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Copley Hospital breaks ground for utility plant

Mon, 07/20/2009 - 7:25am -- tim

Copley Health Systems broke ground on July 13, 2009 for Copley Hospital's new Utility Plant expansion. The 1,500 square foot plant is being built adjacent to the existing utility room on the east side of the hospital. It will be located between the hospital and the Health Center office building, aligned with the existing loading dock.  Two new boilers will be housed in the Utility Plant, replacing the hospital's two 50-year-old boilers.

Vermont unemployment rate (7.1 percent) falls, but so do jobs

Fri, 07/17/2009 - 8:44am -- tim

The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June 2009 was 7.1 percent, down 0.3 tenths of a point from the revised May rate and up 2.6 points from a year ago.  When seasonally adjusted, June job levels fell by 1,200 or -0.4% from May. Only the Construction sector, (+300 or +2.2%) and Health Care, (+200 or +0.4%) showed any over the month seasonally adjusted growth. Manufacturing, Leisure and Hospitality and Administrative Support & Waste were the largest job losers, shedding 500, 300 and 300 jobs respectively.

FairPoint donates $1,000 to Starbase Vermont

Fri, 07/17/2009 - 7:58am -- tim

FairPoint Communications recently donated $1,000 to Starbase Vermont to help teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to elementary school students across the state.   Starbase Vermont provides students in grades 4 through 6 an exciting activity-based curriculum conducted over 5 days (25 hours) with a goal to inspire students in STEM fields.  The Starbase program typically occurs over a 5-week period and it is free of charge.

Bill would force General Motors and Chrysler to abide by franchise agreements

Fri, 07/17/2009 - 7:14am -- tim

Rep. Peter Welch supported and the House passed legislation Thursday night preventing General Motors and Chrysler from arbitrarily closing car dealerships as part of their restructuring efforts. Welch cosponsored the Automobile Dealer Economic Rights Restoration Act (H.R. 2743), which forces car manufacturers to abide by their contracts with local dealer franchises in order to complete the bankruptcy process. GM and Chrysler have sought to close 3,000 dealerships nationwide including roughly three dozen in Vermont. Dealerships account for 7.5 percent of all retail jobs in Vermont.

Chris Dutton, former GMP chief, named chair of Telecom Authority

Fri, 07/17/2009 - 6:37am -- tim

Christopher Dutton, the former head of Green Mountain Power, has been named to lead the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA).  Governor Jim Douglas, Speaker Shap Smith and Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin announced the appointment today.  The VTA was established by the Legislature in 2007 as part of Governor Douglas proposal to make Vermont the nation s first e-state.  Its mission is to build infrastructure enabling affordable broadband and cellular service everywhere in the State.  VTA is authorized to issue up to $40 million in revenue bonds to finance the infrastructure re

Chittenden Bank parent company reports flat earnings

Fri, 07/17/2009 - 6:02am -- tim

People's United Financial, Inc. (Nasdaq: PBCT) announced July 16, 2009, net income of $27.4 million, or $0.08 per share, for the second quarter of 2009, compared to $26.7 million, or $0.08 per share, for the first quarter of 2009, and $43.0 million, or $0.13 per share, for the second quarter of 2008. Second quarter 2009 earnings reflect continued margin pressure associated with the historically low interest rate environment and the company's asset sensitive balance sheet, and security gains that served to offset an FDIC special assessment charge.

Merchants Bancshares announces 28 cent dividend, added to Russell 3000 Index

Fri, 07/17/2009 - 5:27am -- tim

Merchants Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq: MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, announced July 16, 2009, that its Board of Directors declared a dividend of 28 cents per share, payable August 13, 2009, to shareholders of record as of July 30, 2009. Merchants plans to release earnings on or about July 29, 2009. In addition, Merchants announced that it was added to the broad-market Russell 3000 Index when Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes on June 26, 2009.

Copley, Gifford, Porter hospitals create shared services network to reduce costs

Fri, 07/17/2009 - 5:23am -- tim

Three community hospitals have formed the not-for-profit Vermont Hospital Shared Service Network (VEHSSN). The Presidents and Board of Trustees of Copley Hospital in Morrisville, Gifford Medical Center in Randolph and Porter Medical Center in Middlebury created VEHSSN to enhance collaboration and the development of shared services among the three not-for-profit, rural Community Access Hospitals as permitted by law.

Vermont Tax Amnesty Program begins July 20

Thu, 07/16/2009 - 10:56am -- tim

Do you owe back state taxes? The Vermont Tax Amnesty Program, or VTAP, offers a rare opportunity to pay those taxes and have the late payment penalty waived. The last amnesty program for Vermont taxes ran in 1990.
We understand in this current economic climate, many otherwise compliant taxpayers may have fallen behind in their payments. Since late payment penalties can be up to 25% of the tax amount, this could be a significant savings for some people and help them settle up their tax obligations, said Acting Commissioner of Taxes Ellen Tofferi.

Vermont continues to have by far the lowest foreclosure rate in US

Thu, 07/16/2009 - 5:57am -- tim

A national rating firm has once again ranked Vermont as having the lowest home foreclosure rate in the nation, based on second quarter and year-to-date numbers. Vermont has both the fewest foreclosures over the first half of the year and the lowest rate as a percentage of housing units. Vermont's rate of foreclosure has actually improved this quarter against both the first quarter of this year and compared to the first six months of last year. For the first six months, Vermont's rate was one foreclosure for every 8,898 housing units.