The very mention of Alzheimer's strikes fear into the hearts of many of us who have watched loved ones disappear into the dark depths of this disease.

Dr. William Pendlebury is a Professor of Pathology and Neurology and Director of the UVM Center on Aging and Fletcher Allen's Memory Center. She spoke with Vermont Edition about the search for a cure for Alzheimer's.

From social media to blogging to the digital revolution, the world of media news is changing, and if consumers once were expected to passively consume the news they get, they're now demanding more from the people who report the news of the day.

Dan Gillmor welcomes this future. And it's the goal of his new book and project, called Mediactive.

The State Public Service Board is hearing testimony on a proposed wood-chip-fired power plant in North Springfield.

The 35 megawatt project would be Vermont's largest biomass plant.

Developers of the proposed plant say it will create jobs and help the state meet its goals for renewable energy.

Winstanley Enterprises is the company behind the plan, and it built North Springfield Industrial Park, where the plant would be built.

Winstanley partnered with Weston Solutions, which specializes in sustainable power projects.

Job losses in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene were in many cases temporary, lasting only as long as it took businesses to repair damage from the flood.

The financial impact of those layoffs has been more lasting, but lawmakers may have found a way to soften the blow.

Senate Delays License Bill For Migrant Workers

Apr 3, 2013

The Vermont Senate is delaying action until next week on a bill allowing immigrant farm workers to become Vermont drivers.

The Senate was going to debate the measure this week. It was approved last week by the Transportation Committee by a vote of 4-1.

But now it's being sent to the Finance Committee for review because it contains a fee - which an immigrant would pay to get the special driving privilege card.

Lynx Sightings On The Rise

Apr 3, 2013

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says sightings of Canada lynx are on the rise in the Northeast Kingdom.

Officials say there were only four confirmed sightings of the animals in Vermont between the late 1700s and early 2000s but say sightings have been increasing every year since 2003.

The department is doing surveys to determine the extent and distribution of the animal in Vermont.

Lynx are listed as threatened under the federal endangered species act and as endangered in Vermont. They are rarely seen because they are nocturnal and secretive.

Rutland Hospital Plans Methadone Clinic

Apr 3, 2013

The Rutland Regional Medical center is hoping to open a methadone clinic by fall.

Last week the hospital's board of directors voted to move forward with a state Department of Health plan to open a drug treatment center that police and health officials say is needed to treat people addicted to heroin and prescription painkillers.

Hospital spokeswoman Priscilla Latkin says the target date is Oct. 1

The facility will open with enough staff to handle 400 people a year but will probably not come close to that number of patients during its first 12 months in operation.

AP/Jeannie Nuss / Oil covers the ground around a slide in Mayflower, Ark., on April 1, 2013, days after a pipeline ruptured and spewed oil over

An oil spill in Arkansas may add urgency to Vermont legislation that would regulate oil pipelines.

Environmentalists point to similarities between the pipeline in Arkansas that ruptured and one in northern Vermont that could be used to ship tar sands oil.

The accident last week in Mayflower, AR spilled about 80,000 gallons of oil and forced the evacuation of 22 homes.

The 20-inch, underground line was used to carry tar sands oil from western Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.

The Senate Transportation committee is set to make a key change in the gas tax bill that was adopted by the House several weeks ago.

Lawmakers are eyeing the gas tax as a way to raise new revenue to allow the state to take full advantage of all federal matching money that's available.

The Transportation Fund has a major shortfall this year because the gas tax is levied on a per gallon basis nd sales have dropped more than 40 million gallons over the past 7 years.

AP/Toby Talbot

The House Transportation Committee is considering a bill that would explore why gasoline prices are higher in certain areas of Vermont.

Gas prices in the northwestern part of the state have been considerably higher than many other regions. The average disparity in prices in Chittenden County is about 22 cents.

Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington, is sponsoring a measure that would require distributors to provide data to the attorney general’s office.

Vt. Bills Target Distracted Driving

Apr 2, 2013
AP/Toby Talbot / A driver talks on the phone on Tuesday in Montpelier.

