October 19, 2004 – News at a glance

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Governor’s Race: Health insurance plans
In the Vermont gubernatorial race, Democrat Peter Clavelle criticizes what he says is Governor Douglas’s failure to offer real reform. Douglas responds that Clavelle’s plan to provide coverage for all is unrealistic and contains a hidden tax. In the last of our series on issues in the governor’s race, VPR’s John Dillon has this report. (VPR)

Vermont bishop defends Episcopal Church election of gay bishop
The head of the Vermont Episcopal Diocese says he welcomes a report critical of the appointment of a gay bishop in New Hampshire. But Thomas Ely says church leaders made the right decision when they voted to support of the appointment. (VPR)

Interview: Saint Michael’s College celebrates centennial
Saint Michael’s College in Colchester has been marking its centennial anniversary with a number of events since June, but it’s saving the full pomp and ceremony for this week, heading into the major convocation on Saturday. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Saint Michael’s President Marc Vanderheyden about the school’s history. (VPR)

Assessment results show disparity for low-income students
Education Commissioner Richard Cate says he’s generally pleased with new student assessment results in Vermont. But Cate says the results also show that the state faces some significant challenges in the years ahead. (VPR)

Dean campaigns for Clavelle in Burlington
Howard Dean was in Burlington on Monday to support Mayor Peter Clavelle’s Democratic campaign for governor. Dean says he agrees with Clavelle’s contention that the Iraq war is affecting the lives of Vermonters. (VPR)

Flu vaccine distribution begins on Wednesday
The Vermont Health Department will begin distributing influenza vaccine on Wednesday for children and nursing home residents, those who are most at risk of flu complications. The limited amount of vaccine will be administered according to state guidelines. (AP)

Human Services Agency field director positions
The Vermont Agency of Human Services has five new field directors who’ll serve as links between the office of the secretary and district offices across the state. So far eight of the 12 field director positions have been filled. (AP)

Long serving UVM dean retires
The University of Vermont’s longest serving dean is retiring. Jill Mattuck Tarule became dean in UVM’s College of Education and Social Services in 1992. (AP)

Campaign finance questions raised
The Vermont Democratic Party is charging that the Republican Governors’ Association and Governor Jim Douglas’ campaign have violated Vermont’s campaign finance law by airing television ads without registering the RGA as a political action committee. Republicans say there is nothing wrong with the ads. (AP)

Election monitoring
Federal prosecutors and the FBI in Vermont will be watching for voting irregularities on Election Day next month. Assistant U.S. Attorney John M-Conroy will serve as the state’s federal election officer. He will handle election complaints. (AP)

Caledonia Senate race
Former Human Services Secretary Jane Kitchel is hoping to become the first Democrat elected to the state Senate from Caledonia County in 16 years. And political strategists think she’s got a good shot at it. Democrats have a 19-11 majority in the Senate. (AP)

Bennington Bypass
A Vermont Transportation Agency official says the opening of the first section of the Bennington Bypass is like watching your child graduate from school. Decades after the road around Bennington was first proposed the first section is carrying traffic. (AP)

Mental health services in Rutland
A group of mental health advocates in Rutland will receive more than $200,000 in federal funds. The three-year grant will be used for training programs for the mentally ill. Vermont Psychiatric Survivors plans to develop peer leadership programs. (AP)

Daley appeals sentence
The man who pleaded guilty to striking and killing a Vermont State Police trooper with his car is appealing his sentence. Twenty-four-year-old Eric Daley has been sentenced to as much as 33 years in prison for the death of Sergeant Michael Johnson. Daley’s lawyer is appealing, claiming the judge handed down the tough sentence because of tremendous public pressure. (AP)

Stratton murder trial
Closing arguments are expected Tuesday in the Tara Stratton murder case. Fifty-two-year-old Alfred Brochu of Randolph is accused of raping, stabbing and mutilating the 18-year-old in her Barre apartment in January of 2003. Monday jurors heard from Brochu’s son, Rene, who initially was the prime suspect in Stratton’s killing until DNA testing cleared him. (AP)

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