May 10, 2004 – News at a glance

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Word for Word: Low-income housing cuts
Last week, low income advocates gathered in Montpelier to speak out against proposed cuts in federal housing subsidies. They say up to 740 low-income, elderly or disabled Vermonters could lose federal housing assistance next year. Rita Markley, the director of the Committee on Temporary Shelter in Burlington, says the federal cuts will put more stress on a system that’s already stretched almost to the breaking point. Today, in “Word for Word,” we have an excerpt from Markley’s comments. (VPR)

Fletcher Allen opens new birthing center
Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington celebrated a milestone in the hospital’s controversial expansion project on Sunday. Politicians, philanthropists and community members attended the ceremonial opening of the new birthing center. (VPR)

Adjournment possible this week
Legislative leaders and key committee chairs say the legislative session could wrap up by the end of this week. But if this spring is anything like those of past years, it will be another week – maybe more – before the final gavel falls. (AP)

Road construction spending
The demand for road repairs and construction is outpacing state funding. About a dozen major road construction projects have been in the works for ten, 20 or 30 years. But the cost has grown exponentially and all are scheduled for construction in the next dozen years. (AP)

Missisquoi Bay Bridge
Work is expected to begin this week on a new $32 million bridge across Missisquoi Bay. The long awaited project has been in the works for years but environmental permits and lack of funding has delayed construction. (AP)

Drug court founders move on
Two people who help get Vermont’s first drug court started up are moving on to new posts. Judge Nancy Corsones has been a District Court judge in Rutland for three years and will move to the Bennington Family Court. Mia Karvonides recently left her job as drug court coordinator to take a job with the Vermont Department of Education. (AP)

VA hospital expansion
Outpatient, mental health and neurological care will expand at the Veterans’ Affairs hospital in White River Junction. That change is part of a federal government restructuring of health care services for veterans. The plan that includes $6.1 billion in spending increases, the closing of three hospitals and an upgrade of several outdated facilities. (AP)

Water testing at schools
The state of Vermont has ordered tests at 150 schools and large day care centers to check for radioactive elements in drinking water. The decree was prompted by tests at the Middletown Springs Elementary School that turned up uranium levels above the state safety standard. (AP)

State police staffing
Vermont State Police are stepping up efforts to fill 33 vacancies, or 10 percent, of its authorized staff. The state police provide primary police coverage to half of Vermont’s population but a shortage of troopers is spreading that coverage thin in some areas. (AP)

Contractor files for bankruptcy
The general contractor that built the new Kohl’s store in South Burlington has filed for bankruptcy, leaving several Vermont subcontractors in the lurch. Wrenn Associates of Merrimack, New Hampshire, filed for protection from creditors on April 16, the same day the South Burlington Kohl’s store opened. (AP)

U.S. Ski Team death
A member of the U.S. Ski Team’s developmental squad and former Burke Mountain Academy student has died from head injuries she suffered in a crash during a training run. Seventeen-year-old Shelley Glover was training at Mount Bachelor Resort in Oregon when she fell and hit her head Wednesday morning. She died Sunday at a hospital in Bend, Oregon. (AP)

Body of missing canoeist found
Divers have recovered the body of a Vermont canoeist whose boat overturned on Lake Champlain last month. Twenty-five-year-old Kyle Aubin was last seen April 30 when he paddled off on a late-night canoe ride on the lake. Divers found his body in the lake near the Vermont-Canada border on Saturday. (AP)

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