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Vt. Officials Report 129 New COVID Cases, 3 More Deaths

A window with images of people in a blue building on a clear day
Shanta Lee Gander
/
For VPR
118 Elliot hosts Brattleboro artist Walter Hagedorn's work as part of "The Looking Glass Season" exhibit, which will rotate between Hagedorn's and four other local artists' work in the building's street-level windows.

Vermont reporters provide a roundup of top news takeaways about the coronavirus and more for Wednesday, Feb 3.

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1. Vt. officials report 129 new COVID infections, 3 more deaths

Vermont health officials reported 129 new COVID-19 infections Wednesday, as well as three new coronavirus deaths.

The state's pandemic death toll is now 179.

Rutland County saw most of today's cases, with 27. Three other counties — Washington, Bennington and Chittenden — all saw around 20 new infections.

Hospitalizations dropped slightly, to 52 people, including eight in intensive care.

- Matthew Smith

2. Two NEK towns criticize settlement over glass dumping dispute

A settlement in a glass dumping case between the Vermont Attorney General's Office and Chittenden Solid Waste District is drawing criticism from two towns in the Northeast Kingdom.

VTDigger reports the towns of Charleston and Newport have sent letters to Attorney General TJ Donovan calling the Dec. 29 deal insufficient and "troubling and disappointing."

The board of the Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District also sent a letter saying the settlement does not go far enough.

The Chittenden district dumped nearly 18,000 tons of glass on its Williston property instead of recycling it. The settlement requires the district to pay $400,000, but does not require it to admit any wrongdoing.

The district maintains it used the glass in an appropriate way.

- Brittany Patterson

More from VPR: Solid Waste District Accused Of Dumping Glass Prompts Worry About Public Trust In Recycling

3. Cabot Creamery workers quarantining after three test positive for COVID

Nearly 50 workers at the Cabot Creamery cheese making factory are in quarantine after three workers tested positive for COVID-19.

VTDigger reports the town of Cabot's emergency management director says they were alerted about a week ago that seven workers in the creamery's lower plant had to quarantine, as well as about 40 others who work two assembly lines in the cut-and-wrap facility.

Town officials say none of the quarantined workers have so far tested positive for the virus.

Cabot owner Agri-Mark confirmed the positive cases, and says all workers are being paid while under quarantine.

- Matthew Smith

4. Vermont Law School receives more money for new restorative justice center

Vermont Law School is getting a second $3 million grant from the federal Department of Justice for it's National Center for Restorative Justice.

A release from the law school notes the center was launched last spring, and aims to teach restorative justice practices and improved criminal justice policies.

The $3 million grant will fund education, training, and research on restorative practices in communities, among public safety officials, and with people already incarcerated.

- Matthew Smith

4. Vt. Planned Parenthood clinic workers vote to unionize

Workers at Planned Parenthood's 12 Vermont clinics and its central office have voted to unionize.

Vermont Business Magazine reports staff of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England voted this week to form a union with AFT Vermont, a union that represents 5-thousand higher education and healthcare professionals.

The newly unionized workers say they hope to meet with management in the coming weeks to negotiating over wages, benefits and working conditions.

- Matthew Smith

5. South Burlington police say they've IDed mall shooter

South Burlington police say they've identified the shooter behind a Monday night shooting at the University Mall.

WCAX reports police say 18-year-old Tyshane Smith was among a group of teens who got into a dispute at the mall.

That's when police say Smith fired a handgun five times. A bystander was struck by shrapnel and suffered minor injures.

Police say Smith fled the scene with others, but left behind the pistol he allegedly fired.

South Burlington police say they're still looking for Smith. Their investigation is ongoing.

- Matthew Smith

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