March 18, 2004 – News at a glance

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Interview: NCAA tournament
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament starts Thursday. Mitch Wertlieb talks with John Dankovsky of WNPR in Hartford about the first round matchup between the University of Vermont and the University of Connecticut. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Senate passes prescription drug bill
The Vermont Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that backers hope will ultimately lead to lower prescription drug prices for many Vermonters. The bill includes a controversial provision that would set a maximum price for drugs sold in Vermont. (Listen to the Story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Vermont Yankee waste storage
The Legislature may get involved in Vermont Yankee’s plans to expand storage of high-level radioactive waste. The issue is gaining attention because the nuclear plant recently won approval to boost its power output. And the increased power will result in more waste that has to be stored near the Connecticut River in southern Vermont. (Listen to the Story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

End in sight for flu season
Vermont health officials say the state is nearing the end of what they call a particularly nasty flu season. As of March 6, the Vermont Department of Health reported 179 positive viral cultures for the disease. (AP)

Bomb hoax
A prisoner at the Newport jail has admitted responsibility for a bomb threat that prompted officials to evacuate the St. Johnsbury federal building on Tuesday. (AP)

Nuclear Regulatory Commission
It’s expected to be several weeks before the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission decides whether to order an independent evaluation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. The Vermont Senate joined the state Public Service Board on Wednesday in calling for such a review. (AP)

Dean’s new campaign
The defunct presidential campaign of Howard Dean is to be reborn on Thursday. Howard Dean supporters say the former Vermont governor will hold rallies in Seattle and San Francisco on Thursday to launch a new organization called Democracy for America. (AP)

Legal fees for Dean’s records
State officials want $187,000 from a Washington legal group that’s seeking access to former Governor Howard Dean’s sealed papers. The group Judicial Watch sued for access to Dean’s papers when he was the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination last year. (AP)

Granite company inquiry
The Barre Granite Association wants the state attorney general to investigate the recent closure of a granite company. International Stone Products closed last month. The executive director of the granite association, John Castaldo, says the company left bills worth hundreds of thousands of dollars unpaid, and reopened under another name. (AP)

College of Medicine “Match Day”
It’s Match Day at the University of Vermont College of medicine, when fourth-year medical students find out where they will do their residencies. It’s a key moment in a young doctor’s career, and it will happen at noon, when 72 medical students at UVM will gather at the Medical School’s Given Building to receive their envelopes. (AP)

Seasonal workers
Vermont resorts are worried about finding enough workers for the coming summer season, now that the federal government has cut off alien work visas for the year. At the Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes, officials say that in recent years, the resort has filled up to 65 of its roughly 350 seasonable spots with foreign workers. That may not happen this year. (AP)

Deer herd hearings
Bennington-area hunters got a chance to air their views on deer management last night at a public hearing. About 150 people came out for the hearing. It was one of seven public meetings that lawmakers are holding to discuss Vermont’s management of the whitetail deer herd. (AP)

Green Mountain National Forest
A federal judge has ruled for the government in its bid to sell timber in part of Vermont’s Green Mountain National Forest. The planned Old Joe Project involves about 316 acres of land in Rochester and Chittenden, on which the U.S. Forest Service had proposed to allow some logging. (AP)

Memorial Day holiday
Vermonters will soon be able to celebrate Memorial Day on the same day as the rest of the nation. Vermont is the only state that marks the holiday on May 30. Everywhere else in the country, Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of the month. On Wednesday, House and Senate lawmakers approved a measure that changes the date of the holiday. (AP)

Randolph beavers spared
Some very busy beavers in Randolph have won a reprieve. Selectmen had decided to have the beavers killed because they were cutting down trees and damming part of the White River in downtown Randolph. But after community members complained, selectmen decided instead to trap the beavers alive and have them moved. (AP)

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