Current News

-A A +A

Welch seeks to increase and index to inflation MILC payments

Thu, 07/09/2009 - 7:49am -- tim

US Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont) on Thursday introduced legislation that would index to inflation Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program payments to dairy farmers.
The Dairy Fairness Act of 2009, which is co-sponsored by eight Members of Congress, would amend the Farm Bill to tie MILC payments to the Consumer Price Index, thereby increasing payments to farmers each year. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) is introducing companion legislation in the Senate.

Guard Card project to provide free phone cards to all deployed Vermont Guard soldiers

Thu, 07/09/2009 - 7:47am -- tim

Today, Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz announced a new program the Guard Card Project to provide free Verizon telephone cards to all deployed Vermont National Guardsmen and women.  In partnership with the Vermont National Guard, the USO (United Service Organizations) and Verizon, the Office of the Secretary of State has created a program to engage students in service learning projects that will help guard families by putting a free, 100 minute calling card in the pocket of every soldier who is deployed as a result of the mobilization order announced by Adjutant General Michae

Vermont ranks as one of lowest credit risk states

Thu, 07/09/2009 - 6:32am -- tim

With Mississippi as the highest and Vermont the third lowest, the TransUnion Credit Risk Index, a statistic developed to measure the changes in average consumer credit risk within various geographies, increased 1.98 percent from 124.79 in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 127.26 in the first quarter of 2009. On a year-over-year basis, the Credit Risk Index increased 7.10 percent (from 118.83 in the first quarter of 2008), the largest increase for that time period in this decade.

BioTek Instruments appoints Millennium Science as New Zealand distributor

Thu, 07/09/2009 - 5:09am -- tim

BioTek Instruments of Winooski, Vermont, has appointed Millennium Science Pty. Ltd., as their official distributor in New Zealand. Millennium now retains responsibility for sales and support of the entire BioTek line of microplate-based instrumentation and software across the Tasman.
"Millennium has a strong focus on applications with expert technical sales and support. They are a natural fit for BioTek as we grow in

Welch votes against bill to expand small business grants to large firms

Thu, 07/09/2009 - 5:06am -- tim

US Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont) on Wednesday voted against a bill that he said would harm Vermont s small businesses by diverting key federal funding to larger, venture capital-backed firms. The Enhancing Small Business Innovation and Research Act of 2009 (H.R. 2965), which passed Wednesday afternoon on a vote of 386 to 41, reauthorizes the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The bill rewrites the definition of small businesses to allow large corporations to compete for this vital seed money, effectively crowding out true small businesses.

Douglas, top Obama Administration officials to lead H1N1 flu preparedness summit

Thu, 07/09/2009 - 5:04am -- tim

Governor Douglas will join via interactive television U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, Education Secretary Duncan, and White House Homeland Security Advisor Brennan today for an all-day H1N1 Influenza Preparedness Summit with representatives from 54 states and territories.  Vermont officials participating in Washington, DC include AHS Secretary Rob Hofmann, VDH Commissioner Dr. Wendy Davis and Vermont Homeland Security Unit Director Captain Chris Reinfurt.

Health insurance rates hold steady for Catamount Health Insurance program

Wed, 07/08/2009 - 10:54am -- tim

Commissioner Paulette Thabault of the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA) announced that her Department has received no 4th quarter rate increase requests for Catamount Health Insurance.  The state-subsidized health plan is sold by both Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Vermont and MVP Health, and neither has filed for an increase since the inception of the program in October 2007.  Commissioner Thabault said, The rates are so far holding steady.  That speaks well for the early success of Catamount as a public/private partnership to provide afforda

Vermont's economic competitiveness ranks 49th in nation

Wed, 07/08/2009 - 10:16am -- tim

According to a new study from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Vermont s economic outlook now ranks 49th out of 50 states. The second edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index offers a roadmap for economic recovery based on state policies that have a proven impact on growth. High personal income taxes, high property taxes, along with some of the highest labor costs in America all hurt Vermont s economic outlook.

Weekly unemployment claims fall again, lower than last year

Wed, 07/08/2009 - 9:46am -- tim

For the Week of 08/01/2009. There were 785 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, a decrease of 45 from the week before. Altogether 12,752 new and continuing claims were filed, 324 fewer than a week ago and 5,423 more than a year earlier. The Department also processed 3,862 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 63 more than a week ago. In addition, there were 749 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program, which is an increase of 8 from the week before.

Gaz Metro part of major wind energy project in Quebec

Wed, 07/08/2009 - 9:07am -- tim

Boralex Inc and Gaz Metro Limited Partnership have learned that the minister of Quebec's Natural Resources and Wildlife, Nathalie Normandeau, has approved for their two wind power projects in the northeast part of the province. The installed capacity of the facilities is 272 megawatts. Gaz Metro owns both Vermont Gas and Green Mountain Power.

Shearer buys Lewis Motors in South Burlington

Wed, 07/08/2009 - 5:50am -- tim

Long-time Burlington auto dealer Bill Shearer acquired Lewis Motors in South Burlington effective July 1, 2009, adding three new brands to the Shearer family of dealerships in Vermont. The current location on Shelburne Road will be retained, but each brand will have its own dealership identity.  The names will be changed to Shearer Acura, Audi South Burlington and Volkswagen South Burlington.
"Acura, Audi and Volkswagen are flagship brands that have become mainstays in Vermont.  The Lewis family has set a solid foundation for their future" said Shearer.