November 12, 2002 – News at a glance

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Low milk prices
State agriculture officials from throughout the Northeast met last week to search for a regional solution to low milk prices. The officials heard that many dairy farmers are on the brink of survival because their milk checks no longer cover their costs of production. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

High-speed rail
A preliminary study of high-speed rail service between Boston and Montreal has concluded the idea warrants a closer look. (VPR)

Generic prescription drugs
A coalition of consumer and medical groups is launching a public education campaign to help reduce the state’s prescription drug budget. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Hospital regulations proposed
The mess at Burlington’s Fletcher Allen Health Care has some Vermont lawmakers considering changes in how the state regulates hospitals. Proposals on the table include requiring public meetings of hospital trustees, breaking up the state permitting process and mandating that hospital managers present projects under oath. (AP)

U.S. Senate leadership
Vermont’s two U.S. senators will remain chairmen of their committees for another couple of weeks. There had been a possibility that the interim senator from Minnesota might organize with the Republicans and strip Democrats of control immediately. But Senator Dean Barkley says he’ll remain independent and that’s enough for the Democrats to remain in charge. (AP)

FBI allegations
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy is joining a colleague in demanding some explanations from the FBI about its treatment of internal whistleblowers. Leahy and Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa want FBI Director Robert Mueller to explain the treatment of a manager who publicly aired allegations about uneven discipline at the agency. (AP)

Quebec wolves
A small pack of wolves might be living near Sherbrooke, Quebec, about 20 miles from the U.S. border. Experts say if there are wolves in that part of Quebec, it’s almost inevitable the animals will eventually make it into the United States. Wolves are known to live in Quebec on the north side of the Saint Lawrence River. Officials have always felt the river kept the wolves to the north. (AP)

Rutland road repairs
Vermont transportation officials are promising the city of Rutland should have funding to make improvements to Route Four and Route Seven by spring. A committee of Rutland City and Town officials came up with a list of needed improvements a year ago, but only a few have been done so far. Action on others was delayed because of uncertainty about available funds. The projects include new lane striping, signs, curb cuts and other improvements. (AP)

Dean fundraising
Howard Dean has signed up a Democratic activist from Massachusetts to help him begin raising money for his presidential campaign. Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Steve Grossman says he wants to help Dean’s campaign gain credibility through fundraising. Grossman is also a former chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and briefly ran for governor of his home state this year. (AP)

Democrats’ presidential race
The Democrats running for president are trying to determine their prospects in the wake of last week’s congressional elections in favor of the Republicans. Vermont Governor Howard Dean believes he could get a boost because he was responsible for recruiting Democratic gubernatorial candidates. (AP)

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