Vermont Public Television Launches Rutland Digital ChannelVermont Public Television’s Rutland digital TV channel has made its debut. VPT’s digital channel 9 will begin service officially on Wednesday, June 1, from atop Grandpa Knob. The new channel — the second digital channel in Vermont — will serve Rutland and Addison counties and parts of Bennington and Windsor counties. In neighboring New York state, the signal will reach Warren and Washington counties and some of Saratoga and Essex counties.VPT’s channel 28, which transmits signals in the current analog format, will continue to operate for several years.By federal mandate, all U.S. television stations are required to broadcast in digital. John King, VPT’s president and CEO, says, “Going digital means Vermonters will continue to have their own statewide public television network, with all the PBS programs and local programs they treasure.”Beyond securing VPT’s future, going digital will bring Vermonters clear reception and new services, including high definition programming (HDTV) and multicasting (up to four channels at the same time). In the future, along with TV programming, VPT will be able to transmit video, audio and text in the form of digital data that can be downloaded to a computer, providing educational resources to schools, teachers and lifelong learners of all ages.Viewers with a high definition television can see HDTV programs from PBS on VPT’s digital channel. Digital programming is only available over the air now, but VPT expects it to be carried on cable and satellite in the future. To receive digital TV channels, viewers can use their analog TV sets if they install a digital set-top converter box. However, to see true high definition television, viewers need a high definition TV.The current analog service on VPT and TV channels nationwide will continue until the FCC requires broadcasters to return their analog spectrum to the government for other uses and operate only in digital format.Viewers will find more information and a schedule for VPT’s digital service by visiting www.vpt.org(link is external) or calling 1-800-639-7811. VPT would like to hear from viewers who are able to receive the new channel.VPT has been broadcasting in digital on its Windsor channel since 2003.VPT will launch its St. Johnsbury and Burlington digital channels next year. Work begins this summer on a major project to collocate all Burlington market digital TV channels on Mt. Mansfield.Noting that federal and state matching funds are paying for VPT’s digital facilities, John King says, “Thanks to Senators Patrick Leahy and Jim Jeffords and Rep. Bernie Sanders, we have secured federal matching funds needed for the project. We have received most of the state matching funds and hope the state will appropriate the balance next year. We’re grateful to Gov. Jim Douglas, former Gov. Howard Dean and their staffs, and to Vermont’s legislators, especially the House and Senate Institutions and Appropriations committees, for the support they have given the project.”The cost of converting VPT’s four transmitters to digital to meet the federal mandate will be about $5.4 million. Conversion of VPT’s master control and production facilities to digital facilities will be the final phases of the project.VPT chief engineer Ron Whitcomb and studio technical supervisor Rob Belle-Isle are managing the digital conversion project. # # #
Students, faculty and government officials gathered to discuss the future of California Wednesday morning at Town and Gown. “Economic and Political Challenges Facing California,” hosted by the Sol Price School of Public Policy, was part of Dean Jack H. Knott’s first Policy Breakfast Series.The event featured California State Treasurer John Chiang and was moderated by Rodney Ramcharan, an associate professor of public policy and the director of research at the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. The Price School’s Athenian Society, a philanthropic organization, organized the event. “The impetus for this discussion is to convene civic and business leaders to share their in-depth expertise on critical policy topics and highly debated issues facing our communities,” Knott said. “Our aim is to inspire constructive dialogue and foster a community of engaged and informed citizens.”After Knott outlined some of the issues California currently faces, including economic inequality and other fiscal challenges, Ramcharan began the dialogue by asking about Chiang’s economic background and the duties that ensue as the overseer of California’s investments and finances. Chiang explained that he is the state banker who is responsible for California’s daily investments. “On a daily basis, we are investing about $80 billion in short-term cash, and our principal statutory charges is to make sure we don’t lose capital,” Chiang said.Chiang stated that as the child of immigrant parents, he has experienced discrimination from an early age, which inspired him to work in public service. He established himself as a liberal with strong values that focused on the themes of love and support, which propelled him make a difference in improving lives. “Equal rights are important, and what’s bad about liking and valuing each other? I get to to make laws that try to help people,” Chiang said.Ramcharan asked Chiang about climate change and the impact it has on California and its funding. As an agricultural state that commonly experiences droughts, California, Chiang explained, should expect regulatory and legislative changes that would allow the state to more efficiently use its water. Chiang also said that the state needs to consider pricing mechanisms and market intervention in order to fix the issues it faces.Ramcharan also inquired about DebtWatch, an award-winning website Chiang created in 2015 that enables the public to view three decades of debt-related information issued by state and local governments. “I put up the history of $1.5 trillion worth of borrowing by all levels of government in the last 30 years in the state of California,” Chiang said.Chiang stressed the importance of transparency in the current economic and political situation, stating that governments need to be held responsible for their policies and actions. “People need to know how much is being borrowed, how much is being used properly and what is being paid back on time, because there are implications for our sustainable financing,” Chiang said.
