Tuesday, October 28, 2014

WVTK Local & State News October 28, 2014

Vermont Health Officials say a Vermont man, posing as a doctor, is under a voluntary quarantine after going to West Africa to help with the Ebola Crisis. Officials say the man traveled to Guinea and Sierra Leone to provide medical assistance, but it's unclear whether he treated anyone. When Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Vermont Officials learned about his return to the U.S. they went to pick him up at JFK airport and bring him back to Vermont. The man has been put in voluntary quarantine for 21 days here in the state. So far, he has not tested positive for the Ebola virus and has shown no symptoms. Governor Shumlin and health officials says this person poses a low risk of contracting the virus and spreading it to the public. The man is being held at an undisclosed rural location. The state is paying for his housing and treatment.

A new report says that Vermont could save millions of dollars if schools transition to a single-payer health care plan. The study was done for the Vermont School Boards Association. Schools are now paying about $202 million for health care for school employees. Transitioning employees to the Health Connect Gold plan would cut costs by $39 million dollars. If the state were to switch to a single-payer health care plan, school districts would save up to $119 million dollars.

Dozens of protesters are calling on Governor Shumlin to withdraw his support for a natural gas pipeline from Chittenden County to Middlebury. The protesters say that the pipeline is bad for the environment. A spokesman for the natural gas company says that natural gas can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,000 tons. Shumlin says he believes that the natural gas pipeline will help reduce Vermont's dependence on dirtier fuel, such as heating oil.

Rutland Police investigated an armed robbery at Mac's Convenience Store on North Main Street on Sunday. Police say the clerk told officers that the store was robbed with a man with a handgun. The clerk was not injured during the robbery. The robber left the store prior to the officers' arrival. Police say after looking at surveillance footage from the store, they identified the robber as 52-year-old Joseph Paul Marro of Rutland. Marro was arraigned yesterday on unrelated grand larceny charges from a Vermont State Police investigation. On those charges, Marro was held at Marble Valley Regional Correctional Center (MVRCC) for lack of $2,500 bail.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture says 89 percent of the state's schools offer some type of farm to school programming. The programs vary, but each district incorporates the ideas of classroom, community, and cafeteria. In the past eight years, 70 schools or supervisory unions throughout the state have received Farm to School grants. Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross says the programs help connect agriculture to the next generation of Vermonters, while also teaching students to make healthy choices.