March 21, 2005 – News at a glance

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Gary Rosen continues to entertain despite illness
Gary Rosen, formerly of the musical duo Rosenshontz, has entertained families for decades with his catchy rock tunes for kids. Last summer the 57-year-old Brattleboro singer-songwriter was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. But as VPR’s Susan Keese reports, the show must go on. (VPR)

Then and Now: Bust of Abraham Lincoln
In the main hall of the Statehouse, there’s a bust of Abraham Lincoln that came to Vermont in an unlikely way. No one knows if its sculptor, Larkin Mead, even intended for it to be on public display. But as curator David Schutz explains, the Lincoln bust tells of Vermont’s link to the Civil War. (VPR)

UVM basketball season ends with Michigan State
The amazing ride of the University of Vermont’s men’s basketball team has come to an end. After Friday’s dramatic upset of Syracuse in the NCAA tournament, the Catamounts lost on Sunday to Michigan State. The score was 72-61. The loss brings to an end the coaching career of Tom Brennan and the playing careers of some of the best players in the state’s history. (AP)

Health care reform bill
The House and Senate committees assigned to reform Vermont’s health care system are taking an unusual step this week: meeting together in an effort to draft similar legislation. The effort is intended to head off any sparring between the House and Senate – both controlled by Democrats – on how fast Vermont’s $3.2 billion health care system can be changed. (AP)

State budget debate
Vermont House members are prepared to debate at the end of this week the billion dollar 2006 state budget. The debate appears likely to prompt more arguments with the governor. (AP)

Senate prepares to override veto
The Vermont Senate could vote on Tuesday on an effort to override a veto by Governor Jim Douglas of a bill about how the state’s pension system is invested. The governor vetoed the bill that would consolidate the way three state pension systems invest their assets. (AP)

Vermont Independence Month
Vermont may soon have an entire month dedicated to celebrating its years as an independent state. House lawmakers last week passed a resolution naming January as Vermont History and Independence Month. The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration. (AP)

Mud season as tourist attraction
Mucky roads, unpredictable weather and wet ground that sags beneath your feet may be the makings of a great New England vacation. A group of inns and hotels around the region has banded together to promote the time known as “mud season” as the perfect chance for a getaway. (AP)

High school criminal justice program
Students in the Springfield area will have a new option come fall: a criminal justice academy. The program is designed to combine traditional high school classes with studies that lead to a career in police work and related fields. (AP)

Middlesex barracks chief
The Vermont State Police barracks in Middlesex has a new chief. Lieutenant John Imburgio is the new station commander, replacing David Harrington. (AP)

Head injury disability judgment
A Rutland company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it fired a man who had suffered a head injury in a car crash. That’s the ruling from Superior Court Judge William Cohen in Scott Duncan’s case against U.S. Samica Incorporated. The judge found that the company let Duncan go without making sufficient efforts to accommodate Duncan’s disability. The judge awarded Duncan nearly $700,000. (AP)

Vermont Veterans’ Home policies
The former head of the Vermont Veterans’ Home in Bennington allegedly used his official credit card to pay for liquor, steaks and traffic tickets as he traveled the country. The Rutland Herald reports the home’s board has been working to tighten up its expense policies since Commandant Earle Hollings the second resigned last month. (AP)

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