April 15, 2004 – News at a glance

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Interview: US family planning policy
A symposium has been taking place all this week at Middlebury College, “Might for Right? The Tension Between International Humanitarian and U.S. Political Interests.” The program included a forum held Wednesday on U.S. funding for United Nations family planning initiatives. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Ellen Oxfeld, a professor of anthropology at Middlebury College, about the panel. (VPR)

Douglas opposes tuition increase for state colleges
Governor Jim Douglas says he won’t support proposed tuition increases at Vermont state colleges. Douglas is a member of the state college board of trustees. The board is considering the tuition hikes on Thursday. The head of the college system says without the tuition hike, there will be a decline in quality of education at the colleges. (VPR)

Senate approves public power authority
The Vermont Senate is debating whether to create a public power authority that would sell electricity produced by Connecticut River hydro dams. Advocates say it would allow the state to provide environmentally friendly, low cost power. (VPR)

Partisan debate continues over health care proposals
The Vermont House is getting ready for a showdown over legislation that’s designed to provide health care coverage to uninsured Vermonters. It’s become a partisan issue in the House because Democrats and Republicans are supporting very different approaches. (VPR)

State plans to repave troubled lanes of Interstate 89
Governor Jim Douglas says the state is moving up the repaving of a section of Interstate 89 north of Montpelier. (VPR)

Amestoy warns lawmakers of pre-trial detention
Vermont Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffrey Amestoy is warning lawmakers of what he calls a potentially catastrophic threat to the state’s criminal justice system. Amestoy says more people are being held in jail for longer periods before they go to trial. (AP)

Capital construction bill
The Senate has approved a $40 million capital construction budget after defeating an amendment to create a new governing board for the Vermont State Hospital. The bill authorizes the state to issue bonds to pay for state construction projects and other capital investments. (AP)

Addison man charged in drug ring
An Addison investment counselor has been arrested on charges of being involved in an multi-million dollar drug ring. Ronald Langford III has pleaded innocent to the charges. He is accused of arranging substantial amounts of marijuana to be brought to Vermont and distributing the drugs to a dealer in Burlington. (AP)

Dean lectures at Dartmouth
For Howard Dean, the most important issue in the presidential campaign has become credibility. Dean spoke to crowd of about 300 at Dartmouth College Wednesday night. The one-time Democratic presidential hopeful says the credibility issue is more important than jobs in the campaign. (AP)

Fish and Wildlife Board
Vermont’s Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife doesn’t like a plan to double the size of the board that oversees the state’s wildlife populations. Commissioner Wayne Laroche says the current size of the board with seven members works fine. (AP)

Medical marijuana bill
Vermont lawmakers will continue to hear testimony on Thursday on the medical use of marijuana. The bill under consideration would exempt patients with chronic illnesses from arrest or prosecution for having small amounts of marijuana. (AP)

Clavelle on prison sentences
Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle is calling for longer prison sentences for people convicted multiple times of sexual assault, especially those who refuse treatment. And he says that when inmates are released from prison they need transitional housing and be under better supervision. (AP)

Plymouth elementary school
Voters in the town of Plymouth have decided to close the town elementary school. But some townspeople are already circulating a petition to force a revote on the issue. This year the school has 18 students in two classrooms. (AP)

Drunken boating trial
A trial is set to start later this month for a man accused of drunken boating during an accident that killed two children. Forty-eight-year-old George Dean Martin of Charlotte has pleaded innocent to two counts of boating while intoxicated with death resulting. (AP)

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