January 10, 2005 – News at a glance

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Fish and Wildlife Board plans public hearings on deer herd
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board has scheduled four hearings to get the public’s input on proposed changes to deer hunting regulations. After a season that left many hunters disappointed, the meetings will likely draw large crowds. (VPR)

Brattleboro coffee company assists in south Asia disaster relief
The owners of a Brattleboro company that works with Indonesian farmers are en route to the hard-hit island of Sumatra. The couple will be monitoring relief efforts and working to help their coffee-growing partners get back on their feet. (VPR)

South Asia relief
A Vermont organization is helping coordinate relief for victims of the Asian tsunami. The Global Health Council’s role has been to coordinate information for agencies providing goods and services in Asia. (AP)

Church group leaves for India
Church members from Burlington’s First Congregational Church are headed to India on Monday, to bring money to a hospital that’s been treating tsunami victims. The trip was planned long before the disaster last month. Instead of bringing a few thousand dollars, as was the original goal, donations have boosted the church members’ contribution to more than $100,000. (AP)

Health care reform
The Health Finance Committee of the Vermont House is getting down to business this week. Committee Chairman John Tracy is planning a full schedule of briefings for the first full week of the 205 legislative session. Lawmakers are promising action on health care. (AP)

Drug re-importation
Vermont lawmakers are moving quickly to make sure Vermonters can buy prescription medicine from Canada and other countries. They have scheduled a hearing this week on a bill to authorize re-importing prescription drugs from Canada and elsewhere around the world. (AP)

Vermont Yankee waste storage
Look for a big debate in the Statehouse this winter over the future of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear plant. The plant’s new owners want to build more storage space for nuclear waste, but the current state law says the Legislature will have to approve. One of the issues in the debate is whether to change the law. (AP)

Catholic parish consolidation
Church leaders, priests and invited representatives of each Roman Catholic parish in Vermont begin meeting this weekend to try to figure out how to deal with the priest shortage in the state. The diocese projects that in ten years, the state will have about 55 priests for 130 parishes. (AP)

NH airport
Lebanon Airport, on the Vermont-New Hampshire border, says business is increasing. Officials say an increase in corporate jet traffic, combined with increases in commercial airline traffic, have boosted business. (AP)

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