December 3, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: VMS reviews vote on assisted suicide
The Vermont Medical Society met in a closed door session Tuesday night, to further discuss a vote among its members from a few weeks ago on the question of physician assisted suicide. Mitch Wertlieb talks with VMS President Dr. James O’Brien about the results of the meeting. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Commissioner reverses Omya ruling
A state environmental official says the possibility of groundwater pollution led him to change his mind about a waste permit for the Omya Corporation in Pittsford. Environmental Commissioner Jeffrey Wennberg recently reversed himself and ruled that Omya does need a state permit to dump mining waste. Local residents have been concerned that trace chemicals in the waste could contaminate their drinking water. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Early childhood education
According to Vermont’s new education commissioner, Richard Cate, one of the biggest challenges facing the state in the next few years is the development of stronger early education programs. (VPR)

Douglas on sealed records
Governor Jim Douglas says that he doubts that Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean is trying to conceal any major secrets in the gubernatorial records that have been sealed for a 10-year period. Douglas says there’s a good reason why some records are taken out of public view for a number of years. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Vermont soldiers called up to active duty
More Vermont National Guard troops will be called up in January to support the war in Iraq. Adjutant General Martha Rainville announced today that about 200 Vermont Guard members will be deployed to provide security for other soldiers. (VPR)

Doctor faces new misconduct charges
The Vermont Attorney General’s office has charged a Burlington eye doctor with 136 counts of misconduct and has recommended that his license be revoked. (AP)

Iowa poll
Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt are still fighting for the lead in the Democratic presidential race in Iowa, according to the latest poll. Dean, former governor of Vermont, was at 26%, and Gephardt, a Missouri congressman, was at 22%. All other Democratic presidential candidates were in single digits. The Zogby poll released on Tuesday has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.5%.

GOP fundraiser
The Republican national chairman was in Howard Dean’s back yard Tuesday night to help raise money for his party. Chairman Ed Gillespie also used the occasion to take a few swipes at Vermont’s former governor. Dean is now the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential race. (AP)

Physician-assisted suicide
The Vermont Medical Society’s top governing body has weighed in again on physician-assisted suicide. The society’s council voted 20-to-2 on Tuesday to endorse one of the ballots that the society’s membership cast last month. It says the society opposes any law about physician-assisted suicide. (AP)

Job Gap study
One in six children in the far northeastern corner of Vermont lives in poverty, according to a new study by the Burlington-based Peace and Justice Center. The updated Job Gap study says the statewide poverty rate for children under 18 was 10% in the 1990s. But the rate for children in Orleans, Essex and Caledonia counties was as much as 18%. (AP)

Pownal racetrack
A Massachusetts man has signed an agreement to purchase the Green Mountain Racetrack in Pownal. Jeff Kleiser, president of the computer animation company Kleiser-Walczak says he and the former owner of the race track signed a deal during the past month. The Bennington County Industrial Corporation is studying what it would take to convert the track into a commercial and industrial park. (AP)

Winter weather
This cold, wintry weather is expected to stick around for a while in Vermont. The National Weather Service says the skies will continue to clear out during the day. But they’re not predicting any big increase in temperatures, at least not during the day. (AP)

UVM men’s basketball
Anthony Anderson scored 29 points, including seven three-pointers, to lead Massachusetts to a 76-64 victory over Vermont. The Massachusetts Minutemen led virtually from the start and led by as many as 20 points. (AP)

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