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Fitch affirms ratings on Vermont Student Assistance Corp bonds as 'Stable'

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 3:22am -- tim

Fitch Ratings has affirmed all the outstanding bonds for Vermont Student Assistance Corp. - 1995 Bond Resolution. The Rating Outlook is Stable. Fitch used its 'Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria', 'US Private Student Loan ABS Criteria' and 'US FFELP Student Loan ABS Criteria' to review the transaction.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

US preterm birth rate hits goal seven years early, Vermont gets 'A' again

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 3:30pm -- tim

The national preterm birth rate fell to 11.4 percent in 2013 – the lowest in 17 years – meeting the federal Healthy People 2020 goal seven years early. Despite this progress, the US still received a "C" on the 7th annual March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card because it fell short of the more-challenging 9.6 percent target set by the March of Dimes, the group said Thursday. On the 2014 Report Card, 27 states and Puerto Rico saw their preterm birth rates improve between 2012 and 2013, earning better grades for five of them: Iowa, Virginia, Arkansas, Nevada and Oklahoma.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont offers Web tools to aid businesses during open enrollment

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 2:31pm -- tim

Open enrollment for Vermont Health Connect-qualified plans begins on November 15 and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont has an array of Web tools to help small businesses quickly and easily enroll their employees into qualified health plans. Employers will continue to enroll their employees directly through health plans like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, rather than through Vermont Health Connect.

SVHC names new members on Board of Trustees

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 12:34pm -- tim

Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) has announced the appointment of E Wilbur Rice and Stanley S Stroup to its Board of Trustees. Rice, a Bennington native living in Manchester for many years, is founder and owner of Equipe Sport & Mtn Riders, a group of four outdoor equipment and apparel stores located in Southern Vermont. Professionally, Rice has held managerial roles at Stratton Mountain and Bromley Mountain Ski Resorts. He has worked, too, on the boards of several professional and non-profit organizations both nationally and locally.

New advocacy group opposes legalization of marijuana in Vermont

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 4:07am -- tim

A group of concerned Vermonters has formed SMART VT, a grassroots coalition opposing the legalization of marijuana. In a statement released Monday, SMART Vermont said it is a statewide coalition of parents, grandparents, young adults, senior citizens and other concerned Vermonters. The members represent diverse backgrounds including drug & alcohol prevention, youth services, education, law enforcement, mental health and business leaders who agree that marijuana legalization poses a threat to Vermont’s health, economy, youth, education, highway safety and work force.

Schapiro: Fletcher Allen Partners' new name part of evolving health network

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 4:02am -- tim

by Howard Schapiro, MD The University of Vermont Health Network – formerly Fletcher Allen Partners – recently got a new name and a new look and feel. The University of Vermont Medical Center (formerly Fletcher Allen Health Care), and the UVM Health Network’s other three hospitals – Central Vermont Medical Center, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and Elizabethtown Hospital – have also changed their names to more clearly reflect their relationship. Why is this important, or even necessary?

Vermont nonprofit KidsGardening.org accepts WebMD 2014 Health Hero Philanthropist Award on behalf of Carson Daly

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 3:49am -- tim
Last Thursday, WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD), the leading source of health information, honored its 2014 Health Hero winners at an awards ceremony hosted by Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts. This year’s Health Heroes, who were recognized for meeting a health challenge and giving back to others, were Carson Daly, Michael J Fox, Dr Harold S Koplewicz, Dr Frank Papay, Zarin Ibnat Rahman and Martha Stewart. The star studded event included Rocco DiSpirito, Susie Essman, Jordin Sparks, Beth Stern, and Dr.

McClaughry: Four proposals to improve elections

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 3:26am -- tim

Now that the 2014 state elections are over, it’s worth looking at how the process might be improved in the future. Here are four proposals.

Single Member Districts: The curse of legislative elections is that, in multimember districts, a candidate is only rarely willing to do battle with any other candidate. Why? Because there is always the prospect of winning some second votes from the partisans of that other candidate. This makes for appallingly issue-free elections.

Dartmouth: Lung cancer screening with low-dose CT could be cost effective

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 3:06am -- tim

Dartmouth researchers say lung cancer screening in the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) meets a commonly accepted standard for cost effectiveness as reported in the Nov. 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. This relatively new screening test uses annual low-dose CT scans to spot lung tumors early in individuals facing the highest risks of lung cancer due to age and smoking history.

Stenger: The irrefutable facts of EB-5 and the Tram Haus Lodge

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 4:35pm -- tim

by Bill Stenger One of the basic tenets of professional journalism is the, “free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough.” With that in mind, we feel compelled to respond to recent posts on VTDigger.com, specifically the stories posted on July 27, October 5 and October 22 (reprinted by vermontbiz.com), as they are rife with misstatements and unsubstantiated allegations. Here are the irrefutable facts of the Tram Haus Lodge, Jay Peak’s first EB-5 project.

Big increase in early applications sets new record

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 12:13pm -- tim

The University of Vermont has received a record 14,558 early applications for fall 2015, 48 percent higher than last year’s early total and 40 percent higher than early applicants for fall 2013. Early applications, which waive the standard application fee, were due November 1. The number of Vermont applications, 1,419, also a record, increased 78 percent over last year’s early applications and 25 percent over 2013.

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