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Vermont Smoke and Cure making large-scale Hinesburg facility expansion

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 1:39pm -- tim

Vermont Smoke and Cure has announced a significant expansion of its manufacturing and office facilities in Hinesburg, Vermont. Demand for the Vermont-based small-batch meats and meat snacks has fueled rapid growth - creating a need for increased facilities to meet market demands. The expansion will benefit Vermont’s economy, community and farmers.

Groveman named new chair of the Natural Resources Board

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 11:27am -- tim

Governor Peter Shumlin today announced that Chair of the Natural Resources Board (NRB) Ron Shems has decided to step down after four years on the Board. He will be replaced Jon Groveman, currently the general counsel for the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR).

“I want to thank Ron for his hard work over the past four years,” Governor Shumlin said. “He always sought to ensure that development in Vermont happened in a way consistent with our values. I wish him all the best.”

Vermont unemployment rate drops two-tenths to 4.2 percent in December

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 10:23am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine With jobs increasing, the number of unemployed decreasing and with modest growth in the labor force, the Vermont employment situation improved in December. The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for December 2014 was 4.2 percent. This represents a decrease of two-tenths of a percent from the revised November rate (4.4 percent). The seasonally adjusted Vermont data for December show the Vermont civilian labor force increased by 350 from the prior month estimates.

Vermont Attorney General schedules second public hearing on GMO food labeling law

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 9:29am -- tim

Responding to requests for additional opportunity to comment on the proposed rule on the labeling of food produced with genetic engineering, the Attorney General has scheduled a second public hearing on the rule. This hearing will take place on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, from 5 – 6pm in Room 10 at the State House in Montpelier. Additionally, the Attorney General has extended the deadline for submitting written comments on the rule by two weeks to Thursday, February 12, 2015.

Nominations open for Vermont Travel Person of the Year award

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 8:00am -- tim

The Vermont Travel Industry Conference (VTIC) is pleased to accept nominations for the Travel Person of the Year Award and entries for the Governor’s SMART Award for Creative Marketing in Tourism. Both awards will be presented at the 32nd annual conference March 31 & April 1, 2015 in South Burlington, Vermont at the Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center.

UVM Medical Center Inpatient Rehab Program wins patient satisfaction award

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 6:39am -- tim

The University of Vermont Medical Center has been named a 2014 Guardian of Excellence Award winner by Press Ganey Associates, Inc., for receiving high satisfaction ratings from patients receiving inpatient rehabilitation treatment. Press Ganey is the nation’s leading health care performance improvement company, partnering with more than 11,000 facilities worldwide to reduce suffering and improve the patient experience.

UVM, Harvard part of new global health report on pollinators

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 4:12am -- tim

A new study shows that more than half the people in some developing countries could become newly at risk for malnutrition if crop-pollinating animals — like bees — continue to decline. Despite popular reports that pollinators are crucial for human nutritional health, no scientific studies have actually tested this claim — until now. The new research by scientists at the University of Vermont and Harvard University has, for the first time, connected what people actually eat in four developing countries to the pollination requirements of the crops that provide their food and nutrients.

Pharmacist convicted of unlawful possession of narcotic drugs

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 3:35am -- tim

Brandon Cigana, age 33, of Whitehall, New York, was convicted on January 15, 2015, in the Vermont Superior Court, Rutland Criminal Division, on two misdemeanor charges of unlawful possession of narcotic drugs. The convictions stem from Cigana’s employment as a pharmacist at the Walgreens Pharmacy in Rutland, Vermont. Cigana admitted to unlawfully possessing the narcotic drug Hydrocodone.

AARP to offer free tax preparation assistance in Vermont

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 3:05am -- tim

This year, AARP Foundation is again providing free tax assistance and preparation for taxpayers with low to moderate income through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program. AARP Tax-Aide, in its 48th year, is the nation’s largest free tax assistance and preparation service, giving special attention to the older population. You do not need to be a member of AARP or a retiree to use this service. 

Berkshire Bank parent reports 20 percent increase in Q4 core EPS, dividend increased

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 4:59pm -- tim

Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc (NYSE: BHLB), the parent company of Berkshire Bank reported a 20 percent increase in fourth quarter core earnings per share to $0.48 in 2014 compared to $0.40 in 2013. Earnings growth was driven by a 17 percent increase in core revenue as the company expanded operations in its footprint. Fourth quarter GAAP EPS increased by 10 percent to $0.46 as earnings in both years were impacted by non-core charges related primarily to growth and restructuring. Berkshire Bank has branches in southwestern Vermont.

FairPoint, unions making progress on settling strike

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 4:33pm -- tim

Allison Beck, Acting Director of the US Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), issued the following statement today on behalf of FairPoint Communications Inc, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The bitter strike affecting workers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine began on October 17.