May 20, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: SARS infection rate
Steve Delaney talks with UVM scientist Steven Rae. Dr. Rae and his partner, Dr. Philip Lintilhac, have been tracking the infection rate of SARS. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Home radon testing
You can’t see it. You can’t smell it or taste it, but naturally occurring radon gas can cause serious long-term health problems. One in six homes in Vermont has high levels of radon, and the state Health Department would like more people to test for it. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Victims’ rights in juvenile court
Legislation giving crime victims greater access to juvenile court proceedings is under consideration in the Vermont House. The bill attempts to balance the rights of victims with the tradition of keeping juvenile records confidential. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Newspaper charged with unfair labor practices
A union official says he’s filed unfair labor charges against the Brattleboro Reformer after the paper suspended a reporter who’s working to organize a union. (VPR)

Hunger Mountain overturns votes
Members of a food cooperative in Montpelier have resoundingly voted to reverse plans to expand the building. They also voted to tighten member control of the thriving Hunger Mountain Cooperative. (AP)

Environmentally friendly road trip
About a dozen Middlebury College students are driving across the country in a school bus fueled by used vegetable oil. (AP)

State budget
Senate Democrats appear to be giving up any hope of paying for expanded social programs or property tax relief with the income tax surcharge they passed earlier this month. Senate Majority Leader John Campbell says the budget conference committee is finding other ways to balance the budget. (AP)

Clean Power Act
Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords was in North Carolina Monday to talk about the effects pollution has had on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Jeffords is promoting a clean power act that would require power plants to reduce emissions that cause smog, acid rain, respiratory disease, mercury contamination and global warming. (AP)

Democratic candidates debate
The nine Democratic presidential candidates, including former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, have agreed to conduct six to eight debates between July and the end of the year. Leaders of the rival campaigns agreed that the debates should be conducted by the Democratic National Committee and sponsored by national broadcast media. (AP)

Bennington County economy
A new study says job growth in Bennington County will be slower in the coming decade than it has been in the past. The report by Economic and Policy Resources of Williston says 6,480 jobs will be created in the next dozen years. The annual growth rate is down slightly from the 2% rate seen in the past decade. (AP)

School budget votes
Vermonters in four Chittenden County communities go to the polls Tuesday to vote on budgets and bonds. In Burlington, Essex and Winooski, residents will decide whether to pass school budgets after first attempts failed earlier this year. (AP)

Springfield declines police grant
The Springfield High School has decided not to have a police officer in its halls next year. School officials have opted not to accept a $125,000 grant that would have paid for having the police officer at the school for three years. School officials say they can’t afford to pay the cost for the fourth year as required by the grant. (AP)

Berlin hunting incident
Prosecutors say they don’t know if they’ll file charges in the case of a Berlin man killed by a stray bullet while watching TV inside his home. The incident has been under investigation since December 1, 2002, the day after Edward Carroll was shot. (AP)

Buck Mountain fire
Firefighters are letting a 10-acre blaze in Vermont’s Addison County burn itself out. The fire started Sunday afternoon in the Buck Mountain area in Waltham. Fire crews could not get to where the fire was burning because of steep cliffs. (AP)

Owner hides accused dog
A Vermont woman whose 90-pound dog authorities want euthanized says she’s moved the animal out of town. Susan Shepard of Quechee says she’ll go to jail before handing over the black Labrador-pit bull mix that is accused of biting cattle. (AP)

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