December 9, 2003 – News at a glance

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Home-State Record: Dennis Kucinich
Today in our series on the home-state records of the Democratic presidential candidates we look at Congressman Dennis Kucinich. The Ohio congressman is considered a long-shot in the race, but as Vincent Duffy from public radio station WKSU in Kent, Ohio, reports, Kucinich has faced long odds before. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Rockingham visitor center
State officials and community supporters from Rockingham celebrated the opening of a new visitors center in Bellows Falls on Monday. The center is one of ten proposed for the Connecticut River Valley in Vermont and New Hampshire. It’s part of a federally-backed Scenic Byway project that could benefit the entire region. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Dean’s sealed records The immediate future of Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean’s sealed gubernatorial records is still uncertain. Even if a judge orders Dean to release all of the documents, Secretary of State Deb Markowitz says it could take months for her office to index and catalog the 150 boxes of sealed information. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Gore endorses Dean
Former Vice President Al Gore endorsed Howard Dean for the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday morning. Gore said Dean is, “the only candidate who has been able to inspire at the grassroots level all over the country.” (VPR)

Lieberman campaign may be troubled by Gore endorsement
Al Gore’s endorsement of Howard Dean could end the presidential campaign of Senator Joe Lieberman, according to political analyst Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia’s Center of Governmental Studies. Aides to other candidates were stunned and disheartened by the news. Lieberman, who was Gore’s running mate in the 2000 presidential election, said this morning on NBC television that he was completely caught off-guard by the endorsement. Lieberman says he’s more determined than ever to win the Democratic nomination. (AP)

Judicial Watch critical of Dean’s stance
A Washington-based advocacy group says it’s disappointed that Howard Dean is calling for a judge to decide which records should be disclosed from his years as governor of Vermont. Judicial Watch filed suit last week against Dean, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, to have his sealed gubernatorial records opened. (AP)

Electric rates
Vermont should move toward establishing electric rates that will be more friendly to industries that might expand in the state. That’s one of the recommendations of a new comprehensive energy plan issued today by the Department of Public Service. (AP)

Agriculture sector lacks diversity
Vermont Agriculture Secretary Steve Kerr says the state has a lot of work to do to restore its agriculture sector to health. In a year-end interview with The Associated Press, Kerr said Vermont remains the least diverse farm state in the country, with 85 percent of its agriculture in dairying. (AP)

Nader speaks at UVM
About a thousand University of Vermont students turned out to hear former presidential candidate Ralph Nader speak in Burlington on Tuesday. Nader told the students to get more involved in their own governance, and he urged them to revive a student-run civic program at UVM. (AP)

Peace through tourism
The head of a Vermont-based group that promotes peace through international travel says tourism can be an antidote to terrorism. Louis D’Amore of the Stowe-based International Institute for Peace Through Tourism says that’s why the group decided to organize a conference this week in East Africa. (AP)

Bennington affordable housing project
An affordable housing group is hoping to buy a 30-lot mobile home park in Bennington. The owners of the park, Edward and Sandra Parzych of Rupert, want $500,000 for the property. Most of the park’s tenants own their mobile homes, but not the land they’re sitting on. (AP)

Student dies of exposure after drinking
A 21-year-old Champlain College student, who was apparently intoxicated, froze to death in the snow in Burlington over the weekend. Police haven’t yet released the name of the student, who is from out of state. But they said he apparently died of hypothermia after he fell into a snowbank on the way home from a party Saturday night. (AP)

Bail bond fraud
A 29-year-old Saint Albans woman is in trouble for defrauding the bail-bond company where she worked. Federal authorities say Heidi Carnley pleaded guilty to felony mail fraud for failing to report some of the bonds she wrote to Vermont courts to her employer, Advantage Bail Bonds Vermont Incorporated. (AP)

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