Friday, November 21, 2014

WVTK Local & State News November 21, 2014

A citizen’s board asked to investigate the state’s handling of two toddlers who died after being in state custody says they didn’t do enough to protect them. Earlier today, the Vermont Citizens Advisory Board released a report that said existing policies and procedures at the Department for Children and Families were not followed throughout the system, nor were they adequate. The VCAB report is available on the DCF website at

A business development study of Middlebury says retailers should stay open later. The study is called “The Future of Retail Report” and uses survey information and market analysis to pitch two separate business development strategies to town planners. The Better Middlebury Partnership commissioned the study with the town of Middlebury. The survey reached 1,065 people. 75-percent of respondents say they shop in the general Middlebury area, while 26 percent say they shop online, and 23 percent in downtown Middlebury.

A jury has acquitted a man of trespassing on Vermont Gas property in South Burlington stemming from a May protest. 26-year-old Henry Harris was accused of knowingly trespassing when he entered the building with another protester, walked past the secretary without signing in and headed into "employee only" zones. Prosecutors said the two went to the roof and unfurled a banner. Harris is a member of Rising Tide Vermont, which opposes expansion of the Vermont Gas pipeline.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is continuing his long fight against high-priced prescription drugs, now aiming his anger at makers of generic drugs. Sanders has introduced a new bill to cushion the impact on taxpayers when drugmakers raise prices at a rate greater than inflation. When brand-name drug manufacturers do that, they are required to pay a rebate to Medicaid. Sanders says the same law should apply for generic drugs.

Vermont has completed the successful sale of three bonds totaling 110-million-dollars. State Treasurer Beth Pearce says Vermont has New England's best bond rating, and that favorable position helps attract investors. The sales will fund a variety of capital projects that include school construction and major state building maintenance. It will also help with construction of the new Vermont State Hospital in Berlin.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

WVTK Local & State News November 20, 2014

Jonathan Gruber will no longer be working on Vermont’s healthcare system. A spokesman for Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin said that the state will no longer pay the ObamaCare architect. Videos have surfaced over the last week showing Gruber saying the Affordable Care Act passed due to the “stupidity of the American taxpayers”. Gruber’s original contract with the state was worth more than $400,000. He’s already been paid $160,000. Gruber was consulting on policies that will help Vermont move to a single payer healthcare system.

The Mount Abe School Board reviewed the defeat of their $32-million bond request at their last meeting. On November 4, the bond request was defeated by a 2-to-1 margin. Board members came to the consensus that residents just didn’t want to foot the bill for the entire project to make a number of much needed upgrades to Mount Abraham Union High School. They also discussed informing the public more about any future requests, including tours of the current facilities. It was also mentioned that they should look for some grant sources to help offset the costs to taxpayers. The School Board hopes to have another proposal in front of the voters for Town Meeting Day.

An inmate at Marble Regional Correctional Facility in Rutland is accused of receiving narcotics hidden in a pair of sweatpants. State Police say inmate William Castelanno received a shipment of clothes and other personal items that initially passed inspection. However, a later search of his cell revealed an opioid drug that is used to ease the withdrawal effects of heroin. The New York native is facing drug charges and is due in Rutland Superior Court on the charge next month.

The Addison Northwest Supervisory Union is moving. They recently signed a lease to move their headquarters from their current location on Green Street in Vergennes to the Kennedy Brothers Building on Main Street. Officials say the more, which will take place in June, will save the Union about $12,000 a year.

There may be a new millionaire living among us. Vermont Lottery officials announced earlier today that a winning Tri-State Megabucks ticket was sold at the Middlebury Beef store located on Route 7, south of Middlebury. The lone winning ticket matched all five numbers and the Megaball in last night’s drawing. This is Vermont’s second million dollar prize this year, back in April, a $1 million ticket was sold in Putney.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WVTK Local & State News November 19, 2014

Brian Searles is retiring as secretary of Vermont's Agency of Transportation. Searles has been employed by the state for more than four decades, including two stints heading transportation. Governor Peter Shumlin says deputy secretary Sue Minter will be taking over the agency from Searles at the beginning of next year. Searles says the work in the four months after Irene is what he is most proud of from his time in state service.

