September 17, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: small business troubleshooting
Mitch Wertlieb talks with Michael Barrera, the ombudsman of the Small Business Administration. SBA representatives will be in Monteplier this month to hear from Vermont small business owners. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Misdemeanor sentencing
Corrections Commissioner Steve Gold says he’ll ask the Legislature in January to review a number of state laws to help determine whether or not people who are convicted of misdemeanors should be sent to prison. (VPR)

Turning farm waste into energy
Two federal agencies have awarded a grant of nearly $750,000 to look into how Vermont can produce fuel from plants and farm waste. Proponents say bio-renewable energy can help consumers and farmers. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Paul Reiber nominated to Supreme Court
Governor Jim Douglas has named Rutland attorney Paul Reiber to fill a vacancy on the Vermont Supreme Court. Reiber is a trial lawyer who has specialized in civil litigation cases representing insurance companies. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Douglas clean air plan
The Douglas administration won support from a statewide environmental group on Tuesday for a new plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Governor Douglas also repeated his opposition to the Bush administration’s proposal to relax rules for coal-fired power plants. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Townsend school district vote
Voters in Townshend will decide Wednesday night whether to secede from the Leland and Gray Union High School District. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Northeast Kingdom wind project
A wind energy developer is going ahead with plans to put three giant wind turbines on top of East Mountain in East Haven. (AP)

Dean fundraises for Vermont Democrats
Vermont Senate Democrats are getting some help from former Governor Howard Dean. The Democratic presidential candidate made a stop Tuesday night in Burlington to attend a fundraiser for his former colleagues. (AP)

Nuclear waste disposal
Texas environmental regulators are moving forward with plans to store low-level radioactive waste, some of which would come from Vermont. The state Legislature has approved a bill that allows for the creation of two privately-run waste disposal facilities. (AP)

Brattleboro climate plan
The town of Brattleboro is planning to cut its greenhouse gas emissions over the next seven years. That’s according to a draft of the town’s climate action plan. The plan was put together by the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign. (AP)

Vermont State Hospital review
A special outside inspection and an internal review are among the steps officials are taking after the second suicide in less than six weeks at the Vermont State Hospital. Susan Besio, commissioner of the Department of Developmental and Mental Health Services, has confirmed that a 20-year-old female patient took her own life at the Waterbury facility. (AP)

Drug court funds
Vermont’s first drug court is getting $500,000 from a federal grant. Senators James Jeffords and Patrick Leahy announced the Department of Justice funds Tuesday. The money will be used to help pay for staffing, drug testing and case management. (AP)

Housing discrimination
Racism is rampant in housing in Vermont, and not enough is being done about it. That was a central message from participants in a forum on the issue Tuesday night in Burlington. The session came about six months after a study by the Champlain Office of Economic Opportunity found widespread evidence of discrimination in housing. (AP)

Randolph woodworking growth
The former Ethan Allen furniture plant in Randolph is starting to see new life. Three smaller woodworking operations owned by the same holding company have moved into the facility and given former Ethan Allen workers new jobs. (AP)

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