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Administration cuts low-income subsidy for health exchange

Fri, 02/08/2013 - 9:07am -- tim

by Andrew Stein  Two weeks ago, Governor Peter Shumlin proposed a $10.3 million in health insurance subsidies for low-income Vermonters. The assistance was meant to cushion the blow of rising health care costs associated with the state’ s new health insurance marketplace, or health benefit exchange, set to take effect in 2014. The exchange is a required part of health reform under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Local legislators meet with North Country Hospital

Fri, 02/08/2013 - 8:58am -- tim

Local legislators met over dinner at North Country Hospital to discuss the current status of the hospital and other health care issues. Hospital CEO Claudio Fort gave an overview of hospital services, the economic impact the hospital has on the community, and the current healthcare environment. Hospital trustees, administrators, physicians, and lawmakers talked about the topics being discussed in Montpellier this session and how they may affect healthcare in the Northeast Kingdom community.

Burlington, Winooski mayors welcome state oversight of special TIF taxing districts

Fri, 02/08/2013 - 8:34am -- tim

by Nat Rudarakanchana  Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger and Winooski Mayor Michael O’ Brien are amenable to more state oversight of tax increment financing (TIF) districts, along the lines of a recommendation made by a recent state audit.
An audit report from late December recommends that a state body like the Tax Department or the Vermont Economic Progress Council resolve disputes between the state and towns, and hold authority to interpret and enforce the messy legal statutes regarding TIFs.

Burlington Telecom mediation postponed until March 12

Fri, 02/08/2013 - 8:31am -- tim

The Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE), or mediation, in the Burlington Telecom case, scheduled to resume today, February 8, 2013, has been postponed until March 12, 2013.  
To learn more about ENEs in general, click here.
The Mayor's Office will not be issuing any further statement on this matter given the confidential agreement signed by all mediation participants. 
Source: City of Burlington 2.7.2013

New Markets Tax Credits target developments in need

Fri, 02/08/2013 - 7:30am -- intern

by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine The final piece of the re-development of the Brooks House in Brattleboro came together at the end of January with a financing commitment from two local banks. The Brooks House was gutted by fire in 2010 with the loss of apartments, retail and restaurants. But perhaps the most deleterious result of the fire was the blighting of the signature building at the town’ s busiest corner.

Senate approves mandatory fees on non-union members

Fri, 02/08/2013 - 7:27am -- tim

by Nat Rudarakanchana   The state Senate has approved mandatory fees on non-union members for services they receive, such as representation in grievances and collective bargaining, which under law unions must provide even to non-members.
The Senate bill passed 24-5 Wednesday, and is the first substantive bill to pass the Senate this session. It now faces consideration in the House.

Vermont Yankee owner Entergy reports fourth quarter, annual earnings

Fri, 02/08/2013 - 7:02am -- tim

In part due to an "asset impairment" related to the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, Vermont, Entergy Corporation's (NYSE: ETR) 2012 performance suffered in relation to 2011. However, its fourth quarter showed a near-doubling of earnings. Entergy today reported fourth quarter 2012 as-reported earnings of $296.3 million, or $1.66 per share, compared with $154.1 million, or 87 cents per share, for fourth quarter 2011.

Maple Grove Farms in St Johnsbury linked to epic syrup heist in Quebec

Fri, 02/08/2013 - 6:39am -- tim

by Alicia Freese A Vermont maple sugar business has admitted to unwittingly purchasing 12 tanker truckloads of stolen syrup, the Montreal Gazette reported Thursday.
Maple Grove Farms, of St Johnsbury, Vermont, got caught up in Quebec’ s cosmic-sized maple syrup heist, when police showed up with a search warrant on Oct. 19. The factory confirmed that it had purchased the drastically underpriced syrup from a major player in the heist at some point during the summer of 2012. No charges have been filed at this point.

Hoffer lines up first few audits

Thu, 02/07/2013 - 10:07am -- tim

by Nat Rudarakanchana State Auditor Doug Hoffer is sharpening up his pencil to review transportation, corrections, and state cell phone contracts, he announced early Wednesday, listing details about his office’ s priorities. Hoffer, a Democrat and Progressive, was sworn in to his new job Jan. 10.
Several of the contracts Hoffer is targeting involve large amounts of state dollars. Hoffer said he will audit the Correct Care Solutions contract at the Corrections Department, a personal services contract under which a private firm provides health care for inmates.

The Foundry re-introduces public skating, broomball to Killington area

Thu, 02/07/2013 - 9:54am -- tim

Killington ­ Skaters are once again lacing up and taking to the ice on Summit Pond in Killington. The Foundry at Summit Pond has officially opened for public skating, bringing this popular winter activity back to the area. Summit Pond sits directly in front of The Foundry Restaurant on the Killington Road, and offers breathtaking views of Killington Peak from its sparkling surface.
Recent sub-zero temperatures presented ideal conditions for preparing the
ice, according to Foundry owner Chris Karr, who is happy to have a piece of
nostalgia in place.