WVTK Local & State News – September 8, 2017

A Bristol man is facing child pornography charges.  Federal authorities say 26-year-old Cody Clark produced and uploaded inappropriate images from his computer to the internet.  The feds were tipped off by a Google Cybertip and say they found the images on Clark’s computer.  If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.  Clark, who also operates Life in the Moment Photography, was the subject of another investigation recently by the Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, court records show.

 

A spending package approved by a US Senate committee yesterday fully funds a federal low-income heating benefit program that some had feared would be cut.  One of two bills the Senate Appropriations Committee approved includes $3.4 billion for the low-income home energy assistance program, also known as LIHEAP.  A version of the same appropriations bill that passed a House committee earlier this year also fully funded LIHEAP at the previous fiscal year level.  In Vermont, LIHEAP is administered by the Department for Children and Families.

 

The Rutland Town Selectboard is holding a meeting on Monday to address the job status of town administrator Joe Zingale.  He was suspended last week over an unspecified personnel matter.  The Selectboard met in executive session briefly to discuss the issue at its meeting this past Wednesday.  The meeting on Monday is being called solely to address the Zingale issue.

 

Governor Phil Scott is using an executive order to create a commission to study legalized marijuana.  The panel will study health and safety issues, and will also study a possible retail marijuana market in Vermont.  Scott says they cannot ignore the fact that neighboring states have already legalized marijuana.  The commission’s co-chairs are former Republican state Representative Tom Little and former state Democratic Party chairman Jake Perkinson.

 

A data breach at Equifax could affect 240,000 Vermonters.  Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan, in partnership with the Department of Public Safety, issued an alert today.  Equifax is a consumer credit reporting agency.  The massive data breach was discovered at the end of July.  The information stolen includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers.  Officials at Equifax will be sending letters to all of those that are affected.