Current News

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by Brooke Burns, Community News Service Documents in Vermont Attorney General Charity Clark’s lawsuit against Meta reveal that even with around 80% of Vermont teens using Instagram in 2020 — one of the highest rates in the country — the company was still working on ways to get those teens to spend more time per day on the app. It’s amid those revelations that a new Senate bill aims to protect Vermont’s kids from predatory data collection and online content designed to take advantage of their vulnerabilities. Colloquially called the Vermont Kid’s Code, the bill, S.289, would ban big tech companies from collecting kids’ data, or designing their products, in ways that would create a reasonable risk of material physical harm, severe emotional distress, financial harm, a highly offensive intrusion to the expectation of privacy — or in any way that would discriminate based on a protected class.

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Vermont Business Magazine The Made in Vermont Marketplace at the DoubleTree Hotel in South Burlington April 6 & 7 is an extraordinary opportunity for Vermont companies to showcase their Made in Vermont products to an audience of thousands of prospective customers in one weekend. The trade show is dedicated to promoting the great variety of Vermont-made products . . . from furniture, specialty foods, clothing, wines and so much more! Only Vermont based companies that make their products in Vermont are eligible to exhibit. Showcase your products at the Made in Vermont Marketplace event and on www.madeinvermontmarketplace.com

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by Christine Werneke, MS, and Stephen Leffler, MD Every day, too many Vermonters are suffering because they cannot get access to the right level of care they need after a hospitalization, after they’ve gotten too sick to be safely cared for at home, or because they’re waiting for a hospital bed that is not yet available. This is because Vermont has a severe lack of capacity for patients who need long-term care outside of the hospital. The situation has become chronic and is causing constant overcrowding in our hospitals across the state, straining our health care staff, and negatively impacting our patients and all of the communities we serve across our region. As we write this today, 65 patients at the University of Vermont Medical Center are ready to leave and head to their next level of care, such as a nursing home or rehabilitation center. Some will wait days, weeks, months – or, shockingly, more than an entire year – for the right care setting with the right supports. 

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Leonine Public Affairs The Vermont legislature wrapped up the first half of the 2024 legislative session this week. Next week lawmakers will be on break - heading home to attend town meetings, meet with constituents and catch their breath. When legislators return on March 12 policy committees will finalize their bills and pass them by March 15. Any policy bill that does not meet the deadline is dead for the year, unless leadership grants an extension or if the language is added to another bill that has made crossover. The FY2025 state budget and all tax legislation have a crossover deadline of March 22. 

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Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Transportation has announced that on I-91 northbound from Exit 14 (Thetford) to Exit 16 (Bradford) will have rolling roadblocks beginning Sunday, March 3, 2024. The rolling roadblocks will continue through Thursday, March 7, 2024, unless work is completed early. Rolling roadblocks will occur during the daytime hours each day, Sunday through Thursday at varying times.

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by C.B. Hall, Vermont Business Magazine Established in 1951 with a few dozen employees in a plant in Center Rutland, employee-owned Carris Reels has grown into one of North America's largest producers of industrial reels, with 19 plants in Mexico and Canada and across the United States and a total of some 820 employees, expressed as full-time equivalents. In the Green Mountain State, the company's payroll totals 135 FTEs, at five Rutland-area locations. In addition to the big wooden reels that the company's name brings to mind, Carris also manufactures reels made from plastic, metal and plastic-metal hybrids. Wire ties, barrels and other accessories round out the product line. Sales in 2023 totaled an estimated $174 million, down from $222 million in 2022.

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by Jonah Frangiosa, Community News Service The Winooski City Council has adopted new regulations for short-term rentals, including a steeper annual licensing fee for owners who don’t live on the property. The new rules, which the council approved earlier this month, define the categories of short-term rental properties, such as Airbnb sites, as either owner-occupied or non-owner-occupied. Hosts have to register with the city and apply for a license. Non-occupying owners will pay an annual fee of $1,400, up from the council’s initial proposed fee of $1,000. The fee for hosts who live in the home where they offer short-term rentals is $250 per year.

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VermontJobs.com Spring Job Fair will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at the University Mall in South Burlington from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The job fair is a great opportunity for job seekers of all ages to seek out a new job or even a new career. The VermontJobs.com Job Fair provides access to employers from a wide variety of companies, nonprofit organizations and industries who are seeking committed and enthusiastic employees to fill hundreds of positions. 

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Vermont Business Magazine Frog Hollow Craft Gallery in Burlington has announced an upcoming exhibition showcasing the exquisite works of Burlington's very own AO Glass. Co-founders and married couple Rich Arentzen and Tove Ohlander operate a nationally recognized glass-blowing company in a 10,000-square-foot space on Pine Street, at the creative heart of Burlington. The exhibition will feature a stunning collection of glass pieces produced by Arentzen and Ohlander over the past 20 years, highlighting the craftsmanship and innovation that has defined the studio's artistic vision. March 1st - March 29th. Opening Reception - Saturday, March 16th from 3 to 5.

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by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine GlobalFoundries (Nasdaq: GFS) CEO Dr Thomas Caulfield was joined today at the GF plant in Essex Junction by Vermont Governor Phill Scott, Senator Peter Welch, former Senator Patrick Leahy, US Representative Becca Balint (by video), and other GF and community leaders to celebrate the nearly $130 million in planned direct funding as part of the US CHIPS and Science Act and Vermont state funding that will support the modernization of GF’s longest continuously operated fab and the nation’s first and largest Trusted 200mm facility. Last week, GF announced the US Department of Commerce’s $1.5 billion in planned direct funding for GF, with $125 million of that funding earmarked for modernizing and building out the capacity of GF’s Vermont facility. 

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Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) today issued the following statement calling on the United States to immediately begin a massive humanitarian airdrop of lifesaving supplies to the people of Gaza, who are on the verge of starvation and dehydration, and demanded that Israel open the borders to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza: "The United States, which has helped fund the Israeli military for years, cannot sit back and allow hundreds of thousands of innocent children to starve to death. As a result of Israeli bombing and restrictions on humanitarian aid, the people of Gaza are facing an unprecedented humanitarian disaster."

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by Mike Donoghue, Vermont News First, Vermont Business Magazine Three of the seven lawyers appointed to help find a replacement for Federal Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford have never appeared in US District Court in Vermont for any kind of cases, according to public records. And two of the lawyers on the screening committee are not even admitted to practice law in the federal courts in Vermont, the public records show. Senators Sanders and Welch, along with their staffs, have been conducting interviews in recent weeks, but no names have been released, a spokesman for Sanders previously said. In the past, staff members in Vermont and Washington from the Senate offices did preliminary interviews, followed by the eventual interviews by each senator. It is unclear when Vermont residents will be asked to offer public comments on the finalists for the lifetime appointment.