Tuesday, September 30, 2014

WVTK Local & State News September 30, 2014

A fire this morning destroyed a barn on Daniels Road in New Haven. At around 6:30 this morning, firefighters were called to scene were there were reports of smoke coming from the barn. Firefighters quickly got the blaze under control, but the barn was a total loss. By 7:15 a.m. crews were using a backhoe to knock down the structure in order to pour water on embers that were still burning. The barn was used to store equipment and hay. The owner estimates there was at least $200,000 in equipment destroyed. No firefighters or any of the 800 cows were injured.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved construction of a natural gas pipeline to run from Middlebury, under Lake Champlain, to Ticonderoga. In an order dated September 26, the federal commission granted Vermont Gas permission to build the pipeline in accordance with a section of a federal law called the Natural Gas Act.

State and local police are announcing a new program, "Stop the Violence VT", aimed at curbing domestic violence. 60% of Vermont's homicides last year were domestic violence, and one in five women experience domestic violence during their lifetimes. Police will provide public education, with an emphasis on boys and young men. Police will also get enhanced training that emphasizes victim support.

There's a new lawman in town. Castleton's new police chief is Peter Mantello, who started in the job this month. His background is in the military, but he comes most recently from Woodstock, where he was a police officer for over 20 years. He is replacing Chief Bruce Sherwin, who retired in June after a 40-year career in law enforcement.

Just a reminder … tomorrow, Vermont will become the 15th state to prohibit all drivers from using hand-held devices while driving. The ban covers all portable electronic devices, including, music players, laptop computers, and cellular telephones. If you’re caught using a hand-held the fine, including fees, for a first offense will be $162. And police can pull you over if they see you using a device. CB Radios, Ham Radios, and GPS Units are exempt from the law.