April 1, 2004 – News at a glance

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Interview: Corrections Commissioner Steve Gold
State Corrections Commissioner Steve Gold has submitted a preliminary plan to lawmakers and is also asking for the public’s help to deal with serious problems in the state prison system. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Commissioner Gold about the recommendations. (VPR)

Hundreds attend NRC’s Vermont Yankee briefing
Officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission got a clear message Wednesday night when they briefed the public on their review of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. (VPR)

Workshop warns parents of online dangers
Unhealthy messages about sex are pervasive on the Internet and child health experts say it’s more important than ever that parents talk to kids about these messages. (VPR)

Officials ask NRC to conduct Vermont Yankee review
Governor Jim Douglas is calling on the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission to comply with an order from the state Public Service Board. The board called for an independent engineering study of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant’s proposal to increase its power output by 20 percent. The NRC says it hasn’t decided how it will respond to this request. (VPR)

Canadian group given party status in landfill expansion
For the first time, a Canadian group has been granted status in a Vermont Act 250 proceeding. The group is concerned that plans to expand a landfill in the Northeast Kingdom may adversely affect residents north of the border. (VPR)

House includes marijuana study in end of life bill
Backers of legislation that would allow the medical use of marijuana won a key battle on the House floor on Wednesday. (VPR)

Book interview: ‘Walking to Vermont’
After a 40-year career as a foreign correspondent, reporter Christopher Wren left his office at the New York Times and walked home. Nothing unusual about that, except in this case, the homeward trek was 400 miles north to Vermont. Neal Charnoff talks with Wren about the book that recounts his adventures, “Walking to Vermont.” (VPR)

Budget increase would help to solve corrections issues
Governor Jim Douglas says he’s prepared to put more money into the state corrections budget to finance improvements in the system. (AP)

Episcopal Church to hold racism workshops
The Vermont Episcopal Church will hold a series of workshops on racism this week. (AP)

Ludlow to vote again on zoning amendment
Voters in Ludlow will get a second chance to weigh in on a proposed zoning amendment that would allow Okemo Mountain Resort to build more than 300 condominiums. (AP)

School harassment bill passes
Vermont schools are about to get special guidelines to deal with harassment in schools. The Vermont Senate yesterday approved a bill that would require all schools to have a designated civil rights officer to handle harassment complaints. (AP)

V-HAP premiums
Vermont Auditor Elizabeth Ready is giving mixed reviews to how the state charges its working poor for state-subsidized health care. Ready says efforts to charge monthly premiums instead of the old co-payment and deductible system are going smoothly. But she warns thousands of beneficiaries could lose their insurance coverage if state welfare officials don’t improve the way they collect and account for the premiums. (AP)

Mississquoi sewage spill
Melting rain and snow should help flush out hundreds of thousands of gallons of raw sewage that recently spilled into the Missisquoi River. Last month a pipe burst at Swanton’s wastewater treatment plant, spewing more than 650,000 gallons of untreated sewage into the river. (AP)

SIT drops Sodexho contract
Brattleboro’s School for International Training has abandoned negotiations that would have made Sodexho USA the school’s food service contractor. Students had pressured the administration not to hire Sodexho based on reports the company had violated labor laws. (AP)

Fit and Healthy Kids campaign
Governor Jim Douglas is calling on Vermont school children to get out and get some exercise. The governor issued what he is calling the Daylight Savings Challenge. Douglas wants children to be more active, eat better foods and watch less television. (AP)

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