January 23, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: Transportation secretary
VPR’s Steve Delaney talks with Patricia McDonald, the new secretary of the Agency of Transportation. (VPR)

Smallpox vaccine
Two-thousand doses of the smallpox vaccine have arrived in Vermont. The state is among the first to receive the vaccine. It’s intended for health care workers who volunteer to participate in a plan to defend the country against the threat of bioterrorism. (VPR)

Farm relief
The Legislature has taken an early and intense interest in the crisis facing Vermont dairy farms. A resolution taken up by the House calls on the attorney general to investigate a planned merger between two large milk processors. And a bill introduced in the Senate would authorize teams of financial experts to help struggling farmers. (VPR)

Roe v. Wade
Supporters and opponents of the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion came to the Legislature Wednesday to mark the 30th anniversary of the court ruling. (VPR)

Some members of the House are trying to reopen last year’s bitter debate about redistricting the Vermont Legislature. Representative Kurt Wright (R-Burlington) has introduced a bill that calls for the six-member Chittenden County Senate district to be redrawn. Democratic Senate leaders say they’re not interested in redrawing the Chittenden County district. (AP)

Housing permits
The residential housing market in Vermont is continuing to set records. The state issued more than 2,800 permits across the state last year, the most since 1986. Experts say the housing boom is being fueled by record low interest rates. (AP)

Ruth Colter dies
The woman believed to be Vermont’s oldest resident has died. Ruth Colter was 109 when she passed away Sunday. At her birthday party last May, Colter attributed her longevity to eating plenty of fresh vegetables, not smoking, and her Vermont ancestry. (AP)

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