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Vermont Drug Task Force expands, will focus on heroin trafficking

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 1:37pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Joined by Vermont State Police Commander Matthew Birmingham, US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday announced that six new positions – including five detectives – have now been added to the Vermont Drug Task Force to strengthen heroin trafficking investigations in Vermont. This expansion of the Task Force was made possible with a $1.4 million grant from the Department of Justice’s Anti-Heroin Task Force program that was awarded last September.

Castleton University Polling Institute gets $400,000 for health-related survey

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 12:59pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) recently awarded the Castleton University Polling Institute a $400,000 contract to develop and pilot test an interactive health-related survey and journal system. Director of the Polling Institute Dr. Rich Clark and Associate Director Amanda Richardson will lead a team of experts from major research universities. The international team of researchers was assembled by YMG survey group, owned and managed by Yasamin Miller, former director of Cornell University’s Survey Research Center.

Cabot partnership to help Food, Farms & Forests Fund

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 11:31am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) announced today a new partnership with Cabot Creamery Cooperative and eight local co-operative food stores to benefit Vermont farmers and food producers. A portion of the proceeds from sales of Cabot products at these stores will go to the Food, Farms & Forests Fund, a loan fund dedicated to meeting the capital needs of small farms, food producers, and working lands entrepreneurs.  Items bearing the VCLF sticker are available now at participating food co-ops.

PAI: Vermont’s job market makes pokey progress

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 10:37am -- tim

Public Assets Institute Vermont added jobs in July, but half of that growth reflected seasonal adjustments in the number of teachers on local government payrolls. Private employers increased their payrolls by 1,800—the second best month this year—mostly just offsetting June’s losses. So far this year Vermont has added about 3,000 private sector jobs, but month-to-month growth has been volatile.

Mike Smith: Trump and the media

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 4:57am -- tim

by Mike Smith Donald Trump blasted the media on Twitter last weekend, saying: “If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn’t put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20 percent.”    
Trump was angered by media reports describing turmoil in his campaign and saying that advisers, including family members, were urging him to stay focused on the economy and public safety rather than getting sidetracked on other, sometimes trivial, issues.    

2016 FreshTracks Capital Road Pitch riders' choice winners announced

Sun, 08/21/2016 - 5:03pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine More than 45 motorcycle riders circumnavigated Vermont from August 1st through August 5th as part of the third annual FreshTracks Capital Road Pitch. The riders (comprised of investors, entrepreneurs and business advisors) each travelled more than 550 miles and stopped in 10 towns to review 50 business pitches from local entrepreneurs. Each entrepreneur had seven minutes to present their business concept or plan and eight minutes to answer questions from the group of riders. In each town, a Riders’ Choice Winner was selected and the winner received $500, and a special edition Vermont Teddy Bear biker bear and an entry into the Road Pitch statewide “Pitch-off” to be held on October 18th at Champlain College.

Roper: Fossil fuel divestment loses at ballot box

Sun, 08/21/2016 - 4:47am -- tim

by Rob Roper Over the past legislative session, the issue of divesting state pension funds of fossil fuel investments received considerable debate both in the State House and around Vermont. This debate spilled over into the August 9 primary election where incumbent Treasurer Beth Pearce, a vocal opponent of divestment was challenged by Richard Dunne, who ran a pro-divestment campaign. Divestment lost in a landslide.

Sewage overflows and incidents reported thru August 17, 2016

Sat, 08/20/2016 - 3:00am -- tim

Agency of Natural Resources – Watershed Management The following are Public Alerts submitted by Wastewater Treatment Facilities for prompt public awareness of untreated discharges and their locations. The most recent on August 15 occurred in Montpelier. These alerts have been directly reported by Wastewater Treatment Facilities and may have not yet been reviewed by the State. Wastewater Treatment facilities are required to submit a public alert as soon as possible, but no longer than one hour from discovery of an untreated discharge from the wastewater treatment facility.

Flags to be lowered to half staff for fallen firefighter Justin Beebe

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 3:30pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The flag is being lowered in honored of Justin Beebe, a federal firefighter from Bellows Falls, Vermont, who was killed while battling a wildfire on August 13, 2016, in Great Basin National Park in Nevada.  Justin was in his first year as a member of the Lolo Hotshots, an elite US Forest Service crew based in Missoula, Montana.  Justin’s body will return to Vermont on Tuesday, August 23, 2016.

Vermont unemployment rate still 3.2 percent

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 1:14pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine The state’s employment scene looks the same on paper, but there is uncertainty behind the numbers. The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for July was 3.2 percent. This represents no change from the revised June rate. However, all the major metrics pointed negative: the labor force decreased, as did the number of employed, while the number of unemployed increased. It might be another month or so before the situation clarifies with the start of a new school year and the discrepancy between the adjusted and unadjusted numbers can be rectified to understand whether employment is being maintained at its apparent high level, or whether it is worsening, as the unadjusted numbers suggest. The national rate in July was unchanged at 4.9 percent.

Weekly unemployment claims edge up to 550

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 12:34pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims increased slightly last week. Claims remain relatively low, as typical for summer, but are running higher in 2016 than in 2015. For the week of August 13, 2016, there were 550 claims, up 27 from the previous week's total and 131 more than they were a year ago. By industry, claims more than doubled for Manufacturing. Service, the usual leader, fell back to second.