March 18, 2005 – News at a glance

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Legislature votes to retain all justices
All four justices on the Vermont Supreme Court retained their seats during a vote in the Legislature on Thursday. Three of the justices won approval by a relatively wide margin, but the vote on retaining Justice John Dooley was much closer. (VPR)

Douglas vetoes state pension investment bill
In his first veto of the year, Governor Jim Douglas has rejected a bill allowing state pension systems to jointly invest their portfolios. The governor said he agrees with the concept of the legislation but his criticism has to do with the way the new system is structured. (VPR)

House set to pass minimum wage bill
On Thursday the Vermont House gave its preliminary approval to legislation that increases the state minimum wage and guarantees future increases through a cost of living index. The vote on the bill was 81 to 57. (VPR)

Interview: Green Mountain Film Festival opens Friday
The big budget Hollywood blockbuster films have had their Oscar day in the sun and now it’s time for independent, harder to find films to shine. The eighth annual Green Mountain Film Festival kicks off on Friday in Montpelier. Mitch Wertlieb gets a preview from writer and member of the committee organizing the festival, Susan Ritz. (VPR)

‘Comics’ elevated to literature at Center for Cartoon Studies
A new Vermont school for cartoonists is collaborating with a major publisher to create a series of biographies of famous Americans. The project reflects a continuing trend in an art form that has outgrown the name “comic books.” (VPR)

Leahy names new chief of staff
A veteran aide to Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy will become chief of staff when current chief Luke Albee leaves next month. Ed Pagano has been on Leahy’s staff since 1993 and is currently the senator’s senior counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP)

Online cigarette sales
Vermont’s attorney general is involved in a nationwide effort to stop the sale of cigarettes over the Internet. William Sorrell, who is president of the National Association of Attorneys General, was in Washington on Thursday for a meeting at which credit card company representatives agreed not to facilitate the sales. (AP)

Cable and Internet censorship
Vermont U.S. Congressman Bernie Sanders is drafting legislation that would keep the government from censoring content available on cable and satellite television and the Internet. Sanders says he’s worried that the Senate will try to extend a House-passed bill cracking down on indecency on broadcast television to cover the other services. (AP)

Bill would adjust prison terms
The Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee wants to give prison inmates more incentive to behave themselves behind bars. The committee unanimously approved a bill that would allow inmates to reduce their minimum sentences by five days a month if they follow the program set up for them. (AP)

UVM basketball and hockey
Two University of Vermont athletic teams are hoping to keep their post-seasons alive on Friday. The men’s basketball team will play Syracuse Friday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The hockey team will play in the ECAC Hockey League final four. (AP)

Bennington Museum director steps down
The executive director of the Bennington Museum is stepping down to become head of an automobile museum under construction in New York State. The resignation of Richard Borges will be effective June 30. (AP)

Burlington woman dies at 110
A Burlington woman who worked at the Basin Harbor Club before World War I and married in 1917 has died. Carolyn Eddy Drew was 110. Drew was born in 1894, in North Elba, New York, and moved to New Haven before she was two. (AP)

Maitland missing one year
Law enforcement officials from Vermont and the region, including Canada, are expected to gather in St. Albans on Friday for a status report on the search for a missing woman. Brianna Maitland of Franklin disappeared a year ago this Saturday after finishing her shift at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery. (AP)

UVM medicine professor pleads guilty to falsifying research
A former professor at the University of Vermont College of Medicine says he made up data used to win federal research grants. The U.S. Attorney’s office says that 49-year-old Dr. Eric Poehlman has agreed to plead guilty to making false statements in an application for a $542,000 grant. (AP)

Family settles with state over inmate’s death
The state has agreed to settle a wrongful death suit involving a prison inmate who committed suicide after almost three months of solitary confinement. Lawyers for the family of James Quigley say they will announce the settlement on Friday at a Statehouse news conference. (AP)

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