Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WVTK Local & State News December 10, 2014

Vermont has been awarded more than $7.2 million, part of $33 million over the next four years, under the Preschool Development Grant Program. This grants program will allow more than 33,000 children to be served in high-quality prekindergarten programs. Vermont was one of 18 states to receive a piece of the $226 million in funding. The latest award is in addition to the $37 million the state received last year to lay the foundation for it's preschool program.

If you haven’t gotten your flu shot, the Vermont Health Department says it's not too late. This is National Influenza Vaccination Week and the Health Department says the flu is spreading in our area. Flu season usually peaks between December and February, and can extend to May. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine for people aged 6 months and older. Last year about 44 percent of Vermont adults received a flu vaccine.

A state representative and some activists are traveling to Washington in a bid to stop a federal law that would pre-empt states like Vermont from requiring labels on genetically modified foods. Representative Kate Webb, a Shelburne Democrat and a key backer of the GMO labeling bill that passed in Vermont this year, is set to testify today before a U.S. House committee. Vermont's new law aims to make the state the first to require labels on genetically modified foods.

The State of Vermont scored above the national average in the 2014 National Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI). A press release says the index measures a state's ability to protect public health in the event of epidemics, foodborne disease outbreaks, terrorism, and other emergencies. Officials say the Index measures more than 200 areas of preparedness, and they are happy with the results. Vermont scored a 7.8 out of 10 points, compared to the national average of 7.3.

Line workers at Green Mountain Power are working around the clock to restore power to those affected by the storm. Last night there was over 18,000 power outages. GMP says they have 220 line workers currently working to restore power to those still without it. Officials say the storm caused massive damage and repairs could take until Friday.