June 24, 2004 – News at a Glance

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Southern Vermont Organic Dairy Farms
For some Vermont dairy farmers, “going organic” is a way to earn a better premium on a smaller amount of milk. Consumers seem increasingly willing to pay for organic dairy products. Organic milk haulers are making pickups at nearly 80 certified organic farms north of White River Junction. But in southern Vermont, farmers are still waiting. (VPR)

Courts Lack Interpreters
A special committee of the Vermont Supreme Court says a growing number of Vermonters are being denied equal access to justice in the state’s civil and family court system. The committee issued a report today saying that the courts don’t have a process in place to provide defendants who don’t understand English with foreign language interpreters. (VPR)

Environmental Study of Circ Highway
The state of Vermont will begin a new environmental study to determine the effect of the Circumferential Highway on sprawl. The study was required last month when a judge halted work on the Chittenden County road project. (VPR)

Macedonian Visitors
The Vermont Public Service Board and Governor Jim Douglas are playing host to utility regulators from Macedonia Wednesday. (AP)

Phish Concert
Vermont state officials are gearing up for a two-day concert festival featuring the band Phish. The concert is set for August 14-15 at the Newport State Airport in Coventry. (AP)

Welfare Commissioner Steps Down
John Michael Hall, Vermont’s welfare commissioner for the last nine months, is heading to a job in Maine. Hall, who is 49, is leaving his job in Vermont next week. He’s going to take three months off work, and then start up as deputy commissioner of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services. (AP)

Campaign to Ban Smoking
A group that spent three years and a million dollars trying to get the Legislature to ban smoking in bars is now turning its attention to city councils and select boards. The Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont failed to convince the Legislature to ban smoking in bars. Leaders of the group say they’re now going to focus on getting municipalities to stop smoking in bars. (AP)

VTC Layoffs
A union for employees at Vermont Technical College says planned cuts at the college are — “unfair and financially reckless.” Administrators plan to cut 13 jobs this year by declining to renew contracts. The college was facing a $450,000 deficit for the next fiscal year. (AP)

Hemlock Pest
State crews are digging up and burning hundreds of hemlock trees that arrived in a nursery shipment infested with an insect pest. The hemlock wooly adelgid is ravaging hemlocks in eastern states. A shipment of infested trees arrived inadvertently. (AP)

Millett Still Hospitalized
A 40-year-old former Franklin County man is hospitalized in fair condition after he was shot Tuesday by a Vermont State Police trooper. James Millett is under guard at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, while authorities arrange his return to Vermont to face charges. (AP)

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