DES MOINES — Senior Josh Fitzgerald socked a two-run homer while 8th-grader Doug Taylor picked up the win on the mound as Newman beat Alburnett 11-1 in six innings in the Class 1A championship game at the state baseball tournament in Des Moines, as you heard on AM-1300 KGLO and kgloam.com, giving the Knights their third-straight championship.Newman scored two in the second with Kyle Armour’s RBI single and George Schmit knocking in Jack McGuire with a sacrifice fly.After Alburnett plated their only run in the top of the third, Newman responded in the bottom half of the inning with another RBI single by Armour scoring SchuttFitzgerald socked a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to give the Knights a 5-1 lead after four.Newman pushed across four more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Schmitt had an RBI single and scored on a wild pitch. After the Knights loaded up the bases, both Fitzgerald and Jack Maznio scored on another wild pitch to make it 9-1 after the fifth.The Knights finished off the game in the bottom of the sixth with a sacrifice fly from Max Burt scoring Armour, followed by a walk-off hit batsman as Merritt McCardle was hit with the bases loaded.Taylor picked up the win, facing 21 batters in 5 1/3 innings, striking out one, allowing four hits, two walks and one run. Fitzgerald came in to finish the game, pitching 2/3 of an inning, striking out one.Armour finished the game with three hits and two RBI.For the Knights, it’s their third straight championship and 8th overall, winning titles in 1998, 2002, 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2017-2019.
A Corentyne driver was on Tuesday charged and released on $500,000 bail by Magistrate Rabindranauth Singh when he appeared at the Blairmont Magistrate’s Court for causing the death of a 7-year-old schoolboy.The accident scene and the now-dead Nirfan Nezamdeen with his sisterRamesh Sewlall, 21, of Lot 53 Bushlot Farm, Corentyne, was not required to plead to the indictable charge which stated that on November 27, 2019, he drove motor car PPP 7721 in a manner dangerous to the public, thereby causing the death of Nirfan Nezamodeen.Nezamodeen, a student of the Latchmansingh Primary School, was fatally struck by the speeding motorcar, while his sister, Asriya Nezamodeen, 8, his mother, Ameena Diaram, 25, and 45-year-old Parvatie Babulall were critically injured.It was reported that Diaram went to collect her two children from school and was standing in the corner along with Babulall, her child, and others when they were struck by a speeding car.Little Nezamodeen was reportedly dragged for some distance and ended up under the vehicle.It was further reported that the car was driving at a fast rate when it suddenly swerved from the southern side of the road to the northern side.The car came to a halt partly submerged in a trench. The lad was pulled from under the bumper and was rushed to the Fort Wellington Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.On the other hand, Babulall’s daughter, Tahera Kublall, 8, and Alyana Arokium, also 8, were admitted as patients at the Fort Wellington Hospital. They were subsequently discharged.