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy is pleased that the Senate has rejected a bill to fast track the Keystone XL Pipeline. Leahy took to the floor of the Senate yesterday to oppose the bill before the vote against advancing the measure to full debate. Leahy says the pipeline is one of the most striking examples of how the nation's thirst for oil is destroying the environment. He says this destruction will continue until a comprehensive national energy policy is established.

Plans to expand Plattsburgh International Airport are taking off. Dirt is being moved adjacent to the current terminal. Crews were out there yesterday. The airport is undergoing a $55 million expansion project that will include new gates and passenger areas to accommodate more people.

State officials say the updated Vermont Health Connect insurance exchange is working much better than it did last year. A new open enrollment period began Saturday, and since then the system has taken in more than 600 new applications and processed more than 3,000 renewals of already existing policies. Vermont Health Connect spokesman Sean Sheehan says the system's performance hasn't been flawless, but he described its improvement over last year as like night and day.

Federal and state officials are holding the third of three public meetings tonight on the efforts to clean up Lake Champlain. Tonight’s meeting is planned for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel in South Burlington. The meetings are part of a yearslong effort to come up with a plan specific. Runoff from farms, wastewater treatment plants and developed properties are among the primary sources of phosphorus, which is blamed for toxic algae blooms in the lake. The battle over runoff has focused on Vermont because the parts of New York state that border the lake have fewer farms and less development.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

WVTK Local & State News November 18, 2014

Middlebury College has named a new president to replace Ronald D. Liebowitz. The Middlebury Board of Trustees earlier today named Laurie L. Patton. Patton is currently the dean of Duke University’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Robert F. Durden Professor of Religion. Patton will take office on July 1, 2015. Liebowitz announced last December that he wished to step down following this academic year. By that time he will have served as president for 11 years and as a member of the Middlebury faculty for 31 years. Liebowitz called Patton a “remarkable scholar whose deep commitment to her field would be an example and inspiration” to students and faculty alike. Patton will be the 17th president of the college, which was founded in 1800, and the first woman to hold the post.

A large turnout is expected for a public hearing on a proposed natural gas pipeline from Vermont to the International Paper Mill in Ticonderoga. Tonight’s night's hearing in Elizabethtown is the only New York hearing scheduled for the proposed 10-inch-diameter pipeline that would run under Lake Champlain. The Vermont Public Service Board has already conducted a number of hearings. In fact, there is another forum tonight at 7 pm at the Salisbury Congregational Church to discuss Phase 3 of the project.

The Vermont man who had been in quarantine after returning from Africa last month has been deemed Ebola free. The Vermont Department of Health says Peter James Italia completed his 21 days of quarantine without any sign of the deadly virus. Italia entered a voluntary government quarantine when he returned from a trip to Sierra Leone and Guinea on October 27th. The state housed Italia in a private home and hired medical professionals to visit him daily and look for signs of Ebola.

The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation or VSAC has released its annual Scholarships Booklet for Vermonters. A press release says the scholarship booklet has a collection of more than 140 programs for eligible students looking to finance college. Students and parents can learn about the application process and requirements at The deadline for these VSAC-assisted scholarships is March 6. Early-bird applications postmarked by February 6 will be entered in a drawing for one of three $1,000 scholarships. VSAC says printed booklets will be available at all Vermont high schools and border-state schools enrolling Vermont students before November 30.

Monday, November 17, 2014

WVTK Local & State News November 17, 2014

The Vermont Attorney General's Office is asking a federal court to uphold the state's law on labeling genetically engineered food. A press release says the state issued a filing last week stating that the court should dismiss the lawsuit against the law. Attorney General Bill Sorrell says, "The state's filing explains why Vermont's labeling law is constitutionally sound." Under the scheduling order signed by the Court, both sides will have an opportunity to submit additional filings over the next few weeks. The Attorney General's Office says a time for oral arguments over the law could be scheduled as early as mid-December. After oral arguments are heard, it will take weeks or months before a decision is issued.

