Tuesday, May 5, 2015

WVTK Local & State News May 5, 2015

A statewide burn ban has been ordered in Vermont. A press release says the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR) will stop issuing burning permits until May 19. State law requires people to get a local permit before burning and fire wardens can restrict burning in dry, windy weather. But state officials say the conditions are now so severe that all burning is off limits for the next two weeks. This is the first statewide burn ban in Vermont since 2005. New York has an annual burn ban in effect until next week. Officials say if significant rain falls anywhere in the state, the order can be revoked by county.

The last of five former Milton High School football players accused of hazing other players is set to plead guilty next week. Brandon Beliveau pleaded not guilty to a felony count of attempted sexual assault in January. Beliveau and four other former players were charged after allegations surfaced that older players sexually hazed younger teammates in 2011 and 2012. One of those players who was hazed later took his own life.

A brush fire yesterday spread to the Old Lantern Inn. The fire started as a controlled burn by a resident on Greenbush Road and quickly spread. Responding fire crews realized that the blaze had spread to the Old Lantern Inn, causing minor damage to an outside wall. The inn has been operating for more than 50 years, and repairs are already being made to ensure that a wedding this weekend at the facility goes forward as scheduled.

Few Vermont state workers are investing their retirement dollars in a mutual fund that is free of fossil fuel investments. State Treasurer Beth Pearce says around 170 workers have chosen to invest in the program, totaling just over a half-million-dollars. That's a fraction of the 48-thousand active or retired state workers who could choose the investment. The funds have earned lower returns than traditional energy funds, but only invests in energy companies that do not utilize fossil fuels in any way.

And it’s another sign that Spring is here, Fort Ticonderoga's opening for the 2015 season this Saturday. There are four new exhibits this year, a 60 foot cruise boat, new gardens and more all in the works for the year. For more information on what they have going on this year, visit their website, FortTiconderoga.org.