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.