April 5, 2004 – News at a glance

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Prescription drug abuse – Part I
Rutland was one of the first communities in Vermont to publicly address its growing heroin problem. But many of the city’s heroin users began their addictions with prescription drugs. In fact, prescription drug abuse accounts for about a third of the abuse here and around the country. (VPR)

Northeast Kingdom dialysis center
Some Northeast Kingdom residents hope the Legislature will help pay for a kidney dialysis center in their region. They say there’s a critical need for this life-saving medical technology in the state’s most rural and isolated area. (VPR)

Tax legislation
Three months into the legislative session, the Legislature hasn’t voted on a single tax measure. Vermont Governor Jim Douglas said tax reform was this year’s legislative priority in his State of the State address. But so far, there’s been little action on taxes. (AP)

Capital construction and transportation bills
The Vermont Senate is expected to take up two important bills this week concerning capital construction and transportation. Buildings and General Services Commissioner Thomas Torti says the focus of this year’s capital construction bill is on finishing projects that are in the works – not starting any major new building. (AP)

Right to farm bill
Farm legislation is likely to be at the top of the agenda in the Vermont House this week. One measure under consideration is known as the right-to-farm bill. It would help farmers avoid lawsuits from neighbors over noise, smells, or other complaints related to normal farming operations. (AP)

Milk price rebounds
The price of milk is rebounding from record-low levels. But Vermont’s dairy farmers aren’t ready to claim victory in their battle for financial stability. Milk brought $13.83 per hundredweight at the end of February. Louise Calderwood, Vermont’s deputy secretary of agriculture, and others believe the price will reach $16 per hundredweight by mid-summer. (AP)

Granite equipment auction
Vermont granite manufacturers are watching closely as a Connecticut company auctions off the inventory of a defunct Barre granite company. Capital Recovery Group of Enfield, Connecticut, was hired to liquidate International Stone Products. (AP)

Border agency lacks funds
A tiny agency that is responsible for marking and maintaining the expansive border between the United States and Canada says it needs much more money to be effective. The International Boundary Commission surveys and maintains more than 8,000 monuments and reference points on the 5,500-mile border. It has two commissioners, six field engineers and a small support staff. (AP)

Halvorsen memorialized
A Vermont soldier who died in Iraq last year was remembered Friday at a ceremony in Georgia. Army helicopter pilot Erik Halvorsen died April 2 last year when his Black Hawk helicopter went down in Central Iraq. Halvorsen, who was 40, was from Bennington. (AP)

Scrap metal boom
These are boom times for Vermont’s scrap metal dealers, as demand in China is driving up prices around the world. Jeff Goldfield of Queen City Steel in Burlington sold off a big pile of scrap a few months back when prices topped $100 a ton. Now they’re about $160 a ton, and Goldfield says he wishes he’d waited to sell. (AP)

Turnbaugh trial
Closing arguments are expected on Tuesday in the trial of a Moretown man who is accused of killing his co-worker two years ago. Twenty-year-old Isaac Turnbaugh is charged in the shooting death of 24-year-old Declan Lyons outside American Flatbread in Waitsfield. Turnbaugh has said he didn’t commit the crime. (AP)

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