September 22, 2004 – News at a glance

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Backstage: ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect – Now Change’
A play that celebrates the modern-day mating game has become off-Broadway’s longest running musical. Now the Stowe Theater Guild is mounting a production of what some critics have called “Seinfeld with music.” (VPR)

McMullen questions Leahy’s support for war on terror
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jack McMullen says incumbent Democratic senator Patrick Leahy isn’t fighting the war on terrorism aggressively. McMullen said on Tuesday that Leahy’s votes against funding for the war in Iraq display a lack of enthusiasm to fight terrorists. Leahy’s campaign says the charges are outrageous. (VPR)

Labor unions criticize Douglas’ jobs record
A coalition of labor organizations says that Vermont is losing high-paying jobs and replacing them with lower wage positions. The coalition is making its political point in an election year, by attacking Governor Jim Douglas’ record on job growth. (VPR)

New prison superintendent hired after riot
The superintendent who ran a private prison where Vermonters rioted last week has been replaced. And Vermont’s leading defense lawyer says he hopes the change will improve conditions at the Kentucky jail. (VPR)

Federal dairy program
Vermont’s congressional delegation is pushing to extend and enhance a safety net for dairy farmers, which was set to expire next year. The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has voted in favor of an amendment sponsored by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy to extend a national dairy support program. (AP)

Federal highway funds
Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords was one of three leading senators who blamed election-year politics for blocking passage of a multiyear highway spending bill. Jeffords proposed that Congress accept a six-month extension of federal funding at current, less generous levels. (AP)

Primary voter turnout
The Vermont secretary of state has confirmed that voter turnout in last week’s primary election was low. The secretary of state’s elections division says just 12.1 percent of the registered voters cast ballots a week ago. (AP)

Adelphia for sale
Vermont’s largest cable television company is up for sale. Adelphia Communications Corporation is in bankruptcy proceedings. The company plans to sell its assets in seven geographic clusters, including northern New England and a part of New York. (AP)

Chittenden County Tech School
Opposition is growing against a plan for a $44 million technical academy in Chittenden County. Teachers across the county say the initial plan for a four-year, degree granting school has been scaled back and is no different from what is offered by the existing technical centers. (AP)

Merging school districts
The town of Westford is going to study the possibility of merging the school district with districts in Essex and Essex Junction. The study will examine the feasibility of merging into a single district with centralized staff and one school board. (AP)

Biodiesel conference
The Vermont Department of Transportation will hold conference Wednesday at the Statehouse on biodiesel fuel. Cooking fat, animal fat and oils produced from soybeans can be processed and used for fuel in diesel engines. Supporters say the renewable product can help reduce environmental impacts from fuel burning and decrease the dangers of global warming. (AP)

Biodiesel business
A Winooski man is hoping to start a business that would take waste vegetable oil and convert it to fuel to power cars, equipment and homes. Scott Gordon’s company would pick up waste vegetable oil and then sell the fuel to homeowners, motorists and equipment operators. (AP)

Celtics exhibition match
Top supporters of the University of Vermont are going to get the first crack at tickets to a Boston Celtics exhibition game next month. Members of the UVM Victory Club will get the first chance to claim tickets to the October 9 exhibition match. They can get free their tickets at Patrick Gym on Thursday. (AP)

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