Current News

by tim

Mount Snow offered its earliest lift service opening in history last Saturday when the Discovery Shuttle lift loaded its first passenger at 9:30a.m. The early opening also made Mount Snow the first and only resort open in Vermont. The Launch Pad trail was filled with a dozen terrain park features and over 700 skiers and riders in attendance throughout the weekend.

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89 North, an employee owned company located in Burlington, Vermont has introduced an incentive program aimed at reducing the amount of mercury waste generated in scientific laboratories across the country. Mercury arc lamps are a common tool used in many labs, specifically those performing fluorescence microscopy. Unfortunately, a typical arc lamp can contain as much as 150 mg of mercury and have a useful lifetime of only 100-200 hours. This means that a typical lab will go through 3-4 lamps per year, creating a significant amount of dangerous mercury waste.

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GE Healthcare announced today an agreement with Rutland Regional Medical Center to develop a Community Hospital Showcase and highlight the facility as a national host site for visiting community hospitals. The agreement will leverage GE’s extensive portfolio and Rutland Regional’s best practices to create a national ‘blueprint’ for institutions that use technology to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care.
“Rutland Regional has advanced the role of technology to help optimize processes, connect caregivers and further medical advancements,” said Mark Vachon, President & CEO, GE Healthcare Americas. “We’re thrilled to extend our collaboration with Rutland Regional to help further promote how technology and process innovation within community hospitals can positively impact clinical performance.”

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MONTPELIER, Vt., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- More Vermont physicians will be using electronic prescribing and other health information technology to improve patient care, under a $1 million federal grant secured by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. The funds announced by Leahy and Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc. (VITL), will provide incentives to physicians and independent pharmacies to adopt health information technology.

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Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today secured $1.5 million in federal funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission. The grant is the first time the four-state, economic development organization has received funding.
The federal-state partnership will provide investment and support for the northernmost counties of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and New York. Modeled after the highly successful Appalachian Regional Commission, the NBRC will develop long-term strategies to promote the success of the region by encouraging inter-state cooperation, federal support and private investment.
Vermont s Caledonia, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille and Orleans counties are among 36 counties included in the regional development effort. The NBRC will include representatives from each of the states, as well as a presidentially-appointed co-chair.

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Merchants Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq: MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, announced today that its Board of Directors declared a dividend of 28 cents per share, payable November 12, 2009, to shareholders of record as of October 29, 2009. Merchants plans to release earnings on or about October 29, 2009.

by tim

Chief Recovery Officer Tom Evslin reported by teleconference to the General Assembly today that $55,966,939 of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds reimbursed to Vermont State government by Washington created or retained 1990.86 “direct” jobs in the state. The preliminary numbers were produced using detailed federal guidelines which state that “jobs” are full time equivalents (FTEs) calculated from payroll data, that is, two half time workers during the reporting period count as one FTE. These numbers are taken from 51 reports submitted by Office of Economic Stimulus and Recovery (ESR) to the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as part of the required “1512” reporting. The reports may be corrected by the state until they are made public on October 30 and Evslin predicted that there will be corrections.

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Most US states do not adequately protect the rights of abused and neglected children, leaving our most vulnerable citizens exposed to the vagaries of the juvenile court system without adequate legal representation, according to a state-by-state study conducted by two national child advocacy organizations. Vermont, meanwhile, received a grade of A, putting it among the top 11 states nationally.
The peer-reviewed study -- A Child's Right to Counsel: A National Report Card on Legal Representation for Abused and Neglected Children -- was released today on Capitol Hill by First Star and the Children's Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law (CAI). To view the full report, visit www.firststar.org, or www.caichildlaw.org.

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An early-bird sales deadline had Okemo Mountain Resort skiers and snowboarders scrambling to purchase their 2009/2010 season passes before rates went up after Columbus Day. As a result, year-to-date season pass sales are at an all-time high, breaking all previous early-bird sales figures – in units sold and in revenues.
“Okemo is up more than 11 percent in the sale of season passes,” says VP of Marketing and Sales Scott Clarkson. “We’re also up nearly six percent in revenue. Due to our decision to hold some of our pass rates at last winter’s pricing, we saw brisk sales prior to our April 30 renewal sale when prices were lowest.”
Some Okemo season passes offer added benefits including skiing at Okemo’s sister resorts, Mount Sunapee, N.H., and Crested Butte, Colo. Okemo’s pass alliance with Vermont’s Stratton Mountain continues this winter as well.

by tim

Mount Snow fired up nine of its state of the art fan guns on the Launch Pad Learning Area Wednesday night. With night time temperatures in the 20 s the window of snowmaking is available to attempt an opening with lift service on Saturday morning. The plan is for the Discovery Lift to run from 10am-4p both Saturday and Sunday and the trail will have a smattering of boxes and other features. Lift tickets will be $10 or a donation of 10 non-perishable food items. All proceeds will go to the Deerfield Valley Food Pantry.

Mount Snow was recently voted the #1 park and #1 resort in the east by Transworld Snowboarding readers. For updated snow conditions please go to www.mountsnow.com.

Source: Mount Snow. WEST DOVER, VT (October 14, 2009)

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YWCA Vermont announces that Andrea Rogers, Flynn Performing Arts Center Executive Director will receive the 2009 YWCA Thrive Award. Ms Rogers will be honored at the YWCA Thrive luncheon on Thursday, October 29 for her leadership in the community.
YWCA Thrive award recognizes the intrinsic value successful women and girls bring to their communities, workplaces, and the world. This year's thrive awardee exemplifies this important purpose through her own unique leadership and vision.
Rogers was previously the director of prevention for the Vermont Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, she ran the University of Vermont Church Street Center, was instrumental in the fundraising required to reopen the Flynn in 1981 after which she served as the capital fund director. In 1983 Rogers became the Flynn s executive director. She is also co-founder of the Discover Jazz Festival.

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Sierra House/Washington County Mental Health has received a $1,000 donation from Northfield Savings Bank for their transitional program. Sierra House is a Montpelier based non-profit supporting and advocating inclusion of all persons into our community, and actively encourages self-determination and recovery by serving individuals and families coping with mental health and developmental related challenges.
About Northfield Savings Bank

Southern Vermont AHEC and Governor’s Institutes inspire future healthcare leaders
A Passion to Do the Right Thing: Michael Monte and the Champlain Housing Trust
Vermont Historical Society awarded IMLS grant
American Meadows and High Country Gardens support community organizations by donating unsold plants resulting in 0% organic waste
UVM taps Tim Rademacher to lead research at Proctor Maple Research Center