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FairPoint, unions reach tentative deal to end strike

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 2:54pm -- tim

In a joint announcement dated today, FairPoint Communications, Inc (Nasdaq: FRP); System Council T-9 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (AFL-CIO) Locals 2320, 2326, and 2327; and the Communications Workers of America (AFL-CIO) Local 1400 are pleased to announce that today they have reached tentative agreements on the terms for new collective bargaining agreements. The strike affected approximately 1,700 workers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Water main break in Jeffersonville disrupting water supply and possibly damaged road

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 2:49pm -- tim

The village of Jeffersonville has found a major break in its main water line.  There is a concern that water from the break may have damaged a section of Pleasant Valley Road near Jeff Heights.  Crews are working on the leak and on Pleasant Valley road itself, so motorists are asked to avoid unnecessary travel in the area until the problem is resolved.

That break is interrupting the flow of water to the Jeffersonville reservoir - causing it to drop to critically low levels.  Users of Jeffersonville water are still asked to conserve until further notice.

Plasan closing second plant in Bennington

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 12:19pm -- tim

After closing its car parts plant in Bennington almost a year ago, Plasan North America has announced that it is closing its military equipment plant on Bowan Road in Bennington. According to Vermont Business Magazine, Plasan employs 120 and manufactures plating for armored vehicles. Plasan Carbon Composites had employed 143 when it announced last February that it would close, which it did last spring. The Bennington Banner reports today that it will move operations to Walker, MI, by July.

Vermonters impacted by federal penalty can sign up for 2015 health insurance

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 11:11am -- tim

Vermont Health Connect announced today that some Vermonters who missed this year’s Open Enrollment still have an opportunity to apply for 2015 health coverage. Specifically, Vermonters who don’t have health insurance and learn about the new Shared Responsibility Payment when they file their 2014 taxes now have a chance to avoid paying the full federal fee next year.

Fallon gets new Ben & Jerry's flavor to start second season of new show

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 9:24am -- tim

It’s been a full year since Jimmy Fallon ascended the throne to take over the NBC powerhouse and longest running talk show in television history. What more inspiration was needed to celebrate? To recognize the accomplishment, ice cream co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield served up the aptly named “The Tonight DOUGH” to the Fallon faithful who were in the audience to witness the very first episode of season two. The concoction is caramel and chocolate ice creams with chocolate cookie swirls & gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough & peanut butter cookie dough.

Timbers Restaurant purchases close to one ton of food from local farm

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 7:52am -- tim

Though the local food movement has become bigger than ever in restaurants, Vermont establishments often have a hard time sourcing local food in the winter, especially vegetables. This past fall, Sugarbush Resort’s Timbers Restaurant in Warren looked to solve that by purchasing 1800 pounds of produce from Gaylord Farm, located down the road in Waitsfield, Vermont.

VEC seeking director candidates

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 7:21am -- tim

Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC), based in Johnson, is seeking director candidates for three positions on the Board of Directors that will open in May of 2015. VEC's twelve-member board is responsible for setting policy for the member-owned electric distribution utility, which serves approximately 32,000 members in northern Vermont. Board members are democratically elected by VEC members in their district or zone and are expected to represent the interests of these members.

Welch pushes legislation to spur the use of modern wood heating systems

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 4:50am -- tim

Rep. Peter Welch announced on Tuesday bipartisan legislation that would make it more affordable for Vermonters to install wood heating systems in their homes or businesses. The Biomass Thermal Utilization(BTU) Act would expand the existing renewable energy tax credit to include wood, or “biomass thermal,” heating systems. Welch made the announcement at National Life Group’s Montpelier campus. The company installed a wood heating system in 2010 that has reduced its carbon footprint by 45 percent and heating costs by 50 percent. 

McClaughry: Legislature moving to increase electric rates

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 4:34am -- tim

by John McClaughry The 2015 legislature, and of course, Governor Peter Shumlin, are hard at work contriving yet another way to make Vermonters pay more for their electricity. The vehicle is H.40, spearheaded by Representative Tony Klein and just now emerging from the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee. It’s the bill to – finally – impose upon Vermont electric utilities a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).

Why are they doing this? To achieve the state’s renewable energy goal of 90% renewable-sourced energy by 2050.