August 9, 2002 – News at a glance

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Gubernatorial candidates series: Doug Racine
In his race for the governor’s office, Democratic Lieutenant Governor Doug Racine is talking to voters in a series of small meetings throughout the state. The face-to-face campaigning seem to fit Racine’s low key, informal style. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Campaign finance ruling
Yesterday’s court ruling in support of limits on campaign spending and contributions in Vermont may have broader implications. Experts say the federal appeals court’s action could lead to an important U.S. Supreme Court decision on the issue. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Spending limits for Fall elections
A federal judge has scheduled a hearing for next week on whether strict new spending guidelines should apply to Vermont’s campaigns this year. (AP)

FAHC under credit watch
Standard & Poors has warned investors that a controversy involving the state’s largest hospital could affect its credit rating. On Wednesday, Standard & Poor’s placed Fletcher Allen’s $100 million bond issue under a credit watch. (VPR)

Federal dairy program
Vermont dairy farmers will be able to sign up for a new federal dairy program beginning this Tuesday. The subsidy program was championed by Vermont’s congressional delegation, and authorized by this year’s farm bill. (VPR)

Bridge accident
The Crown Point bridge over Lake Champlain has reopened to traffic this afternoon. New York and Vermont state police closed the bridge at Chimney Point after a logging truck struck an overhead beam on the bridge. (VPR)

Cat distemper
A Shaftsbury animal shelter is under quarantine for two weeks because someone dropped off a cat infected with distemper. Cinda Morse, the director of the Second Chance Animal Shelter, says the quarantine is a precaution for other animals. Cat distemper causes vomiting and diarrhea and is often fatal. (AP)

West Nile virus
A dead blue jay found in Highgate has tested positive for the West Nile virus. The virus is sometimes deadly and it’s carried primarily by mosquitoes. The Vermont Health Department has been encouraging people to turn in any dead birds they find. (AP)

Ramaley resigns professorship
Former University of Vermont President Judith Ramaley has resigned her tenured professorship in biology. Ramaley resigned the presidency of UVM under pressure from trustees last year but took only a leave of absence from her academic job. Now UVM officials say Ramaley will not be back to teach this fall. (AP)

Shelburne airport closed
A small, private airport in southern Chittenden County is largely closed because the state discovered it’s not permitted to provide commercial services. The Shelburne Airport has been a fixture in the town since at least 1976. Owner didn’t realize that his state permit prohibited such commercial activities as flying lessons and airplane repairs. (AP)

Magic Mountain ski area
Vermont business regulators are investigating a financial deal involving the closed Magic Mountain ski area. Regulators confirm they’re investigating, but they won’t disclose details. A private investor from Philadelphia says he complained to state officials. (AP)

Orange County arson cases
Vermont state police are continuing to probe a rash of arson cases at unoccupied vacation homes in Orange County. Police now believe that ten midday arsons may have been the work of one individual. Camps have been targeted in Chelsea, Tunbridge, Corinth, Roxbury and Washington. (AP)

Doctor sanctioned
The Vermont Medical Practice Board has sanctioned a South Burlington opthamologist for improper touching of a female patient. Doctor Phil Aitken at first had denied allegations he touched or tried to touch the patient’s breasts and tried to kiss her. He later acknowledged that he had violated professional boundaries on one or more occasions. (AP)

Smog at sunset
Scientists are looking to the night sky above New England for answers on smog. For the past two weeks scientists have been flying a laboratory-equipped plane into pockets of pollution hovering over Boston and floating over the Atlantic. They want to know what happens to smog-causing pollution after the sun sets. (AP)

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