December 6, 2004 – News at a glance

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Medicaid deficit
The Douglas administration is drafting a plan to deal with the state’s growing Medicaid deficit. The proposal will include both a short-term and long-term approach to help reduce the growth rate in spending on this program. (VPR)

VELCO transmission line
In Shelburne, more than 300 people showed up for a photo shoot on Sunday – but they weren’t smiling. The group was posing for a picture to publicize their opposition to a power-line project proposed for a 63 mile stretch from Rutland to South Burlington. (VPR)

Woodstock film shoot
A British production company was in Woodstock this week to make a short, fifteen-minute feature film. VPR’s Betty Smith visited the set to see what brought them all the way to Vermont. (VPR)

Brattleboro fire
A 21-year-old Brattleboro woman is in critical condition at a Boston hospital after a fire that destroyed part of a downtown Brattleboro building where she lived. Fire officials say they believe Rose Billetdeaux may have been smoking in bed and caused the fire at the Wilder Building. The blaze destroyed the top two floors of the four-story building on Saturday. A second woman was also injured. (AP)

Symington nominated for speaker
Democrats officially nominated Gaye Symington as their candidate for speaker of the Vermont House. There currently no other candidates for speaker and Symington appears likely to become only the second female speaker in state history. (AP)

Medical Society president
The new president of the Vermont Medical Society says he holds conservative views on some health issues. Dr. Harvey Reich says he opposed the medical marijuana law passed by the Legislature because he fears it will lead to legalization of marijuana. He also says he’s not a supporter of re-importation of prescription drugs from Canada because that doesn’t address the underlying problems driving up the cost of health care. (AP)

Bus routes cut
The Green Mountain Transit Agency is going to have to cut or eliminate some of the bus services it provides in Central Vermont. The specific services that will be cut or reduced won’t be decided until after a public hearing on Monday in Montpelier. (AP)

Bennington Museum cuts
The Bennington Museum has laid off three of its 15 employees. Attendance at the museum is off by 15 percent over 2003. Last week museum officials laid off three of 15 employees. Executive Director Richard Borges says the cuts are part of a number of cost-saving changes. (AP)

Champlain Expo expansion
The Champlain Valley Exposition is still looking for a sponsor for a new 45,000-square-foot building that will host indoor soccer and trade shows. Construction on the $2.5 million project is scheduled to be completed next month. But Expo officials say a sponsor would be able to underwrite some of the project’s cost. (AP)

Honduras sugar production
Vermont’s century-old technology for producing maple syrup is helping transform the sugar cane industry in the Central American nation of Honduras. The project is helping reduce pollution and costs and increasing profits for the farmers. (AP)

Red Sox World Series trophy
About 5,000 Vermonters have a new memory of the world championship won by the Boston Red Sox, a glimpse of the World Series trophy. Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo and other team officials stopped at the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds on Saturday. (AP)

UVM men’s hockey
The University of Vermont men’s hockey team extended its streak to 11 with a 2-0 win over Northeastern on Saturday. Vermont got goals from Jeff Corey and Scott Mifsud. Vermont got 28 saves from goalie Joe Fallon. Northeastern’s Kenni Gibson had 19 saves. (AP)

Broadcaster Ken Greene dies
Kenneth “Ken” Greene, a longtime broadcaster at Vermont television station WCAX, has died. He was 74. Greene died Thursday at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington after a brief illness. He worked at WCAX from 1965 until he retired in 1995. (AP)

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