May 7, 2004 – News at a glance

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Leahy anger over Iraq
Senator Patrick Leahy says he’s outraged at the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by some members of the United States military. But Leahy doesn’t want Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign immediately. (VPR)

Low-income housing
Officials who run Vermont’s housing programs warn that cuts in federal housing subsidies will lead to increased homelessness. (VPR)

Circ Highway delays
Governor Jim Douglas says future sections of the Chittenden County Circumferential Highway may be delayed because the costs are higher than the state anticipated. The state Transportation Agency confirmed this week that the highway costs have grown by $40 million. Douglas says the state may have to adjust the construction schedule in order to pay for other transportation projects. (VPR)

Medical marijuana bill
Governor Jim Douglas says he’s not sure if he could sign a compromise medical marijuana bill adopted by the House Health and Welfare Committee because he still has several major problems with the proposal. Meanwhile backers of the original marijuana legislation aren’t happy with the way that the committee has changed the bill. (VPR)

Hingtgen enters lt. governor race
Burlington Representative Steve Hingtgen says that he plans to seek the Progressive nomination for lieutenant governor this year. It’s a move that means that former Progressive candidate Anthony Pollina will not run for this post. (VPR)

Middlebury College receives $50 million
An anonymous donor has given Middlebury College $50 million – the largest gift in the college’s history. The money, announced Thursday night by college President John McCardell, is a challenge gift that requires the institution to raise additional matching funds. (AP)

Right to farm law
A Senate committee has approved a rewrite of the state’s right to farm law. The measure is significantly different from the House version but Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Sears says it is a good compromise. (AP)

Construction firm delays Circ hiring
The latest delay in building the Chittenden County Circumferential Highway is affecting at least 40 would-be construction workers. A federal judge is expected to rule soon on an appeal of the project by several environmental groups. Until then, contractor JA McDonald is holding off on hiring more employees. (AP)

Norwich town manager
Norwich’s first town manager says he’ll resign in June. Dennis Pavlicek cited a combination of personal and professional reasons in his decision to return to Newbury, New Hampshire. He became town manager almost two years ago. Pavlicek will remain in office until June 4. (AP)

Woodward civil suit
A U.S. District Court judge has 90 days to rule on whether a suit against the town of Brattleboro following a 2001 police shooting in a church should go to trial or be thrown out. Judge Garvan Murtha heard arguments for and against a jury trial in the case of 37-year-old Robert Woodward on Thursday. (AP)

Phish concert
The rock band Phish appears one step closer to holding a concert in Coventry this summer. The band is waiting for a large assemblies permit from the Vermont State Police. (AP)

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