March 20, 2002 – News at a Glance

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Abenaki “Continuous Presence”
The Vermont attorney general’s office is casting doubt on claims by Abenaki Indians that they have been in the state for generations. The Abenaki need to show a continuous presence in Vermont in order to win federal recognition as a tribe. The attorney general’s office has just released a preliminary report that refutes the Abenaki’s claims. (VPR)

Interview with Sharon Davis
Steve Delaney interviews Sharon Davis, who recently became chairwoman of the Rutland Board of Aldermen. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Is it Spring?
Today marks the Vernal Equinox: one of two times in the year when the sun is directly over the equator. The equinox officially marks the first day of spring. In Vermont, the most obvious signs of the season are yet to come. (Read the transcript or listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Pollina and Campaign Finance
The Vermont Public Interest Research Group has broken with Anthony Pollina, its former top lobbyist, over campaign finance reform. (VPR)

Medical Marijuana The State Senate Judiciary Committee wants to bring a medical marijuana bill to the floor for a vote. Governor Howard Dean has said he’ll veto the bill. (VPR)

Drivers’ Licenses The Vermont House has approved a bill to tighten the rules for obtaining a drivers’ license. (VPR)

Redistricting Partisan squabbles in the Vermont Legislature may get louder. The House and Senate, each controlled by a different party, continue to criticize each other’s redistricting plans. (AP)

Woodward Memorial Service Sixty friends of the late Robert Woodward held a memorial service last night in Brattleboro and spoke up for justice. Woodward was disturbed and carrying a knife when he was shot in December by two Brattleboro police officers. (AP)

Unemployment The Vermont unemployment rate fell a bit last month, in spite of some job losses in the manufacturing sector. The unemployment rate ranges from 2.6% in Hartford to 10.5% in Newport. (AP)

VT Teachers Nominated Four school teachers are in line for the Presidential Medal of Excellence for the teaching of math and science in elementary and high schools. (AP)

Army Reservists Two army reservists from Vermont are bound for Afghanistan within a few weeks. They will be part of a forward emergency surgical team. (AP)

Egg Farm Expansion Opponents of a Highgate egg farm are working to prevent its expansion. The owner wants to coop another 130,000 chickens. Neighbors have complained in the past about flies and smells. (AP)

“Vermont” Maple Products Some Vermont maple syrup producers are complaining that syrup produced in other states and provinces is being sold as “Vermont Maple.” The state’s Department of Agriculture says it’s not a big issue. (AP)

Robert Frost Museum Preservationists in Bennington County have raised $200,000 to convert the house where Robert Frost lived in the 20’s into a museum. Frost lived in the stone house when he wrote some of his most famous poems. (AP)

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