October 7, 2004 – News at a glance

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The Fall Forest: painter Peter Huntoon
As fall foliage reaches its peak in Vermont, leaf peepers will be scouring the state, many with cameras in hand to record the stunning colors. Today we take a look at how a watercolor artist captures the season’s offerings, from brush to canvas. Rutland native Peter Huntoon met with Mitch Wertlieb at the Indian Brook reservoir in Essex. He dipped a pail into the lake for his watercolor base, and a different kind of picture emerged before our eyes. (VPR)

Special election requirements test Secretary of State’s office
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz says the process for tabulating votes for a proposed technical center in Chittenden County will be the most elaborate and complicated voting system ever used in the state of Vermont. Markowitz says it’s an issue that the Legislature needs to review in January. (VPR)

Former Fletcher Allen executive pleads guilty
A former top official at Fletcher Allen Health Care has pleaded guilty to misleading state regulators over the true cost of a huge hospital expansion project. Attorney General William Sorrell says the guilty plea will help prosecutors in their continuing criminal investigation. (VPR)

Cheesemaking resumes at Coolidge homestead
When the late John Coolidge stopped producing cheese at his family’s homestead in Plymouth six years ago, a tradition that stretched back more than a century came to an end. But soon the cheese making room at the Coolidge estate will be back in business. (VPR)

Homeland security funds
Vermont ranked third in New England in spending by the newly created Department of Homeland Security in its first months in existence, but was way out in front on a per-capita basis. Data to be released on Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that from its creation in January of 2003 to the end of the fiscal year the following September, DHS spent nearly $59 million in Vermont. (AP)

Douglas’ health care program
It’s not just a health insurance program – that’s what Vermont Governor Jim Douglas says about his proposal to reform Vermont’s health care system. Douglas says he thinks his other ideas for controlling health care costs, including an exercise program for kids and a new effort to coordinate care for the chronically ill, haven’t been getting enough attention. (AP)

Grant for home health care
Vermont is one of eleven states to win a grant that sponsors say will give homebound elderly and disabled Medicaid patients more choice and control over their care. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was set to announce the grant of nearly a quarter-million dollars on Thursday. (AP)

Renewable energy
Leaders of Vermont’s renewable energy industry say the state needs to do more to promote the industry’s development in the Green Mountains. Members of the group Renewable Energy Vermont say the state wasn’t even in the running when a major Spanish maker of wind turbines decided to build a new plant in Pennsylvania. (AP)

Taxes and fees ahead of projection
The state government’s collection of taxes and fees are more than four percent ahead of where officials expected them to be. Administration Secretary Michael Smith says the state collected $96 million last month. (AP)

Flu clinics cancelled for state employees
A shortage of flu vaccines has prompted the state of Vermont to cancel its flu clinics for state employees. Health Commissioner Doctor Paul Jarris is asking healthy Vermonters to forego getting a flu vaccine this year. (AP)

Broadband in Windsor County
Computer users in two of Windsor County’s smallest towns could get wireless, high-speed Internet service. The Southern Windsor Regional Planning Commission is applying for grant money that would help the towns of Reading and West Windsor get the wireless service. (AP)

Boston Celtics pre-season camp underway at UVM
The Boston Celtics are training for five days at the University of Vermont. It’s the first time the National Basketball Association franchise has held a preseason workout in Vermont. (AP)

Tailgaters cause crashes
Vermont state police say they responded to several crashes on Interstate 89 near Burlington during Wednesday’s afternoon rush hour. The crashes happened between 4:30 and 5:30 pm and were all were fender benders. Police say they all were caused by motorists following too closely behind the vehicle in front of them. (AP)

UVM rugby season suspended
There’s more fallout for the University of Vermont men’s rugby team after alcohol allegations were made against 10 players. The team has forfeited its $13,000 budget for the rest of the year and been banned from practicing or playing for the rest of the fall season. (AP)

Former Norwich student sentenced
A former Norwich University hockey player is headed to jail for up to 10 months after pleading guilty to charges he supplied the drug ecstasy in the Northfield area. Robert Jaggard, a 24-year-old Canadian citizen, will also be barred from entering the United States. (AP)

Cabot pleads innocent to animal cruelty charges
Washington County prosecutors plan to seek jail time for a Cabot farmer charged with starving his cows to death. Forty-seven-year-old Christian DeNeergaard pleaded innocent in May to five misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. He faces up to five years in prison. (AP)

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