December 20, 2004 – News at a glance

Print More

Homeless shelters serve more families
Groups that provide shelter for the homeless say they expect to be near capacity over the holiday season. The shelters also say the people using their services don’t fit the old stereotypes of the homeless. (VPR)

Vermont Yankee evacuation drill
Poor communication may have been to blame in part for a mock emergency school evacuation in southern Vermont that the governor has described as disappointing. The communications breakdown apparently was between state emergency officials in Waterbury and Concord, New Hampshire, according to Brattleboro officials. That may have led to the late deployment of 42 buses from New Hampshire during Thursday’s test evacuation of area schools. (AP)

Cargo security test
The fate of a homeland security test is in the hands of New Hampshire Governor-elect John Lynch. The test would be the second part of a cargo security experiment in 2002. It was called Operation Safe Commerce. It used technology to seal and track a container of goods. The container traveled from Slovakia through the port of Montreal, Canada. It crossed the border at Highgate Springs, Vermont, and reached its final destination in Hillsboro. (AP)

Holiday traffic safety
Vermont State Police are warning motorists to drive safely through the holidays. And troopers plan to make sure of it because they’ll be stepping up their patrols through the upcoming holidays. The goal is to hold down the number of traffic fatalities, which already have been high this year. (AP)

Rutland rail yard
A plan to move the rail yard out of downtown Rutland and to redevelop the cleared land is coming in for criticism from some residents. For years, local and state officials have favored the relocation, which now is estimated to cost $100 million. But of nine people who turned out for a public hearing on the potential redevelopment of the cleared land last week, eight voiced concerns. (AP)

NRC review
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has agreed to review whether the Vermont Yankee plant is in compliance with its design and therefore operating safely. The commission made the decision by agreeing to a petition submitted by nuclear industry whistleblowers Paul Blanch and Arnie Gundersen. The two engineers allege that NRC staff does not know what regulations the 33-year-old plant complies with or deviates from. Because of that they allege that the safety of the plant cannot be assured. (AP)

Brandon real estate
A Pittsford man has bought a three-story building that dominates the downtown Brandon business district. Kevin Elnicki said he would operate the Smith Block under his company Neshobe Real Estate. Elnicki bought the three-story building for $260,000 from Aubuchon Realty. (AP)

Snowmobile trails open
Snowmobile trails across Vermont are opening for the season, although the snow cover is thin in many areas. More than five-thousand miles of winter trails officially open today for Vermont snowmobile operators. But people who traveled the trails this weekend were in danger of getting a ticket. The reason is that the last weekend before the winter trails open is spent getting them ready for riders. (AP)

UVM sports teams
Athletic teams at the University of Vermont are getting a fresh marketing approach to complement the university’s goal of making them national caliber programs. Chris McCabe was hired nearly two years ago to market the teams. And he’s finding success. The university has upped the ante for sponsorship, nearly tripling the dollars flowing into the school to support sports. (AP)

Nativity scene theft
Barre Town police are investigating the theft of a statue of Jesus from a nativity scene at the Knights of Columbus hall recently. The figure was reported missing on Thursday. The wooden baby figure was the second statue in Washington County reported stolen from a nativity scene in a week. The first statue stolen was taken from the Grace United Church in Plainfield. (AP)

Prison work crew
A deal is in the works to enlist convicts to round up stray shopping carts in Rutland. The Downtown Rutland Partnership, the state Department of Corrections, the local Price Chopper and Wal-Mart in Rutland are coordinating on the plan. The idea is to hire Corrections Department work crews to comb through city neighborhoods to collect carts that go missing from the downtown shopping plaza. (AP)

Fire victim still hospitalized
A 22-year-old woman is continuing to recover from serious injuries she suffered two weeks ago when fire destroyed the top two floors of a downtown Brattleboro building. Rose Billetdeaux is still a patient at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. But she now is described by hospital officials as being in fair condition. (AP)

Baird murder trial witness
A Middletown Springs man is seeking the right to sue authorities who unsuccessfully tried to force his testimony in the murder trial of Cynthia Baird. Robert Zorn was described by Baird as a star witness who could back up her claims of innocence in the shooting death of her husband. Zorn now is trying to sue state police and deputies for trying to track him down. (AP)

Comments are closed.