November 19, 2004 – News at a glance

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Rutland bids good-bye to deployed soldiers
Six-hundred soldiers from the Vermont Army National Guard depart on Friday for training in Mississippi. It’s the largest deployment of Vermont National Guard members since World War II. A formal send off will be held Friday morning for the entire 172nd Armor Battalion in Northfield. But members of the battalion who are based in Rutland were honored at a separate ceremony Thursday night. (VPR)

Jeffords plans another run for U.S. Senate
Independent U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords says there’s no doubt in his mind that he’ll seek re-election in 2006. Jeffords has been actively fundraising because he’s convinced that Republicans are going to wage an active campaign to defeat him. (VPR)

Thousands get flu shots at one-day clinics
About 8,000 Vermonters got flu shots today at one-day clinics across the state. Because of the shortage of vaccine, state health officials asked that only those at high risk for the flu attend Thursday’s clinics. (VPR)

Neighbors urged to send off deploying soldiers
A Bennington woman is urging her neighbors to get up before dawn on Friday to help send off about 25 Vermont National Guard members to the Middle East. The soldiers are due to board a bus at 5:00 a.m. for a ride to Northfield. Later in the day, they will be flown to Mississippi for training before being sent overseas. (AP)

Planning director appointed for Department of Public Service
An economist has been chosen to head the Department’s of Public Service’s planning division. J. Riley Allen has worked both for the Department of Public Service and the Public Service Board. (AP)

600 Guard members deploy
Hundreds of Vermont soldiers leave the state on Friday to help support the war in Iraq. A special deployment ceremony will be held at Norwich University in Northfield for 600 members of the Vermont National Guard. After the ceremony, they’ll travel to Burlington to board planes to Mississippi for training. (AP)

Bennington Monument lighted
The lights will be shining on the Bennington Battle Monument on Friday to honor Vermont National Guard members being deployed to support the Iraq war. Governor Jim Douglas ordered the lights to be turned on at the monument to coincide with a deployment for roughly 600 Guard members. (AP)

Freshman legislators
Senators-elect and representatives-elect are at the Vermont Statehouse learning about their new jobs. People who were newly elected to the Legislature are getting an opportunity this week to meet each other and veteran lawmakers. They’re going through a couple of days of orientation where they’re taught about how to get things accomplished in the Statehouse. (AP)

Unemployment rate
Vermont’s unemployment rate is continuing to go down. The latest figures from the state show the unemployment rate dropped two tenths of a percent last month to 3.1 percent. Unemployment rates for Vermont’s 13 labor markets ranged from 1.4 percent in Hartford to 4.3 percent in Enosburg. (AP)

Montpelier City Council
Montpelier Mayor Mary Hooper wants the City Council to be more civil to members of the public. Hooper says community members have told her that they feel voicing their concerns to the group is useless and that some councilors are too aggressive. (AP)

Saint Albans Wal-Mart
The St. Albans Development Review Board is ready to give members of the public a chance to weigh in on a proposal to build a Wal-Mart in their community. Board Chairman Cheryl Teague says the public will get its chance to comment at a future meeting. (AP)

St. Johnsbury drug prevention
Members of the St. Johnsbury community are working together to keep young people from using illegal drugs. St. Johnsbury Academy’s youth drug prevention group met earlier this week with a team from the Community Justice Center and members of the community. (AP)

Whooping cough outbreak
Four students at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington have been diagnosed with whooping cough. The Vermont Department to Health sent out letters this week notifying parents and guardians of Mount Anthony’s 1,200 students about the outbreak. (AP)

Valcour Island lighthouse
There’s another historic lighthouse signaling to boats again on Lake Champlain. The lighthouse on Valcour Island, New York, began flashing again Thursday. Since the summer, the Clinton County Historical Association has given tours of the structure. (AP)

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