Thursday, September 18, 2014

WVTK Local & State News September 18, 2014

There is a Freeze Warning in effect for tonight. It will get as cold as the low to mid 20s in the coldest hollows in New York and Vermont. Most places will see temps fall to between 25-33 degrees tonight and into tomorrow morning. Meteorologists say this will be a killing frost and freeze for crops and vegetation. If you can, cover up the plants/crops or take them inside to protect them. Otherwise this is it for the growing season.

The U.S. Navy has commissioned the construction of a fast-attack submarine that will be named after the Green Mountain State. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus joined Governor Peter Shumlin and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger this morning for the announcement of the U.S.S. Vermont. It’s the first time in 100 years that a Navy Combat Ship has been named after Vermont. The USS Vermont is part of a $17 billion investment in 10 new Virginia class submarines. Construction has not yet begun.

A new ban on hand-held mobile phones could cost drivers big money if they choose to ignore the new law. The law, which goes into effect on October 1st, will cost a driver $162 for a first offense and $392 for subsequent infractions. If a driver contests the fine and loses, it could be even higher. Texting while driving is already illegal in the Green Mountain State.

Vermont's Representative Peter Welch voted against Obama's plan to arm Syrian moderates in the fight against ISIS. Welch said that he could see no reasonable expectation of success, and that it would only serve to drag the United States into Syria's 3-year-old civil war. Even so, the measure passed the House. It will now be considered by the Senate and may come up for a vote by the end of the week.

Two groups in Rutland are getting a $45,000 grant to study farm tourism. The Rutland Regional Planning Commission and the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link plan to use the money to study the needs of agritourism businesses and help launch other ventures. Barbara Pulling of the commission says there aren't a lot of statistics available on the impact of agritourism, so the grant will help assess what farmers' have and what they need to expand.

The Leicester General Store will be re-opening. Brothers Peter and Paul Handy of Chittenden County have bought the Leicester General Store, which has been closed since April, and plan to reopen soon.