Friday, September 5, 2014

WVTK Local & State News September 5, 2014

Officials are investigating a suspicious fire on Hardscrabble Road in Monkton. The fire happened at around 6 o’clock last night. A press release says when firefighters arrived they found a structure fully engulfed in flames. The residence was not occupied and is believed to have been vacated since mid-April. For safety reasons, firefighters say they had to tear down most of the building before fire investigators could arrive. The residence was destroyed and is deemed a complete loss. Vermont State Police are looking for anyone who may have been in the area at or around the time of the fire. Anyone with information is asked to contact Vermont State Police at (802)-748-3111 or the Arson tip line at 1-800-32-ARSON.

Dairy farmers are signing up for a new Farm Bill program that allows them to consider the cost of feeding their cows. The new program is called the Margin Protection Program. Farmers can enroll for 100-dollars and be insured if the price of milk drops while the cost of feed goes up. Previous programs only dealt with milk prices. The enrollment period is between now and November 28th, and enrollment workshops will be held next month.

New York State Police are warning Essex County residents and businesses of a utility scam. Police say scammers call saying the business or homeowner's power will be shut off if they don't pay their "overdue bill." The victims are then asked to wire transfer the funds or use a prepaid card. Police advise the public to never give personal or account information if they receive one of these calls. Anyone who receives one of these calls should ignore the call and contact their respective utility customer service to report the call.

Vermont's Public Service Board says it may reconsider its ruling regarding Phase 1 of the controversial Addison County Natural Gas Pipeline. In December, the Board approved Phase 1 of the Vermont Gas Systems project that would expand the pipeline from Chittenden County into Addison County. But in July, Vermont Gas told the Board the cost of the project had skyrocketed by $35 million. That brought the total project cost to more than $121 million. Since the July announcement, questions have been raised about the project's economic viability and benefit to the state. The Board hopes to address those questions by reconsidering its original decision, using the new cost information that's available. Phase 2 of the pipeline, which would carry natural gas from Middlebury to Ticonderoga, N.Y. is still awaiting a Board ruling.