December 15, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: Ramifications of Saddam Hussein’s capture
Mitch Wertlieb talks with Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy about the short-term and long-term implications for U.S. military forces in Iraq, in the wake of the capture of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Drivers warned of wintry road conditions
Extremely hazardous driving conditions have been posted since early Monday morning for every county in Vermont except for Washington, where conditions were labeled a notch less severe but alerts were posted for numerous roads. (AP)

Home-State Record: John Edwards
In a special series last week and this week, Vermont Public Radio reports on the home-state records of the Democratic presidential candidates. Today in our series, Julie Donnelly reports that North Carolina Senator John Edwards built a career on his success as a personal injury lawyer and big ambition. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Federal energy bill impacts Vermont wind projects
A deadlock in Washington over national energy legislation threatens wind energy projects in Vermont. Senate Democrats fought the energy bill because they said it was too generous for the oil and gas industry. But the bill also renewed tax credits that the wind industry says are essential for their projects to succeed. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Paul Winter brings Russian folk music to students
This week, the world got a little bigger for students at Newfane Elementary school – thanks to a visit from jazz artist Paul Winter. The Grammy-winning musician brought along a Russian performance troupe. The performers brought to life the music and dance traditions of rural Russian villages. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Sanders praises Saddam Hussein’s capture
Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders – a harsh critic of the war in Iraq – is lauding the weekend capture of Saddam Hussein. Sanders says he hopes the capture will lower the level of violence in Iraq and increase the ability of President Bush to get the U.N. and other countries to step in and help in rebuilding the country. (AP)

Dean praises capture
Howard Dean is praising U.S. troops for capturing Saddam Hussein. Dean released a statement in South Florida, where he hosted fund raisers in Miami and West Palm Beach. He described Sunday as a great day for the Iraqi people, for the United States and for the international community. (AP)

Black Caucus endorses Dean
The leader of the Congressional Black Caucus has officially endorsed presidential candidate Howard Dean. Congressman Elijah Cummings is praising the former Vermont governor for his willingness to confront issues of race. Cummings thanked Dean for “making the dreams of African Americans and all people your dreams.” (AP)

Independents control primary races
Political experts say undecided voters could make the difference in the upcoming Democratic presidential nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. Iowa is particularly contested in a showdown between Howard Dean and Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt. (AP)

Prescription drugs
Democrats in the Vermont House of Representatives say they will pursue an agenda in the new year designed to make health care more affordable. Topping the list of eight initiatives is a commitment to make Vermont one of the states and cities turning to Canada for less expensive medicines. (AP)

Security business conference
Vermont officials say homeland security could be big business. The federal government spends millions of dollars protecting the country against attack. A conference is planned for Monday to help businesses take advantage of the opportunities. (AP)

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