October 29, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: Proposed Act 250 changes
Fundamental changes to Vermont’s Act 250 may be on the horizon. The state’s Environmental Board has voted to move ahead with proposed reforms and has sent them along to the Legislature. Mitch Wertlieb talks with VPR reporter John Dillon about the proposed rules changes. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Burlington diocese prepares for lawsuit payments
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington is trying to set aside money to cover possible settlements in three remaining lawsuits over alleged abuse. But the lawyer for two of the plaintiffs says his clients will not settle for small sums. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Lieberman health care plan
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Lieberman unveiled a plan to provide health care to all Americans Tuesday afternoon at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Lieberman wants to establish new federal insurance pools for people who can’t afford to purchase traditional private coverage. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Motel families find new housing
Most of the families living at a White River Junction motel that will close next week have found new places to live. The Haven, the Upper Valley housing shelter, has paid nearly $14,000 in security deposits and first months rents for housing for the families. (AP)

Delay requested in Rice murder trial
Prosecutors have asked for a six-month delay in the trial of a man accused of killing two hikers in Shenandoah National Park. They argue that the physical evidence needs to be re-evaluated after recent DNA tests pointed away from the man accused of killing a Burlington woman and her companion in June of 1996. (AP)

Man gets probation for Internet fraud
A Rutland man who made more than $25,000 selling fake celebrity memorabilia over the Internet will stay out of jail. Prosecutors say John Landau falsely claimed the items he was selling had belonged to John Wayne, Lucille Ball, Joan Crawford and Ava Gardner. (AP)

Mental illness in prisons
The U.S. Senate has approved a bill introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy that would help treat inmates who have mental illnesses. The legislation would provide $100 million a year over two years to states and cities to help them reduce crime and implement treatment programs for the mentally ill. (AP)

Presidential campaign notes
Political experts in Iowa are trying to assess how effective Howard Dean’s Internet-driven campaign will be in the leadoff caucuses there next year. They say the approach is in stark contrast to Dean’s chief rival in Iowa, Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt. A new squabble has broken out between Dean and one of his fellow candidate Reverend Al Sharpton. Sharpton is questioning Dean’s support for affirmative action and gun ownership. Meanwhile Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. says he’ll offer a formal endorsement of Dean’s campaign soon. (AP)

Drug re-importation
Vermonters representing a wide swath of the political spectrum say they favor allowing prescription drugs from Canada to be sold in the United States. They say that’s a way of helping combat the escalating costs of drugs. (AP)

Green Mountain Racetrack
A Massachusetts animation company is eyeing expansion at the old Green Mountain Racetrack in Pownal. Those involved in the talks say they’re preliminary, but discussions have been ongoing recently between current track owner John Tietgens, state officials and the Kleiser-Walczak studio. (AP)

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