April 12, 2004 – News at a glance

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Inside the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant
For the rest of the month, the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant will be shutdown for a major overhaul. Over a thousand people are working around the clock to install new equipment so the plant can boost its power by 20 percent. Yankee officials say the upgrade is a relatively low-cost way to gain an additional 110 megawatts, but opponents worry that safety will be compromised. Reporter John Dillon takes us inside the Vernon power plant. (VPR)

Sugar makers review successful season
As the sugaring season draws to a close this year, the maple industry says production has increased and plans for more expansion are in the works. That means maple producers are looking for new ways to market their “liquid gold.” (VPR)

Word for Word – Cheryl Brown Henderson
Last week, the University of Vermont hosted a symposium on the legacy of the school desegregation court case, Brown v. Board of Education. The daughter of the lead plaintiff in the case, Cheryl Brown Henderson, was on campus to participate in the forum. In a speech to students and faculty, she said the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision was an important step in bridging the gap between the theory of democracy, and the way it had been practiced. (VPR)

Conference committees
The 2004 session of the Vermont Legislature could be winding down. House leaders on Friday called for conference committees on four bills. The panels, made up of three House and three Senate members, will seek to work out differences between legislation. (AP)

Capital construction bill
The Vermont Senate is set this week to consider a $41 million capital construction bill. Big-ticket items include separate $3 million appropriations for completion of the new courthouse in Rutland and a new agriculture sciences building at the University of Vermont. (AP)

Vermont State Hospital funds
The Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury may get $600,000 in improvements under a bill due up for debate in the state Senate this week. Most of the money would go to build special treatment rooms where staff could isolate and stabilize upset patients. (AP)

Bennington airport expansion
Vermont lawmakers want to know if a plan to extend the runway at the Bennington airport by 500 feet is worth the money. Some neighbors are opposed to anything more than a 200-foot expansion, saying the runway should remain within the town’s existing airport zone. (AP)

Town lines dispute
The Rutland County towns of Wells and Middletown Springs are near an agreement about where their common border is. A proposed agreement would be a compromise between what everyone has treated as the border for two centuries and the results of a recent survey. (AP)

Burlington revitalization project
The city of Burlington is planning a $6.6 million project to revitalize North Street. The utility lines will be buried and the pavement will be framed by new curbs and sidewalks, new traffic signals and decorative crosswalks. (AP)

Rutland medical clinics
Three health clinics in the Rutland area are separating from the Rutland Regional Medical Center. The Castleton Family Health Center, the Mettawee Valley Health Center and Brandon Internal Medicine will be run by a new organization, Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region. (AP)

Mercury warning for trout season
It’s trout season again in Vermont and anglers are being reminded about the dangers of mercury in fish. Health department officials say there’s nothing wrong with eating an occasional meal of trout. But pregnant women and small children should limit the number of trout they eat. (AP)

Barre high school scholarship
A sustained surge in the stock market has revived a scholarship fund at Spaulding High School that was created by a beloved Barre physician. The scholarship was suspended last year after the value of the fund dropped below $3 million because of declines in the stock market. (AP)

Tax on out-of-state purchases
Accountants say more Vermonters are confessing to out-of-state purchases as tax time rolls around this year. That’s thanks to a new table in the state personal income tax booklet inviting taxpayers to estimate their out-of-state purchases. (AP)

Conservationists fundraise for land purchase
A prized slice of undeveloped land on Lake Champlain might be spared from development if land conservation groups can raise the money to protect it. Willard Jackson of Middlebury has put the 89 acres at the northern tip of Shelburne Point up for sale. The price has not been disclosed, but the property is assessed at $8.3 million. (AP)

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