January 25, 2005 – News at a glance

Print More

Rutland downtown redevelopment
Several prominent stores have closed their doors recently in downtown Rutland and this year’s holiday season was not nearly as profitable as many retailers had hoped. But new developments – plus lots of renovation – are keeping local officials optimistic about the long-term potential for the historic downtown district. (VPR)

Wal-Mart impact study
The developer of a proposed Wal-Mart store in St. Albans town says his company will pay for an independent review of traffic and economic studies. The town’s Development Review Board asked for the additional studies last week. The board said it needed more information before it could decide whether the project should be built. (VPR)

Drug re-importation legislation
Legislation allowing Vermonters to purchase prescription drugs from Canada will be debated on the Senate floor this week. Backers of the bill say the plan will make many popular drugs available at considerable savings but skeptics argue the proposal will have very little impact on most people in the state. (VPR)

Guard soldiers returning from Iraq soon
The Vermont National Guard is preparing for the return of about 200 soldiers who were sent to Iraq almost a year ago. The soldiers of the first battalion of the 86th Field Artillery are expected to leave Iraq in a month or six weeks. (VPR)

Malfunctioning joints in Champlain Bridge
A bridge linking Addison, Vermont and Crown Point, New York, is open to traffic after being shut down over the weekend. A passing motorist reported a five-inch gap in the deck of the bridge.

War resolutions on Town Meeting Day
Organizers say at least 47 Vermont communities will vote on a resolution regarding the war in Iraq on Town Meeting Day. An anti-war group has written a resolution against the nearly two-year-old conflict and its effect on the Vermont National Guard. (AP)

NH Guard smoothes return
New Hampshire Governor John Lynch and the head of the New Hampshire National Guard, Adjutant General Kenneth Clark, are announcing plans for a coordinated effort by state agencies to help smooth the transition for members of the military returning from service overseas. (AP)

Hospital discusses “Crazy for You” controversy
The board of trustees of Vermont’s largest hospital plans to discuss the controversy surrounding a teddy bear made by a board member’s company. Elisabeth Robert is president and CEO of Vermont Teddy Bear in Shelburne, which is selling a Valentine’s Day “Crazy for You” bear that is dressed in a straitjacket and accompanied by commitment papers. The item has been criticized widely as insensitive toward the mentally ill. (AP)

Medical marijuana program
Severely ill Vermonters blocked by the $100 registration fee from taking advantage of the state’s new medical marijuana law now have a new source of help. The Vermont Marijuana Policy Project, which led the effort to get the law passed last year, has set up a financial aid program to help people register for the program. (AP)

NH utility rates
New Hampshire’s largest electric utility is to find out this week whether it can raise rates next month. Public Service Company of New Hampshire has told the Public Utilities Commission it needs to raise rates by six percent to cover rising expenses. If approved, rates will nearly match levels from 1999 — just before the state deregulated and allowed competition. (AP)

Biathlon moves to Maine
The U.S. Biathlon Association is moving its headquarters from Vermont to Portland, Maine, as part of a partnership with Banknorth Group, its new title sponsor. The association is moving to Portland from Colchester, Vermont, where it has been based for about a decade. It was previously headquartered in Lake Placid, New York. (AP)

Snow may lure skiers
Ski areas in Vermont hope the mounds of snow in Boston and New York will lure skiers north. David Dillon of the Vermont Ski Areas Association says it is hard for people to imagine there is snow on the mountains if there isn’t any in their backyards. And now there is tons of snow in Massachusetts and Connecticut and New York. Overall, visits to Vermont ski areas are down at least 20 percent so far this winter. Dillon says January has been miserable for the ski areas. (AP)

House near wetland ordered demolished
State officials say a Jericho house worth more than a quarter-million dollars was built too close to wetlands a decade ago and has to be torn down. A judge recently upheld an order from the Agency of Natural Resources that the home built by developer Larry Westall has to come down by June 1. State officials say the developer began construction without getting the needed permit beforehand. (AP)

Comments are closed.