Current News

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Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Electric Co-op members recently got a rundown on how the co-op is planning for increasing weather-related threats to the power system during VEC’s Annual Meeting at Smugglers’ Notch Resort. The morning-long event took place this past Saturday, May 11. Speaking to a crowd of about 160 people, Dr. Jay Shafer, chief science officer at Disaster Tech outlined the increasing threats of weather due to the changing climate. VEC’s chief operating officer Peter Rossi then updated members on the types of investments the co-op is making to increase both the reliability and resiliency of the VEC power system in the face of these risks. After the presentations, the Q&A period focused on the future of the grid, integration of renewables, and managing expected increases in demand in the coming years.

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Northeastern Vermont Development Association Transitioning to safer, more efficient electric technologies is a process, not a single project. Whether you're ready to make the switch now or planning for the future, in this 30-minute webinar, you can learn how to create an electrification plan to upgrade your home for greater energy efficiency, reduced costs, increased comfort and safety. Also check out this *NEW* Vermont-specific “incentive calculator” giving households a personalized list of the many federal, state, and utility rebates and offers they can use for climate-friendly clean technologies and money-saving efficiency upgrades.

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Vermont Business Magazine Senator Peter Welch (D-Vermont) today released the following reaction to the announcement by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has paused plans to consolidate USPS facilities through a process called mail processing facility reviews (MPFR), which threatened to move mail sorting operations from Vermont’s Essex Junction and White River Junction sorting hubs to Connecticut. This move likely would have further slowed mail operations across Vermont and was widely and strongly opposed by USPS customers and workers alike. 

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by Jim Hall As the CEO of the Vermont Country Store (VCS), I strongly support consumer privacy as does the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and many peer companies in the state. I wholeheartedly endorse the Connecticut law that was the foundation of H.121. However, as passed it is my hope that Governor Scott will veto H. 121. I am extremely concerned about certain provisions of H.121 and the threat they pose to small businesses, including businesses based in Vermont.

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Vermont Business Magazine Today, U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-Vermont), Chair of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy, and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced the Rural Innovation for a Stronger Economy (RISE) Reauthorization Act, a bill to reauthorize and improve the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s RISE Program. Created in 2018, the RISE program provides federal grant funding to rural job accelerator partnerships that support in-demand job training, business formation and expansion efforts, and overall economic growth. 

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Vermont Business Magazine As part of his investigation into the outrageously high price of Ozempic and Wegovy in the United States, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today released a stunning new report exposing the potential of weight loss drugs to bankrupt American health care. In the report, HELP Committee Majority Staff modeled how new weight loss drugs could impact prescription drug spending, even while taking into account estimated manufacturer discounts. Key findings from the report include: If half of adults with obesity took Wegovy and the other new weight loss drugs, it could cost $411 billion per year – more than what Americans spent on all retail prescription drugs in 2022 ($406 billion). 

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Vermont Business Magazine After months of remodeling, the former Price Chopper supermarkets in St. Albans and Essex Junction are opening. The stores are the 42nd and 43rd Market 32-branded locations in the chain and feature a distinctively modern look and feel marked by open spaces, soft earth tone décor, product-focused displays and murals, and improved lighting. To generate additional excitement around the stores’ grand re-openings on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18, all customers will enjoy a 5% savings off their grocery order. Price Chopper/Market 32 will also donate 5% of sales from the respective locations to Martha’s Kitchen and Vermont Voltage Soccer in St. Albans, and Essex CHIPS and Essex United Soccer Club in Essex Junction.

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Vermont Business Magazine In a recent letter to President Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) joined with nine other senators from disaster-impacted states to urge the administration to reevaluate and resubmit its request for supplemental disaster funding. The letter comes as Congress is reviewing requests for FY2025 funding priorities and as communities across the country are still struggling to fully recover from recent disasters – including the devastating floods that hit Vermont last summer and the terrible fires that struck Hawaii.  

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Vermont Business Magazine The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont stated that on May 13, 2024, Steven Mack, 49, of Bridgeville, Pennsylvania was sentenced by United States District Judge William K. Sessions III to a one-year term of probation and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine and perform community service. Mack previously pleaded guilty to attempting to obstruct a federal grand jury’s investigation into an illegal kickback that Purdue Pharma L.P. paid to Mack’s former employer, Practice Fusion, an electronic medical records company. According to court records, while working at Practice Fusion, Mack contributed to his employer’s successful efforts to persuade Purdue Pharma L.P. to pay Practice Fusion almost $1 million in exchange for Practice Fusion altering its physician-facing user interface to generate more opioid prescriptions. 

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Vermont Business Magazine An autopsy was completed Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington. The victim is identified as Matthew Lomasney, 47, of St. Johnsbury. The medical examiner determined the cause of his death was gunshot wounds to the torso, and the manner of death is a homicide. The Vermont State Police investigation is continuing. No arrests have been made. Preliminary information gathered by detectives indicates this shooting was drug-related, and the apartment in question was targeted. 

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Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont will hold its 223rd commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 19—and for most of the UVM Class of 2024, it will be a long overdue first graduation ceremony. That’s because UVM’s undergraduate Class of 2024 completed high school at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Most had their high school graduation ceremonies canceled—or moved online—as health officials restricted large gatherings to limit the disease’s spread. UVM will confer degrees on an estimated 3,412 graduates from 33 countries and 46 U.S. states. This includes approximately 2,638 bachelors, 493 masters, 133 doctoral, and 122 medical degree recipients. The graduating class includes roughly 969 Vermonters and 464 students of color. 

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Vermont Business Magazine Stowe Country Club (SCC), the scenic golf course in the heart of Stowe, broke ground on an extensive renovation project on May 2, 2024. Directed by Beau Welling Design (BWD), the project will feature noteworthy renovations to both the 18-hole course as well as other amenities which will result in an elevated playing experience for the club's membership. While the footprint of the golf course will largely remain the same, the improvements will elevate all facets of the course—from new and improved tees to new and differently shaped green complexes. The goal of the redesign is to create a more consistent and playable course while offering more challenges for advanced players.