The Northfield Savings Bank Foundation has announced a $450,000 grant to continue its work with the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger (VTCECH) for an additional three years. This brings the Foundation’s total six-year commitment to VTCECH to $900,000.
Sixteen Vermont firms were given recognition today by Governor Jim Douglas for keeping employees safe in their workplaces. Three firms captured the top awards, while nine were presented with certificates of recognition. Four other firms were among the finalists for the prestigious Governor’s Award for Outstanding Workplace Safety.
Last Friday representatives from France and Vermont announced a joint cultural exchange that build on the many facets of the strong French-American connection. The primary purpose of the event was to introduce the Vermont chefs who will be traveling to France this summer as part of the first 4-14 Festival, a cultural exchange meant to bring together the food and the music of the two countries. The name of the event derives from the independence days of the two countries: the fourth of July for the United States, and Bastille Day (July 14) for France.
Next fall, the Lyndon State College Meteorology Department will welcome students with a new name, in new space, with completely networked computer labs and a new curriculum. The department will be known as the Atmospheric Sciences Department and will offer new courses that include a multi-faceted emphasis on weather, weather-related sciences and weather applications.
Week Ending May 9, 2009. There were 1,069 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, a decrease of 35 from the week before. Altogether 16,521 new and continuing claims were filed, 1,484 less than a week ago and 7,848 more than a year earlier. The Department also processed 2,374 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 109 more than a week ago. In addition, there were 1,350 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program which is an increase of 8 from the week before.
Following on the sale of its Northern New England landline business last year, Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) announced today that it has agreed to sell most of the rest of its rural telephone services to Frontier Communications (NYSE:
The state has given the Town of Milton a green light for its Tax Increment Financing District, a move that will allow the town to keep some of the property taxes generated by new development to fund infrastructure instead of sending them all to the state.
Long-time WCAX-TV news director and anchor Marselis “Div” Parson is retiring, it was announced today, and former WCAX reporter Anson Tebbetts will rejoin the South Burlington television station and take over Parsons’ off-air duties. Tebbetts currently is deputy secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. Tebbetts will take over as news director, but will not be the regular news anchor.
The Vermont Ski Museum is pleased to announce the 2009 Inductees into the Vermont Ski Museum Hall of Fame: Bill Beck, Erlon "Bucky" Broomhall, Suzy Chaffee, and Bobo Sheehan. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to honor athletes, special contributors, and pioneers of Vermont skiing who promoted and/or contributed to the sport of skiing in Vermont; to document the histories of Inductees in the Museum's collection; and to recognize their accomplishments through the Induction ceremony and the Hall of Fame exhibit.
The Council on the Future of Vermont yesterday released its final report: Imagining Vermont: Values and Vision for the Future. The report was part of a two-year project undertaken by the Vermont Council on Rural Development. The report was presented at the "Summit on the Future of Vermont" held at the University of Vermont. The project was intended to find out what Vermonters wanted for their future. More than 3,900 people offered their input.
On May 8, one Lyndon State College professor and two undergraduate students landed in Norman, OK, where they are part of what is being called the largest and most ambitious tornado study in history. The study is sponsored by the National Science Foundation with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
TD Banknorth recently surprised the Lawrence Barnes Elementary School in Burlington with a $5,000 donation through the TD Charitable Foundation, the bank's charitable giving arm. The funds were donated in celebration of National Library Week, April 12-18, and will help the school's library purchase new books and technology resources, and support existing library programs.
A Summit on the Future of Vermont is scheduled for May 11 (yesterday) at the University of Vermont. The summit is the final step in a nearly two year long effort by the Vermont Council on Rural Development to take the temperature of today’s Vermont and plan for tomorrow’s Vermont. VCRD created the Council on the Future of Vermont to accomplish this task. I was one of the members and truly enjoyed the opportunity to listen to Vermonters talk about Vermont. The Council heard from some 4,000 Vermonters in one form or another.
Northfield Savings Bank (NSB) continued its strong financial performance in 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 as evidenced by asset growth, strong capitalization and consistent earnings.
Total assets at year end were $588 million, an increase of $25.5 million or 4.5% from 2007. Capital increased to $71.7 million on net income of $2.9 million. The Bank’s capital remains more than twice the regulatory requirement to be considered “well capitalized.”
