Current News

by katie

VermontBiz The Attorney General’s Office announced that Lilac Rain Brown-Fisher, 28, of Essex Junction, Vermont, was charged yesterday with one count of felony Grand Larceny, one count of felony of Larceny from a Person, and one count of felony Financial Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult.

The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit (MFRAU) brought the charges, alleging that Ms. Brown-Fisher, who was formerly an Activities Director at Maple Ridge Memory Care in Essex Junction, stole valuables and keepsakes from at least one elderly and disabled client. A joint investigation by the Essex Police Department and South Burlington Police Department, with the assistance of Maple Ridge’s management, was initiated when a family member of a resident of Maple Ridge Memory Care noticed that an heirloom ring had disappeared. The ring was later recovered, but the investigation revealed more instances of Ms. Brown-Fisher stealing jewelry from other clients at Maple Ridge Memory Care. Further charges are anticipated as MFRAU identifies those additional victims and contacts their families.

by katie

VermontBiz Graduate student workers at the University of Vermont (UVM) will hold a rally on campus, Friday 3/22 to celebrate their union election next week.

Graduate Students United (GSU-UAW 2322) filed for a union election on October 30, 2023. After multiple days of hearings with the Vermont Labor Relations Board (VLRB), GSU won their bargaining unit and is moving forward with an election. In celebration of these next steps, GSU will hold a rally of union members and supporters outside of the Howe Library on Friday, March 22, 2024.

by katie

VermontBiz  Consolidated Communications and the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) are celebrating a decade of support for Vermont entrepreneurs and start-up businesses through the extension of their co-working and accelerator facility partnership, valued at more than $2 million. 

Consolidated Communications forged a partnership a decade ago, providing workspace and internet service to power VCET’s mission of offering no-cost and low-cost coworking memberships to entrepreneurs and support remote professionals. The non-profit has since operated out of the Consolidated Communications Technology Hub on Main Street in downtown Burlington, serving entrepreneurs, innovation leaders, and start-up businesses from start to scale, offering business consulting, mentorship, coworking, and venture capital investment. 

by katie

VermontBiz The Lake Champlain Chamber will celebrate its 113th year at a celebration gala on Thursday, April 4. More than 300 attendees are expected at the event to be held at the Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain. Four awards will be presented to businesses and business leaders to recognize their accomplishments and contributions to our community.

by katie

VermontBiz Most Vermonters are familiar with the general storyline of the EB-5 fraud committed in the Northeast Kingdom involving Jay Peak, Burke, and AnC Bio Vermont. News reports which were upbeat and promising in the early part of the last decade took a dark turn as details began to emerge of financial improprieties. Three individuals were ultimately convicted of felony offenses related to the fraud, the State’s reputation was bruised by national press coverage, and in July Vermont taxpayers learned they would foot the $16.5 million bill of a global settlement reached between the Vermont Attorney General and a group of EB-5 investors.

by tim

Vermont Business Magazine April 8’s solar eclipse will be an event to remember in parts of Vermont that will be along the path of totality – especially if viewers know what they’re looking for in the sky. Saint Michael’s College Professor and astrophysicist Alain Brizard, Ph.D., will provide that context during a talk on April 3 at 5 p.m. on campus, answering questions including “why is this happening?” and “why are solar eclipses so rare?” His talk will be free and open to the public.  

by tim

Vermont Business Magazine Sarah Waring, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Director for Rural Development (RD) in Vermont and New Hampshire, today announced $2,284,401 in funding for Twin State small businesses through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  In Springfield, Vermont, Black River Crossing will retrofit two underutilized buildings with energy-efficiency upgrades to revive their functional use and stimulate economic development in the region, courtesy of a $214,911 REAP grant. Improvements include electric heat to replace oil combustion, and substantial weatherization of the envelope, offsetting 75 percent of historical consumption and saving roughly $17,600 annually. 

by tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Attorney General’s Office today announced an update in the State’s case against Vermont State Police Sergeant Ryan Wood, 37, and Trooper Zachary Trocki, 30. In May of 2023, Sergeant Wood and Officer Trocki were each charged with one misdemeanor count of Reckless Endangerment in Vermont Superior Court, Windham Criminal Division. This referral is supported by the victim and is based on the defendants’ willingness to take responsibility for their actions and to engage in a restorative process to address the harm related to their conduct.

by tim

Vermont Business Magazine This week the Vermont House passed three key bills that will make Vermont safer and more affordable. H.721 expands access to health care. H.880 makes an historic investment in our criminal justice system. And H.871 takes a critical step to revitalize our state’s school-construction aid program and manage education spending. 

by tim

VermontBiz and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce revealed the ranking of the top 65 Best Places to Work in Vermont 2024 at a ceremony on March 26 at the DoubleTree Hotel Burlington. There were over 525 people in attendance. “With Vermont’s tight labor market, businesses are finding it difficult to fill open positions. These businesses can say to prospective employees that their company has been chosen as a best place to work in Vermont. This will give them a leg up on recruitment,” said John Boutin, publisher, Vermontbiz. The number 1 company in each category are: Small (15-99 employees) – Fluency; Medium (100-249 employees) – NuHarbor Security; Large (250+ employees) – Stantec Consulting Services.

by tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement on his appointment of Zoie Saunders to serve as Vermont’s next education secretary. “Last week, I announced my appointment of Zoie Sunders as the next secretary of education in Vermont. Since that time, I’ve been disappointed to see many in and around the State House spreading or believing misinformation, making assumptions and levying attacks on her character – all without ever having met her or spoken to her. Disturbingly, all these false accusations and judgements appear to be based on the state she currently lives in, and a cherry-picked part of her resume that’s been turned into a boogeyman with no attempts to understand her work or the value her experience could bring for Vermont kids and schools."

by tim

by House Majority Leader Emily Long As Democrats, there’s nothing we care more about than making sure Vermont is a place where everyone can afford to live. We’re working hard to pass legislation that makes a real difference for folks, and it’s no secret that we have some deep differences with Governor Scott about how to get this important work done. I guess it’s obvious that it’s an election year! Unfortunately, turning up the heat and delivering over-simplified political rhetoric doesn’t help anyone and it certainly doesn’t help Vermonters. It’s disappointing to see the Governor and our House Republican colleagues using press conferences and press releases to create an atmosphere of fear and mistrust. Making sweeping statements about taxes and fees — without any context, without any mention of the people and communities these investments will help, without any mention of long-term savings — falls far short of the kind of conversation we need to be having as a state. It’s designed to create outrage, but we’d rather focus on helping our constituents raise families, build careers, grow their businesses and support their communities.