Green Mountain Power, GW Plastics and Instrumart are vying for Vermont's most prestigious business award. One of these finalists will be named the Deane C Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year on Wednesday, May 22.
Vermont had the fifth highest per pupil public school spending in the country in 2011, but, typical of high-spending states, the third lowest funding coming from the federal government, according to the US Census. School spending went up 4.3 percent in Vermont from 2010. Meanwhile, fiscal year 2011 marked the first decrease in per student public education spending nationally since the US Census Bureau began collecting data on an annual basis in 1977, according to new statistics released today.
Vermont Attorney General William H Sorrell announced today that Vermont homeowners have received $14.7 million in foreclosure relief benefits during the first year of the 2012 state-federal settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Residential Capital (GMAC/Ally). The settlement addressed foreclosure abuses and unacceptable nationwide mortgage servicing practices.
by Andrew Stein, vtdigger.org - The Portland Pipe Line Corporation says an Act 250 land-use coordinator didn’t give the company a fair shake when issuing a jurisdictional opinion saying the board has oversight of a prospective project. The company’s attorney also says the decision was based on “misleading” and “incorrect” information.
by Andrew Stein, vtdigger.org - Almost two weeks before Entergy Corporation and the state of Vermont are set to meet in federal court, a Public Service Board officer recommended giving the owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant what it wants: a permit for a backup generator.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) on Tuesday announced that Vermont will receive $6.3 million in federal grants from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), up from $5.7 million last year. The grants – under a formula championed by Leahy that protects smaller states like Vermont - will help Vermont develop prevention and preparedness programs to respond to and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events.
by Nat Rudarakanchana May 20, 2013 www.vtdigger.org Lawmakers helped state businesses this session by mitigating some impacts of Tropical Storm Irene and by tweaking laws regarding the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund, which pays benefits to the unemployed.
The Lake Champlain Basin Program has released the report Flood Resilience in the Lake Champlain Basin and Upper Richelieu River. The report presents results of an LCBP flood conference held in 2012 at the request of Vermont Governor Shumlin and Québec’s (former) Premier Charest, following the spring 2011 flooding of Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River Valley.
by Alicia Freese May 20, 2013 vtdigger.org A decade of lengthy and divisive debate ended Monday when Vermont became the first state in the US to enact legislation allowing terminally ill patients to obtain medication to help them end their lives.
In a room jam-packed with lawmakers and supporters of the so-called physician-assisted death bill, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law S77, which takes effect immediately.
Vermont State Parks announces the annual opening of its summer operating season this weekend. The Memorial Day holiday, the unofficial beginning of summer, also marks the beginning of the prime season for all 52 state parks. Officials are optimistic that this year’s park visitation will at least match last year's 20 year record.
Janet Gorman McCarthy, the ninth president of Lyndon State College, passed away on May 15 at her home in South Dennis, Mass., with her family by her side. She was 76 years old. McCarthy - - who the Lyndon community will recognize as Murphy - - was president from 1977 to 1983.
American Debt Counseling, Inc, a Florida company that provides debt reduction programs and credit counseling to consumers, will refund almost $4,000 in fees to Vermont consumers and pay the State of Vermont $10,000 to settle claims that the company violated Vermont consumer protection laws.
Representatives of the Merchants Bank, The Fund for North Bennington and the Preservation Trust of Vermont announced today that the Bank has donated its 1864 building in the center of North Bennington Village to the two nonprofit organizations.
by the Public Assets Institute, Montpelier May 17, 2013 Vermont’s employment picture was essentially unchanged from March to April. The unemployment rate, labor force, and non-farm jobs all ticked down, but only slightly. Comparing this April to the same month in previous years, the recent trend shows a steady decline in the number of Vermonters who report having jobs, even while the unemployment rate was dropping.
by Andrew Stein May 19, 2013 vtdigger.org When Cigna disclosed its claims denials and executive compensation to the state, the publicly traded health insurance company revealed the highest rejection rate in Vermont. Its 2012 filing also contained some key inconsistencies.
Green Mountain Power and NRG Residential Solar Solutions, part of NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) based in New Jersey, have signed a groundbreaking agreement to pilot a central solar lease program in Rutland, Vermont. The agreement includes the development of two 150-kilowatt solar projects by NRG in the city, adding to GMP’s Solar Capital initiative, and a new NRG office downtown.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT) was joined by Governor Peter Shumlin Monday to announce the opening of the BCBSVT Information and Wellness Center in the Blue Mall in South Burlington. The BCBSVT Information and Wellness Center is an important part of the company’s comprehensive outreach effort to support and assist Vermonters in their transition into Vermont’s new health benefits exchange – Vermont Health Connect, later this year.
Vermont Speaker of the House Shap Smith made the following statement at the end of the 2013 legislative session.
“This week, the legislature completed a successful first half of the biennium. We have recognized that in times of great uncertainty it is our responsibility to make investments in the state that will make it stronger. These have included investments in our communities, in our infrastructure, and in our people.
by Nat Rudarakanchana May 19, 2013 vtdigger.org An attempt to regulate police Taser use and training more closely stalled, despite calls from advocates and relatives of victims of Taser use. The House Government Operations Committee decided it needed more time to address the concerns of police, who feared regulators would micromanage the use of an effective weapon.
University of Vermont President E Thomas Sullivan today announced his decision to appoint David V Rosowsky, dean of the School of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, as Provost and Senior Vice President, beginning August 1, 2013.
Results of Vermont Electric Cooperative’s (VEC) director elections and proposed bylaw amendment were announced during the Cooperative’s 75th Annual Meeting held at Smugglers’ Notch on Saturday, May 18, 2013.
Eighteen candidates vied for three seats with four-year terms on VEC’s board of directors. The results are as follows:
Governor Peter Shumlin announced today that an innovative collaboration to address much needed wireless service is fully operational in Bethel. Working together, the State of Vermont, the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA), the Town of Bethel, AT&T and FairPoint helped solve a challenge facing GW Plastics, a leading manufacturer of plastic injection molded products. The lack of cell coverage was presenting challenges, and Brenan Riehl, President and CEO of GW Plastics, need
The Greater Burlington YMCA was selected as one of 14 YMCA's across the country to lead Pioneering Healthier Communities (PHC) - an initiative that addresses the childhood obesity epidemic in its region through policy, sytems and environmental change. Following a successful completion of a competitive application process, the Greater Burlington YMCA was awarded a $250,000 program grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
New unemployment claims in Vermont fell again last week to below 700, the lowest level this spring. For the week of May 11, 2013, there were 679 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont. This is a decrease of 243 from the previous week's total, and 53 fewer than they were a year ago.
The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for April 2013 was 4.0 percent. This represents a decline of one-tenth of a percent from the prior month’s estimate of 4.1 percent. The comparative national average was 7.5 percent which was down one-tenth of a percent from March. April 2013 represents the ninth consecutive month without an increase to the unemployment rate in Vermont. As of the prior month’s data, Vermont’s unemployment rate was the third lowest in the country.
Commercials for Westaff and Allen Pools and Spas were the winners of the Best in Show awards announced May 16 at the Vermont Association of Broadcasters annual convention in Montpelier.
Mt. Mansfield Media of Colchester won the Best in Show award for television for a commercial for Westaff entitled, “SH@! Bad Employees Do.” Mt. Mansfield also won the award for best produced agency television commercial for another Westaff commercial, “When Bad Employees Go Viral.”
by Anne Galloway May 16, 2013 vtdigger.org A little-known, six-paragraph provision that passed in the Senate just five hours before adjournment on Tuesday could lay the groundwork for significant changes in the way business is conducted at the Vermont Statehouse.