February 14, 2005 – News at a glance

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Interview: Dean’s confirmed as DNC chair
As chairman of the Vermont Democratic Party, Peter Mallary was on hand to witness Howard Dean’s confirmation as chair of the Democratic National Committee. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Mallary, who says a feeling of optimism prevailed as Dean was elected to the post. (VPR)

Dean’s winning campaign for Democratic Party chair
How did Howard Dean put together the winning strategy to take charge of the Democratic National Committee? VPR’s Bob Kinzel takes a look at the key elements of Dean’s successful plan. (VPR)

Towns say evacuation concerns go unresolved
Twenty years ago the owners of Vermont Yankee commissioned a plan for getting people to safety if there were a nuclear accident. The plan is supposed to be a shared effort among the plant, the state and the people. But lately, some of the people in southeastern Vermont are wondering if they’re having their say. (VPR)

Drug re-importation bill
Vermont Senate leaders say their high priority prescription drug importation bill soon will be on the governor’s desk. Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Welch says the Senate will go along with changes the House made to the bill. (AP)

Public comment on state budget
Monday is the public’s chance to weigh in on priorities for the state budget in the coming year. The legislative committees responsible for writing the state budget are holding a joint public hearing on Monday. The hearing will be via Vermont Interactive Television, which means that any person wishing to testify or watch can do so at any of the interactive television sites around the state. The hearing is scheduled to start at five and end at seven. (AP)

Hunting regulation hearings
The state Fish and Wildlife Board will be holding four hearings over the next two weeks on proposals to limit deer kill. Under one of the proposals deer hunters would be allowed to take only one buck a year. Current law allows hunters to kill three bucks. The first hearing is on Tuesday night at Springfield High School. (AP)

Employment office cuts
A dispute over whether half of Vermont’s unemployment offices should be closed or scaled back may be settled by the Senate this week. Senators are scheduled to debate the annual midyear adjustment of the state budget. One of the contentious issues that some senators want to address in that bill is Governor Jim Douglas’ proposal to reduce six of the Department of Employment and Training’s 12 offices. (AP)

Gander to return to Statehouse
State Senator Roderick Gander, who has been undergoing treatment for cancer, says he plans to return to the Legislature this spring. The 74-year-old Brattleboro resident hasn’t been at the Statehouse yet this year. (AP)

Vermont Guard soldiers retuning soon
The 185 Vermont Army National Guard soldiers who are now back in the United States are beginning the paperwork to be able to return to Vermont. The soldiers landed at Fort Dix, New Jersey, Thursday night. They had spent 11 months on the ground in Iraq. (AP)

Cadets return from Iraq
Two Norwich University students have returned to campus after serving in Iraq. They are the first to return in what Norwich expects to be dozens of students who will have to leave school for active duty in Iraq and then return to pick up where they left off. (AP)

Valentine’s Day retail
Vermont retailers are anticipating big sales for Valentine’s Day. And the timing of the romantic day, after a weekend and at the beginning of the week, is an extra bonus. (AP)

UVM construction costs
University of Vermont trustees have approved covering a $7.5 million budget overrun in a planned residential complex. The cost of the planned $53 million, two-building complex ballooned to over $60 million because of increases in the cost of construction materials. (AP)

Burlington cable TV
National cable television giant Adelphia Communications wants a chance to oppose Burlington government’s plan to start its own cable television system. Adelphia has written to state regulators saying that it wants to be heard by the Public Service Board, which oversees cable television in Vermont. (AP)

Afghanistan plane crash
The effort to recover victims of a plane crash in Afghanistan will resume on Monday. Six Americans were believed to be aboard the flight, including 26-year-old Cristin Gadue, of Burlington, Vermont. (AP)

White River Junction fire
A fire has destroyed several businesses in a downtown building in White River Junction. More than 50 firefighters fought the flames for at least two hours Sunday night, bringing them under control just after 8 pm. The blaze broke out in a bar and destroyed adjoining businesses. The building also houses a strip club, adult bookstore and a costume and jewelry store. (AP)

Winter weather
The weather service has issued a warning for driving Monday afternoon and Monday night. Some sections of the state will see rain, freezing rain and snow – the freezing rain poses the biggest problem. (AP)

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