WVTK Local & State News – January 11, 2018

After a five month stint as the acting center director, Alicia Grangent has been named as Northlands’ new permanent center director.  Northlands houses up to 220 low income youth from around the northeast, giving them the training and education needed to enter the skilled workforce.  Grangent has worked in the Job Corps community for the last 10 years at various centers around the country.  The Northlands Job Corps Center is a federally funded career training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor.  


The Dollar General in Port Henry has re-opened.  The store was rebuilt and the interior redesigned after a disastrous May 10, 2016 fire that left Moriah and Port Henry without a department store.  The fire was set by a store employee now serving a state prison sentence for the crime.  The store had a soft opening about two weeks ago to work out glitches before its official debut.  


The discussion has begun on how to replace Vergennes City Manager, Mel Hawley, when he retires later this year.  Hawley has not announced a retirement date but last year mentioned a number of times that he would like to retire in 2018.  Mayor Michael Daniels said he and council members agreed to reach out to the city’s department heads to gather interview questions.  Officials also agreed that it’s too early to form a search committee.  It is typical for city managers to offer three months notice when they are ready to leave, and that Vergennes would follow that protocol.


Governor Phil Scott was joined by his Opioid Coordination Council today to present its initial report of recommended strategies, as part of its charge to strengthen Vermont’s response to the opioid crisis.  The first report to Governor Scott follows eight months of intensive study.  It offers 21 strategies in the areas of systematic enhancements, prevention, treatment, recovery and enforcement.  The strategies build on Vermont’s successes, and recommendations include specific actions and frameworks for key programs, next steps, and areas that require additional research and coordination.


Happy National Milk Day! On January 11, we commemorate the day when milk started being delivered in sterilized glass bottles back in 1878.  It’s no secret that Vermont is a dairy state. Dairy farming and production is a large part of the state’s cultural and economic identity, bringing $2.2 billion in economic activity each year.  In fact, milk generates more sales than any other Vermont agricultural product and 63 percent of all milk produced in New England comes from Vermont.