January 6, 2004 – News at a glance

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Bradley endorses Dean
Democratic presidential front-runner Howard Dean got the backing of another prominent Democrat on Tuesday, gaining the endorsement of former senator and presidential candidate Bill Bradley. (AP)

Interview: Legislative trends
Mitch Wertlieb talks with Senator William Doyle. Having served as a state senator since 1968, Doyle offers some perspective on how the challenges – and times – have changed for Vermont lawmakers over the years. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Brattleboro mascot debated at community forum
More than 80 people turned out Monday night at Brattleboro Union High School to have their say on the Brattleboro Colonel. (VPR)

State energy plan
Critics of the Douglas Administration’s proposed energy plan for Vermont turned out in force on Monday. They said the plan places too much emphasis on fossil fuels, and doesn’t do enough to support the state’s growing renewable energy industry. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Rutland drug court
Vermont has seen an explosion in heroin use and drug related crimes and the courts and jails have been reeling with the impact. A new federally funded drug court opens on Tuesday in Rutland that may help to address the problem. The new court will utilize one of the existing courtrooms in Rutland’s district courthouse every Tuesday. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Legislature reconvenes
The Vermont House and Senate get down to business on Tuesday with the start of the 2004 Legislative session. The two chambers are going to reconvene separately this morning and then gather jointly to hear Governor Jim Douglas deliver his State of the State address at 2:00 p.m. (AP)

State Hospital
Until the Vermont State Hospital regains federal funding, some long-term patients will be a financial drain. But officials say that won’t be a factor in deciding who to discharge from the state’s psychiatric hospital. (AP)

Ski resorts’ holiday turnout
Several ski areas reported a strong turnout for the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. Mild weather and the timing of the holidays worked in the resorts’ favor during the two-week period this season. (AP)

Soldier to buried in Philipines
A Vermont couple’s son who was killed while fighting in Iraq is going to be buried with military honors in his native Philippines. Twenty-four-year-old Army Specialist Solomon Bangayan was killed Friday when his convoy was ambushed. Bangayan moved to Vermont after living for 21 years in the Philippines. (AP)

Lottery winner
A new car and house are among the purchases a Vergennes woman plans to make with $2 million in winnings from a recent Tri-State Megabucks drawing. Veteran Megabucks player Madelyne Wight had her winning ticket verified by Vermont Lottery officials on Monday. (AP)

Man charged in bar fight
Burlington man pleaded innocent to several charges on Monday after a barroom brawl that resulted in several injuries. Twenty-year-old Jesse Rowe is accused of breaking a bouncer’s nose and kicking a police officer during the fight early Sunday morning. (AP)

Border Patrol checkpoint
U.S. Border Patrol agents will be maintaining their post in Hartford for the foreseeable future. Sunday marked the seventh day of the checkpoint on Interstate 91, a hundred miles south of the border. The Border Patrol is running the checkpoint because federal officials last month raised the terrorist alert to Orange, the second highest level. It’s so far netted about 20 immigration-related arrests. (AP)

Trailer park water pollution
Residents of a Clarendon trailer park are upset they’ve been rejected for a state grant to move from the property, which they say faces severe pollution issues. The Whispering Pines trailer park was not included in a recent list of grantees from the Community Development Block Grant program. Residents say the rejection follows a years-long pattern of the state doing little in response to complaints about polluted water supplies and sewage backing up into homes and yards in the park. (AP)

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