October 9, 2002 – News at a glance

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Federal Clean Water Act
When the U.S. Senate Environment Committee examined the thirty-year legacy of the Clean Water Act, it turned to one of the people who made the law a reality. Former Vermont Senator Robert Stafford came out of retirement Tuesday to testify before the committee that he used to chair. (VPR)

Independent voters and the governor’s race
When it comes to voting for a new governor, a large number of voters have not made up their minds, as a VPR poll showed this fall. The undecided Vermonters could have a significant influence on the strategy of the candidates. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Heroin: hospitals note rise in drug-related health problems
Doctors say heroin is helping to spread diseases like Hepatitis C and HIV. At Rutland Regional Medical Center where doctors and nurses are seeing the impact of heroin use firsthand. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Secretary of state race
The Republican candidate for secretary of state, Michael Bertrand, says he opposes most of the provisions of Vermont’s new campaign finance reform. (VPR)

Bottleneck in power grid
A new high voltage power line is being considered for the western side of Vermont. The company that runs the power grid in Vermont is looking at a number of options to fix a transmission bottleneck near Burlington. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Jeffords opposes military resolution
Senator James Jeffords says he’ll oppose a resolution allowing President Bush to take military action against Iraq. Jeffords says the president hasn’t presented Congress with any evidence that supports the need to launch a preemptive military strike. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

State revenues still down
Administration Secretary Kathy Hoyt says lawmakers may have to consider additional cuts to this year’s budget if the state’s revenue picture does not improve in the coming months. On Tuesday afternoon Hoyt released the state’s new revenue report that shows that tax receipts for the first quarter of the new fiscal year are just below revised targets. (VPR)

St. Johnsbury needle exchange
Vermont Health Commissioner Jan Carney has decided not to close a needle exchange program in Saint Johnsbury. Town officials are objecting to the decision, saying they had little or no warning about the needle exchange program. Vermont CARES runs the needle exchange to slow the spread of AIDS and HIV among IV drug users. (AP)

Bail posted for accused heroin dealer
A Rutland man charged with selling heroin to a teenager who later overdosed has made bail and is free on Wedensday. Richard Mossey Jr. appeared in court yesterday for a bail hearing, and Judge Francis McCaffrey reduced that bail from $75,000 to $20,000. (AP)

Gov. candidates debate renewables
Lieutenant Governor Doug Racine, a Democrat, says if he were governor, he would sign a bill like the one that passed the Senate last year that provided incentives for renewable energy use and other measures. State Treasurer Jim Douglas, a Republican, says he would sign something similar as long there was support for it. Con Hogan, an independent, also says he would support the measure. Progressive Party candidate Michael Badamo says the bill didn’t go far enough. (AP)

Douglas ethics accusations
State Treasurer and GOP gubernatorial candidate James Douglas says accusations that he violated the ethics code governing the state’s retirement boards are politically motivated. His Democratic opponent, Doug Racine, says Douglas is using the line that it’s all politics to duck legitimate criticism. He says Douglas should take responsibility. (AP)

VA hospital rebounding
The Veterans’ Administration hospital in White River Junction may be on the rebound. The hospital plans to open a new laparoscopic surgical suite in December, allowing doctors to use tiny, robotic instruments to perform less invasive surgeries. (AP)

Leopard frogs spared
A fence erected along U.S. Route 2 between Milton and South Hero this year appears to have saved the lives of hundreds or even thousands of frogs. In years past, leopard frogs from nearby Lake Champlain marshes had made a habit of trying to cross the busy road. Many didn’t make it. The new fence appears to have helped significantly. (AP)

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