April 27, 2004 – News at a glance

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IBM employees plan protest
Former IBM employees will be in Providence, Rhode Island on Tuesday to attend the company’s annual shareholder meeting. They plan to protest the company’s recent decision to move some jobs offshore. (VPR)

Interview: Texas birding competition
Some Vermont teenagers spent their spring break competing in the annual Great Texas Birding Classic, one of the largest birding competitions in the country. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Chip Darmstadt of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, who’s coached the team of eight Vermonters. (VPR)

Missing fuel rods, uprate decision
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the missing fuel rods at Vermont Yankee will not affect a decision on an increase in power at the plant. NRC inspectors are at Vermont Yankee this week to look for the missing fuel components. But the agency says that work won’t be connected to its review of a controversial request to generate more power there. (VPR)

Tax package would raise $10 million
The Douglas administration is supporting a tax package that’s expected to raise about $10 million primarily from out-of-state businesses. The administration wants to use half of the money to lower income tax rates for Vermont businesses and the other half to help deal with unexpected pressures on the state budget. (VPR)

Pharmacy settlement
Vermont and 19 other states are getting cash in a settlement over medications. The nation’s largest pharmacy benefits manager is settling allegations by the 20 states that it was switching patients to medications to save itself money, not to benefit the patients. (AP)

Banknorth income
Banknorth Group says it posted net income of $90 million in the first quarter, up 11 percent from a year ago. The bank said income would have been higher but the bank pumped more money into marketing to attract Fleet Bank customers in advance of its merger. (AP)

Judiciary committee investigation
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy says he’s confident a new prosecutor will thoroughly investigate a Judiciary memo scandal that happened last year. David Kelley, the new U.S. Attorney in New York, has been asked to look into how Republicans got access to Democrats’ computer memos in the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP)

Spent fuel pool search
Engineers at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant hope a robotic camera can start searching the spent fuel pool on Tuesday or Wednesday. The camera will be looking for two small pieces of missing nuclear fuel. The pieces were removed from fuel rods 25 years ago and stored in the spent fuel pool. Last week, however, engineers discovered they were missing. (AP)

NRC warning on spent fuel
An inspector with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says he warned Entergy Nuclear last month that it wasn’t following its own mandatory inventory of Vermont Yankee’s spent fuel pool. The inspector’s insistence that plant workers take a closer look at the spent fuel pool led to discovery last week that two pieces of nuclear fuel were missing. (AP)

GMO labeling law
Vermont is now the first state in the country to require the labeling genetically modified seeds. Governor Jim Douglas signed the bill into law on Monday. The law requires manufacturers to label genetically altered seeds starting in October and report the sale of such seeds to the state every January. (AP)

Gelineau funeral services
Funeral services are Saturday for a Vermont high school graduate who was killed in Iraq last week. Twenty-three-year-old Christopher Gelineau was a Starksboro native who was serving with the Maine National Guard. He died last Tuesday after enemy fighters ambushed his convoy. (AP)

Lawyers per capita
Vermont now has something else it can be known for: its number of lawyers. The state ranks near the top ten states for its amount of lawyers per capita. The state now has 2,403 lawyers, or about one lawyer for every 257 people. (AP)

Students charged for 4-20
Three University of Vermont students arrested last week during a marijuana protest on campus will face criminal charges. Two sophomores are charged with disorderly conduct and a freshman is charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. UVM also plans to pursue disciplinary action against the students. (AP)

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