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Vermont Public Service Department and FairPoint reach agreement on interim repair priority protocols

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 4:10pm -- tim

As of today, the Department of Public Service has received in excess of 700 complaints regarding FairPoint Communication’s service since the work stoppage began in October. “The Department has grave concerns regarding the number of customers who appear to be experiencing serious delays in repair of service and we believe immediate remedial action is necessary,” said Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia. Today, the Department proposed, and FairPoint has agreed, to implement measures designed to ensure timely repairs for those most vulnerable without phone service.

Leahy commends US Attorney Tristram Coffin for years of service to Vermont

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 3:55pm -- tim

US Attorney Tristram Coffin on Friday announced that he will be leaving his position next month after serving as Vermont’s top federal prosecutor since 2009. US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) praised Coffin for his years of service, and he committed to working quickly to find a highly qualified nominee to serve as Vermont’s next US Attorney. Coffin announced his plan to return to private practice and join the Vermont law firm Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC. DRM Managing Partner Paul H.

Vermont storm damage assessment expanded to 12 counties

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 3:28pm -- tim

The Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) has asked for an expansion of a Preliminary Damage Assessment by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to include eight additional counties.  The added counties are Addison, Caledonia, Essex, Grand Isle, Orange, Rutland, Washington, and Windsor.  The assessment initially included Chittenden, Franklin, Lamoille, and Orleans counties.

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 phase 2 of technical hearings, 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.