Vermont lawmakers are continuing their efforts to crack down on distracted driving, with bills that would boost the penalties for texting while driving and ban all hand-held electronic devices when driving through road construction zones.

Two House committees are studying those measures, while prospects for a proposed outright ban on using portable electronic devices while driving appear slim.

Vermonters already are banned from texting while driving and drivers under 18 are barred from using any portable electronic device.

Key members of the House are skeptical of a Senate bill that calls for a statewide study of the impact of renewable projects on Vermont’s environment.

Last week, after hours of often heated debate, the Senate passed a stripped-down measure of a bill that originally would have given towns more control in the state review of energy projects that are proposed for their communities.

A bacterial disease spread by tick bites is getting attention this week in the Statehouse.

Lyme disease patients and their advocates are pushing for a bill that requires insurance companies to cover long-term antibiotic care for the debilitating illness.

The bill highlights a debate in the medical community about the most effective treatment, because it sanctions a medical practice that critics say is not recommended by state and federal agencies.

Doctor Elliott Fisher has had a note on his office wall for several years now that states his professional mission - try to help fix health care.

This week the physician and researcher is even better positioned to do just that.The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice just named Fisher as its new director.

Fisher has been integral to the Dartmouth Institute's purpose of studying how to make health care systems work better. He spoke with Vermont edition about some of the inherent problems in how health care is delivered.

House

Scheduled to go into session at 10 a.m.

Favorable with Amendment H. 169 Relieving employers' experience-rating records

Favorable H. 474 Amending the membership and charge of the Government Accountability Committee

Senate

Scheduled to go into session at 9:30 a.m.

Third Reading S. 129 Workers' compensation liens

Agency of Natural Resources / Map of Water Street in Jamaica, VT. The red area, the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), has a 1% annual chance of a flood; the

More than 100 Vermont families lost their homes in Tropical Storm Irene. At least six had houses that were destroyed by the flood, but were deemed ineligible for a FEMA buy-back program because of where they appear on FEMA's maps.

Property-owner Karin Hardy had completely renovated her 150-year-old house in Jamaica, exposing the original beams, painting historic colors and building a stone bench above the quiet Ball Mountain Brook. But the brook changed on August 28, 2011.

http://www.vpr.net/audio/news/regional_news/2013/04/Spot-0402apo River Maps_040113_Nancy Cohen.mp3

A bacterial disease spread by tick bites is getting attention this week in the Statehouse.

Lyme disease patients and their advocates are pushing for a bill that requires insurance companies to cover long-term antibiotic care for the debilitating illness.

The bill highlights a debate in the medical community about the most effective treatment, because it sanctions a medical practice that critics say is not recommended by state and federal agencies.

This year Senator Bill Doyle tabulated almost 14,000 surveys from all parts of the state, and by a margin of 56 to 33 percent, those responding to the Survey said they didn't want to increase the gas tax to pay for road and bridge repairs.

Doyle says he was surprised by these results.

"I will say that I knew it would go down but I didn't think it would go down 2 to 1, said Doyle. Most of us drive to work and when you drive to work you're using a lot of gasoline."

Senate To Consider Driver's Licenses For Migrant Workers

Apr 2, 2013

The Vermont Senate will soon consider allowing immigrant farm workers to get state driver's licenses.

The Senate Transportation Committee last week moved out a bill that would do just that by a vote of 4-to-1.

Vermont dairy farms employ an estimated 1,500 Mexican farm workers, many of whom are here illegally.

They say without drivers licenses, they are often isolated in rural areas.

The bill would allow them to get driver's licenses if they have proper documentation.

Derby Recreation Center Closes

Apr 2, 2013

An indoor community recreation center in Derby has closed due to financial problems.

Indoor Recreation of Orleans known as IROC in Derby was taken over by the bank on Sunday after failing to pay its mortgage.

The chairman of the board and executive director said he hopes that the facility can be purchased and continue serving the entire community.

The center has a pool, skating rink, gym and offered fitness and recreation programs, as well as basketball, volleyball and soccer leagues.

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