March 22, 2005 – News at a glance

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Interview: Advance directives for end of life care
With much of the country closely watching the life-or-death drama being played out in the Terry Schiavo case, the Vermont Ethics Network is urging Vermonters who want to avoid that potential dilemma to obtain a new “advance directive for health care” form. The free document helps Vermonters specify in writing whether or not they want to be kept alive by a feeding tube in the event they are unable to think or act for themselves. (VPR)

Runoff from medium-sized farms
Vermont is developing new rules to control pollution from small and medium-sized farms. The rules will require farmers to follow manure management plans and to maintain buffer strips between farm fields and streams. (VPR)

Congressional role in Terry Schiavo case
Both of Vermont’s U.S. senators say they oppose legislation involving Congress in the controversy over Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube. Senators Jim Jeffords and Patrick Leahy say it’s inappropriate for Congress to attempt to overrule a state court. They say the new legislation creates a dangerous precedent. (VPR)

Health clinic serves homeless teens
A health care clinic designed to serve homeless teenagers has opened in Burlington. The drop-in clinic on Pearl Street will be operated by the Community Health Center of Burlington and Spectrum Youth and Family Services. (AP)

‘Bones of the Earth’: interview with Howard Mansfield
New England is a region of landmarks, many of the oldest kind: stones and trees, or what author Howard Mansfield calls The Bones of the Earth. In his new book, The Bones of the Earth, Mansfield uses these landmarks to explore the loss of cultural memory in our region. Mansfield says that by asking questions about the past, we can reinvent our view of the future. (VPR)

House draft of state budget
House budget writers have approved a $2.37 billion spending plan for Vermont state government for the coming fiscal year. But the Appropriations Committee’s spending blueprint puts off for later consideration the biggest fiscal problem facing the state – a growing deficit in its Medicaid programs. (AP)

Veto override vote
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)

Jeffords 2006 reelection campaign
The woman who managed U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy’s re-election campaign last year has been hired to organize the re-election campaign of independent U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords. Carolyn Dwyer has been hired as a consultant to the Jeffords’ campaign. (AP)

Nuclear waste site
Leading lawmakers say the latest bad news for the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site in Nevada is expected to have little effect on their deliberations about radioactive waste storage at Vermont’s lone reactor. Yucca Mountain has been identified as the eventual home for the highly radioactive spent fuel that Vermont Yankee wants to store in concrete and steel canisters on its property in Vernon. (AP)

NH advance directives
While a federal judge in Florida is deciding the fate of Terri Schiavo, New Hampshire lawmakers are examining life-and-death issues. The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on Tuesday that would revise the laws on living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care. The bill would allow certain surrogates to make decisions for incapacitated people if there is no advance directive. It also would establish procedures for so-called “do not resuscitate orders.” (AP)

Charges in teen’s overdose
Three people are facing charges after a 16-year-old student overdosed on drugs at the Enosburg High School. Police say the boy bought prescription drugs from another 16-year-old boy who had gotten the drugs from 36-year-old Tracy Wells of Enosburg. The two teenagers have not been identified because of their age. (AP)

Readsboro shooting
The family of a Readsboro man accused of murdering his son’s friend says he might have acted out of parental concern. Peter Kulzer’s daughter says he feared his 22-year-old son was mixing with bad company. (AP)

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