WVTK Local & State News – February 16, 2017

New York State Police say they have recovered the body of a second snowmobiler missing on Lake Champlain.  Dive teams found the body of 32-year-old Jonathan Ryan of Shoreham about 11 am this morning.  The body of Ryan’s friend, 23-year-old Brandon Barrett, the other snowmobiler that was missing, was recovered yesterday around 3:30 pm.  The bodies of both men were found in about 20 feet of water near Putnam, New York.  Search teams from both New York and Vermont worked for a week to find the missing men.  The two were last seen snowmobiling in the Benson Landing area last Thursday night.


Middlebury Selectwoman Donna Donahue is resigning from her position on the selectboard.  Donahue says that she is leaving due to increasing work and family commitments.  She will resign from her post effective March 8.  The Middlebury selectboard is now look for a local resident who is interested in serving out the one year left on Donahue’s original, three-year term.  If you are interested in serving on the selectboard, you should contact the Middlebury Town Manager, Kathleen Ramsay at 388-8100.


Lawmakers in Montpelier are looking for a way to increase affordable housing in the state.  According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, a person has to earn, on average, about $21 an hour to afford a decent apartment.  In order to help ease the housing crunch, lawmakers are looking at adding a $2-per-night fee on hotel stays.  Lawmakers say they need about $10 million a year in order to really solve the problem.  Officials also say this would not be a tax that would affect residents because about 93% of hotel stays are from out of staters.  They also don’t believe the added $2-per-night fee would not stop people from coming to the Green Mountain State.


Police in Middlebury are warning businesses in the area to be on the lookout counterfeit $100 bills.  So far three businesses have reported receiving the fake currency.  Middlebury Police Sgt. Mike Christopher says the bills in question are of the same size and coloring of a real $100 banknote, but are clearly marked as being non-negotiable.  The words “For motion picture use only,” appear in capital letters to the right of Benjamin Franklin and across the top of the back of the note.  Middlebury police believe there could be an additional one or two bills circulating around the community.