November 11, 2004 – News at a glance

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Interview: Kate O’Connor, Part 1
Many stories have been told about what went on behind the scenes in Howard Dean’s campaign for president. Some of those stories involve one of Dean’s longtime and closest aides, Kate O’Connor. Recently, O’Connor looked back on the campaign in a rare interview with VPR’s Susan Keese. (VPR)

Douglas appoints Reiber as Supreme Court chief justice
Governor Jim Douglas has named Paul Reiber as the new chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court. Reiber, who currently serves as an associate justice on the Court, says providing the state’s court system with sufficient resources will be one of his biggest challenges. (VPR)

Business groups ask for stay in Water Board ruling
Last month, Vermont’s Water Resources Board sent a shockwave through the business community. The board ruled that federal, rather than state permits are required to control stormwater near streams that already fail water quality standards. Now a business coalition is fighting that action. (VPR)

More staff changes announced by Douglas administration
With just a week since the election, there are more changes in the Douglas administration. The governor announced on Wednesday that Agency of Transportation Secretary Patricia McDonald will leave her post and take up a new position in the Department of Labor. (VPR)

Unemployment rates lowest in region
New Hampshire and Vermont are expected to have the lowest unemployment rates in New England through 2008, according to a forecasting group called the New England Economic Partnership. (AP)

Backstage: Lyric Theater presents Grease
The word is: Burlington’s Lyric Theater is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary with the Pink Ladies and the Burger Palace Boys. (VPR)

Speaker of the House
Democratic State Representative Gaye Symington is likely to become the second female speaker of the House. Symington and Burlington Representative John Tracy are planning a news conference for Friday to discuss the speakership and other Democratic priorities. (AP)

Prison health care
A company that recently won a $26 million contract to provide health care to Vermont’s inmates has been the subject of more than a thousand prisoner lawsuits and complaints around the country. The state Corrections Department says it is working out details of a contract with Prison Health Services. Department officials say they hope to address in the contract concerns raised by Vermont inmates. (AP)

Guard deployment
About 50 Vermont National Guard military policemen are leaving the United States in the next few days on their way to Iraq. A ceremony to mark their departure is planned for Friday at Camp Selby, Mississippi, where the Vermonters have been training since June. (AP)

Bridge dedication stirs controversy
A decision to name a bridge in downtown Brattleboro in honor of a local man killed in the Iraq war has stirred controversy. Thousands turned out last year for Kyle Gilbert’s funeral procession through Brattleboro. But the town now is split over the wording on a stone memorial marking a rebuilt downtown bridge in honor of Gilbert. (AP)

Interstate exit congestion
State officials say they’ve devised a quick way to deal with the “serious safety issue” of backed-up traffic at a busy Interstate 89 interchange. The Transportation Agency has proposed widening the southbound exit ramp at Exit 12 to three lanes. It also proposes to synchronize traffic signals along Vermont Route 2A. (AP)

Benways owners plead no contest
Owners of a Burlington taxi company have been convicted of tax-related criminal charges related to their business. Paul Robar and Wanda Robar of Colchester entered no contest pleas Tuesday on two misdemeanor charges. They were accused of failing to file Vermont withholding tax returns and failing to remit Vermont withholding tax to the state during the 2003 tax year. They own Benways Taxi and Morf Transportation. (AP)

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