July 19, 2004 – News at a Glance

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Iran Journal, Part 1: Arrival
For many Americans, the Islamic Republic of Iran conjures images of a hard-line theocracy at bitter odds with our own government. VPR’s Steve Zind is descended from an eighteenth century dynasty that ruled Iran, so he went in search of his family history. In the process he discovered another side of Iran. (VPR)

Cool, Wet Weather Slows Corn Crop
Vermont dairy farmers count on a good corn crop to provide their animals with winter feed. The weather has farmers worried that this year’s crop will be a bust. (VPR)

Vermont Yankee Waste Storage
A big new stumbling block for a nuclear waste repository in Nevada could be bad news for the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. A federal court decision earlier this month found that the Yucca Mountain site hadn’t been engineered to a high enough standard, making the 2010 opening date very doubtful. That raises new questions about Vermont Yankee’s waste, which is rapidly filling its spent fuel storage pool. (AP)

Newborn Health Screening
Vermont gets good grades for its efforts in screening newborns for diseases. That’s according to the March of Dimes, which lists Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts among 21 states that do all nine tests it recommends. (AP)

Police Academy Chief Retires
The chief of the Vermont Police Academy is retiring. Ronald Morell has been executive director of the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council for the past five years. As executive director, he also has been head of the academy. (AP)

Country Stores Struggle
Some owners of Vermont country stores are describing themselves as ‘endangered species.’ Shrewsbury, Woodbury, Tunbridge, Stockbridge, Pittsford and Wallingford are among the Vermont towns that have seen country stores go out of business. A key reason is competition from chain convenience stores. (AP)

Airport Expansion
Tom Corrow used to live in a residential neighborhood. Now his South Burlington home is surrounded by Burlington International Airport. The airport has been buying up homes and other properties on its periphery for years as it has expanded. (AP)

Residents Offer Camping Space to Phish Fans
Neighbors of the Coventry site where the band Phish plans to have a two-day festival next month are getting ready to handle an influx of people without tickets. State police and the concert’s promoters are urging people without tickets to stay away. But neighbors Julian and Maureen Rogers say they’re preparing to have some of those people camp on their land. (AP)

Stolen Weathervane
State police are trying to crack the case of an antique weather vane stolen from its perch above a Tunbridge barn. The weather vane, which featured a full-bodied brass cow, was stolen late Tuesday or early Wednesday from a barn belonging to 83-year-old Ethel Howe. (AP)

Elderly Man Missing
Vermont State police are searching for a 74-year-old man who has been missing from a camp since Saturday. Police say they’re treating the disappearance of 74-year-old Richard Wilson of Springfield as a “missing person” case. They have no evidence of foul play. Police spent Sunday searching in the wooded areas around the weathered camp in East Wallingford, where Wilson was last seen. (AP)

Human Trafficking Alleged
Police say three Vermont spas they raided recently housed Asian women who worked as sex slaves to pay off debts to people who smuggled them to this country. Investigators’ sworn statements allege that the network spanned four countries and seven states. (AP)

Two Teens Die in ATV Crash
Police say two teenagers from Franklin who were trying to elude a state trooper on an all-terrain vehicle hit a bridge’s guardrail and flew over it to their deaths. The bodies of 17-year-old Ryan Forty, the driver of the ATV, and 18-year-old Brandon Rainville were found Saturday afternoon near the Missisquoi River in Sheldon by one of Forty’s family members. (AP)

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