A suspended Colchester police officer facing federal gun and drug charges is out of jail and on his way to a rehabilitation center in southern Vermont. Detective Cpl. Tyler Kinney was released from jail this morning and taken to federal court in Burlington where he was to be fitted with a monitoring device before he heads to the drug rehab facility. Kinney was released despite a request by federal prosecutors that he remain incarcerated. According to reports, Kinney made threats against the man to whom he allegedly provided guns and drugs from an evidence locker. Kinney was arrested last week. His lawyer agreed to GPS monitoring.

The Vermont Health Connect Website is back up and running. State officials took Vermont Health Connect offline in mid-September because it had been plagued with all kinds of problems. After a number of improvements and tests, the site went live on Saturday, just in time for open-enrollment to begin.

A key architect of Vermont's single-payer health system is at the center of a national controversy. MIT professor Jonathan Gruber is under fire for comments he made over the creation of Obamacare. Several videos have surfaced in which Gruber suggests the authors took advantage of an American public too dumb to understand the law. Gruber has also been involved in Vermont health care reform helping to write the report that was used as the basis for Act 48, the law that puts Vermont on course to move to single-payer. And he remains under a $450,000 contract to help develop the financing plan for single-payer in Vermont. Now a number of lawmakers and residents of the Green Mountain State are asking the Shumlin Administration to cut ties with Gruber.

Friday, November 14, 2014

WVTK Local & State News November 14, 2014

Some lawmakers in Montpelier are pushing for Vermont to be the first in the nation with a Carbon Tax. The tax would target big oil companies like Irving. Companies would pay based on the amount of fuel sold in Vermont, and the pollution from that. "Energy Independent Vermont," an environmental group, recently released a study saying such a tax would benefit the state. Those behind the legislation say if the tax started at 9 cents a gallon, and increased to 45 cents per gallon over ten years, over a thousand jobs would be created. That's because the tax would keep more money in Vermont. Matt Cota of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association says the tax will be passed on to consumers, driving business out of state, and hurting border towns.

There is a warning about a phone scam targeting Vermonters. The attorney general says some residents have been getting fraudulent phone calls from people claiming to represent a power company. The attorney general says the crooks then threaten to disconnect service if you don't pay up. Investigators warn the number that shows up on caller ID may be identical to a legitimate power company. If you do get ones of these calls the attorney general suggests hanging up and calling the utility's customer service to verify any claims.

The state of Vermont wants to reunite over 67-million-dollars in unclaimed property to its rightful owners. The state's annual list of unclaimed funds has added eight-million-dollars in new lost money over the last year. State Treasurer Beth Pierce says people should get into the habit of checking the list once a year. The state takes possession of abandoned security deposits, insurance policies, stocks and other financial instruments and publishes the list to help people get their cash back.

The owner of a Woodstock farm is facing animal cruelty charges after more than 20 horses were found malnourished in horrible conditions on the property. Officials say the horses were kept in darkness and isolation at Skyland Farm, and were ordered seized after a veterinarian's examination. The horses have been taken to a shelter, where they are expected to fully recover from the neglect. Farm owner Marjatta Lavin is due in court today to answer the animal cruelty charges.

A judge has ruled that a man convicted of luring a prep-school teacher out of her Vermont home and then killing her will return to St. Johnsbury for sentencing. Allen Prue of Waterford faces a possible life sentence after being convicted in Chittenden Superior Court last month of kidnapping, first-degree murder and conspiracy in the 2012 death of Melissa Jenkins. The date hasn't been scheduled yet. The trial was moved to Chittenden County due to concerns about fielding an impartial jury in Caledonia County. Prue has appealed to the state supreme court for a new trial. His wife, Patricia Prue, has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder in Jenkins' death and faces trial in February.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

WVTK Local & State News November 13, 2014

Police in Bristol are looking for 2 missing teenagers. The first one, 12-year-old Wayne LaRose of Monkton was reported missing Tuesday Afternoon. Now they are looking for 17-year-old Shawn Lussier. Lussier was last seen at the recreation field around 3:30 Tuesday Afternoon. He is 5’ 10”, around 180 pounds, and has brown hair and blue eyes. Police say they do not suspect foul play but they would not say if they believe the cases are related. Anyone with information should call Bristol Police Department at 453-2533.

