Monday, September 8, 2014

WVTK Local & State News September 8, 2014

The Vermont Department of Taxes says they will be posting lists of delinquent taxpayers on their website by the end of the year. A new law passed this year allows the department to publish these lists as a way to try and get taxpayers to comply. The department says they will publish 100 individuals and businesses who have the highest amounts of unpaid tax debt. Individuals and businesses who have levels of tax debt and who would qualify them to be placed on the list will be notified in the upcoming weeks. The tax department says, individuals and businesses will have an opportunity to pay back their outstanding debts and avoid having their name and addressed published. For more information about the delinquency lists and taxpayer notification, contact the Compliance Division of the Vermont Department of Taxes at (866)-437-2750 (toll-free).

More than 100 students lost their school to the fire this weekend. Firefighters arrived on the scene to find an orange glow bursting from St. Mary's School in Ticonderoga, late Friday night. After battling the flames for 3 hours, firefighters spent the rest of the weekend trying to salvage the 55-year old school. Officials believe the fire was in no way accidental. Ticonderoga Police Chief Mark Johns said, “at this point, we have deemed it a suspicious fire. The fire investigators have ruled out all accidental heat sources.” St. Mary’s School is currently closed and will be closed through at least Wednesday.

A man registered as a sex offender in Vermont and Massachusetts has been accused of sexually assaulting a neighbor who has a mental disability. Police charged 64-year-old Roy Patten of Hancock, with aggravated sexual assault on Friday. Police say they got a call from a woman in New Hampshire who said she had just picked up her 48-year-old sister from Hancock. The sister said she was being sexually assaulted by a neighbor. Police arrested Patten after an investigation. He was convicted in 1984 for attempted felonious sexual assault and in 1998 for Indecent exposure and lewdness.
He's been jailed on $25,000 bail.

With cooler weather settling in, it's hard to ignore the subtle color change on a few trees. This week, on Wednesday September 10, the Vermont's Department of Tourism will release its first weekly foliage report. Each year more than 3 million visitors flock to the Green Mountain State during the foliage season. It's a $400 million boost to the local economy.

Camping season will continue in the Green Mountain Forest through Columbus Day for four popular campgrounds. A press release says Hapgood Pond, Chittenden Brook, Moosalamoo, and Silver Lake Campgrounds will not close for the season till October 14. Until recently, campgrounds on the Green Mountain National Forest have been open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. U.S. Forest Service officials are hoping this will give the public more opportunities to camp during the fall foliage season.