April 9, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: media coverage of war
Neal Charnoff talks with ThomasConroy, a journalism professor at Castleton State College. Conroy compares media coverage from the Vietnam era with reporting from the current war in Iraq. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Permit reform bill
The battle over permit reform has intensified at the Statehouse. Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Welch accused Governor Jim Douglas of playing politics with an Act 250 permit reform bill. Douglas denied the charge and urged the Senate to pass out a comprehensive bill this year. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

GMO seed labeling
The Vermont Senate has taken a step toward making this the first state to require labels for genetically engineered seeds. The Senate gave preliminary approval to the labeling bill on Tuesday, which backers say will help educate the public about the new technology. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Affordable housing
A new report says the cost of housing continues to outpace incomes in Vermont. (VPR)

Media town meeting
The head of the Federal Communications Commission will attend a public meeting in Vermont on Monday to discuss the rules on corporate-owned media outlets. (VPR)

Halvorsen memorial service
The mother of a Vermonter who died last week in Iraq says she will attend a memorials service tomorrow at Fort Stewart in Georgia. (AP)

Vermont Yankee taxation
The Vermont Legislature is considering a change in the way the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is taxed. The goal is to ensure the plant continues to pay at least the $4.5 million it paid last year. The tax would be based on production. (AP)

Local zoning rules
The Vermont Senate is taking the first step to reorganize and update the state’s local zoning regulations. The Senate last night gave preliminary approval to the proposal that would be the first significant update to the system in decades. (AP)

Sale of state lands
A bill being considered in the Vermont House would allow towns to seek the private sale of state lands within their borders. The proposal is designed to make sure townspeople will be listened to when they determine there is too much state land within their borders. (AP)

Nurses’ work rules bill
Nurses from across Vermont are asking lawmakers to help them do their job better and improve patient care. The nurses are pushing for bills that would ban mandatory overtime, establish minimum nurse-patient ratios and protect health care workers who report improper patient care from retaliation. (AP)

Gray wolf protection
Some environmental groups are threatening to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision to give the gray wolf less protection in the Northeast. Last week, the federal agency downgraded the gray wolf from an endangered species to a threatened. (AP)

Tree removal suit
The trees are gone, but a man from the Canadian border town of Holland is pushing on with a legal battle to protect 30 maple trees in front of his home. Robert Hamilton says he will seek damages from town officials who removed the trees while the case was pending. (AP)

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