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Pope Francis names Bishop Christopher Coyne to lead Vermont's Catholics

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 4:41pm -- tim

Pope Francis has appointed The Most Reverend Christopher James Coyne, until now Auxiliary Bishop of Indianapolis, as Tenth Bishop of Burlington. A Boston native, Bishop Coyne will formally be installed as pastor of Vermont’s 118,000 Catholics on Thursday, January 29, 2015, at 2 pm, with a Solemn Mass of Installation in Saint Joseph Co-Cathedral. The Pope’s ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, will be in attendance as the Holy Father’s personal representative.

House Speaker Shap Smith seeks property tax reform proposals from the public

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 2:10pm -- tim

by Anne Galloway House Speaker Shap Smith is soliciting education finance reform proposals from the public. Education spending and financing reforms are top priorities for Smith this legislative session. Smith wants ideas from all-comers, and he is encouraging Vermonters to send him proposals.

Lisman: Affordability matters

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 5:19am -- tim

by Bruce Lisman Affordability is a renewed slogan that has recently found its way into the vocabulary of Governor Shumlin and some members of the Legislature. Former Governor Douglas spoke often of it when combating the legislative impulse to regulate and tax Vermonters. Today, it’s being used as a euphemism for growing property taxes.

Weekly unemployment claims fall again, remain high

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 5:13am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine New weekly unemployment claims in Vermont fell for the second week and back below 1,000. Claims had been very low during the summer, trending under 500, but have been high since early October. Levels this year had been running consistently lower than those of last year, but are now nearly the same. For the week of Deember 13, 2014, there were 867 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont. This is a decrease of 203 from the previous week's total, and the same as they were a year ago. 

Ben & Jerry’s gets a bit nutty with Half Baked for the Holidays

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 5:15am -- tim

Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Gurus call it a new flavor. Existing “Half Baked” fans, especially given the holiday season, may consider it more of a gift. To celebrate Half Baked’s decade and a half of success, and because everyone knows that the holidays can be a bit nutty, Ben & Jerry’s is proud to unveil Peanut Butter Half Baked! The newest version in the Half Baked family includes a tasty twosome of chocolate and peanut butter ice creams mixed with gobs of peanut butter cookie dough and fudge brownies.

Financial literacy task force releases action plan to get Vermonters out of financial funk

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 5:01am -- tim

Vermont’s Financial Literacy Task Force has released a report, “Vermont’s Financial Literacy Action Plan,” with recommendations aimed at strengthening Vermonters’ financial futures. The group has developed 13 actionable solutions that will lead to an increase in the financial wellbeing of citizens across the state. “When it comes to ‘money smarts,’ far too many Vermonters aren’t making the grade,” said Bob Allen, Windham Foundation president/CEO and task force chairman. “We have the opportunity to help lift our friends and neighbors out of financial turmoil.

USDA $77,000 Grant Helps Windsor County snowmobile club purchase new grooming equipment

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 3:41am -- tim

During a news conference at the Route 106 North Market and Deli in North Springfield Friday, officials from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and members of the Hawks Mountain Ridge Riders (HMRR) showed off their new snowmobile trail groomer.  A $77,000 USDA Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) helped the club purchase the equipment to help the snowmobile club improve trail conditions in Southeastern Vermont.

Vermont conservation organizations partner with GMP to 'green up' their power

Sat, 12/20/2014 - 3:54am -- tim

Two prominent Vermont conservation organizations recently teamed up with Green Mountain Power to go solar, lowering their energy bills and greening their electric energy footprint. This exciting collaboration will allow these organizations to power their offices with clean, local, renewable energy.

ISO New England implements major enhancements to wholesale energy market

Sat, 12/20/2014 - 3:28am -- tim

Earlier this month, ISO New England Inc, the operator of the region’s bulk power system and wholesale electricity markets, completed a multi-year transition to a new market system that allows generators to submit supply offers on an hourly basis, an enhancement that will help improve power system reliability.             

Vermont Public Service Department and FairPoint reach agreement on interim repair priority protocols

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 4:10pm -- tim

As of today, the Department of Public Service has received in excess of 700 complaints regarding FairPoint Communication’s service since the work stoppage began in October. “The Department has grave concerns regarding the number of customers who appear to be experiencing serious delays in repair of service and we believe immediate remedial action is necessary,” said Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia. Today, the Department proposed, and FairPoint has agreed, to implement measures designed to ensure timely repairs for those most vulnerable without phone service.