January 30, 2004 – News at a glance

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Australia trade deal may hurt Vermont dairy industry
Both of Vermont’s U.S. senators are warning that a proposed free trade agreement with Australia could have a devastating impact on Vermont’s dairy industry. Senators Patrick Leahy and Jim Jeffords are concerned that pact will allow farmers in Australia and New Zealand to flood the U.S. market with imported milk products. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Top donors support Dean’s campaign shakeup
Vermont contributors to Howard Dean’s presidential campaign were among those who pressured the candidate to shake up his staff this week. The candidate reached out on Wednesday to those supporters as he scrambled for cash. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Douglas plans public hearings on wind turbine placement
Governor Jim Douglas says he wants to hear from the public before his administration drafts a policy concerning the siting of wind turbines on state owned land. (VPR)

Judge rules drug sting unconstitutional
A Vermont District Court judge has ruled a sting operation unconstitutional because police conducted electronic surveillance without first obtaining a warrant. The ruling dismisses five counts of selling heroin against 20-year-old Ashley Rush of Derby. (AP)

Democrats debate in SC
Howard Dean is challenging John Kerry’s effectiveness in the Senate. In Thursday night’s Democratic debate in South Carolina, Dean charged that none of the 11 bills Kerry introduced on health care passed. Kerry answered he’d passed a lot of valuable legislation. (AP)

Dean’s strategy for Tuesday
Howard Dean is defying conventional wisdom as he tries to revive his faltering presidential campaign. Dean says he’s focusing his efforts on winning delegates, rather than trying to win one of the seven state primaries that will be held next Tuesday. (AP)

Physician assisted suicide
Two more Vermont health organizations are taking a stance in the debate over physician assisted suicide. The Vermont chapter of the American Cancer Society says it opposes all measures that would permit assisted suicide. The Hospice and Palliative Care Council of Vermont says it’s against any legislation for or against assisted suicide. (AP)

Ticonderoga tire burn
International Paper Company plans to change its federal air and water permits as it tries to move forward with an experimental tire burn at its Ticonderoga, New York, paper mill. The change will allow public hearings in New York and Vermont. (AP)

Teacher qualifications for NCLB
Almost 3,000 Vermont teachers need to provide more information to state officials to determine if they meet a federal standard. The No Child Left Behind Act requires teachers to be highly qualified in the subject they teach. (AP)

Regional technical center
Voters in Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties will decide next month whether to move forward with a $58 million technical school. The Regional Technical Academy would consolidate technical education centers in Essex and Burlington into one building in Essex. (AP)

Farmers day at Jay Peak
About 300 Vermont farmers and their families will be on the slopes at the Jay Peak ski resort on Friday for the annual Dairy Farmers Appreciation Day. Farmers get three free lift passes, and pay $15 for each ticket after that. Last year 500 farmers turned out. (AP)

Sampson execution ruling
A man arrested in Vermont after going on a two-state killing spree is going to be executed in New Hampshire. A federal judge ruled yesterday determined where Gary Lee Sampson should be executed after a federal court jury in Boston sentenced him to death. (AP)

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