February 10, 2004 – News at a glance

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Hinsdale plays dual roles in large farm policy debate
In Vermont’s debate over legislation regulating large farms and the right to farm, one man is in an unusual position. Clark Hinsdale, who wants to build a large dairy farm in Charlotte, is also president of the Vermont Farm Bureau. And the Farm Bureau is the state’s leading farm organization, which provides testimony to legislators on agriculture matters. (VPR)

Dean plans to stay in presidential race
Howard Dean says he’ll stay in the Democratic presidential race regardless of whether he wins next week’s Wisconsin primary. (AP)

Dean asks supporters to vote online for TV ad
The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean is taking an unusual approach to its media strategy in Wisconsin. Dean’s Internet supporters are being asked to watch three spots online and then vote for the one they feel is the most effective. (VPR)

Sanders demands more spending on Veterans’ health care
Congressman Bernie Sanders is urging President Bush to increase spending on health care programs for veterans. Sanders says the president’s new budget plan calls for less than a two percent hike in spending for these programs. He says this means many veterans will have to wait months before receiving proper medical care. (VPR)

Union withdraws Dean endorsement
One of the country’s largest unions has announced it’s withdrawing its support for Democrat Howard Dean in the presidential race. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees had delivered the bad news to Dean on Saturday. On Monday, the union made the news public. (AP)

Dean compares Ashcroft and McCarthy
Rallying his supporters in Madison, Wisconsin, on Monday, Howard Dean compared Attorney General John Ashcroft to Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy is the 1950s Wisconsin senator known for his Communist witch hunts. Dean said the Bush administration reminds him of the McCarthy crusade. (AP)

Tarrant passes on Senate bid
Richard Tarrant, the founder of medical software company IDX, says he will not be a candidate this year for the U.S. Senate. Tarrant, a Republican, was considering a challenge to the re-election of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. (AP)

Heating oil prices
The price of home heating oil and other fuels continues to rise for Vermonters. The price of heating oil went up 17 cents to $1.59 a gallon in February, according to the state’s monthly Fuel Price Report. Record low temperatures in January caused fuel prices to skyrocket. (AP)

Entergy settlement proceeds
New legislation would redirect $7.8 million of a $20 million settlement with Entergy Nuclear, the parent company of Vermont Yankee, to help reduce energy costs in Windham and Windsor counties. State officials originally wanted to use that money to fund cleanup efforts on Lake Champlain. (AP)

Noise ordinance studied
Castleton officials need to know how loud is loud before they can draft a noise ordinance. Noise became an issue during the summer when residents complained about a private dirt bike and all-terrain vehicle track in the town. Town officials say they’ll use a decibel meter at their next meeting to resolve the issue before drafting the noise ordinance. (AP)

IRS refunds
The Internal Revenue Service says it owes Vermonters almost $5 million in unclaimed refunds from four years ago. The IRS says 3,200 Vermonters who didn’t file a 2000 income tax return are owed refunds. About half of the people who are owed refunds would get more than $523 back. (AP)

Town history mural
Springfield residents will soon be able to see their town’s history come to life. A large mural composed of pictures of the town’s factory buildings, waterfalls and bridges is planned for a room at the Springfield Savings and Loan. (AP)

NH considers execution age
A child psychiatrist from Vermont testified yesterday in New Hampshire on a bill that would raise the age a person could be executed from 17 to 18. Doctor David Fassler teaches at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont. Fassler told New Hampshire lawmakers that 17-year-olds are not developed enough mentally and emotionally to make logical decisions and asked them to raise the execution age to 18. (AP)

Heroin sentence
A 23-year-old Waterbury woman has been sentenced to serve three and a half years in prison for a heroin conviction. Sandra Hamel pleaded guilty to the heroin charges in federal court in Burlington on Monday. Her boyfriend, 24-year-old Anthony Hunte, is charged with selling crack cocaine, powder cocaine and heroin. (AP)

Arson suspected in St. Albans fire
Fire officials say arson caused a blaze that destroyed six abandoned buildings at an old radar base in St. Albans. A State Police fire investigator is looking at the scene. But St. Albans City Assistant Fire Chief Randy Swann says the fire was definitely caused by arson. (AP)

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