The state of Vermont has two new vehicles that will help first responders deal with major hazards. The trucks are equipped with specialized equipment that will help with chemical, biological, nuclear and explosives monitoring. The trucks will also be useful in responding to wildfires, and are able to tow other resources to incidents. The heavy duty trucks were purchased with federal homeland security grant funds.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted their annual Youth Smoking Survey. The CDC found nearly 23 percent of high school students and six and a half percent of middle schoolers used a tobacco product in the month prior to the survey. 90 percent of those users are smokers. The survey is being released to coincide with the 39th anniversary of the Great American Smokeout which will be held November 20. Research has shown quitting smoking at any age has health benefits.

The father of a 2-year-old girl who died in February has filed a lawsuit against the state of Vermont and the state Department for Children and Families, saying they breached their duties to protect the child, whose stepfather is accused of killing her. Willis Sheldon of Rutland filed the lawsuit today in Rutland County Superior Court. He's asking for unspecified damages and a jury trial. Dezirae Sheldon of Poultney died after arriving at a hospital with severe head trauma. Records show she had a history of child abuse injuries; her mother was convicted last year of cruelty to a child. Dezirae was in state custody prior to her death; an investigation found miscommunication between agencies. The stepfather has plead not guilty to second-degree murder.

The town of Wallingford is holding a forum to address vandalism tonight. The forum is scheduled for 7 o’clock at the Town Hall. Officials want to once again look at creating a neighborhood watch program and coming up with solutions to vandalism, such as the destruction of a wooden canoe launch at Otter Creek.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WVTK Local & State News November 12, 2014

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Scott Milne announced today that he will not ask for a recount in the razor-thin race. The announcement came after the Vermont Secretary of State certified the November 4 election results, which show Gov. Peter Shumlin received 46% of the vote to Milne's 45%. He said a recount would not be a good use of taxpayer dollars. Milne did not concede, nor did he say whether he will still pursue the election from the State Legislature. Since neither candidate received a 50% majority, the Legislature will vote on the top three vote-getters in January.

Vermont Gas has announced that they have reached deals with 75% of the landowners along the route of the new pipeline from Colchester to Middlebury. Vermont Gas says they are committed to reaching fair and equitable agreements with every landowner. As for the other 25%, the utility says negotiations continue to make process with some landowners opting for third party mediation.

The four hospital affiliation known as the Fletcher Allen Partners is changing its name to The University of Vermont Health Network. A press release says the partner hospitals Central Vermont Medical Center, the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, and Elizabethtown Community Hospital will add The University of Vermont Health Network to their names. Fletcher Allen will now become The University of Vermont Medical Center. A press release says approvals for the changes were approved by the Vermont Secretary of State, the New York State Education Department, and the New York State Department of Health. The rollout of the new identities starts immediately and is expected to take 12 to 18 months.

The Middlebury College Bread-Loaf Campus will be conserved, protected, and remain with the College in perpetuity thanks to the generosity of a Middlebury Graduate. Louis Bacon, from the Class of 1979, along with his foundation, the Moore Charitable Foundation, and the college have established the Bread Loaf Preservation Fund, which will preserve and maintain the Bread Loaf campus and the surrounding forests and fields while also supporting educational programming and recreational activities.

The Shumlin Administration is preparing for more budget cuts. Earlier this year, lawmakers were forced to make $30-million in budget cuts. Now, the latest revenue reports show income tax collections are still falling short and the administration told lawmakers to prepare for another round of across the board cuts.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

WVTK Local & State News November 11, 2014

A Colchester Police Officer has been arrested after a gun and drugs from an evidence locker was found inside his home. Officer Tyler Kinney was arrested last night. Kinney, who was in charge of evidence storage and record keeping at the department, is currently on unpaid leave. Colchester Police Chief Jennifer Morrison says a federal investigation will likely lead to charges by tomorrow. Morrison said she would not provide any more information until after federal charges have been announced.

Price Chopper announced today that they are changing their name to Market 32. A press release says the new brand will change food shopping for its customers by modernizing its stores and offering new services and products. Officials say Market 32 represents the next leap forward for our company. The Market 32 stores will be rolled out this spring.

