November 19, 2002 – News at a glance

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Interview: Wilmington and Act 60
Steve Delaney talks with the Wilmington school board chairman about the town continuing fight against the state’s education funding law. (Listen to interview online.) (VPR)

Fairbanks Scales strike ends
Striking workers at the Fairbanks Scales plant in Saint Johnsbury are returning to work this morning. Roughly 70 employees went on strike two weeks ago over pensions, wage issues and health insurance. (VPR)

Douglas opposes most gambling programs
According to a new report, most states in the Northeast are actively considering new gambling programs to increase revenues. However Governor-elect Jim Douglas says Vermont will not go down that road. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Sorrell says church should not investigate first
Attorney General William Sorrell says the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington should not conduct it’s own investigation before informing authorities of sexual abuse allegations against priests or church employees. The diocese said last week it would discontinue an interim policy of immediately turning such information over to Sorrell. The attorney general also says his office has finished its review of allegations against two more active priests. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

CLF files against 15 businesses
An environmental group says it may sue 15 Chittenden County businesses over water pollution violations. The Conservation Law Foundation says the companies never obtained stormwater permits for the runoff that flows in Lake Champlain. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Utility crews repair storm damage
Work crews at the state’s largest utility are working at this hour to restore power to thousands of customers in Addison, Rutland and Bennington counties. Central Vermont Public Service Spokesperson Steve Costello says the company has been able to restore power to roughly 70% of the 10,000 homes that lost electricity over the weekend from the ice and snowstorm. (VPR)

Newspaper editor dismissed
The top editor of the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus has been dismissed. Publisher John Mitchell says details of a story written by Managing Editor Scott Fletcher in September were not true. (AP)

Mt. Equinox cell tower
A communications company has won permission from the town of Manchester to install cellular phone antennas on a Mount Equinox hotel. Manchester Planning Director Lee Krohn says the towers planned by Independent Wireless One are small, unobtrusive and will be installed on an existing structure. The antennas are up to six feet tall and two feet wide and will sit on the roof of the Carthusian Hotel on Mount Equinox. (AP)

Electricity still out
Utility crews are working to restore power to thousands of Vermonters after the weekend’s storm. High winds yesterday caused even more outages. Central Vermont Public Service says more than 14,000 households lost power Sunday as heavy snow and ice knocked trees onto power lines. (AP)

Dean criticizes FAHC
Governor Howard Dean has aimed his sharpest criticism yet at former executives at Vermont’s largest hospital, saying Fletcher Allen Health Care was run by crooks. Dean says he thinks there may be a way to bring criminal charges under Vermont law regarding the hospital’s admission that it hid more than $80 million in costs of a construction project from regulators. (AP)

Bennington demolition fight
The town of Bennington is taking the owners of a former mill to court. The town wants the owners to finish demolishing the 125,000 square-foot Benmont Mill building. Town officials have requested that Leonard Lewis and his daughter Barbara Lewis be held in contempt and fined $100 a day until the job is done. (AP)

Bridge reopens
The Jonesville Bridge is expected to reopen this week. The bridge over the Winooski River has been closed for exactly one year. The town is planning to hold a ceremony on Saturday for the new $2.4 million span. (AP)

Ward faces charges for heroin
A 24-year-old recovering heroin addict faces charges of trying to sell that drug and Ecstasy outside Burlington’s new methadone clinic. Melissa Ward of Middlebury denies the charge that she offered to sell the drugs last week to a woman who had taken her mother to a doctor’s appointment at Fletcher Allen Health Care, where the clinic is housed. (AP)

Dean campaigns in SC
Governor Howard Dean is in South Carolina today as he launches another week of campaigning in his bid to become president. Dean will receive an award Thursday in Washington from Governing Magazine. On Friday he returns to New Hampshire for what will be his 20th visit to the state with the first-in-the-nation primary. (AP)

Criminal bell ringing
A Woodstock tour guide will not face criminal charges for ringing a courthouse bell in the village. Windsor County State’s Attorney Robert Sands has written to Kevin Dann to say he had decided not to prosecute him. Sands told Dann that his conduct, while stupid, was not illegal. (AP)

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