October 8, 2004 – News at a glance

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Interview: Vermont documentary on Peace Prize winner
The woman who won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize has a Vermont connection. Wangari Matai is a member of the Board of World Learning in Brattleboro and she’s also the subject of a documentary currently being made by a Marlboro couple. Lisa Merton talks about the film “Roots of Change: The Green Belt Movement,” that she’s making with her husband Alan Dater. (VPR)

Student barred from school exchange
Twenty Swiss exchange students are winding up a ten-day stay with students at Brattleboro Union High School. But for one would-be visitor, an Ethiopian-born Muslim, the goodwill trip never got off the ground. The boy was denied entrance to the country because his name – or someone else’s like it – appeared on a government watch list. (VPR)

The Fall Forest: splitting wood
Today the Fall Forest series ends back where it began, with a visit to the home of Hub Vogelmann, professor emeritus of botany at the University of Vermont. Professor Vogelmann spoke at the beginning of our series about his pioneering research and new data regarding the effect of acid rain on Vermont forests. But after our initial walk through the woods near his home in Jericho, he also took some time to roll up his sleeves and give Mitch Wertlieb a tutorial in the fine art of wood splitting. (VPR)

Clarendon receives grant for environmental testing
A community action group in Clarendon has received a $15,000 grant from the state to investigate potential cancer clusters in the town. Clarendon FIRST will use the money to conduct environmental tests near schools. (VPR)

Housing pressure in Dorset and Manchester
A state grant of $525,000 is expected to help build a 24-unit affordable housing project in East Dorset. The Community Development Block Grant is one part of a public financing package for the $4.2 million project. (VPR)

Backstage with ‘The Shrew Tamer’
A new interpretation of “The Taming of the Shrew” levels the playing field for the sexes. The play Thursday night at Northern Stage in White River Junction. (VPR)

Gubernatorial debate
Taxes topped the agenda at Thursday evening’s debate in Ludlow between the two major candidates for governor of Vermont. Republican Governor Jim Douglas defended the Act 68 school funding reform law passed by lawmakers last year, saying it had reduced property taxes in most Vermont communities. Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle criticized the law, and said he’d look more to the income tax to fund education. Clavelle says he wants to see the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant close when its current license expires in 2012. Douglas says he has no position on a possible license extension for Mississippi-based Entergy Nuclear, which bought Vermont Yankee in 2002. And Douglas says he wants to leave well enough alone with civil unions and doesn’t think Vermont should move to allow full marriage for gays and lesbians. Clavelle didn’t answer a question about gay marriage directly, but said he had been a leader a decade ago in the effort to provide domestic partner benefits to city workers. (AP)

First Amendment ruling
A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of a former Bennington man who says his First Amendment rights were violated when he was issued no-trespass orders barring him from Vermont’s courts. Scott Huminski sought to voice his grievances with Judge Nancy Corsones by parking his van outside the Rutland courthouse and plastering it with signs. One of the signs called Corsones a butcher of the Constitution. (AP)

College students voting in Vermont
Campaigns to register Vermont college students to vote in time for the November second presidential balloting is kicking into high gear. Hundreds of students have been registered at Champlain and Middlebury colleges and the University of Vermont. (AP)

Sea lamprey
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is planning to treat the lower Winooski River next week with a pesticide that kills immature sea lamprey. Officials say the chemical is not harmful to humans, but treated rivers and lake water should not be used while the chemical is present. (AP)

Senior complex to be rebuilt
Work is set to begin later this month to rebuild on a senior housing complex in St. Albans that was destroyed by fire a month before it was to open. Hawk’s nest owner Jim Dousevicz says construction will begin October 18 and be completed by August 1. (AP)

Carbon monoxide detector
An elderly Montpelier couple is crediting a carbon monoxide detector for saving their lives when their furnace malfunctioned. Blanche and Charles Bousquet say the alarm sounded after they turned their furnace on for the first time this fall. (AP)

Drag race kills student
The Vermont State Police say a drag race might have contributed to the crash that killed a Mount Mansfield High School student and critically injured another. Seventeen-year-old Jason Lowell was killed in the Wednesday night crash. Fifteen-year-old Randy Little was injured. (AP)

UVM rugby penalized
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, been banned from practicing or playing for the rest of the fall season and been banned from away games next spring. On September 26 the New Hampshire State Police stopped a van full of rugby players on Interstate 89. University officials are conducting a separate inquiry against the students. The New England Rugby Football Union has also suspended the team. (AP)

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