Shumlin wants abusers' guns stored
MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin wants to improve the ability of law enforcement to take and store firearms belonging to alleged perpetrators of domestic violence.
People who are subject to relief-from-abuse orders are required not to possess firearms, which Shumlin calls an important safeguard when emotions are running high.
Now Shumlin wants legislation to provide Vermont sheriffs the resources, including space, to store weapons belonging to people subject to such orders.
The measure Shumlin is promoting would set up a $75,000 fund to help establish such facilities. It would also levy a fee on people whose weapons are stored to replenish that fund.
Shumlin and other backers say the need for such a step is evidenced by a recent spate of domestic violence crimes.
Vt. Gas to seek approval for pipeline expansion
SOUTH BURLINGTON (AP) -- Vermont Gas Systems says it will seek regulatory approval of the second phase of its plan for a natural gas pipeline in Addison County, to extend it further across Lake Champlain to the International Paper mill in New York state.
The company has sent notices to communities in Rutland and Addison counties.
Vermont Gas says the second phase will establish the infrastructure to bring natural gas to Rutland sooner at no additional cost to Vermonters by leveraging revenues from International Paper.
Environmentalists have raised concerns about the use of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas. While gas may be cleaner burning than oil, they say the process of extracting it threatens water quality and contributes to climate change.
Supporters say it will boost western Vermont's economy by providing low-cost energy.
Texas to honor nuke waste disposal deal with Vermont
MONTPELIER (AP) -- The chairman of the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission says the organization is going to honor a 20-year-old agreement that guarantees space for radioactive waste from Vermont in its Texas disposal facility, a deal that Gov. Peter Shumlin said is critical now that Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is shutting down.
During a Wednesday meeting at the Vermont Statehouse, Commission Chairman Robert Wilson said the commission recognizes Vermont is a partner in the compact.
"This compact is going to be more important than ever," Gov. Peter Shumlin told the commission. "My concern is we remember Vermont and Texas were there first."
In 1993 Vermont and Texas formed the compact. Under the agreement, Texas would host a low-level radioactive waste facility and Vermont would have a place to send some of the waste from its nuclear power plant. Most of the materials after the plant is decommissioned would go to the Texas facility, except for the fuel rods and higher radioactive materials, said Public Service Department Commissioner Chris Recchia.
Vermont officials are looking for assurance there will be space in Texas for the low-level radioactive waste from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, which is due to be shut down next year.
Texas remembers that Vermont is part of the compact, said Rod Baltzer, president of Waste Control Specialists, which runs the waste facility in Andrews, Texas. "I can assure you we have plenty of capacity for the decommissioning of this facility," he said.
But officials at the waste site want to know when the plant's decommissioning will start and when the state will send the waste.
An official from Entergy Corp., which own Vermont Yankee, said it's too early to tell. T. Michael Twomey, vice president for external affairs, said after the plant closes, a study will be conducted to determine a timeline.
N.H. store looking for Megabucks winner
NORTH CONWAY, N.H. (AP) -- The owner of a North Conway, N.H., convenience store hopes the person who bought a winning $2.25 million Tri-State Megabucks Plus lottery ticket from him is local.
Mark Keenan of MDK Discount Beverages Plus Cigarettes of Conway says he and his staff are trying to figure out who bought Wednesday's winning ticket.
The winning numbers were 20-21-28-33-35, Megaball: 6. It's played in Vermont and Maine, too.
Keenan said he was out fishing when he got the call about the winning ticket. He says he's been at his store for 20 years and his motto has been, "We're due."
About six weeks ago, a local man won a $250,000 scratch ticket at his store, so now Keenan is planning to change his motto to "We're just getting started."
N.H. appeals order to put $195M in MTBE case in fund
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire's Attorney General is appealing a trial court order that would place most of its record $236 million verdict in a groundwater contamination case earlier this year into a trust fund.
A jury in April held Exxon Mobil liable for the state's costs to test groundwater in private wells and other drinking water sources over the coming decades and remove contamination by the gasoline additive MTBE.
Exxon Mobil has appealed the verdict and award to the state Supreme Court. It asked that any money be placed in a trust fund to prevent the Legislature from diverting the funds for other uses.
The judge in September ordered that the state place $195 million of the award into a trust fund.
The state has appealed that order to the Supreme Court.