Governor Phil Scott signed three bills into law this afternoon. The signing took place right outside of the statehouse just after 2 pm. Two of the bills make it easier for authorities to seize guns from people accused of domestic violence, or people deemed by a judge to be a danger to themselves or others. The third now now makes it illegal to purchase rifle magazines that hold more than ten rounds and pistol magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. Background checks are now required on almost all private gun transactions and rapid-fire devices, known as bump stocks are also banned. Scott, who campaigned against new gun laws two years ago, said his position evolved after police in February stopped a Poultney teen’s shooting plot at Fair Haven Union High School.
A traffic accident on Route 7 closed the road in both directions for much of the afternoon. Not many details have been released. The vehicle crash was between a tractor-trailer and a car. Police say the driver of the car was taken to the hospital. Their condition was not available. The driver of the truck appeared unhurt.
Tomorrow, Green Mountain Power plans to set a new utility pole in place on Merchants Row. The new pole will be located outside Bourdon Insurance several feet to the left of the current pole. GMP will cone off several parking spaces on Merchants Row during installation, which is expected to take a few hours. The work is weather-dependent and will be rescheduled if it’s raining tomorrow. The new utility pole will become operational later this year when the old pole is removed in order to facilitate construction of the tunnel that will replace the Merchants Row and Main Street bridges.
Town officials in Rutland say they will revisit redevelopment plans in hopes of reaching agreement over a proposed “road diet” ahead of development next year. Rutland has locked horns with West Rutland over the width of Route 4A. West Rutland wants to reduce the road to three traffic lanes alongside a bike and pedestrian lane. The Rutland Select Board has voted 3-2 against any reduction of Route 4A. The Rutland Town Planning Commission was asked to review dozens of recommendations from two separate studies in order to reach an agreement between the two communities.
After a number of complaints from neighbors, a dog shelter in Ferrisburgh is closing. The town gave Sheila McGregor until today to apply for a re-zoning permit to allow the shelter at her home. She would also would need to clean up some issues that led to a rat problem. She says, after 17 years, she will be phasing out her shelter. McGregor is now working to adopt out the remaining 20 or so dogs.