June 16, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: Burlington mayor Peter Clavelle
In the first of a series of interviews with Vermont mayors, Steve Delaney talks with Burlington mayor Peter Clavelle about the city’s finances. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Veterans sue for Agent Orange Illness
A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling is good news for Vermont’s Vietnam veterans. The ruling allows veterans who became ill since 1994 as a result of Agent Orange exposure to sue the companies that manufactured the chemical. (VPR)

Stone wall revival
Dry stone walling is the art of building out of stone – without mortar or cement. It’s a skill New England’s early settlers knew well. The region is crisscrossed with old dry stone walls crumbling from neglect, but interest in the craft is reviving. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Jobs bill signed
Governor Jim Douglas plans to sign the so-called “jobs bill” into law Monday. It’s been one of the top items on Douglas’ agenda since he first started campaigning for governor. He plans to sign the bill during a stop at Mylan Technologies in Saint Albans at noon. (AP)

School budgets
The Vermont Superintendents Association says 19 towns do not yet have school budgets approved by voters. In all, 198 school budgets statewide were approved before or on Town Meeting Day; 51 others were defeated by voters at least once. (AP)

Psychiatric hospital investigation
Federal inspectors are expected back at the Vermont State Hospital any day. They’ll be looking to see whether the state has corrected deficiencies discovered three months ago. The problems were serious enough that the branch chief for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services warned the hospital that it could lose its federal funding for patients July 11. (AP)

Trooper killed on duty
A Vermont state police sergeant has been killed in the line of duty. Michael Johnson died after he was struck by a car he was trying to stop. The incident happened Sunday afternoon on Interstate 91 in Norwich. A state police trooper had stopped a car police say was driven by Eric Daley of Lebanon, New Hampshire, in Thetford. But the car drove off. In an effort to stop the vehicle, Johnson placed spike strips on the interstate about five miles south. Daley swerved to miss them and struck Johnson. Daley fled on foot and authorities are searching for him. (AP)

Principal killed in car accident
Students and staff at the Orleans elementary school are mourning the death of their principal. Forty-six-year-old Dana Carbonneau of Barre was killed Friday after his car struck a moose and then an oncoming pickup truck. Carbonneau was returning home from the Orleans’ school’s eighth grade graduation when he hit the moose on Vermont Route 14 in Woodbury. (AP)

Drug Club investigation
State authorities are working to shut down a company that helps Vermonters get low-cost prescription drugs from Canada. Burlington Drug Club President Thomas Anderson says a state investigator visited the company’s office late last month. (AP)

Grand list online
A Vermont company’s plan to put grand list data on the Internet is raising some privacy concerns. The business wants to take information available from town clerks and put it online, but some town listers say they’re worried it could be used for the wrong reasons. (AP)

State contracts online
Construction contractors may have an easier time getting work at the Vermont Agency of Transportation. Secretary Patricia MacDonald says the agency is beginning to accept bids from contractors online. That means that companies seeking to land a state contract can submit their proposal using computers. (AP)

Burlington transit center
Construction is due to begin this fall on a new transit center in downtown Burlington. But some city officials and neighboring businesses are questioning whether putting at the city’s waterfront is appropriate. They say the project is probably worthwhile if it were built elsewhere in the city. (AP)

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