May 20, 2004 – News at a glance

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Medical marijuana to become law
Governor Jim Douglas says he’ll allow a medical marijuana bill to become law without his signature. The legislation was sent to the governor late yesterday afternoon after the Senate accepted the House’s scaled back version of the bill. (VPR)

Interview: Historic preservation conference
The tenth annual Historic Preservation Conference meets Friday in Bellows Falls, and it will be a chance to celebrate Vermont’s work in revitalizing historic villages and town centers. Bellows Falls is itself an example of how a downtown can be brought back to life. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Robert McBride, the conference coordinator and a resident of Bellows Falls. (VPR)

Lawmakers settle state budget
House and Senate negotiators have settled on a state budget for next year, a move that sets the stage for the end of this year’s legislative session. If all goes according to plan, legislators could leave Montpelier late Wednesday or Thursday. (VPR)

Leahy demands release of tapes
Senator Patrick Leahy has asked the Bush administration to release video tapes allegedly showing the physical and mental abuse of detainees at a detention center in Guatanamo Bay, Cuba. Leahy says it’s clear that the administration wants to keep these tapes secret as long as it can. (VPR)

Interview: ‘Exception to the Rulers’
A new book examines the role of media in the age of large corporate conglomerates. “The Exception To the Rulers” is an aggressive attack on what the authors call the “power elite” that controls the information delivered to Americans through the news media. Neal Charnoff talks with David Goodman, who lives in Waterbury. He co-authored the book with his sister, journalist Amy Goodman. (VPR)

Low-cost airline
A new low-cost airline plans to offer flights from Burlington to Washington D.C. this summer. Independence Air announced Wednesday that it will serve Burlington and 34 other cities with daily flights to Washington Dulles International Airport. (AP)

Stamford school wins award
A tiny school in southern Vermont is one of three winners in the Vermont Business Roundtable’s annual awards for top-performing schools. Stamford Elementary School will receive three thousand dollars and an IBM ThinkPad computer for performing well on standardized tests and during judges’ visits this spring. (AP)

Vermont lawmakers appear poised to adjourn for the year before dark Thursday evening. Lawmakers have agreements in hand for the state general fund and transportation budgets. The one big remaining stumbling block is the $40 million capital construction package. (AP)

Business-friendly laws
It’s been a good year in the Legislature for Vermont’s business community. Lawmakers have passed a new stormwater permitting law designed to loosen a regulatory logjam; they’ve reduced workers’ compensation premiums and they’ve overhauled Act 250. (AP)

Online offender registry
Vermont lawmakers have agreed to delay the posting of certain court records online for another year. The provision was attached to a bill that would put the pictures of some sex offenders on the Internet. A committee of House and Senate members approved that bill on Wednesday. (AP)

Missing fuel rods
There’s still no word on what happened to the pieces of the missing fuel rod from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Entergy Nuclear’s vice president Jay Thayer says a search through old records has yet to yield any documentation of where the missing pieces are. (AP)

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