August 31, 2004 – News at a Glance

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Advocates Say Mental Health Care System Still Faces Crisis
Last winter, Vermont community mental health providers warned of disastrous cuts in services without a five percent increase in pay for mental health workers. The state budget passed by the legislature included an increase of under three percent. Mental health advocates say that will only buy time to delay an impending crisis in the state’s community mental health care system. (VPR)

State Asks NRC for Formal Hearing on Vermont Yankee Uprate
The State of Vermont has asked the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission to hold a formal hearing concerning a plan by the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power plant to increase its power capacity at the Vernon reactor by roughly 20 percent. (VPR)

State’s Childcare Programs
Governor Jim Douglas signed an executive order Monday that’s designed to strengthen early education programs throughout the state. (VPR)

Interview: Vermont RNC Delegate Jack Lindley
All this week, VPR will provide reports from some of the Vermont delegates at the Republican National Convention in New York City. One of those delegates is Jack Lindley of Montpelier. This year marks the fifth time that he’s been a delegate to the GOP National Convention. VPR’s Bob Kinzel spoke with Lindley about some of the key issues facing the Republicans this fall. (VPR)

FAHC Management Cuts
Fletcher Allen Health Care will eliminate 30 upper level jobs as part of a reorganization effort. The hospital will cut 50 jobs and create 20 new jobs as part of the plan. Melinda Estes, Fletcher Allen’s chief executive officer, says the changes will make the hospital function more efficiently and make employees more accountable. The recommendations came from a group of managers who met in private for two weeks. (AP)

Roads Closed Due to Flooding
Floodwaters have closed roads in areas of northern and central Vermont Tuesday morning after a third day of heavy rains and violent thunderstorms swept through the area. Some roads in Fletcher, Fairfax, Cambridge, Essex and Colchester remain closed this morning. (AP)

Flooding Damages Homes in Addison County
State highway crews say that Routes 116 and 17 are open in Bristol. The roads were closed Saturday night due to flooding in Bristol and New Haven. State emergency officials say as many as 85 homes have reported damage from the flooding. (AP)

Wet Summer
It’s no surprise: 2004 has been the third wettest summer on record. A little over 19 inches of rain has fallen in Burlington this summer. August has been particularly wet. Four inches of rain has fallen in Burlington since Saturday. (AP)

Prison Discrimination Complaints
A court says the Vermont Human Rights Commission has jurisdiction to investigate discrimination complaints in the state’s prisons. A judge says the jurisdiction comes through the Vermont Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act, which applies to prisons. (AP)

Political Signs Stolen
A Hardwick teenager is facing four charges that he stole political signs from a state lawmaker seeking re-election. Eighteen-year-old Joshua Kaufman was arrested Thursday for allegedly stealing political signs touting Dave Brown’s candidacy. (AP)

Quechee Police Shooting
Vermont State Police are investigating a police shooting in Quechee. Police tried to stop a car driven by 24-year-old Kevin Louzier of Hartford early Monday morning. The two officers say they heard multiple gunshots as they neared the car so they fired back. No one was hurt in the shooting. (AP)

Moose Befriends Horse in Groton
A yearling female moose and a 20-year-old horse have become pals at a farm just outside Groton village. The two docile animals have apparently bonded, much to the delight of scads of tourists who come by to observe or yell, clap, honk horns and sing. (AP)

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