November 9, 2004 – News at a glance

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Interview: Plattsburgh Mayor Dan Stewart
In Plattsburgh, New York, Dan Stewart swept to victory in last week’s elections, earning a third term as the city’s mayor. Stewart is a Republican who also ran on the Independent line and gained nearly 74 percent of the vote. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Stewart about his re-election. (VPR)

Underground transmission lines
The towns of Charlotte and Shelburne want sections of a proposed high voltage power line placed underground. Town residents say the lines may pose a danger to the public and would ruin the scenic beauty of some areas. But the Vermont Electric Power Company says it’s too expensive to bury the lines. (VPR)

Electric rate proposal for low income Vermonters
The Douglas administration says it’s willing to seriously consider a proposal to help low income Vermonters pay their energy bills. The proposal would be paid for by imposing a 1.5 percent surcharge on all electric and gas bills. (VPR)

Dean may run for DNC chair
Former Governor Howard Dean is considering a bid to become chairman of the Democratic Party. Steve Grossman, himself a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, says Dean told him he was considering the run. Dean is traveling today and unavailable for comment. (AP)

Decision on Sunapee expansion delayed till January
A decision on the Mount Sunapee ski resort’s expansion probably will not happen until John Lynch formally takes over as New Hampshire’s new governor. That delays the decision until at least January. (AP)

Priest to be deployed with Vermont Guard troops
A Milton priest is heading overseas with 600 Vermont army National Guard soldiers. The Reverend John Feltz will be leaving his congregation to provide soldiers with spiritual and emotional support during a deployment that could last a year and a half. (AP)

Agriculture pollution
Vermont’s Agriculture Secretary says Vermont farmers should expect tougher anti-pollution rules in the next 15 months. Steve Kerr says he plans to revise the state’s rules on “accepted agricultural practices” for farms of any size. (AP)

Cuba trade deal
Vermont’s agriculture secretary has returned from a successful trade mission to Cuba. Steve Kerr says he hopes to work out a contract this week to sell Cuba 2,000 bushels of Macintosh apples valued at $40,000. He also says he has made progress in a deal to sell up to $6 million of powdered milk to Cuba. (AP)

Lobster eating contest
A Vermont man took home the top prize in a lobster-eating contest in Kittery, Maine by devouring 19 of the crustaceans in 35 minutes. Barry “Tink” Giddings of Chester, Vermont, won the third annual lobster-eating competition at the Weathervane restaurant. (AP)

Healthy state rankings
A new study says Vermont is the third healthiest state in the country. Minnesota leads the nation and New Hampshire is second. Vermont’s ranking of third is up a space over last year. The annual survey is sponsored by United Health Foundation. (AP)

Municipal smoking bans
Officials in Burlington and Winooski are considering extending smoking bans to private clubs. The cities have banned smoking in bars but exempted private clubs, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Both cities could decide to expand their anti-smoking ordinances in the next several weeks. (AP)

Vernon shooting death
Police say a Vernon man was shot to death after an argument about someone driving too fast on a local street. Police say that 52-year-old James Kellom was shot to death Sunday by Tim Grover after Kellom had been fighting with homeowner James Cleveland. Grover told police that Kellom was hitting Cleveland with a bat. Grover told police he got a handgun out of his car and shot Kellom once in the chest, killing him. (AP)

Grafton double murder trial
The trial of a Bellows Falls man accused in a double murder in Grafton is continuing. On Friday lawyers tried to show discrepancies between what Michael Perez told police in taped interviews and what he said in later questioning. Yesterday co-defendant Charles Sherman appeared in court but did not testify. Perez and Sherman are charged in the beating and stabbing deaths of Gregg Enos of Brattleboro and Colleen Davis of Athens in June 2002. (AP)

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