September 16, 2002 – News at a glance

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Langrock’s last race
Peter Langrock is a well-known Middlebury lawyer. But since the 1960s, Langrock has led a second life: he’s a harness racer. Now Langrock has decided to retire from racing. Friday at the Tunbridge Fair he and his horse ran their last race. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Sounds of Vermont: school days
Fifth and sixth graders are at an age of “in-between.” They’re in between toys and teenage years. And during that time are moments of personal discovery. For our series, “Sounds of Vermont,” we listened in to some of that discovery during a typical school day in Waitsfield. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Long-term hospital spending
A state commission is looking for new ways to control rising health care costs. Last month, the Public Oversight Commission recommended only minor cuts in budgets for two of Vermont’s 14 hospitals. The panel will now examine whether there’s a better system to curb hospital spending. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Permit applications online
Vermont’s auditor of accounts wants the state’s environmental officials to put their permit applications on line. Auditor Elizabeth Ready has just completed a review of the permit process at the Department of Environmental Conservation. Department officials asked Ready to step in after they discovered a $4 million deficit in last year’s budget. (VPR)

Rutland ammonia leak
An ammonia leak on Sunday closed a portion of Route 7 in Rutland and forced some people from their homes. A section of the roadway on the south side of the city was closed for several hours after an ammonia leak at the Creed Ice Company. (AP)

Chittenden County Planning Commission
Some environmentalists are questioning the appointment of a prominent housing developer to lead the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission. But others say Mark Lords is a man of integrity and expertise who will be good for the commission. (AP)

Dean presidential campaign
Governor Howard Dean says that if he’s elected president he’ll recognize the marriage rights of same-sex couples. Dean says he wouldn’t propose a federal law to give gay and lesbian couples the right to get married, but would recognize state laws. (AP)

West Nile virus
The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded Vermont $150,000 to fight West Nile virus. Vermont has had one suspected human case of the disease, although a number of birds have been found with the virus. (AP)

Vermont Pure
The town of Randolph is hoping to study the possibility of building a pipeline to allow the Vermont Pure water company to expand. Vermont Pure, which sells bottled natural spring water, has wanted to increase the number of truck traffics to its Randolph spring. (AP)

Bottle deposit law
One of Vermont’s environmental leaders says the state’s landmark bottle deposit law needs to be updated. Hubert Vogelmann, a retired University of Vermont botany professor, told the Vermont Institute of Natural Science at their annual meeting this weekend that the five-cent deposit isn’t high enough anymore. (AP)

Heating assistance
Low income Vermonters are being encouraged to apply for heating assistance for this winter. Officials at the state Office of Home Heating Fuel Assistance say fewer Vermonters have applied so far this year than last year. (AP)

Rutland parking garage
Parking at Rutland’s troubled downtown transit center will be free for at least another ten months. The Legislature approved $240,000 in spending this year to pay for equipment and other implementation expenses for parking fees at the garage. (AP)

Kidnapping attempt
An eleven-year-old girl was freed five minutes after being abducted yesterday by a man who police believe was driving a car with Vermont license plates. Olivia Kay was grabbed by a man yesterday evening near her home in Leominster, Massachusetts. Police say the man might have panicked, because he let the child go three miles away in nearby Lunenburg, Massachusetts. She was not physically hurt. (AP)

Farmer’s Almanac predictions
The new edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac out of Dublin, NH is calling for a cold winter in much of the country, a reversal from last year’s mild temperatures. The 211th edition also is calling for above-average snowfall in the East, while summer will be cooler than normal in New England. (AP)

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