January 11, 2005 – News at a glance

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Environmentalists say location of Environmental Court promotes sprawl
Environmental groups say the newly expanded Vermont Environmental Court may have a credibility problem when it comes to regulating sprawl. That’s because the court is being located in Berlin, in a suburban location four miles outside downtown Montpelier. (VPR)

National Guard leader opposes change to two-year limit
The leader of the Vermont National Guard says she’ll speak out against a potential change in Pentagon policy that would allow more frequent call-ups of Guard and Reserve soldiers. Adjutant General Martha Rainville says the plan could hurt recruitment and change the nature of the Guard from a part-time to a full-time force. (VPR)

Bonds proposal would offset low receipts in Transportation Fund
There’s going to be a spirited debate at the Statehouse this winter over a plan to increase short-term funding for major transportation projects. Advocates of the proposal say it will be difficult to maintain many of the state’s roads and bridges if their approach is not adopted. (VPR)

State revenues running $19 million ahead of projections
Vermont’s fiscal year is half over and the numbers are looking good. The Douglas administration reported today that General Fund tax revenues are running above projections. (AP)

Puerto Rico Democrats back Dean for DNC chair
The leader of the Democratic Party in Puerto Rico says the group is backing Howard Dean to head the U.S. Democratic National Committee. Party leader Roberto Prats says the Popular Democratic Party will support the candidacy of the former presidential candidate. (AP)

Veterans’ mental health care
More mental health counseling services will become available for Vermont veterans and their families. Representative Bernard Sanders is expected to announce on Tuesday that he has secured $500,000 for the VA Health Clinic in Colchester. (AP)

Household economics
Vermont families are making more money, but barely enough to keep pace with inflation. That’s the key finding of a new study by the Vermont Economy Newsletter. The median income of just under $55,000 was up 2.2 percent from the 2003 level, but inflation was up 2.3 percent. (AP)

Treatment for icy roads
New Hampshire’s new method of keeping highways clear during snowstorms is about to get its first test. This is the first week the state will use a new anti-icing treatment on Interstate 93 between Manchester and Salem before snowstorms. Snow and freezing rain are expected Tuesday night and Wednesday. (AP)

UVM arena
A new arena in Burlington that would host University of Vermont athletic contests and community events could cost an estimated $60 million. Members of a commission studying the proposal are debating what role the 25,000-square-foot facility would play in the community. (AP)

College hockey
The University of Vermont men’s hockey team has moved up a notch in the Division One rankings. A U.S. College Hockey On-Line poll finds Vermont ranked number 13 in the country, up a notch from last week. Middlebury rules the Division 3 world with a number-one position for the ninth straight week. (AP)

Skier spends night in woods
A 25-year-old Virginia man is safe and sound after skiing off the trail at Vermont’s Killington Ski Resort and spending a cold night lost in the woods. Vermont State Police say Michael Alpert of Arlington, Virginia, was reported missing at about 8:10 p.m. Sunday and was found unhurt Monday morning. (AP)

Tashia Beer sentenced
A 19-year-woman could be released in 20 months under terms of a sentence she received on Monday for her role in the 2000 killing of her step-mother. Tashia Beer pleaded guilty to manslaughter and unlawful restraint in a case in which she was accused of persuading her foster brother, Scott Favreau, to shoot her stepmother, Vicki Campbell-Beer, in February of 2000. (AP)

Teacher fired after sexual misconduct
A 25-year-old woman has lost her job as a teacher at Enosburgh Falls High School and faces criminal charges for allegedly having sex with under-aged boys. Vermont authorities say Tiffany Copley had sexual relations with two 15-year-old boys who were not her students but were her neighbors. (AP)

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