December 8, 2004 – News at a glance

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Bennington deals with whooping cough outbreak
An outbreak of whooping cough, or pertussis, is moving through the Bennington region. The Vermont Department of Health says as many as 80 known and suspected cases of the disease are being treated. (VPR)

State archives pressed for storage space
State Archivist Gregory Sanford says he’ll ask lawmakers next month to consider expanding the storage capacity of his office. (VPR)

Dean to outline his vision of Democrats’ future
Howard Dean will unveil his blueprint for the future of the national Democratic Party on Wednesday in a speech in Washington D.C. Dean will call on the party to actively compete for voters in every region of the country. (VPR)

First flu cases reported in Vermont
Vermont’s flu season is officially under way. The Vermont Health Department announced on Tuesday that the state’s first cases of influenza have been reported. And the department says the state’s supply of flu vaccine is lasting longer than originally anticipated. (VPR)

Rockingham closes deal for power dam
The town of Rockingham closed a deal on Tuesday to buy a major hydroelectric dam in Bellows Falls on the Connecticut River. Under the agreement, two Canadian companies will lease the dam and pay the town $3 million a year to use the 49-megawatt facility. (VPR)

Entergy won’t challenge $85,000 fine
Entergy Nuclear says it won’t contest an $85,000 fine a Public Service Board hearing officer has recommended for the company. The owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant faces the fine for starting construction on a large building near the Vernon plant last year without the needed state permits. (AP)

Peter Mallary to head state Democratic Party
Vermont’s state Democratic Party has a new chairman: former Newbury legislator Peter Mallary will replace Scudder Parker, who resigned. (AP)

Magazine denounces Dean
A magazine influential in Democratic circles is urging the party not to elect former Vermont Governor Howard Dean as its chairman. The New Republic says the American public thinks of Dean as an unhinged screamer, arrogant Northeasterner and anti-war activist. (AP)

State employees drug coverage
The Douglas administration wants to punish the state employees’ union for speaking out against its plans to reduce prescription drug coverage. The administration is upset that the Vermont State Employees’ Association sent state retirees a mailing saying the administration wanted to reduce prescription drug coverage. (AP)

State revenue
Income for the state of Vermont is down. State officials say taxes didn’t bring in as much last month as expected. But the state General Fund is still running ahead of projections for the first five months of the fiscal year by about $14million. (AP)

Economic report card
A new economic report card says Vermont has a good workforce and quality of life but lags in business vitality. Neighboring New Hampshire was one of eight states that made the honor roll, getting all As and Bs. (AP)

FAHC trauma center
Vermont’s largest hospital has retained its status as a top-level trauma care center. Fletcher Allen Health Care earned the Level 1 trauma center designation after a review by the American College of Surgeons. (AP)

UVM food vendors
The Burlington City Council has put off a decision to transfer control of a street to the University of Vermont after concerns were raised by food vendors operating there. UVM Vice President Tom Gustafson says fears that UVM or the corporation that provides food for its dining halls will try to squeeze out the vendors are overblown. University officials say they’ll try to accommodate food vendors who park their lunch vans along a University Place. (AP)

NFL player pleads innocent to assault
A wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins has pleaded innocent to charges of assaulting a ticket agent at the Burlington International Airport in October. Twenty-six-year-old David Boston is accused of striking a US Air customer service agent in the face. (AP)

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