Friday May 24, 2013

Heavy rain washes out Vt. bridge; roads closed

SOUTH BURLINGTON (AP) -- Vermont State Police say a bridge on Route 15 in Westford has been washed out and a number of roads have been closed or partially closed due to heavy rain.

The National Weather warned Thursday of flash flooding across Vermont, and a flash flood watch is in effect through Friday morning.

The weather service expected thunderstorms Thursday to produce rainfall of 1 to 2 inches an hour.

State police say Route 116 in Williston is closed, as are Route 15, Poker Hill Road, North Underhill Station Road, Paige Road and Daudlin road in Underhill. In Jericho, Route 15 near Mills River has been closed due to high water.

Authorities say a number of roads are also partially washed out.

Project would carry N.Y. power to Mass. through Vt.

COLCHESTER (AP) -- A Massachusetts developer is hoping to carry renewable electricity from northern New York to the New England power grid via a power line that would run under Lake Champlain.

The proposal by the company called Anbaric Transmission would carry 400 megawatts of electricity from Plattsburgh, N.Y., under the lake to Vermont.

Anbaric CEO Ed Krapels says utilities in Massachusetts and Connecticut need more renewable power in their mix to meet clean-energy mandates.

The project is called the Grand Isle Intertie.

Krapels said the exact route has not been determined.


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The cost of the project would be borne by the users, not Vermont ratepayers.

Vt. developer wins hydro power permits

BENNINGTON (AP) -- A developer has received state and federal permits to generate electricity at a 200-year-old dam site on Vermont’s Walloomsac River.

Bill Scully and his company, Carbon Zero, bought the old Vermont Tissue Mill in North Bennington in 2008. Scully started his quest to revive the dam that once powered the mill soon after that.

Scully hopes to produce electricity for about 220 homes and for his own businesses, which include a couple of restaurants and a store.

Hey says his project will improve water quality by increasing the flow of water in a channel that’s now dry for part of the year. He says it also will create new, year-round habitat for migrating fish and other aquatic life.

N.H. Senate passes
bill legalizing medical marijuana

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire soon could join 18 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing seriously ill people to use marijuana to treat their conditions.

The state Senate voted 18-6 Thursday to pass a bill legalizing marijuana use and possession by patients with conditions such as Crohn’s disease and cancer. Senators bowed to Gov. Maggie Hassan’s wishes and eliminated the option for the patients to grow the drug at home as well as obtain it at a dispensary.

The bill now goes back to the House, which can agree to the changes or ask to negotiate a compromise. The House bill provided for both options. Supporters of the home grow option argue it is crucial to ensure immediate access for terminally ill patients.

Mount Washington museum to get major overhaul

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The Mount Washington Observatory museum is planning a major overhaul designed to give summer visitors a feel for the extreme winter weather atop the Northeast’s highest peak.

The 40-year-old education center attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year, making it the state’s most visited museum. The new project, unveiled Thursday, calls for entirely replacing the existing museum with modern, hands-on exhibits that will educate the public about what it takes to research the world’s worst weather.

Starting next spring, children will be able to climb on a snowcat vehicle and use its controls to "drive" up the mountain via a video simulation. Another exhibit will feature the instruments used to record the famous 231 mph wind gust of 1934.

The observatory has raised $719,000 toward the project’s $825,000 total cost.

Shaheen sponsors grant program for robotics teams

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Schools that want to send students to robotics competitions and other contests that promote science, technology, engineering and math would get some help under legislation introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.

The bill Shaheen filed Thursday would create a grant program within the U.S. Department of Education. The money could be used to pay for equipment or facility use fees connected to robotics competitions, to provide stipends for teachers or to cover the costs of entering competitions. Preference would be given to rural or urban schools, schools in low-income areas or low-performing schools, and schools would be required to provide a 50 percent match.

Shaheen says boosting access to so-called STEM education will foster innovation and create a globally competitive workforce.

N.H. Senate votes to let bars stay open to 2 a.m.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Bar patrons may soon be able to buy drinks until 2 a.m. with approval from the New Hampshire community where the bar is located.

The Senate voted without debate Thursday to push back last call from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m., but only if the local governing body passes an ordinance allowing the change.

The bill next goes to the House to review Senate changes to the measure.