October 30, 2003 – News at a glance

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Guard health care plan
Senator Patrick Leahy says he’s pleased that a congressional conference committee has agreed to include his plan to provide health care to members of the National Guard as part of the Iraqi Appropriations bill. (VPR)

Brattleboro mascot
Students at Brattleboro Union High School are continuing a discussion of their controversial mascot. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Imported drugs for state employees
Attorney General William Sorrell is actively researching whether the state of Vermont can purchase prescription drugs from Canada for all state employees. If the plan is found to be illegal under federal law, Sorrell says the Douglas administration could consider challenging the law in court. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Act 250 changes
The Vermont Environmental Board has endorsed new rules that govern who can participate in the review of proposed development projects. But critics fear the rules will limit how the public gets involved in Act 250 cases. The changes fulfill part of Governor Jim Douglas’s promise to revise the environmental permit process. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Dean, Gephardt campaign staff in confrontation
Roundup of news on Howard Dean’s Democratic presidential campaign. (AP)

Coventry landfill seeks to expand
A landfill in Coventry that takes the most waste in Vermont is seeking to expand. New England Waste Services of Vermont wants to expand from 240,000 tons to 420,000 tons a year. (AP)

Racial harassment in schools
A federal panel is scheduled to release a report on Thursday on progress toward eliminating racial harassment in Vermont public schools. The Vermont Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says progress has been made. (AP)

Power grid
A top official with ISO New England says the soundness of the regional power dispatch organization was shown on the day of the blackout in much of the Northeast and Midwest. Steven Whitley told Vermont lawmakers that the Midwest lacked clear lines of authority and responsibility that might have brought a response to help stop the spread of the August 14 power failure. (AP)

Flood threat recedes
Dryer weather on Thursday should allow streams and rivers across Vermont to get back to normal. Several jumped their banks on Wednesday after being swollen by the heavy rains this week. No serious problems or injuries were reported, although there were scattered traffic accidents that were attributed to water on roads. (AP)

Chronicle ends publication
The town of Windsor lost its weekly newspaper, the Windsor Chronicle, last week. The Chronicle’s publisher, Phillip Camp, says poor advertising revenue and a lack of production staff forced him to close the paper. Camp also publishes another weekly, The Vermont Standard in Woodstock. (AP)

ATM robbery
Rutland Police are looking for a man who held up a woman at gunpoint after she used an ATM machine late Wednesday. Police say the 22-year-old woman finished using the Chittenden Bank ATM in Rutland at about 5:00 p.m. Wednesday when the man walked up, pulled out a gun, and ordered her to give him the money. He allegedly took the money and ran away. (AP)

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