WVTK Local & State News – February 8, 2018

A bill that would create a system of importing prescription drugs from Canada is advancing in the Vermont legislature.  The measure seeks to set up the system by January of 2020 in an effort to reduce prescription costs in the state.  Even if the bill is approved and signed by the governor, it still must be approved by federal regulators.  The measure was approved by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee yesterday and has been sent to the House for further action.


The New York Governor’s Office announced additional funding to help eligible New Yorkers heat their homes following severe low temperatures this winter.  Any household in danger of running out of heating fuel or having their utility service shut off will be able to apply for a second emergency benefit through the federal Home Assistance Program beginning Monday, February 12.  There has already been a 40 percent increase in requests for emergency heating assistance compared to last year in many parts of the state that have experienced persistently cold temperatures this winter.


There was a heated discussion about coyote hunting at the last legislative breakfast.  The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says there is no season for coyotes and they may be killed year-round.  A number of residents described the organized hunts that take place in the area as mass murder.  Residents on the other side of the issue say they can’t even let their dogs out for fear of be killed by coyotes, which officials say has been an increasing nuisance.  The next legislative meeting is Monday Morning at 7 am at the Grange Hall in Granville.  


Voters in the Otter Valley Unified Union School District will gather Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m., for part 1of the annual district meeting and budget vote. The meeting will be held at the OVUHS auditorium.  On the agenda this year are the elections of district moderator, clerk and treasurers.  The Board of School Directors will also present its estimate of district expenses for the 2018-19 academic year.  Voters will also decide on the over $19 million district budget, which amounts to roughly $14,000 per student.


MIddlebury Regional EMS has received a new ambulance.  The new vehicle will replace the 2009 ambulance that officials say is in need of some mechanical issues.  The organization has been doing a lot of fundraising to buy the ambulance and took out a loan for the final $50,000. They are hoping to get donations to pay off the loan.  Middlebury Regional EMS provides emergency services to 11 Addison County Towns.