May 14, 2004 – News at a glance

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Medical marijuana bill
Late Thursday, the Vermont House gave its preliminary approval to a scaled down version of the Senate’s medical marijuana bill. (VPR)

Fight against drug abuse
Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Kerry Sleeper says the state needs to take a new look at efforts to reduce both legal and illegal drug abuse in Vermont. (VPR)

Interview: Birds of prey exhibit
A traveling exhibit of predatory birds has landed in Burlington. “Hunters of the Sky” debuts Saturday at the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, providing a ground-level view of some of the world’s most powerful birds. Mitch Wertlieb visited the center for a sneak preview with ECHO Director Phelan Fretz. (VPR)

Permit reform signed into law
Governor Jim Douglas signed permit reform legislation into law on Thursday, with a campaign-style celebration at the Statehouse. (VPR)

Delayed adjournment
Legislative leaders say they won’t adjourn this week because of key differences between the House and the Senate over next year’s budget. (VPR)

Backstage: ‘Mother Courage’
How one woman copes with the turmoil of war is the subject of a play being produced by Montpelier’s Lost Nation Theater. (VPR)

Anderson drops out race
A Stowe businessman has dropped his bid to challenge incumbent Bernie Sanders in the race for Congress. Robert Anderson says an election campaign would place a heavy burden on his family. (VPR)

Police officers memorialized
Two Vermonters will be among the people honored at a Washington D.C. ceremony for fallen law enforcement officers Thursday evening. (VPR)

Circ Highway delay
Members of the environmental groups who delayed construction of the Circumferential Highway say they are still willing to negotiate the issue with the Douglas administration. But nothing will happen immediately because highway backers are deciding whether to appeal this week’s court ruling that blocked construction. (AP)

Drug enforcement policy
Vermont’s top law enforcement officer says increased law enforcement efforts won’t help the state win the war on drugs. Instead, Public Safety Commissioner Kerry Sleeper says the solution to the state’s growing drug problem is more education and treatment for people with drug problems. (AP)

Dean’s sealed records
The Vermont Supreme Court is being asked to rule on whether Howard Dean should be able to seal 145 boxes of records from his eleven years as governor. A Superior Court judge ruled this winter that neither Dean nor the secretary of state had such authority. (AP)

King Arthur awarded
A Vermont baker has won of the culinary world’s most prestigious award. The King Arthur Flour “Baker’s Companion” has been named Cookbook of the Year by the James Beard Foundation, which is considered America’s oldest recognition program for books on culinary topics. (AP)

A busier Burlington airport
The number of passengers flying from Burlington International Airport continues to soar. Last month, 49,448 passengers boarded flights, compared with 42,282 last year. That’s a 17 percent increase. (AP)

Abused Vermont inmates return home
Two Vermont inmates who said they were sexually assaulted by a guard at a Kentucky prison are being returned home. Vermont Corrections Comissioner Steven Gold says the inmates could be back as early as next week. (AP)

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