November 12, 2004 – News at a glance

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Interview: Kate O’Connor, Part 2
Some have blamed the press for Howard Dean’s now-famous Iowa collapse in his run for the presidency. Others have singled out divisions between Dean’s Washington campaign and his Vermont staff. Throughout the campaign for the Democratic nomination, no one was closer to Dean than longtime aide Kate O’Connor. (VPR)

Former governor Hoff celebrates 80th birthday
Friends and supporters of will gather in Burlington Friday night for a testimonial dinner in celebration of former Vermont governor Phil Hoff on his eightieth birthday. Hoff’s three terms during the 1960s mark a pivotal time in Vermont history when an energetic young governor set the state on a new course. (VPR)

Symington outlines top priorities for Vermont House
House Democratic leader Gaye Symington, who is likely to be the next speaker of the Vermont House, is developing an agenda for representatives to consider when they return to Montpelier in January. (VPR)

Election highlights flaws in Vermont campaign finance law
Vermont’s six-year-old campaign finance law was designed to curb the influence of money on politics. But by the close of the 2004 political season, it was clear the law had failed in several key areas. (VPR)

Bellows Falls trustees decide against hydro plant purchase
Bellows Falls village trustees have decided against backing the town of Rockingham’s proposed purchase of a hydroelectric plant. (AP)

Verizon earnings and investment
The Department of Public Service says Verizon is earning too much in Vermont and should invest more in network upgrades and expanding broadband Internet access. The department told the Public Service Board this week that Verizon over-earned by $33 million in Vermont last year. It says it wants some of that money returned to ratepayers, with the balance spent on investments in the company’s Vermont telecommunications networks. Verizon today issued a statement saying the department is wrong in its contentions. The Public Service Board is currently considering a new regulation plan for the company to replace one that’s been in place for four years. (AP)

Iraq deployment
About 50 Vermont National Guard military policemen are headed to Iraq as part of the 4,000 soldier 278th Regimental Combat team. The team was given a send-off on Thursday in Mississippi. (AP)

Missisquoi Bay pollution
The Missisquoi Bay Bridge is not causing water quality problems in northern Lake Champlain. That’s the conclusion of a team of U.S. and Canadian scientists. The Missisquoi Bay Task Force released its report earlier this week. The scientists say the nearly mile-long bridge on Vermont 78 was only a minor contributor to high levels of nutrients and sediments. (AP)

Tourism strong during foliage season
The fall foliage season was a strong one for Vermont’s travel and tourism industry. The Vermont Chamber of Commerce conducted a survey of 250 members to determine how well businesses did during the all-important season. The survey, conducted in late October, found 63 percent of respondents who said the season’s business either met or exceeded their expectations. (AP)

VLS threaten Omya with lawsuit
Vermont Law School has warned Omya it will sue in federal court if the company does not clean up its calcium carbonate waste dump in Florence. The law school is demanding Omya cease what the law school calls “illegal dumping” and take appropriate measures to abate the health and environmental risks. (AP)

Montpelier zoning regulations
A contract with a private company to help overhaul Montpelier’s zoning regulations has drawn fire. And now the City Council says it should be canceled. Instead, the council wants to buy a zoning program from the consulting company Duany Plater-Zyberk. (AP)

Grafton double-murder trial
A 22-year-old Bellows Falls man on trial for the murders of a couple in Grafton in 2002 is defending himself. Michael Perez took the stand Wednesday in his own defense. Perez said he never hurt Gregg Enos or Colleen Davis. (AP)

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