December 11, 2002 – News at a glance

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Fletcher Allen ‘town meeting’
Several hundred people jammed a Burlington church last night to call for major changes at Vermont’s largest hospital. Many of those who spoke said the trustees of Fletcher Allen Health Care need to be more open and more accountable to the public. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Interview: Republican House floor leader
VPR’s Steve Delaney talks with Representative Connie Houston. In January Houston will become the Republican floor leader in the Vermont House of Representatives. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Vermont census data
The U.S. Census Bureau has released the 2001 Supplementary Survey data for Vermont and other New England states. (VPR)

Vallee advises White House
Vermont businessman Skip Vallee who has been prominent in helping Republicans raise money has been appointed to a White House advisory group. (AP)

Milk prices
Against a backdrop of low milk prices and increasing consolidation in the industry, dairy farmers from Vermont and New Hampshire met Tuesday to talk about the causes and the solutions. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Speaker of the House
The race for speaker of the Vermont House is heating up. Democrat John Tracy is accusing Republican Walter Freed of creating a partisan atmosphere at the Statehouse in the weeks before the election. Freed says the charges have no foundation and are part of Tracy’s strategy to attract more votes. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Median home prices
When shopping for a house, Vermont’s a bargain compared with all but one other New England state. New U.S. Census data say the median price for a single-family home in Vermont last year was about $121,000. Massachusetts was most expensive with a median single-family home price of about $222,000. Maine had the lowest median housing price in the region: $105,000. (AP)

Income levels drops
The nation’s median income dropped last year, but Vermont’s still lagged it a bit. New U.S. Census data show that the national median income was $42,317 last year. Vermont’s was lower, coming in at $42,027 in 2001. (AP)

Springfield tool plant liquidation
The parent of one of the big Springfield area machine tool companies wants to liquidate it. Goldman Industrial Group is asking a bankruptcy court to convert its bankruptcy of Fellows Corporation from a reorganization to a liquidation. Goldman says it has sold off most of the assets of Fellows that have much value. (AP)

Winooski bicycle bridge
Vermont’s Transportation Board is being asked to decide whether to go forward with a bicycle bridge over the Winooski River, the costs of which have doubled. The bridge would link paths in Burlington and Colchester. But some are questioning whether it’s worth the $3.2 million cost, up from $1.4 million approved by the Legislature. (AP)

Ben Cohen arrested in peace rally
Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen has been arrested at a peace demonstration in New York. Cohen was one of about 100 people led away in handcuffs by police Tuesday after blocking sidewalks near the United Nations complex. (AP)

Life ticket prices
It appears a Vermont resort has won the distinction of having the most expensive ski lift ticket in the country. A one-day pass on Saturdays and holidays after December 20 at Stratton Mountain will be $72. That tops the $71 ticket price announced by two Colorado resorts in October. (AP)

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