August 20, 2003 – News at a glance

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Sanders to work against three-way races
Congressman Bernie Sanders says he plans to get directly involved in efforts to ensure that liberal Progressives and liberal Democrats don’t challenge each other in next year’s legislative and statewide races. (VPR)

College students warned of file sharing penalties
As students prepare to return to classes this fall, colleges are taking steps to alert them to the consequences of illegally downloading copyrighted music. Recently, the recording industry has taken action against some colleges and students in an effort to stop illegal file sharing. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Governors argue for AmeriCorps
Governor Jim Douglas is joining with more than 40 other governors to urge Congress to restore full funding for the AmeriCorps program. (VPR)

Yankee opponents say plant not sound
Opponents of a plan to increase the power capacity of the Vermont Nuclear Power Plant say they have new safety concerns with the project. Vermont Yankee officials are dismissing the allegations and say they have full confidence in the physical structure of their facility. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

State police auction
Bargain hunters flocked to Williston on Tuesday for an unusual sale. The Vermont state police hired an auctioneer to sell off a large inventory of seized, abandoned, or unclaimed stolen property. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Burlington street violence
Residents of one Burlington neighborhood are hoping to stop recent street violence from becoming a pattern. The city’s Old North End has experienced two recent incidents of gun violence in the densely populated neighborhood. (VPR)

Bennington to light monument
The town of Bennington decided last night it will light the Battle of Bennington Monument. The Zoning Board made the decision at a crowded meeting after a lengthy discussion of the issue. (VPR)

Disaster status requested
Vermont will pursue federal disaster funds for damage from storms this summer. A letter from Governor Jim Douglas is expected to out to President Bush this week requesting federal disaster status for storm-damaged areas. (VPR)

Power grid upgrade
Other New England states are starting to question whether they should be required to chip in for a major power line upgrade in Vermont. Maine and Rhode Island are asking why they should pay a share of $900 million being budgeted for Vermont’s Northwest Reliability Project, as well as for upgrades in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The Vermont proposal for new or upgraded power lines between West Rutland and Burlington is expected to cost about $128 million. (AP)

Federal milk program
A federal program set up last year to take the place of the Northeast Dairy Compact is proving to be much more expensive than projected. The estimated annual cost of the Milk Income Loss Contract program has grown from $1.3 billion to $4 billion. (AP)

Dean and Kerry poll in NH
A new poll finds that Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean has taken a lead over rival John Kerry in New Hampshire. The American Research Group of Manchester, New Hampshire, polled 600 likely voters in next year’s kickoff presidential primary. The poll found the former Vermont governor with 28%; Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, who has led or roughly tied with Dean in polls throughout the year, drew 21% support. The margin of error was 4%. (AP)

IDX insider trading
A former financial analyst at the Vermont-based medical software company IDX Systems has been charged with insider trading. Federal authorities say a grand jury has indicted Jay Laveson for using inside information to profit on stock trades in IDX and other firms that were its merger targets. Court papers say Laveson made about $120,000 from insider trading between 1997 and 1999. He faces one count of securities fraud, one count of mail fraud and 14 counts of wire fraud. (AP)

Police call center
A Vermont center that takes calls from law enforcement officials nationwide is reporting a record year. Officials at the Law Enforcement Support Center in Williston expect 600,000 calls by the end of the year. The center provides quick information about the identities and status of people who are suspected of being in the country illegally. (AP)

Randolph school demolition
Demolition on the 90-year-old village school in Randolph is underway. It’s being torn down to make way for the headquarters of a local engineering firm. Randolph no longer needs the building because the town’s schools are now centralized in one building. Mementoes from the Village School were removed yesterday and the full demolition gets under way tomorrow. (AP)

Sharon suspicious fire
Vermont State Police say a fire at a popular restaurant in Sharon is suspicious. The August tenth fire destroyed the 55-year-old landmark Brooksie’s Restaurant and an attached convenience store. Sergeant Terry Lewis says he’s collecting evidence and is looking into whether the blaze was intentionally set. (AP)

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