March 8, 2005 – News at a glance

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Debate continues on how to change Medicaid
One of the biggest challenges facing lawmakers this year is how to reach an agreement with the Douglas administration over a significant shortage in the state’s Medicaid program. (VPR)

Board revises proposed changes for deer hunting
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board will consider several revisions to proposed changes in the state’s fall deer hunting season. The revisions comes after a series of crowded public hearings last month in which hunters expressed their dissatisfaction with the way the state’s deer herd is being managed. (VPR)

Backers of Guard resolution take cause to Statehouse
Organizers of a Town Meeting vote on the Iraq War say their next stop is the state Legislature. Last week, 50 towns passed some form of a resolution questioning the role of the National Guard in the conflict. Those who worked on the effort say they hope lawmakers will now set up a commission to examine the war’s impact at home. (VPR)

Residents, senators raise questions about I-91 checkpoint
A U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 91 is beginning to wear on residents and prompt questions by Vermont’s congressional delegation. At a congressional hearing last week, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy told Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Robert Bonner that the I-91 checkpoint is stopping honest people who are simply driving through their home region. (AP)

State high school debate tournament
A team from Montpelier High School took top honors today in a statewide public forum debate tournament. Ethan Backus and Lauren Canales made up one of 14 debate teams from around Vermont that gathered at the Statehouse. (AP)

Concord buys back totaled plow
Officials in the Northeast Kingdom town of Concord are displaying a little bit of Yankee thrift. Their relatively new, 2001 town plow was totaled in an accident last month. But it would cost so much to buy a new one that the town decided to buy the wrecked one back from its insurance carrier, fix it and put it back on the road. (AP)

White House blogger
A former press secretary for presidential candidate Howard Dean has become the first “blogger” to be admitted to the daily White House press briefing. Garrett Graff, who writes about the news media for a Washington-based web site, covered the briefing on Monday. A White House spokesman said he believed it was the first time that a blogger – someone who contributes to a daily web log – was given press credentials to cover the daily briefing. (VPR)

Dean fundraising
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is taking his fund-raising expertise to his new job as head of the Democratic National Committee. In the three weeks since Dean became chairman, the committee has raised $3.4 million. (AP)

Health care reform proposal
A former secretary of the Human Services Agency and a doctor say they have the prescription for Vermont’s ailing health care system. Cornelius Hogan and Doctor Deborah Richter have written a book that offers ideas for how Vermont can pay for health care. (AP)

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