February 13, 2002 – News at a Glance

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Act 60 Reform Bill
The bill, introduced by Rep. Marron, increases the student block grant by more than $1,000 and it pays for this change by raising the statewide property tax rate to $1.38. The proposal also eliminates the sharing pool of Act 60 unless a community spends more than $10,000 per student.

VPR’s Olympics Coverage
Contributing reporter Beth Schmidt is in Salt Lake City, where she’s an editor at the Olympic News Service. Steve Delaney and Beth Schmidt discuss changes in security, support staff who help the Olympics run smoothly and the results of local athletes Evan Dybvig, Kris Freeman, Nina Kemppel and Tessa Benoit.

Reapportionment Plan Passes
The House Government Operations Committee approved a new reapportionment plan late Tuesday. The vote sets the stage for a highly partisan fight on the House floor later this week. (VPR)

Snowboarding’s Vermont Roots
The first International Snowboarding Championship was held in 1982 at the Suicide Six ski area in Woodstock. VPR looks at the early days of competitive snowboarding. (VPR)

Armored Car Robbery
A $70,000 reward is offered by police and FBI investigators for information on the $2 million robbery last month in Rutland. The FBI is not releasing a description of the suspect to the public. (VPR)

Suntag’s Judicial Retention
Judge David Suntag says it’s been painful to learn that some people consider him arrogant. Suntag said in judicial retention hearings that he’ll try harder to be accessible to lawyers in his courtroom. The performance of judges is reviewed by the Legislature every six years. (AP)

Adult Binge Drinking
A new report says adult Vermonters have a drinking problem, according to a report issued by the Agency of Human Services. Thousands of Vermonters were polled at random and 20% of respondents reported a binge-drinking episode within in the last thirty days. Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more drinks on one occasion. (AP)

Border Patrol
Senator Patrick Leahy is introducing a new bill to improve the pensions border patrol agents. The proposal hopes to increase the retention rate of experienced career officers. (AP)

Tuition Students Score higher on Tests
A new survey show that Maine and Vermont students who are tuitioned to neighboring schools have higher standardized test scores than other students. Some rural towns in the two states pay for their children to attend nearby schools, rather than operate a local school. The group that sponsored the survey hopes it will demonstrate the value of public school voucher programs. (AP)

NH Voters Undecided in Governor’s Race Half the Democratic voters in New Hampshire have not picked a favorite among the three candidates in their party’s campaign for Governor. Among the republicans, former Senator Gordon Humphrey leads the four-man race with 37% support from voters. (AP)

CT Same-Sex marriage
The Connecticut Legislature is taking up the question of legalizing same-sex marriage. Two bills are under consideration: one would legalize same-sex marriage, the other would create civil unions similar to Vermont’s state law. (AP)

Farm Bill
Senator James Jeffords says Congress will pass a farm bill in the next few weeks that provides dairy price supports. (AP)

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