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Digital innovation brings new vitality to rural Vermont

Fri, 12/26/2014 - 5:52am -- tim

by Paul Costello When we think of Vermont, we picture our beautiful working landscape, our lakes and mountains, and our dynamic community centers. Our past is crucial to who we are and to the character and identity of this special place. But the land we care for and our beautiful downtowns are actually the result of waves of past innovation, a repository of our historical creativity.

Lottery for roadside firewood lots opens, Vermonters have two weeks to register for one of 38 lots

Thu, 12/25/2014 - 6:34am -- tim

The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation will open the lottery for personal roadside firewood lots on state forest lands January 2, 2015. The two-week registration for “cut-your-own” lots ends January 16. Each roadside lot costs $30 and yields about three cords of wood for the 2015 home heating season.

ECFiber expands with investments in 2014

Thu, 12/25/2014 - 6:22am -- tim

The East Central Vermont Fiber Optic Network (ECFiber), based in Royalton is wrapping up its third full year in operation with almost 1,000 paying customers spread across 12 area towns. The ECFiber network now extends along 200 miles of rural Vermont roads, territory that is often unserved by other broadband providers. ECFiber was organized in 2008 and began funding its operation in late 2010 by selling promissory notes to private investors. Since that time, the organization has raised $6.3 million from more than 430 mostly local individuals.

Secretary of State names Chris Winters new deputy secretary

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:18pm -- tim

Secretary of State Jim Condos announced today the appointment of Chris Winters as Deputy Secretary of State. Winters has served the Secretary of State’s office for 18 years, the last nine of which he has served as Director of the Office of Professional Regulation. “I am excited to have Chris as my Deputy; I have worked with him for many years – even before becoming Secretary of State.

Vermont jobs exceed pre-recession levels

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:33pm -- tim

by Paul Cillo, Public Assets Institute The total number of jobs in Vermont finally exceeded the previous high, reached in the summer of 2007, before the recession began. The latest figures show there were 311,700 non-farm payroll jobs in November, an increase of 3,600 from October. Most new jobs—2,200—were in the accommodations and food services sector. The number of employed Vermonters also rose last month, to 336,546.

GMP preparing for potential Christmas wind storm

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:44pm -- tim

Two weeks after wet, heavy snow blanketed Vermont in one of the longest lasting and most challenging storms to hit the state, Green Mountain Power is once again preparing for the possibility of outages from a wind storm forecasted for Christmas Day. The Christmas Day wind storm has the potential to knock trees and branches onto power lines, causing outages, especially in areas where there is tree damage from the recent unprecedented snow storm. Green Mountain Power has already lined up additional lineworkers and tree trimmers to assist GMP crews in any power restoration work required.

Burlington College in fight for survival

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:21pm -- tim

by Laura Krantz The fate of Burlington College remains uncertain. The school is running on fumes as it attempts to strike a deal with real estate developer Eric Farrell, who wants to build 20 private homes and 500 housing units on a large portion of the 32-acre property located on Lake Champlain. While proponents say the deal with Farrell will eliminate much of the college’s debt and potentially save the school, critics believe cash from the land deal won’t be enough to bring Burlington College back into solvency.

Colder air, snow showers return to Northeast Christmas Day

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 11:45am -- tim

AccuWeather reports following a wet, mild Christmas Eve across much of the Northeast, a windy and chillier Christmas Day is on the way. Christmas morning, though, will still be very mild along the I-95 corridor, where temperatures in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington will be near 60. Temperatures will then fall into the 40s during the afternoon. Across the interior Northeast, temperatures will go from near or above 50 on Wednesday to the 30s for much of Christmas Day.

Vermont home sales slip, but prices rise

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 11:07am -- tim

Home sales in Vermont were down slightly in November, but prices were up, reflecting a pattern consitent across New England. For the region, year-over-year sales decreased by -8.0 percent, according to The RE/MAX of New England November Monthly Housing Report. Pending sales were up 5.8 percent over November 2013, while month-over-month figures declined -20.4 percent over October 2014. Across the region, homes are staying on the market an average of nearly three-weeks less than this time last year and pricing continues to hold steady.

Gifford’s oncology program receives American College of Surgeons accreditation

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 10:51am -- tim

The oncology program at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph has received accreditation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons. Every three years the CoC accreditation program reviews hospital oncology services to ensure that they conform to commission standards and are committed to providing the highest level of quality cancer care (learn more here).  After a rigorous evaluation process and on-site performance review, Gifford received accreditation through 2016.

Porter nurses ratify first contract

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 9:47am -- tim

The nurses of the Porter Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (PFNHP) voted to ratify their first contract with an overwhelming majority on Monday. The group had reached a tentative agreement with the Porter Medical Center (PMC) in Middlebury last week. This contract is their first, after the nurses voted to form their union a year ago. The contract took effect upon ratification (December 23, 2014) and will continue through September 30, 2017.