October 16, 2003 – News at a glance

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Utility crews continue to restore power
“An ugly night” – that’s how one utility company describes the havoc created by high winds that downed power lines and knocked out power to tens of thousands of customers across Vermont Wednesday night. (VPR)

Family reflects on Pope John Paul’s Vermont ties
Twenty-five years ago Thursday, cardinals meeting in Rome elected Pope John Paul II the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Even before he became the most traveled pope in history, John Paul had paid a memorable visit to a farm in Vermont. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Interview: Winds cause power outages across state
Electric power outages caused by high winds are being reported across Vermont on Wednesday. The Central Vermont Public Service Corporation says 18,000 customers lost power today in 500 separate outages from one end of the state to the other. Power has already been restored in many areas. Neal Charnoff talks with CVPS spokesman Steve Costello on the impact of the outages. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Study shows mixed patterns of teen behavior
According to a new report, alcohol and tobacco use by most young people in Vermont is declining, but marijuana and cigarette use among high school seniors is increasing. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Dean fundraising report
The Internet remains a money machine for presidential candidate Howard Dean. About half of the $14.8 million that Dean collected over the last three months came from online donations. (VPR)

Circ Highway opponents file in court
Environmentalists have gone to court to stop the proposed Circumferential Highway around Burlington. The suit was filed in federal court on Wednesday by four environmental groups and two Chittenden County residents. They charge that state and federal transportation officials have concealed the true environmental impact of the project. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

EPA nomination
Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Vermont Senator James Jeffords have ended a boycott over the nomination of Utah Governor Mike Leavitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. (AP)

Sanders campaign fundraising
More than a year before he faces re-election, Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders appears to be in good shape financially. A Federal Election Commission report filed on Wednesday shows Sanders has about $617,000 heading into the 2004 campaign. (AP)

NY county endorse tire burn
Officials in Essex County New York are endorsing a plan by International Paper to burn rubber tire chips at its mill in Ticonderoga. The county’s Public Works Committee supported the test after hearing from mill officials. Some Vermonters oppose the plan. (AP)

West Nile virus surveillance
The arrival of cold weather is ending the threat of West Nile virus in Vermont for the year. And the state Health Department is ending its surveillance program for the season. Final numbers aren’t in yet, but West Nile cases in animals appear to be down. (AP)

Canadian studies program
Two universities in New York and Vermont are teaming up to promote the study of Canada. A new program by Plattsburgh State University in New York and the University of Vermont will recruit and train new Canadian studies instructors. (AP)

Restaurant workers union
Some of the 40 employees at a Montpelier restaurant want to form the first union of restaurant workers in the state. The group has asked the owners of the J. Morgan’s Steakhouse to recognize their union and begin negotiating a contract. (AP)

Firearms sentence
A 21-year-old Saint Albans man has been sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison on a gun possession charge stemming from the theft of firearms. Anthony Gokey had two state felony convictions in 1999, and so is barred under federal law from possessing firearms. But authorities say he joined another man in February of 2002 in burglarizing a Saint Albans home and stealing five guns. (AP)

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