March 9, 2005 – News at a glance

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Mercury reports may affect EPA emissions rule
Opponents of a proposal to regulate mercury emissions at Midwestern coal-burning power plants are hoping that information in two new reports will have an impact on the regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency is set to issue a key rule on mercury emissions next week. Mercury has been linked to numerous health problems. (VPR)

Brattleboro low-power radio station
Radio Free Brattleboro may be nearing the end of its battle with the Federal Communications Commission. The tiny, all-volunteer station, which can only be heard in Brattleboro, has been operating without a license despite FCC efforts to shut it down. (VPR)

Sanders opposes Medicaid waiver for Vermont
Congressman Bernie Sanders says he opposes Governor Jim Douglas’s plan to reform the state’s Medicaid program. The governor is seeking a waiver from the federal government to give the state much greater flexibility in using federal funds. (VPR)

Legislature seeks role in approval of Medicaid waiver
The Legislature is expected to pass a bill this week that requires the Douglas administration to get specific legislative approval for a proposed federal Medicaid waiver. It could be several months before the details of the waiver are finally negotiated and the delay could affect how lawmakers review the plan. (VPR)

Expert suggests radical reform for health care delivery
In Montpelier on Tuesday, lawmakers heard a proposal for radical surgery of Vermont’s health care system. A researcher says Vermont should re-direct health care dollars through a single organization that has the power to set budgets and control spending. (VPR)

Federal budget and low income Vermonters
A coalition of activists and politicians says President Bush’s proposed budget will cut essential services for many Vermonters. (VPR)

Dean attends terrorism conference in Spain
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is scheduled to attend a four-day summit on terrorism in Madrid. The conference, which opened on Tuesday, comes almost one year after the city suffered one of Europe’s worst terrorist attacks. (AP)

Judicial retention
A tiny, new conservative group is demanding that when lawmakers vote whether to retain three state Supreme Court justices, it be done by roll call rather than secret ballot. The group, which began airing a radio ad on the issue yesterday, says lawmakers should be held accountable for their votes on Justices John Dooley, Denise Johnson and Marilyn Skoglund. (AP)

Veterans’ Home audit
State Auditor Randy Brock is going to examine the finances of the Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington. Brock says he plans to focus his audit on alleged financial impropriety at the home as well as the home’s governance structure, record keeping and management practices. (AP)

FAHC public meeting
Vermont’s largest hospital is promising more public involvement in charting its future. Fletcher Allen Health Care officials told a public forum Tuesday night that they want to rebuild the public’s trust after it was broken during the scandal over the Burlington hospital’s Renaissance Project. (AP)

Shelburne mobile home park
A state official has ruled that the owners of a Shelburne mobile home park must negotiate with residents before selling the land to a developer. Marvin and Sue Thomas, the owners of the Shelburnewood Mobile Home Park, say the ruling is flawed because they don’t want to sell the park – they want to close the park and sell the land. (AP)

Norwich football
Norwich University football coach Mike Yesalonia is stepping down. University officials say Yesalonia will take another position at the Northfield University. Norwich offensive coordinator Shawn McIntyre has been named interim head coach. (AP)

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