July 16, 2004 – News at a Glance

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Drug Re-importation
Vermont’s congressional delegation is turning up the pressure on those trying to prevent the re-importation of inexpensive drugs from Canada. (VPR)

Guantanamo Interrogation Tapes
Senator Patrick Leahy is calling for a full investigation of prisoner abuse in Iraq and at the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Leahy says a review of a limited number of videotapes from Guantanamo Bay doesn’t appear to show the kind of abuse that took place at the Abu Graib prison in Iraq. Still, Leahy wants all the videos from the detainee center to be released. (VPR)

Republicans, Democrats on Health Care Costs
Governor Jim Douglas will be in Seattle this weekend to work on health care issues at a meeting of the National Governors’ Association. Health care in Vermont has emerged as a central issue this political season, with Republican and Democratic leaders blaming each other for the Legislature’s failure to enact comprehensive reform. (VPR)

Backstage: ‘The Novelist’
Howard Fast’s play, “The Novelist” tells the story of a literary love affair that almost certainly never happened. VPR’s Susan Keese went backstage in Bennington, where Oldcastle Theater is performing the play. (VPR)

Advisors Say State Has Healthy Economic Outlook
Vermont’s economic advisors say the outlook in Vermont for the next 12 months is good. The state finished the recent fiscal year at the end of June with a strong showing. (VPR)

State Unemployment Rate Holds Steady
Vermont’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.5 percent last month. The national unemployment rate for June was 5.6 percent. (AP)

CVPS Files for 5% Rate Increase
Vermont’s largest electric utility says it will need to raise rates starting next April. On Thursday, Central Vermont Public Service Corporation filed for permission to raise rates by five percent. (AP)

Soldiers Prepare for Possible Mobilization
More than 1,300 soldiers from Vermont National Guard units are getting ready for what is expected to be the largest call up of the Vermont National Guard since World War II. About 60 of those soldiers were at Camp Johnson in Colchester today as part of that process. (AP)

Dean’s PAC Fundraising
Howard Dean’s political action committee raised $1.5 million in the second quarter of this year. The Dean for America committee that he created to run his presidential campaign morphed this past winter into a new group called Democracy for America. (AP)

Circ Highway Impact Study
The state of Vermont will do a full environmental impact study on the next phase of the Chittenden County Circumferential Highway. Thursday’s announcement marks a big reversal for the Douglas administration, which had maintained the road project had been studied enough. (AP)

Federal Flood Aid
Federal emergency officials are in Vermont to determine whether the areas hit hard by flooding this week are eligible for federal aid. Flooding was particularly bad in Stowe and Canaan, where about fifty houses were reported flooded. (AP)

Pownal Racetrack
Local officials are lending a hand to help the sale of the Green Mountain Race Track in Pownal to a Dorset developer. During a title search on the property this week developer Jack Appelman discovered two privately owned railroad crossings leading from the track to Route 7. (AP)

Indian Mascot Replaced
The mascot at Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington has a new name. The school recently decided to drop its Little Indians name because some said it was offensive to Native Americans. On Thursday the decision was made to adopt the nickname Green Knights when classes start at Rice this fall. (AP)

Burlington Homicide Investigation
Police are seeking the public’s help in solving the mystery of a Burlington woman they believe is the victim of a homicide. A search for 25-year-old Ligia Rae Collins in Lincoln earlier this week turned up no signs of her body. Collins was reported missing July 5. (AP)

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