June 30, 2004 – News at a Glance

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Wind Projects May Become Subject to Act 250 Review
Governor Jim Douglas says he wants to explore the idea of requiring an Act 250 review for future large scale commercial wind projects in Vermont. Currently these projects are reviewed by the Vermont Public Service Board in a process known as a Section 248 review. (VPR)

Interview: Canadian Election Results
Canadians are taking stock of the shift in their government following one of the most contentious national elections in recent history. While the incumbent Liberal Party remains in the majority, it can no longer govern without help from other parties in the Parliament. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Jeff Ayres, a professor of political science who specializes in Canadian Politics at Saint Michael’s College, about Tuesday’s election results. (VPR)

Douglas Announces Candidacy for Re-election
Governor Jim Douglas officially announced plans to seek a second term in office Tuesday afternoon. Douglas says economic development issues and reform of the state’s health care system are top priorities for the next two years. (VPR)

Attorney General Holds Meetings on End of Life Care
Attorney General Bill Sorrell wants to prompt an extended conversation about the medical care Vermonters receive at the end of their lives. This week, Sorrell launches a series of public hearings on the issue. He says the goal is to help lawmakers draft legislation next year. (VPR)

Federal Building Evacuated in Burlington
A six-story federal office building in Burlington has been evacuated after a suspicious package was found. The evacuation order came Tuesday morning shortly after the discovery of the package. (AP)

Black River Produce to Buy Idenot Plant
Black River Produce in Proctorsville has won state backing to buy the former Idlenot dairy plant in Springfield. The Vermont Economic Development Authority has given a $648,000 loan to the project – about 40 percent of the total project cost. (AP)

Bennington Plant to Close Leaving 35 Unemployed
Miller Building Systems has announced it will close its Bennington facility at the end of next month. The closing will leave 35 people without jobs. (AP)

Second Man Arrested in Museum Vandalism
The second man accused of vandalizing a display at the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury almost four years ago has been arrested in Ohio. Thirty-six-year-old Roger Kinney of Dayton, Ohio, was picked up last Friday on a $100,000 arrest warrant.

Suspicious Substance Not Anthrax
A preliminary test has shown that a substance contained in a suspicious package at Burlington’s federal building was not anthrax. A spokeswoman for the Vermont Health Department says protocol requires that tests continue for 72 hours. But Nancy Erickson says the initial test found no signs of anthrax. The federal building housing the U.S. District Court, the post office, the FBI and other agencies was evacuated at midmorning Tuesday. (AP)

Fatal Fire Ruled an Arson
State police have ruled a weekend fire that killed an Isle La Motte couple an arson. Lieutenant Thomas Nelson says that also means 68-year-old George Fleury and 67-year-old Anna Fleury were victims of a homicide. The couple was found inside their ranch style home early Sunday morning. (AP)

Sex Offender Registry
The state is looking for help in developing Vermont’s first Internet sex offender registry. The Vermont Crime Information Center recently set out a request for proposals from those interested in drafting rules for the registry. (AP)

McMullen Senate Bid
Republican Jack McMullen has joined Vermont’s Libertarian Party and will seek its nomination in his bid for U.S. Senate. McMullen says he’s seeking the endorsement of other minor political parties, in addition to seeking the Republican nomination. (AP)

Circ Highway Money Redistributed
Transportation projects in nine Vermont counties will get $20 million once intended to build part of the Chittenden County Circumferential Highway. Much of the reallocated money won’t be spent until the 2005 and 2006 construction seasons. (AP)

Independence Air
Officials are hailing next month’s planned launch of a new low-cost airline out of Burlington International Airport. The Burlington airport is one of the first cities out of which Independence Air will be operating. It plans to offer five daily flights between Vermont and Dulles International Airport in the Washington area. (AP)

New Laws Take Effect
Vermonters will be able to buy two mugs of beer at the same time starting Thursday. Under current law, patrons of a bar can only buy one drink at a time. But the Legislature changed the law to allow two at a time and it goes into effect at the start of the state’s fiscal year. That’s one of 106 pieces of legislation that made it into law this year. Most follow the tradition of becoming effective with the start of the new fiscal year. (AP)

Burlington Re-importation Program
A system that allows city workers in Burlington to buy brand-name drugs imported from Canada is off to a slow start. Only 36 people out of the 616 who are eligible for the program are using it. (AP)

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