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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Governor Peter Shumlin announced today that Paul Dupre of Barre, Executive Director of Washington County Mental Health Services, Inc (WCMHS), will become the new state Commissioner of Mental Health. Dupre has worked closely with the Department of Mental Health, the Vermont Council of Developmental and Mental Health Services, consumers, families and advocates in developing and implementing a recovery philosophy in community settings. He replaces Acting Commissioner Mary Moulton, who will return to her previous position at WCMHS.
A dedication ceremony for the Lattie F Coor House, newly named in honor of one of the University of Vermont’s longest serving and most successful presidents, was held Thursday on the front lawn of the building at 438 College Street, the administrative home of UVM’s College of Arts and Sciences. Coor, a legendary figure who served as UVM
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) says $2.2 million in milk program safety net payments are arriving just as Vermont dairy farmers need them most, as spring planting begins. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) this week announced the payments under the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program that provides support in months when the price that farmers are paid for their milk drops while production costs remain high.
Senator Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) amendment to make significant improvements to the job-creating EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center program was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday during the panel’s third day of debate and votes on the comprehensive immigration reform bill. The amendment was filed to the bipartisan immigration reform bill by Leahy, who chairs the Judiciary Committee.
Marlboro College has announced its 66th graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 19 will feature Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin addressing the 62 graduates from the Class of 2013.
“Governor Shumlin is an ideal choice to address our thoughtful, motivated, and well-prepared graduates this year,” said college president Ellen McCulloch-Lovell. “He is keenly aware of the talents our graduates possess and the importance of utilizing those precious skills in a democratic society.”
by vtdigger.org On October 1, the state is slated to open the doors to Vermont Health Connect, Vermont’s new health insurance marketplace. Three months later, on January 1, 2014, the web-based exchange will become the sole insurance marketplace for an estimated 118,000 Vermonters, who purchase individual plans or work for businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
Three destinations have joined the Vermont Attractions Association (VAA) as businesses gear up for the busy summer season. The newest attraction members in Vermont’s premier vacation lineup are Fresh Tracks Farm Vineyard & Winery in Berlin, Hidden Springs Maple in Putney and Rockledge Farm Woodworks in Reading.
Mayor Miro Weinberger today held his “Way to Go!” multi-modal tour during which he promoted through his own actions various active transportation options as alternatives to driving a single occupancy vehicle. Weinberger’s modes of transportation included walking, riding the bus, cycling, and car-sharing. Engaging in these healthier, more eco-friendly, and less expensive forms of transportation reduces our commuter carbon footprints. At the tour’s end, Weinberger unveiled the
Senator Patrick Leahy will deliver commencement remarks and receive an honorary doctorate during ceremonies honoring the first class to graduate from the Albany College of Pharmacy’s Vermont campus.
Sunday, May 19, 2013, Expo North Building, Champlain Valley Fair, Essex Junction, 1 pm.
Due to a downtown tax credit program, Barre's downtown center acquired the money needed to make some high-profile improvements.
The Barre City Firehouse was converted into space for four businesses, the fire-damaged Aldrich Block was revived with a new restaurant called the Cornerstone and the Lash Furniture Building is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation that will provide 40,000 square feet of commercial and office space in the heart of the city.
by Nat Rudarakanchana May 15, 2013 vtdigger.org Amid the flurry of last-minute legislating in recent weeks, an important detail about the notoriously complex development tools known as tax increment financing districts, or TIFs, escaped much notice.
After four audits done in 2011 and 2012, the state auditor held that the towns of Burlington, Winooski, Milton and Newport collectively owe the state Education Fund $6 million in TIF-related revenues.
K-TOR, LLC, designer and manufacturer of portable power generators, announced today the release of their second-generation Pocket Socket hand crank generator, the Pocket Socket 2. This affordable human powered generator features a standard outlet interface, which provides backup energy and emergency power to a wide range of electronic devices.
The US Senate Agriculture Committee Tuesday approved a five-year farm bill that includes a new dairy program and other features important to agriculture in Vermont. The bipartisan vote was 15 to 5, sending the bill to the Senate Floor for debate and votes.