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McClaughry: The governor’s 'productive' legislative session

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 3:24am -- tim

by John McClaughry Governor Peter Shumlin proclaimed this year’s legislative session to be “one of the most productive sessions that I can remember.” To others that appears as a new frontier in spin, possibly coupled with a bit of amnesia. Let’s review the report card.

Going into the session in January, the state’s General Fund for 2016 faced a projected $113 million deficit. The legislature cut $53 million out of the governor’s budget request. This was hailed as a new era of public frugality.

Vermont out-of-state inmates moving to Michigan

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 1:45pm -- tim

The state of Vermont will be moving all of its out-of-state inmates to another private corrections firm in Michigan. The two-year, $30.4 million contract with The GEO Group Inc, will move all 319 inmates from private facilities in Kentucky and Arizona, which should save Vermont about $2,055 per inmate per year. The GEO Group (NYSE: GEO) announced Wednesday that the signing of a contract with the Vermont Department of Corrections for the out-of-state housing of up to 675 inmates at the company-owned North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin, Michigan.

Farm and food student leaders to arrive in Vermont for whirlwind study tour

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 6:57am -- tim

Leaders from across the nation who are studying how communities source, grow, process, purchase, and contemplate food will soon arrive in the Green Mountain State for the inaugural three-week Vermont Food Systems Summer Study Tour, May 31 – June 20. One of the only study tours of its kind in the world, students will earn transferable credits while accessing a “movable feast” of Vermont food systems education. 

BioTek recognized as finalist for Department of Defense’s top employer award

Sat, 05/23/2015 - 5:37am -- tim

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) office, announced BioTek Instruments Inc of Winooski, Vermont as a finalist for the 2015 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The award is the DoD’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of National Guard and Reserve employees. The top 30 employers were selected from a pool of 2,960 nominations submitted earlier this year by National Guard and Reserve service members.

Rutland man wins GMP-Zetterstrom Environmental Award

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 3:34pm -- tim

A Rutland man who has devoted four decades to protecting birds and the environment was presented the GMP-Zetterstrom Environmental Award today. Roy Pilcher, who founded Rutland County Audubon and has served as president and in other lead roles for more than 40 years, was presented with the award during a ceremony at the West Rutland Marsh, an Audubon Important Bird Area, a designation Pilcher was instrumental in obtaining.

The annual award, named for famed osprey advocate Meeri Zetterstrom, comes with $2,500 to support Rutland County Audubon’s ongoing work.

Berkshire Bank parent to acquire Firestone Financial

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 2:10pm -- tim

Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc (NYSE: BHLB) announced today the signing of a definitive agreement for the acquisition of privately held Firestone Financial Corp as an operating subsidiary of Berkshire Bank. Based in Needham, Massachusetts, Firestone is a longstanding commercial specialty finance company providing secured installment loan equipment financing for small and medium-sized businesses. Berkshire Hills is the parent company of Berkshire Bank, with offices in southwestern Vermont.

President nominates Burlington attorney Eric Miller to be Vermont’s next US attorney

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 7:59am -- tim

US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on Thursday said that President Obama will nominate Burlington attorney Eric Miller to be Vermont’s next United States Attorney. Leahy recommended Miller in February to serve as Vermont’s 37th United States Attorney, managing the US Department of Justice’s US Attorney offices in Burlington and Rutland and overseeing the work of nearly 20 attorneys who represent the United States in criminal and civil investigations and litigation in Vermont

Vermont Bankers Association endorses ICBA Securities

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 3:13am -- tim

ICBA Securities Inc, the broker-dealer subsidiary of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), announced Thursday that it has received the endorsement of the Vermont Bankers Association Inc. (VBA). VBA is the 38th state banking association to endorse the services of ICBA Securities, which provides fixed-income investment products and services to community banks.