December 23, 2002 – News at a glance

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VLCT urges changes in Act 60
The Vermont League of Cities and Towns is urging the Legislature to make some important changes to Act 60 that they say will help lower local property taxes. The Dean administration considers this short-sighted. (VPR)

Cost of Fletcher Allen development project
Vermont’s top hospital regulator says a new report should help Fletcher Allen Health Care trim costs from its expensive development project. (VPR)

Vermont home weatherization program
Vermont’s Auditor of Accounts says the state’s home weatherization program should be continued despite budget concerns. The program pays for energy saving home improvements for low income Vermonters. (VPR)

New federal law affects large farms
Vermont agriculture officials are trying to figure out how a new federal law regulating large farms will affect the state. They’re trying to figure out if the federal law, which aims to control runoff into lakes, rivers and streams, supercedes an already existing state law. (AP)

Dairy merger
New Hampshire Agriculture Commissioner Steve Taylor says the proposed merger of H.P. Hood and National Dairy Holdings of Texas will mean less competition and fewer markets for farmers. (AP)

Dean in South Carolina
Governor Howard Dean’s presidential campaign takes him to South Carolina again over the holidays for the annual Rennaisance weekend. (AP)

Dean on Bush
Governor Howard Dean, speaking on ABC’s “This Week”, says President Bush still hasn’t made the case for going to war with Iraq. (AP)

Leahy on Republican image
Senator Patrick Leahy says the Republicans have a lot of work to do to repair their image on race relations. Leahy was also on “This Week”. (AP)

Blue Cross expansion
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont plans to expand its Central Vermont building, and get rid of its computer operations. About 80 employees would be let go when a computer company is contracted, but would probably be hired back by the outside company. (AP)

Burlington mayor race
Political parties are sorting out the race for Burlington mayor. Incumbent mayor Peter Clavelle won the endorsement of both the Progressive and Democratic parties last week. Bylaws need to be changed to accomodate this. (AP)

Bag screening
Passenger’s bags are being screened for explosives at Burlington International Airport. (AP)

Windsor offices
Some Windsor County offices are about to move to the old state prison in Woodstock. (AP)

Fair grounds
A consultant is going to take a look at the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds to determine whether they should be rearranged. (AP)

Vermont poet
Goshen, Vermont poet Ruth Stone, who won the National Book Award, has won the “Academy of American Poet’s Wallace Stevens Prize”. (AP)

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