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Secretary of State names Chris Winters new deputy secretary

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:18pm -- tim

Secretary of State Jim Condos announced today the appointment of Chris Winters as Deputy Secretary of State. Winters has served the Secretary of State’s office for 18 years, the last nine of which he has served as Director of the Office of Professional Regulation. “I am excited to have Chris as my Deputy; I have worked with him for many years – even before becoming Secretary of State.

Vermont jobs exceed pre-recession levels

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:33pm -- tim

by Paul Cillo, Public Assets Institute The total number of jobs in Vermont finally exceeded the previous high, reached in the summer of 2007, before the recession began. The latest figures show there were 311,700 non-farm payroll jobs in November, an increase of 3,600 from October. Most new jobs—2,200—were in the accommodations and food services sector. The number of employed Vermonters also rose last month, to 336,546.

GMP preparing for potential Christmas wind storm

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:44pm -- tim

Two weeks after wet, heavy snow blanketed Vermont in one of the longest lasting and most challenging storms to hit the state, Green Mountain Power is once again preparing for the possibility of outages from a wind storm forecasted for Christmas Day. The Christmas Day wind storm has the potential to knock trees and branches onto power lines, causing outages, especially in areas where there is tree damage from the recent unprecedented snow storm. Green Mountain Power has already lined up additional lineworkers and tree trimmers to assist GMP crews in any power restoration work required.

Burlington College in fight for survival

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:21pm -- tim

by Laura Krantz The fate of Burlington College remains uncertain. The school is running on fumes as it attempts to strike a deal with real estate developer Eric Farrell, who wants to build 20 private homes and 500 housing units on a large portion of the 32-acre property located on Lake Champlain. While proponents say the deal with Farrell will eliminate much of the college’s debt and potentially save the school, critics believe cash from the land deal won’t be enough to bring Burlington College back into solvency.

Colder air, snow showers return to Northeast Christmas Day

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 11:45am -- tim

AccuWeather reports following a wet, mild Christmas Eve across much of the Northeast, a windy and chillier Christmas Day is on the way. Christmas morning, though, will still be very mild along the I-95 corridor, where temperatures in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington will be near 60. Temperatures will then fall into the 40s during the afternoon. Across the interior Northeast, temperatures will go from near or above 50 on Wednesday to the 30s for much of Christmas Day.

Vermont home sales slip, but prices rise

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 11:07am -- tim

Home sales in Vermont were down slightly in November, but prices were up, reflecting a pattern consitent across New England. For the region, year-over-year sales decreased by -8.0 percent, according to The RE/MAX of New England November Monthly Housing Report. Pending sales were up 5.8 percent over November 2013, while month-over-month figures declined -20.4 percent over October 2014. Across the region, homes are staying on the market an average of nearly three-weeks less than this time last year and pricing continues to hold steady.

Gifford’s oncology program receives American College of Surgeons accreditation

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 10:51am -- tim

The oncology program at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph has received accreditation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons. Every three years the CoC accreditation program reviews hospital oncology services to ensure that they conform to commission standards and are committed to providing the highest level of quality cancer care (learn more here).  After a rigorous evaluation process and on-site performance review, Gifford received accreditation through 2016.

Porter nurses ratify first contract

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 9:47am -- tim

The nurses of the Porter Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (PFNHP) voted to ratify their first contract with an overwhelming majority on Monday. The group had reached a tentative agreement with the Porter Medical Center (PMC) in Middlebury last week. This contract is their first, after the nurses voted to form their union a year ago. The contract took effect upon ratification (December 23, 2014) and will continue through September 30, 2017.

Vermont Veterans’ Home on VA priority list for $1 million grant

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 7:08am -- tim

US Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) on Monday welcomed a Department of Veterans Affairs announcement that the state-run Vermont Veterans’ Home in Bennington is in line for a nearly $1 million federal matching grant. The Bennington facility is on the USDepartment of Veterans Affairs’ priority list for construction grants during the coming year.

New report on DCF again calls for more staff, better training

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:45am -- tim

by Laura Krantz Staffers in the Department for Children and Families lack knowledge and understanding about how to work effectively with families affected by substance abuse, according to a new report released Thursday by DCF. The Casey Family Programs study is the third to come out this fall, as part of a wide response to two child deaths in February and April. All three came to similar conclusions.

Obama Administration to help consumers better understand and compare health insurance benefits

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:09am -- tim

The US Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury today issued proposed rules to help people who are shopping for health insurance coverage better understand their options. All health plans and issuers are required to provide consumers with a standardized, brief summary of what a health insurance policy or employer plan covers. This information allows consumers to make “apples to apples” comparisons when they are shopping for health insurance coverage, and to have a clear summary of what their insurance covers.