April 30, 2003 – News at a glance

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Sanders wants UN presence in Iraq
Congressman Bernie Sanders is calling on President Bush to include the United Nations in the effort to rebuild Iraq. (VPR)

Activists’ post-war strategies
Vermont’s peace movement is shifting gears in the wake of the war in Iraq. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Public power authority
Vermont’s privately owned utilities have raised questions about a proposal for the state to purchase large hydroelectric dams on the Connecticut River. Legislation to set up a public power authority is pending in the state Senate. But the utilities are lobbying against it. They say lawmakers haven’t taken enough testimony on the issue. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Clergy reporting rule
Members of the clergy would be included in the list of professionals who must report child abuse under legislation approved by the Vermont Senate. Tuesday’s vote in the Senate was unanimous. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Agriculture cabinet position
The Vermont House has given preliminary approval to legislation that elevates the commissioner of Agriculture to a cabinet level position. (VPR)

Legal sparklers
Vermonters should be able to celebrate Independence Day this summer with legal sparklers. (AP)

Testimony on public utility
The Senate Finance Committee is expected to hear from a range of witnesses Wedensday on a study to buy eight hydroelectric stations on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers. The Senate Institutions Committee approved a provision last week which would move the state toward buying the dams. (AP)

Brokerage settlement money
Vermont’s portion of a settlement between the government and ten investment banks will be used to balance the state budget. Vermont is expected to receive nearly $4 million. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Susan Bartlett says the money will be used for one-time expenses such as the cost of opening the Springfield prison on time. (AP)

Election reform
A Hinesburg lawmaker wants the state to challenge the new federal voting law that requires states to collect identification from voters. Representative William Lippert has persuaded 77 other House members to remove the identification requirement from a bill that would revise the way the state runs elections. (AP)

Border drug smuggling
Five University of Vermont students are facing criminal charges stemming from an operation that smuggled marijuana across the Canadian border on the Long Trail. Michael Prah of Lennoxville, Quebec, and others made a number of trips across the border last fall. (AP)

School field trip policy
School officials in Bennington are developing new regulations to protect students on field trips. The actions follow the disappearance of a Mount Anthony Union High School junior during a class trip to Boston two weeks ago. Assistant Superintendent George Carpenter says students may have to be assigned to specific chaperones or students may have to stay in a group. (AP)

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