October 21, 2004 – News at a Glance

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Power companies to provide broadband service
Several Vermont power companies say they’re looking at the possibility of offering broadband Internet service to their customers. The Federal Communications Commission recently adopted rules clearing the way for utilities to expand their operations in this way. (VPR)

Vermont Sox fans celebrate
Vermont Red Sox fans joined others around the region Thursday evening to celebrate the team’s historic victory over New York in the American League Championship Series. Last night, as the innings ticked by, VPR’s Steve Zind toured one little corner of the Red Sox Nation and visited with loyal fans. (VPR)

Mandatory flu vaccine guidelines
On Wednesday Vermont officials ordered health care providers to give flu vaccines only to those people at the highest risk. Officials say making the vaccine guidelines mandatory instead of voluntary will send a clear signal to doctors and the public about who should receive the state’s limited supply of flu shots. (VPR)

Financing questioned in political ads
Outside groups have entered Vermont’s political campaigns with a barrage of a TV and radio ads. The attorney general and the Secretary of State’s office want to know if all of these groups have followed Vermont campaign finance laws. (VPR)

Prison inmate attempts suicide
An inmate at the Chittenden Correctional Facility in South Burlington is hospitalized following what officials are describing as a “very serious suicide attempt.” (VPR)

Flu vaccine from Quebec
A spokesman for Governor Jim Douglas says Vermont’s chief executive has made a deal to import 1.2 million doses of flu vaccine from a Quebec company. Douglas sent a letter to Tommy Thompson, the U.S. Health and Human Services secretary, describing his agreement with ID Biomedical Corporation. But recent comments by Thompson make it appear unlikely federal approval would come soon (AP)

Clavelle PAC
A political action committee is mounting a campaign on behalf of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Clavelle. The True Majority PAC, headed by the founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, is spending $11,000 to buy radio and newspaper ads promoting Clavelle. (AP)

Vermont State Hospital funding
Vermont Human Services Secretary Charles Smith says he hopes the federal government will restore the Vermont State Hospital’s certification and funding by Thanksgiving. A two-person team from the federal agency that provides funding for the hospital conducted a surprise, two-day inspection this week. (AP)

Death penalty decision
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review whether the man accused of killing a North Clarendon woman four years ago should face the death penalty. The high court rejected a request by attorneys for Donald Fell to declare the federal death penalty statute unconstitutional. (AP)

Drug case raises race questions
The state Supreme Court is considering whether prosecutors tried to arouse racial prejudice in the jury hearing a drug case. Lamont Lee of Pownal was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2002. Defense attorneys say prosecutors tried to use racial stereotypes in the case. (AP)

Lampricide applied near Lake Champlain
Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials hope Wednesday’s application of a lamprey-killing chemical to the lower Winooski River will reduce the lamprey population in Lake Champlain. Biologists applied the chemical known as TFM in the first effort since 2002 on the Vermont side of the lake. (AP)

Private windmill
A proposal by former Phish drummer Jon Fishman to build a wind-power turbine on his Shelburne property is bringing the debate over wind power down out of Vermont’s mountains. Fishman says he bought his secluded property on Lake Champlain in part because it was ideally suited to renewable energy like wind and solar. Some in town worry whether the project might harm views of the lake. (AP)

Outdoor skating rink in Bennington
Bennington officials are exploring opening a temporary outdoor skating rink. Town Manager Stuart Hurd says it could be ready for use this winter if everything falls into place. (AP)

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