March 3, 2004 – News at a glance

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Voters okay Regional Technical Academy
Voters in Northwestern Vermont have approved plans to move forward with a new Regional Technical Academy. There had been considerable debate over the idea, but both sides now say they need to work together to plan the new school. (Listen to the story online or read the article.) (VPR)

Brattleboro radio station
In Brattleboro, voters flexed their collective muscle on several advisory articles, including support for the town’s unlicensed radio station. (Listen to the story online or read the article.) (VPR)

Burlington votes for medical marijuana referendum
Burlington voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of legislation that would legalize medical marijuana. The ballot item supports a bill now pending in the Vermont House. (VPR)

Supporters hope Dean’s Vermont victory will resonate
Vermont voters gave Howard Dean the only victory of his campaign in Tuesday’s primary. Now Dean’s supporters say they want to carry the spirit of his campaign to the Democratic convention and beyond. (Listen to the story online or read the article.) (VPR)

Development underscores Norwich Select Board elections
You wouldn’t necessarily know it from the quiet Town Meeting in Norwich this year, but development has been a hot issue. (Listen to the story online or read the article.) (VPR)

Dean wins Vermont Primary
Tuesday night, VPR’s Bob Kinzel spoke with former presidential candidate Howard Dean about his strong victory in the Vermont primary. In a telephone conversation, Dean reflected on politics in Vermont, his future plans and how gratified he is by the support in his home state. (Listen to the story online or read the article.) (VPR)

Town Meeting Lunch
Veterans of local politics know that no one can survive on Roberts Rules of Parliamentary Procedure alone. VPR’s Susan Keese takes a look at another engine of rural democracy, the town meeting buffet. (Listen to the story online or read the article.) (VPR)

Doyle survey looks at constitutional amendments
Washington County Senator Bill Doyle says the results of his Town Meeting Day survey could influence how lawmakers deal with two proposed constitutional amendments. (Listen to the story online or read the article.) (VPR)

Dean supporters count on Vermont victory
All day long, the diehard supporters of Howard Dean have been on street corners and near polling places, hoping to pull off more than a symbolic win for their candidate. The volunteers hope that Dean’s positions will have a place in the Democratic convention in July as a result. (Listen to the story online or read the article.) (VPR)

Killington votes to secede from Vermont
In Killington on Tuesday, voters said ‘yes’ to secession as a way to fight what they consider to be unfair state property taxes. Most admit that becoming part of New Hampshire will be a long shot, but the majority of those at Town Meeting said it’s worth the fight. (Listen to the story online or read the article.) (VPR)

Vermont Pure sells bottling operation to MA company
Vermont Pure Holdings has sold its retail water bottling operation to Micropack Bottled Water, of Natick, Massachusetts. In the transaction, Micropack has acquired Vermont Pure’s spring sources in Randolph and the Hidden Springs trademark. (AP)

Federal grant will assist workers with disabilities
Vermont will receive a half million dollars in federal funds to help people with disabilities find and keep work without losing their health benefits. (AP)

Ice fishing may end soon on Lake Champlain
The ice fishing season may be cut short on Lake Champlain this season. Temperatures nearing 50 degrees on Monday turned Lake Champlain’s ice into slush. (AP)

Coppenrath out for the season
University of Vermont men’s basketball star Taylor Coppenrath will not play in any more games this season. (AP)

Top issues in presidential campaign
Vermont primary voters are angry at President Bush and they’re more worried about jobs and health care than national security. An Associated Press exit poll found the Vermont electorate tailor made for former Governor Howard Dean, who easily won the Democratic primary. (AP)

School budgets
Among the biggest winners in Tuesday’s town meetings were various school budgets approved by many communities, including some where approval of school spending has been difficult to get in the past. School budgets passed by wide margins in Burlington, Colchester and Williston, and by narrower margins in Winooski and Milton. Other towns and cities giving the nod included Montpelier, Bennington, and Springfield. (VPR)

Barre and Montpelier mayoral races
Montpelier and Barre both have new mayors on Wednesday. In Montpelier, downtown advocate Mary Hooper easily won the four-way race for mayor of Montpelier. In Barre, former City Councilman Peter Anthony defeated state Representative Leo Valliere. (AP)

Town to hire lawyer for VELCO hearings
Voters in Ferrisburgh have decided to spend $40,000 to hire a lawyer to represent the town in hearings on a massive power line upgrade that would run through town. Ferrisburgh is expected to provide testimony to the state on the Vermont Electric Power Corporation’s proposal next month. (AP)

Ludlow zoning amendment
Voters in Ludlow have approved a zoning amendment that would allow Okemo Mountain Resort to build up to 326 condominiums. But there may be a recount – the proposal was approved 411 to 403. But the number of voters and the number of ballots cast don’t add up. (AP)

Vermont death penalty
A federal appeals court has cleared the way for the first death penalty trial in Vermont in half a century. The second U.S. Circuit Court of appeals overruled Vermont District Court Judge William Sessions on Tuesday and said the case of Donald Fell can go to trial. (AP)

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