November 19, 2003 – News at a Glance

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Interview: Middlebury College Pres. steps down
John McCardell has been president of Middlebury College in Vermont for the past 11 years, but he announced yesterday that he’s resigning as president of the small liberal arts college, that’s nestled in the northwestern part of the state.

High speed rail study in jeopardy
Plans to study high-speed rail service from Boston to Montreal are in jeopardy because one of three states participating in the study is having a hard time paying its share of the cost.

Interview: Massachussets Gay Marriage decision
VPR’s Neal Charnoff talks with Tom Little, one of the architects of Vermont’s civil unions law about the Massachussets Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriages.

Federal health plan benefits VT National Guard units
Vermont Adjutant General Martha Rainville says a new federal health care plan for National Guard members will be very beneficial to Vermont Guard units and will help increase their readiness for deployment.

Charlie Dean’s remains uncovered in Laos
The Pentagon says it has uncovered remains in Laos that may be those of Presidential candidate Howard Dean’s younger brother.

Middlebury College President announces resignation
Middlebury College President John McCardell has announced he will step down in June after more than 12 years on the job.

East Haven wind farm plan filed with Public Service Board.
The developers who want to put up four wind-powered electric turbines in East Haven have filed a formal application with the Vermont Public Service Board. Matthew Rubin and his East Haven Windfarm company are seeking to build what they’re calling four demonstration towers on East Mountain in the Northeast Kingdom town.

Sha Na Na nightclub fire accidental.
The fire last Friday that severely damaged a popular Burlington, VT nightclub has been ruled accidental. The owner of the building that housed Sha-Na-Na’s and some other businesses says water damage from the firefighting effort caused extensive damage to parts of the building not affected by the fire. (AP)

Two schools to get help following poor test scores.
Two Vermont schools will receive added technical assistance and other help because of poor test scores. Hazen Union High School in Hardwick and Belvidere Central School were the two schools that failed for a fourth year to make a measure known as adequate yearly progress. The measure is based on tests that were administered to students last spring and last year. (AP)

$80,000 fine in Largest Wetlands enforcement case
A couple who dredged a rare peat bog to create a pond on their hilltop property have been fined 80-thousand dollars. It’s the largest wetlands enforcement case in Vermont’s history. Environmental Court Judge Merideth Wright levied the fine against Thomas and Nancy O-Brien of Jamaica, who own a 350-acre property near Stratton. (AP)

$6 Million from Feds to complete Waterbury dam repairs
Vermont is expected to get six (m) million dollars from the federal government to finish repairs to the Waterbury dam. Money for the project was included in a bill that funds the U-S Army Corps of Engineers for the fiscal year. The funding will likely allow the final work to go ahead this summer on the dam. (AP)

Lawmakers ask: Rutland prison inmate receiving inadequate mental health care?
Vermont lawmakers are expected to look into whether an inmate at the Rutland prison is receiving adequate mental health care. A guard at the prison tells the Rutland Herald that the inmate, Douglas Smith of Rutland, is not receiving the care he needs and is instead being held in solitary confinement. Corrections Department officials say Smith has received all the mental health treatment he needs and wants. (AP)

Radio Free Brattleboro doesn’t get resolution
Supporters of Radio Free Brattleboro are still looking for a resolution from the town that an attorney says could help the pirate station set a legal precedent in its battle against the FCC. (VPR)

Mass. Gay marriage case similar to VT case
A Massachusetts court ruling yesterday on gay marriage is very similar to a Vermont case decided four years ago. Like Vermont, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court says same-sex couples are being unconstitutionally denied the rights and benefits of marriage. And like Vermont, the Massachusetts court says the Legislature should fix that. (AP)

Rockingham may take over Bellows Falls hydroelectric dam
Rockingham, VT is considering taking over the Bellows Falls hydroelectric dam by eminent domain. The select board voted unanimously yesterday to pursue the idea. It has scheduled a public meeting for December tenth to discuss it with members of the community. (AP)

Vermont company apparent low bidder on Circ. Highway
A Vermont company has pushed aside a Maine firm as the apparent low bidder for construction of the Circumferential Highway through Burlington’s suburbs. The new round of bids shows that J-A McDonald has emerged with the best price of 31-point-eight (M) million dollars. (AP)

NY man faces assault charges for deer season shooting
As deer hunting season gets under way, an upstate New York man is on trial in an Adirondack courtroom for shooting a Vermont man during last year’s deer season. Larry Burdo of Lake Placid was charged with second-degree assault after 40-year-old Bruce Woodruff of Sunderland, Vermont, suffered a severe gunshot wound to his abdomen while hunting in Essex County last November 26th. (AP)

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