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Vermont sees drop in alcohol and drug abuse rates among young adults

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 5:09am -- tim

Governor Peter Shumlin joined with Department of Health officials, substance abuse prevention providers, and community groups on Wednesday to announce that binge drinking, marijuana use, and prescription pain reliever misuse dropped among young adult Vermonters between 2011/2012 and 2012/2013, according to the latest report of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). While the governor said he welcomed the good news, he cautioned that much work remains and outlined steps the state is taking to continue progress in the battle against drug and opiate addiction in Vermont.

Xfinity Store opens in South Burlington

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 3:16am -- tim

Comcast held a special reception and ribbon-cutting event Tuesday to announce the grand opening of its interactive Xfinity Store in South Burlington, Vermont.  The 3,000 square foot space has been designed entirely around the needs of customers, providing them with an opportunity to explore, learn about and interact directly with the latest Xfinity products and services.

Vermont requests federal disaster declaration

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 12:30pm -- tim

Governor Peter Shumlin has made a formal request for federal disaster relief to help 10 of Vermont’s 14 counties pay for repairs to the power grid and other public infrastructure damaged in a severe winter storm last month. Addison, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, and Windsor counties have shown damages that meet federal standards to qualify for a Public Assistance disaster declaration.

Weekly unemployment claims fall back to pre-holiday levels

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 10:30am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine After several spikes during the holiday season, new weekly unemployment claims in Vermont are back to about where they were in the fall and less than half where they were just after Christmas. For the week of January 17, 2015, there were 794 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont. This is a decrease of 227 from the previous week's total, and 16 more than they were a year ago. In 2014, claims were consistently below 2013 levels on a week-to-week basis.

Ag Agency accepting 2015 vendor applications for the Vermont building at “The Big E”

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 3:42am -- tim

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets is now accepting proposals from Vermont businesses and organizations for vending and exhibiting space in the Vermont Building at the Eastern States Exposition (“Big E”) in West Springfield, Massachusetts. In 2015, the fair will be held from September 18th - October 4th. Nearly 1 million patrons passed through the Vermont Building during the 2014 fair, spending over $1.7 million on Vermont products. 

Vermont Chamber and VBM open nominations for Deane Davis Outstanding Vermont Business Award

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 5:31pm -- tim

The Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Business Magazine are accepting nominations until March 6th for the Deane C Davis Outstanding Business of the Year Award that honors an outstanding Vermont business. The deadline for nominating a business is March 6, 2015. Nominees and applicants are encouraged to complete the 2014 Deane C Davis Award online nomination form:

Lang McLaughry Real Estate merger creates Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 4:00pm -- tim

Lang McLaughry Real Estate, the largest real estate firm in Vermont, with 15 offices, has merged with Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty, which has three offices in New Hampshire. Together, they have acquired Vermont Country Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, which has five offices in southern Vermont. The combined entities will operate as Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty, with a total of 23 offices and over 220 sales associates across Vermont and New Hampshire.

Governor Shumlin: Economic growth is key to Agenda for Progress

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 3:55pm -- tim

by Governor Peter Shumlin The agenda I laid out earlier this month seeks to make life a little easier and more affordable for Vermont families by attacking the two biggest drags on incomes and wages: health care costs and rising property taxes. Addressing those issues alone, however, isn’t enough. If we’re to really make progress for Vermont families, we need to combine increased affordability with expanded job growth and economic opportunity.

Vermont Captive Insurance gross written premium nears $30 billion in 2014

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 3:17pm -- tim

Vermont licensed 16 new captives in 2014, according to data released by the Vermont Captive Insurance Division. The new captives were made up of 10 pure captives, two sponsored, two special purpose financial insurers, one association, and one Risk Retention Group.  Two new captives were redomesticated from Bermuda and Delaware. Growth in 2014 was down from previous years attributed primarily to the prolonged soft market and added competition by other US states.

Bipartisan group of legislators proposes switch to federal health insurance exchange

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 2:56pm -- tim

Now that Governor Shumlin no longer supports a single-payer health plan under current economic conditions, opponents of that and the state's health care exchange are calling for the state to undo its own plan and piggyback onto the federal exchange. They say Vermont Health Connect is still unworkable for many Vermonters and that there is no end in sight to the skyrocketing cost of the VHC. Led by Representative Patti Komline (R-Dorset), and joined by colleagues from across the political spectrum, they are calling for Vermont to transition VHC to a federal-state exchange partnership.

BCBSVT online enrollment tool enables small businesses to renew their health plans

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 2:34pm -- tim

Nearly 1,000 small businesses renewing their qualified health plans for 2015 used a new online enrollment tool developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont to allow full employee choice among exchange products. According to the state's largest health insurer, the businesses were among 3,500 small employer groups that enrolled directly through Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The vast majority of the employers completed their renewals by December 10, allowing, it said, for timely processing, billing and distribution of member materials by their January 1 effective dates.