March 17, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: emergency response planning
Steve Delaney talks with Albie Lewis, the head of the state’s Department of Emergency Management. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Montpelier policy on police photos
This is a season of demonstrations, and nowhere in Vermont are they more plentiful than in Montpelier. Marches and protests are all in a day’s work for Montpelier’s police department. But the department has created a stir over the practice of taking photographs at demonstrations. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

“O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music”
Chances are that sometime on this St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll hear the music of Turlough O’Carolan, an 18th century Celtic harpist and composer. As part of the Burlington Irish Festival, Vermont Stage company is presenting “O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music,” a play which examines the life and music of this traveling troubadour. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Hospitals exceed budgets
Nine of Vermont’s 14 hospitals saw their earnings fall short of expectations last year — and six reported losing money. The Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care recently compiled earnings figures for all the hospitals in Vermont. (AP)

UVM men to play Arizona
The Vermont men’s basketball team’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament will begin with a very stiff challenge. The 16th-seeded Catamounts will play top-seeded Arizona – the number-one team in the country for the past couple of months – in Salt Lake City on Thursday. (AP)

State colleges ask for capital funds
The Vermont State Colleges are going to ask lawmakers for permission to borrow $40 million to buy facilities and build and renovate dorms. VSC trustees voted on the issue late last week. Chancellor Robert Clarke says the capital expenditure would be the college system’s biggest in recent years. (AP)

V-SNAP to meet this week
A little-known state panel that advises the governor on Vermont Yankee is meeting this week for the first time in ten months. The Vermont State Nuclear Advisory Panel is charged with protecting the public and advising the governor on Vermont’s only nuclear power plant. (AP)

Statehouse schedule
Lawmakers will begin facing a series of deadlines this week for getting bills moving if they want them to be enacted into law this year. Legislative leaders will be pushing high-profile initiatives such as regulatory permit reform, a jobs creation package, enhanced penalties for drug crimes and the budget. (AP)

Doctors vote against war
Medical staff at the Springfield Hospital have voted to take a position against war in Iraq. The stance was supported by a majority of about 30 doctors who attended a quarterly staff meeting last week. Doctor Jeffrey Bell introduced the issue at the staff meeting. He says he opposes the war because of the casualties it would bring. (AP)

Resort-state land swap
The Stowe Planning Commission is holding a hearing tonight on a land swap between the Stowe Mountain Resort and the state. Resort officials want to trade more than a thousand acres of land for a 25-acre campground near the ski area. They hope to use the campground to build hundreds of condominiums, a new base lodge, a hotel, and several retail and dining facilities. (AP)

Land value dispute
The town of Poultney and the state of Vermont are in a dispute over the value of Lake Saint Catherine State Park. It matters because the assessed value of the lakefront property determines how large the state’s payment in lieu of taxes is each year

Vermont horse industry
Horse enthusiasts in Vermont say the horse industry could grow more important as dairy farms go out of business. There are no official numbers for the impact of the industry right now. The state has commissioned a study with the University of Vermont on the industry’s size. Those numbers are due out this month. But Betsy Greene, an equine specialist with the UVM Extension Service, estimates there are 36,000 horses in Vermont. (AP)

Dean campaign
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean made a campaign stop in Denver Saturday night. Dean was on his first campaign visit to Colorado. At a dinner for Colorado Democrats, Dean said he believes he can win several Western states in his bid for the presidency. He had flown in from California, where his anti-war stance won him huge applause at that state’s Democratic Party convention. (AP)

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