Current News

by tim

Citizens Financial Group, Inc has announced it set a company record for new checking accounts opened by Citizens Bank and Charter One customers during a one-week period. From October 3 through October 9, 2009, Citizens opened tens-of-thousands of new checking accounts throughout its 12-state retail footprint, surpassing its previous one-week record in 2007 by nearly 200 percent.
We are committed to simplifying our customers busy lives by making banking easier, said Vice Chairman Martin Bischoff, who heads Consumer and Business Banking at Citizens Financial Group. Our recent offers have enabled us to attract tens-of-thousands of new Citizens Bank and Charter One customers. As part of our focus on exceptional service, we look forward to providing our customers helpful banking solutions to achieve their financial goals.

by tim

The University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and the Vermont Dairy Industry Association have selected the 450-acre Richardson farm in Hartland as the 2009 Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year.
The University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and the Vermont Dairy Industry Association (VDIA), presenters of the annual award, chose the Richardson farm for the honor based on its overall excellence in dairying, including outstanding herd performance and superior milk quality. Judges described the three-generation farm as the epitome of an exemplary Vermont dairy farm, both in terms of milk and herd quality as well as high quality of life. They also cited immaculately clean grounds and a detail-oriented approach to farming.

by tim

Governor Jim Douglas announced Wednesday that the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) has awarded $3.9 million in Federal Transit Administration grants over the next three years to six public transportation providers to help them either start new or expand existing bus routes.
These grants will assist public transit providers across Vermont with their efforts to increase public transportation opportunities for the people of our state, said Governor Jim Douglas. These funds will also help us ease traffic congestion along some of our heaviest traveled routes and improve air quality.
Awards were made based on the provider s ability to mitigate congestion and its associated air quality impacts as well as their ability to show the viability and sustainability of the new or expanded route.

by tim

The State’s Emergency Board met today in Montpelier and approved a plan proposed by Governor Douglas and Treasurer Spaulding to make $135 million of low interest bonding authority available statewide for economic development projects through the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA). The bonds which are issued will be revenue bonds, and so the state’s credit rating is not affected by this issuance. Neither the federal nor state government nor VEDA provides any kind of credit guarantee for these bonds so the projects and applicants must be able to satisfy investors that they will be repaid. In general, bond funding must be used to acquire or construct new depreciable assets. VEDA will underwrite applications and assist borrowers in placing their bonds. All bonds must be issued by December 31, 2010 and the maximum bond issuance for any one project is $25 million.

by tim

For the Week of 10/10/2009. There were 900 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, an increase of 97 from the week before. Altogether 9,332 new and continuing claims were filed, the same as a week ago and 3,276 more than a year earlier. The Department also processed 4,661 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 46 more than a week ago. In addition, there were 1,017 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program, which is an increase of 52 from the week before. The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/. Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc

by tim

Stefan Balaz, PhD, Chair and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences’ Vermont Campus, has been awarded a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health in the amount of $1,350,000. Dr Balaz and his team will develop an approach that will model how chemicals are transported and accumulate in biological membranes, helping researchers predict how new drug candidates are likely to behave in the body.
The results of the research will be combined with modeling of protein binding and incorporated into software, tentatively called cell-QSAR. Once the software is available, researchers will need only sketch the drug’s structure to understand the rate at which it will be transported through the membranes of the body. The transport rate is critical to determining whether a drug will be distributed throughout the body or if it is more likely to remain close to the location where it was administered.

by tim

The Vermont Agency of Transportation today opened Route 108 through Smugglers Notch. It will remain open until Mother Nature forces us to close it again. The Vermont Agency of Transportation had closed Route 108 through Smugglers' Notch because of icy conditions. VTrans annually closes this segment of Route 108 for the winter.

by tim

The Institute of Green Professionals (IGP) honored five individuals for their "extraordinary, outstanding and meritorious contributions to the sustainability sphere." The Honorary Fellow designation (Hon. FIGP) was awarded to Adam Werbach; architect R. Nicholas Loope, FAIA; Eric A. Woodroof, Ph.D.; Vermonter Mark W. McElroy, Ph.D.; and Dr. Diana Balmori. According to IGP's President, Grant W. Austin, the Institute is a "global education and credentialing membership group for professionals and academics in sustainable development, specifically architects, engineers, land planners, landscape architects, appraisers, IAQ experts, CSR specialists, accountants and attorneys."

by tim

Only one state outperformed Vermont in eighth-grade math and only two states outperformed Vermont in fourth-grade math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), according to results released by the US Department of Education today.
Highlights for Vermont results include:
· Vermont students were only outperformed by students in New Hampshire and Massachusetts on the fourth-grade exam.
· Vermont students were only outperformed by students in Massachusetts on the eighth-grade exam.
· Vermont was one of only five states or jurisdictions to show growth in scores in both grade levels, and all three New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) participants were included in that group of five (Vermont, Rhode Island and New Hampshire). The other two were Nevada and the District of Columbia.

by tim

VeriFone Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: PAY) has announced that its PAYware Transact has been selected as the PCI-compliant payment engine for the Vermont Systems (VSI) RecTrac facilities management system that is deployed worldwide to US Army and Navy recreational facilities.
VSI, of Essex Junction, VT, provides software for managing recreation and parks operations for municipal, county, state and federal military governmental entities. Its global deployment to Army and Navy facilities supports a wide range of activities, from court and locker reservations to childcare, with comprehensive reporting and financial management capabilities.

by tim

Citizens Bank and City Market partnered with the Burlington Free Press for the fourth consecutive year in a food drive at participating schools known as Kids CAN Help. The food drive was designed to help raise awareness among school children that hunger is a year-round struggle for many families in our communities, especially with rising food and fuel prices.
The campaign running Oct. 12-16, encourages children at 26 participating schools to compete to collect the most food. The school that collects the most non-perishable items will be thanked in a special ceremony at the school. Last year, students at the Robinson School in Starksboro were the winner, collecting 1,014 lbs. of food, which averaged over 7 lbs. of food per student! The total amount of food collected from all the schools, Citizens Bank branches, City Market and the Burlington Free Press was 8,894 lbs.

by tim

Burlington, Vermont, is one of the top 10 places to find a "green job," according to a new study. Green Dream Jobs and green workforce development consultant Jim Cassio released data that shows the top green job titles posted by employers and in which cities over the past year - during the recession.

Although a plethora of studies show the potential for green jobs going forward, many note the dearth of data on current green jobs in the U.S. economy. Green Dream Jobs, online since 1996, collects concrete historical and current data on the job titles employers are actually looking to fill.

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