December 3, 2002 – News at a glance

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Interview: professor of the year
Steve Delaney talks with Adrie Kusserow, who has been named Vermont professor of the year. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Patriot Act condemned
Burlington’s city councilors say the federal government is overstepping its bounds in combating terrorism. The City Council voted 10-to-2 Monday to condemn the Patriot Act, a law passed in reaction to the September 11 attacks. (VPR)

Southern Vermont jobs summit
Governor-elect Jim Douglas held his first regional jobs summit in southern Vermont Monday. Douglas says he wants to hear directly from business leaders concerning ways to create new good paying jobs across the state. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Forest management plan
Late last week, the Bush administration proposed loosening the environmental rules that govern national forests. Officials in Vermont’s Green Mountain National Forest say they may use the new rules as they rewrite the forest management plan. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Vermont Pure conflict of interest
Opponents of plans to expand operations at Vermont Pure Springs in Randolph Center say two members of the local Development Review Board should have excused themselves from the permit process. Last month, after the board approved the expansion, it was revealed that two members own stock in Vermont Pure. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Commissioners leave office
The change in governor is leaving more than 60 top state employees without jobs. The commissioners, deputy commissioners and other employees who worked for governor Howard Dean will be required to resign when Governor-elect James Douglas takes office. (AP)

FAHC construction invoices
Fletcher Allen Health Care has detailed for state regulators the spending on its $326 million expansion. The hospital also disclosed that it had misspent more than one million dollars from a state-authorized, tax-exempt bond, but has since refunded the money. The invoices turned over to the state yesterday were intended to answer concerns about whether the hospital was abiding by state law. (AP)

Landmine clearing devices
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy will be in Vermont Tuesday to announce federal funding for locally built robots. Applied Research Associates in South Royalton will receive money obtained by Leahy to develop landmine-clearing robotics. (AP)

Lowe’s Act 250 permit
A national home improvement chain has won a development permit for a Vermont store but still faces appeals. The Vermont Environmental Board and Lowe’s Home Center have reached a deal for an Act 250 land-use permit. That cleared up issues that had prompted Lowe’s to appeal its original permit to the state Supreme Court. (AP)

Affordable housing
The Dorset Planning Commission plans to release a report tonight that documents the need for affordable housing in town. The study says up to 48 households need affordable housing. The study by Economic and Policy Resources of Williston recommends that Dorset create a committee to find a site for an affordable housing project and develop policies that will lead to its creation. (AP)

Police staffing
The Springfield Police Department has three new officers. The officers are finishing up training and should be on the job by the beginning of next year. The Springfield Department has struggled to maintain a full staff in recent years. (AP)

State police promotion
The Vermont State Police representative on the state’s terrorism task force has been promoted. Major Kerry Sleeper will assume command of the state police’s field force division, which is responsible for all the uniformed troopers across the state. Sleeper now has more than 300 troopers and civilian employees under his command. (AP)

Route 5 closed
US Route 5 near Barnet is under construction due to rockslides. A rockslide late last month first forced the highway to be closed. A series of smaller slides since then also has shut down the road. A contractor has been hired to take down more rock and stabilize what remains. For the rest of the week, anyone trying to head north in that area must use Interstate 91. (AP)

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