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Vermont takes top spot for health access

Thu, 12/22/2016 - 4:59pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine A national report released yesterday measures the 50 states on six performance indicators. The Commonwealth Fund concludes that, when it comes to health access and affordability, Vermont is first in the nation. While the entire country has made significant gains in health access since the Affordable Care Act created health insurance marketplaces, Vermont has risen to the top. In 2014 Vermont ranked fourth on the annual scorecard, then moved up to second in 2015 before claiming the top spot this year.

Cornwall/Salisbury temporary structure replaces burned covered bridge

Thu, 12/22/2016 - 4:55pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine These photos from James Dwinell are of the new, temporary Cornwall/Salisbury bridge replacing the burned covered bridge, which was consumed last September. They started erecting yesterday, the bridge will be up today, then planking, and guard rails, open the middle of next week, the project manager said. VTrans was on scene too. The project manager said that the permanent bridge would replace this one two to five years hence.

US Customs preclearance from Toronto to BTV nears as President Obama signs bill

Thu, 12/22/2016 - 4:20pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The ability to clear US Customs at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is one step closer to becoming reality with President Obama having signed into law a bill ratifying the new preclearance agreement between Canada and the United States. The signing of the new law was commemorated earlier today by US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) at Burlington International Airport, as the first Porter Airlines flight of the season arrived.

Vermont gets $2.9 million for affordable housing from FHLB

Thu, 12/22/2016 - 10:03am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (FHLB Boston) has announced that 45 initiatives will receive $56.4 million in grants, loans, and interest-rate subsidies through its 2016 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) allocation. These funds will finance 1,100 units of affordable rental and ownership housing for households earning at or below 80 percent of area median income in seven states, including $2.9 million in projects for Vermont. Vermont projects are located in Brattleboro, Middlebury, North Bennington, Plainfield, and Rochester. 

Vermont ranked 14th-lowest for credit card burden

Thu, 12/22/2016 - 8:59am -- tim

by Fred O Williams Vermont has the 14th-lowest credit card debt burden in the US, according to a new report. The study compared the average credit card debt and the median income in each state. Dedicating 15 percent of income to credit card debt (as experts recommend), the typical Vermont resident would get out of debt in 15 months and would pay $563 in interest. Vermont has the nation’s 29th-highest average credit card debt ($5,244.05) and its 24th-highest median income.

State issues warning over fake 'opioid prescription' phone calls

Thu, 12/22/2016 - 7:05am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Department of Financial Regulation has been notified that a number of Vermonters have received questionable phone calls from people claiming affiliation with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT). The caller offers a special program regarding pain management and opioid prescriptions and asks the consumer to disclose personal information to determine qualification for the program.

Vermont Fish & Wildlife offers ice safety tips

Thu, 12/22/2016 - 4:40am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The recent arrival of cold temperature has formed early-season ice on Vermont ponds, lakes and rivers. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department reminds winter enthusiasts that ice should never be considered safe and ice conditions vary. "We are urging all outdoor enthusiasts - people going ice fishing, cross-country skiers, hikers, and snowmobilers -- to be extremely cautious and prepared if they are going to venture out on any ice," said Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter.

Chuck Ross appointed director of UVM Extension

Wed, 12/21/2016 - 3:53pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has named Chuck Ross director of UVM Extension, Tom Vogelmann, dean of the college, announced today. Ross is currently secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, a position he has held since 2011. Prior to his role as secretary, Ross served for 16 years as state director and senior advisor under US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont).

Phil Scott names Anson Tebbetts Agriculture Secretary

Wed, 12/21/2016 - 12:35pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine WCAX-TV news director Anson Tebbetts is once again leaving journalism to join state government. Governor-elect Phil Scott today announced four additional cabinet and extended cabinet appointments. Tebbetts has been appointed secretary of the Agency of Agriculture, and Representative Alyson Eastman will serve as deputy secretary, a position Tebbetts held in the Douglas Administration.

Montpelier landlord settles lead law violations

Wed, 12/21/2016 - 11:11am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont property owner David Rogers of North Montpelier settled claims that he failed to file lead compliance statements for four rental properties in violation of Vermont consumer protection and lead laws. “Lead paint responsibilities do not go away. If you are a landlord with pre-1978 rental housing, the lead law requires annual compliance. The law also provides for penalties if you ignore or delay your lead paint duties,” said Attorney General Bill Sorrell.

Burke Mountain Academy named US Ski Team training center

Wed, 12/21/2016 - 7:23am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Mikaela Shiffrin is its latest star in what could be many more coming from Burke Mountain Academy. BMA celebrated the grand opening of the Ronnie Berlack Center (RBC) – a $2.8 million, 15,000 square foot, state of the art indoor athletic facility – this past weekend marking a new era for the athletic development of Burke student-athletes and ski racers around the country.  BMA also announced a comprehensive new partnership with the US Ski and Snowboard Association for year round training and development of elite ski racers from around the Eastern region and around the US, which is the first of its kind.