The Select Board decided unanimously last night to separate Brandon town’s library and senior center funding from the municipal budget. The board said in separate statements that having the library and senior center in their general budget last year forced the board to cut their funding, and placing the two budgets on the ballot as separate line items will benefit all parties. But some in the audience said the measure will make it harder for the separate budgets to pass, and lead to closing the town’s library.

Law enforcement officials say they have written more than 100 tickets since the new hand-free law went into effect. Motor Vehicle Department Commissioner Robert Ide says 130 drivers were pulled over for using an electronic device while driving in October. He says about 70 percent of them received warnings and the remainder were ticketed. Vermont is the 15th state to prohibit all drivers from using handheld cellphones while driving. The fine, including fees, for a first offense is $162.

Both of Vermont's U.S. senators have come out strongly supporting President Barack Obama's call to preserve open access to the Internet and for the Federal Communications Commission to reject rules setting up what critics call fast lanes in cyberspace. The commission has been considering new rules that curtail so-called net neutrality in favor of a system in which companies could pay for preferential access like having their data move at higher speeds than people who don't pay for the privilege.

Friday, November 7, 2014

WVTK Local & State News November 7, 2014

Republican Scott Milne says he won't concede until the Legislature votes on the governor's election in January. Milne and Governor Peter Shumlin are about 21-hundred votes apart, according to unofficial tallies. Because no candidate received more than 50-percent of the vote, the race will be officially decided by the Legislature in January. Since the Legislature is Democratically controlled, most observers believe Shumlin will ultimately prevail.

The FDA has approved the first vaccine for a particularly deadly strain of meningitis. The strain caused two outbreaks at college campuses last year, with about 500 becoming ill. Between ten and 15-percent of victims die. The new vaccine is approved for young people between the ages of ten and 25.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is proposing legislation to make Election Day a national holiday.
 Sanders says a national holiday would be just one step forward in attempting to strengthen American democracy. He said, “Election Day should be a national holiday so that everyone has the time and opportunity to vote.” Sanders’ legislation will be filed next week when Congress reconvenes.

Two people were killed earlier today in a crash between a car and a garbage truck on Route 15 in Colchester. It happened at the intersection in front of Fort Ethan Allen. Police say the westbound car crossed the centerline and slammed head-on into the eastbound truck. The driver and passenger in the car were both killed. Police say neither was wearing a seat belt. The driver of the garbage truck was not injured.

The second installment of taxes is due in Middlebury next Friday. The treasurer’s office will be open next week on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Fletcher Allen today filed the costs of a new inpatient building project with the Green Mountain Care Board. A press release says the total project will cost $187 million for a 128 single bed facility. This is the final part of the three part submission in the Certificate of need (CON) application process. Fletcher Allen anticipates the 180,000 sq. ft. building to open in September 2018.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

WVTK Local & State News November 6, 2014

Incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin has declared victory over his opponent Scott Milne, while Milne refuses to concede. With 100-percent of the vote counted, the two were slightly more than two-thousand votes apart. Shumlin said that voters sent a message, and he will work to regain the confidence of Vermonters and the Legislature. In Addison County, Shumlin barely beat out Milne by a vote of 5,675 - 5,524 or 151 votes.

The $33-million dollar bond for Mount Abraham Union High School was defeated by a 3 to 1 margin on election day. 3,328 Addison Northeast Supervisory Union residents voted against the bond while just 1,239 cast their ballots in favor of the proposal. The failed planed called for building a new middle school gymnasium, installing 21st-century communications infrastructure, moving the library and media center to the front of the building, making upgrades to the pool, constructing new bathrooms and locker rooms, updating auditorium lighting and seating and renovating the lobby to improve aesthetics and heighten security among other work. The school board will go back to the drawing board and start working on another proposal to upgrade the school facilities.

In the local races on election day, Amy Sheldon won over incumbent Betty Nuovo in Addison-1. Willem Jewett ran unopposed in Addison-2. Diane Lanpher and Warren Van Wyck will continue to represent Addison-3. Fred Baser is in while MIchael Fisher is out in Addison-4. And incumbent Harvey Smith will continue to represent Addison-5. In New York, incumbents did well, Cuomo, DiNapoli, and Schneiderman were all re-elected while Elise Stefanik will represent the 21st Congressional District.

