May 5, 2004 – News at a glance

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Marijuana bill advertising
With a house committee set to vote Wednesday on a medical marijuana bill, proponents have been waging a public campaign they hope will sway legislators. (VPR)

Interview: Vermont Tubbs
Small business success stories can be hard to come by, especially when the company thrives after nearly shutting its doors for good. But that’s the case with Vermont Tubbs, the Brandon-based furniture maker that almost called it quits last year, and now is looking to add more workers for extra shifts and is anticipating sales that would have seemed beyond reach just eight months ago. Mitch Wertlieb talks with John McNeill, one of the investors who took over Vermont Tubbs last Fall. (VPR)

Workers’ compensation bill
The Senate has given its strong preliminary approval to legislation designed to reduce workers’ compensation costs for many businesses across the state. The bill achieves its biggest savings by cutting health care costs. (VPR)

Missing fuel rod components
Technicians using a robotic camera have failed, so far, to find missing fuel rod components at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. A Yankee spokesman says officials will continue the search, and will review old records in an effort to locate the material. (AP)

School testing compact
Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are working together on a standardized testing program for schools. The schools have to use standardized tests to comply with federal education law. (AP)

Landslide closes Route 15
Vermont Route 15 outside of Hardwick is closed again due to a landslide, the second one in 17 days. Crews from the Agency of Transportation were wrapping up work Tuesday afternoon and expect to have the road open soon. (AP)

Douglas testifies in Washington
Governor Jim Douglas is in Washington on Wednesday to advocate for a model for drug re-importation developed by his administration. Douglas was invited to testify in front of a task force on drug re-importation by its chairman, Surgeon General Richard Carmona. (AP)

Internet court records
State lawmakers are trying to stop criminal court records from being posted on the Internet. A Supreme Court initiative would place court records online starting this summer. Lawmakers want to stop the plan because the listing would include cases that did not result in convictions and information that could identify victims. (AP)

Dean help voter registration drive
Former presidential candidate Howard Dean returns to New Hampshire this weekend to help kick off a voter registration drive. A group called America Votes begins a six-month voter registration plan on Saturday. In New Hampshire, that will mean rallies, knocking on doors, phone calling and registering voters. (AP)

Burlington charter change
On Wednesday the Vermont Senate is expected to endorse a change to the Burlington city charter that would require landlords to give tenants more notice before raising their rent or evicting them without cause. And there are signs that the House will follow suit. (AP)

High school Presidential Scholars
Two Vermont high school students have been named presidential scholars by U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige. Michael Zimmerman, a senior at Essex High School, and Emily Bogue of the Gailer School in Shelburne were among the 141 students chosen for the award. (AP)

Missing youth
The parents of a Sheldon teenager and a Massachusetts woman will meet this weekend to discuss whether their daughters’ disappearances are related. Seventeen-year-old Brianna Maitland disappeared on March 19 after she left her job at a Montgomery inn. Twenty-one-year-old Maura Murray vanished in early February shortly after her car went off the road in northern New Hampshire. (AP)

Student pleads no contest to school threat
A Fair Haven Union High School student accused of threatening to bring a gun to school and shoot people will avoid jail. Sixteen-year-old Christopher Brown of West Haven has pleaded no contest to two counts of disorderly conduct. Brown has been sentenced to serve ten to 60 days in jail, all suspended on probation under the plea agreement. (AP)

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