September 26, 2003 – News at a glance

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Lake Champlain cleanup funds
Later this fall the Douglas administration will unveil new initiatives to clean up Lake Champlain. The plan includes an effort to find hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for new pollution control efforts. Officials are also discussing whether the state should accelerate the timetable to clean up the most polluted parts of the lake. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

OMYA solid waste rules
OMYA got good and bad news at a meeting Thursday night with members of the public and the state Environmental Conservation Department. OMYA wants to build a 32-acre above ground storage facility to hold mineral wastes created at its calcium carbonate plant. Because it’s a mining company, OMYA had asked to be exempted from Vermont’s solid waste law. They got their wish. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Fiberglass glass pigs at auction
Mitch Wertlieb talks with Brandon artist Warren Kimball, who is created a fiberglass pig to benefit community arts projects.

Democrats presidential debate
Neal Charnoff and Jim Colgan debrief the Democratic presidential debate as the events winds down in New York City. (Listen to the story online.) (VPR)

Springfield prison opens
The Southern State Correctional facility in Springfield held its official ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday. But even as legislators and officials were exchanging congratulations, officials were contemplating an early expansion of the new prison. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Private prison contract
State Corrections Commissioner Steve Gold says there’s a good chance that Vermont will sign a contract with an out of state private prison company to house several hundred inmates. Currently these inmates are incarcerated in Virginia, but Gold says the state is looking at other options because Virginia officials are seeking more money for this arrangement. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Affordable housing study
According to a new study, it’s becoming harder and harder for many Vermonters to find affordable housing. The report, released by the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition, found that nearly half of all Vermonters pay more than 30% of their income for housing. (VPR)

Drug prices vary
Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell is advising Vermonters to shop around when buying prescription drugs. A survey by his office found wide price differences for various prescription drugs sold at Burlington area pharmacies. (AP)

Dean campaign notes
Three more Democrats on the District of Columbia Council plan to endorse former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. That means that Dean will have the support of nine of the 11 Democrats who serve on the 13-member council. The District of Columbia will be the site of the first presidential primary next year. Dean also got a warm reception from union members at the Detroit Metropolitan AFL-CIO’s constitutional convention Thursday. The 200 union leaders representing 330 unions in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties liked what the former Vermont governor had to say about health care. (AP)

Business ad campaign
“Vermont … it’s about the people.” That’s the central slogan in a new ad campaign launched by Governor James Douglas. The $100,000 campaign is designed to attract out-of-state businesses to open operations in Vermont and generate jobs. (AP)

Pownal racetrack
The economic development group in the southwestern part of Vermont wants to look into buying the closed Pownal trace track. The Pownal select board has voted in favor of applying for a $20,000 state grant for the Bennington County Industrial Corporation. (AP)

UVM administrator steps down
The University of Vermont’s second-ranking administrator says he’s stepping down to return to teaching. John Bramley has been the university’s provost and senior vice president since 2001. In that role, he has been the chief academic officer and chief operations officer. (AP)

Windsor personnel hearing
A fired Windsor town administrator is trying to get his job back. John Schempf and his attorney testified before the select board this week to defend his work and to criticize the way he was fired. About 80 people attended the meeting, many to show support for Schempf. (AP)

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