November 7, 2003 – News at a glance

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Hearings on Clean Air Act lawsuits
Senator Patrick Leahy is calling for special hearings to review a plan by the Bush administration to drop lawsuits against 50 power plants that are in violation of the Clean Air Act. (VPR)

Current FAHC employees may be investigated
Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell says the investigation into criminal wrongdoing in the Fletcher Allen Renaissance Project is a complex case that will take time to finish. (VPR)

DNA testing of Vermont felons
Attorney General William Sorrell says he thinks people convicted of serious crimes in Vermont should be required to submit to a DNA test. (VPR)

Legislators Yankee settlement
Two key lawmakers have criticized a deal that may allow the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant to boost its power output by twenty percent. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Committee will hold hearings on IBM electric agreement
The Senate Finance committee plans to hold hearings on a plan by the Douglas administration to have residential customers of Green Mountain Power subsidize an energy rate reduction for IBM. Committee Chairwoman Ann Cummings says she has serious concerns about the proposal. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Dean’s union endorsement delayed
A big labor endorsement from the Service Employees International Union for Howard Dean has been delayed. The labor group is expected to make an announcement next week. (AP)

No Vermonters to be deployed in next rotation
A spokesman for Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy says Vermonters will not be involved in a large National Guard troop call-up. (AP)

FAHC and Cigna sever relations
Vermont’s largest hospital is ending its relationship with an insurance company that covers 85,000 people in the state. Fletcher Allen Health Care says the contract with Cigna Health Care doesn’t cover the costs of caring for the insurer’s customers. So the hospital says it will be ending its contract with Cigna as of January 1. (AP)

State revenues
Vermont state government’s taxes and fees collections have been so strong so far this year that the state has built up nearly a $20 million surplus. Finance Commissioner Robert Hofman reported to a legislative committee on Thursday that revenues were $9.5 million higher than expected in October. (AP)

Newport fatal shooting
A 30-year-old Newport Center man is to be arraigned in court on Friday in connection with a shooting that left one person dead and one injured on Thursday. Police say Darcy Petit held them at bay for more than three hours before hostages in the house where he was holed up rushed and subdued him. (AP)

Presidential campaign
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry has launched a broad attack on former Vermont Governor Howard Dean in the Democratic presidential primary campaign. But the Dean campaign is firing back, saying Kerry is better at making negative attacks than at formulating a straightforward stance on Iraq. (AP)

Douglas supports abortion law
Governor Jim Douglas say the ban on some abortion procedure signed into law by President Bush is a good law, in his view. But Douglas says it lacks an important provision that would permit the procedure to protect the health of a woman. (AP)

Chittenden County land conservation
Wildlife may soon have a large swath of Vermont’s most populous county all to themselves. A federal grant of $3.1 million has been included in the U.S. Interior Department’s budget. Senator Patrick Leahy says the money will go toward buying land or conservation easements on ten-thousand acres in eastern Chittenden County. (AP)

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