February 27, 2004 — News at a glance

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Dean meets Connecticut supporters
Howard Dean has made his first public appearance since bowing out of the presidential race last week. He was in New Haven, Connecticut, Thursday night, where he told his supporters that he would encourage them to back Senators John Edwards or John Kerry for now. And he urged them to stay together behind the eventual Democratic nominee. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Interview: Northern stage hosts Miller
A very special play comes to the Northern Stage in White River Junction this Sunday. “Resurrection Blues,” written by renowned playwright Arthur Miller, has been produced only twice in the world, and Mr. Miller will be coming to Northern Stage as the play debuts in White River Junction. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Brooke Chiardelli, artistic director for Northern Stage, about the play. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Gay marriage
Governor Jim Douglas says there’s no need to change any Vermont laws to address growing concerns about gay marriage. The governor also says he doubts that the state of Vermont will recognize gay marriages sanctioned by the state of Massachusetts. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

College funding
The Vermont Business Roundtable is calling on lawmakers to significantly increase funding for higher education over the next five years. (VPR)

GMO bills
More than a hundred opponents of genetically modified foods were at the Statehouse this morning to show their support for several bills that would regulate GMO’s. (VPR)

Prescription drug plan
Governor Jim Douglas says he hopes the federal government will still approve a plan to reduce prescription drug prices. The program seeks to reduce Vermont’s and Michigan’s prescription drug costs for state employees by jointly negotiating prices. (AP)

Drug companies issue marketing reports
Attorney General William Sorrell says drug companies spent nearly 2.5 million dollars to market their products in Vermont in a one-year period. The report is a result of Vermont’s 2001 drug marketing disclosure law. (AP)

Physician-assisted suicide
Several dozen physicians and other members of the public gathered in the Statehouse Thursday night for a hearing on end-of-life measures. The Legislature is considering a proposal to allow physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. (AP)

Priest shortage
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington has begun a series of meetings around Vermont to discuss making better use of its dwindling number of priests. Final decisions are expected within a year on closing some Vermont churches, and more than 100 Catholics gathered at St. Augustine’s Church Thursday evening to discuss the problems and possible solutions. (AP)

Super Tuesday
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is considered the strong favorite in most of the New England primaries coming up next week. Neither Kerry nor Democrat John Edwards has been in any of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts or Vermont this year for public appearances. And neither intends to visit New England before voters go to the polls in those states and six others on Tuesday. (AP)

Land mine treaty
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy says a new Bush administration policy on land mines is “a step backward.” The Bush administration is going to end the U.S. military’s use of land mines that are not timed to self-destruct. But a senior administration official says the administration won’t sign a 150-nation anti-land mine treaty. (AP)

Canadian prescriptions
Governor Jim Douglas and Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle continue to be at odds on importing prescription drugs from Canada. Douglas spokesman Jason Gibbs says the governor believes such imports are a good idea, but should be done only through legal means. Clavelle says he’s standing up to FDA policies that he says are designed to protect the interests of the pharmaceutical industry. (AP)

Vermont Yankee
A former nuclear industry executive says Vermont Yankee should be required to come into compliance with federal regulations before it is allowed to boost its power output. Former Entergy Nuclear consultant Paul Blanch told a forum in West Brattleboro Thursday night that the Vernon reactor is so old it is grandfathered, or excused from some current regulations. (AP)

Student noise ordinance
The chiefs of police for Burlington and the University of Vermont hope city voters will allow them to join forces to keep a lid on student rowdiness. Burlington voters will decide Tuesday on a proposed charter change that would allow UVM police to enforce city anti-noise and other ordinances for the first time. (AP)

Brattleboro police review board
Residents in Brattleboro go to the polls next week to decide whether to create a police civilian review board. Brattleboro Police Chief John Martin and Select Board Chairman Greg Worden both say a review board is not needed in Brattleboro. The issue has percolated since December of 2001, when Brattleboro police fatally shot a knife-wielding man in a church who several witnesses said posed a threat only to himself. (AP)

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