on the updated plan for 6 p.m. next Monday in the Vergennes fire department’s basement meeting room.