September 12, 2003 – News at a glance

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IBM announces new manufacturing contract
IBM’s Essex Junction plant has landed a multi-year contract to make computer chips for a California company. IBM laid off 500 employees last month because of a worldwide slump in the semi-conductor business. (VPR)

Transportation low-power radio network
Several years ago the Federal Communications Commission invited community groups to apply for low-power radio broadcast licenses on unused FM frequencies. Thirty-two of the 61 applications from Vermont were filed by the Vermont Agency of Transportation. The idea was to pepper the state with informational radio channels for travelers on Vermont’s interstates. (VPR)

Artists open galleries and garages for ‘Art Hop’
Burlington’s South End is an area that’s known for its warehouse space and artists’ lofts. Friday night, the neighborhood kicks off a celebration that reflects its character – the annual “South End Art Hop.” The event features more than 40 art openings, with 10 group shows and over 300 artists displaying their work. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Leahy critical of extended Patriot Act
Senator Patrick Leahy says President Bush’s new plan to expand the Patriot Act will erode some basic civil liberties of American citizens. Leahy says there much better ways to help protect this country from future terrorist attacks. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

CLF critical of water permits
An environmental group says the Douglas Administration is not doing enough to reduce phosphorus pollution in northern Lake Champlain. The Conservation Law Foundation says draft permits for sewage treatment plants allows phosphorus levels above limits set by the U.S. Environmental protection Agency. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Dean meets with Wesley Clark
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean has asked retired Army General Wesley Clark to support his presidential campaign, if Clark decides not to run. (AP)

9/11 ceremonies
Communities around Vermont Thursday paid tribute the victims of the September 11 attacks. About 80 people, half of them police, firefighters and emergency workers in uniform, attended a memorial at the fire station in Burlington. Vermont Catholic Bishop Kenneth Angell used the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks to call for peace. (AP)

Overtime pay rules
Vermont’s two senators have voted to block an administration plan to change the rules governing overtime pay. Senators Patrick Leahy and James Jeffords voted in favor of a Democratic proposal to kill the new rules, which Democrats charged would end overtime for about eight million workers. The vote was 54 to 45. (AP)

Psychiatric hospital reforms
The state has released a federal inspection report critical of the Vermont State Hospital. Federal inspectors have given the hospital until the end of the month to correct the problems or lose as much as $700,000 in Medicare and Medicaid payments. (AP)

Large farm fine
Dairy farmer Doug Nelson has settled a case with the state over how many cows he had on his farm. The Agency of Agriculture had fined Nelson for having too many cows at his farms in Irasburg and Derby. Nelson owns several dairy farms in Orleans County. (AP)

Marshfield housing proposal
A housing proposal is being scrutinized in Marshfield. A group that describes itself as an intentional community wants to build a 12-bedroom single-family home near the Groton State Forest. Members of Meadowdance told local officials this week that the group’s 15 members have lived together, eaten together and made decisions together under one roof for more than three years. (AP)

Hunting insurance settlement
The insurance company for a bow hunter convicted of killing another hunter two years ago in Pittsford will pay $280,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the estate of Thomas Fiske who was killed after being struck by an arrow shot by 32-year-old Joseph Teer Junior of Middletown Springs. (AP)

Burlington trash pickup
The city of Burlington has restricted early morning trash pickups. The Public Works Commission has decided that garbage hauling should not begin before seven a-m. The commission voted to allow some exemptions for earlier pickups. (AP)

Burlington assault charges
Two men from Mexico charged with sexual assault in Vermont now have also been charged with illegally re-entering the United States. Twenty-seven-year-old Ricardo Gonzalez and 27-year-old Arturo Rios were arrested by South Burlington police last month and charged with a third man with the aggravated sexual assault of a 22-year-old Burlington woman. (AP)

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