October 8, 2002 – News at a glance

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Heroin: documentary film
A new documentary that examines Vermont’s heroin problem is being shown throughout the state. Filmmaker Bess O’Brien is hoping the movie will raise awareness about how serious the problem has become. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Heroin: drug enforcement
Police officers are among those on the front lines of the heroin and substance abuse problem. VPR’s Steve Zind reports on how law enforcement agencies are responding to the need for increased drug enforcement. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Early voting begins
Voting for the General Election officially got under way this week as the provisions of Vermont’s early ballot law went into effect. State officials believe as many as 25% of all voters will use the early system to cast their ballots this year. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Jeffords campaigns for Shaheen
Senator James Jeffords traveled to New Hampshire this week to endorse Democratic Governor Jeanne Shaheen in her bid to be elected to the United States Senate. (VPR)

Campaign finance law
The U.S. appeals court panel in August upheld Vermont’s law restricting campaign contributions. Now the same court wants to look again at the issue. (AP)

Woodstock school fire
Vermont State Police are investigating what caused a fire that destroyed the Windsor South Supervisory Union superintendent’s office this morning. (AP)

Debate circuit
Candidates for Vermont governor will have debates each other 36 times before Election Day. Most states have far fewer public debates, with candidates focusing their time on fund-raising, television commercials and events geared toward identified supporters. Vermont’s leading candidates say they believe the debates have been good for the election, and are a reflection of the state’s small size. (AP)

Early childhood education
Vermont’s top education official says the state needs to do more to prepare children for school. Education Commissioner Ray McNulty wants schools to offer full-day kindergarten programs. He also says he will push for state funding for new early education and care facilities in communities that need them. (AP)

Teacher’ retirement board complaint
Two members of the state teachers’ retirement board are complaining about a letter state Treasurer James Douglas wrote last year soliciting funds from national businesses. They say that solicitation violated the tough ethics policy Douglas put in place as state treasurer. Douglas says the complaints are politically motivated by people supporting his opponent in the race for governor. (AP)

Civil unions
Politicians on both sides of the issue say Vermont’s civil unions law is nowhere near the issue it was two years ago. Joe Acinapura, chairman of the Republican state committee, says he rarely if ever hears the issue come up. His counterpart at the Democratic Party, Mark Michaud, says the civil unions law is nowhere near the polarizing force it was in the 2000 elections. (AP)

Bolton Valley selling season passes
The current owners of the bankrupt Bolton Valley ski resort are selling season passes with the promise that if mountain doesn’t open this year, buyers will get their money back. Bolton Valley Holiday Resort’s owners hope to complete the sale of the ski resort this month. (AP)

Monkton shooting
Vermont State Police are continuing to investigate a shooting that injured a Monkton woman over the weekend. Authorities say the woman was sleeping early Saturday when she was shot in the head by two people outside her bedroom window. (AP)

Bank robbery guilty plea
A Connecticut man has pleaded guilty to bank robbery charges. John Mitchell with participating in the robbery of the East Thetford branch of the Merchants Bank at gunpoint last year. According to court records Mitchell committed the robbery with David Moody, who already has pleaded guilty to the charges. (AP)

Sentencing in child abuse case
A former pharmacist and school board member in Windham County has been sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to charges he sexually abused a teenaged boy. Richard Barker is the former pharmacist at the Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend and former chairman of the Leland and Gray Union High School Board. (AP)

Pumpkin theft
Police in New York near the Vermont border are on the lookout for 6,000 pounds pumpkins stolen from Francis and Margaret Wade’s pumpkin patch in Whitehall, New York on the Vermont state line. One New York state trooper says solving the crime is difficult because all pumpkins are “kind of round and orange.” (AP)

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