May 11, 2004 – News at a glance

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VPR founder Ray Phillips dies at 90
Ray Phillips, a prime force behind public broadcasting in Vermont, died Sunday night at his home in Essex. He was the founding chairman of Vermont Public Radio and a founder of Vermont Public Television. (VPR)

Connecticut River dams

Rising energy prices may affect the state’s ability to buy a stake in a series of power dams along the Connecticut River. (VPR)

Judge stops work on Circ Highway
A federal judge has ordered the state to halt work on the Circumferential Highway in Chittenden County. (VPR)

Hingtgen to focus campaign on health care
Burlington Representative Steve Hingtgen, who’s seeking the Progressive Party’s nomination for lieutenant governor, unveiled an unusual campaign strategy on Monday. Hingtgen plans to focus on one issue for his entire campaign. (VPR)

Pine beetle infestation
Loggers in several areas of northern New England are operating under new and stringent rules designed to prevent the spread of a non-native pest. (AP)

Gasoline prices set record
The Automotive club AAA says the average price of regular gasoline in Vermont is $1.82, about 11 cents less than the national average. (AP)

Officials react to Circ decision
State officials say they need more time to digest a judge’s decision to halt further construction of the Chittenden County Circumferential Highway. Transportation Secretary Patricia McDonald says she’ll meet with attorneys and officials from the Federal Highway Administration today to discuss the ruling. Governor Jim Douglas says he’s disappointed with Judge William Sessions’s decision. But he says the project remains a high priority for Vermont , and that he’ll work to clear the way for building. (AP)

Farm bill
Agriculture will take center stage at the Statehouse Tuesday as a House panel discusses changes to how Vermont governs its farms. The House Agriculture Committee is expected to take up the Senate version of its farm bill on Tuesday. (AP)

Stormwater bill
The Vermont Senate could vote Tuesday on a bill that would change the way the state regulates stormwater. Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Welch, a Democrat from Windsor, said MOnday that he hopes to have floor debate and two votes on the measure Tuesday. (AP)

Dean campaigns with Kerry
Howard Dean is visiting Oregon next week with U.S. Senator John Kerry. The visit will be Kerry’s first presidential campaign stop in Oregon. Dean had fervent support in Oregon during his own suspended run for the Democratic presidential nomination. (AP)

Tobacco lawsuit
Vermont has joined a lawsuit against the tobacco company Brown and Williamson over an ad campaign for Kool cigarettes. More than a dozen states plan to sue over the ad, which they say targets young people. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer says images of rappers, disc jockeys and dancers featured on Kool cigarette packs and in ads “all appeal to youth.” (AP)

Stowe housing development denied
The Vermont Environmental Court has upheld a decision by the town of Stowe to deny a 42-unit affordable housing complex. The Lamoille Housing Partnership is trying to build the complex on a ten-acre site that it owns in Stowe. (AP)

Warhol exhibit in Brattleboro
Andy Warhol is coming to Brattleboro. The town’s Museum and Art Center is scheduled to host an exhibit featuring Warhol’s later works in September. (AP)

Turnbaugh in police stand-off
A Moretown man acquitted of murder charges last month is back in state custody. Twenty-year-old Isaac Turnbaugh was taken to the Vermont State Hospital on Monday after being involved in a stand-off with police at his family’s home that lasted seven hours. (AP)

Embezzlement araignment
A former secretary at the Champlain Valley Exposition was arraigned Monday on charges that she stole $11,000 last year. Forty-five-year-old Kimberly Tyler-Greene pleaded innocent to two counts of embezzlement. Police say Tyler-Greene has a previous felony conviction for embezzlement and had worked under several different names. (AP)

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