July 30, 2004 – News at a Glance

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Interview: Scudder Parker on the DNC
John Kerry has spoken, the colored balloons have dropped from the FleetCenter ceiling and Bostonians can now look forward to the return of city traffic that’s merely frustrating rather than nightmarish. The Democratic National Convention 2004 is now, as they say, history and one Vermonter who witnessed that history was Scudder Parker, chairman of the Democratic Party in Vermont and head of the Vermont delegation that spent the past week at the event. (VPR)

Douglas to Release Revised Energy Plan
Governor Jim Douglas predicts the public will soon get to review Vermont’s draft energy plan. The 20-year energy plan will reflect the Douglas administration’s policy on issues such as energy conservation and future power supplies. (VPR)

Rental Cars Scarce for Phish Concert
For Vermont businesses not in the immediate vicinity of Coventry, the impact of 70,000 people arriving for Phish’s farewell concert on August 14-15 may not have a dramatic affect. But car and RV rental companies are doing a booming business thanks to Phish fans from afar. (VPR)

Disaster Drill Will Test State’s Emergency Systems
The Vermont Health Department will conduct a large-scale disaster drill next week. The exercise is designed to test the state’s ability to respond to a bio-terrorism attack or an outbreak of a deadly infectious disease. (VPR)

Interview: Youth Delegates at the Democratic Convention
All this week, VPR has provided reports from some of the Vermont delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. The youngest delegate is Jacob Crumbine, a Dartmouth College student from Norwich. VPR’s John Dillon spoke with him about his experience as a delegate and about how the Democrats plan to reach out to younger voters. (VPR)

Health Department Issues Warning on Blue-Green Algae
The Vermont Department of Health has issued an alert for blue green algae in Lake Champlain’s Mississquoi Bay. Officials are warning people not to swim in areas where the algae is visible on the surface of the water, and to avoid drinking or showering with water from areas of the bay where the algae is present. (VPR)

Fisherman Concerned about Mercury
Fishermen in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont say they’re tired of not being able to eat the fish they catch. So they’re joining with environmentalists to demand stricter mercury controls at the state and federal level. Fishermen are joining the National Wildlife Federation to release a new report on mercury today. The report criticizes the Bush administration’s proposed cap-and-trade program for mercury emissions. They say the proposal doesn’t safeguard the environment, human health or Northern New England’s recreational fishing industry. (AP)

Lowe’s Applies for Retail Space in St. Albans
Lowe’s Home Center has applied to build a store in Saint Albans. At 138,000 square feet it would be nearly three times bigger than that allowed under a town initiative due to go into effect in a week. The Select Board voted four-to-one on July 19 to accept an interim bylaw capping new retail construction at 50,000 square feet. The cap would be good for two years but won’t go into effect until August 4. (AP)

Barre Public Safety Building
Construction of a new public safety building in Barre has been given the go-ahead. Environmental Court Judge Meredith Wright attached some conditions to the project, particularly about parking. The city will have to expand a private parking lot and create new street parking spaces. City officials are worried that the conditions and the delay in construction might drive up the project’s cost. (AP)

Shelburne Marine Killed in Iraq
A Marine Corps helicopter pilot from Shelburne is dead after being killed in action in Iraq. Lieutenant Colonel David S-Green was among the highest-ranking officers to die since the U.S. led war in Iraq began in March 2003. Greene piloted Cobra attack helicopters. (AP)

Border Wait Expected
Vermonters who are heading into Quebec this weekend might spend more time waiting at the border than usual. Canadian Customs agents are planning a work slowdown to show their dissatisfaction about a pay dispute. Erica Holmes, who works in Highgate for the customs brokerage firm A.N. Deringer, says traffic was backed up for about a mile on Interstate 89 Thursday. (AP)

Second Quarter Earnings – IDX
IDX Systems Corporation in South Burlington saw a sharp increase in second-quarter earnings this year. The company is reporting revenues of $130 million for the three months that ended on June 30. That’s up from $93 million for the same quarter last year. (AP)

Identity Theft Prevention
The state of Vermont will be joining three other states with a new approach to preventing identity theft. A security freeze allows individuals to block access to their credit reports until they personally unlock the files by contacting the credit bureaus and providing a PIN code. (AP)

Express Scripts Investigation
The state of Vermont is investigating the business practices of the company that manages pharmacy benefits for state workers. Express Scripts announced Thursday that 20 states were investigating its business practices. Last week the state of Vermont requested documents on the subject. (AP)

Rutland Golf Tournament Embezzlement
A former golf tournament treasurer who was convicted of embezzlement must repay $40 a week or go to jail for violating his probation. Forty-eight-year-old Terry McQuillen was convicted of stealing more than $5,500 from the Rutland Country Club golf tournament. He pleaded no contest in July to four counts of embezzlement. (AP)

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