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Senator James Jeffords dies at 80 in Washington, D.C.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 12:14pm -- katie

Anne Galloway, vtdigger.org and Vermont Business Magazine

Sen. James Jeffords died this morning at the Knollwood Military Retirement Residence in Washington, D.C.
He was 80 years old. Jeffords had lived at the residence since his wife died of ovarian cancer eight years ago.

The Vermont congressman and senator served 32 years in Congress until 2005 when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Jeffords became famous in May 2001 when he left the Republican party to become an independent and began caucusing with the Democrats in the Senate.

Vermont Unemployment Rate Rises to 3.7 percent in July

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 11:03am -- katie

The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for July 2014 was 3.7 percent. This represents an increase of three-tenths of a percent from the revised June rate (3.4 percent). The equivalent national average was 6.2 percent, which increased by one-tenth of a percent from the previous month’s estimate. This is the second monthly increase to the statewide unemployment rate in Vermont in the past year.

City of Burlington Leads the Way with Launch of Employee Bikeshare Program

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 2:17pm -- katie

Mayor Miro Weinberger today launched the City Green Employee Bikeshare Program, now available to all City of Burlington employees. The program was fully funded by a wellness grant from the City’s health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont (BCBSVT), as part of BCBSVT’s efforts to reduce healthcare costs by encouraging active, healthy employee lifestyles. The City’s Wellness Committee organized the bikeshare program.

Verizon Wireless tops in overall network performance in Vermont in report by RootMetrics®

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 1:08pm -- katie

Company Also Awarded Top Rankings in National Network Study for Overall Performance, Reliability, Speed, Data and Call Performance

RootMetrics today released its second U.S. State RootScore® Reports and Verizon Wireless received the highest award for overall network performance in Vermont.

Six Vermont Communities to Benefit from Certified Local Government Grants

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 11:30am -- katie

Preservation, protection and education lead the list of initiatives that six Vermont towns will soon embark upon due to federal grants recently received. The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation have awarded Certified Local Government (CLG) matching grants totaling $41,000 to support community-based preservation initiatives.

Vermont state employees pay more, get more for health insurance

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:46am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine and Morgan True, vtdigger.org Health insurance premiums for Vermont state employees are high compared to other states, according to a report released by the Pew Charitable Trust, and the workers themselves pay a relatively high amount for total health insurance. While the overall national average for the split in employer-employee contribution is the same 20 percent, the average premium paid in the US for a state worker is $963, while in Vermont it is $1,307.

Optum makes progress, but smooth open enrollment still in question

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:38am -- tim

by Morgan True vtdigger.org The fact that consumers have been unable to make changes to their personal information or health care coverage through Vermont Health Connect has been routinely cited as the exchange website’s biggest flaw. But state officials released a report from tech firm Optum on Thursday that identifies something called “834 errors” as the greatest threat to a smoothly functioning website. Form 834 is an electronic file that transmits a customer’s information from Vermont Health Connect to the insurance carrier.

Racine firing revives talk of dividing AHS

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:32am -- tim

The Agency of Human Services is a bureaucratic monster that needs to be split apart, some lawmakers said this week. The shake-up of the agency’s leadership on Tuesday has rekindled discussion of whether the agency is too big for its own good. But advocates warn against creating even more “silos” between department services that are already hard for Vermonters to access.

RE/MAX of New England Releases July Monthly Housing Report

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 3:06pm -- katie

The New England housing market experienced a year-over-year (YOY) sales decrease of -3.6%, according to The RE/MAX of New England July Monthly Housing Report. 

Pending sales continued to trend upward at 41.9% over July 2013. Month-over-month, sales were down -2.3% across the region and Vermont was the only state in New England to experience a sales increase, up 12.3%. 

Mount Snow Bolstering its Snowmaking System with 645 New Snow Guns

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 2:56pm -- katie

Mount Snow, Vt. (August 18, 2014) – Following a variety of snowmaking projects that began in the spring of 2013 with the goal of improving the system’s efficiency and output, Mount Snow announces it will receive delivery of 645 new low-energy snow guns this fall.  By replacing hundreds of older less efficient snow guns, the resort’s entire fleet of snowmaking equipment will now be comprised of 100% low energy technology.

2001: Statement of Senator James M Jeffords

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 12:28pm -- katie

Burlington, Vermont, May 24, 2001 Anyone who knows me, knows I love the State of Vermont. It has always been known for its independence and social conscience. It was the first state to outlaw slavery in its constitution. It proudly elected Matthew Lyon to Congress, despite his flouting of the Sedition Act. It sacrificed a higher share of its sons to the Civil War than perhaps any other state in the Union.

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