Friday, January 9, 2015

WVTK Local & State News January 9, 2015

Voters in Cornwall will decide if the town should oppose or approve a pipeline agreement. Last month, the selectboard negotiated an agreement with Vermont Gas in which the town would receive some financial compensation from Vermont Gas and effectively lower the municipal tax rate by about 4-percent. Many of the town resident opposed the plan say the town should continue to fight the pipeline. On February 12, voters in Cornwall will decide if the town should go forward with the agreement. Town Officials say if the agreement is voted down, the town will continue to tap its legal fund to oppose the pipeline.

JC Penney is closing two stores in Vermont. The Texas based department store chain is closing locations at the Diamond Run Mall in Rutland and at the St. Albans Shopping Center. The closures are among 40 that are taking place nationwide at JC Penney. The company stores in Bennington, Berlin, St. Johnsbury and South Burlington are all staying open.

Dozens of protesters were arrested at the Vermont State House yesterday. Vermont State Police say they will charge 29 people with trespass, and 9 of those with resisting arrest. Police escorted people out of the Statehouse, dragging some, after they were ordered to leave when the Statehouse closed at 8:00 pm. Most were from the Vermont Worker's Center. They arrived ahead of Gov. Peter Shumlin's inaugural address, calling on him to move forward with single-payer health care. The protesters said they would not leave until House Speaker Shap Smith agreed to a public hearing about single-payer. A spokesperson for Smith said the House Health Care committee would hold public hearings throughout the session, as they usually do.

The state is investigating what it says about 130 invalid applications for driver's licenses at the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Bennington, Vermont. Glen Button, director of enforcement and safety for the state Department of Motor Vehicles, says staff recognized the addresses were invalid. Investigators spoke with about 15 of the applicants and learned some paid $2,000 in New York City for help in getting licenses in Vermont. Sue Minter, the secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation, says there has been no effort by the DMV to entrap anyone.

The East Middlebury Fire District No. 1 will hold its annual meeting at 7 p.m. Monday Night. The meeting will be held at Sarah Partridge Community House at 431 East Main Street. in East Middlebury.