New England News

WAMC News
5:50 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Vermont Legislators Encouraging School Mergers

Vermont lawmakers are hoping a new approach will get more school districts to merge.

A plan approved two years ago had one regional school board take the place of local town boards. So far, that's happened just once and voters in some towns have expressed concern about a further loss of local control.

This year, the Legislature passed a bill that provides more flexibility by creating the opportunity for some towns in a supervisory union to create their own single district, even if others decide not to join.

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WAMC News
5:40 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Police Look to Stop Underage Drinking at UVM

Police are taking more aggressive measures to combat underage drinking at the University of Vermont.

A special law enforcement team is stepping up patrols. It's staffed by volunteers from the Chittenden County police departments, liquor control and Department of Motor Vehicles.

Police tell WCAX-TV Burlington's Hill section neighborhood is where they get the most complaints about loud parties and underage drinking. Five undercover officers focused their attention on the area this past weekend.

WAMC News
5:30 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

2 Medical Pot Dispensaries Conditionally Approved

Proposals for the first two medical marijuana dispensaries in Vermont have won conditional approval from the Vermont Department of Public Safety.

The facilities are planned for Burlington and Waterbury.

The state last year passed a law that authorizes up to four privately run dispensaries to provide marijuana for patients with chronic illness or intractable pain.

The department said Wednesday that when each dispensary satisfies the stipulations in the statute, they will be issued a certificate of operation.

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WAMC News
5:20 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Vermont Governor Says FEMA Funding Will Remain Uncertain

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is saying it may be quite a while before the state knows how much it will get from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for repairs from Tropical Storm Irene.

Shumlin on Wednesday is outlining plans for the state to go ahead with revamping its mental health system and renovating its state agency office complex.

The effort comes in response to flooding from Tropical Storm Irene 54 weeks ago, which forced the closure of the Vermont State Hospital and the surrounding office complex in Waterbury.

WAMC News
5:10 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Vermont Supreme Court in Chelsea on Wednesday

The Vermont Supreme Court is on the road today.

The court is hearing seven cases at the historic courthouse in Chelsea.

The justices normally hear oral arguments at the Supreme Court building in Montpelier, but occasionally take their show on the road.

Two of the cases Wednesday involve election issues.

Trudell versus Markowitz focuses on petition filing deadlines for independent candidates.

State versus Green Mountain Future focuses on when groups need to register as political action committees.

New England News
12:50 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Celebration To Mark Hampshire County's 350th Anniversary

The Old Courthouse in downtown Northampton MA
WAMC

       Hampshire County Massachusetts is marking the  350th anniversary of its founding this year. Later this week people will have an opportunity to view rare old documents that highlight some of the early history of the region.  There is a grand celebration planned for this Friday in Northampton. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Todd Ford, the executive director of the Hampshire Council of Governments.

New England News
7:26 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Vermont Yankee Nuke Plant Sues Over New State Tax

Courtesy NRC and Entergy Corp.

The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has filed a lawsuit against the state over taxes on the plant the Legislature passed this year.

Vermont Yankee already won a round in federal court over the state's efforts to close it. That case is on appeal.

Now New Orleans-based plant owner Entergy Corp. is suing over a law increasing the plant's annual tax bill from about $5 million to about $12.8 million. Backers of the increase say it was designed to make up for revenues lost to the state under agreements that ended on the plant's originally scheduled shutdown date in March.

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New England News
5:00 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Gambling Commissioners, Springfield City Officials Clash

Massachusetts Gaming Commissioners meet in Springfield
WAMC

   The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is urging Springfield to put the brakes  on its casino competition. WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports

   The state’s gaming industry regulators and Springfield city officials clashed Tuesday over the city’s plans to evaluate casino development proposals and have a binding voter referendum this Spring. Commissioner James McHugh said the commission would not be ready to evaluate a license application by then.

New England News
6:10 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Springfield Urged To Slow Casino Selection Timetable

Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets at Springfield Technical Community College
WAMC

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission clashed with Springfield city officials Tuesday over the city’s proposed casino selection competition.  The state and local timetables that would lead to the launch of a resort casino development in western Massachusetts remain at odds.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

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WAMC News
5:55 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

2 Accused of Illegal Quartz Mining in Vermont

Two men have been charged with illegally digging and extracting quartz from a wildlife management area in Vermont.

Robert LaPorte of Shaftsbury and Philip Yerke of Waterford, New York, were charged with willful and careless destruction of state property. Each man is subject to a $2,500 fine and loss of their licenses to hunt, fish or trap in Vermont for a year.

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