Friday, May 15, 2015

WVTK Local & State News May 15, 2015

Franklin County state Senator Norm McAllister says he's not resigning, despite sexual assault charges filed against him. Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott says McAllister doesn't feel he's guilty and is not stepping aside. However, Scott says McAllister has been stripped of all his committee assignments, and he has no standing. McAllister is facing charges so serious that they carry a possible life sentence.

FairPoint Communications will be closing the South Burlington Call Center and cutting about 60 jobs. The Vermont layoffs are part of a package of about 260 FairPoint jobs that will be cut in the 17 states. Union leaders say they are disappointed in the news and say the cuts will further erode already severely compromised service quality for the region's telecommunications customers. The work done at the South Burlington call center will be done at two other FairPoint call centers.

The active search for a Burlington man who went missing on Lake Champlain is officially suspended. Sean Hawley was last seen taking an inflatable kayak onto the lake Saturday, and the craft was found Monday. Hawley is also a person of interest in a burglary that occurred at a home on Stave Island. Anyone with information about Hawley's whereabouts it urged to contact Colchester Police.

University of Vermont students are likely to see a tuition increase of more than three-percent in the upcoming school year. For in state students, tuition would rise by around 500-dollars to 14-thousand, 600-dollars a year. Out of state students will see their tuition rise by over a thousand-dollars to more than 37-thousand-dollars a year. For the first time, school officials expect the total cost for tuition, room and board for out of state students to exceed 50-thousand-dollars a year.

The U.S. Forest Service is waiving the day use and camping fees on June 13 for National Get Outdoors Day. Forest Supervisor John Sinclair says, “National Get Outdoors Day encourages visitors to enjoy the vast recreation opportunities available on public lands. Providing fee-free days is our way of thanking our visitors while encouraging more people to enjoy their national forests.” The Forest Service plans to waive fees at most of its day-use recreation sites several times in 2015.