Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP, a leading plaintiffs' firm based in San Diego, has announced the firm has secured a settlement of $50 million in cash for a class of TD Banknorth, Inc shareholders. Plaintiffs in a related action previously attempted to settle the case for under $3 million, or $.03 per TD Banknorth share. This victory for shareholders provides members of the class with an exponentially greater recovery than the related action was poised to provide before plaintiffs City of Dearborn Heights (MI) Act 345 Police & Fire Retirement System and H.
KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) today announced a first quarter net loss attributable to Key of $488 million, or $1.09 per common share, compared to net income attributable to Key of $218 million, or $.54 per diluted common share, for the first quarter of 2008. The loss for the current quarter was primarily the result of an increase in the provision for loan losses and a noncash accounting charge for intangible assets impairment.
In honor of Earth Day, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has announced winners of its challenege to find potential soucltions to climate change. More than 100 nonprofit organizations submitted proposals to address climate change in four specific areas: threats to coffee-growing cummunites, transportation-related emissions, building political will, and empowering individual action. The four winning nonprofits will each receive a $200,000 grant, payable over five years.
In a move to keep Vermont tax dollars at work, the State Treasurer’s Office has announced plans to make millions of dollars in short-term deposits available to area banks as a source of working capital. By utilizing a federal program designed to promote liquidity in the national economy, these deposits by the State will be fully guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or FDIC.
At the invitation of Rep. Peter Welch, Regulatory Assistance Project Director Richard Cowart will testify Thursday before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
The East Calais resident will be taking part in the first week of hearings on the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, a major climate change bill which includes legislation authored by Welch aiming to increase energy efficiency by 20 percent.
Senate President Peter Shumlin has outlined a revenue package to the Senate Finance Committee that will close the Capital Gains loophole and lower Vermonters' income taxes. The package includes many of the House's revenue provisions, increases cigarette, liquor and satellite taxes and closes the capital gains loophole to lower the marginal rates on all types of income for all taxpayers. Projected revenues from the package are roughly $25 million. Vermont is only one of nine states that has the capital gains loophole in place.
Early estimates indicate that Vermont based Apple retailer, Small Dog Electronics recycled 150 tons of e-waste at their third annual Earth Day E-Waste Event this year, and it didn’t cost the public a dime.Cars filled with old TVs, computers and electronic peripherals lined up as early as 8:00 am to recycle their electronics for free. In the end, 100 volunteers unloaded 1,700 cars. All of the electronics collected will be processed in the United States by WeRecycle! in one of their two processing plants in Connecticut and New York.
Pitney Bowes Business Insight, the leading global provider of location and communication intelligence solutions, and Earthsense, an applied marketing company, today released demographic insights into the top ten green US states. The research integrates information gathered with Pitney Bowes Business Insight geo-demographic solutions and Earthsense Eco-Insights green survey results. Vermont was ranked the greenest state, followed by Alaska and New Mexico.
The US Census Bureau is launching a nationwide operation to verify and update more than 145 million addresses as it prepares to conduct the 2010 Census. In Vermont, approximately 650 people will carry out the operation. It is the first publicly visible activity of the 2010 Census, and address-canvassing listers are expected to complete the canvassing by July 2.
Though some have called the 2008 economic situation bad enough to make it a historical pivot point for the world, 2009 is shaping up to be worse for Vermont, judging by the bankruptcy filings at the United States Bankruptcy Court in Rutland. In 2008, there were a total of 48 business bankruptcies and 1,218 consumer bankruptcies. If filings continue apace in 2009, business and consumer bankruptcies will total at 95 and 1,870, respectively.
The Senate today passed S. 154, a bill that will fully fund the town highway aid payments in April 2009. The Douglas Administration and the Legislature had previously agreed to withhold half of the $3 million, quarterly payment because of the state's fiscal situation. The state's Transportation Fund revenues continue to sag. The Transportation Fund in March was $400,000 below its target.
Governor Jim Douglas joined U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today to announce a $6.2 million federal grant to rehabilitate a runway at Edward F. Knapp State Airport in Barre. The project is estimated to create 54 direct and indirect jobs. The funds were made available by the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Secretary LaHood was also joined by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Lt. Governor Brian Dubie.
The Vermont Public Service Board on Thursday approved one of the largest wind power generating facilities in Vermont. The PSB issued a certificate of public good to Deerfield Wind LLC authorizing it to construct and operate a 15-turbine, 30-megawatt wind generation facility, and associated transmission and interconnection facilities, on approximately 80 acres in the Green Mountain National Forest, located in Searsburg and Readsboro.
The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2009 was 7.2 percent, up one-tenth of a point from the revised February rate and up 2.6 points from a year ago. Unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 4.3 percent in Hartford to 12.1 percent in Newport. Local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.
The International Center for Captive Insurance Education has announced a new series of accounting for captives online courses in May called "Accounting for Captives: Interpretation & Management Perspectives."
