October 1, 2004 – News at a glance

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The Fall Forest: autumn folk songs
Today in our Fall Forest series, we turn to music and to local singer and songwriter Alan Greenleaf of Peacham, who’s also a farmer and sugarmaker. Greenleaf is known for his recordings about country life and recently has been singing at local farmers markets. He came with guitar in hand to our VPR studios to talk about the inspirations from the forest that influence his music, including the maple tree. (VPR)

Brattleboro literary festival
Here’s a quiz: What do these authors have in common: Russell Banks, James Tate, Stuart O’Nan, Julia Alavarez, Andre Dubus III? The answer is, they’ll all be in Brattleboro this weekend for the third annual Brattleboro Literary Festival. The three-day literary extravaganza is a celebration of good writing and good reading. (VPR)

Gubernatorial debate
Governor Jim Douglas and his Democratic opponent Peter Clavelle clashed over ways to reduce local property tax burdens on Thursday at a debate sponsored by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. (VPR)

Security at Vermont Yankee
Nuclear watchdog groups continue to raise questions about potential security problems at Vermont Yankee and other nuclear plants. They say older reactors like Yankee are especially vulnerable to terrorist attacks. A Yankee spokesman defended the plant’s security procedures. (VPR)

Backstage: ‘The Complete History of America – Abridged’
Historians might take umbrage, but a play being presented in Burlington gives the inside scoop on more than 600 years of American history. VPR’s Neal Charnoff went Backstage with the Vermont Stage Company’s production of “The Complete History of America -Abridged.” (VPR)

Prison mental health care
Vermont Corrections Commissioner Steve Gold says his department is making progress in reorganizing the way mental health services are provided to inmates. The options include providing mental health services through the corrections or health departments, or to contract out the services to a private company or community mental health center.

Clavelle on lake cleanup efforts
Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle says Governor Jim Douglas’ administration has not adequately enforced Vermont’s environmental laws. Clavelle says an example is the cleanup of Lake Champlain. He says he would commit more state money to the clean up. (AP)

State Senate campaign fundraising
Former state auditor Ed Flanagan has raised the most campaign contributions of any state Senate candidate. Flanagan, who is running for a Chittenden County Senate seat, has raised $27,000. The Democrat says he needs $40,000 to be a contender in a field of 13 candidates running for six seats. (AP)

Presidential debate response
About 200 students gathered at Saint Michael’s College last night to watch the presidential debate. The gathering was hosted by the college’s journalism department. After the 90-minute exchange the students were asked who won the debate. The audience voted for Kerry, 120 to 23. (AP)

Washington County state’s attorney
It will be at least a month before Governor Jim Douglas can appoint a replacement for Washington County State’s Attorney Terry Trono. Trono died Wednesday at his home in East Montpelier. He had been suffering from cancer. He was 56. (AP)

Online sex offender registry
Governor Jim Douglas is going to inaugurate Vermont’s sex offender registry Friday at the state police barracks in Williston. The registry will have information about 135 individuals who have been convicted of aggravated sexual assault and other offenses. (AP)

Vermont Yankee uprate hearing
Entergy Nuclear is criticizing the Department of Public Service for seeking a federal hearing on the proposed power boost at Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. The owner of the Vermont plant says there was no factual basis for the state’s 40-page request to intervene in the power case. The state has concerns about safety in the proposed 20 percent power increase. (AP)

Carbon dioxide emissions
Some of the nation’s largest power companies are defending their efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The companies say a lawsuit, filed by a number of states, including Vermont, and other groups, seeks a piecemeal response to a worldwide problem. (AP)

Middlesex ATV riders
Officials in Middlesex say all-terrain vehicles traveling on town roads and private land are becoming a nuisance. But police say there’s little they can do to help. (AP)

Commuter bus to Dartmouth
Vermonters who work at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth College in New Hampshire will soon have the option of a free ride to work. A new commuter bus service will run from Randolph, Bethel and Royalton to Lebanon, New Hampshire. (AP)

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