June 4, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: tracking West Nile Virus
Steve Delaney talks with Jon Turmel, state insect specialist for the Agency of Agriculture. Turmel has tracked the spread the West Nile Virus since it first appeared in the United States. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Dean’s Internet campaign
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean’s presidential campaign says 30,000 people will take part in this week’s Meet Up event in support of Dean. (VPR)

Regulatory fix for permit process
Since lawmakers were unable to reach a compromise on permit reform, the Douglas administration plans to implement some changes through the regulatory process. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Historical Society’s archive
The Vermont Historical Society moved into its newly renovated home at the old Spaulding Graded School in Barre last summer, but much of the building is still a work in progress. Meeting rooms and display areas are still being refurbished. However, one important phase of the move has been completed and it’s something most members of the public may never see. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Water board rules on stormwater permits
The Water Resources Board has ruled that specialized stormwater permits for four streams in Chittenden County fail to comply with state water quality laws. (VPR)

Book interview: ‘O Artful
Neal Charnoff talks with Vermont writer Sarah Stewart Taylor. Taylor’s new mystery novel delves into history to solve the mysterious 1890s death. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

No Child Left Behind
The U.S. secretary of education has approved Vermont’s plan to comply with the federal “No Child Left Behind” law. The law requires states to submit a plan for raising the academic achievement of students and schools, and relies on standardized testing to measure that progress. Vermont is the thirtieth state to receive approval for its education plan. Review Vermont’s plan online.

Cabot suspect commits suicide
A man described as the suspect in the fatal shooting in Cabot on Sunday has killed himself. Vermont State Police say they learned that 31-year-old Christopher Morse of Plainfield was in Michigan. State police say Morse shot and killed himself while he was driving as authorities in Holly, Michigan, attempted to pull him over. (AP)

Danville homicide suspect
Vermont State Police say the man identified as the prime suspect in a Sunday double homicide may have killed himself. That word about the possible fate of Henry “Hank” Butson comes as state police, game wardens and a National Guard helicopter scour northeastern Vermont for Butson. (AP)

Commissioner criticizes Water Board decision
One of Vermont’s top environmental regulators is criticizing a Water Resources Board decision. Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Jeff Wennberg says a recent ruling will delay projects that would improve water quality. (AP)

Substance abuse law signed
Vermont Governor Jim Douglas is signing a substance abuse initiative into law Wednesday. The nearly $8 million plan will provide additional resources to fight drug-related problems in the state. (AP)

Dean endorsement
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is picking up another endorsement in Hawaii for his presidential campaign. Former Democratic Governor Ben Cayetano says he’s supporting Dean’s bid for the Democratic nomination. (AP)

Plant closes
A Saint Johnsbury factory has closed unexpectedly. Quality Controlled Stitching closed last week, but it’s unclear whether the factory will reopen. The assistant plant manager says the weak economy has taken a toll on the business, which specializes in fleece products for the ski industry. (AP)

SIT receives $20 million gift
An anonymous donor has given $20 million to the parent group of the School for International training in Brattleboro. James Cramer, president of SIT and its parent, World Learning, says the donor asked that nearly half of the gift be earmarked for programs focusing on Middle Eastern or Islamic cultures. (AP)

Fletcher Allen MRI purchase weighed
Fletcher Allen Health Care wants a new state-of-the-art diagnostic tool, but a consultant has told the state of Vermont the magnetic resonance imager the hospital is eyeing is too pricey. Fletcher Allen officials say the two MRI machines the facility has now aren’t enough, and that patients must wait up to six weeks because of a backlog. But the state – which gets to rule on the hospital purchase – has been after Fletcher Allen to cut costs following the financial debacle surrounding an ongoing expansion project. (AP)

Mount Mansfield school budget
Voters in five towns in eastern Chittenden County have approved a proposed $17.6 million budget that will fund three regional schools. The vote in the Mount Mansfield Union school district was 2,182 in favor of the spending plan and 1,524 against the measure – a margin of 59% to 41%. (AP)

Chittenden County vacancy rate
It should be getting easier to find an apartment in Vermont’s Chittenden County. The apartment vacancy rate of 2.7% is at its highest rate in a decade. It’s a dramatic increase from a year ago when the rate was less than 1%. (AP)

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