August 2, 2002 – News at a glance

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Interview: emergency management
Steve Delaney talks with Howard Rice, who recently became Vermont’s director of emergency management. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

FAHC probe
State and federal prosecutors are investigating Vermont’s largest hospital. Attorney General William Sorrell says his office is looking into allegations that top officials at Fletcher Allen hospital in Burlington deliberately circumvented state regulatory review with a multi-million dollar parking garage project. Sorrell says the office of the U.S. attorney is also involved in the probe. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

FAHC ‘synthetic lease’
State health care regulators are concerned that officials at Vermont’s largest hospital have systematically tried to avoid state review. Regulators focused on a parking garage being built by Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. The complex financing for the garage involves an offshore insurance company and a construction loan that was made to look like a lease. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Progressive Party write-in
The Progressive Party has found itself with more primary candidates than it bargained for. Now party leaders are urging voters to write in the name of independent Congressman Bernard Sanders in the September primary against a woman who is already on the ballot as the party’s candidate. (VPR)

Fundraising reports
Candidates for governor have released their fund-raising totals to date. Republican Jim Douglas’ campaign has raised the most funds so far. Democrat Douglas Racine and Independent Cornelius Hogan also filed their campaign finance reports yesterday with the Secretary of State’s office. (AP)

Circ Highway plan
Vermonters can now comment on the latest plan to build the Circ Highway. Governor Howard Dean’s administration has pulled its original application and submitted a new plan. And transportation officials say they believe the chances of getting the highway built are better. (AP)

Teen binge drinking
Vermont health officials are worried about the level of teen-age binge drinking in Essex County. The county leads the state in youth binge drinking according to a new report released by the Vermont Department of Health. (AP)

Flood assistance
Officials say more than 200 Vermonters have applied for assistance since last month’s floods. And nearly $415,000 worth of grants and loans already have been issued. Families and businesses in Franklin, Orleans, Lamoille and Caledonia counties are eligible for the aid. (AP)

Yankee transfer tax
The sale of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is providing the state with a windfall of more than half a million dollars. That’s the amount generated in state property transfer taxes by the sale of Vermont Yankee to Entergy Nuclear. (AP)

September 11 fraud
A Burlington woman has pleaded innocent to charges she made up a story about losing family members in the September 11 attacks and then accepted donations raised by co-workers. Twenty-nine-year-old Carrie-Anne Drumm is accused of taking $19,000 from the Radisson Hotel and gift shop, including $1,200 in September 11 donation money. (AP)

Legionnaire’s disease
State health officials are trying figure out how a former inmate at the Waterbury jail contracted Legionnaire’s disease. Health officials say there’s no indication other inmates or anyone else associated with the women’s jail are in danger of contracting the sometimes fatal disease. (AP)

Out-of-state prison costs
The Vermont Department of Corrections has received seven bids from public and private prisons interested in housing Vermont prisoners. Vermont sends about 400 prisoners to Virginia to reduce crowding in Vermont jails. The state is trying to reduce that cost by about $500,000. (AP)

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