December 4, 2003 – News at a glance

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Satellite and cable vie for market share
A satellite television company has gone on the offensive in Vermont in an effort to woo television viewers away from cable. The stakes are high in a state where more than 80% of the households receive television through satellite or cable. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Bio-diesel station opens in Connecticut River Valley
When Rudolf Diesel invented the diesel engine he intended it to run on peanut oil. A century later, people are again looking to vegetable-based fuels. They see bio-diesel as a way to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and reduce dependence on foreign oil. A caravan of bio-diesel devotees gathered Wednesday morning to celebrate a small victory. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Interview: technology for teacher training
A new $3 million statewide technology project called “The Electronic Portfolio Collection” is being launched to help train future teachers in Vermont. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Joyce Morris of UVM, the project’s principal investigator. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Security and transportation on Douglas agenda in Canada
Governor Jim Douglas says he hopes to work out a plan that will allow Canadian and Vermont law enforcement officials to work more closely together on border security issues. Douglas says he’ll raise the issue during his two-day trade mission to Quebec. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Judicial Watch files suit against Dean
Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean now faces a lawsuit over sealed records from his years as Vermont’s governor. The Washington-based group “Judicial Watch” announced it is filing suit in Washington Superior Court in an effort to win release of the records. (AP)

School search yields no drugs
Springfield High School officials say they’re happy a drug sniffing dog didn’t find any contraband in the school on Tuesday. But they won’t hesitate to bring the dog in again if it will help keep illegal drugs off school property. (AP)

Quebec public safety agreement
The Quebec and Vermont governments will sign an agreement today relating to public safety. It will enable the province’s and state’s police agencies to work more closely together on cross-border security. Vermont Governor James Douglas is in Quebec on a trade mission and to meet with his provincial counterpart. (AP)

Dean reconsiders sealed records
Former Governor Howard Dean is thinking of trying to reopen more of his gubernatorial records. A number of groups and individuals are trying to force him to do it. The group Judicial Watch in Washington is preparing to sue in a Vermont court to force the release. And several of Dean’s opponents in the Democratic presidential contest also are demanding it. (AP)

UVM part-time faculty union
Part-time faculty at the University of Vermont have voted overwhelmingly in favor of forming a union. The instructors voted 41-to-6 to create the union. It will be jointly affiliated with the United Professions of Vermont/American Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professionals. (AP)

Hoff and Kunin endorse Clavelle
Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle is moving to portray himself as a mainstream Democrat. He’s signed up two of the Democratic Party’s elders as honorary leaders of his gubernatorial campaign. Former Governors Phil Hoff and Madeleine Kunin offered their endorsements on Wednesday. (AP)

Spaulding steps down from commission
A member of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board is facing charges he illegally shot at a deer decoy from inside his truck. Kermit Spaulding, who is also the sergeant at arms at the Vermont Statehouse, resigned from the board on Monday. Spaulding says it was dumb. (AP)

Montpelier school budget cuts
The Montpelier school district could lose three full-time teachers next year. Superintendent John Everitt is proposing a budget that is 2.4 percent below this year’s budget. There would be a number of cuts in other areas as well. (AP)

Burlington electric rates
The cost of electricity is going to go up in Vermont’s largest city. Rates for Burlington’s 16,000 residential and 3,600 commercial customers are set to rise 7.2 percent. Burlington Electric rates haven’t increased since 1993. (AP)

Constable offers salary for speed patrols
Wallingford Constable Nelson Tift is giving up his town salary. And he is urging town officials to use the money to hire special officers to run radar patrols in the community. Town officials say speeding has increased since Tift stopped running radar patrols. (AP)

Misplaced shopping bags
A Charlotte couple is trying to find the people who put about $200 worth of items from Burlington stores into their car last week. David Santos says he thinks someone mistook his vehicle for their own. (AP)

Credit fraud
A Bennington, Vermont, man has admitted in federal court that he used credit cards and accounts to bilk his employer out of more than $450,000. Thirty-nine-year-old Scott Richmond was indicted in October. Prosecutors say between December 1996 and March 2002, he used credit cards and accounts belonging to Street and Competition in Brunswick, New York. (AP)

LaVista’s death investigated
Police in Brattleboro are investigating the death of a man accused of sexually assaulting a minor. Thirty-nine-year-old Jose LaVista was found dead on November 20 in Brattleboro. Police say there were no apparent signs of foul play and they are awaiting autopsy results. LaVista had been awaiting trial on two counts of sexual assault of a minor under the age of 16, and one count of lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor. (AP)

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