August 20, 2002 – News at a glance

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Rutland drug indictments
A federal grand jury in Rutland has handed up more than 50 drug indictments in the last six months.

Dean on Iraq
Governor Howard Dean is developing a series of foreign policy positions as he pursues his long shot presidential campaign. In a trip to New Hampshire on Sunday, Dean was asked several times about the Bush administration’s potential plans to attack Iraq. Deans says if that happens, America must be prepared for a ten-year conflict in the most dangerous region of the world. (Listen to the story online or read the article.) (VPR)

Rainy Day Fund
The Dean administration says it will strongly oppose any effort by the Joint Fiscal Committee to use money from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to avoid difficult cuts in this year’s budget. But Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Shumlin says these funds may be needed to protect a number of critical Human Service programs. (Listen to the story online or read the article.) (VPR)

Douglas statement on illicit drugs
Republican gubernatorial candidate James Douglas says Vermont faces a drug crisis and that more police are needed to combat crime. (VPR)

State retirement fund
Vermont’s state employee retirement fund has lost about $178 million since the beginning of 2000. And more than a quarter of those losses came last month. The losses amount to more than 15% of the fund’s total assets. (AP)

Biotech firm opens
A new company opening in Williston is promising scores of well paying jobs as well as a possible defense against biological attacks. The Triosyn Corporation has developed filters that use advanced polymers to kill pathogens and viruses on contact. (AP)

Eighteen Legionnaire’s cases
Vermont health officials say they’ve confirmed another case of Legionnaires’ disease. The latest infection brings the total number of cases to 18. However, two of those cases are believed to be unrelated to the recent outbreak in Waterbury. (AP)

Dean presidential campaign
Vermont Governor Howard Dean is continuing to travel as part of his likely presidential bid. He was scheduled to be a special guest last night at a Beverly Hills fundraiser held for California Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat up for re-election in November. (AP)

Ludlow school buses
Town officials in Ludlow thought they had a great way to save $500,000 and avoid part of Vermont’s education funding law by having the town run the school transportation system. But municipal buses can’t use flashing red lights to stop traffic. (AP)

Rockingham tax roll
Taxpayers in Rockingham are not being overcharged $550,000 in the school budget. A state investigation into a mistake in the budget found the error was printed in the town report. (AP)

Waterbury dam repairs
Workers are beginning to repair structural problems at the dam in Waterbury. Members of Vermont’s congressional delegation were on hand yesterday for an official ground breaking ceremony at the site. (AP)

NH fire
Firefighters from Vermont are helping out with a 30-acre forest fire in New Durham (New Hampshire). The fire is in a remote area between Middleton and Wolfeboro where firefighters have called for reinforcements. (AP)

Vergennes police chase
The Vergennes police chief says one of his officers involved in a fatal chase over the weekend used superb judgment. Chief Michael Lowe says officer James Lynch was right to stop chasing Elizabeth Betts of Benson Saturday shortly before her car crashed and she was killed. (AP)

Black bear attack
A five-month-old Brooklyn girl was killed by a black bear in the Catskills yesterday afternoon. The 155-pound bear snatched the baby from her stroller as it sat outside her parents’ summer bungalow in Sullivan County, New York. (AP)

Boating accident plea
A Charlotte man has pleaded innocent to new charges in connection with a fatal sailboat accident last month. George Martin is charged with boating under the influence resulting in the deaths of two children. (AP)

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