Vermont’s business community is comprised of a myriad of companies, both large and small that provide economic stability to the state. This community offers quality jobs, products and services to consumers in Vermont, the United States and world-wide and holds a strong grasp on employee well-being representative of the Vermont quality of life.
The Legislature finally adjourned late Saturday night after passing a $4.5 billion budget. Governor Douglas had urged lawmakers to reduce appropriations to ease the tax burden during this recession. Legislative leaders countered that the recession itself was leading to greater demand on state services because of unemployment and that state spending, much like the federal stimulus plan intends, could help support the economic activity.
Vermont’s congressional delegation announced today $2 million in “Brownfields” grants for the state. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said the Environmental Protection Agency funding, $400,000 of which came from the economic stimulus plan, will go towards clean up of and reinvestment in properties blighted by hazardous waste.
At approximately 2:30 p.m. today FairPoint Communications restored access to its customer service call centers. Customers are now able to call the Consumer, Small Business or Repair Service Centers. The company appreciates its customers’ patience while they worked through this problem. FairPoint will increase the number of technicians working over the weekend to respond to any backlog of customer service reports resulting from the call center outage.
The Vermont House is expected to take up the $4.5 billion state budget either today or tomorrow, with a possible legislative adjournment tomorrow. However, Governor Douglas is expected to veto the budget bill if it comes to him in its current form, which is also expected. Even though the bill cuts income taxes across the board ($22 million total reduction), the governor has stated that he does not support the increase in overall spending and that total taxes are increasing $26 million, most of which is being bourn by the statewide property tax.
The US Department of Labor today released $101 million to help states provide career training, job search and relocation assistance to U.S. workers who lose their jobs for trade-related reasons. Vermont's total base allocation is $328,825. New Hampshire's allocation is $564,903. Provided to 41 states, this money is the balance of the fiscal year (FY) 2009 Trade Adjustment Assistance(TAA) base allocations that were announced in October 2008. The Labor Department previously had provided $88 million for TAA activities under the federal government's continuing resolution.
With new border crossing requirements coming on June 1, state officials are urging businesses to get enhanced identification cards for employees who regularly travel to Canada. Starting June 1, the federal Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) will require WHTI-approved documents for entry to the United States. That means that most U.S. citizens entering the United States by sea or land will need a passport, passport card, or WHTI-compliant document like a Vermont Enhanced Drivers License (EDL).
The Legislature has included in the state budget language intended to keep open the prison in St Johnsbury. Among the Douglas Administration's budget reduction proposals was closing the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility and laying off most of the employees. The inmates likely would be sent to prisons out of state. It costs the state less to pay another state to house inmates than to incarcerate them in Vermont. The House and Senate Appropriations Conference Committee included language that would require the governor to get legislative approval before he could close the prison.
The Department of Labor announced today that it will begin paying Federal-State extended unemployment compensation program benefits (EB) next week. EB provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment compensation to eligible unemployed workers. Vermont is joining 26 other states that have triggered on the EB program. As part of the federal stimulus package, the federal government will pick up all of the EB costs.
Currently Vermont’s three month average unemployment rate is 7.03 percent.
The US Army Contracting Command in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, has awarded General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products an order of approximately $37 million to produce reactive armor tile sets for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Deliveries are expected to begin in December 2009. General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products is a business unit of General Dynamics. The program will be managed from General Dynamics' Burlington Technology Center in Vermont.
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) has announced it has been awarded a $10,000 challenge grant from the Castanea Foundation.
Castanea’s grant will help support the launch of the VSJF’s flexible capital which will provide flexible risk capital to growth companies in Vermont’s natural resource and renewable energy sectors.
Yesterday, on a voice vote, the Vermont Senate passed legislation that studies alternatives to chloramine in drinking water. The bill, a revised version of H. 80, outlines an engineering study of disinfection methods that the Champlain Water District (CWD) and other water districts in the state could use instead of processes that rely on chloramine as a secondary disinfectant.
The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) today announced that 30 schools will receive a total of $170,000 in Planning and Program Development grants through the Agency’s Safe Routes to School program. Competition for funding was solid, as VTrans received 13 applications representing 35 schools for a total request of $225,000.