November 5, 2002 – News at a glance

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Interview: polls open
Across the state Tuesday, town clerks are working to ensure that Election Day runs smoothly. Steve Delaney talks with Dencie Mitchell of the Vermont Town Clerks’ Association. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Senate races likely to impact Jeffords, Leahy
Even though their names are not on the ballot, Vermont’s two United States senators have a lot at stake on Election Day. If the Republicans gain control of the U.S. Senate, Pat Leahy and Jim Jeffords will no longer chair two of the Senate’s most important committees. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Champion lands resolution
Governor Howard Dean and a group representing Vermont hunters say they’ve resolved one of the most contentious issues of the 2002 Legislature. Late last week, Dean signed an executive order that guarantees hunters may access all parts of the Champion timberlands in the Northeast Kingdom. The sportsmen had complained that they might be excluded from a state-owned ecological reserve on the property. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Constitutional amendment
Voters will be deciding Tuesday whether to amend the Vermont Constitution. The issue is whether the constitution should continue to mandate judges’ retirement at 70 years of age. (AP)

Fairbanks Scales workers strike
Union members at Fairbanks Scales in Saint Johnsbury are on strike. The workers began marching in protest outside the Fairbanks building at about 6:00 a.m. Monday. (AP)

Vermonters vote on state and local officials
Vermont votes Tuesday for its first new governor in more than a decade, as well as other offices ranging from U.S. Congress to justice of the peace. Turnout is often light in years without a presidential election, but both major parties in Vermont have launched energetic get-out-the-vote efforts. (AP)

NH election turnout
New Hampshire’s top election official expects a record turnout in Tuesday’s election. Secretary of State William Gardner believes 60% of the voters will cast ballots, as many as 385,000. Early voting in Manchester wards, which opened at 6:00 a.m., indicates a robust turnout. (AP)

Harriman Reservoir
Voters in Wilmington will vote again on a town nudity ordinance. It’s another step in a long-running debate over whether nudity should be permitted at a popular local swimming area on the Harriman Reservoir. (AP)

Rutland DWI arrests
In Rutland County, Deputy Sheriff Mike Nesshover arrested 103 people for drunken driving in the past year. No formal records are kept on arrests by individual officers, but some of Nesshover’s colleagues think that puts him at or near the top among Vermont police officers for enforcing against DWI. (AP)

Randolph land protection plan
The town of Randolph is seeking a $500,000 federal grant to protect a scenic parcel of land near Interstate 89 from development. The town hopes to combine that money with $100,000 in state money and buy development rights to a 15-acre parcel just off Exit 4 of the Interstate. (AP)

Pownal sheep killing
A Vermont game warden says he believes three sheep found dead in Pownal recently were killed by a domestic dog or dogs. Game Warden Travis Buttle says he does not believe it was a wild animal such as a coyote or fisher, because the carcasses weren’t devoured. A town constable initially thought the animals might have been shot. (AP)

Rooms and meals tax proposed in Williston
The town of Williston is considering imposing a 1% local tax on meals and lodging. Town officials say the additional tax could bring in an estimated $80,000 a year and cut the property tax rate by 1%. The Select Board hopes to decide by early January whether to put proposal on the ballot on Town Meeting Day in March. (AP)

Springfield tourism center planned
Business officials in Springfield want to create a visitors’ center downtown. The regional Chamber of Commerce is applying for a $347,000 grant to buy a historic building on Main Street and to convert it into a state of the art tourist center. (AP)

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