March 6, 2002 – News at a Glance

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Precision Valley Town Meetings
As voters went to the polls in towns along the Connecticut River Tuesday, VPR’s Betty Smith visited five communities to hear about the major issues and observe the turnout.

Interview with Deb Markowitz
Steve Delaney talks with Secretary of State Deb Markowitz about town meetings across Vermont. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

School Budgets Pass, Some Exceptions
Despite tight economic times and rising tax rates, town voters passed many school budgets around Vermont. (VPR)

Referenda Considered by Towns
It appears that most referenda fared well at town meetings this week. (VPR)

Brandon Defeats New Town Office Building
Voters passed their elementary school and town budgets on Tuesday. But a controversial one-million dollar bond to build a new town office building was defeated. (VPR)

Burlington Defeats School Budget
The big story in Burlington Tuesday was the school budget. Voters had been asked to approve a 6% increase, and defeated the budget by 24 votes. (VPR)

Rutland Voter Turnout Light
In Rutland City, voter turn out was very light and with no hot button issue, many described this year’s elections as a non-event. There were few candidates running for local office and no contested school board races. (VPR)

Waitsfield Approves Budget Increase
Voters in Waitsfield have approved the school and town budgets that were recommended by town officials. The budget comes with some financial pain for town taxpayers. Even though the elementary school budget increased by around 3%, residents will see a 14% boost in their tax rate. (VPR)

Wallingford Voters Energized by School Debate
It was standing room only at Wallingford’s town meeting Monday night and larger than usual crowds gathered again Tuesday at the polls. Rising education costs in Wallingford have stirred up debate and action.

Whitingham Grapples with Deficit, School Spending
Voters in The southern Vermont community of Whitingham went to town meeting Tuesday facing a municipal budget deficit and a double digit increase in their school tax rate. (VPR)

Windsor Voters Well Informed
Windsor voters turned out in a steady stream at the American Legion Hall on Court Street Tuesday. Some people think the electorate is becoming better informed. (VPR)

Town Meeting Overview
VPR previews issues before town meetings across the state. (VPR)

Statewide Referenda
Organizers of non-binding referenda for instant runoffs and against genetically engineered foods say they hope the results will inform the Legislature about the direction of public opinion on those issues. (AP)

Vermont Yankee Referendum
Voters in Brattleboro’s Town meeting want the Vermont Yankee plant to stay open, but voters in some surrounding towns want it closed. (AP)

Mayor’s Race in Barre City
Barre’s incumbent Mayor Harry Monti, who was not running, was elected anyway in a write-in campaign. Three other candidates’ names were printed on the ballot. (AP)

UVM Graduate Found
In Oregon, the body of a recent University of Vermont graduate has been found not far from where she was last seen snowboarding. Kate Svitek disappeared on February 9 while snowboarding at Oregon’s Mount Bachelor. (AP)

Sexual Assault Arrest
A Canadian man faces 14 years in prison on charges that he lured a female minor into Vermont with intent to engage in criminal sexual acts. Police have a videotape of the assault. (AP)

Vermont Yankee President
The president of Vermont Yankee says he’ll stay on until the pending sale to Entergy Nuclear is complete. Ross Barkhurst’s plans to retire this spring were made when he thought the sale would be finalized by now. (AP)

Dartmouth Murders
Robert Tulloch will be arraigned on an indictment for conspiracy today. He already faces two murder charges in the deaths of two Dartmouth College professors a year ago. (AP)

Wilmington Town Meeting
Voters in Wilmington rejected several warning items, from painting the town hall to buying a fire truck to paving a parking lot. They cut $70,000 from the town operating budget, and when they passed a resolution to evade Act 60 taxes, one of the Select Board members resigned in protest. (AP)

Campaign Finance Questions
State Senator Peter Welch is critical of the efforts his Democratic Party is making to deny public funding to the campaign of Progressive Party candidate Anthony Pollina. Welch says such issues ought to be left to state officials, and not become the center of a partisan debate. (AP)

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