January 26, 2004 – News at a glance

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Leahy leads buses of Dean supporters to New Hampshire
Vermonters packed several buses to New Hampshire over the weekend to help boost the candidacy of Howard Dean at a critical time. Their message to the Granite Staters: Dean has brought a lot of voters to the party and he’s still the one. Senator Patrick Leahy led the caravan that started in Burlington. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Interview: How New Hampshire votes
In anticipation of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, pundits guessing about the people of the Granite State – their values, their character, and how it all might come together to determine which Democratic presidential hopeful emerges a winner. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Judson Hale is editor in chief for Yankee Magazine in New Dublin, NH. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Dean on Iraq
“A whole lot worse” is how Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean described the standard of living for Iraqis since Saddam Hussein’s removal from power last year. Dean made the comment on SUnday at a campaign stop in New Hampshire. (AP)

Judy Dean campaigns in NH
Howard Dean’s wife Judy has joined him on the campaign trail as the Democratic presidential hopeful tries to make a comeback in New Hampshire. The two drew an overflow crowd in a small room at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester. (AP)

Legislative terms
The perennial question of whether Vermont state officials should be elected to four- rather than two-year terms gets a fresh round of debate beginning this week. The Senate Government Operations Committee will hold the first of four public hearings on that question at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at South Burlington High School. (AP)

Drug court challenges
Vermont’s first drug court opened three weeks ago in Rutland, and officials there say they’re already facing a challenge. That’s the question of where to house participants battling addiction in a place that will keep them out of environments where they had been using drugs. Now the drug court is looking for a couple of apartments where people who are recovering from addiction can stay. (AP)

Snowmobile plan
Vermont officials are giving a snowmobiling plan a thumbs-down. The state’s snowmobilers presented the Legislature with a $2 million plan to help pay for Vermont’s 4,600 mile trail system. The plan was met with a chilly reception by lawmakers last week. (AP)

Sea lamprey control
There are promising signs that a lamprey control program could begin in Vermont this year. Governor Jim Douglas says lamprey control is near the top of his administration’s agenda. And new federal funding for Lake Champlain includes $100,000 for construction of a lamprey barrier dam. (AP)

Mississquoi Bay Bridge
The aging Missisquoi bridge between Swanton and Alburg isn’t a hot commodity. The Vermont Agency of Transportation plans to replace the historic bridge, and is offering it free to anyone who wants it. But there are no takers thus far. (AP)

UVM business program
The University of Vermont is launching a new business program that targets companies from across the state. The Vermont Business Center will offer growing companies a series of executive courses and training. (AP)

Universal health care
A grassroots group is asking Vermont voters to support a referendum on universal health insurance. The Vermont Citizens Campaign for Health is leading the charge for a non-binding referendum on the issue. State officials, including Governor Jim Douglas, are also talking about publicly-paid health insurance. (AP)

Deer season numbers
Vermont biologists say the cold weather may have resulted in fewer deer being killed in the 2003 hunting season. As of January 22, nearly 7,000 bucks were reported killed in last November’s 16-day firearms season. That’s almost 2,000 less than in 2002. (AP)

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