The Vermont Health Department says the state is continuing to have the lowest rate of pre-term births in the nation. The most recent numbers came in the March of Dimes 2014 Premature Birth Report Card. The health department says Vermont was one of only five states to receive a score of "A," and has received the highest score on the report card for the past seven years. Health Commissioner Tracy Dolan says the report is a point of pride for Vermont health officials.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

WVTK Local & State News November 4, 2014

It’s Election Day, the polls are open in Vermont and New York. In Vermont, polls are open until 7 p.m. Voters will decide on a number of statewide races, including governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and secretary of state. New York polls open until 9 p.m. tonight. Voters are deciding on a number of key leadership positions, including governor, attorney general, and comptroller.

Representative Willem Jewett of Ripton, announced today that he will not seek re-election as House majority leader. Jewett saying he wants to return as a rank-and-file member of the Vermont House of Representatives to devote more time and energy to specific issues and constituent services. He said he has found being House Majority Leader rewarding, exciting, and at times very challenging but it one of those positions that people should cycle in and out of. Jewett is running unopposed for re-election representing the Addison-2 district, which includes the towns of Cornwall, Goshen, Hancock, Leicester, Ripton and Salisbury..

Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host a series of meetings in Vermont to outline plans to improve the water quality of Lake Champlain. Federal officials say they want to update the public on the phosphorous reductions that are necessary and discuss the timeline and a proposed framework for monitoring progress. Meetings are scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. November 17 at the Rutland Free Library and November 18 at the St. Albans Historical Society. Evening meetings are scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. November 17 at the Twilight Room in Middlebury and on November 19 at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington.

New Haven says no to two solar farms, citing the ruination of their view and a section of the comprehensive plan that forbids large energy installations. The Select Board voted down two proposals for solar farms. There are 14 pending approval. However, the state's Public Service Board makes the final decision, regardless of what the town wishes.

The sale of Burlington Telecom is now complete. Yesterday afternoon, the Public Service Board unanimously approve a deal with local investor Trey Pecor to provide a six million dollar bridge loan, which will help the city settle its legal battle with Citibank. Under that agreement, the city gets out of a 33-million dollar lease deal for about 10-million. Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger says taxpayers will only be responsible for paying around one million of that.

Monday, November 3, 2014

WVTK Local & State News November 3, 2014

Officials at Vermont's largest hospital say the number of overdoses of heroin and other opiate drugs being treated in the emergency department has gone from about 40 cases a month three years ago to 60 this past August. Fletcher Allen Health Care reports that in the year ending Sept. 30 Naloxone was used 625 times. The Burlington hospital says the numbers fluctuate, but the trend is up. Late last year the Health Department began distributing Naloxone kits to addicts, their friends and family members. More emergency responders also began carrying the drug.

Police in South Burlington are investigating the burglary of $11,000 worth of cameras from the Photo Garden. According to reports, the robbery took place sometime between 2 PM yesterday afternoon and 9:30 this morning. Four high-end cameras were taken. Anyone with information is asked to contact the South Burlington Police Department.

Vermont Gas pipeline protesters were out in full force again Saturday morning. They were at a Vermont Gas Storage Area on Route 2 in Williston singing and holding signs. The group is calling for Governor Peter Shumlin to pull his support of the natural gas pipeline that is in the works from Chittenden County through the Middlebury area. Representatives from Vermont Gas were not there but there was a police presence.

If you haven’t gotten a flu shot yet, there’s still time. Flu season has already begun and it is possible that it could last until May. By getting the flu shot, chances of getting the flu are significantly less than normal. The flu shot does not prevent 100% from flu because there are many strains. This year’s shot protects against 4 different strains. Precautions should still be taken such as hand washing, covering with a shoulder or tissue when sneezing or coughing and disinfecting.

Killington Resort is opening for the season. Season pass and express card holders could hit the slopes starting today. The resort is opening to the public starting tomorrow. Today’s opening is a little later than in past years. Officials say that snow makers have been working at least 36 hours straight in order to get some of the trails open for skiers and riders. The mountain also got a couple of inches of natural snow several nights ago.