Sounds of 2008: Cola Hudson, Sara Gear Boyd & Graham Newell

12/25/08 7:30AM

(Host) We're pausing to remember some of the events of the past year through the Sounds of 2008.

And this morning, we pause to remember some of the Vermonters who died this year. Three politicians who were dedicated to this state were among them.

In January, not long after the legislative session opened, longtime lawmaker Cola Hudson died. Senator Vincent Illuzzi said Hudson was dedicated to the area where he grew up.

(Illuzi) "So he was fiercely loyal to the Northeast Kingdom, and I think that's why even though the politics have changed I think people always respected the fact that he fought for the Northeast Kingdom, and that he was true to his values, and that he never misled anyone as to where he was coming from or where he was going."

(Host) In May, Sara Gear Boyd died. She gained national note because, during her legislative career, she became the first woman in the country to serve as majority leader in both the House and Senate. And when she was selected in 1994 to lead Senate Republicans, property tax reform was on her mind.

(Boyd) "People are screaming about their local property taxes and their local property tax rates and I want to be sure that they do not rise rapidly in the next few years after we put an extra $50 million into expenditures from the state." (:14)

(Host) And, finally, June brought the passing of another political icon. Graham Newell. An educator. A Republican legislator. A founding member of the Vermont civil liberties union. And, -- as he was happy to tell us -- a proud son of the Northeast Kingdom.

(Newell) "I can take you to Caledonia County cemeteries, many of them out in fields and pastures, uh, all my eight great grandparents are buried in this county, my sixteen great-greats are buried here, and my thirty two three-greats are all buried somewhere here in Caledonia County.''
(Host) Newell was 92 when he died. Some of the pillars of Vermont politics.

Click here to tell us your favorite sounds of 2008 at the series web page. Click below to listen to the original stories.

Veteran lawmaker from Northeast Kingdom dies

Republican leader Sara Gear Boyd dies at 67

Longtime NEK educator, Graham Newell, dies at 92

AP Photo/Toby Talbot


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