Friday, October 17, 2014

WVTK Local & State News October 17, 2014

An Addison man has been sentenced to 13 years to life behind bars for his 2012 and 2013 crime spree. After some emotional testimony this morning, Judge Robert Mello approved a plea agreement. The deal calls for Ritchie serve to 13 years to life in prison on each of a long list of charges most of them stemmed from a series of break-ins in Addison County.

1,700 FairPoint Communications workers are on strike. According to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Communications Workers of America union, the strike comes after FairPoint company representatives refused to compromise. A spokeswoman for FairPoint said that the company is disappointed that the union decided to walk out. FairPoint workers were picketing this morning outside the South Burlington facility after announcing last night they were going on strike.

The strike continues for teachers in South Burlington. A deal was not reached during a long night of negotiating last night. Teachers told the media that the school board walked out without notice just before 2 am. The sticking points remain. The teachers want bigger salary increases and lower contributions to health care than the board is willing to give. On a positive note, athletics are back in business. All sports and extracurricular activities resumed today.

The American Society of Civil Engineers gives Vermont infrastructure a 'C' grade in its second evaluation. The society says it would take hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade Vermont's roads, bridges, dams, wastewater and drinking water systems. Although the state is in a better position than it was after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, the grades remained mostly the same this year.

The latest estimate of the price tag to decommission the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is $1.24 billion. The figure is nearly double what plant owner Entergy currently has saved up in the plant's decommissioning fund. The plant is shutting down at the end of this year.