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Spiny water flea confirmed in Lake Champlain

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:20am -- tim

The spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus) is the first aquatic invasive zooplankton to be confirmed in Lake Champlain, bringing the known number of nonnative and aquatic invasive species in Lake Champlain to 50. These specimens were collected this August in the Main Lake segment of Lake Champlain as part of the Lake Champlain Long-term Biological Monitoring Program supported by the Lake Champlain Basin Program. Sample analysis by the Lake Champlain Research Institute at SUNY Plattsburgh confirms multiple specimens from two different monitoring stations.

GW Plastics graduates first internship class

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:02am -- tim

GW Plastics, based in Bethel, has announced the graduation of its first summer internship class. This year’s class included Tommy Zani, University of Maine ’16; Glen Rogers, Vermont Technical College ’16; Brendan Hackett, University of Vermont ’15; Griffin Thomas, University of Mississippi ’16; and Camden Houghton, University of Vermont ’15. All of this year’s graduates are pursuing degrees in mechanical or electromechanical engineering.

Shumlin names campaign manager, sets kick-off date Sept 9

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:46am -- tim

Governor Peter Shumlin today announced that he will officially launch his reelection campaign on Tuesday, September 9 and has hired Scott Coriell as his campaign manager. Coriell has served as a Special Assistant in the Governor's Office since September 2013, and is leaving state service immediately to help launch Gov. Shumlin's campaign. A Killington native, Coriell served previously as Communications Director for Congressman Peter Welch and worked on the 2012 Obama for America campaign in New Hampshire. 

NCAA approves athletic consortium for Bennington and Southern Vermont College

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:33am -- tim

The National Collegiate Athletics Association has given the go-ahead to Southern Vermont College for an athletics consortium with Bennington College starting this fall. Through the consortium, Bennington College students would be permitted to participate in SVC’s New England Collegiate Conference/Division III athletics. SVC’s first men's soccer game is Saturday, August 30, and a Bennington student-athlete will be participating. 

Primary Roundup: Who won in contested House, Senate primaries

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 4:02pm -- tim

by Tom Brown vtdigger.org Becca Balint’s first political foray is likely to result in her landing one of only 30 state Senate seats. Balint, of Brattleboro, bested former Agriculture Secretary Roger Allbee by about 500 votes Tuesday to secure one of two spots on the Windham County Democratic ballot in November. With no Republicans in the race, Balint and incumbent Senator Jeanette White, the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s primary, are favored to claim victory in the November 4 general election.

Alleged murderer found dead at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 3:56pm -- tim

According to a statement released by the Vermont STate Police, yesterday, at approximately 9:35 pm, the Vermont State Police received a call regarding a death of an inmate at the Southern State Correctional Facility (SSCF) in Springfield, VT. A detective from the Vermont State Police Criminal Division in D Troop responded to the correctional facility to investigate. The inmate, identified as Sylvester Labartino age 71 of Hubbardton, VT, was awaiting trial for the murders of Christopher and Shane Plummer on February 12, 2014, in the town of Hubbardton.

Affordable rental housing still elusive for extremely low-income Vermonters

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 3:15pm -- tim

A new report released jointly by the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition and the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), shows how difficult it is for Vermont’s lowest income renters to find housing that is affordable to them in the current rental market. The report, Housing Spotlight: The Affordable Rental Housing Gap Persists, shows that there were just 39 rental homes affordable and available for every 100 extremely low income households in Vermont in 2012, the last year for

Teacher’s Retirement Board approves fossil fuel-free fund for 403(b) plan

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 2:51pm -- tim

The Vermont State Teacher’s Retirement Board of Trustees has approved the addition of a fossil fuel-free mutual fund investment option for the 403(b) plan. State Treasurer Beth Pearce said the addition gives more choices to teachers who want to invest supplemental retirement dollars in Socially Responsible Investments. The board approved the addition of the Pax World Global Environmental Markets Fund (PGINX) at their August board meeting.

USDA to invest $45 million to improve water quality in Lake Champlain

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 11:22am -- tim

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that up to $45 million will be provided to protect and improve soil and water quality in the Lake Champlain Basin in Vermont over the next five years. In recent years, Lake Champlain has been plagued by blue-green algae blooms that periodically become toxic. The algae blooms are the result of degraded water quality, primarily due to phosphorous pollution. Phosphorus can affect water quality by enabling excessive aquatic plant and algae growth, which can contribute to fish die offs and other environmental impacts. 

FairPoint and unions at impasse, company implements proposals

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 10:32am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Following months of negotiations between FairPoint and its northern New England Unions, and after talks remained deadlocked more than three weeks after the prior collective bargaining agreements expired, the company announced Wednesday that it will implement its final proposals, which have been repeatedly rejected by the unions. FairPoint said in a statement that this action is permitted by federal labor law when there is no meaningful prospect for a negotiated settlement.

Vermont Gas to pay VELCO $450,000 to use its right-of-way

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 8:40am -- tim

by John Herrick vtdigger.org The state’s transmission utility has set a price for Vermont Gas to use its utility corridor as part of its natural gas pipeline extension through Addison County. Vermont Gas spokesman Steve Wark said last week the company intends to pay $450,000 for about 51 acres within the utility corridor. The price includes access roads, he said. The company plans to route sections of a 41-mile pipeline extension through a utility corridor owned by Vermont Electric Power Co, or VELCO.

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