September 11, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: Commissioner of Public Safety
Mitch Wertlieb talks with Public Safety Commissioner Kerry Sleeper on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Dean tries to widen base, woo Hispanic voters
Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean has surged past his rivals with his aggressive use of the Internet. But the supporters who’ve shown up so far for his rallies and campaign events are overwhelmingly white. Dean has yet to break through and connect with minority voters who are a core Democratic constituency. The former Vermont governor was in New Mexico last week to woo Hispanics. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Edwards takes issue with Dean’s comments
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards says he plans to wage an active campaign to win the support of college students all across the country. In remarks to regional reporters, Edwards also unleashed his first strong criticisms of Howard Dean. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

UVM signs Coke contract
The University of Vermont has received the first payment in a long-term agreement with Coca Cola. The contract grants the soft drink giant nearly exclusive rights to sell its products on campus. The agreement was signed this summer. It signals UVM’s entry into a business that is proving increasingly lucrative for many colleges and universities. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Vermont AFL-CIO elects new leadership
The Vermont AFL-CIO has a new leader. Ron Pickering, who was head of the labor group for ten years, resigned from the top job Saturday at the organization’s state convention. (AP)

Book interview: ‘Mirror Lake’
VPR’s Neal Charnoff talked to Montpelier author Thomas Greene about “Mirror Lake,” and about the attraction Vermont holds for fiction writers. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Douglas on September 11
Vermont Governor Jim Douglas says the state will mark Thursday’s second anniversary of the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington. Douglas says one of the chief ways he’ll be remembering the attacks is by paying tribute to the people who put their lives on the line every day to protect against future terrorist incidents. (AP)

Dean campaign notes
Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean is drawing fire from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and several Jewish lawmakers. It’s over his remarks concerning Israel. The legislators say this is not a time to be sending mixed messages. Meanwhile Dean has pulled ahead in another poll. A poll of people planning to attend next winter’s Iowa presidential nominating caucuses says Howard Dean is their favorite of the nine Democratic contenders. Dean got 23% support in the poll. Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt is at 17%. And Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is at 11%. (AP)

Small hospital budgets
Some of the Vermont’s small hospitals are questioning the way the state reviews their finances. They say state regulators should not compare their financial performance to national averages, or to each other, when deciding how much to raise their prices. (AP)

Vermont Yankee uprate
The owner of Vermont Yankee has formally asked the federal government for permission to boost the amount of electricity the nuclear power plant can produce. Entergy Nuclear wants to increase the output of the plant in Vernon by 20%, meaning it would go from generating 540 megawatts to 650. (AP)

School for troubled girls
A California company that plans to open a girls boarding school in Manchester is getting some help from the state. The Bromley Brook School for underachieving girls will receive $567,000 in state tax credits. The Aspen Education Group plans to convert the former Oak Knoll assisted living facility into a school and hire up to 100 employees. The Bromley Brook School will serve girls ages 13 to 18 who have learning difficulties or behavioral problems. The company is awaiting a decision from the district Act 250 commission.

Macedonia trade mission
A group of Vermont business leaders is headed to Macedonia on a trade mission. About 30 business people, consultants, members of the Vermont National Guard and state government officials are planning to make the trip. (AP)

Lobbyist investigation
Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders has apparently prompted the U.S. Treasury Department to investigate a lobbyist’s tactics. Sanders questioned Treasury Secretary John Snow during a congressional hearing Wednesday. He asked what Snow knew about an IBM lobbyist’s distributed a document that may have been doctored to show the Treasury Department opposed controversial pension regulations. (AP)

Radio Free Brattleboro
Operators of an unlicensed Brattleboro radio station say they want to see the federal government license community broadcasting groups like theirs. But so far, the government’s only response has been to shut down Radio Free Brattleboro once and threaten to do so again. (AP)

Botox clinic
Say good-bye to those worry lines. Vermont’s first Botox clinic is opening next month in Williston. Henry Harris, a retired New York physician with a home in Stowe, is planning to start the clinic. Botox is injected in tiny amounts into people’s faces to temporarily paralyze the muscles beneath the skin, minimizing the appearance of wrinkles. (AP)

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