February 17, 2004 – News at a glance

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Dean makes final effort in Wisconsin
With voters ready to make their choice, Howard Dean urged Wisconsin supporters to ignore the polls and the pundits Monday night and to give his sagging campaign a boost. Dean insisted he could win the nomination. Yet some of his grassroots supporters have begun to look beyond today’s primary to consider the impact his campaign has had on American politics. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Supporters say Dean energizes Party
Howard Dean searched for votes across Wisconsin on Monday, even as his presidential campaign was rocked by the departure of its chairman. Dean’s campaign seemed to be searching for a way to maintain visibility and organization even if he formally drops out of the race later this week. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Changes proposed for child support penalties
Vermont lawmakers are considering three bills that would change parts of the state’s family law. (AP)

Burst pipe damages files in state office
A burst pipe has workers at the Vermont Secretary of State’s office drying boxes of government records that were damaged by water. Secretary of State Deb Markowitz says most of the records were from the Snelling and Kunin administrations. (AP)

Chairman leaves Dean campaign
If Howard Dean stays in the Democratic presidential race he’s going to need a new campaign chairman. Dean says Steve Grossman has left his campaign. But he’s not saying just how that happened. (AP)

Backus running for lt. gov.
A five-term Vermont senator who twice tried unsuccessfully to run for U.S. Senate is officially entering the race for lieutenant governor. Winooski’s Jan Backus made the announcement on WCAX television on Sunday. (AP)

State Democratic Party fundraising
Howard Dean’s presidential campaign has brought a windfall of out-of-state money to the Vermont Democratic Party. More than a dozen Dean donors from outside Vermont who gave the maximum contribution to Dean’s presidential campaign also gave large donations to state Democrats. (AP)

Towns’ annual reports
More and more town clerks are taking another look at the tradition of printing a town’s vital statistics in the annual town report. In some towns, the list of births, deaths, marriages and civil unions is just too long so it’s left out to save printing costs. But in others, town clerks say they’ve started to worry about identity theft and other security matters. (AP)

NH civil unions
Same-sex marriage is already illegal in New Hampshire, but Republican lawmakers want to go one step further. A group of state legislators is pushing a plan to let the state disregard gay unions legally performed elsewhere. (AP)

South Burlington smoking ban
One of Vermont’s largest cities is going to pursue a law that would ban smoking in its bars and restaurants. The South Burlington City Council voted last night for a law that would ban smoking at the 13 businesses that now allow it. (AP)

St. Albans schools
For the first time in years, schools in St. Albans won’t be out this Town Meeting Day. That’s because some Saint Albans schools have exceeded their quota for snow days this winter. (AP)

Ludlow historic church
A rare shingle-style church in Ludlow is being recognized for its historic value. The United Church of Ludlow was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. (AP)

Randolph beaver problem
Town officials in Randolph will be debating a plan tonight to kill troublesome beavers. The local select board agreed two weeks ago to trap and kill beavers that are causing flooding on a branch of the White River in town. The beavers are felling trees into the river and some selectmen say they’re causing damage to the banks. But some people want the beavers to be saved. (AP)

UVM men’s basketball
Fans of the University of Vermont’s men’s basketball team are proving loyalty isn’t always determined by a winning record. Supporters of the UVM Catamounts may have been disappointed by the team’s loss to the Boston University Terriers on Sunday. But the defeat didn’t lessen fans’ praise of the basketball team, which until this weekend was on a thirteen-game winning streak. (AP)

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