Vermont Business Magazine The consolidation of regional telecoms has completed another transaction. FirstLight Fiber, a leading fiber-optic bandwidth infrastructure services provider based in Albany, New York, and operating in Vermont and across Northern New England, announced today that Oak Hill Capital Partners has completed its acquisition of Oxford Networks, and has combined the operations of Oxford with FirstLight. Oak Hill acquired Sovernet, based in Bellows Falls, last August, and then in September bought FirstLight and combined it with Sovernet. FirstLight now operates a network consisting of 415,000 fiber miles.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont’s Cold Hollow to Canada (CHC), a regional conservation partnership program (RCPP) operating in seven towns along the western spine of the Green Mountains, will expand an existing cross boundary management initiative. The Cold Hollow Woodlots Program initially engaged 12 landowners spanning over 2,000 acres in the town of Enosburg. RCPP will help expand this work to 50 landowners and 8,000 acres by adding woodlots in Richford and Montgomery, as well as serving the existing woodlot group in Enosburg. This effort will be supported with RCPP project funds totaling $640,000.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Peter Shumlin has appointed Dennis Wygmans as Addison County’s State’s Attorney. Wygmans fills an opening created when former Addison County State’s Attorney David Fenster was appointed to the Vermont Superior Court. The governor will swear in Wygmans Wednesday at 12:15 pm in the Governor’s Ceremonial Office. Wygmans has served as a Deputy State’s Attorney in both Chittenden and Addison counties since 2013. Before that he had his own practice with offices in Brattleboro and Winooski.
Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont Medical Center filed a certificate of need (CON) application with the state of Vermont today to create a unified electronic health record (EHR) across four hospitals in the University of Vermont Health Network. According to UVMHN, a unified EHR will significantly improve patient care by having all of a patient’s information available to a health care provider regardless of location whenever it is needed.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Peter Shumlin has pardoned 192 individuals convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana. In December, the Governor announced that he would consider pardons for those with minor marijuana possession charges who did not have violent criminal histories. With pardons, Shumlin has set the record for most pardons issued by a Vermont governor.
Vermont Business Magazine South Dakota (68 percent inbound) is first and Vermont (67 percent) edged out Oregon (67 percent) for the second position in a national study that looked at moving patterns in 2016. The United Van Lines' 40th Annual National Movers Study tracked customers' state-to-state migration patterns over the past year. Oregon held the top spot for the previous three years, as the nation's "Top Moving Destination." This is the first time South Dakota has held the Number 1 spot. Vermont did well for younger people (under 55) and those moving for life style, and poorer for age (retirees) and job-related moves. The state ranked third for 2015.
by John McClaughry With a new President and Governor inaugurated this month, it’s a good time to rethink the limits of executive power to act without the authorization of the Constitution or the legislature – especially in view of the growing abuse of executive power.
by Jeb Spaulding, Chancellor, Vermont State Colleges and Martha O’Connor, Chair, Vermont State Colleges System Board of Trustees Governor-elect Scott and the new Legislature have a lot on their plate in the new year. There is one big decision to make that can’t be put off. Will they choose to provide the funding necessary to place the Vermont State Colleges System (VSCS) on a sustainable path or not?
If the VSCS Board of Trustees or Chancellor could decide, we would say yes and here is why:
Vermont Business Magazine Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) has announced the appointments of Wayne Granquist; Connie A Jastremski, CNRN, CNAA, CHPN, NP, BSN, RN; and Angeline Marano, FACHE, to its Board of Trustees. “These individuals have unique skills and experiences and will make tremendous contributions to our Board of Trustees,” said Tommy Harmon, the board chair. “I am delighted to welcome them and eager to see what we can accomplish together.”
by Mike Smith In a few days Vermont will have a new governor. For incoming governor Phil Scott, here’s some unsolicited advice: Don’t act like the outgoing governor. Most Vermonters want their governors to be successful. Scott will benefit from a reservoir of good will and trust that awaits an incoming governor. Governor Peter Shumlin was the recipient of this same good will and trust when he took office. He even enhanced his standing with Vermonters by leading recovery efforts after Tropical Storm Irene.
Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims spiked last week as the usual holiday layoffs hit. While they were up over 700 for the week, they were substantially lower than last year at this time. Most industrial sectors saw at least some increase for the week, except for Construction which already had gone through its seasonal downsizing. Services recorded nearly half of all layoffs, typical of the season. Manufacturing also increased to an unusually high 300 claims.
Vermont Business Magazine Based on an alert from the US Department of Homeland Security, Burlington Electric Department confirmed that it had discovered late Thursday presumed Russian malware in one of its laptops, which was not connected to its network. Homeland Security issued the alert to all US utilities.