November 10, 2004 – News at a glance

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Douglas to name new chief justice on Wednesday
Governor Jim Douglas will announce this afternoon his candidate to be chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court. Douglas will be filling the vacancy that occurred when former Chief Justice Jeffery Amestoy stepped down from the court earlier this year. (VPR)

Interview: Bennington Museum
The Bennington Museum traces its roots as a historical society back to 1875. The museum is situated near a burial ground that contains the gravesite of poet Robert Frost and the museum boasts the largest public collection of Grandma Moses paintings and memorabilia. Now for the first time, a public forum is being held to discuss how the museum’s future will unfold. Mitch Wertlieb talks with the executive director of the museum, Richard Borges. (VPR)

Shelburne advocates for underground transmission lines
Shelburne residents are criticizing the Douglas administration for backing an above-ground, high voltage power line in western Vermont. Shelburne wants the line placed underground for safety and aesthetic reasons. On Tuesday, local lawmakers said the administration has failed to represent the public’s interest in the case. (VPR)

Vermont voter turnout among highest in country
According to the official election results released by the Secretary of State’s office, Vermont had one of the highest voter turnout rates in the country for last Tuesday’s election. More than 70 percent of the state’s registered voters cast their ballots in the presidential race. (VPR)

Health Department plans flu clinics
The Vermont Health Department is planning flu vaccination clinics next week for people at highest risk from the flu. The Health Department is working with the state’s home health agencies to offer the clinics on Thursday, November 18. (AP)

ANR secretary steps down
Natural Resources Secretary Elizabeth McLain says she’s retiring to spend more time with her family, especially eight grandchildren. (AP)

Backstage: Woodchuck Warrior
In 1968, Morrisville native Al Boright enlisted in the U.S. Army. Thirty-six years later, Boright is recounting his experiences for Vermont audiences in an autobiographical performance that captures the horror – and humor – of his duty in Vietnam. (VPR)

Transportation fund
Vermont’s general fund receipts continue strong, while there’s been slippage in the transportation fund. Administration Secretary Mike Smith says Vermont’s personal income tax continues to raise more money than it was projected to in a July forecast. (AP)

Cuban trade deal
Vermont agriculture secretary Steve Kerr is hoping Vermont farmers can make money in Cuba. Kerr just returned from a successful trade mission to Cuba. Kerr says he hopes to enable farmers to sell apples and powdered milk. A deal for 100 cows is going through. (AP)

IBM Qualcomm contract
Vermont’s IBM plant has landed a new long-term contract to make computer chips for a digital wireless communications firm. Qualcomm Incorporated’s deal with IBM’s Essex Junction plant begins next month. An IBM spokesman calls the deal a vote of confidence in the Vermont plant’s capabilities by one of the world’s largest suppliers of cell phone chips. IBM’s Jeff Couture says no new jobs will be specifically tied to the Qualcomm contract. (AP)

UVM construction
Construction is in full swing on a new dorm complex at the University of Vermont. UVM President Daniel Fogel led a ceremony laying a cornerstone at the University Heights project yesterday. It’s part of a 10-year plan Fogel announced two years ago to improve UVM’s physical plant and increase the student body. (AP)

Killington slopes opens
Vermont’s skiing and snowboarding season has started. Killington Resort became the first ski area in the East to open on Tuesday. The resort has eight trails and a terrain park available. Killington made snow last week so that it could open on Tuesday. (AP)

Mortgage fraud
Federal prosecutors in Vermont say three people have been arrested in connection with an alleged million-dollar mortgage fraud. Federal prosecutors say the owners of A-Plus mortgage, which operated for two years in St. Albans, cheated customers and other financial institutions. (AP)

Honduran aliens
The Border Patrol is investigating where a group of illegal Hondurans were headed when they were picked up in Vergennes on Tuesday. Vergennes police say the aliens were headed to Burlington where they had been contracted to work on a crew for a local retailer. (AP)

Grafton double murder trial
The prosecution has rested its case against a 22-year-old Bellows Falls man charged in the killings of a couple in a state forest in Grafton. Windham County State’s Attorney Dan Davis completed calling witnesses and introducing evidence on Tuesday, less than a week after Michael Perez’ trial began. (AP)

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