January 8, 2004 – News at a glance

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Interview: IBM retirees
A group of IBM retirees from the Burlington area are waging a nationwide battle against IBM for increasing medical insurance costs for retirees. Mitch Wertlieb talks with one of the organizers, Sandy Anderson. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Brattleboro Dean Meet-Up
Dean supporters in Brattleboro got a double dose of campaign politics Wednesday night. Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle was the guest speaker at a Howard Dean “Meet-up” in the southern Vermont town. (VPR)

Mad cow case and Vermont sheep
Almost three years ago, the federal government seized and destroyed Vermont sheep suspected of having a strain of mad cow disease. The USDA’s determination that there was a problem with the sheep was made after 13 months of careful study. But in the recent mad cow case in Washington state, the government made its determination in a few days. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Dean records requests
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz says her office is being inundated by requests concerning former Governor Howard Dean’s official records. Markowitz will be asking the Legislature for additional funds to keep up with the growing demand on her office. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

State revenues
According to Administration Secretary Mike Smith, the state’s new revenue report shows that the Vermont economy is on the rebound. Still, Smith is being cautious about how the economy will perform in the next six months. (VPR)

IBM electric rate discount
IBM doesn’t want to promise that it will maintain jobs in exchange for a new round of discounts on its electric bills. (AP)

Crested Butte Resort purchase
Tim and Diane Mueller, who operate ski resorts in Vermont and New Hampshire, say they have agreed on a contract to buy a struggling resort in Colorado. (AP)

Arctic cold
Vermonters are waking up to some of the coldest temperatures of the season. Temperatures dropped to five to ten below zero Wednesday night. And the cold snap is expected to continue for a few days with even colder weather in the forecast. Wind chill advisories remain in effect for central and northern Vermont. Ten to 20-mile winds are expected to make below-zero temperatures feel like 20 to 29 below. (AP)

Energy plan public meeting
The Douglas’ administration’s energy plan is due to get another public hearing this afternoon in Brattleboro. The Department of Public Service released the proposed 20-year electric plan early last month. Thursday’s hearing will be held at 2:00 p.m. in the Brattleboro Town Hall. (AP)

FAHC nurses’ contract
Talks between labor and management at Vermont’s largest hospital over nurse-patient ratios have broken down. A key issue of contention at Burlington’s Fletcher Allen Health Care is whether supervisory personnel like charge nurses and care plan coordinators should be counted as giving direct patient care. (AP)

UVM hockey
The University of Vermont is expected to announce today that it is leaving the ECAC to join the Hockey East league. Hockey East athletic directors met this week at league headquarters in Wakefield, Massachusetts. (AP)

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