Current News

by tim

The Orleans Medical Clinic has been sold to North Country Health Systemn. On June 30, Dr David Bourgeois sold the practice, which is located in the Village of Orleans, to North Country Health System in Newport. The doctor and his staff will remain at the clinic at the same location. The practice is now known as Orleans Family Medicine.
This year marks Dr. Bourgeois 20th anniversary of service on the North Country Medical Staff, Claudio Fort said. During this time he has earned a reputation for his considerable work ethic as well as for his devotion to caring for the people of this medically under-served community. I am pleased that this new relationship will enable Dr. Bourgeois to re-focus his efforts from managing the business affairs of the practice to concentrating on the provision of patient care and, with his staff, to continue this crucial work in partnership with North Country Hospital. Fort is the CEO of North Country Health System.

by tim

It s been an exceptionally rainy and cool summer and one of the consequences is that Late Blight disease has been reported in every corner of Vermont and across the Northeast. With these weather conditions Late Blight rapidly kills the foliage of tomato and potato plants. Many hundreds of farmers and gardeners have already been stricken, and it is likely that the situation will get worse unless the weather turns hot and dry.
Late Blight is caused by a fungus, Phytophthora infestans, and it s the same disease that led to the Irish potato famine almost 150 years ago. The disease is not directly harmful to people as it only infects potatoes, tomatoes, and some related weeds.

by tim

Merchants Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq: MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, today announced net income of $2.06 million and $4.97 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.34 and $0.82, for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2009, respectively. This compares with net income of $2.88 million and $5.54 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.47 and $0.91, for the second quarter and first half of the previous year, respectively. The return on average assets for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2009 was 0.61% and 0.74%, respectively, compared to 0.90% and 0.89% for the same periods in 2008. The return on average equity for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2009 was 9.87% and 12.14%, respectively, compared to 15.26% and 14.54% for the same periods in 2008. Merchants declared a dividend on July 16, 2009, of 28 cents per share payable August 13, 2009, to shareholders of record as of July 30, 2009.

by tim

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., (NASDAQ: GMCR) today announced its fiscal 2009 third quarter results for the thirteen weeks ended June 27, 2009, reporting outstanding top and bottom line growth. Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 totaled $190.5 million as compared to $118.1 million reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2008, representing an increase of 61% over the same quarter last year. Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 increased 123% to $14.1 million or $0.36 per diluted share, from $6.3 million or $0.16 per diluted share in the third quarter of fiscal 2008.
During fiscal 2009 s third quarter, 398 million K-Cup® portion packs were shipped system-wide by all Keurig licensed roasters, up 64% over the year-ago quarter. Supporting continued growth in K-Cup demand, there were 439,000 Keurig brewers shipped during the third quarter of fiscal 2009, up 187% over the same quarter in the prior year.

by tim

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 145 recipients, including Randolph Area Community Development Corporation (RACDC), for more than $15.3 million in grants to start or expand businesses in rural communities. Through Recovery Act funding, businesses will be able to access to critical capital that will help with start-up and working capital loans, building and plant renovations, transportation improvements, project planning and other business needs.
These Recovery Act grants represent the Obama administration s ongoing efforts to ensure strategic investments and increase economic opportunities in rural America, said Vilsack. Small businesses play an important role in building strong communities while providing vital products and services to local residents. This funding will help spur important economic development and strengthen communities in dozens of states around the country.

by tim

Stephen Slack, of Corinth, was named the best professional truck driver in Vermont after winning the twins competition and receiving the highest overall score in the nine competing categories at the 2009 Vermont Truck Driving Championships. The annual event is sponsored by the Vermont Truck and Bus Association. Slack, who drives for Con-way Freight, now qualifies to compete in the American Trucking Associations' National Truck Driving Championships August 18-22, 2009, in Pittsburgh, PA -- also known as the "Super Bowl of Safety." The winners from each of the nine other categories are also eligible to compete in the national championship.

by tim

The Vermont Economic Development Authority has approved $3 million in financing to support business and agricultural development projects totaling $7 million. Included is a $825,000 loan to MSI in Morristown, a $182,000 mortgage insurance commitment to Bradford Vaneer, and a $131,000 loan to Green Mountain Urology in Middlebury.
We are pleased to help businesses strengthen and grow in the manufacturing, agricultural, and small business sectors of our state s economy, said the Authority s Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley.
Approved for financing assistance by VEDA are:

by tim

New initial claims for unemployment fell again, meaning July could mark the lowest number for a month since late last summer when final numbers are released. For the Week of 07/25/2009, there were 830 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, a decrease of 77 from the week before. Altogether 13,076 new and continuing claims were filed, 478 fewer than a week ago and 5,881 more than a year earlier. The Department also processed 3,799 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 123 more than a week ago. In addition, there were 741 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program, which is an increase of 17 from the week before. The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/.

by tim

US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is bringing US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to Capitol Hill on Wednesday (today) to discuss an effort Leahy is leading to boost USDA s floor price for purchasing dairy products. More than a dozen senators including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) -- from several regions of the country are expected to attend the meeting with Vilsack on Wednesday afternoon in the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing room.

by intern

Representative Peter Welch will announce the creation of the Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus at a Capitol Hill press conference later this morning. The Caucus will be a bipartisan organization consisting of more than 40 lawmakers from across the nation. The group will seek to confront the growing crisis in the dairy industry, which has been suffering from low milk prices and escalating production costs. Welch is one of the four founding co-chairs of the caucus, will be joined by more than a dozen colleagues, in addition to representatives from the National Milk Producers Federation.

by intern

Representative Peter Welch voted yesterday in favor of several bills designed to support disabled veterans. All of the bills were later passed by the House.
The legislation will provide for family members who care for disabled veterans, increase compensation to certain veterans, and facilitates research programs at Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals.
The Caregiver Assistance and Resource Enhancement Act has laid the foundation for a caregiver program to assist family and non-family members who care for disabled, ill, or injured veterans. The program offers education session for improve care-giving, counseling and respite care to the family caregiver – or another individual designated by the veteran – and grants caregivers of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with a financial stipend and medical care.

by intern

Senator Bernie Sanders has called upon Dean Foods - the top producer of fluid milk in the U.S. and a company that controls fully 70 percent of the New England milk market - to rise the low prices it currently pays to dairy farmers.
Sanders made his statements in a recent letter to the head of the Dallas-based company, CEO Gregg L. Engles, In his letter, Sanders noted that Dean's profits more than doubled during the first quarter of 2009, while prices for farmers have been at their lowest level in almost four decades. “How can it be that while milk prices for farmers are so low, the profits of Dean Foods are skyrocketing?” wrote Sanders.