Monday, September 29, 2014

WVTK Local & State News September 29, 2014

The state of Vermont could become the latest state to ban hunting with the help of aerial drones. A rule being considered by the Fish and Wildlife Board would prohibit people from using drones or aircraft that carry people to locate game animals or herd animals toward waiting hunters on the ground. A number of states have already implemented similar bans.

A Ritpton man has won the 2014 Right Livelihood Award, which is sometimes referred to as the “Alternative Nobel Prize.” Bill McKibben, a scholar in residence at Middlebury College since 2001, co-founder of the climate change organization and an organizer of some of the largest climate demonstrations in the world was one of three laureates to win the prize. The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to honor and support those “offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today.”

Vergennes aldermen during a meeting last week confirmed the city still has a $21,000 Department of Buildings and General Services grant for a new toddler playground despite an error in its initial application. Aldermen last week also said they are still in talks with the Vergennes Union Elementary School board about a new site for the playground, one that straddles school and city property near city recreation facilities and school playing fields.

Office workers at the University of Vermont are trying again to form a union. The Vermont State Employees' Association filed an election petition with the Vermont Labor Relations Board. The petition must have authorization cards signed by 250 employees, a third of the proposed bargaining unit. Workers say they need the union to keep their health care costs down. Two years ago, the group tried for a union, but failed to give a majority to one of two unions vying to represent them.

A Jericho farmer has the new state record for Vermont's largest pumpkin. The Vermont Giant Pumpkin Grower's Association's Annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off took place Sunday. Richard Squires brought in a pumpkin weighing 1,649 pounds. The previous state record was 1,556 pounds. Squires says he and his wife will be carving the pumpkins for Halloween and will save the seeds for next year's contest.