Darn Tough Vermont has announced that their military issue flame resistant Merino wool boot sock is to be included in the recently awarded Fire Resistant Environmental Ensemble known as the FREE Clothing System. This is a multilayered, versatile, insulating system that is adaptable to varying mission requirements and environmental conditions.
“Teaming up with Green Up is a win-win-win. Vermont wins, Green Up wins and the team mate wins,” reported Melinda Vieux, President of Green Up Vermont.
When Governor Deane Davis in 1970 proclaimed the first of its kind statewide clean-up, he was gratified by the resounding response to his call for a “volunteer army of thousands of citizens” to pick up roadside litter. Thirty-nine years later, Vermont’s forces continue to mobilize, with more than 15,000 expected for Green Up Day, Saturday May 2.
Senate leadership today recommended over $14 million worth of savings in labor costs. The Senate is opposed to Governor Douglas’ proposal to lay off an additional three hundred and twenty employees and asks the Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA) and the Douglas Administration to move forward with negotiations. Senate leadership has put forward the recommendations to the VSEA and the Administration and urges them to move forward with their negotiations. The Senate's recommendations include ten ongoing furlough days, freezing the cost-of-living increase a
Merchants Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq: MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, announced today that its Board of Directors declared a dividend of 28 cents per share, payable May 14, 2009, to shareholders of record as of April 30, 2009. Merchants plans to release earnings on or about April 29, 2009.
Governor Jim Douglas announced today that up to $6 million dollars in lower-rate operating loans will be made available through VEDA for farmers struggling during the economic downturn.
The loans, provided through State Fiscal Stabilization Funds in the Recovery Act, will provide working capital to farmers as they enter the busy planting season in the midst of a national credit squeeze. Volatile energy and commodity prices have caused further concern for the agricultural community in recent months.
Camels Hump Middle School is well on its way to hosting a $500,000 solar installation that could serve as a statewide model for power generation and renewable energy education. Thanks in large part to federal funding secured by Senator Sanders and grants from the state's Clean Energy Development Fund and Green Mountain Power, the Chittenden East school district will convert the roof of the 37 year-old school into a 72kW solar array.
The state of Vermont continues to have the lowest foreclosure rate in the country, according to a national rating firm. RealtyTrac(R)(http://www.realtytrac.com), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report(TM) for Q1 2009, which shows that foreclosure filings -- default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions -- were reported on 803,489 properties in the first quarter, a 9 percent increase from the previous quarter and an increase of nearly 24 percent from Q1 2008.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will today be holding two public sessions to discuss the criteria by which it awarded the Vermont Yankee power plant its highest rating – green. In its Annual Assessment Letter dated March 4, 2009, the NRC said that “overall, Vermont Yankee operated in a manner that preserved public health and safety and fully met all cornerstone objectives.”
The Vermont House gave final approval April 15 to legislation that will significantly increase the number of wetlands — nature’s water filters — that will be protected under Vermont law.
The bill, H.447, will require inaccurate state wetlands maps to be updated and also mandate better protections for wetlands.
US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) today announced Ascension Technology Corporation (Milton, VT) has been awarded a $2,359,000 USAF contract for additional development of its phasorBIRDTM optical tracker. phasorBIRD instantly tracks a pilot's head movements (using emitters on a helmet or headset) for target acquisition and reception of mission-critical information.
Burlington-based Blodgett Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial ovens, continues to expand its US presence through a new partnership with KFC. Blodgett will provide energy efficient ovens to over 5,000 KFC restaurants across the country to make KFC’s new Kentucky Grilled Chicken (KGC) product. With annual sales already over $71 million, and employing 160 local workers, Blodgett’s new deal with KFC is expected create more local jobs, according to information provided by the company.
The Board of Directors of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA) has appointed Diane Leach interim president of the Association. The appointment will become effective upon Molly Lambert's departure from the organization. Lambert has been recommended by Senator Patrick Leahy for appointment by President Obama as State Director for Rural Development for Vermont and New Hampshire.
The economist contracted by the Legislature for consultation and analysis has sent a scathing report back to the Joint Fiscal Office in regards to a bill before the Senate Finance Committee called "Vermont Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (S.137)." Tom Kavet is an economist from Williamstown. As part of his introduction, he says, "Virtually none of the proposed programs that reduce revenues or increase spending represent any net economic stimulus benefit to the State." He questions essentially all of the measures as benefitting near-term economic stimulus.
Union Bankshares, Inc. (Nasdaq:UNB) today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009. The Company reported net Income of $1.27 million or $.28 per share compared to $1.41 million or $0.31 per share for the comparable period in 2008.
Congressman Peter Welch announced a $792,000 federal grant Wednesday to fund the acquisition of mountaineering equipment for the Vermont National Guard. Welch made the announcement at the Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, alongside Brigadier General John Farnham. Vermont’s 86th IBCT (MTN) is the U.S. Army’s only conventional unit designated as a Mountain Infantry Brigade.