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Vermont AG announces $1 million T-Mobile cramming settlement

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 2:37pm -- tim

T-Mobile USA, Inc has reached a global settlement on mobile cramming with Vermont and 49 other states, the District of Columbia, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission. “Cramming” is the placement of unauthorized third-party charges on a telephone bill. Together with the settlement with AT&T Mobility announced in October, this resolves the issue of mobile cramming for nearly half of Vermont’s cell-phone users.

Poll shows broad support for South Burlington City Center, move of Marcotte Central School

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 2:31pm -- tim

Recent polling data conducted by Braun Research on behalf of Saxon Partners, a real estate development firm, shows broad community support for the creation of a new South Burlington City Center, with additional support for the sale of the Marcotte Central School site to a developer who would provide significant funding to help bring the long-delayed project to fruition. SEE RESULTS BELOW

Governor Shumlin: Now is not the time to move to a publicly financed health care system in Vermont

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 1:23pm -- tim

by Governor Peter Shumlin Earlier this week, I made one of the most difficult decisions of my public life when I announced that I cannot support a move to a publicly-financed health care system in Vermont at this time. I have advocated for such a system for much of my public life, but over the past two weeks it has become clear to me that the risks and economic shocks of moving forward at this time are too great.

Vermont Gas postpones Rutland phase of pipeline project, new cost for Middlebury leg up to $154 million

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 11:48am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Don Rendall, the incoming CEO of Vermont Gas Systems (VGS), today announced a reset of the Company’s Addison Rutland Natural Gas project. The company will ask the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) to postpone hearings on Phase II of the project, scheduled to begin in January. The company will also file with the PSB a revised cost estimate for Phase 1 of the project, from Burlington to Middlebury. The Middlebury phase is now estimated at $154 million from its original $86 million. This is the second cost estimate increase.

Vermont unemployment rate falls one-tenth to 4.3 percent in November

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 11:02am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine All key indicators showed small improvement last month as the labor situation showed marked improvement for the first time in several months. The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for November 2014 was 4.3 percent. This represents a decrease of one-tenth of a percent from the revised October rate (4.4 percent). The equivalent national average was 5.8 percent, which experienced no change from the previous month’s estimate.

Largest single roof top solar array in Vt installed at Randolph farm

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 6:40am -- tim

Randolph, Vermont, December 17, 2014– Aegis Renewable Energy installed the largest single rooftop solar array in the state at Ayers Brook Goat Dairy in Randolph, VT owned by Vermont Creamery. Generating 200,000 kWh of electricity per year, the array will power the farm and send excess energy through the GMP-Green Mountain Power regional grid to offset electricity used at the Creamery’s cheese making facility.

Bennington College students help community increase energy efficiency, battle climate change

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 4:38am -- tim

EPA has released a short video that applauds the voluntary efforts of a professor and students at Bennington College to help their local community combat climate issues by analyzing energy use of municipal streetlights and working with the local power utility to dramatically increase efficiency, saving the town thousands of dollars and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

UVM staff votes against union representation

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 7:41pm -- tim

By a vote of 335 to 303, University of Vermont staff members chose not to be represented by the Vermont State Employees Association union. A simple majority of employees who participated in the December 16-17 election was required to determine the outcome.

The proposed bargaining unit approved by the Vermont Labor Relations Board consisted of approximately 760 employees in administrative/clerical, technical and specialist positions. The unit did not include temporary employees; work-study students; or employees in supervisory, confidential or management positions.

Recent credit upgrade saves BTV $1 million in revenue bond refinancing

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 4:03pm -- tim

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger and Director of Aviation Gene Richards today announced the successful closing of a $15.7 million revenue bond refinancing for Burlington International Airport (BTV), saving the Airport nearly $1 million.  A lower interest rate, increased savings, reduced debt load, and improved cash flow were made possible through the recent Moody’s Investors Service credit rating upgrade from “junk” bond status to investment grade – the first upgrade in more than four years.

Shumlin will NOT support single-payer health insurance, says tax hike 'might hurt our economy'

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 3:06pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin announced today that tax rates would be too great at this time to move forward with a single-payer health insurance plan. A long-time supporter of moving to a universal, publicly-financed health care system in Vermont, the governor said he would not support such a plan at this time. He detailed his administration’s health care financing report, set to be delivered to the Legislature in January, at a press conference in the State House Wednesday afternoon.

Trey Martin named deputy secretary of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 2:13pm -- tim

ANR Secretary Deb Markowitz has announced that William L "Trey" Martin III will become the new Deputy Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. Martin will replace Justin Johnson, who leaves the Agency in January to become Governor Shumlin’s Secretary of Administration. Martin is set to start on January 2, 2015. Martin, who currently serves as Senior Counsel for Government Affairs for the Agency’s Department of Environmental Conservation, has been with the ANR since 2012.

FairPoint responds to public letter from Governor Peter Shumlin

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 1:05pm -- tim

FairPoint Communications, Inc CEO Paul Sunu today sent the following letter to Governor Peter Shumlin in response to the governor's public letter dated December 12, 2014. Vermont's congressional delegation sent an open letter to Sunu yesterday. The governor and the delegation urged the two sides to get back to the bargaining table and pointedly stated that FairPoint must do more to find a solution to the strike that began October 22. The contracts with unions expired in August and FairPoint subsequently implemented a new benefit plan.

LETTER FROM PAUL SUNU

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