August 26, 2004 – News at a Glance

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MSA’s Military Helmets Criticized
A military helmet that’s manufactured in Vermont has become the subject of criticism by a senior army neurosurgeon in Baghdad. (VPR)

Interview: Vermont Youth Orchestra Fundraiser
The Radio Vermont Group hosts an all-day phone-a-thon to support the Vermont Youth Orchestra’s trip to New York to play at Carnegie Hall. Mitch Wertlieb talks with RVG’s Eric Michaels about the fundraiser. (VPR)

Treatment at State Hospital for Sex Offenders
Governor Jim Douglas says convicted sex offenders should be forced into treatment after their jail term ends if the offender is still a risk to society. A victims’ rights group praised the plan but the Vermont chapter of the ACLU has strong concerns about it. (VPR)

Clavelle Outlines Economic Plan
Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Peter Clavelle on Wednesday outlined a ten-point plan for economic development in Vermont. Among the points: universal health care and more money for colleges. (VPR)

Guard’s Alert Extended Three Months
The Vermont National Guard says members of the 86th Brigade, who’ve been on alert for nearly three months, will have to wait up to 90 days more to find out if they will be deployed overseas. (VPR)

Banknorth Merger
Canada’s TD Bank Financial Group is taking a controlling stake in Maine-based Banknorth. The two companies say they reached a definitive agreement Thursday morning, a day after they formally acknowledged they were in negotiations. Banknorth Group’s banking subsidiaries include Banknorth Vermont. (AP)

District Court Appointments
Two new judicial appointments have been made to the Vermont District Court. Governor Jim Douglas announced Wednesday that Brian Grearson and Christina Reiss will fill the vacancies. (AP)

Campaign Fundraising
Cheryl Rivers raised four times as much money as her Democratic opponent Jan Backus in the last three weeks in her bid to win the primary for the job of lieutenant governor. Wednesday was a deadline for candidates for Vermont offices to file their campaign finance reports with the Secretary of State’s office. They also had to file reports on August 5. (AP)

Politics Online
Type in your computer and you’ll be in for a surprise. A Utah man is buying up the domain names for various Democratic Party Web sites and linking them to President Bush’s re-election Web page. (AP)

Rail Plan Hearings
The state of Vermont is updating its freight and passenger rail plan for the first time in almost 20 years. Public hearings on the plan are set for August 30, August 31 and September 1 in Bellows Falls, St. Johnsbury and Middlebury, respectively. (AP)

Connecticut Marriage Lawsuit
Seven gay couples in Connecticut are following the lead of couples in Vermont who sued for the right to marry. The Connecticut couples applied for licenses in a town along the Long Island Sound shoreline and were denied. So they sued in New Haven Superior Court Wednesay seeking full marriage rights. (AP)

FAHC Finances
Vermont’s largest hospital will have a difficult time meeting its financial goals next year, even with a ten percent rate increase. That’s the word from administrators at Burlington’s Fletcher Allen Health Care, who met Wednesday with state regulators. (AP)

Georgia Post Office
The impending close of the contract post office in Georgia is renewing the debate on whether the town needs its own ZIP code. Depending on where they live Georgia, residents might have a Fairfax, Milton or St. Albans address. (AP)

Champlain Swimmer Sets Off
A man who is swimming the length of Lake Champlain to raise awareness about water quality got his start Wednesday. Thirty-six-year-old Christopher Swain dove in at the southernmost part of the lake in Whitehall, New York. He says he swam about four miles, or 3,000 strokes. The Colchester resident says the water was cold. (AP)

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