July 18, 2002 – News at a Glance

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Goddard College
Last month, Goddard College trustees voted to do away with the College s on-campus residential programs. Board members cited the expense of maintaining the campus and the difficulties in meeting accreditation requirements for residential programs. Now, a small group of Goddard supporters wants to use the idle campus to breathe new life into the College. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Drug Lawsuit
The National Governors’ Association is supporting new pharmaceutical drug laws in Vermont and Michigan that are designed to help control Medicaid budgets. The NGA resolution strongly criticizes the nation’s drug companies for filing a lawsuit to overturn the new laws. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Candidates Finances
Vermont’s leading gubernatorial candidates have followed the lead of Governor Howard Dean and are releasing their recent tax returns and financial information. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

GMP Accountants
The state’s second largest electric utility has decided it will no longer use the troubled Arthur Andersen accounting firm. (VPR)

Global Warming Regulations
Officials from Vermont and 10 other states are calling on President Bush to end a “regulatory void” in addressing the growing threat of global warming. A letter from the Democratic attorneys general in each of the 11 states criticizes the president for failing to create a national policy to curb carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming. In the letter, the attorneys general call the issue “the most pressing environmental challenge of the 21st century.” Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell was among those who sent the letter, along with his counterparts in Massachusetts, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. (AP)

Medicaid Ruling on Dentures
The Vermont Supreme Court says the state Medicaid program has to provide partial dentures to patients who need them. The state had a rule that it would provide only full dentures. So if someone needed a partial denture, he or she had to have any remaining good teeth removed and then be supplied a full denture. The high court called this procedure counter-productive and potentially dangerous. It said for the state to meet federal requirements for the dental program within Medicaid, it has to include partial dentures among the services it offers. (AP)

Prescription Drug Reimportation
A proposal by Senator James Jeffords to boost sales of generic prescription drugs won broad support yesterday. The proposal would allow pharmacists and wholesalers to import U.S.-made drugs from Canada that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The amendment passed by a 69-to-30 vote. Congress already adopted the plan once but the Health and Human Services Department refused to authorize what’s known as reimportation. The provisions adopted yesterday are part of a larger bill that would ease the entry of generic drugs to the marketplace. (AP)

Dean Criticizes Bush
Governor Howard Dean is highlighting the corporate accounting scandals as he travels around the country on his presidential campaign. Dean was in Iowa yesterday. He says he thinks the scandals are going to hurt Republicans in this fall’s congressional elections. Dean also says President Bush has been ineffective in reacting to the scandals and most voters simply won’t believe Republicans want to crack down on big business. Dean said fundamental changes such as firing Securities and Exchange Commission director Harvey Pitt are needed and Bush apparently is unwilling to take those steps. (AP)

Vermont Time Capsule
A time capsule has been discovered in the Vermont Statehouse. The small metal container was discovered inside the statue representing agriculture that stands atop the capitol dome. A restoration contractor was working on fixing some leaks that were discovered in the 14-foot statue, erected in 1938. The time capsule was found on a post inside the statue. The state buildings curator says he believes the capsule contains photographs and newspapers from the time the statue was installed. It will be opened tomorrow during a ceremony presided over by Governor Howard Dean. Plans are to create a new time capsule to replace the 1938 version. (AP)

IBM Stock Down
More evidence of the tough times IBM is going through. The company’s most recent earnings figures show profits were off 97% for the second quarter of this year and revenues for the division of which the Essex Junction plant is a part fell 32%. Last month IBM shed 988 jobs from its Essex Junction plant as part of a major realignment of its semiconductor division. Chief Financial Officer John Joyce told investors yesterday that he expected the division to improve in the second half of the year. The Vermont job cuts were part of a company-wide restructuring designed to improve the company’s performance. (AP)

New Brattleboro Police Contract
Officials in Brattleboro are hoping that increased pay and better benefits will help them hold on to experienced police officers. And the town is implementing a new management structure for the police department that is less top-heavy. The town and the police union signed a new contract last week that implements the changes. Town Manager Jerry Remillard says the new contract will help keep experienced officers and attract well-qualified candidates. Remillard says the word has already gotten out in the police community. Meanwhile, the department has four vacancies for officers. (AP)

Huntington Gorge Danger
Rescue workers are once again warning swimmers to stay out of the waters of the Huntington Gorge in Richmond. At least 19 people have died in the gorge over the last 40 years, including, in 1992, a Vermont State Police trooper trying to recover the body of another victim. The most recent rescue wasn’t a fatality. On Sunday a 19-year-old Barre man injured his leg after jumping off a cliff into shallow water. Richmond Rescue Chief Ed Wildman says he wishes people would stay out of the gorge. The Huntington Gorge is a series of deep pools and shallow, rocky sections. The man hurt Sunday, Chris Cyr of Barre, is recovering from his injuries. (AP)

Men of Maple Corner
The Men of Maple Corner are at it again. Residents of the small hamlet in the town of Calais are trying to raise money for town projects again. So they’re taking off their clothes and posing for a photographer. Their pictures will appear in a 2003 calendar. Last year, the first edition of the calendar proved a surprising smash success, selling nearly 40,000 copies worldwide. The money went toward the Maple Corner Community Center. This year, the proceeds will go toward the Curtis Pond dam, local fire departments and other projects. (AP)

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