Horse with EEE euthanized in Vermont
BURLINGTON (AP) -- A horse in the town of Highgate was euthanized after it became ill from the mosquito-borne illness Eastern equine encephalitis, the Vermont Health Department said Wednesday.
The death of the horse indicates that the virus that causes the disease, known as EEE, is now present in Franklin County.
"People who live in Highgate are now considered to be at high risk for EEE, and people in Swanton are at increased risk as well," Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen, said in a statement. "I strongly recommend that people living in the area take every precaution to avoid bites while mosquitoes are still active - until the first killing frost."
The horse was euthanized on Aug. 30.
The disease is transmitted to humans and some animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. Last year, two people who lived in the southern Addison County and northern Rutland County died of EEE.
Chen said it’s important to keep taking precautions against mosquitoes until the first hard frost, which may not take place for another month in some parts of the state.
The state is monitoring swamps favored by mosquitoes that carry EEE in the Addison-Rutland county areas. There is limited surveillance in Franklin and Chittenden counties, so it’s possible that EEE and West Nile virus are present in other parts of the state.
Vt. applies for $10M in flood mitigation projects
MONTPELIER (AP) -- The state of Vermont is asking the federal government for $10 million to help pay for 35 flood mitigation projects from Tropical Storm Irene and other storms of 2011.
The total cost of the projects is estimated at $13 million. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency would cover about 75 percent of those costs.
If approved, the projects would range from raising buildings, upgrading culverts to home buyouts and flood proofing homes.
The funds are made available after a federal disaster declaration through competitive application process.
So far, Vermont has approved $38 million in mitigation projects for 2011 storm damage.
The money includes $1.5 million in planning grants for 23 Vermont towns.
Man gets 18 years in child porn case
BURLINGTON (AP) -- Federal prosecutors say a Vermont man is going to federal prison for 18 years after his conviction on child pornography charges involving a girl that began when she was 8 or 9 years old.
The U.S. Attorney’s office says 48-year-old Benjamin Weisinger, of Lyndonville, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Burlington.
Prosecutors say the abuse of the girl continued for several years and when she was about 12, Weisinger had her create sexually explicit videos and texts.
The girl’s mother called police after discovering one of the videos in November 2011.
A later search of Weisinger’s computer and email accounts found numerous sexually explicit videos of the same girl.