April 9, 2004 – News at a glance

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Interview: Sabra Field exhibit opens at VLS
Vermont artist Sabra Field’s bucolic wood block prints have become synonymous with the landscape of Vermont, where Field has lived and worked since 1969. Her achievements include a Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the design of Vermont’s bicentennial stamp. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Field about a new permanent exhibition that chronicles the architectural evolution of the Vermont Law School in South Royalton. (VPR)

Leahy reacts to Rice’s 9-11 testimony
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy says National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice shouldn’t be surprised that the commission is questioning the Bush administration’s commitment to fighting terrorism prior to 9-11. (VPR)

Mercury proposal
Governor Jim Douglas says he’s concerned that new regulations developed by the Bush administration concerning mercury emissions from power plants will cause significant harm to Vermont’s environment. Douglas is asking the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Michael Leavitt, to withdraw the proposal and come back with much stronger rules. (VPR)

School choice bill
The Vermont House has voted two to one not to pull a school choice bill out of the House Education Committee so it could go directly to the floor for a vote. Some proponents of public school choice are frustrated that the Education Committee has refused to vote the bill out. They decided to employ a seldom used parliamentary tool to override the committee. (VPR)

Medical care for overweight children
A Vermont pediatrician says it’s time to classify the problem of overweight children as an eating disorder. Speaking Thursday night on VPR’s Switchboard, Gifford Hospital Medical Director, Dr. Lou DiNicola, said some children aren’t getting the medical care they need for overweight problems. (VPR)

Freed announces retirement
House Speaker Walter Freed says he won’t seek re-election to the Legislature in November because he feels it’s time for him to move on to other challenges. Freed says he has no plans to run for higher office in the future. (VPR)

Overtime at Vermont Yankee
A nuclear watchdog group says workers at the Vermont Yankee plant are working dangerously long hours as the reactor undergoes a major overhaul. The group filed its allegations this week with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (VPR)

Community justice program
Backers of a Lamoille County program to keep high-risk children from ending up in jail say the program is working. They say if lawmakers continue to fund their effort, it could provide a model for other areas of the state. (VPR)

Early education bill
Vermont lawmakers are trying to figure out the costs and workings of an early education bill. The Senate has approved the measure, which would expand early childhood education programs in Vermont. It has now moved to the House for discussion. (AP)

Transportation budget
Vermont Governor Jim Douglas says he’s disturbed by the condition of the state’s transportation budget. Douglas says he might recommend the creation of a special estimating division within the Agency of Transportation. State officials say an additional $80 million is needed each year to expand and maintain the state’s roads and bridges. (AP)

Circumferential Highway
Two Washington-based environmental groups say public input is being shortchanged for the sake of speed in building the next legs of the Circumferential Highway. The report is similar to those by local environmental groups that have court cases pending over construction of the 16-mile road in Chittenden County. (AP)

Bryant arrested
A sex offender who police say was a threat to the public has been arrested in Burlington. Police say Douglas Bryant failed to tell authorities where he was living after checking out of a Shelburne motel last week. (AP)

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