November 14, 2002 – News at a glance

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Interview: high speed rail
Steve Delaney talks with Charlie Miller of the Vermont Transportation Agency. Miller will be a meeting Thursday night in Montpelier to discuss the possibility of building high-speed rail between Boston and Montreal, through Vermont. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Hospital oversight
State health care regulators are looking for new ways to control hospital spending. The review follows the disclosure that Vermont’s largest hospital misled state officials about the true cost of its redevelopment project. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

New budget priorities
Governor-elect Jim Douglas is establishing his priorities for the new state budget. While Douglas is asking most agencies to consider a 5% cut in spending, he says three departments will not be subject to any cuts: Public Safety, Higher Education and Economic Development. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Fairbanks strike
Tempers flared on the picket lines at the Fairbanks Scales plant in St. Johnsbury late Tuesday when police used pepper spray in a scuffle with strikers. The crowd at the plant was larger than usual, following a rally which drew union members and supporters from around the region. (VPR)

Londonderry wind project
A Vermont-based energy company plans to build the state’s largest wind energy project at the Magic Mountain ski area in Londonderry. Catamount Energy is a subsidiary of Central Vermont Public Service Corporation. The company has proposed a $50 million wind farm for the ski area’s summit. (VPR)

Sanders votes ‘no’ on security bill
Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders voted against the proposed Homeland Security Department Wednesday. A bill creating the new federal department passed the House yesterday by a vote of 299 to 121. The new agency has been described as the biggest restructuring of government in half a century. (AP)

Senate pay raise
Vermont’s U.S. Senate delegation split on whether senators should get a pay raise. Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy opposed the increase but independent Senator James Jeffords supported it. Starting in January, senators’ and representatives’ salaries will be $154,700, up from $150,000 this year. (AP)

Medicaid service cuts
The Vermont Attorney General’s office is defending cuts in the Medicaid and Vermont Health Access programs. The state has submitted paperwork at the Washington Superior Court rebutting claims by Vermont Legal Aid and a chiropractors’ group that the cuts in the health insurance programs were done illegally. (AP)

Dean delivers address in Washington
Vermont Governor Howard Dean will be paying a visit to Washington Thursday night as he continues his campaign for president. His campaign staff says Dean will be delivering what’s a “major” address. His campaign staff says he’ll be talking about why it’s important for the Democratic Party to stand up for its core principles, including health care for every American. (AP)

Village-town merger
Milton officials are hoping local voters will approve a proposal to merge the village and town. If approved, the merger would disband the village government and put all responsibilities in the hands of the town. Village voters will cast their ballots in January. (AP)

Bike bridge costs rise
The cost of a proposed bicycle bridge over the Winooski River in Burlington keeps going up. Three lawmakers want to delay the project, the cost of which has more than doubled since the Legislature approved $1.4 million for the project this year. The state hopes to begin construction this winter. (AP)

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