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Vermont Health Connect prepares for systems update

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 3:54pm -- tim

In March, a series of milestones were outlined for improved customer service for Vermonters using Vermont Health Connect. The first of these milestones occurs on June 1 when systems updates are scheduled to go live, allowing customer service staff to process consumer requests more quickly. The deployment of this upgrade will require the Vermont Health Connect health insurance application and user accounts to be unavailable starting this evening and running through the weekend.

Shumlin optimistic about Vermont Health Connect deadline

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 3:47pm -- tim

by Morgan True vtdigger.org Governor Peter Shumlin remains “cautiously optimistic” the state and its contractors will complete the needed functionality for Vermont Health Connect, the state’s troubled health care exchange, by the May 31 (Sunday) deadline. Shumlin said he receives daily, sometimes multiple, updates on VHC and the progress of its primary contractor, Optum, in automating the process for changing personal or plan information online.

PAI: Jobless rate recalls better times; employment, not so much

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 3:35pm -- tim

Public Assets Institute Vermont’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent in April, its lowest level in nearly nine years. But while joblessness hit a low last seen in June 2006, the number of Vermonters working still lags. The spring and summer of 2006 marked Vermont’s all-time employment peak, when more than 344,000 people were working. Last month, the number of employed stood at 335,673.

Burlington to implement public outreach phase of integrated water quality improvement plan

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 2:53pm -- tim

The City of Burlington will implement the public outreach phase of a plan to improve water quality through a new, integrated planning approach for wastewater and stormwater management in Burlington. The City’s Water Resource Division will be seeking public input on its upcoming water quality efforts by attending Neighborhood Planning Assemblies (NPAs) and meeting with nonprofit organizations and other public agencies to learn how Burlingtonians would like to see their stormwater and wastewater utility fees spent in the fight for improved water quality.

AirShark receives first commercial FAA drone exemption in Vermont

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 2:53pm -- tim

 

AirShark, LLC has been granted the first exemption in Vermont that permits commercial operations of small unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called "drones". Under the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, this Section 333 exemption permits AirShark to offer commercial aerial inspection services to clients in multiple industries.

Governor Shumlin signs $616 million 2016 Vermont Transportation Bill

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 10:32am -- tim

Governor Peter Shumlin today signed the FY 2016 Transportation Bill, which builds on recent years of progress in improving the overall condition of Vermont’s transportation infrastructure. Joined by legislative leaders and Transportation Secretary, Sue Minter, the Governor signed the bill to authorize $616 million in infrastructure improvements in support of the Agency of Transportation’s (VTrans) vision of a safe, efficient, multimodal transportation system that promotes Vermont’s economy and quality of life.

Six Vermont communities get $2 million in brownfields grants

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 10:15am -- tim

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vermont) Thursday announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected six Vermont communities to receive a total of $2 million for grants under the Brownfield Grant Program that will help them assess and clean up contaminated properties to facilitate their redevelopment and reuse.

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center begins construction of Pownal campus

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 9:23am -- tim

A ceremony to celebrate the start of construction of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center’s (SVMC) new Pownal Campus was held Wednesday, May 20, at the building site on Route 7, just north of the Massachusetts border. The new 5,000-square-foot primary care office building is expected to open in the fall of 2015 with two providers and the capacity to see hundreds of new patients.

Solar tours announced for June 20 statewide

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 8:47am -- tim

Solar projects in communities throughout Vermont will be open for public tours the third Saturday in June. “Celebrate Solar Tours” will take place across the state on Saturday, June 20, the weekend of the Summer Solstice. Like open sugarhouse weekend in the spring and open art studio weekend in the fall, the summertime tours will give Vermonters the opportunity to get an up-close view of solar systems to learn about the technology, solar economics, and the benefits of solar to our community.

Governor initiates 'Park Prescription' program for what ails you

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 3:40am -- tim

Following doctor’s orders is about to get more fun thanks to a new initiative announced Wednesday by Governor Peter Shumlin. Under the new “Park Prescription” program, physicians around the state will prescribe to their patients time outdoors in Vermont State Parks as a way to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent chronic health issues. 

Vermont homes sales, prices up in April

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 4:31pm -- tim

After a slow start to the year, Vermont's housing market has strengthened and in April out-performed every other state in New England. Vermont was the only state with an increase in both sales and median price. For New England overall, year-over-year sales decreased by -2.5% according to the RE/MAX INTEGRA, New England April Monthly Housing Report. Pending sales were up 11.4% over April 2014 and up 19.5% over March 2015.

VHCB awards $3.08 million to conserve farmland, recreational access and forestland

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 3:58pm -- tim

The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) announced grants today totaling $3,083,910 to protect 2,127 acres of agricultural land on 14 farms and a sugarbush and to conserve 641 acres of wooded and open land on three properties with recreational trails in the towns of Williston, Lyndon and West Windsor. The grants were made to the Vermont Land Trust, the Lake Champlain Land Trust, Kingdom Trails and The Trust for Public Lands. The funding commitments were made at the Board’s May meeting.

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