Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WVTK Local & State News March 24, 2015

Middlebury Police are confirming a link to accused killer Robert Durst and the case of a teenage girl who vanished in 1971. Durst was operating a health food store in Middlebury at the time Lynne Schulze disappeared. Schulze was an 18-year-old student at Middlebury College when she went missing, and police say the possible Durst link to the case has been known for some time. Durst was arrested in New Orleans last week on unrelated murder charges following comments he made on an HBO documentary.

It looks like the Vermont House is working to keep all four 911 dispatch centers in the state open at least into September. The move will allow the areas where dispatch centers are slated to be closed a little more time to weigh the decision. Governor Peter Shumlin's budget proposal calls for consolidating the four call centers into two in order to save well over one-million-dollars. The plan was approved by the House Appropriations Committee as part of a larger budget bill yesterday.

The Vermont Senate once again has delayed debate on a trimmed-down bill that sets some new restrictions on firearms ownership. The bill includes new authority for state law enforcement officials to prosecute someone for being a felon in possession of a firearm for certain classes of violent felonies. It also includes new provisions for reporting to the federal background check system when someone has been determined by a court to be mentally ill and a danger to himself or herself or others. The bill originally was on the calendar for debate last Thursday, and then today. Now it's set for tomorrow.

Middlebury broke ground on its new office building earlier today. The new home of the town offices is at the former location of the Osborne House. Plans are to demolish the old town office building after the new town offices are built and occupied. Middlebury College plans to build a public park at the site.

Congressman Peter Welch is seeking to end the federal requirement that corn ethanol must be added to gasoline. Welch visited a motorcycle shop in Essex Junction to highlight the destructive effects of ethanol. The owners of Frank's Motorcycles say ethanol causes corrosion and other damage to smaller engines, especially older motorcycles. Welch is proposing a bill that would ban the federal ethanol mandate.