October 9, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: Sprawl and smart growth
Micth Wertlieb talks with former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening, who leads the Smart Growth Leadership Institute. Glendening will be speaking at Thursday forum on sprawl. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Lawmakers criticize Fletcher Allen settlement
Critics of this week’s settlement between prosecutors and Fletcher Allen Health Care say they’ll ask a federal judge to reject the plan. They argue that the million dollar fine imposed against the hospital will be paid for by consumers and that “a culture of arrogance still exists at the facility. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Renewable energy conference
A leading environmental author says Vermonters have a moral imperative to develop clean and safe sources of electricity. Author Bill McKibben told a Burlington energy conference on Wednesday that climate change threatens to disrupt the planet on a massive scale. He says wind energy will reduce greenhouse gases and that global warming is much more of a threat than the aesthetic problems posed by huge wind turbines. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Homeland security money
Vermont police, medical and emergency crews will be getting at least $16 million as part of the first-ever Homeland Security funding bill. (AP)

Drug czar addresses New England governors
President Bush’s drug czar says one of the best ways to fight drug use among young people is to bring drug testing to local schools. (AP)

Farmers debate market regulations
Vermont’s Agency of Agriculture is trying to find a way to allow small farmers to sell frozen chickens at farmers’ markets, while still protecting consumers. (AP)

State revenues up
Vermont state revenues were 5% ahead of projections last month, with sales tax receipts leading the way. But the Douglas administration is saying there’s still cause for caution, because the impacts of recently announced layoffs at IBM have yet to be felt. The administration says it wants to keep a tight lid on spending as next year’s state budget begins to be written. (AP)

Bush in NH poll
A new poll shows New Hampshire voters are losing confidence in President Bush. Bush is due in New Hampshire on Friday to try to rebuild confidence. The poll shows Bush beating Howard Dean 48% to 38%, John Kerry, 49% to 38% and Wesley Clark 47% to 32%. (AP)

Dean endorsement
A congressman from Washington state is endorsing Howard Dean in the Democratic presidential primary. Democratic Representative Jim McDermott is the ninth member of Congress to back the former Vermont governor. (AP)

Entergy to pay opponents’ legal fees
The owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is being ordered to pay almost $51,000 to an anti-nuclear group for not cooperating during an investigation into a plan to increase power. The New England Coalition has questioned the power increase plans. (AP)

Gas price increase
Customers of Vermont’s only natural gas company will see their rates go up 9.6%. The Vermont Public Service Board approved the rate increase for Vermont Gas. The increase took effect October 1. Vermont Gas officials say prices are up. (AP)

Maine town sues Casella Waste Management
City officials in Biddeford, Maine, say they plan to sue Casella Waste Management over an incinerator violating the Clean Air Act. Casella, which is based in Rutland, Vermont, owns Maine Energy Recovery, which is responsible for the plant. Biddeford Mayor Donna Dion says the plant is emitting excessive pollutants and odors. (AP)

Home telemedicine
Vermont’s smallest home health care agency is moving to the vanguard of information-age health care with a soon-to-be-launched telemedicine program. The Dorset Nursing Association has received a grant of about $250,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to start the program. (AP)

Tenants challenge eviction
Tenant activists at a subsidized apartment complex in Burlington have filed a lawsuit charging that they are being evicted for questioning management practices at the complex. Managers at the 336-unit Northgate Apartments deny that the evictions are retaliatory. (AP)

Second I-89 truck accident this week
A truck accident on Interstate 89 is slowing traffic in the southbound lane Thursday morning. State police say a truck accident about three miles south of Richmond has forced the southbound side of the interstate to be narrowed to one lane. (AP)

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