June 28, 2004 – News at a glance

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Parties Take up the Fight for Gubernatorial Candidates
Both the state Republican and Democratic Parties are actively involved in this year’s race for governor. Both organizations are flooding newsrooms across the state with press releases that attempt to point out discrepancies with their opponent’s record. (VPR)

Quechee ‘Bioblitz’
One hundred fifty biologists and naturalists descended on the Vermont Institute of Natural Science in Quechee last weekend. They combed the woods and wetlands in an effort to see how many plants and animals they could find in a 24 hour period. (VPR)

Savoy Theater Targeted for Showing ‘Fahrenheit 9-11’
A local movie theater is feeling the effects of a controversy surrounding filmmaker Michael Moore’s newest documentary. A partisan e-mail campaign has erupted targeting the new film, “Fahrenheit 9-11.” (VPR)

Interview: Fort Ticonderoga Re-enactment
Starting Saturday, more than a thousand re-enactors will gather at Fort Ticonderoga in New York to commemorate the Grand Encampment of the French and Indian War, which started 250 years ago. The battle at Ticonderoga ended with an unlikely victory for the French, who were vastly outnumbered at the time by British forces. VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb recently spoke with Lisa Simpson Lutts, of the Fort Ticonderoga Historical Site. (VPR)

Vermont Yankee Hearing
The Public Service Board is to hear Monday from officials with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission on a review they’re planning of operations at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. The board asked for the NRC to do an independent engineering assessment before allowing the 32-year-old Vernon reactor to boost its power output by 20 percent. (AP)

Health Care in Lt. Governor’s Race
It looks as though Vermonters who pay attention to this year’s campaign for lieutenant governor will be hearing a lot about health care. Progressive Steve Hingtgen says he’s making fundamental, top-to-bottom reform of Vermont’s health care system the centerpiece of his campaign. Democrats Cheryl Rivers and Jan Backus also have identified access to affordable health care as a top issue for them. (AP)

Frist Won’t Apologize for Cheney
Majority Leader Bill Frist refused to criticize Vice President Dick Cheney Sunday for cursing on the floor of the Senate in a confrontation with Senator Patrick Leahy. Cheney uttered the curse word Tuesday after Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, struck up a conversation as senators gathered for a photograph. (AP)

Probate Court
A committee looking at Vermont’s probate court system is hearing that those courts need to do a better job assigning, funding and training guardians. The committee was formed by the Legislature two years ago to solicit public input to determine the shortcomings and strengths of the judicial branch that oversees legal issues such as guardianship, wills and estates. (AP)

Snapping Turtles
It’s snapping turtle season in Vermont, when snappers on their way to lay eggs become a common sight along roadways and in gardens. The turtles prefer a sunny spot of soft dirt in which to lay their ping-pong ball-sized eggs. They often find such spots in just-planted gardens or in the dirt along the edge of a paved road. (AP)

Newport Cell Tower
A state official has reversed herself and decided that a hotly debated cellular antenna planned for a church spire in Newport must undergo Act 250 land-use review. The parish and neighborhood around Saint Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church have been divided over whether there should be a cellular antenna in the tower. (AP)

Woman Killed in Thunderstorm
A burst of wind uprooted a tent at a wedding on Saturday in Isle La Motte, killing a woman. Police say the step-grandmother of the groom was killed by a tent pole. They have not released her name. The high winds were part of the thunderstorm that passed through northern Vermont around supper time Saturday. (AP)

Two Die in House Fire
An Isle La Motte couple died Sunday morning in a fire at their home. George and Anna Fleury were in their late 60s. The fire broke out early Sunday morning at their ranch-style home, and was reported by passers-by. Emergency crews from three towns responded. Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the fire. (AP)

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