February 22, 2005 – News at a glance

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Senators examine programs for incarcerated addicts
Earlier this month, a dozen state senators boarded a bus for a bumpy ride to prison. They’re trying to figure out what to do about the chronic overcrowding in Vermont’s corrections system. They heard firsthand from inmates and drug offenders about successful alternatives to prison. (VPR)

Vacant Bennington school to become senior apartment complex
Remember the empty middle school in Bennington that was going to be auctioned off on eBay? The building now appears likely to become a senior living complex, complete with a recreational facility for the whole town. (VPR)

Interview: Anniversary of US hockey victory over USSR
The NHL may be a no-show for the foreseeable future but Tuesday’s 25th anniversary of the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, should revive memories of what is arguably the greatest moment in hockey history, if not the most shocking and emotional: The U.S.A men’s team’s incredible victory over the heavily favored squad from the Soviet Union. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Wayne Coffey, author of “The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team.” (VPR)

Dean to visit NY campuses
Howard Dean is bringing his message of grassroots organizing to two upstate New York campuses this week. The former Vermont governor and new chairman of the Democratic National Committee will speak at Alfred University Tuesday night and Cornell on Wednesday. (AP)

Renewable energy bill
A renewable energy bill comes up for debate this week in the state Senate. The bill is designed to encourage development of renewable energy and to require electric utilities to make sure it’s part of their mix of power supply. (AP)

Judicial retention hearing
Members of the Supreme Court will get their chance this week to respond to their critics. The justices will meet on Tuesday with the Joint Judicial Retention Committee, which is charged with recommending to the full Legislature whether the justices should be reappointed to new six year terms. (AP)

Statewide smoking ban
Two House committees will hear from the public this week about a proposal to ban smoking in all bars in the state. The proposal never made it out of the Legislature last year supporters say it has better chances this year. (AP)

Burlington smoking ban
The Burlington City Council will be asked Tuesday night to reconsider an anti-smoking ordinance. Private clubs were included in the smoking ban and Councilor Bill Keogh says those clubs – including the Elks, Eagles, St. John’s Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars – have complained they did not have a chance to make their case before the council acted. (AP)

Westford Australian ballot
This Town Meeting Day, residents of Westford will decide whether to switch from a floor vote to Australian ballot. If the article passes, the proposed $4 million school budget would be the last decided with a floor vote. (AP)

Coyote hunt protested
A group of Addison County residents is trying to stop this weekend’s coyote hunt in Whiting. The group is going to court to halt the three-day coyote tournament, called the “First Annual Howling’ Hills Coyote Hunt.” The leader of the protest says the hunt raises safety issues and is unnecessary. (AP)

Folk singer Bissex dies
Burlington folk singer Rachel Bissex has died. Bissex, who had a strong national following and appeared at the Kennedy Center in Washington, died on Sunday at age 48 following a struggle with cancer. (AP)

Teen dies in snowmobile crash
A 17-year-old girl from Jay was killed when she lost control of her brand-new snowmobile in Chelsea. State police say Jackie Lakin failed to negotiate a turn on the narrow, winding back-road linking Chelsea and Strafford. She flew over the handlebars and hit two small trees. The accident happened on Sunday. (AP)

Man dies in snowmobile crash
A South Burlington man has died in a snowmobile crash in the Northeast Kingdom. Police say Michael Hemmingway was riding on a VAST trail in Coventry Sunday when he hit a tree. (AP)

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