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Berkshire Bank parent reports 20 percent increase in Q4 core EPS, dividend increased

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 4:59pm -- tim

Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc (NYSE: BHLB), the parent company of Berkshire Bank reported a 20 percent increase in fourth quarter core earnings per share to $0.48 in 2014 compared to $0.40 in 2013. Earnings growth was driven by a 17 percent increase in core revenue as the company expanded operations in its footprint. Fourth quarter GAAP EPS increased by 10 percent to $0.46 as earnings in both years were impacted by non-core charges related primarily to growth and restructuring. Berkshire Bank has branches in southwestern Vermont.

FairPoint, unions making progress on settling strike

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 4:33pm -- tim

Allison Beck, Acting Director of the US Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), issued the following statement today on behalf of FairPoint Communications Inc, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The bitter strike affecting workers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine began on October 17.

Lavazza sells portion of its Keurig Green Mountain shares for $50 million

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 4:19pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine On January 23, 2015, Italian coffee company and Keurig Green Mountain investor Lavazza sold an aggregate of 378,371 shares of Common Stock ($50,299,273), as a result of which Lavazza currently owns approximately 7.8 percent of the outstanding Common Stock, as described below, worth about $1.7 billion. In a SEC filing statement, Lavazza said it intends to continue to review market conditions for shares of Keurig Common Stock and may from time to time sell additional shares of Keurig Common Stock.

Norwich University reports $62 million raised toward $100 million funding goal

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 3:40pm -- tim

Norwich University has reached $62 million in pledges toward a $100 million goal set out last September, officials announced today at a ceremonial groundbreaking of major enhancements to the university’s Kreitzberg Library. To date, meeting the $25 million Tawani Challenge — in which the Chicago-based Tawani Foundation matches certain gifts dollar-for-dollar up to $25 million — has been a fundamental achievement in the university’s fundraising success. Under the Tawani Challenge the university raised $27.6 million.

Vermont PSD announces Jan 28 meeting of Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 3:32pm -- tim

The Public Service Department today announced that the next meeting of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel will be held on Wednesday January 28, 2015, from 6 pm to 9 pm, in the Autumn Room at the Quality Inn and Conference Center, 1380 Putney Road, Brattleboro, Vermont.

State Ag and environmental leaders describe clean water plan

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 12:30pm -- tim

State Leaders convened in St Albans City Hall today to outline the new plan for addressing agricultural runoff in the Lake Champlain basin. New resources, deeper partnerships across state government, and new accountability tools (including enforcement by the attorney general's office) have been established to improve water quality across Vermont. The state is under pressure from the US EPA to move aggressively ahead with cleaning up the lake. If not, the federal govenment could come in and act on its own and bill Vermont for cleanup costs.

Millennial buyers expected to fuel 2015 New England housing market

Sun, 01/25/2015 - 4:17pm -- tim

According to RE/MAX of New England, loosening lending practices, low inventory and steady interest rates are anticipated to heat-up the New England housing market in the first half of the year. Increased consumer confidence, a rebounding local economy and continued low-interest rates have converged to create a steady, consistent housing market throughout much of New England in 2014. Inventory shortages in desirable areas drove prices up, but throughout much of the region, overall home sales decreased over 2013 numbers.

Vermont's largest solar array installed in Essex Jct

Sun, 01/25/2015 - 12:51pm -- tim

Encore Redevelopment, of Burlington, Vermont, has announced the recent installation and commissioning of the PSEG Essex Solar Energy Center in Essex Junction, Vermont. At 3.6MWp, this array is the largest solar project in Vermont and is estimated  to produce approximately 4,500,000 kWh of electricity annually, sufficient to power roughly 700 Vermont homes. 

The solar array will also provide a lease payment which will help to diversify the income stream of the Whitcomb Farm and help the Farm, which has been in continuous operation since 1867, remain in active agricultural use. 

Energtek completes land purchase in Vermont for natural gas filling station in Swanton

Sun, 01/25/2015 - 12:26pm -- tim

Energtek Inc (OTC BB: EGTK), a hi-tech natural gas solutions and Adsorbed Natural Gas (ANG) company, has announced that it has finalized the land purchase in Vermont for the filling station. "We have completed paying for the 25 acre Swanton, Vermont site, which is in an ideal location for a filling station: i) right on a transport pipeline;  ii) elevated area on the pipeline (to minimize curtailments and pressure drops);  iii) right next to an inter-state on-ramp;  iv)  with identified customers who cannot be served by anyone else and who are eagerly awaiting our deliveries; v) right next t

Vermont sees drop in alcohol and drug abuse rates among young adults

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 5:09am -- tim

Governor Peter Shumlin joined with Department of Health officials, substance abuse prevention providers, and community groups on Wednesday to announce that binge drinking, marijuana use, and prescription pain reliever misuse dropped among young adult Vermonters between 2011/2012 and 2012/2013, according to the latest report of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). While the governor said he welcomed the good news, he cautioned that much work remains and outlined steps the state is taking to continue progress in the battle against drug and opiate addiction in Vermont.