March 17, 2004 – News at a glance

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Douglas tax plan
Governor Jim Douglas says he’s optimistic that the Legislature will back a plan to cut income taxes this year. He acknowledges that his own proposal to reduce taxes is not very popular with lawmakers and needs to be changed. (VPR)

Interview: Irish cultural festival
It’s St. Patrick’s Day – a day when everybody is said to be a little bit Irish, no matter their background. Even though the holiday is steeped in myth and often misconception, it is a source of great pride for Irish Americans, as well as an opportunity to celebrate Irish culture with more than just green beer and clothing. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Jan Mahoney about the annual Irish Heritage Festival now underway in Burlington. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Report on inmate deaths
An investigation into the deaths of seven Vermont prison inmates says that the state may be partially to blame in at least two of the cases. The state requested the investigation late last year. And Human Services Secretary Charles Smith on Tuesday promised to do whatever it takes to improve Vermont’s prison system. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Vermont Yankee uprate proceeds
The Public Service Board has ruled that lawmakers should have the final say on how millions of dollars associated with an increase of power at the Vermont Nuclear Power Plant should be spent. The Douglas administration had hoped to earmark the money to help clean up Lake Champlain. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Vermont Law School president
Vermont Law School has chosen a partner in a Chicago law firm as its new president and dean. Fifty-eight-year-old Geoffrey Shields will assume the position August 1. (AP)

CVMC expansion
Central Vermont Medical Center is trying again to get state approval for a multi-million dollar expansion and renovation plan. The Berlin hospital’s proposal was rejected by the state three years ago. (AP)

Kingdom transportation
Officials in St. Johnsbury are asking for ideas on how to fill a looming void in the regional transportation system. Vermont Transit plans to stop its daily bus service between Newport and White River Junction, severing the only transportation link to and from the Northeast Kingdom. (AP)

Dean on terrorism in Spain
Howard Dean isn’t running for president any more, but he’s still trying to set the record straight after making controversial remarks. Yesterday, Dean said the Bush administration’s Iraq war policy appears to have contributed to the deaths of 201 Spaniards in a series of terrorist bombings last week. He later sought to clarify the remark. (AP)

Canadian firm expands in Vermont
A Canadian manufacturer of protective clothing plans to open a plant in Swanton. Stedfast plans to offer ten jobs initially and expand to a work force of 35 during the next five years. (AP)

Recycling program
Chittenden County residents will be asked soon about the area’s waste management plan. Officials say 20 percent more trash was recycled this year after a new system was adopted that does not require separating recyclables. (AP)

Rutland dog ordinance
Officials in the town of Rutland are asking dog owners to clean up after their animals. The Select Board recently asked the town administrator to draft a so-called “pooper scooper” amendment to the community’s dog ordinance. (AP)

Rotten Sneaker winner
A ten-year-old boy from Montpelier can add a golden sneaker to his awards collection. Daegan Goodman won Tuesday’s rotten sneaker contest, an annual rite of late winter drawing youngsters from across the country to Vermont’s capital city. (AP)

Child pornography charges
A 61-year-old Bellows Falls man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on child pornography charges. Ronald Frohock was arraigned on Tuesday on ten counts of distributing child pornography over the Internet, and one count of possessing the material. (AP)

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