February 28

New England Dispatches

From news service reports

MANCHESTER, N.H.

Delegation: Keep airport control tower open overnight

New Hampshire’s congressional delegation is asking the Federal Aviation Administration to keep the control tower at the Manchester airport open overnight.

U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte and Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster sent a letter Thursday asking the FAA to reject a recent request to close the tower between midnight and 6 a.m. In a similar letter, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas said the request came from an air traffic manager who did not consult with airport officials or other stakeholders.

They raised safety concerns, noting that Manchester Boston Regional Airport has been designated as an alternative airport for New England flights diverted by bad weather and that it is home to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock emergency medical helicopter.

QUINCY, Mass.

Honey Dew told not to sell doughnuts at YMCA location

A doughnut shop chain won’t be selling doughnuts at a new Massachusetts location.

Quincy’s licensing board this week approved a plan for Honey Dew Donuts to open a shop inside the city’s new $30 million YMCA.

A spokeswoman for the Y tells The Patriot Ledger that because of the organization’s emphasis on physical fitness, no doughnuts will be sold. The shop will sell coffee, low-fat muffins, salads, sandwiches, yogurt, fruit cups and smoothies. All menu items must be approved by the Y.

MONTPELIER, Vt.

Bill allowing unions for child care workers moves forward

The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill to allow home-based child care providers to unionize for the purpose of negotiating rates and working conditions with the state.

The bill, which won preliminary approval Thursday on a 22-8 vote, would cover about 1,400 child care workers in home-based settings with up to 12 children. It would not cover staff in larger child care centers.

Lead sponsor Sen. Richard McCormack says many of the child care workers who would be allowed to unionize currently make less than $20,000 a year.

Bill eliminating smoking rooms gets preliminary OK

The Vermont House has endorsed a bill under which there would be no more smoking rooms in the state’s hotels and motels – just nonsmoking rooms.

The bill given preliminary approval on a voice vote Thursday also would set other restrictions on use of tobacco, including banning its use within 25 feet of a state building.

Vermont cutting moose hunting permits by 20 percent

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is cutting by 20 percent the number of moose hunting permits that will be issued for this fall’s hunting seasons because of ongoing concerns about the health of the herd.

The department’s plan is to issue 285 permits for the October firearms hunting season and 50 for a special archery season are expected to result in the taking of about 150 moose.

Cartoonist laureate: Post reflects Vermont’s character

Vermont’s new cartoonist laureate says the honorary position is indicative of Vermont’s independent and persnickety character. Ed Koren’s appointment became official with a Statehouse ceremony Wednesday.

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