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VELCO and National Grid make key agreements for Granite State Power Link

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 1:45pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine New Hampshire regulators rejected on February 1 a permit for the winning bid by Eversource on a 1,200 megawatt renewable energy contract for the state of Massachusetts. While Eversource has vowed to appeal, losing bidders have renewed their efforts to capture the lucrative contract, which could have a profound economic impact on Vermont. Last week TDI-New England and its under-Lake Champlain project announced it was still interested, with Governor Phil Scott lending his support. And today, Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) and National Grid's GridAmerica Holdings, Inc, announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and a services agreement to support the Granite State Power Link (GSPL) project.

Vermont State Police report on fatal shooting on I-89 Sunday

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 1:13pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont State Police have released the following information on a fatal shooting on Interstate 89 on Sunday afternoon. At approximately 3:51 pm a Vermont State Police Trooper and an officer with the Richmond Police Department shot a male subject following a traffic stop that occurred on Interstate 89 southbound near mile marker 69 in the town of Bolton. The subject, later identified as Benjamin Gregware, 42 of Sheldon, was the sole occupant of the vehicle and he was subsequently transported to UVM Medical Center in Burlington where he later died.

UVM, faculty union begin fact-finding today

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 10:37am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine An independent fact-finder will begin hearing evidence from The University of Vermont and its faculty union, United Academics, this morning. As part of the process, both parties will present evidence and data to the independent fact-finder, who will make a recommendation at a later time regarding the single open issue, which is to determine the level of an appropriate salary increase.  There may be a need for a second fact-finding session in March.

Leahy outlines Vermont priorities in budget deal

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 9:51am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Senate and the House early Friday morning passed a bipartisan budget agreement to keep the federal government open, strengthen the military and invest in priorities here at home.  President Trump signed the bill upon receiving it Friday morning.  Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, played a key role in negotiating the package, which passed the Senate by a vote of 71 to 28, and the House by a vote of 240 to 186. Congressman Peter Welch voted in favor, while Senator Bernie Sanders voted against.

Air Guard responds to anti-F-35 Burlington ballot question

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 9:40am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The City of Burlington has added a citizens, non-binding question on the Town Meeting Day ballot regarding whether Burlington voters support, or not, the basing of the F-35 at the Air Guard base at the Burlington International Airport. There was much debate about the wording of the ballot question, which eventually was left intact from the original petition. On Friday afternoon Vermont National Guard Major General Steven Cray held a press conference at the base to discuss the F-35. His opening comments and video are below, as well as the ballot resolution.

Leonine: Vermont minimum wage as the session takes flight

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 2:08pm -- tim

Leonine Public Affairs The 2018 legislative session is now six weeks old and it feels like it's flying by. This usually means legislators have completed a third of the session. It also means we are closing in on the “crossover deadline,” which marks the date a bill must make it out of committee in order to be considered by the other legislative chamber. There are different crossover deadlines for policy bills and “money” bills--this year the deadline for policy bills is March 2 and for money bills it is March 16. 

Support employee wellness: Start a garden

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 3:25am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Community Garden Network is offering garden start-up services for any business that wants to establish a workplace food garden for their employees. The Green Thumbs at Work program provides employers and employees with technical assistance and planning support to ensure the garden will be successful in its first season and for years to come.

State leaders discuss agricultural economy at Vermont Packinghouse

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 11:29am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine How often do you see legislators, state officials, the Lieutenant governor, farmers and community members discussing farm and food issues in a slaughterhouse? That’s what happened this past Monday morning at the Vermont Packinghouse, a meat processing facility based in North Springfield, Vermont, in a former Ben & Jerry’s ice cream plant. Not everyone would host such an event at a slaughterhouse, complete with tours and full viewing of the so-called “kill floor.”

But Arion Thiboumery is not your average slaughterhouse executive.

Vermont Electric Co-op seeks candidates for Board of Directors

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 4:33am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Electric Co-op (VEC) is seeking candidates for three soon-to-be-open seats on the board of directors. VEC’s 12-member board of directors is responsible for setting policy and determining the direction of the co-op in providing safe, reliable power in the least expensive way possible and working towards shaping the grid of the future. Directors meet monthly, receive a stipend and mileage reimbursement for attending meetings, and have training opportunities to learn more about energy issues and the cooperative model.

Milton wastewater facility, Burlington's Lavallee recognized for excellence

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 4:14am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The wastewater treatment system in Milton was recently recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency for its commitment to improving water quality. The Milton Wastewater Treatment Facility was selected by EPA for a 2017 Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Excellence Award. The Milton facility, led by Director David Allerton, was recognized by EPA's New England Office for exceptional work in operating and maintaining the wastewater treatment plant.

Vermont gets new hope for 1,000 MW power line

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 3:26pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott is making a renewed effort to get a Vermont project selected for the massive and lucrative renewable energy contract being awarded by the state of Massachusetts. At the end of January, Massachusetts selected an Eversource project for the 1,200 megawatt power line from Quebec, through the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It eventually would connect into the Massachusetts electric grid. Last year Scott had made a similar pitch in hopes that Massachusetts would select the TDI New England project.

Weekly unemployment claims edge back down

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 12:47pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims fell modestly, wiping out the small increase from the previous week. Now that the tumult of the holidays is over, the weekly claims report is back to a more regular pattern. For the week of February 3, 2018, there were 468 claims, 121 more than than they were the previous week and 94 fewer than they were a year ago. Altogether 6,052 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 148 from a week ago, and 764 fewer than a year ago. For most weeks of 2017, including the last several months, claims have registered below the year before.