Janaury 2, 2003 – News at a glance

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Fuel assistance
The new year brings some good news for an emergency fuel assistance program. “Shareheat” is a program run by Central Vermont Public Service, which collects funds from donors and matches those contributions. (VPR)

Douglas’s first 100 days
Governor-elect Jim Douglas will be formally sworn into office a week from Thursday. Douglas says he has some very specific goals for the first “100 days” of his new administration.

Economic recovery
After a year marked by a loss of high paying manufacturing jobs, and a dramatic decline in state revenues, Vermont economists say they’re optimistic that the state’s financial fortunes will improve in 2003. But they warn the upturn will be gradual. (VPR)

Moonlight in Vermont
It’s likely that somewhere on New Year’s Eve, when the lights dimmed on the dance floor, a Vermont musical icon made an appearance. In 1944, a new popular song gave the world an image of Vermont that included falling leaves, ski trails and the evening summer breeze. The 13-line song became a standard that is still sung today. (VPR)

Rest area sculpture
Last year, when the state replaced an older rest area in Williston, the sculpture there was too fragile to move to the new welcome center. Now the Vermont Arts Council is soliciting designs for a new sculpture. (VPR)

Dean farewell
Vermont Governor Howard Dean begins saying farewell this week after 11 years as governor. Dean is appearing Friday morning at the Community Boathouse on Burlington’s Lake Champlain to talk about the environment. Then he heads to Bennington and Brattleboro for radio and newspaper interviews. (AP)

Federal judges
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist is using his year-end report on federal courts this week to say the nation’s top judges are overworked and underpaid. Rehnquist used his report last year to criticize Senate Democrats for slow judicial confirmations. (AP)

Brattleboro-Chesterfield bridge
Vermont officials say their portion of a new bridge linking Brattleboro with Chesterfield, New Hampshire, is behind schedule. As a result, it’s expected that the New Hampshire work will be done by next fall, while Vermont’s will require another construction season. (AP)

Signs stolen
A Springfield man is scheduled to appear in court next week after he took nighttime action against signs posted by the department store Ames. Fifty-seven-year-old James Milani was arrested in Springfield in September for taking down dozens of bright red and yellow signs Ames has posted around the town to advertise its going-out-of-business sale. Milani says the signs flouted local and state law — and were ugly. (AP)

New Year’s 5K race
Some Vermonters couldn’t wait to get started on their New Year’s resolutions. About 260 people participated in Wednesday’s First Run – a five-kilometer race around the city of Burlington designed to promote a healthier start to 2003. (AP)

Skiing death
A skiing accident at northeastern Vermont’s Burke Mountain has taken the life of a Massachusetts man. Vermont State Police say 47-year-old Thomas Connell of Whitman, Massachusetts, died after falling yesterday near the entrance to a trail that had been closed for icy conditions and then sliding down that trail. (AP)

Heroin overdose
An overdose is suspected in the death of a young woman in Rutland this week. Police say 23-year-old Tina Stout was found in an apartment by a man who had been letting her stay there for the day. The man started CPR and called for help, but Stout couldn’t be revived. Police say they found empty syringes and drug paraphernalia near Stout. (AP)

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