February 15, 2005 – News at a glance

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Interview: Deer hunting regulations
Deer hunters and wildlife officials may disagree on how to solve the problem, but one thing they do agree on is that deer kill figures in Vermont were very disappointing this past year. That’s why big numbers are expected at four public hearings held by the state Fish & Wildlife Board on proposed deer hunting regulations. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Rob Borowske, chairman of the Fish and Wildlife Board, about the hearings that begin Tuesday night. (VPR)

Gulf War Illness study
Congressman Bernie Sanders has secured a $5 million federal grant to study the specific causes of Gulf War Illness. It’s estimated that as many as 100,000 soldiers who served in the first Gulf war in the early 1990s have reported a number of illnesses that could be related to chemical exposure in the battlefield. (VPR)

Dummerston musician wins Grammy
A Vermonter is among this year’s Grammy winners. Will Ackerman of Dummerston won a Grammy award for his new-age album, “Returning.” (VPR)

Drug use high among young Vermonters
A new study shows the rate of illicit drug use by young people in Vermont is among the highest in the nation. Officials say the figures are nothing new and efforts are under way to address the problem. (VPR)

Health care subject of sharp political divisions
At the beginning of the Legislative session, Republican and Democratic leaders pledged to work cooperatively on key health care issues. But last week, sharp political divisions emerged over a drug re-importation bill. A big Medicaid deficit and an overall health care reform initiative also could set off fierce political battles at the Statehouse. (VPR)

Jeffords asks Pataki to stop tire burn
Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords is asking New York Governor George Pataki to prevent the International Paper Company from burning tire chips. In a letter to Pataki on Monday, Jeffords said he didn’t want Vermont, which is down wind of the Ticonderoga plant, to be used as a guinea pig for the tire chip test burn. (AP)

Abenaki recognition
A committee of the Vermont Senate plans a hearing this week on whether to offer recognition of the Abenaki Indians. The resolution would offer the Legislature’s recognition of the tribe. (AP)

Energy legislation
Vermont’s energy policy will be the topic in a key state Senate committee this week. The Finance Committee has two major energy policies on its schedule: a renewable portfolio standard and storage of highly radioactive waste on the grounds of the Vermont Yankee plant in Vernon. (AP)

Campaign finance law
A federal appeals court has decided to stick with the decision of a panel of its judges backing Vermont’s campaign finance law. That means the case will either be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court or returned to the District Court judge in Vermont. (AP)

IP tire chip burn
International Paper Company is taking exception with some of the complaints Vermont U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords has raised about its plans to burn tire chips for fuel at its mill in Ticonderoga, New York. Jeffords worries that pollution from the burning tires will be carried down wind into Vermont and could harm the environment and human health. (AP)

Afghan plane crash
Afghan and NATO troops have retrieved the first body from a crashed Afghan airliner, eleven days after the plane hit a mountain in a snowstorm. All 104 people aboard died, among them Cristin Gadue of Burlington, Vermont. (AP)

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