January 14, 2002 – News at a glance

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Killington tourism
Some 200 travel professionals, mostly from New York City, are visiting the Killington region this week. It’s part of a large-scale effort to boost tourism. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

E-government plans
Governor Jim Douglas says he’ll follow through on a campaign promise to improve Vermont’s information technology. Douglas says he wants to create a new position in state government to oversee the state’s Internet and computer services. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Amtrak’s future
In the next few weeks, lawmakers will need to make some critical decisions concerning the future of Amtrak’s rail passenger service Vermont. It’s likely that Amtrak is going to seek a larger state subsidy in the next fiscal year and that’s a request that could be difficult for the Legislature to meet. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

New transportation agency officials
Vermont’s new transportation secretary has announced some of her staff and also says she wants to reorganize her agency. (AP)

Jeffords court case
Two Pennsylvania men won’t get a chance to challenge the legality of Vermont Senator James Jeffords’s decision to switch political parties. (AP)

State Police head named
A Vermont State Police captain has been promoted to major and will be in charge of all uniformed personnel. (AP)

Impact of drugs
The recently departed head of Vermont’s child welfare agency says illicit drugs could reverse many of the gains the state has made against child abuse. William Young resigned as commissioner of Social and Rehabilitation Services last week with the change in administrations. (AP)

Welfare drug testing
A Vermont lawmaker is proposing to require mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients. South Burlington Republican Frank Mazur says the purpose of his proposal is to get help to people who have a problem with substance abuse. But critics of the idea are calling it punitive and are questioning why the state would single out people on public assistance for the drug tests. (AP)

GMP global warming program
A Vermont power company and an environmental group have announced a new program in which utility customers can make donations to the effort to fight global warming. Green Mountain Power and the group Clean Air-Cool Planet say the company’s ratepayers will be asked for six-dollars per month in voluntary contributions to support the effort. (AP)

Bank and mail fraud
A Winooski man has been slapped with a 17-count federal indictment charging him with mail theft, possession of stolen mail and bank fraud. Authorities say 21-year old Ryan McKinlay illegally possessed checks which had been stolen from mail boxes in South Hero, South Burlington, Milton, Colchester, Waterbury and Shelburne. (AP)

Barre public safety building
It’s been nearly a year since voters in Barre approved $3.9 million for a new public safety building. But city officials are still unsure where it will go. Several sites have been considered, but each in turn has come in for criticism for perceived problems. (AP)

Tax cuts not expected
Governor Jim Douglas says it’s unlikely that Vermonters will get a state tax cut this year. Douglas told Chittenden County business leaders yesterday that he is facing serious budget pressures. He said it would be very difficult to accommodate tax cuts this fiscal year. (AP)

Bakery stores to stay open
The two Bouyea-Fassetts stores in Chittenden County will stay open even though the company’s South Burlington bakery has closed. Bouyea Fassetts has thrift stores in South Burlington and in Essex Junction. (AP)

Fish & Wildlife theft
A retired biologist with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has pleaded no contest to charges that he stole from the department. Jon Anderson has agreed to pay $500 restitution and perform up to 120 hours of community service. (AP)

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