September 22, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: Farmer’s Almanac
Mitch Wertlieb talks with the senior editor of the Farmer’s Almanac about the recently released 2004 edition of the journal. The Farmer’s Almanac has been published annually since 1792. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Environmental groups weigh Douglas’ clean air plans

Environmental groups are split over whether to support Governor Jim Douglas’s proposal to reduce air pollution. Last week, a leading environmentalist praised the governor for offering a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Vermont. But critics say the governor’s plan doesn’t go far enough. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Education commissioner
Vermont is expected to have a new commissioner of education by the end of the month. The state Board of Education and Governor Jim Douglas plan to interview the three finalists the job this week. Richard Cate, Wayne Gersen and Eric Isselhardt were selected from 27 applicants after the board advertised nationally to fill the job. (AP)

Democratic and Progressive politics
The decision by Burlington’s Progressive mayor to run for Vermont governor as a Democrat could have a big impact on both parties. Peter Clavelle made his plans known last week, and the news left some Democratic leaders questioning how committed Clavelle is to their party. So far, the mayor has not made a pledge to support all other Democratic candidates. (AP)

Health care jobs
While layoffs continue to plague Vermont’s manufacturing sector, many jobs in health care fields are going unfilled. A new survey of health care employers has found vacancy rates of up to 35% for health-related jobs including pharmacists, dieticians and radiologists. (AP)

Cormorant autopsies
Tests are being done on about 130 of Lake Champlain’s double-breasted cormorants to try to determine what killed them this summer. Sick and dead cormorants showed up around Young Island off the west shore of Grand Isle and the Four Brothers islands on the New York side of the lake in late July and August. (AP)

Causeway rail bed
The state of Vermont is studying the idea of removing an overgrown and unused railroad causeway across Lake Champlain’s Carry Bay in North Hero. The preliminary study is designed to find out whether removing the causeway would help flush out the bay and reduce the pollution now trapped there. (AP)

Connecticut River rehabilitation
The town of Saint Johnsbury is joining in on the recognition that what once was an open sewer now is a source of pride for Vermont and New Hampshire. Saint Johnsbury has refurbished an old railroad station into a welcome center for those coming to enjoy the Connecticut River Scenic Byway. (AP)

Rutland traffic congestion
Construction is due to begin soon on projects aimed at improving the flow of traffic through Rutland. City and state officials agreed to make improvements to U.S. Route 4 and U.S. Route 7 after a proposed bypass around the city was defeated in 2000. (AP)

Fatal car accident
Vermont state police say a 15-year-old with a learner’s permit was at the wheel and her grandmother in the front passenger seat when an accident left the older woman with fatal injuries. Police say 15-year-old Rachel Barton of Post Mills was driving south on Interstate 91 in Hartford Saturday when she lost control of the 2000 Kia sport utility vehicle. The car went off the road and rolled over, and the girl’s grandmother, Betty Ann Baker, suffered fatal injuries. (AP)

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