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President Obama signs Leahy-Smith America Invents Act on patent reform

Fri, 09/16/2011 - 8:37am -- tim

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy witnessed the signing of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act at an event in Alexandria, Virginia, today.  President Barack Obama signed the bill into law, capping a six-year bipartisan effort led by Leahy to enact the first comprehensive reforms to the nation’s patent system in nearly six decades. Vermont has the highest number of patents per capita in the nation.
‘Vermonters have a long legacy of innovation and creativity.  With the improvements included in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, that legacy is sure to continue. 

Climate change presentations coming to 8 Vermont schools

Fri, 09/16/2011 - 7:33am -- tim

Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) is teaming up with the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) to help Vermont high school students learn more about climate change and do something about it.  This month, ACE is bringing their award-winning, all-school assembly program to eight high schools throughout the state.  The one-hour multimedia presentation is designed to inspire individual actions and school-wide efforts that will reduce energy use, shrink the school’s carbon footprint, and save the school money. 

Vermont unemployment rate rises to 5.9 percent, continues upward trend

Fri, 09/16/2011 - 6:10am -- tim

The Vermont Department of Labor announced today the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for August 2011 was 5.9 percent, an increase of two-tenths of a percent from the July rate.  Compared to a year ago, the rate is lower by one-tenth of a percentage point.  Despite the increase, Vermont still has one of the lowest state unemployment rates in the country and is well below the national average of 9.1 percent.  Additionally, the current state rate is well below Vermont’s recent high of 7.3 percent percent in May of 2009 which was during the height of the last recession. 

Vermont Technical College inaugurates 18th president September 30

Fri, 09/16/2011 - 5:49am -- tim

Philip A Conroy, Jr, EdD, will be inducted as the 18th president of Vermont Technical College on Friday, September 30, 2011 at 2 pm in Judd Hall on the Randolph Center campus. Delegates representing colleges and universities from all of New England will join VTC faculty, staff and students in the academic procession and investiture ceremony.

Vermont hospital budgets increase 3.8 percent, down from five-year average

Fri, 09/16/2011 - 5:02am -- tim

Vermont hospital budgets will increase by a system-wide total of 3.8 percent for fiscal year 2012 beginning October 1, 2011, after excluding this year’s increased taxes on hospitals, according to individual hospital budgets approved today by Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration Commissioner Steve Kimbell. 
‘Compared to the average annual system-wide increase of 7.2 percent over the span of the past five years, the rate of increase is definitely moving in the right direction,’ said Kimbell. 

Speaker Smith appoints Michael Fisher to chair House Health Care Committee

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 10:58am -- tim

Speaker Shap Smith today announced the appointment of Representative Michael Fisher as the chair of the House Committee on Health Care.  Fisher, the current vice chair of the committee, replaces former Representative Mark Larson who resigned from the legislature in August to become the Commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access. Representative Sarah Copeland-Hanzas will become the committee’s vice chair. 

Vermont foliage report: Early color tinges hillsides

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 9:46am -- tim

The stage is set for a beautiful foliage season as early fall color begins to emerge across Vermont’s higher elevations and low-lying areas.
With the current forecast calling for cool nights through the weekend and the combination of adequate soil moisture and healthy green leaves, Vermont foresters are predicting an excellent fall season. In the early stages of fall foliage, the best color can generally be found in higher elevations, the northern sections of the state, and in low-lying areas where red maples are the early sentinels of the seasonal change.

Kelly Brush Century Ride raises $275,000

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 9:35am -- tim

 
The Kelly Brush Century Ride raised a record amount and drew the largest turnout in the six year history of the annual event held in Middlebury, Vermont. The 100-mile ride held on Sept. 10, raised over $275,000 for spinal cord injury prevention, adaptive sports and ski racing safety. A total of 721 riders participated in the scenic ride through the Champlain Valley. 

Vermont gets $2.5 million to make low-income housing safer and healthier

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 7:47am -- tim

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $2,475,000 to protect children and families living in Vermont from potentially dangerous lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards.  
The grant funding announced today is part of $93 million HUD is awarding nationwide to clean up lead and other health hazards in nearly 7,000 high-risk homes, train workers in lead safety methods, and increase public awareness about childhood lead poisoning.  Lead is a known toxin that can impair children’s development and have effects lasting into adulthood. 

Governor requests Public Assistance Declaration for Grand Isle County

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 7:13am -- tim

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin today requested a Public Assistance Declaration for Grand Isle County, with damage estimates finalized on Wednesday exceeding the requirement to meet the federal threshold for assistance. If approved, every county in Vermont will have qualified for federal financial help repairing roads, bridges and other public infrastructure damaged in Tropical Storm Irene. 

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