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LCC: Blue-green algae reports & water advocacy opportunities

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 4:58pm -- tim

Lake Champlain Committee (LCC)  Mixed conditions were reported again this week on Lake Champlain, Lake Carmi and Lake Iroquois, however there were no toxin detections. Temperatures are predicted to rise during the weekend and stay high through much of next week. Areas that have been experiencing alert conditions are likely to continue to see blooms and scums appear throughout the week. Conditions can change frequently and within short distances so please keep a watchful eye. Blooms persist in northeastern bays and scattered other areas.

$375,000 grant will support higher education in the NEK

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 3:06pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) Friday announced a $375,000 federal grant to the Patrick and Marcelle Leahy Center for Rural Students at Lyndon State College to improve access to education for Vermont students.  The grant helps to leverage more than $1 million to expand AmeriCorps service and to advance educational opportunities to first-generation, low-income students across the Green Mountain State.   

Vermont tax revenues took hit in August

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 1:56pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine All three of Vermont's major tax funds were off in August, with the vital Personal Income tax off more than $3 million, or 7.1%. Overall, General Fund (GF) revenues totaled $88.84 million for August versus the monthly target of $92.40, -$3.56 million or –3.85% short. The shortfall was primarily due to those lower-than-expected Net Personal Income taxes (-$3.07 million behind) and some softness in the other categories. Corporate Income Taxes were the one area of strength and exceeded the monthly target by +$1.14 million, or +145.92%.

Weekly unemployment claims down, remain at summer low

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 12:24pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims in Vermont fell slightly last week, and remain at their typically low summer totals. There were 347 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont, a decrease of 17 from the previous week's total and 29 fewer than they were a year ago. Generally, claims have been running below last year's totals. Claims were down slightly in nearly all regions of the state and in most industry categories, except manufacturing, which more than doubled.

16 school districts and SUs volunteer for Education Quality Review pilot

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 11:52am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Agency of Education has announced the 16 supervisory unions and districts that have volunteered to be a part of shaping the course of the Education Quality Review process by piloting the Integrated Field Review during the 2015-2016 School Year. "These participating educators will contribute to drafting the protocols and procedures that define Vermont's commitment to educational equity and quality for years to come," said Amy Fowler, Deputy Secretary at the Agency of Education.

Vermont receives $4 million to combat prescription drug overdoses

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 11:12am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health has received a $4 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent overdose deaths related to prescription opioids, Gov. Peter Shumlin and Health Commissioner Harry Chen announced today. The funding is part of the Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States program.

US and Vermont labor departments sign agreement to protect workers from misclassification

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 4:40pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Officials from the US Department of Labor and the Vermont Department of Labor have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding intended to protect employees’ rights by preventing their misclassification as independent contractors or other non-employee statuses. Under the agreement, both agencies may share information and coordinate law enforcement.

IRS rules tax credit available to 'community solar' owner

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 3:49pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The IRS has ruled that an owner of solar panels in a community-shared array is eligible for the 30 percent federal residential income tax credit known as the "residential ITC." The IRS ruling applies only to a specific solar panel owner in Vermont, but it is a positive development for community-shared solar participants and project developers. Community-shared solar allows electric customers to buy an interest in an offsite solar array and to receive credit on their electricity bills for their ownership interest.

Ben & Jerry’s joins Vermont's GMO fight

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 2:55pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Ben & Jerry’s has joined other Vermont businesses and consumer groups in defending Vermont’s new labeling requirements for genetically engineered (GE or GMO) foods – one of the first such labeling laws in the country – against a federal court challenge brought by the food industry. The groups submitted a brief yesterday supporting the disclosure of GE ingredients so people have more information about the health, safety and environmental impacts of the foods they consume.

Windham Regional Commission tells PSB that another site should be found for Vermont Yankee's spent fuel

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 1:08pm -- tim

by Mike Faher The Commons It’s safe to say there’s no love lost between the state of Vermont and Entergy, owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. But when the time came to weigh in on Entergy’s attempts to build a second spent fuel storage facility at the Vernon property, it wasn’t the state raising the most ruckus — it was the local planning commission. The Windham Regional Commission (WRC) last week aired detailed concerns about how the company chose the proposed site for long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel.