November 4, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: Power line upgrade
night in Vergennes, residents and officials from several Vermont towns met to discuss and air concerns about the proposed power line upgrade by the Vermont Electric Power Corporation. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Craig Miner, chairman of the Vergennes Power Line Action Committee, who helped organize the meeting. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

IBM electricity discount
Governor Jim Douglas is defending a special power deal with IBM. Under an agreement between the state and Green Mountain Power, IBM would get a discount on its rates while residential customers would see a slight rate increase. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Dean says Iraq policy flawed
Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean says the attack on an American helicopter in Iraq this weekend underscores the basic flaw with the president’s policies in that country. Dean says the Bush administration and members of Congress who support the war effort failed to consider the kinds of major problems that would emerge in post war Iraq. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Corrections hearings
Vermont lawmakers are going to investigate allegations that the Department of Corrections isn’t following its procedures. (AP)

DOC commissioner comments on hearings
Vermont’s commissioner of corrections says he’s deeply troubled by reports of retaliation against inmates by department officials. Commissioner Steven Gold says he’ll cooperate fully with a review of his department being called for by the chairman of the Institutions Committee in the state Senate. (AP)

Dean fairs well in VT poll
Some 56% of Vermonters responding to a new poll approved of their former governor running for president. And the WCAX-TV3 poll finds that Howard Dean would beat President Bush by 50% to 38% if the presidential election were held now. Twelve percent were undecided. (AP)

VT-NEA endorses Dean
Vermont’s statewide teachers’ union has endorsed Howard Dean’s Democratic presidential bid. The Vermont chapter of the National Education Association acknowledges it’s had differences with Dean over the years. But it says his presidential effort deserves support because of the principles he espouses. (AP)

Dean warns of nursing shortage
Howard Dean is warning of a looming nursing shortage in America. He’s calling for a ban on mandatory overtime for nurses and new tuition assistance for those in school. He also called for better staffing ratios and higher pay, telling health care professionals that his background as a physician makes him a candidate who can be trusted on health care issues. (AP)

Iowa campaign ads
Howard Dean is stepping up his Iowa television advertising in a big way. The Democratic presidential candidate and former Vermont governor plans to launch a series of 30-minute infomercials later this week. (AP)

Colchester town offices inspected
Town offices in Colchester are being inspected for safety problems in the wake of a fire last week at Winooski City Hall. Officials say the Colchester municipal building was built using the same blueprint as Winooski’s offices. (AP)

Veterans database
A 10-member AmeriCorps team finishes up work on Tuesday on a big project to computerize information on Vermont veterans. Working with the state office of veterans services, the AmeriCorps team has been entering paper records on Vermont’s 40,000 veterans into computer data bases. (AP)

Shelburne affordable housing
An affordable housing development is under construction in the Burlington suburb of Shelburne. A total of 20 units of housing are being developed in two different sites near the center of town. One is in a commercial building near the town offices that will have two apartments and two commercial units. The other is a series of nine duplexes that will house 18 families. (AP)

Daley charged with murder
A Lebanon, New Hampshire, man accused in the death earlier this year of a Vermont State Police trooper has now been charged with murder. Twenty-three-year-old Eric Daley could face life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Sergeant Michael Johnson. (AP)

Law Centers charges
More federal charges against people formerly involved in the Bennington-based Law Centers For Consumer Protection. Former Vermont state Representative Howard Sinnott of Bennington is among those facing new charges of defrauding customers of the defunct debt-reduction company. (AP)

Passport fraud
A citizen of the Dominican Republic who has been living in Hartford has pleaded guilty in federal court in New Hampshire to fraudulently trying to obtain a U.S. passport. Federal authorities say 42-year-old Pedro Nova submitted a passport application using a stolen identity. (AP)

Burlington man faces drug charges
A 31-year-old Burlington man has been arraigned on federal charges of selling hallucinogenic mushrooms. Authorities say Noah Greer sold mushrooms in February 2000 to a young man who died later that night of exposure. If he’s convicted, Greer could face up to 20 years in federal prison and a million-dollar fine. (AP)

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