May 6, 2004 – News at a glance

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Interview: Barre’s granite history
A new book of previously unpublished stories based on interviews with Vermonters reveals in great detail what life was like in Barre during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. “Men Against Granite” features stories about the lives of more than 100 Barre residents, most of whom had some connection to the granite industry. Mitch Wertlieb talks with the managing editor of the New England Press Christopher Bray about the book. (VPR)

Vermont Yankee independent review
Federal regulators have agreed to conduct a detailed engineering assessment of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the new inspection should satisfy the state’s request for additional review before Yankee is allowed to boost its power output. (VPR)

Medical marijuana bill
The House Health and Welfare Committee has given its approval to a scaled-down version of the medical marijuana bill. The legislation is more restrictive than the proposal the Senate passed last year. The vote in committee was eight to three. (VPR)

Right to farm legislation
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says he has major concerns about legislation that’s designed to protect farmers from lawsuits brought by neighbors. The Senate committee is likely to scale back the legislation, which is a top priority of the Douglas administration. (VPR)

Milk processing plant proposal
A proposal to earmark state funding for a milk processing plant in Springfield is part of the Senate version of next year’s capital construction bill. The issue has emerged as key bargaining chip in the House-Senate conference committee that’s reviewing the bill. (VPR)

Marriage proposal from the House floor
An unusual event took place on the House floor Wednesday afternoon. During afternoon announcements, Milton Representative Doran Metzger introduced his girlfriend to his House colleagues and then Metzger dropped a bombshell. (VPR)

Gubernatorial poll
Republican Governor Jim Douglas leads Democratic challenger Peter Clavelle in a new poll. The poll of 400 likely voters was conducted April 28-30 for WCAX TV by Research 2000. (AP)

NRC ruling
Vermont’s congressional delegation is pleased the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will give extra scrutiny to the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. But they also say they’ll keep close watch of the NRC’s review to ensure the safety of the Vernon reactor. (AP)

Drug re-importation
Attorneys general from 18 states, including Vermont, are seeking permission from the federal government to import low-cost prescription drugs from Canada. They’ve sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson seeking his approval. (AP)

Taxes revenues
State taxes generated a historic high in April, providing strong evidence the Vermont economy is finally starting to rebound. All four of the state’s big taxes – personal income, corporate income, sales and use, and rooms and meals – generated more than expected. (AP)

Prison assault charges
There are new sexual assault claims against a guard in the private Kentucky prison that is holding 233 Vermont inmates. Vermont Corrections Commissioner Steven Gold says the allegations are that a guard assaulted two Vermont inmates at different times. (AP)

Soldier’s widow questions war
The widow of a Maine Army National Guard soldier killed in Iraq is questioning U.S. policy in the country – and she wants Americans to do the same. Lavinia Gelineau says she’s proud of her husband but not proud of the reason he went to war. Twenty-three-year-old Christopher Gelineau was killed April 20. (AP)

VLS founder pleads innocent
The man who helped establish the Vermont Law School is facing 145 years in prison on charges he defrauded a woman out of $150,000. Seventy-six-year-old Anthony Doria of South Royalton pleaded innocent yesterday in U.S. District Court in Rutland to a variety of federal fraud charges. Doria is charged with defrauding Barbara Umbrecht of Newport, New Hampshire. (AP)

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