July 15, 2004 – News at a glance

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Sanders Testifies on Drug Re-importation
Congressman Bernie Sanders told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that there’s no doubt in his mind prescription drugs can be re-imported from Canada without any major safety concerns. (VPR)

Fuel Rod Pieces Found, Concerns Continue
The Douglas administration is pleased that Vermont Yankee has found fuel rod pieces that were missing for three months. But officials remain concerned about poor record-keeping at the plant. (VPR)

State Faces Large Health Care Deficits
Members of a legislative oversight committee got some grim news on Wednesday about a growing shortfall in state health care funds. Lawmakers are working with the Douglas administration to find a way to solve the budget problems. (VPR)

Parke Criticizes Sanders’ Stance on Patriot Act
Republican U.S. House candidate Greg Parke is sharply criticizing Congressman Bernie Sanders’ effort to make changes to the Patriot Act. Parke says Sanders is “grandstanding” on this issue and that his amendment would provide a safe haven for terrorists. Sanders counters that Parke doesn’t understand what this issue is all about. (VPR)

VPR Backstage: ‘She Stoops to Conquer’
The English countryside is the setting for an 18th century restoration comedy being produced at Saint Michael’s Playhouse. (VPR)

Vermont Senators Vote Against Marriage Amendment
Both of Vermont’s U.S. senators have voted against a measure banning gay marriage as an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The vote was 50-to-48, ten short of the 60 needed to keep the measure alive. (AP)

ASC Settles Steamboat Suit
American Skiing Company has agreed to pay more than $5 million to settle a lawsuit after it backed out of a deal to sell Colorado’s Steamboat Ski Area. (AP)

Plea for Blood Donors
The Red Cross says it urgently needs blood in New England. The agency says blood supplies are critically low in the region, with less than a one-day supply of most blood types. (AP)

Guard Members Prepare for Mobilization
About 1,300 members of the Vermont National Guard are preparing for what is expected to be the Guard’s largest deployment ever. Soldiers have been ordered to report to Camp Johnson in Colchester at 9 a.m. Thursday to be screened in preparation for mobilization. (AP)

Sentencing Guidelines
One of Vermont’s U.S. District Court judges is urging U.S. senators not to rush to change federal sentencing guidelines. Judge William Sessions says the sky is not falling in the aftermath of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling three weeks ago. The Supreme Court ruled that juries, not judges, must consider any factor that could lengthen a defendant’s sentence beyond the maximum set in state sentencing guidelines. (AP)

Wheelabrator Incinerator
Vermont and New Hampshire towns that for years have had their trash burned at an incinerator in Claremont, New Hampshire, are beginning to plan for 2007. That’s the expiration date on the 20-year contract between the towns in the New Hampshire-Vermont Solid Waste Project and the Wheelabrator incinerator (AP)

Ticonderoga Tire Chip Burn
Officials at the International Paper Company say it won’t be until late November at the earliest before the Ticonderoga, New York, paper mill can do a test burn of tire chips. The mill hopes to burn tire chips as an alternative fuel, a plan that could save the mill a million dollars a year. (AP)

Pownal Racetrack Sale Hits Snag
A Dorset developer’s planned purchase of the Green Mountain Race Track in Pownal has hit a snag. Developer Jack Appelman discovered two privately owned railroad crossings leading from the track to Route 7 Thursday during a title search. Appelman may have to pay to make the crossings safe for passing cars, and he’s concerned about the costs of such a deal. (AP)

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