October 7, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: school district may reject federal funds
Mitch Wertlieb talks with Deputy Commissioner of Standards and Assessments Bud Meyers about the No Child Left Behind Act. Some Vermont school districts may reject federal education money to opt out of the act’s testing requirments. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Clarendon health survey
A number of Clarendon residents were going door to door this week to encourage their neighbors to fill out a health survey. It’s part of an ongoing effort to address concerns about high rates of cancer in the community. Health officials say they’ll look into the use of pesticides on farmland, leaks from underground storage tanks and water quality in Clarendon. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Fletcher Allen settlement
The state’s largest hospital has agreed to pay a one million dollar penalty for misleading regulators over the cost of its expansion project. Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington has admitted criminal wrongdoing, but state and federal authorities have agreed not to pursue criminal and civil charges. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Sanders’ Iraq vote
Congressman Bernie Sanders says he’ll vote against President Bush’s $87 billion spending plan for Iraq, unless the proposal contains higher taxes for wealthy people. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Water chestnuts
A pesky water plant that has plagued Lake Champlain has been discovered on the eastern side of the state. (AP)

Dean campaign notes
A Michigan political action committee representing gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgender community is endorsing Democrat Howard Dean for president. Pride PAC of Detroit says Dean is a man of courage, integrity and fairness. Meanwhile Dean spoke to about 100 senior citizens in Claremont, New Hampshire on Monday. Dean told the crowd he still thinks Medicare is badly run. Dean’s college tour ends Tuesday at the University of New Hampshire. He spent the weekend drumming up support on college campuses for Democratic presidential votes. Dean’s nine-city started Friday. (AP)

Minority voting campaign
A new national organization is targeting New Hampshire and 15 other states in an effort to increase vote turnout of women, blacks and Hispanics. The organization hopes to raise $20 to $25 million to increase participation. The group is backed by organized labor and will work against the re-election of President Bush. (AP)

Autism social services
Parents of autistic children want the state to do a better job serving autistic clients and their families. On Monday they spoke to members of the legislative committee that’s working on restructuring the Agency of Human Services. (AP)

Gasoline additive lawsuit
Attorneys general in neighboring New England states will be closely watching New Hampshire’s lawsuit over the gasoline additive MTBE. New Hampshire is suing 22 oil companies over the additive, which is polluting some drinking water supplies. (AP)

Youth exercise
Students and staff at the Fair Haven Graded School will go for a walk together on Tuesday. It’s part of a school plan to get children accustomed to the idea of walking and exercise. It’s aimed at helping Vermont kids get in better shape. (AP)

Guildford school fire
The Guilford Central School in southern Vermont will remain closed at least until Tuesday as crews clean up after a fire that broke out in the boiler room over the weekend. The fire spilled a large amount of oil and sent oil up the chimney and into an air duct. (AP)

Bank fraud guilty plea
A 23-year-old Bellows Falls, Vermont, man charged with federal bank fraud, has pleaded guilty to two counts in federal court in Concord, New Hampshire. Prosecutors say Thomas Colantuono says Justin Compton wrote $150,000 worth of bogus checks. (AP)

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