August 14, 2002 – News at a glance

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Campaign finance law
A federal judge says it’s unlikely that Vermont’s strict campaign financing law will go into effect before this fall’s elections. The judge’s comments came almost a week after a federal appeals court said the state can limit campaign spending and donations. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Smog advisory
The state has issued a smog advisory for southern Vermont. Officials say the air quality is bad enough that people should limit outdoor activities. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Dean statement on Iraq
Governor Howard Dean says the United States should attack Iraq if Saddam Hussein has atomic or biological weapons. (AP)

Maple Tree Place
The Maple Tree Place development at Williston’s Taft Corners won’t be losing its land-use permit, but one of the buildings will be changing. (AP)

Heat wave
Weather forecasters are advising Vermonters to find some shade or stay in the air conditioning today. The National Weather Service in Burlington reports that today is likely to be the hottest day of the ongoing heat wave. The demand for electricity is expected to soar today as New England residents try to stay cool. The agency responsible for the region’s bulk electric power grid is asking its customers to voluntarily conserve electricity. ISO New England says the region is expected to see record-breaking demand for electricity today. (AP)

Air quality
Environmental officials say poor air quality is expected to continue today around southern New England. The agency of Natural Resources says there are elevated levels of ozone in southern Vermont. That means people with asthma and other respiratory ailments should avoid strenuous outdoor activity. (AP)

Unemployment rate steady
Vermont’s unemployment rate is holding steady for the fifth month in a row. The Employment and Training Department says the unemployment rate remained at 3.9% in July. That’s despite a slight dip in the number of jobs in Vermont. (AP)

Ames closing stores
The struggling Ames Discount Store chain is reportedly throwing in the towel. The Hartford Courant’s Web site reports Ames has asked a federal judge for approval to close all stores nationwide, including 12 in Vermont. (AP)

Essex County fires investigated
Vermont State Police are investigating fires over the weekend that destroyed two seasonal camps in Essex County. Police say the incidents may be related, and also may have been deliberately set. Authorities say both camps were in remote areas.

Dean presidential campaign
Governor Howard Dean received an enthusiastic response from New York’s largest teachers’ union in Albany yesterday. The potential presidential candidate talked about how social initiatives he started in Vermont could be reproduced on a national stage and he was critical of school vouchers. Dean also said that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton told him she is not going to run for president in 2004. (AP)

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