March 26 2004 – News at a Glance

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Capital construction bill
Energy had the attention of the Vermont House on Thursday as members debated a $40 million capital bill. Although the bill funds state government projects, the most controversial provisions had little to do with government spending. (VPR)

New telecom services policy
The Douglas Administration has unveiled a new telecommunications policy that calls for a significant expansion of cell phone and broad band services throughout the state in the next three years. The governor says the plan is needed to help stimulate economic development efforts in Vermont. (VPR)

Outsourcing impact
Economist Art Woolf says it’s unlikely a large number of Vermont jobs will be outsourced overseas. Speaking Thursday night on VPR’s Switchboard, Woolf said the transfer of jobs overseas is also a two-way street for the state. (VPR)

Kingdom bus service
Some entrepreneurs are hoping to fill the void in public transportation when Vermont Transit stops serving the Northeast Kingdom. (AP)

Dean endorses Kerry
Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean endorsed John Kerry for president at a rally at a university in the nation’s capital on Thursday. (AP)

Interview: ‘Project X’
The Columbine school shootings have surfaced as the source of inspiration for “Project X,” the new book by novelist Jim Shepard. Edwin Hanratty and his only friend, the aptly named “Flake,” are victims of constant bullying. Together, they concoct a plan to take revenge on their tormenters. Neal Charnoff talks with novelist Jim Shepard about “Project X.” (VPR)

Green Mountain National Forest
Officials of the Green Mountain National Forest are considering a new, mile-wide buffer zone along the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail is a 2,000-mile hiking route that runs between Georgia and Maine, passing through southern Vermont. Most of the other national forests that host the trail already have a mile-long buffer zone around the trail. (AP)

Peterson Dam The Vermont House says a dam that spans the Lamoille River in Milton should stay put. Lawmakers voted on Thursday to prohibit state agencies from removing the Peterson Dam. (AP)

UVM tuition
University of Vermont officials are proposing a tuition increase that could have out-of-state students paying more than $30,000 a year to attend. College officials want to raise tuition, fees and room and board by more than five percent for out-of-staters. Tuition for in-state students would rise 5.7 percent to about $17,000. (AP)

Shared police services
The Vermont Senate has approved a bill that would allow towns to share police services. Such pooling has been prohibited since 1993. Under the system towns could combine financial resources to hire local police officers. (AP)

Colchester land purchase
A plan to buy the last large undeveloped parcel of land near Mallets Bay in Colchester is moving ahead. Residents voted to buy the property in March for $1.1 million. Town officials and the property’s owners are working to arrange the sale. (AP)

Senior center expands
Visitors to the Winooski Senior Center now have more room to stretch their legs. Workers are putting the finishing touches on a 134-thousand dollar addition to the building. (AP)

Traffic light rejected
The Rutland Region Transportation Council is saying no to a proposed traffic light at one of the area’s most dangerous intersections. State transportation officials say a traffic light is the easiest and most affordable solution for the intersection of Routes 7 and Route 103 in North Clarendon. But the council says it would rather have a roundabout. (AP)

Snowboarding museum
A new museum devoted to snowboarding is opening in Stowe in May. Executive Director Neil Korn says the museum will focus on the history and champions of snowboarding. Jake Burton Carpenter, who started Burton Snowboards in 1977, lives in Stowe and his work will be featured at the museum. (AP)

YMCA embezzlement
A South Burlington woman has been ordered to appear in court next week on charges of embezzling $70,000 from the Greater Burlington YMCA. Linda Hall worked at the YMCA for about 15 years, until the money was discovered missing last fall. She surrendered to police on Thursday and was cited and released. (AP)

Phish concert in Vermont
The popular Vermont rock band Phish might play a concert in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom this summer. Phish’s production company is looking at the Newport state airport in Coventry as a possible site. The concert would be in mid-August. Phish attracted 75,000 fans to northern Maine for a two-day show last August. (AP)

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