Wednesday, May 6, 2015

WVTK Local & State News May 6, 2015

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is inserting himself into Vermont's debate over mandatory vaccinations. Kennedy is urging Vermont lawmakers not to revoke the rights of parents to refuse vaccines. Kennedy says he is a strong supporter of vaccines, but he just doesn't trust the pharmaceutical industry. He says some mandatory vaccines are not scrutinized enough, and he doesn't want big drug companies making health decisions that should be made by parents.

For the second time in a week, police are investigating a bank robbery at a Northfield Savings Bank in Waitsfield. Police say a man armed with a gun held up the bank and escaped in a waiting vehicle with an undisclosed amount of money. The same bank was robbed in similar fashion April 28th, and police are trying to determine if the two crimes are related. State Police have released photos of the suspect on their web site, and anyone who recognizes the suspect is urged to contact them immediately.

The state of Vermont is a step closer toward meeting the goal of ensuring that everyone in the state has access to high-speed, broadband Internet service. Gov. Peter Shumlin and other state and local officials announced today that $900,000 would be spent on grants to bring service to 175 hard-to-serve addresses in eight Vermont communities. The grants are the first round of funding by the state's Connectivity Initiative, which is designed to spur investment in rural broadband networks.

Vermont is issuing a statewide ban on outdoor burning until further notice. The ban is being imposed because of the extremely dry conditions creating a severe brush fire risk. Fire crews battled over two dozen brush fires on Monday, including one that charred 50 acres in West Brattleboro. The fire danger is expected to continue at least through the week, with no significant rain expected.

Thirty-five people from 23 countries became U.S. citizens during a special ceremony in Brandon. The naturalization ceremony took place earlier today at the Neshobe School. The new citizens come from countries around the globe including Bhutan, Brazil, China, Guatemala, Kenya, Nepal, Russia, Rwanda, Somalia and Venezuela.