Current News

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Vermont Business Magazine Yesterday, Representative Becca Balint (D-Vermont) hosted Acting HUD Secretary Adrianne Todman to highlight the acute housing needs in Vermont. They were joined by US Senator Peter Welch, Burlington Mayor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak and housing advocates from around the state to tour housing units and discuss the specific housing needs of rural states. Acting Secretary Todman’s visit was a critical opportunity to discuss housing priorities across the state and the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to address them. The visit included a tour of the Richard Kemp Center to learn about addressing racial disparities in Vermont and the Center’s work to end the homeownership gap in the state.   

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Vermont State Police On Tuesday, June 18, 2024, the Vermont State Police executed a search warrant at 37 Reed St. in Springfield, Vermont. This operation involved members of the Vermont Drug Task Force; the Vermont State Police Tactical Services Unit, Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Field Force Division, Crisis Negotiation Unit, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program and Bomb Squad; the FBI; the Springfield Police Department; and the Springfield Fire Department. The execution of the search warrant stemmed from a months-long drug investigation conducted by detectives with the Vermont Drug Task Force into the distribution of fentanyl and cocaine from 37 Reed St. During the execution of the search warrant the Vermont State Police encountered multiple individuals including but not limited to Michael Spaulding, Jesse Morey, Douglas Marsh, Joshua Garcia, and Gianni Gamble.

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Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) today released the following statement in response to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s claims that the United States should be supplying Israel with additional weapons and ammunitions in its war against Gaza: "Earlier today, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu put out a video attacking the United States for not sending him bombs fast enough. No doubt, we will hear similar complaints when he addresses Congress on July 24. Virtually everyone recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself from terrorism and respond to the horrific October 7th Hamas attack that killed 1,200 innocent Israelis and took hundreds of hostages. But the Israeli government did not and does not have the right to go to war against the entire Palestinian people. Yet that is exactly what has happened."

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Vermont State Police At about 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, 2024, a hiker notified the Vermont State Police that he had located an apparently deceased woman inside a vehicle on a Class 4 road in the town of Worcester. Troopers responded to the location, the end of Hampshire Hill Road, and confirmed the woman was deceased. Preliminary investigation indicates the victim is Pamela Shover, 71, of Worcester. Her body was brought to the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death and to provide confirmation of identity. The death does not appear suspicious, but this investigation remains active and ongoing. 

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Vermont Business Magazine At his weekly press conference Tuesday, Governor Phil Scott discussed the impact the Legislature’s veto overrides will have on Vermont taxpayers, workers and families and their ability to afford to live in the state. Good afternoon. Yesterday, the Legislature voted to override six of my vetoes. As you might remember, after the last week of a chaotic end of the session, where they passed 70 bills in three days, I talked about how we were going to review each bill and weigh the good against the bad when deciding whether to sign the bill, let it go without signature, or veto the bill.

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Vermont Business Magazine On June 15, Starbucks workers at the Essex Junction location announced their union organizing campaign. If successful, they will be the second Starbucks store in the state of Vermont to unionize. The first Starbucks store in the state to organize a union was the Shelburne Road location in July of 2022. Workers are looking to join 10,000+ Starbucks workers at 400+ unionized stores across the country at the bargaining table. 

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Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Law and Graduate School’s Farmed Animal Advocacy Clinic (FAAC) has filed a complaint on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States and the Center for Biological Diversity with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against JBS S.A. and its affiliates, including Pilgrim’s Pride, among the largest meat and poultry producers in the world, for misleading and deceptive sustainability claims. The complaint highlights discrepancies between JBS's public declarations and its actual environmental and animal welfare practices, posing significant risks to investors. 

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Vermont Business Magazine Author Mariana Budjeryn has been selected for the 2024 William E. Colby Military Writers’ Award for her work Inheriting the Bomb: The Collapse of the USSR and the Nuclear Disarmament of Ukraine. The annual award is presented to a solo work of fiction or nonfiction that has made a major contribution to the understanding of military history, intelligence operations, or international affairs. Mariana Budjeryn, whose work is both timely and relevant, has the added distinction of being the first female author to be honored as the winner of the Colby Award in its 25-year history. 

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Vermont Business Magazine The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont has announced that a federal grand jury has indicted Bounthavong Sonthikoummane, 42, and Ashlyn Arcouette, 32, both of White River Junction, Vermont, on fraud charges stemming from four loans they obtained on behalf of businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Sonthikoummane appeared Monday in United States District Court in Burlington and pleaded not guilty to the indictment. United States Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle ordered that Sonthikoummane remain in custody pending another hearing on June 20. Arcouette is to appear in court today for her arraignment. On June 12, 2024, a federal grand jury returned an eleven-count indictment against the two defendants. The indictment charges Sonthikoummane with bank fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and making false statements. 

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Vermont Business Magazine Two Vermont Army National Guard Soldiers took part in the Brazilian Basic Mountaineering Course in April. Sgt. 1st Class David Girr and Staff Sgt. Cyran Willis successfully graduated from the challenging program held in Sao Joao Del Rei, Brazil. The pair were invited to participate in the course as part of a broader mountain operations exchange program with the U.S. Army and the Brazilian Army. This initiative aims to enhance expertise in mountain warfare tactics and foster international camaraderie. Throughout their training, Girr and Willis worked closely with the 11th Mountain Infantry Battalion of the Brazilian Army.

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SBA Vermont Join the Office of the Vermont State Treasurer and the Pride & Prosperity Network on Thursday, June 20th at 4PM at VSAC in Winooski, VT for Queerness in Business - a community conversation for LGBTQIA2S+ Vermonters and allies. The Pride & Prosperity Network includes representatives from the Pride Center of Vermont, the Small Business Administration (SBA), Mercy Connections, and the Office of the Vermont State Treasurer. The group aims to support Vermont’s queer community by fostering an inclusive economic landscape and creating a thriving environment where queer-owned business and queer individuals can flourish. The Pride & Prosperity Network is generously supported by M&T Bank's Amplify Fund.

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Vermont Business Magazine The United States Attorney’s Office announced that Robert McLane, 36, of Webster, Vermont, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Burlington to a charge of mail fraud. According to the information, between approximately March 2019 and September 23, 2022, McLane was employed by Formula Nissan, Inc., an automobile sales and service dealership located in central Vermont.  Starting around January 2021 and continuing until September 2022, McLane began defrauding Formula Nissan by ordering certain vehicle parts from Nissan North America. Many of the parts McLane ordered were vehicle suspension lift kits. The cost to Formula Nissan of each lift kit was in the $2,300 to $2,900 range. Nissan North America billed, and Formula Nissan subsequently paid, for the lift kits McLane had ordered.