May 28, 2003 – News at a glance

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Interview: Vermont Republican Party
The Vermont Republican Party is under new management for the third time in a bit more than a year. Steve Delaney talks with Jim Barnett, the state party’s incoming chair. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Federal allocation may go to rainy day fund
The state of Vermont is expected to receive $85 million from the federal government as part of the recently passed federal tax cut bill. Legislative leaders are putting together a package to allocate these funds before adjourning. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Clergy made mandated reporters
Governor Jim Douglas has signed a bill into law that adds members of the clergy to the state’s list of mandatory reporters of child abuse. The bill does exempt information gathered in a confessional. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

Interview: Disaster relief for animals
Neal Charnoff talks with Joanne Bourbeau, New England regional director of the Humane Society, about tending animals during disasters. (Listen to the interview online.) (VPR)

Dean’s new offices
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean has new offices for his presidential campaign. The Dean for America headquarters has moved from downtown Burlington to more spacious offices in South Burlington. (AP)

Agriculture secretary
The Vermont commissioner of agriculture has been elevated to a cabinet level position. Steve Kerr is the secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets. Kerr has until January to submit a plan to the Legislature for how the new agency will be organized. (AP)

Ski season ends
The ski season has officially ended at the Killington resort. The southern Vermont resort gave its last chairlift rides to skiers and snowboarders late yesterday afternoon. Killington claims the longest season in the eastern North America. It started on October 25, and lasted 213 days. (AP)

Legislature’s schedule
There’s plenty of work ahead for Vermont lawmakers aiming for adjournment this week. Senators return to the Statehouse Wednesday, and House members return Thursday. Conference committees also are continuing to work on resolving their differences. (AP)

Lawmakers’ pay raise
Vermont lawmakers are sharply disagreeing over whether to raise their own salaries. Under a proposal passed by the House, legislators would earn 30% more beginning in 2005. But some senators are calling for a study first. (AP)

Angell pleased with reporting law
Vermont Bishop Kenneth Angell says he’s pleased with a new law that requires clergy to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect. Angell says the Diocese of Burlington is relieved that the new law exempts any information gathered during confession. (AP)

Prison deaths
Leaders of the Vermont Corrections Department are investigating three deaths in state prisons in the past five weeks. Since April 20, one woman and two men have been discovered dead or near death at two different prisons. Corrections officials say the three deaths in a short span are a coincidence and unrelated. (AP)

School budgets defeated
Voters in Colchester and Williston have voted down their school budgets for the third time this year. But residents of the Champlain Valley Union High School district approved an $18 million expansion project. (AP)

Guard deployed to Afghanistan
Some 50 members of the Vermont Army National Guard are headed to Afghanistan. The guard members from the 124th Regional Training Institute at Camp Johnson will be helping train a new Afghan national army that will work to stabilize the country. (AP)

Dean wants FCC vote delayed
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean wants the Federal Communications Commission to delay an upcoming vote. The Democratic presidential candidate is concerned about the vote to change rules governing the ownership of newspapers, and TV and radio stations. (AP)

School tuition case
A Sudbury man accused of setting up a false residence so his daughters could go to school in Castleton has been ordered to pay restitution. Forty-six-year-old Kenneth Levine pleaded no contest Tuesday in Vermont District Court to four counts of giving false statements to town officials. In return, he’s agreed to repay the cost of tuition to the Castleton-Hubbardton school district, which could total $10,000. (AP)

Most drunk driving case
The lawyer for a Vermont man accused of causing a fatal accident is asking a judge to exclude the results of a blood alcohol test. Doctor James Most has pleaded innocent to charges of drunken driving with death resulting stemming from the accident last fall. (AP)

Burned building to be demolished
A building destroyed by fire over the weekend in Vermont’s capital city will have to be torn down this week. Crews in Montpelier plan to demolish the remaining two stories of the Main Street building because of fears it could collapse. (AP)

Mosquito predictions
State insect specialist Jon Turmel says a snowy winter and wet spring are prime conditions for mosquitoes. Turmel says some years are easier on humans than others, but he adds this summer won’t be one of them. (AP)

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