Current News

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Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Corrections (DOC) this week awarded a Justice Reinvestment grant totaling $240,952 to Jenna’s Promise, a non-profit recovery organization based in Johnson, Vermont. The funding will expand reentry services and community supports for formerly incarcerated women recovering from addiction.   Corrections officials say these funds will address current gaps for women exiting incarceration – and aim to reduce the need for incarceration in the future. 

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Vermont Business Magazine Utilizing funding made available through Section 9817 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Agency of Human Services (AHS) awarded over $17.6 million in grants Worth $17.6 million to support Vermont’s system of care for individuals and families who use Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS). Under the HCBS Grant Opportunity, 45 grants were awarded to HCBS providers, community-based organizations, and other entities that support the HCBS landscape in Vermont.

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Vermont Business Magazine On a pause from a typically busy morning, Barre-based restaurateur Lisa St. Lawrence takes a quick mental inventory of her menu items. “Let’s see: there’s grilled garlic, peppers and onions, pepper Jack cheese, horseradish sauce and local beef from Knight’s Farm - that’s the Tribal Archery Signature Burger,” she says almost dreamily. “Then there’s the Yikes Stripes Signature Burger with bacon, cheddar and local maple syrup, and the Ridge Runner with egg and hot sauce.” She takes a breath and explains her enthusiasm. “I love watching people enjoy their food. It’s a passion of mine.” As owner of the soon-to-open Tasty Bites Diner, Lisa clearly has landed in the right profession. And, as of this spring, she’s landed in just the right place. The new diner is located on Barre’s high-visibility, high-traffic North Main Street.

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Vermont Business Magazine Overdose deaths in Vermont have decreased for the first time since 2019. According to the Department of Health’s newly released Annual Fatal Overdose Report, opioid-related overdoses resulted in the death of 231 Vermonters in 2023, a 5% drop from 2022 when 244 Vermonters died. The overdose report includes data on Vermonters who died of any drug overdose in 2023. According to the report, 90% of the drug overdose fatalities in Vermont involved opioids. The annual data is preliminary. At the time of the report there were 15 pending death certificates that could change the final figures.

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Vermont Business Magazine United Counseling Service (UCS) received notice from the Department of Mental Health (DMH) Commissioner, Emily Hawes, LADC, that its divisions of Children, Youth, and Family Services (CYFS), Adult Outpatient Services (AMH), Community Rehabilitation and Treatment (CRT), and Emergency Services (ES) programs are redesignated for the next four years. The comprehensive re-certification review process included quality service reviews, a review of compliance with the designation standards, and interviews with consumers, family members, board and staff members, standing committee members, and community partners. In the official Agency Designation decision, Commissioner Hawes commended United Counseling Service (UCS)’s leadership and staff for the excellent work they are doing and expressed sincere appreciation to the agency for its demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of Vermonters with mental health needs in Bennington County.

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Vermont Business Magazine On Thursday, May 9, Rutland Regional Medical Center will present an interactive learning and discussion on the topic of Social Connections. The free event is sponsored by Social Tinkering with a mission to “strengthen the social fabric of communities by helping people connect to discover and cultivate relationships and cultures grounded in compassionate belonging.” Presenters include Shiela Sharrow, LICSW, Manager, Rutland Behavioral Health, and Kathleen Kinirons, MS, LADC, Clinical Manager at the West Ridge Center.

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Vermont Business Magazine Middlebury College President Laurie Patton has announced she will be leaving the school in January to become president of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, effective July 2025. Patton took office on July 1, 2015, and has served as Middlebury's 17th president. “Middlebury is a community I love and admire, and it has become home," Patton said in a release issued May 2 by the college. "Even more, it has taught me a great deal about the work of our democracy and the common good. It seemed right for me to continue that work at a national level with the scholars, artists, writers, lawmakers and businesspeople who are thought leaders in the academy and the world.” The American Academy of Arts & Sciences was created in 1780 by John Adams and John Hancock.

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Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VTAEYC) enthusiastically invites nominations for Vermont’s 2024 Early Childhood Educator of the Year. The prestigious professional annual award honors exceptional early childhood educators and spotlights the importance of high-quality early childhood education for Vermont’s children, families, and communities. Presented by VTAEYC and sponsored by Let’s Grow Kids, the 2024 award comes with a $2,500 cash prize and all expenses paid to NAEYC’s Annual Conference. Nominations are encouraged from anyone who recognizes an early childhood educator’s excellence and impact. Nominators may include family members of children enrolled in child care programs, colleagues, friends, and other community members.

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Vermont Business Magazine KeyBank, with branches across Vermont, has issued its 2024 Small Business Month Survey results. Overall, Small business owners are concerned about the future economy yet remain resilient, perhaps having learned how to navigate their business from past economic downturns. Often the first to feel the effects of inflation and economic volatility, small business owners are optimistic about their businesses, even as economic challenges remain. KeyBank's 2024 Small Business Survey found that 65% of small business owners feel confident they could fund their operating expenses for one month with their cash reserves, if an unexpected need arose.

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Vermont Business Magazine American Red Cross of Northern New England volunteers and staff on Saturday teamed up with the Berlin, Warren, Montpelier and Barre Fire Departments as well as the Vermont Division of Fire Safety to install 146 free smoke alarms for families during a Sound the Alarm home fire safety event throughout Washington County. They also shared information on the causes of home fires, how to prevent them, what to do if a fire starts and how to create an escape plan. Most people don’t realize they have just two minutes to escape a home fire before it’s too late. Working smoke alarms provide critical early warning to help save lives.

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Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont Legislature passed legislation (S.25) to ban per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) and other toxic chemicals from personal care products, and to ban PFAS from apparel, cookware, artificial turf, and children’s products. The bill includes a first-in-the-nation ban on phthalates, formaldehyde, mercury, and lead among other harmful chemicals in menstrual products, and the first ban on PFAS in incontinence products. Each vote on this bill in the Vermont Senate and House was unanimous, and it now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration. 

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Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Senate has voted in favor of H. 298 on the 3rd reading by a voice vote. The bill would make numerous changes to the Renewable Energy Standard (RES). It would require that most retail electricity providers’ annual load be comprised of 100 percent renewable energy by January 1, 2030. For GlobalFoundries and municipal providers, the deadline would be January 1, 2035. The bill would also increase the required amounts of distributed renewable generation, new renewable energy, and load growth renewable energy. Some exceptions are spelled out in the bill.