January 21, 2004 – News at a glance

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Interview: Leahy responds to State of the Union
A call for Congress to make last year’s tax cuts permanent and for renewal of the Patriot Act were among the notable sections of President Bush’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Senator Patrick Leahy about the Vermont congressional delegation’s critical response to the president’s speech. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Brattleboro to choose new mascot image
The Brattleboro Colonel will be getting a makeover. The Brattleboro Union High School Board voted Tuesday night to retain its controversial mascot in name only. (VPR)

Compromise may be reached on GMO policy
Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Steve Kerr has indicated that a compromise could be reached that would address many of the concerns about genetically modified seeds used by some Vermont farmers. (VPR)

Budget Address focuses on environment and health care
Governor Jim Douglas has outlined a state budget that calls for new health care initiatives and new spending on environmental clean-up programs. The governor says that spending money in these areas will reap dividends in the future. Despite the new programs, Douglas says the new budget will stay within the growth of state revenues. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Democrats react to Budget Address
Democrats say the governor’s budget emphasizes the right issues but there will likely be disagreement over how to address those issues. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Candidates file for Vermont Primary
Vermonters can expect to see five Democrats and one Republican on the state’s primary ballot. The deadline for the March 2 presidential primary was Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. (AP)

Bennington optimistic about Bypass funding
Bennington officials are confident a recent report justifies continued state support of the southern leg of the Bennington Bypass. The Bypass is competing for funding with other projects in Essex Junction, Rutland and Hartford. (AP)

State of the Union reaction
Vermont’s three-member congressional delegation is giving low marks to President Bush on his State of the Union speech last night. Senators Patrick Leahy and James Jeffords and Congressman Bernard Sanders are frequent critics of the president, and they were true to form after his speech. (AP)

Heroin arrests
Three people are in jail for their role in an alleged conspiracy to sell large amounts of heroin in Rutland. The three all pleaded innocent to various drug charges, and are in jail for lack of bail. (AP)

YouthBuild funding cut
A program that offers construction education and training to young people is out of federal funding. YouthBuild Burlington recently learned they would receive no federal funding, at least not for this year. The change has forced job cuts and changes in the nonprofit’s regular operation. (AP)

East Haven wind farm
The Lyndonville Electric Company is going to sign a contract to buy wind power from the developers of the East Haven wind farm. Lyndon Village trustees voted last night to let the electric company sign contracts with the developers of the proposed wind farm. (AP)

Video arraignments
Vermont District Court in Bennington has started arraigning jailed prisoners by video. The system is designed to save the state the time and money now spent transporting prisoners between their jails and their court hearings. (AP)

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