- Associated Press - Monday, July 28, 2014

Upcoming Vermont news from The Associated Press for Monday, July 28, 2014.

Good morning! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up today in Vermont. Questions about today’s coverage plans are welcome, and should be directed to Vermont Correspondent Wilson Ring at 802-229-0577 or wring@ap.org or to Northern New England Correspondent Rik Stevens at rstevens@ap.org.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking news and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

VETERANS-HEALTH CARE

WASHINGTON - After more than six weeks of sometimes testy talks, House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays. The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have scheduled a news conference Monday afternoon to unveil a plan expected to authorize billions in emergency spending to lease 27 new clinics, hire more doctors and nurses and make it easier for veterans who can’t get prompt appointments with VA doctors to obtain outside care. By Matthew Daly.

AP Photos.

OBAMA-ARTS-HUMANITIES

WASHINGTON - Singer Linda Ronstadt, DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg Middlebury College instructor and novelist Julia Alvarez are among those being honored at the White House for their contributions to arts and humanities. President Barack Obama is awarding the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal to 22 recipients in an East Room ceremony Monday. First lady Michelle Obama also plans to attend. By Nedra Pickler.

ALSO GETTING ATTENTION

WHOOPING COUGH VACCINE EFFECTIVENESS

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Thousands of Vermont parents could be hearing from medical professionals this week who will be asking about the vaccination histories of their children. It’s part of a study being done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Vermont Health Department that is seeking to determine if the whooping cough vaccine isn’t as effective against a new strain of the disease.

FAIRPOINT-CONTRACT

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Unions representing FairPoint Communications workers in northern New England say the sides remain far apart in contract negotiations. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers represents about 1,800 FairPoint employees in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire. Mike Spillane, a Vermont member of the negotiating team, told Vermont Public Radio (http://bit.ly/1rNgMRd ) that he has little hope of progress when talks resume on Tuesday. Members have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if necessary.

CONDO FIRE

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - South Burlington firefighters say a blaze that destroyed a six-bay garage at a condominium was started by the improper disposal of rags that had been used to refinish furniture. There were no injuries that were reported about midnight Sunday.

HEAT PUMPS

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Montpelier residents are going to be able to rent heat pumps from Vermont’s largest electric utility as a way to save money on their heating bills. Green Mountain Power says it has expanded its heat pump rental program from Rutland to include Montpelier.

MALL-SELLING COCAINE

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. - A New Hampshire man has been sentenced to a year in jail for selling cocaine out of his car in a mall parking lot in Vermont. The Caledonian Record reports (http://bit.ly/1kiLJfs) 29-year-old Luis Santana of Littleton, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty in Caledonia Superior Court to the sale of the drug in exchange for his one-to-three-year sentence, with a work camp recommendation.

SPEEDING ARRESTS

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - Police in South Burlington, Vermont, say two Quebec men have been arrested after they were driving their motorcycles at speeds of more than 100 mph on Interstate 89. Police said the men were passing vehicles in an unsafe manner on Saturday.

ELECTRICIANS KILLED

RUTLAND, Vt. - A Vermont judge is set this week to hear a request for a new lawyer by the man charged with fatally shooting two electricians who were working on his rented Fair Haven home in February. Judge Theresa DiMauro is scheduled to hold a hearing on Sylvester Labartino’s request on Wednesday in the criminal court for Rutland County.

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