December 26, 2002 – News at a glance

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Uncertain future for VT energy conservation program
State utility regulators will soon decide whether to trim the budget of the Efficiency Utility, a statewide energy conservation program. (VPR)

Vermont Yankee false alarm
The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is operating normally after a false alarm today. Vermont Emergency Management officials say the National Weather Service in Albany, New York, inadvertantly triggered the alert that would indicate an emergency. Emergency Management’s Duncan Higgins says the weather service will be sending out another alert saying the first one was a mistake. Higgins says the 9-1-1 emergency answering office in Rockingham has been swamped with calls. But he emphasizes there’s no problem. (AP)

Electric rates
Vermont’s business leaders often complain that Vermont has the highest electric rates in New England. Industry figures show that taken together, Vermont does have the highest rates in New England, but New Yorkers pay even more for power. And when power is broken down for residential, commercial and industrial, Vermont’s rates are competitive with other New England states. Figures show Maine has the most expensive residential power in New England. Vermont is second. Vermont has the highest commercial rates, but Vermont’s industrial rate is second best in New England. (AP)

Leahy’s thoughts
Senator Patrick Leahy is applauding Time Magazine for its pick of the Person of the Year, three female whistleblowers. Leahy is also calling on the Bush administration to change its policy on commodity purchases for food banks, pointing to an increase in requests for food aid. (AP)

Helmet use among young athletes
A team from the University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen’s Vermont Children’s Hospital are conducting research on the use of helmets by young skiers and snowboarders. (AP)

St. Albans negotiations
A federal mediator has been called in to assist with negotiations between Saint Albans and its city workers. (AP)

Brattleboro high school construction
Details of a 55 million dollar building project at Brattleboro Union High School are being determined as officials prepare for the spring start of construction. (AP)

Brown’s River Middle School
A group of students at Brown’s River Middle School was announced last week as the winner of “The Stock Market Game”, an on-line simulation program run by the Vermont Council on Economic Education. Sound from teacher Rita Lapier. (AP)

Mercury labeling
Vermont’s first-in-the-nation mercury labeling could have benefits beyond the Green Mountain State. (AP)

Bolton leads in civil unions
The town of Bolton is one of the leading towns in Vermont where same-sex couples receive civil unions. (AP)

History project completed
UVM political science professor Garrison Nelson has completed a history of the U.S. Congress. (AP)

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