February 13, 2004 – News at a glance

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GMO protesters disrupt governor’s news conference
Bob Kinzel also reports that there was an unexpected disruption at the beginning of the Governor Douglas’s weekly press conference at the Statehouse. Supporters of legislation that would ban the use of genetically engineered seeds stepped forward to present Douglas with several large red valentines. And they refused to leave until they had made a point about their concerns. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Douglas calls Democratic tax plan irresponsible
Governor Jim Douglas says a new Democratic plan to create a municipal revenue sharing plan is unfair and irresponsible because it will lead to greater state spending. The Democrats argue it will help reduce local property taxes. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Dean sharpens attacks on Kerry
Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean has sharpened his attacks on Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. As next week’s primary in Wisconsin approaches, some political experts say the strategy is a risky one. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

School harassment bill passes House
On Thursday, the Vermont House gave preliminary approval to legislation that clarifies the definition of harassment in schools and encourages the training of school personnel to deal with incidents of harassment. (VPR)

Interview: UVM men’s basketball
The Catamounts won their school record thirteenth straight game with a victory Wednesday and sit alone atop the standings in the America East conference. The Boston University Terriers come to the Gutterson Field House this Sunday just one game behind UVM in the America East; the only blemish being a 2-point loss to UVM back in January. So the sold out game will be a battle for first place and a rematch between two teams hoping to make it to the big dance in March. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Large farm permit denied
The state of Vermont won’t permit a Charlotte farm family to build a 684-cow dairy farm. The Agency of Agriculture had technical issues with the application filed by Clark Hinsdale the third and his father. The Hinsdales haven’t decided whether to reapply. (AP)

Transportation bill passes U.S. Senate
The U.S. Senate has approved a new highway spending bill that was sponsored by Vermont Senator James Jeffords. The Senate overwhelmingly approved the six-year, $318 million spending plan. Jeffords, a lead sponsor of the bill, says the bill will bring safety, jobs, and worker productivity. (AP)

Deans campaign in Wisconsin
Howard and Judy Dean visited nursing students at the University of Wisconsin on Thursday to drum up support for his campaign. Howard Dean is working hard to prepare for the Wisconsin primary next week. His wife Judy is making rare campaign appearances with him. (AP)

Fire department grants
The Department of Homeland Security has awarded grants to six Vermont fire departments. The grants went to departments in Fairfield, Barre Town, Berlin, Sherburne, Windsor, and Fair Haven. Sixty-three Vermont fire departments have received grants worth more than $4.5 million from Homeland Security. (AP)

ATV land use
Governor Jim Douglas has appointed a panel to come up with a policy relating to all-terrain vehicles. The governor says he was motivated to act by the conflicts that have sprung up between ATV riders, towns, private landowners, and others. (AP)

IDX income rises
Net income at the IDX medical software company rose from $10 million in 2002 to $58 million last year. IDX is based in South Burlington. It employs about 21-people nationwide. (AP)

School’s holiday pageant disputed
Parents and teachers in Manchester have formed a committee to discuss how to address religious holidays. Manchester had a school concert in December that completely lacked Christmas or Hanukkah songs. Some parents complained that the concert had been “sanitized.'” (AP)

Alien smuggling
A Montreal man is free on bail after he pleaded guilty on Thursday to smuggling aliens into the United States. Federal authorities say 19-year-old David Lamothe was caught after a lakeside resident told police about a boat that landed on shore in Swanton and let off several passengers. (AP)

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