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Vermont unemployment rate holds at 4.4 percent in October

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 10:36am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine For the first time in several months, the number of employed and the labor force both grew, both from the prior month and from the prior year, with both the adjusted and unadjusted numbers showing progress, despite an increase in the number of unemployed. The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for October 2014 was 4.4 percent. This represents no change from the revised September rate (4.4 percent).

Geoffrey Hesslink appointed CEO of Merchants Bank

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 10:18am -- tim

Merchants Bancshares, Inc (NASDAQ: MBVT), President and CEO, Michael R Tuttle, announced today the appointment of Geoffrey R Hesslink as the 13th President and CEO of Merchants' main operating subsidiary, Merchants Bank, effective January 1, 2015.  Merchants is based in South Burlington, Vermont. Hesslink currently serves as Merchants Bank's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. The Board of Directors of Merchants Bank voted to approve this appointment at their meeting on November 20, 2014.

USDA awards nearly $500,000 to four Vermont school districts to expand virtual learning network

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 5:35am -- tim

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Thursday that schools in Bennington County, Franklin County, Rutland County, Windham County, Caledonia County and Orange County will use a $498,856 grant to connect students and teachers across the state using technology. The USDA Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant will allow 19 schools to purchase videoconferencing equipment and new software to give students and teachers virtual access to classes and professional development opportunities unavailable in their own school district.

FairPoint strikers rally at Vermont State House

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 5:06pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine FairPoint strikers are mounted two actions on Thursday, including on the steps of the State House in Montpelier. The strike is more than a month old and a group of bitter union workers endured bitter cold to state their case. A recent mediation session in Boston was short and fruitless. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin joined IBEW President Edwin D Hill in headlining the rally in Montpelier. Meanwhile, a delegation of workers and allies were in Boston protesting against the telecom company’s biggest shareholder.

Franklin County dairy farm pays $40,000 for agriculture water quality violations

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 4:26pm -- tim

Leach Farms, Inc, a dairy farm in Enosburg Falls has admitted to violations of Vermont’s water pollution law and agricultural practice regulations and will pay forty thousand dollars ($40,000.00) in civil penalties for the water quality violations. This matter was investigated by the Compliance and Enforcement Division at the Department of Environmental Conservation. The matter was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office working cooperatively with the Agency of Natural Resources and Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

New company to bring energy savings within reach for underserved markets

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 4:17pm -- tim

The Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) today announced the launch of Commons Energy L3C, a new subsidiary to help underserved markets such as hospitals, schools and other public entities to reduce their energy and water costs. Commons Energy is being launched with an initial capitalization of $6.5 million, including a $5 million “impact investment” from the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation focused on multi-family housing.

2014/2015 ISO Winter Outlook: Sufficient power supplies expected, gas pipeline constraints could raise prices

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 4:04pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Natural gas demand is likely to remain high, along with prices, just as the region has lost capacity with the shutdown of nuclear, oil and coal fired power plants. However, even if there is a period of extended cold weather, while prices could be high for electricity and home heating, there is unlikely to be an energy shortage.

Burlington College approves MOU for sale of land to developer Eric Farrell

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 2:38pm -- tim

The Board of Trustees at Burlington College approved on November 14 a memorandum of understanding with Eric Farrell for the sale of 25 acres of land on the main campus and two properties located about a mile from the campus. The vote was unanimous of those board members in attendance. This sale of land is, in essence, a complicated four-party transaction that has two types of distinct and different purchase structures: a sale to a developer or a sale to a conservation group. 

Entergy Vermont Yankee issues WARN notices, to layoff 165 workers

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 9:16am -- tim

Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee on Wednesday filed notices with the Vermont Department of Labor and  the Town of Vernon that 165 employees will experience an employment loss starting on January 19, 2015. Entergy announced in August 2013 that Vermont Yankee would  permanently cease operations by the end of 2014. Even though Entergy announced  the plant closure last year, Entergy is issuing notices to employees and local officials now to ensure compliance with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

State offers incentives to develop solar energy programs in Windham County

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 8:40am -- tim

The Vermont Public Service Department (PSD) and its Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) seek proposals from qualified financial institutions with a physical presence in Windham County that offer loans to residential customers interested in development of the Windham County Solar Finance Program (SF). The SF Program seeks to accelerate the deployment of solar energy technologies including solar PV and solar hot water in Windham County.

Clean Energy Development Fund releases RFP for $1.6 million modern wood heating program for Windham County

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 5:14am -- tim

The Public Service Department’s Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) released Wednesday a request for proposals (RFP) to design and administer a modern wood heating program in, and for the benefit of, Windham County, Vermont.  The CEDF has allocated $1.6 million of the funds reserved for Windham County for the creation of a modern wood heating program focused on installing efficient wood pellet/chip heating systems in schools and municipal buildings in Windham County.

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