Vt. narrowing ideas to reach energy goal

MONTPELIER (AP) -- The state of Vermont is making progress on a study that will outline how to meet the long-term goal of getting 90 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources by mid-century.

On Monday the Department of Public Service released a 38-page document that outlined a progress report on its "Total Energy Study" that is designed to lay out by next summer how to reach the goal of 90 percent renewables by 2050.

Among the options being considered are "creation of an economy-wide carbon tax" requiring all energy providers to meet a fraction of their sales with renewable energy or energy efficiency and ensuring project have needed financing.

Director of Energy Policy Asa Hopkins said the conversation about how to reach to 90 percent renewables, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by 2050 has until now largely been "without a frame or structure."

"Now we’ve put a structure on it, and now we’re narrowing," Hopkins told the Times Argus and Rutland Herald (http://bit.ly/1bNsgeL). "We’re going to do a quantitative analysis of, we think, three specific scenarios over the spring . So we’ll be able to, in a much more concrete way, say this is better than that, and why."

Agriculture Secretary urges awareness of food safety reform

RANDOLPH (AP) -- Vermont Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross says the state’s farm-related food businesses should be aware of new federal food safety regulations and speak up while they’re being crafted.

Ross made the comment Tuesday during a daylong conference on Vermont’s working landscape held at Vermont Technical College.

Ross was moderating one of a half-dozen panel discussions on issues as varied as how businesses can overcome regulatory barriers and addressing the challenges of climate change, energy issues and getting a better understanding of the forest products industry.

The event was the second summit held by the Vermont Council on Rural Development.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the Food Safety Modernization Act is the most sweeping reform of the country’s food safety laws in more than 70 years.

Police investigate untimely death at motel

SOUTH BURLINGTON (AP) -- South Burlington police are investigating the death of a middle-aged man found at a motel in the Vermont city.

South Burlington Detective Cpl. Andrew Johnson says the man is believed to be in his 50s. Police were attempting to locate his family.

Authorities say there is no indication of foul play.

Police were called to the Ho Hum Motel on Shelburne Road just before 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Johnson says an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday to help determine the cause of death.

Police plan to release the man’s name once his family is notified.