Thursday, December 18, 2014

WVTK Local & State News December 18, 2014

The Middlebury Gym has been cleaned up and is ready for use by the public once again. Last week the gym was turned into a shelter for use by people without power due to the winter storm. Sometime early Saturday afternoon, some teenagers took advantage of the unlock doors and caused a large amount of damage. Soda had been dumped on the basketball court floor, and a coating of chips and other food layered on top, creating a sticky mess. The teen center downstairs had racial slurs on the walls. The lift machine that is used to repair ceiling lights was also damaged. Officials say there were holes punctured in the tank, causing about 4 gallons of hydraulic fluid to leak out onto the floors. The floors themselves cost about $600 to clean-up. Middlebury Police say the case is still under investigation.

A private assessment of how Vermont handles child protection cases says workers need to be better trained and more focused on their priorities. The report by Casey Family Programs comes after the death of two toddlers who were known to the state's Department for Children and Families. Former DCF Commissioner Dave Yacovone asked Casey to review department practices following the death of 2-year-old Dezirae Sheldon of Poultney and 15-month-old Peighton Geraw of Winooski.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has launched a border wait time app for both Apple and Android devices. A press release says the app provides estimated wait times and open lane status at land port of entries. Wait times are broken down by lane type. Travelers can download the free app from Apple's App Store and Google Play.

Allen Prue is sentenced to life in prison for the murder of St. Johnsbury teacher Melissa Jenkins. However, the judge refused to sentence Prue to life in prison without parole, so he could earn his freedom down the road. Prue apologized to Jenkins' family at the sentencing hearing yesterday, but again denied killing her. Prue's wife Patricia is scheduled to go on trial in March for her role in the killing, although she has recently expressed a desire to plead guilty.

On January 1, 21 states will raise their minimum wage. Vermont and New York are among those states. In the Empire State, minimum wage will increase from $8 an hour to $8.75 an hour. Minimum wage workers in the Green Mountain State will see their income go from $8.73 to $9.15 and hour.