December 12, 2003 – News at a glance

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Home-State Record: Dick Gephardt
As we continue our series on the home-state records of the Democratic presidential candidates, we look at Congressman Richard Gephardt. Gephardt’s record from alderman to majority leader is a matter of home-town pride. But his challenge has been to balance his leadership role with the needs of his district. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Vermont Plywoods buys Hancock mill
A Vermont company will purchase the Chesapeake Hardwood plant in Hancock. The Virginia-based owners of the wood products plant had planned to shut it down. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Douglas angered by IPC developments
Governor Jim Douglas is accusing the International Paper Company of deliberately withholding key information from Vermont officials concerning a test tire burn. IPC officials are baffled by Douglas’s remarks because all the information in question is on file at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Panel makes progress on stormwater research
A state panel reports some progress in trying to break a regulatory impasse over stormwater pollution. Last summer, the Water Resources Board brought all sides together to try to apply the best science to the problem. The work is not yet finished, but participants are hopeful a solution is in sight. They’ve started by agreeing how to measure stormwater pollution. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Book Interview: ‘Codebreakers Victory’
Neal Charnoff talks with historian Hervie Hauflier about his new book, “Codebreakers Victory.” Hauflier chronicles the role that codebreakers played in World War II. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Bush ahead of Dean in NH
A new poll finds that President Bush would soundly defeat Howard Dean in New Hampshire if the general election were held now. The American Research Group poll of registered New Hampshire voters found that Bush leads Dean, 57 percent to 30 percent. (AP)

Dean launches canvasses in Iowa
More than 3,500 Howard Dean supporters will storm Iowa during the next five weeks in a bid to win Vermont’s former governor a victory in the Iowa Democratic caucus. Most polls show a close race between Dean and Congressman Richard Gephardt of neighboring Missouri in Iowa. (AP)

Campaign finance laws
Vermont’s campaign finance law may need rewriting following this week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision affecting money in politics. That’s the view of Governor Jim Douglas about a decision that upheld much of the federal McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. (AP)

Environmental permit consolidation
Democratic leaders in the Vermont Senate say they have a new proposal on environmental permit reform. Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Welch says the Senate could agree to consolidating the Environmental, Water Resources and other boards that hear environmental appeals into one. (AP)

Civil unions in MA
Massachusetts lawmakers are trying to determine whether following Vermont’s lead and passing a civil unions law would meet the requirements of a recent court decision on gay marriage. The state Senate has asked the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for clarification of its recent decision affirming that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed the rights and responsibilities of marriage. (AP)

Flu vaccine shortage
More and more Vermonters are trying to get vaccinated against the flu as word spreads that the shots are in short supply. More than 430 people showed up at a clinic on Thursday in Colchester. Many of the people who lined up were there because their own doctors had run out of the vaccines. (AP)

New MSA Gallet helmet contract
A Newport company that makes high-tech helmets for the U.S. military has won a new $16 million contract with the Department of Defense. MSA Gallet’s new contract brings to $53 million the value of contracts the company has signed with the Pentagon in the last two years. (AP)

Route 7 opposition dropped
Opponents of a major road construction project on U.S. Route 7 have dropped their fight. The group of business and property owners in Shelburne and South Burlington say the battle costs too much. The decision means work will start on the $32 million project this spring. Meanwhile, Vermont is not getting hit with flu cases like some other parts of the country. The Health Department says there have been two confirmed cases of flu in the state, and no deaths. (AP)

Williston landfill ruling
The Chittenden Solid Waste District is weighing its options after a jury awarded $8.8 million to a gravel company as compensation for the district seizing its property to create a regional landfill in Williston. The district wants to create a regional landfill in the gravel company’s 75-acre sand pit. (AP)

Blood donations needed
Last weekend’s snowstorm is putting a squeeze on the blood supply across New England. The American Red Cross says it has less than a half-day supply of one blood type and severe shortages of other types. Red Cross officials say the region needs help from the public. (AP)

Heroin sentence
A 41-year-old Barre man has been given ten years in federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute heroin. Mark Covey and his 37-year-old wife Sara Covey had been charged in an indictment with distributing heroin three times in the summer of 2001, and distributing cocaine once. Sara Covey is currently serving a 30-month prison sentence. (AP)

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