January 21, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: new Agriculture commissioner
VPR’s Steve Delaney talks with Steve Kerr, the incoming commissioner of the Department of Agriculture. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Champion land deal
A coalition of hunters, camp-owners and loggers wants Governor Jim Douglas to repeal a November executive order that was signed by former Governor Howard Dean. But other conservation and sporting groups say Dean’s executive order finally settled the dispute over how the Champion timberlands should be managed. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Extreme cold expected
An arctic cold front will create bitterly cold wind chill readings Monday and Tuesday. The National Weather Service in Burlington says wind chill readings of 20 below zero or colder are expected in parts of the state. (AP)

Weatherization and fuel assistance
Some advocates fear money intended to help low-income Vermonters weatherize their homes may be tapped to help them pay their heating bills. Advocates are concerned that lawmakers will revert to the state’s weatherization assistance program if the federal government does not come up with more money for fuel assistance. (AP)

State budget
Vermont Governor Jim Douglas will soon detail the annual state budget. The House and Senate will get an overview of his spending plan on Thursday. Douglas already has said the budget is going to be tight again this year. (AP)

Business survey
The number of businesses is increasing in Vermont, and the number of business failures is going down, according to a new business survey. More business were started in 2002 in Vermont than in any other year in the previous decade. (AP)

Passero to lead Bellows Falls church
Parishioners at the Catholic Church in Bellows Falls are welcoming a new leader. The church’s temporary administrator is its new, permanent leader. Sixty-seven-year-old Ernest Passero announced his new post at masses over the weekend. (AP)

Sharpton to run in 2004
The field of presidential competition for former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is widening. The Reverend Al Sharpton is heading to Washington D.C. Tuesday to officially toss his hat in the race for the presidency in 2004. (AP)

Divorce lawyers not needed
A majority of Vermonters who divorce do so without hiring a lawyer. Now they can take a class on how to represent themselves. The court-mandated session is for people who have filed for divorce but opted not to hire a lawyer. (AP)

Skiers found
Two skiers were rescued in sub-zero temperatures early Tuesday morning at Killington. Vermont State Police located 35-year-old Anthony Ellis 39-year-old Guy Edwards around 2:45 a.m. (AP)

Barre homicide
Family and friends are remembering the life of an 18-year-old central Vermont woman who was found dead last week. Police are investigating Tara Stratton’s death as a homicide, but have released few details of how she died. (AP)

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