Friday, March 20, 2015

WVTK Local & State News March 20, 2015

Former Rutland City Attorney Christopher Sullivan was found guilty a deadly hit-and-run case. In 2013, 71-year-old Mary Jane Outslay was hit and killed as she crossed Strongs Avenue in Rutland. The next day, Sullivan went to police to say he was the driver who sped away after the collision. Just before 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon jurors returned with their decision. Sullivan was found guilty on both charges of leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence. Sullivan is being held on $500,000 bail pending his sentencing.

The tax-writing committee in the Vermont house has passed a bill that would raise and spend $8.1 million on cleaning up the state's lakes and streams. The move comes in response to a call by Governor Peter Shumlin in his inaugural address to tackle water quality problems, particularly in Lake Champlain and its tributaries. The House Ways and Means Committee is calling for raising the state property transfer tax by one fifth of 1 percent, along with new fees on farms.

The Vermont Department for Children and Families is taking part in a national pilot program that will provide specialized training to food stamp recipients with the goal of helping them move off the program. Vermont will be receiving an $8.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide clinical assessments to hard-to-serve populations including the homeless, ex-offenders and people struggling with addiction to find for them the best education, training and support services.

The Vergennes Union High School Board has put together a two-tiered budget proposal to put before voters on May 5. The original proposed budget the failed on Town Meeting Day was almost $10.5-million. Article one the Ballot, calls for voters to approve a new spending plan that includes about $156,000 cuts. Article two would only take effect if the first article is approved and it is then also backed by a majority of voters. It would restore the $156,000 to the VUHS budget and allow school officials to spend it in the best interest of the students.

The Bristol Elementary School Board is looking for help for voters on a new version of the budget. On Monday, the board will be holding a community form to help get ideas from the public. The forum will take place at 7 pm in the BES cafeteria. The board has also created an online survey that residents can fill out next week. Then on Monday, March 30, the board will convene again to got through all the ideas and start working on a new spending plan.