February 16, 2004 – News at a glance

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Dean campaigns in Wisconsin
Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean has criss-crossed Wisconsin in recent days in an intense drive to save his sagging campaign. Polls show Dean faces the possibility of coming in third in Tuesday’s primary. Yet Dean denied reports on Sunday that he’ll quit the race if he loses badly in Wisconsin. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Naturopathic medicine coverage
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is opposing legislation that would extend insurance coverage to naturopathic physicians for medically necessary health care services. Naturopaths are state-licensed health care providers, although they don’t have traditional medical degrees. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Kids find confidence in dog training
Around the country, “Dog Agility” is becoming a popular competitive sport. In agility trials, handlers train their dogs to complete a timed obstacle course of hurdles, chutes, tunnels and balance beams. Now one Vermont educator is using dog agility to help children learn to focus and interact successfully. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Dean campaign
Advisers to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean say he’ll abandon the race if he loses Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary. Steve Grossman, the national chairman of Dean’s campaign, says the former Vermont governor will seek to convert his grass-roots network into a movement that helps expand the party and elect the Democratic nominee. (AP)

Lawmakers’ pay raise
The chairman of a House committee hopes the panel can finish its work this week on a proposed pay raise for Vermont lawmakers. Lyndon Republican Cola Hudson says several issues remain unresolved in connection with legislative pay. (AP)

Penalties for eluding police
The death of a state trooper who was killed by a fleeing driver last June is an impetus behind a crackdown on eluding police to be considered this week by a Senate committee. (AP)

Lead fishing sinkers
Vermont lawmakers are considering legislation that would ban lead fishing sinkers. States like New Hampshire and Maine already ban the lead sinkers, which experts say can pose risks to human health.

Land biologist
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is bolstering its ranks with a new land biologist. The department recently hired Paul Hamelin, a former resident of North Troy, to improve animal habitat in the state’s 86 wildlife management areas. (AP)

Vermont soldier wounded
A Milton soldier is awaiting treatment in Washington for wounds sustained during an ambush in Iraq. Nineteen-year-old Mark Gratton Jr. was hit in the face with glass and shrapnel when his vehicle was ambushed in Baghdad in June. (AP)

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