May 25, 2004 – News at a glance

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Interview: Dean reacts to president’s address
Speaking Monday night at the Army War College in Pennsylvania, President Bush made the first in what the White House says will be a series of weekly speeches about U.S. policy in Iraq. Former presidential candidate and Vermont governor Howard Dean has been a vocal critic of the Bush administration’s decision to go to war with Iraq and he shares his reactions to the president’s remarks with Mitch Wertlieb. (VPR)

State rules for methadone set to expire
Health Commissioner Doctor Paul Jarris says a decision by the Legislature not to extend Vermont’s methadone law means it will be easier to locate new clinics around the state. Jarris says expanding the availability of methadone is an important part of Governor Jim Douglas’s anti-drug program. (VPR)

Financial aid offered to help smokers quit
The State of Vermont has created a program that’s designed to help several thousand people quit smoking in the coming months. Attorney General Bill Sorrell says the plan will be funded using $100,000 in tobacco-related settlement money. (VPR)

Vermont named to national endangered places list
The state of Vermont is back on the list of “most endangered places” compiled by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The group says plans for seven Wal-Mart stores threaten the character of the state. (VPR)

Cause of helicopter crash in Iraq questioned
The mother of a Vermont helicopter pilot killed in Iraq last year is disputing an Army report that says pilot error caused the crash. Dorothy Halvorsen is pushing for the Army to release more information about the crash that killed her son, 40-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Erik Halvorsen of Bennington on April 2 of last year. (AP)

NY-VT Terrorism information program
Police in New York and Vermont are going to be the first in the nation to get nearly instant access to federal counter-terrorism information. A pilot program that’s being announced today in Albany will let officers check for information about suspects on anti-terrorism databases maintained by several agencies. (AP)

Police rule car in Addison County fires
Vermont state police have ruled out a white Volkswagen in connection with several arson fires on Sunday. Police are now looking for suspects in the fires, which destroyed several buildings and cars and a 150-year-old farmhouse. Seven fires in all were reported in a short space of time Sunday afternoon. (AP)

Factory workers needed
Officials at factories in Springfield and Bellows Falls say they need more workers. Gene Supernor, a vice president at Vermont Machine Tool in Springfield, led a tour of his factory last week for officials from the River Valley Technical Center. He told officials he needs more workers – especially young ones who can replace an aging workforce. (AP)

Manufacturer closes
A Winooski tooling manufacturer is closing. Lavallee and Ide Company will lay off between 30 and 35 workers. The company, which has headquarters in Massachusetts manufactures reamers used in metal cutting. (AP)

Food shelf finances
The Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf in Burlington is in desperate need of money. The agency, which feeds more than 12,500 people in Chittenden County a month, needs to raise about $150,000 to break even for the fiscal year. Officials say the reason is that the need for and cost of food continues to rise. (AP)

Canola oil spill
Crews continue to clean up after a train derailment spilled thousands of gallons of canola oil along the shore of Lake Champlain. The car containing the oil was part of a Canadian Pacific Railroad freight train that derailed just outside the village of Ticonderoga, New York on Monday. (AP)

Wet weather boosts gardens
The latest weather has been a boon to gardeners and every green thing growing in Vermont. The rainy week following a slightly dry spring has balanced out to a season of near average rainfall. (AP)

Amateur piano competition
An IBM database administrator is heading to Fort Worth, Texas, next week to compete in the Van Cliburn Piano Competition of Outstanding Amateurs. Robert Weeks of St. Albans has a master’s degree in music theory from Indiana University and has played the piano since he was in second grade. (AP)

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