July 31, 2002 – News at a glance

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Racine calls for FAHC investigation
Lieutenant Governor Doug Racine is calling for an independent state investigation into allegations that some executives at the Fletcher Allen Medical Center deliberately misled state officials about the cost of their new $50 million parking garage. (VPR)

Yankee sale deadline
Utility executives are dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s” today as the clock winds down toward tonight’s deadline to sell the nuclear plant. (VPR)

Iraq war policy
Vermont’s congressional delegation has serious concerns about the Bush administration’s desire to launch a military strike against Iraq. And the delegation says the president needs to get the consent of Congress before starting a war. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Modeling clay health risk
According to a new report released by the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, several popular children’s baking clay products may pose serious health risks. VPIRG is urging the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission to launch an investigation into this issue. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Ready announces candidacy
State Auditor Elizabeth Ready formally announced on Tuesday that she’s seeking a second term in office. Ready, who is a Democrat, is a former state senator from Addison County. (VPR)

Internet connectivity
About 60% of Vermont homes with children own a computer with access to the Internet. That ranks Vermont third in the nation. A study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that New Hampshire led the nation with the percentage of households with children connected to the Internet, at 69%. Alaska was second. (AP)

Dorset horse show
The organizer of the prestigious horse show in East Dorset says the event might move elsewhere if forced to get a state land-use permit. Vermont Summer Festival organizer John Ammerman says he was surprised to hear the show needs a permit for next summer. He says there have never been any problems before in Dorset. (AP)

Union controversy
The president of Vermont’s state employees’ union is standing by his decision to stage a demonstration at the Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington last week. Ed Stanak’s comment follows the resignation in protest by the Bennington-area chapter president and protests of his actions by local union members. Union leaders and local members squared off in counter-demonstrations outside the home last week, the union leaders protesting management actions and the local members supporting them. Local President John Killary announced his resignation from that post on Monday. (AP)

Search rights tested in court
Two former teachers who left their jobs after a lister found marijuana plants outside their Walden home will take their case back to the Vermont Supreme Court. Peter C. Tripp and his now former wife, Cindy Schofner, were working at Hazen Union High School when a lister visited their home in 1999 and reported to police she’d seen pot plants. The couples’ case has been in court ever since. Last spring, the Vermont Supreme Court reversed a ruling by a judge who had thrown out the evidence against them. Now their lawyer, David Sleigh, says he’s appealing to the state’s highest court on the grounds that the Vermont Constitution provides greater protection against unreasonable searches. (AP)

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