June 17, 2004 – News at a glance

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Vermont receives $11.5 million for voter access programs
The state has received a windfall in federal money to help pay for improvements in voting procedures. Vermont had already received $5 million under the HAVA – the Help America Vote Act. (VPR)

Vermont Chief Justice steps down
In a surprise development, the Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court, Jeffery Amestoy, announced on Wednesday that he’s resigning his post in August. Amestoy, who has served in state government for 30 years, says it’s time to move on to other challenges in his life. (VPR)

Justice noted for collaborative approach
A cooperative approach characterizes outgoing Chief Justice Jeffrey Amestoy’s years on the Supreme Court, according to judicial experts. They say Amestoy will leave a favorable legacy when he retires this summer. (VPR)

Book interview: “Hiding in Plain Sight”
In 1938, Betty Lauer was 12 years old, living with her mother and sister in Hindenburg, Germany. When the Nazis rounded up the city’s Jewish population, Lauer and her family were expelled to Poland. For the next seven years, Lauer lived in the open, but had to hide her true identity as she moved from town to town in the Nazi-occupied country. Lauer has recounted those years in a new book entitled “Hiding in Plain Sight.” (VPR)

Dubie announces candidacy
Incumbent Republican Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie made it official on Wednesday that he will be a candidate for reelection in the fall. Dubie made the announcement in front of roughly 100 supporters in the Senate chamber at the Statehouse. (VPR)

House meets for veto session
The Vermont House has voted not to override Governor Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill relating to car insurance. The entire proceeding today took about a half hour, and ended with the House voting 121 to five against overriding the veto. (AP)

Vermont Yankee review
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will brief state regulators later this month on its plan to conduct an in-depth review of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The NRC has announced that it will conduct a 700-hour engineering assessment to determine whether Vermont Yankee can boost its power by 20 percent. (AP)

Civil liberties bill
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy is joining four of his colleagues to try to correct what they see as excesses of the USA Patriot Act. The legislation, called the Civil Liberties Restoration Act, would end the special registration program aimed at immigrants from the Middle East. (AP)

Dairy prices bill
Vermont’s congressional delegation is backing new legislation that would help protect dairy farmers from low prices. The National Dairy Equity Act would create a safety net for dairy farmers that would be funded largely by dairy processors. (AP)

FAHC food services
Vermont’s largest hospital is upgrading its food service operations. Fletcher Allen Health Care’s food services managers have revamped kitchens, assembled new menus, overhauled cafeteria spaces and hired restaurant chefs. (AP)

Champlain Valley Fair
Vermont’s largest fairgrounds is going to get a $2.5 million expansion. The Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction is going to upgrade to its indoor soccer and special events facilities. (AP)

Track champs give back trophy
Harwood Union High School in Duxbury is giving up its Division 2 high school boys track and field championship trophy. The school won the title June 5 with the help of senior David Strojny who had been suspended from athletics for violating the school’s drug and alcohol policy. (AP)

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