June 19, 2003 – News at a glance

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Vermont’s copper mining history
An old railhead on the Connecticut River in Fairlee still bears the name of Ely, but the nearby mining town with the same name is long gone. Its history isn’t, though, and the days of the copper industry will come to life again at the annual History Expo this weekend. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Act 60 reform signed into law
Governor Jim Douglas on Wednesday signed the new Act 60 reform bill into law. The governor says the proposal is the first step in the effort to help reduce property taxes across the state. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Douglas defends Circ Highway
Governor Jim Douglas says a new Chittenden County highway is needed to keep existing jobs. The governor downplayed a recent economic analysis that found the Circumferential Highway would not lead to new job growth in the region. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Vermont receives new tobacco settlement
The Attorney General’s office announced Wednesday a settlement with several tobacco companies that will bring $715,000 to Vermont. The total settlement of $160 million is being shared among the 46 states that participated in the suit. (VPR)

Johnson funeral
More than 1,000 police officers from around the country are expected to attend the funeral of Sergeant Michael Johnson. Johnson was killed Sunday as he tried to stop a car during a chase on Interstate 91. The service is planned for Friday in Bradford. (AP)

Daley arraignment
The man accused of fatally striking a Vermont state trooper with his car during a chase is due in court Thursday. Eric Daley will be arraigned Thursday afternoon in Vermont District Court in White River Junction on three counts stemming from the death of State Police Sergeant Michael Johnson on Sunday. (AP)

Stormwater permits
The war of words continues between the Douglas administration and the Vermont Water Resources Board over stormwater discharge permits. The agency of natural resources Wednesday asked the board to reverse its recent rejection of permits the agency had issued for stormwater dischargers near four brooks in Chittenden County. (AP)

Deputy corrections commissioner
A former president of Trinity College in Burlington will become deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Corrections. Sister Janice Ryan will begin her new job in August. The position has been vacant since the new administration took office in January. (AP)

Fletcher Allen nurses’ contract
Nurses at Fletcher Allen Health Care say they may strike next month if no progress is made in contract talks with Vermont’s largest hospital. The nurses say they want to see significant progress by July 5 or they will issue a 10-day notice of intent to launch a one-day strike. (AP)

Dean behind in NH poll
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean now lags 10% behind Massachusetts Senator John Kerry in the latest New Hampshire presidential primary poll. The American Research Group poll was released Wednesday. Kerry has moved ahead with 28% of the vote while Dean has lost ground and now stands at 18%. Earlier polls had showed the two statistically tied for the lead. (AP)

Estate taxes
Vermont Congressman Bernard Sanders was in the minority Wednesday as he voted against a Republican plan to eliminate the estate tax. Sanders says only 2% of Americans were affected by the tax before it was cut. He calls eliminating the tax Robin Hood in reverse, saying it amounts to taking from the middle class and giving to the rich. (AP)

Bomoseen fish
State biologists fear that an exotic nuisance fish has made its way into Lake Bomoseen in Castleton. A local fisherman found 18 dead alewives in Rutland County’s largest lake. The non-native bait fish pose a threat to a number of fish species in Vermont, including smelt, lake, brown and rainbow trout and northern pike. (AP)

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