March 19, 2004 – News at a glance

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Coventry landfill
A plan to expand the state’s largest landfill seems to be generating more interest and concern across the border in Canada than in Vermont. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Stormwater solution
A proposal to rewrite Vermont law that controls stormwater pollution is caught up in political wrangling inside the Statehouse. Republican House Speaker Walter Freed says the stormwater problem is primarily a Chittenden County concern, and he wants the Democratically controlled Senate to address the issue first. The Democrats say the House has already started work on the bill, and that it should take the lead on the legislation. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Interview: Peace activists rally, one year later
Friday marks one year since the United States went to war with Iraq in an effort to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. But the defeat of Iraq’s army and the capture of Saddam Hussein has not ended hostilities and thousands of American troops remain in the region. In the U.S., protesters against the war continue to speak out. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Kimberly Ead, director of the Peace and Human Rights Project with the Burlington Peace and Justice Center. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Bonds proposed to cover highway repairs
State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding says the state could use up to $100 million in bond financing to help pay for road repair and maintenance projects. Spaulding says the state would pay off the bond interest by using an expected increase in federal highway funds. He says this funding mechanism is used in many other states. (VPR)

Fletcher Allen expansion
Fletcher Allen CEO Doctor Melinda Estes says she’s confident there will be no more cost overruns with the hospital’s Renaissance Project. (VPR)

Judiciary Committee expected to confirm Reiber
Vermont Supreme Court nominee Paul Reiber told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that he does not bring any ideological principles to the court that will influence how he rules on future cases. Reiber’s comments came at a special confirmation hearing that was held to review his nomination. (VPR)

Dean announces new advocacy organization
Former governor Howard Dean officially launched his new advocacy organization Thursday afternoon in Seattle. Dean says the group, which will be known as Democracy for America, will encourage grassroots support for many of the issues that Dean raised during his presidential campaign. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Interview: Green Mountain Film Festival
The annual Green Mountain Film Festival begins Friday in Montpelier. Neal Charnoff talks with the organizers about some of the 27 films that will be screened during the 10-day festival. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Seasonal unemployment
Vermont’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped by a tenth of a percentage point in February. It stood at 3.7 percent, nearly two points below the national rate of 5.6 percent. (AP)

Dental hygienist training
Vermont dentists hope a new training program will help the state reverse a decline in the number of dentists and the staff who help them. Vermont Technical College is due to start a new program to train dental hygienists later this year in Williston. (AP)

VELCO debate
A proposed power line upgrade in western Vermont drew about 150 people to Charlotte Thursday night for a heated debate. Opponents say the project has potential health drawbacks and could lower property values. Business leaders support the project saying the state needs to provide a more reliable flow of electricity to greater Chittenden County. (AP)

School computer theft
Police are investigating the theft of tens of thousands of dollars worth of computers from the South Burlington High School. Police say two to four thieves broke into the school and made off with 20 iMacs and Gateway computers, 12 monitors, two networking hubs and a projector. (AP)

UVM falls to UConn
For a few moments at the beginning of the game, Vermont fans smelled an upset. Vermont scored the first seven points in its NCAA tournament game against Connecticut Thursday night, but the lead was not to last. Connecticut ended up advancing to the next round with a 70-to-53 win over the Catamounts. (AP)

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