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Vermont bankruptcies soar in first quarter

Fri, 04/17/2009 - 1:12pm -- tim

Though some have called the 2008 economic situation bad enough to make it a historical pivot point for the world, 2009 is shaping up to be worse for Vermont, judging by the bankruptcy filings at the United States Bankruptcy Court in Rutland.  In 2008, there were a total of 48 business bankruptcies and 1,218 consumer bankruptcies.  If filings continue apace in 2009, business and consumer bankruptcies will total at 95 and 1,870, respectively.

Senate votes to restore Transpo funds to towns

Fri, 04/17/2009 - 11:56am -- tim

The Senate today passed S. 154, a bill that will fully fund the town highway aid payments in April 2009. The Douglas Administration and the Legislature had previously agreed to withhold half of the $3 million, quarterly payment because of the state's fiscal situation. The state's Transportation Fund revenues continue to sag. The Transportation Fund in March was $400,000 below its target.

Barre's Knapp State Airport to get $6.2 million in stimulus funds

Fri, 04/17/2009 - 11:26am -- tim

Governor Jim Douglas joined U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today to announce a $6.2 million federal grant to rehabilitate a runway at Edward F. Knapp State Airport in Barre.  The project is estimated to create 54 direct and indirect jobs. The funds were made available by the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  Secretary LaHood was also joined by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Lt. Governor Brian Dubie.

Public Service Board approves 30-megawatt wind power project

Fri, 04/17/2009 - 8:35am -- tim

The Vermont Public Service Board on Thursday approved one of the largest wind power generating facilities in Vermont. The PSB issued a certificate of public good to Deerfield Wind LLC authorizing it to construct and operate a 15-turbine, 30-megawatt wind generation facility, and associated transmission and interconnection facilities, on approximately 80 acres in the Green Mountain National Forest, located in Searsburg and Readsboro.

Unemployment up slightly to 7.2%, 2,100 jobs lost in March

Fri, 04/17/2009 - 6:59am -- tim

The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2009 was 7.2 percent, up one-tenth of a point from the revised February rate and up 2.6 points from a year ago. Unemployment rates for Vermont s 17 labor market areas ranged from 4.3 percent in Hartford to 12.1 percent in Newport.  Local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Darn Tough Vermont Socks awarded $8.5 million Army contract

Fri, 04/17/2009 - 6:28am -- tim

Darn Tough Vermont has announced that their military issue flame resistant Merino wool boot sock is to be included in the recently awarded Fire Resistant Environmental Ensemble known as the FREE Clothing System. This is a multilayered, versatile, insulating system that is adaptable to varying mission requirements and environmental conditions.

Corporate Vermont teams up with Green Up for 2009

Fri, 04/17/2009 - 4:46am -- intern

Teaming up with Green Up is a win-win-win. Vermont wins, Green Up wins and the team mate wins, reported Melinda Vieux, President of Green Up Vermont.
When Governor Deane Davis in 1970 proclaimed the first of its kind statewide clean-up, he was gratified by the resounding response to his call for a volunteer army of thousands of citizens to pick up roadside litter. Thirty-nine years later, Vermont s forces continue to mobilize, with more than 15,000 expected for Green Up Day, Saturday May 2.

Senate leaders recommend $14 million in cost cuts to avoid layoffs

Thu, 04/16/2009 - 11:30am -- tim

Senate leadership today recommended over $14 million worth of savings in labor costs.  The Senate is opposed to Governor Douglas proposal to lay off an additional three hundred and twenty employees and asks the Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA) and the Douglas Administration to move forward with negotiations.  Senate leadership has put forward the recommendations to the VSEA and the Administration and urges them to move forward with their negotiations.   The Senate's recommendations include ten ongoing furlough days, freezing the cost-of-living increase and individual step increa

$6 million VEDA loans to help farmers with seed and fertilizer costs

Thu, 04/16/2009 - 10:58am -- tim

Governor Jim Douglas announced today that up to $6 million dollars in lower-rate operating loans will be made available through VEDA for farmers struggling during the economic downturn.
The loans, provided through State Fiscal Stabilization Funds in the Recovery Act, will provide working capital to farmers as they enter the busy planting season in the midst of a national credit squeeze.  Volatile energy and commodity prices have caused further concern for the agricultural community in recent months.

Camels Hump Middle School to serve as test site for solar program

Thu, 04/16/2009 - 9:26am -- tim

Camels Hump Middle School is well on its way to hosting a $500,000 solar installation that could serve as a statewide model for power generation and renewable energy education. Thanks in large part to federal funding secured by Senator Sanders and grants from the state's Clean Energy Development Fund and Green Mountain Power, the Chittenden East school district will convert the roof of the 37 year-old school into a 72kW solar array.

Vermont still lowest foreclosure rate in nation, US up 9 percent

Thu, 04/16/2009 - 9:08am -- tim

The state of Vermont continues to have the lowest foreclosure rate in the country, according to a national rating firm. RealtyTrac(R)(, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report(TM) for Q1 2009, which shows that foreclosure filings -- default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions -- were reported on 803,489 properties in the first quarter, a 9 percent increase from the previous quarter and an increase of nearly 24 percent from Q1 2008.