July 30, 2003 – News at a glance

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Commissioner questions uprate benefits
Public Service Department Commissioner David O’Brien says the owners of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power plant have yet to convince the state that an expansion at the facility is in the best interests of Vermont ratepayers. (VPR)

Jeffords backs clean air amendment
The U.S. Senate takes up amendments on Wednesday to an energy bill pushed by Republicans. The bill is supposed to make it easier to produce domestic sources of energy. (VPR)

State answers requests for Dean records
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz says there’s a lot of interest these days in the public papers of former governor Howard Dean, as Dean’s presidential campaign becomes more popular. Markowitz says she may have to add additional staff to deal with the growing number of people researching Dean’s past. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

West Nile virus
Vermont health officials announced Tuesday that three birds have tested positive for West Nile virus. These are the first confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne illness in Vermont this summer. (VPR)

Head Start bill
Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords is co-sponsoring a bill that he says would help enroll more children in Head Start programs. Head Start provides social and academic support to poor students. It’s currently up for congressional re-approval. (AP)

Downtown revitalization program
Two more Vermont communities are now eligible to apply for a variety of programs that help with revitalization efforts. Winooski and Island Pond are the latest to receive special designations from the Vermont Downtown Development Board. (AP)

New Hampshire poll
A new poll finds presidential hopefuls Howard Dean and John Kerry in a virtual tie among likely voters in next winter’s New Hampshire primary. The former Vermont governor drew 22% of those responding to the survey by Franklin Pierce College, while Senator Kerry of Massachusetts drew 21%. (AP)

Dean campaign letters
Personalized letters from supporters of Howard Dean’s presidential campaign will be filling the mailboxes of New Hampshire voters next month. The former Vermont governor is asking backers around the country to write to 40-thousand New Hampshire residents. (AP)

Teen death in Rockingham
Police in Rockingham are investigating whether under-age drinking might have contributed to the death of a teenager. Police say 17-year-old Steven McInerney of Springfield died when he fell from a cliff in a Williams River gorge. (AP)

School racial harassment
A former high school student in Duxbury who says she experienced racial harassment is now suing officials there. Nineteen-year-old Celeste Washington says officials at Harwood Union High School failed to address the problem. (AP)

Daley charges
Vermont prosecutors may file additional charges against a man accused of fatally striking a state trooper with a car. Twenty-three-year-old Eric Daley of Lebanon, New Hampshire, already has pleaded innocent to several charges. (AP)

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