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VTrans announces $170,000 in walk-to-school awards

Thu, 05/07/2009 - 10:44am -- tim

The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) today announced that 30 schools will receive a total of $170,000 in Planning and Program Development grants through the Agency s Safe Routes to School program. Competition for funding was solid, as VTrans received 13 applications representing 35 schools for a total request of $225,000.
The grants will be used by schools to help them form travel plans that will identify the barriers (both cultural and physical) that prevent students from walking and bicycling to school.

Bruegger's, GMCR help give T riders their reward

Thu, 05/07/2009 - 10:33am -- tim

On the morning of Wednesday, May 13, an estimated 20,000 T riders in Boston will be rewarded for their environmentally-friendly decision to use public transportation with the help of two Vermont companies. Volunteers from TransFair USA, the non-profit that certifies Fair Trade Certified ¢ products in the United States, will distribute free coupons to be redeemed for hot or iced Fair Trade Certified ¢ Green Mountain Coffee® at Bruegger s Bakery-Cafés, plus a coupon worth $2.50 off a package of Green Mountain Coffee at local grocery stores.

Northern Power Systems launches Wind for Schools package

Wed, 05/06/2009 - 10:11am -- tim

Northern Power Systems, Inc. (, a next-generation wind energy company and leading manufacturer of community wind turbines in Barre, today unveiled a Wind for Schools package that will help more schools produce their own wind power and engage their students and communities in realizing the benefits of renewable energy.

New York bank to open office in Burlington

Wed, 05/06/2009 - 10:04am -- tim

NBT Bank, NA, of Norwich, NY, is planning to open a commercial lending office on Bank Street in Burlington. The office will be located in the former Vermont National Bank building, which more recently was used by Chittenden Bank. The bank's parent company, NBT Bancorp, announced it was moving into Vermont yesterday during its annual shareholders' meeting. The Binghamton (NY) Press & Sun-Bulletin quoted CEO Martin Dietrich as saying the office would open in either the second or third quarter of this year and could expand further into Vermont eventually.

New weekly unemployment claims continue downward trend

Wed, 05/06/2009 - 9:13am -- tim

Week Ending May 2, 2009. There were 1,104 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, a decrease of 397 from the week before. Altogether 18,005 new and continuing claims were filed, 425 less than a week ago and 8,237 more than a year earlier. The Department also processed 2,265 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 143 more than a week ago. In addition, there were 1,342 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program which is an increase of 43 from the week before.

Senate passes renewable energy bill

Wed, 05/06/2009 - 9:03am -- tim

The Senate has passed H 446, An Act Relating to Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. H 446 creates standard offer rates to encourage the rapid development of renewable energy technologies.  Rates are based on today s costs and as the technology progresses, rates will be decreased.  The Vermont Public Service Board will review and reset the rates every two years.

FairPoint reports $8.8 million loss in first quarter

Wed, 05/06/2009 - 8:44am -- tim

FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NYSE: FRP) has announced its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2009. The landline telephone company reported a loss of $8.8 million on $311.6 million in revenues, compared to a pro forma loss of $9.5 million for the same period in 2008 on $349,418 in revenues. The first quarter loss is less than losses stretching back to the last profitable period in quarter two of 2008 of $23,114. The company lost $76,072 in quarter four of 2008, and lost $25,109 in quarter three of 2008.

State, business leaders advocate for changes in unemployment insurance

Wed, 05/06/2009 - 7:24am -- tim

Legislators, including Rep. Mike Marcotte, Vice Chair of the House Commerce Committee, Department of Labor Commissioner Patricia Moulton Powden, business owners, and leaders of the state s business organizations held a press conference today regarding fiscal challenges facing the Unemployment Insurance (UI) trust fund. They are urging legislative leaders to take action to address the growing shortfall in the trust fund through a balanced approach of gradual increases in the taxable wage base and adjustments in Vermont s unemployment benefits.

New law expands Vermont's wineries ability to sell products

Wed, 05/06/2009 - 6:57am -- tim

Vermont wine makers will now have an expanded ability to sample and sell their own and other manufacturers' products at their vineyards. Governor Douglas yesterday at Shelburne Vineyards signed into law S27, an act relating to tastings and sale of wines, fortified wines and spirits. With the enactment of S27, wineries, vineyards and distilleries in Vermont will be able to host special events, including weddings, where they can sample and sell their products.

Robert Duvall joins Welch, Poe to call on Wal-Mart to preserve Civil War site

Tue, 05/05/2009 - 9:02am -- tim

US Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Ted Poe (R-Texas) joined Academy Award-winning actor Robert Duvall at Wilderness Battlefield today to speak out against Wal-Mart s plans to build a super store on the historic Virginia site.
If built, the store would stand across the road from the national park commemorating the bloody struggle and within the battlefield s historic footprint.