September 1, 2004 – News at a Glance

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Hospital Program to Improve Patient Care
Vermont’s hospitals say they’re joining a nationwide program in an effort to dramatically improve the quality of health care they deliver. (VPR)

Vermont GOP
The chairman of the Vermont Republican Party is acknowledging that President Bush faces an uphill battle to win Vermont’s three electoral votes in the November election. (VPR)

Interview: Medical Workers and Stolen Narcotics
Law enforcement officials in Vermont say they’re dealing with a disturbing increase in drug-related crimes: health care workers stealing pain medications from their patients. Assistant Attorney General Linda Purdy heads the Medicaid fraud unit investigating these cases and she talks with Mitch Wertlieb about the problem. (VPR)

State Halts Construction Site
State environmental officials have halted construction on a Lowe’s Home Improvement Center store in South Burlington. The decision came days after the Water Resources Board ruled that runoff from the construction site would violate water quality standards. (VPR)

Online Sex Offender Registry Delayed
It appears very likely that the start-up date for Vermont’s Internet sex offenders registry will be delayed for several months. A special legislative committee says more time is needed to write the rules and regulations for the registry. (VPR)

Interview: RNC Delegate Paul Carroccio
All this week VPR is providing reports from some of the Vermont delegates at the Republican National Convention in New York City. One of those delegates is Paul Carroccio of Bondville. Carroccio is a member of Governor Jim Douglas’ council of economic advisors and he’s attending his first national convention. VPR’s Bob Kinzel spoke with Carroccio about some of the key economic issues in this year’s presidential race. (AP)

Emergency Teams Assess Flood Damage
Federal Emergency Management teams are totaling up the damage across Vermont caused by flooding over the last few days. The teams started work in Bristol and New Haven, two areas hard hit by flooding from heavy downpours over the weekend. (AP)

Parke Blames Sanders for 9/11 Attacks
Republican congressional candidate Greg Parke says Congressman Bernie Sanders is partially to blame for the terrorist attacks of September 11. The Sanders camp is dismissing the claim, which a spokesman says is evidence of Parke’s political extremism. (AP)

Dean Campaigns for Democrats
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is continuing his efforts to get Democrats elected to Congress. He’ll be the featured speaker at eight fund-raisers between now and early October. The money will be raised for two different Democratic campaign committees. (AP)

Vermont Exports to Cuba
Vermont’s agriculture secretary is working on a deal to export the state’s agricultural products to Cuba. Secretary Steve Kerr will travel to the island next week to meet with Cuban officials. Earlier this year Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie visited Cuba. (AP)

Vermont SAT Scores
Vermont high school students are staying near the top on their SAT scores. The state’s average scores were 516 on the verbal section, which is up one point from last year, and 512 for math, which is the same as last year. New Hampshire and Massachusetts had the highest average scores. (AP)

Bellows Falls Transportation Funding
The town of Bellows Falls has secured for over a million dollars in funding to build a new transportation hub for the area. The funding will allow either the town or the state to buy an old railroad building, which would then be converted into a multi-use transportation facility. (AP)

Windham County Towns Merger
The town of Rockingham is planning to study the feasibility of unifying its three separate municipal governments. The town is made up of the villages of Saxtons River and Bellows Falls, as well as Rockingham. (AP)

Townsend Preschool Spared
There’s good news for a preschool in Townshend. An agreement has been reached that will allow the Little Valley Nursery School to stay in the church it calls home. (AP)

Raw Sewage Spill
Littleton, New Hampshire, residents are cleaning up after heavy rains sent raw sewage pouring out of manholes and into their homes. Monday night’s thunder storms were so intense that the storm runoff overwhelmed the sewer system, and raw sewage began surging up through the manholes. Some residents say this was the fifth time the sewer has discharged into the street this year. (AP)

Peters Homicide Caser Reopened
Authorities say they are reopening the investigation into the 1993 homicide of Cheryl Anne Peters. Peters was found dead at her Morrisville home in September 1993 but no one was ever charged in the case. (AP)

Judge Jails Disruptive Public Defender
A public defender was jailed after causing a disruption in Vermont District Court in Middlebury on Monday. Lorin Duckman was held in contempt of court by Judge Helen Toor after he would not stop interrupting her during a sentencing hearing. (AP)

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