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Vermont unemployment rate rises four-tenths to 4.1 percent in August

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 10:40am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for August 2014 was 4.1 percent. This represents an increase of four-tenths of a percent from the revised July rate (3.7 percent). The equivalent national average was 6.1 percent, which decreased by one-tenth of a percent from the previous month’s estimate. This is the third monthly increase to the statewide unemployment rate in Vermont in the past year. Vermont fell to the fifth best rate in the nation, down from fourth in July.

US Navy names fast-attack submarine, USS Vermont

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 7:50am -- tim

There have been two USS Vermonts in US Navy history, the last of which was a battleship. But they do not make those ships anymore, so the Navy found another way to honor the state's important naval history. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus hosted a ship-naming ceremony Thursday in front of the Lake Champlain Navy Memorial in Burlington to announce that SSN 792, a Virginia-class attack submarine, will bear the name USS Vermont. Mabus named the submarine to honor the longstanding partnership its namesake state has had with the Navy. 

$650,000 in grants available to address water quality, conservation concerns on Lake Champlain

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 7:36am -- tim

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) Thursday joined the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) in announcing $650,000 in federal funding available to local watershed groups, towns and other organizations in Vermont and New York in the continued effort to implement a long-term management plan for Lake Champlain. The funding will play a key role in assisting local organizations respond to serious water quality and conservation concerns on the lake as well as working to enhance the region’s historic, cultural and recreational resources.

Vermont Health Connect failed to meet federal checklist for security requirements

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 7:29am -- tim

by Morgan True The state took Vermont Health Connect offline because it was unable to meet a federal checklist of security requirements, officials said Thursday. Over the summer the federal government provided a timeline for reducing security risks, which expired 10 days ago, according to the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Information and Innovation. State officials interviewed for this story would not say what federal security requirements ha

Census: Vermont household income down, poverty up slightly in 2013

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 4:29pm -- tim

Income levels and poverty rates were not statistically different for most states from 2012 to 2013, according to statistics released today from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey, the nation's most comprehensive data source on American households. Vermont remained above the US median for household income, but slipped 2 percent in one year. Poverty was up 1.2 percent in Vermont in 2013. 

Seven Days launches multimedia ‘Bernie Beat’

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 3:31pm -- tim

On his first day as mayor of the Queen City, Bernie Sanders shared a prediction with the alternative weekly Vanguard Press: “People will look back to Burlington, Vermont, 1981, and say: ‘It all started here.’” Sanders, who won the mayor’s seat by 10 votes, was likely envisioning some kind of populist revolution. Instead, what has turned out to be really popular is Bernie himself.

USDA awards $120,000 to four Vermont small businesses to help reduce energy costs

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 1:39pm -- tim

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Thursday that four Vermont businesses and agricultural producers would receive $121,855 in grants to help them become more energy efficient or produce renewable energy. The grants will help sugar makers boil syrup more efficiently, help turn cow manure into electricity, and help a small firewood business switch to a renewable fuel source.

Vermont AG obtains $73,500 Medicaid recoupment from Michigan drug testing company

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 12:45pm -- tim

A Michigan-based company will pay the State of Vermont in excess of $73,500 to settle claims that it obtained payments from the Vermont Medicaid Program to which it was not entitled, according to Vermont Attorney General William H Sorrell. The provider, Physicians Toxicology, LLC offers laboratory services to clinicians. The civil settlement resolves an investigation conducted by the Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit of the Office of the Attorney General into Medicaid claims for urinalysis drug testing made by Physicians Toxicology.

Milton couple convicted for submitting false Medicaid timesheets

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 12:43pm -- tim

Clayton LaFond, age 61, and Kim LaFond, age 54, of Milton, Vermont, were convicted on September 16, 2014, in Vermont District Court for Windsor County, on two misdemeanor counts of False Pretenses. The convictions stemmed from the LaFonds’ submission of false timesheets in order to obtain payment for services that were not provided to a child while they were employed as home-based health care workers under the Children’s Personal Care program, a Vermont Medicaid program.

USDA awards $658,175 in research grants for UVM

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:47am -- tim

The University of Vermont Extension program has received two grants totaling over $650,000 for agricultural research. Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) made the announcement Wednesday. The grant announcement is the most recent step in implementing the 2014 Farm Bill. Leahy, the senior most member on the Senate Agriculture Committee, was a conferee on the bill. The grants will be used to study soil quality on Vermont farms, focusing on sustainable practices while preventing soil erosion and improving crop productivity.

Vermont PSD sets inaugural meeting of Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel for Sept 25

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:39am -- tim

The Public Service Department announced Wednesday that the inaugural meeting of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (NDCAP), created by the legislature in Act 179 to succeed the Vermont State Nuclear Advisory Panel, will be held on September 25, 2014, from 6 pm to 9 pm, in the multi-purpose room at Brattleboro Union High School, 131 Fairground Road in Brattleboro.

State gets $891,697 under farm bill for economic development in Northern Vermont

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 10:59am -- tim

Vermont’s congressional delegation -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) – and Governor Peter Shumlin (D) Thursday announced that the state will receive $891,679 in Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) funds for economic development projects in Northern Vermont. This is a $400,000 increase over funds awarded in Vermont last year.