August 30, 2004 – News at a Glance

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VPIRG State Energy Plan
The Vermont Public Research Interest Group is releasing a 20 year state energy plan on Monday that calls for a much greater emphasis on conservation programs and renewable energy sources. Public Service Department Commissioner David O’Brien dismissed the proposal as a political document that contains misleading information. (VPR)

Vets’ Center Supports Returning Soldiers
After the Vietnam War, a network of community-based counseling centers was created by an Act of Congress to help veterans readjust to ordinary life after combat. A quarter of a century later, those centers are still around, and hoping to be equally helpful to veterans of the current conflict. (VPR)

Interview: Women’s Writing Program
A unique kind of writing center opens its doors today in Williston: a weekly class for women that supports an environment for sustaining the practice of writing and encouraging each individual’s own growth of the craft. Poet Sarah Bartlett of Jericho is facilitating the class, which is based on an established program in Cincinnati called “Women Writing for a Change.” Mitch Wertlieb talks with Bartlett about the program. (VPR)

Milton School Board
The resignations of a School Board member and top administrator this past week in Milton were the latest in a string of such departures and are said to point to a system in disarray. Those along with two other recent departures mean the district has lost its two top appointed officials and two of five elected leaders. (AP)

Localized Flash Flooding
Residents of Bristol and New Haven spent Sunday cleaning up from flash flooding Saturday evening that collapsed roads and parking lots and left rocks and other debris in its wake. A Health Department team was also called in to assess homes and businesses where basements were flooded. (AP)

Storms Cause Power Outages
Heavy rain and strong winds caused more problems across Vermont SUnday night. Thousands of people lost their power when a line of thunderstorms swept across Lake Champlain and then across the state last night. The wind was reported as strong as 47 miles per hour as the line of storms crossed Lake Champlain. (AP)

Vermont RNC Delegates
Eighteen Vermont Republicans are in New York to serve as delegates to this week’s Republican National Convention, and most are veterans of previous such events. In fact, three of Vermont’s delegates – John Wu, Sara Gear Boyd and John Lindley III – each has attended five previous conventions. (AP)

Vermont RNC Protesters
In addition delegates Vermont is sending in New York, at least 50 protesters have made the trip. The Burlington-based Peace and Justice Center sponsored a peace bus to bring 50 people to New York to participate in Sunday’s mass protests on the eve of the convention. (AP)

Mainstream GOP
Former U.S. Senator Robert Stafford of Vermont is joining a group of moderate Republicans urging their party to move back to the mainstream. The group calling itself Mainstream 2004 is asking President Bush and the party leadership to drop strict adherence to ideology. The group in its ads called on Bush and the GOP to “stop weakening environmental law.” (AP)

Hingtgen Tavern Tour
We’ve already had the “Promise of Vermont Tour” by Governor Jim Douglas as he seeks re-election. We’ve had the “Summer Health Care Tour” by his Democratic challenger, Peter Clavelle. Now Steve Hingtgen, Progressive candidate for lieutenant governor, is launching the “Vermont Tavern Tour.” He starts Monday at Charlie O’s in Montpelier and says he’ll hit 20 watering holes as he travels the state. His campaign manager will be his designated driver. (AP)

Dean Campaigns for Democrats
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean continues to travel the country to promote the Democratic Party, its candidates and policies. Dean this week is set to travel to Illinois, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. He’ll be campaigning for candidates there, as well as raising money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. (AP)

Deaf Discrimination Suit
The Vermont Department of Aging and Disabilities has been found to have discriminated against a deaf woman in violation of the state’s Fair Employment Practices Act. The department has agreed to pay Marjorie Wells of Montpelier $30,000 as part of a settlement of her claim of discrimination at a district office in Barre. (AP)

Drug Addicted Health Care Workers
As illegal drug use has grown in Vermont, so has a particularly troubling subset of it: drug-addicted health care workers stealing pain medications from elderly patients. In one such case, an employee of the Berlin Health Rehabilitation Clinic was arraigned Thursday on felony and misdemeanor drug charges in Vermont District Court for Washington County. (AP)

Underage Drinking Party
Vermont State Police broke up an underage drinking party in Ludlow over the weekend. Police say they discovered the party at about 1:30 on Saturday morning. Authorities obtained a search warrant because the juveniles would not cooperate. Five teenagers were issued civil violations for their first offense as a minor in possession of alcohol. (AP)

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