August 25, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: Mold related sickness on rise
Mitch Wertlieb talks with state toxicologist Dr. Bill Bress about an outbreak of mold-related illness in the wake of heavy rains. (Listen to the interview online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Springfield prison benefit
The first inmates are scheduled to arrive at the new Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield in early October. It cost $27 million to build the prison, and officials are now hiring staff and inspecting construction and security systems. Next month, they’ll be asking local citizens for a little help. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Dean campaign tour
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean continues his high-profile national tour on Monday. The Democratic presidential hopeful has appearances planned in Spokane, Washington, and in San Antonio, Texas. Dean’s campaign reports contributors have topped the half-million mark in their efforts to raise one million dollars by the end of Tuesday. (AP)

IBM ripple effect
Vermont contractors say they’re also feeling a ripple effect from recent cutbacks at IBM. Company spokesman Jeff Couture estimates that the number of contractors used by IBM has been cut in half, affecting local companies providing services to Big Blue. (AP)

Verizon labor negotiations
Verizon Communications and its unions are nearing an agreement as 78,000 East Coast telephone operators and technicians begin a fourth week on the job without contracts. Negotiators report significant progress at the bargaining table; talks resume today. (AP)

ESL enrollment expands
Vermont education officials say the number of students participating in English as a Second Language classes is on the rise statewide. But some rural districts are reporting challenges in attracting staff for those positions. (AP)

Ludlow education fund
The town of Ludlow is facing an uncommon dilemma: too much money in its education fund. The board of directors for the Ludlow Education Assistance Fund is debating what to do with excess funding it collected during its last fund-raiser. (AP)

Teacher place on leave
A Lamoille Union High School history teacher won’t be back in the classroom when school starts this week. School board officials say Wayne Nadeau was placed on administrative leave after school board officials had a two-hour, closed-door meeting. (AP)

Camp fire insurance
It’s been a year of rebuilding for Vermonters whose camps were torched in an arson spree last summer. But some, like Pat and Lloyd Farnham of Williamstown, say they have no fire insurance on the replacement one either. (AP)

ATV rider hit warden
A teenager is facing criminal charges after authorities say he hit a Vermont game warden with an all-terrain vehicle over the weekend. Police say Warden Dale Witlock was attempting to stop the 16-year-old, who was driving in a restricted area. (AP)

Second-hand smoke campaign
Vermont health officials are hoping to reach parents who smoke around their children with a little humor. A month-long campaign including radio advertisements is urging parents to protect their children from the dangers of second-hand smoke. (AP)

Peace park
A Vermont woman hopes a park she’s building will be a community gathering place for reflection. Cynthia Parent wants the Middletown Springs park to be a spot where people can get together and talk about ways to bring about peace in the word. (AP)

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