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Handheld cell phone ban begins WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 1

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 5:15pm -- tim

The ban takes effect Wednesday, October 1, 2014 and covers all portable electronic devices, including, music players, laptop computers, and cellular telephones. Hands-free use is permitted under the law, and hands-free means without the use of either hand and outside the immediate proximity of the user’s ear, by employing an internal feature—such as Bluetooth, for example—or as long as the device is in a cradle or otherwise securely mounted in the vehicle.

Construction under way on solar project at National Life Group

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 5:01pm -- tim

A 500 kilowatt solar power project currently under construction on the grounds of National Life Group is expected to go on line by the end of the year and will generate a significant portion of the company’s electricity. The new project will be part of the state’s net metering program, as an existing 70 kW rooftop system on the company’s roof is, feeding power onto the electrical grid while replacing reliance on fossil fuel. The 10,000 megawatts per year that the two systems will produce represents more than 15 percent of the company’s power demand.

BMH collaborates with Winstanley on 500 kw solar development

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 12:02pm -- tim

Winstanley Solar Development (WSD) and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (BMH) have announced an agreement to collaborate on the construction and operation of a 500 kilowatt solar power array on land owned by Winstanley Enterprises.  The electricity generated by this array will serve the main BMH hospital building, and generate significant savings for BMH over the 20-year term of the agreement.

Shire Pharmaceuticals to pay Vermont $79,878 to resolve marketing allegations involving drugs for ADHD

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 11:45am -- tim

Vermont will collect $79,878 in restitution and other recoveries as its share of a national $56.5 million civil settlement with Shire Pharmaceuticals, LLC to resolve allegations that the company unlawfully marketed five of its drugs, Adderall XR, Vyvance, Daytrana, Lialda and Pentasa, resulting in overpayments by Vermont Medicaid and other government healthcare programs. Specifically, it is alleged that Shire:

Vermont ACOs didn’t earn federal incentive rewards in year one of payment reform program

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 8:43am -- tim

by Morgan True Health care networks in Vermont known as accountable care organizations (ACOs) didn’t exceed savings targets for treating Medicare patients by enough to receive incentive payments in the first year of a federal initiative to reduce spending and improve care.

Project Independence finds new life at Gifford

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 5:31am -- tim

The state’s first adult day center, Project Independence, got its start in Barre in 1975 when a nursing home activity director, Lindsey Wade, recognized an opportunity to do things better and more cost effectively. Wade encountered nursing home residents who didn’t seem to medically belong there. Others were visiting the nursing home daily for the social interaction. Wade had an idea. The area needed an adult day care and not a medical model adult day, but a social model – something that didn’t exist anywhere else in the country.

McClaughry: Health care mutual aid

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 3:47am -- tim

by John McClaughry A recurring argument of those favoring a government takeover of any large sector of the economy - such as health care - is “the free market has failed!”  These people are invariably oblivious to the effects of a hundred years of government intervention that has restricted what a free market might otherwise achieve.


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont’s first Wednesday free wellness flu shots

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 3:37am -- tim

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont’s (BCBSVT) First Wednesday Wellness for the month of October will take place on October 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. BCBSVT will host the free event at their Information and Wellness Center located in the Blue Mall at 150 Dorset Street in South Burlington. BCBSVT will provide free flu vaccinations in place of the normally provided biometric screenings offered at their First Wednesday Wellness events. The flu shots are free for all participants 18 and older, regardless of their insurance status. Those without health insurance are welcome.

Welch wants to improve reimbursements for Vermont’s ambulance providers

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 3:13am -- tim

Last Thursday afternoon in Barre, Representative Peter Welch announced bipartisan legislation to improve Medicare reimbursements for ambulance services providers. Welch was joined at the press conference by Jim Finger, President of the Vermont Ambulance Association, Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon, and Joe Aldsworth, Deputy Chief of the Barre Fire Department.

Vermont’s Realtor survey shows 76 percent of Vermonters believe property taxes are too high

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 2:45pm -- tim

Today, Vermont Realtors announced the results of an August 2014 telephone survey of Vermont registered voters which demonstrates significant dissatisfaction with current property tax rates and increasing support for candidates who are committed to working towards meaningful property tax reform. VR has shared the results of the survey directly with candidates for office in an effort to initiate a dialogue about the need for property tax reform, and the level of importance this issue has for voters this election season.