June 12, 2002 – News at a Glance

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Dean and Federal Education Money
Howard Dean, Democratic governor of Vermont, says his state may want to reject the millions of dollars in federal education aid rather than comply with the law’s student testing requirements. VPR’s John Dillon filed this story for National Public Radio. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (NPR)

Interview: Patrick Leahy
Steve Delaney talks with Senator Patrick Leahy about the proposal to consolidate several security and intelligence agencies under a new Department of Homeland Security. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

IBM Union
Organizers say job uncertainty at IBM has renewed worker interest in forming a union at the Essex Junction plant. Last week, IBM cut nearly a thousand jobs at the facility. The future of a union is uncertain, but organizers are working this week to help former employees of the company. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Court Upholds Mercury Label Law
Vermont has won a key legal victory as it tries to force companies to label products that contain mercury. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an industry group’s appeal of the Vermont labeling law. (VPR)

Renewable Energy Industry
Anthony Pollina, the Progressive Party’s candidate for lieutenant governor, says some of the money from the Vermont Yankee sale should go to jump-start renewable energy. (VPR)

Executive Privilege
(Host) Vermont’s Supreme Court justices today grilled lawyers for the state and for three newspapers as the attorneys argued over access to the governor’s daily schedule. Governor Howard Dean has rebuffed requests from the Rutland Herald, Times Argus and the Burlington weekly Seven Days, which have asked for copies of his daily schedule. (AP)

Costes Retires
A Republican state senator from Franklin County says he’s retiring. Senator George Costes has served three terms in the Senate. At age 79, Costes says he’s ready to spend more time with his wife. He also wants to travel. (AP)

Library Renovations
The Saint Johnsbury Athenaeum will close for six to eight months next year for renovations. The library will move to a temporary site at the Sumner Street school during the construction. (AP)

Boating Warning
Police are warning boaters to stay at least 200 feet from scuba divers after a close call on Lake Champlain last week. A diver was hit in the leg by a fisherman’s rigging while diving off Thompson’s Point in Charlotte. (AP)

Earthquake Recovery
Some Vermont businesses might be eligible for disaster relief following April’s earthquake. Businesses in Addison, Chittenden and Grand Isle and six counties in New York may be eligible for up to $1.5 million in loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. That’s to cover physical and economic losses. The loans are available until February. (AP)

Flood Warning and Flood Watch
A flood warning continues for northern Vermont after heavy rains overnight pushed a number of rivers and creeks over their banks. A flood watch for all of the listening area is posted till noon. Some roads are flooded in northern Vermont counties. (AP)

Fell Plea Bargain
A Federal judge will decide whether an incomplete plea bargain in the murder case of Donald Fell should be honored. Attorney General John Ashcroft decided before the deal was done that Fell should stand trial with the death penalty a possibility. (AP)

NH Education Funding
This is the eleventh anniversary of the landmark Clarendon lawsuit in New Hampshire, which forced a change in education funding. The state is still developing an education funding formula. (AP)

Skateboard Ordinance
The St. Johnsbury Selectboard has passed an ordinance that allows the police to seize skate boards in use on downtown streets. (AP)

Danby Forestland
A million-dollar grant from the Freedom Foundation will protect forest lands in Danby from development. (AP)

Legislature Attempts Adjournment
The Legislature goes back into session today in hopes of finishing its work and adjourning. The holdup is still legislative reapportionment. (AP)

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