Tuesday, March 3, 2015

WVTK Local & State News March 3, 2015

It's Town Meeting Day in Vermont. Many town residents gather to vote on various budgets, special town issues, and other community matters. Residents in Middlebury gathered last night to discuss articles 1 through 6. Today, the polls are open till 7 o’clock tonight at the Municipal Auditorium / Gymnasium in Middlebury to vote by Australian ballot on Article 7, the electing local officials. In Vergennes and Bristol, the polls are open until 7 o’clock tonight. In Ferrisburgh, the Town Budget passed, resident are voting on the school budget today. And in Starksboro, both the Town and School Budgets passed.

Vermont Fish & Wildlife is reminding ice fishers that shanties need to be removed from the ice before it melts. The law requires shanties to be removed before the ice loses its ability to hold the shanty, or by March 29 … whichever comes first. Officials say the law exists to help ensure that shanties don't become a boating hazard and create debris that will wash up on shore. The fine for leaving a shanty behind is up to $1,000. Shanties cannot be left at state fishing access areas.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and juvenile justice reformers say New York should stop automatically prosecuting 16- and 17-year-old offenders as adults. Supporters of the change were at the Capitol today to make their case to lawmakers. They want to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18, so all but the most violent 16- and 17-year-old offenders would be handled by the juvenile justice system. New York and North Carolina are the only two states that still automatically treat 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, even though most offenders of that age face misdemeanor charges.

Police arrested a woman after they say her 4-year-old child was found walking alone, not properly clothed. Police say the child was spotted walking on Crescent street in Rutland at 9 am Monday morning. Police arrested the child's mother, 26-year-old Lena Herchenroder. Police say she left the child home alone while the father was at work. She was charged with Cruelty to Children under 10 by one over 16.

Senator Bernie Sanders and Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings have introduced legislation to dramatically improve access to dental care. The Comprehensive Dental Reform Act would expand dental coverage through Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and the Department of Veterans Affairs, filling the gap for the more than 1 in 4 Americans who lack dental insurance. Sanders said, “we have a dental crisis in America. Tens of millions of Americans cannot afford to see a dentist or live in parts of the country where there are no dentists. Because untreated dental problems can have serious health consequences, we must ensure that people have access to care before it’s too late.”