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Leahy introduces historic legislation to ban NSA’s dragnet collection of Americans’ electronic communications

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 1:18pm -- tim

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) on Tuesday introduced legislation that would restore Americans’ privacy rights by ending the government’s dragnet collection of phone records and requiring greater oversight, transparency, and accountability with respect to domestic surveillance authorities.

Vermont to apply for extension of federal ACA implementation grants

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 12:12pm -- tim

by Morgan True vtdigger.org Vermont will apply for an extension of its roughly $100 million in remaining federal grants for implementing the Affordable Care Act, state officials confirmed Monday. Vermont has spent more than $72 million thus far, and state officials have indicated they believe it will take the full $171 million earmark to complete the project.

Shumlin announces Clean Energy grants for nine community solar projects

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 11:13am -- tim

As part of his Summer Solar Tour, Governor Peter Shumlin today visited Northern Reliability in Waitsfield, one of the many solar businesses that has helped Vermont earn the Number 1 national ranking for solar jobs per capita, to announce $442,750 in Clean Energy Development Fund grants for nine community solar projects. Overall these grants will support the installation of more than 500 kilowatts of solar for schools, towns, and communities in Vermont.

Two legislators challenge governor over Vermont Health Connect

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 10:46am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Two Republican legislators are taking Governor Peter Shumlin at his word and are insisting that he immediately address the continuing difficulties many Vermonters are facing with Vermont Health Connect. In a statement released today, Representatives Patti Komline (R-Dorset) and Heidi Scheuermann (R-Stowe), called on the governor to take immediate steps to ensure timely access to health insurance and health care for all.

Groundbreaking heart valve procedure tested at Fletcher Allen/UVM approved by FDA, added to national cardiology guidelines

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 7:36am -- tim

A procedure tested during a clinical trial at Fletcher Allen Health Care and the University of Vermont to replace heart valves using catheters instead of open heart surgery has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for use in two categories of patients. The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have also added Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) to their guidelines.

Conferees approve VA Bill

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 7:21am -- tim

House and Senate negotiators late Monday signed a conference committee agreement on legislation that would allocate about $17 billion to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs. The agreement, filed in the House of Representatives shortly before midnight, includes $5 billion for strengthening the VA by recruiting more doctors, nurses and other medical providers and other measures. It allots $10 billion to help veterans access care from private doctors if they have been on waiting lists for more than a month or don't live near VA facilities.

Governor says it's up to him to fix Vermont Health Connect

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 6:10am -- tim

by Morgan True vtdigger.org In the wake of further revelations about the extent of problems with Vermont Health Connect this week, Governor Peter Shumlin called the situation “unacceptable” and said it’s his responsibility to fix. “There’s been nothing more frustrating for me in my tenure as governor than the Vermont Health Connect website,” Shumlin told reporters at a news conference last week in Barre. Thousands of Vermonters have had difficulty verifying that th

BMH celebrates World Breastfeeding Week

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 6:00am -- ayla

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital's Birthing Center, the Windham County Breastfeeding Coalition, and the BMH Ten-Step Committee to Empower Mothers and Nurture Babies are joining forces to celebrate the 2014 World Breastfeeding Week during the first week of August.

This year's theme, as established by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), is "Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal - for Life!"

Loan fund awards $64,770 in grants to Vermont’s child care programs

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 5:57am -- tim

The Vermont Community Loan Fund has awarded $64,770 in the most recent round of Building Bright Futures Facilities Grants to nine child care programs throughout Vermont. Building Bright Futures Facilities Grants (BBFFG) are funded by a consortium of private foundations, legislative appropriations, donations and sales of special issue BBFFG license plates. VCLF administers the grants on behalf of the Department of Children and Families’ Child Development Division, to promote facility improvements in physical environments for children and youth in Vermont.

State to conduct Vermont household health insurance survey

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 5:36am -- tim

Susan L Donegan, commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), announced today that the department will again conduct a confidential survey of Vermonters asking about health insurance practices beginning in early August. The Vermont Household Health Insurance Survey will be completed in November with preliminary results expected in early 2015.

State launches Windham County Economic Development Program

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 4:19pm -- tim

The Windham County Economic Development Program is up and running and looking for applications with creative ideas that will help Windham County grow jobs and bolster the region’s economy. Applications are due September 23, 2014. On July 28 the Agency of Commerce and Community Development released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and the application for the first round ($2 million) of the funding made available by an agreement between the State of Vermont and Entergy.

Vermont Law School mourns Professor Cheryl Hanna

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 2:23pm -- tim

Vermont Law School on Monday announced the death of well-known and well-regarded Professor Cheryl Hanna. She is perhaps best known to the public for her Vermont Public Radio commentaries. Hanna died Sunday. The cause of death has not been released. She was 48. The entire VLS statement follows: "It is with the most profound sorrow that we announce the untimely death of our dear colleague Professor Cheryl Hanna. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Professor Hanna was an expert in constitutional law, the United States Supreme Court, and women and the law.

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