December 11, 2003 – News at a glance

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Home-State Record: Carol Moesely Braun
Today in our series on the home-state records of the Democratic presidential candidates we look at Carol Moseley Braun. As Jenny Lawton from Chicago Public Radio reports, Braun has been a symbol of both controversy and hope in Illinois. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Drug reimportation
Governor Jim Douglas says he won’t follow New Hampshire’s lead and immediately seek to re-import prescription drugs from Canada for Medicaid patients. The federal Food and Drug Administration is opposed to these efforts and Douglas says he doesn’t want to break the law. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Campaign supporters rally for candidates outside debate
In New Hampshire, the early crucible of the presidential campaign, voters pay close attention to the candidates when they come through town. Emotions are already high. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Book interview: ‘Wolf Kahn’s America’
Brattleboro artist Wolf Kahn has painted some of America’s most popular contemporary landscapes. Neal Charnoff talks with Wolf about the publication of a new book of Kahn’s paintings. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Icy Roads
Vermont commuters who headed out onto the roads this morning had to careful. An overnight rain turned pavement in some areas into ice-skating rinks. Many vehicles slid off Interstate 89 in Middlesex this morning. (AP)

Kerry questions Dean’s record
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is challenging Howard Dean on how firmly he really opposed the Iraq war. Kerry notes the former Vermont governor last year supported a resolution that was proposed in Congress but did not pass that would have given President Bush much of the same authority to go to war that he got. (AP)

Dean labor endorsement
New Hampshire’s largest teachers’ union has endorsed a candidate in the state’s presidential primary for the first time in its history – and that candidate is Howard Dean. The president of New Hampshire 15,000-member chapter of the National Education Association says the union decided to endorse Dean because it believes he can beat President Bush next fall. (AP)

Ticonderoga tire burn
Vermont’s environmental commissioner is sharply criticizing International Paper over its alleged concealment of results from a 1997 test tire burn at its Ticonderoga Mill. Jeff Wennberg says he has learned a lesson that he and his staff can’t rely on IP’s statements and must thoroughly check out everything the company says. (AP)

Milk prices
Finally some good news for Vermont dairy farmers: after two years of record low prices, milk prices of climbing again giving dairy farmers a much needed boost. Milk prices are up about 30 percent over where they were this spring. But experts say the price will go back down (AP)

Military contracts
Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy says the federal government will provide $2 million toward a program designed to let Vermont manufacturers win defense contracts. The money will go to help the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center help Vermont companies win both Department of Defense contracts and subcontracts with the Pentagon’s prime contractors. (AP)

Rockingham power lawsuit
Vermont’s two largest power companies have won a round in their legal battle to keep the town of Rockingham from creating a municipal utility. Green Mountain Power and Central Vermont Public Service won a temporary order in Windham Superior Court on Wednesday blocking the town from trying to take their local distribution systems by eminent domain. (AP)

Vermont Gas Systems accolade
Vermont’s one natural gas utility has won national recognition for its energy-saving efforts. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has labeled Vermont Gas Systems a national model for efficiency efforts. Vermont Gas was one of four gas companies around the country to win similar honors. The company’s energy-saving programs range from energy audits to providing customers with referrals to equipment manufacturers. (AP)

Electric cooperative acquisition
The Douglas administration has agreed to support the acquisition of Citizens Energy Services’ territory by Vermont Electric Cooperative. The department says its support for the deal comes with several conditions that will help ratepayers. (AP)

Guard receives new tanks
Don’t be surprised if you’re driving on Interstates 91 and 89 on Thursday and you see a convoy of army tanks. They belong to the Vermont National Guard and they’re headed to armories in Morrisville and Enosburg. The Guard is to get 90 of the new tanks. (AP)

Governor’s tree lighting
On Wednesday three prominent Vermonter women called attention to the fact that heart disease is women’s number one killer. Former Governor Madeleine Kunin, former Lieutenant Governor Barbara Snelling and Vermont First Lady Dorothy Douglas, joined to light the holiday tree outside the governor’s office. The tree is decorated in red lights this year to call attention to the “Go Red for Women” campaign of the American Heart Association. (AP)

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