WVTK Local & State News – January 12, 2018

Green Mountain Power is preparing for possible outages from the incoming storm.  Crews are ready in case the lights go out and GMP officials say extra resources are lined up if needed.  GMP also warns people to stay away from downed power lines.  They may still be live and dangerous.  Also, be careful of downed trees which could also have power lines tangled in them.


Flu is now widespread in every state except Hawaii, but the good news is the flu season appears to be peaking.  U.S. health officials on Friday said plenty of people are getting sick, and the flu has hit epidemic levels — just as it does most winters.  But an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows patient traffic for the flu is no longer increasing the way it did in December.  Health officials say it’s shaping up to be a bad season overall, dominated by a nasty type of flu bug that can cause severe illness in young children and seniors. They won’t know how well the flu shot worked until next month.


The Town of Middlebury will be hosting a public visioning workshop and Open House to collect public input on the future of Battell Woods and Chipman Hill Town Forests.  Middlebury was selected as one of 10 communities in Vermont to receive a grant from the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program.  Town officials invite the public to share thoughts and ideas as the process kicks off to help explore the range of recreational uses you’d like to see in our town forest and to develop an action-based town forest recreational plan in line with our community values.  The workshop will an open house format, so drop in any time, at the Middlebury Town Offices, on Monday, January 29th, from 6 to 8 pm.


Vermont’s Chief Medical Examiner has been placed on paid administrative leave.  A spokesman for the Vermont Department of Health said Dr. Steve Shapiro was placed on leave pending an investigation by the Department of Human Resources.  Details about the investigation were not released, only that it was unrelated to medical practice.

Shapiro’s leave began Tuesday.  He is the highest-paid public employee in Vermont, earning $92.52 per hour.  Shapiro was hired as deputy chief medical examiner in October 2001.  He was promoted to his current position in February 2006.


The Curbside Christmas Tree Pick-up in Middlebury and Vergennes that was scheduled for last Saturday, will take place tomorrow.  Trees need to have all the decorations removed including tinsel.  Please make sure to have your trees on the curb tomorrow morning before 8 am.