February 8, 2002 – News at a Glance

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VPR’s Olympic Coverage
Contributing reporter Beth Schmidt is in Salt Lake City, where she’s an editor at the Olympic News Service. Each morning during the Olympics, Steve Delaney talks with Beth about how competitors from our region are doing. Today, Steve and Beth discuss today’s Opening Ceremonies and possible medal winners from our region. (VPR)

Photo IDs
Senate Transportation Committee considers how to extend licensing services to drivers in rural areas. (VPR)

Federal Tax Cuts
Congressman Bernie Sanders says the federal budget is in trouble and that Congress should rescind the tax cuts approved last year. (VPR)

VPR’s Steve Delaney interviews Steve Jeffrey of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. Jeffrey discusses the resistance that school budget increases may meet on Town Meeting Day this March. (VPR)

Judicial Retention
A legislative panel heard complaints about and praise for Judge Merideth Wright of the Environmental Court. The testimony was given as part of the review process that judges undergo every six years. (AP)

Boat Slips
Burlington is applying for federal permission to increase the number of slips available for recreational boaters in the Burlington harbor. (AP)

Foster Parents
Senator James Jeffords is sponsoring a bill that would exempt foster parents from paying income tax on the payments they receive for being caregivers. Jeffords says the proposal would allow more families to become caregivers for foster children. (AP)

Children’s Fund
The Vermont Children’s Trust Fund is wants taxpayers to check off a $1 contribution on this year’s Vermont income tax form. Last year the fund raised $78,000 for programs that prevent child abuse and promote literacy and leadership skills for youth. (AP)

Fed. Transportation Funds
Senator James Jeffords is trying to restore some of the transportation cuts in the federal budget. Jeffords and Senator Don Young of Alaska have introduced a bill that would restore half of the $8.5 billion in transportation cuts. They say the cuts could cost tens of thousands of jobs. (AP)

Secret Societies at Norwich
Norwich University is still trying to get rid of secret societies among the students at Vermont’s military college. The groups evolved from honor societies into groups accused of hazing, assault and larceny. Earlier this month, the school expelled three students, three others withdrew from school and eleven more were disciplined for involvement in secret societies. (AP)

School Districting
School districts could leave their supervisory unions without state approval, according to a bill proposed by a Representative Michael Quaid of Williston. The town of Williston is considering leaving their supervisory union and starting their own local high school. Williston students currently Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg. (AP)

Domestic Abuse Response Kits
Blue Cross/Blue Shield is passing out domestic abuse assistance kits to health providers. The kits contain information about domestic abuse and outlines how to help victims. Last year, 15,000 Vermont women sought assistance from local domestic abuse hotlines. (AP)

Bar Fight Leads to Death
Police in Brattleboro are treating the death of a man who died after a bar brawl as a potential homicide. Michael D. Blood died of a blow to the head. Windham County state attorney is investigating the case. (AP)

Gilman Paper
Workers at the Gilman Paper plant in the Northeast Kingdom say they’ve been victimized by unfair labor practices. Employees say the company has failed to pay health insurance premiums and 401K contributions. The company, which has filed for bankruptcy, says back payments will be made and asks the employees’ patience in the matter. (AP)

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