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VDH COVID-19 Update: School and college infections remain low

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 5:31pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD said at Tuesday’s press conference that although Vermont has seen a small number of COVID-19 cases in schools, none of the people who tested positive got the virus due to being in school. As for opening the economic spigot, Governor Scott said today that on the bar seating change announced last week, this change does not increase capacity at bars & restaurants. Capacity remains at 50% as it has since June 26. This change simply allows seating at the bar counter while complying with the capacity limit and all other safety measures in the guidance.

House advances racial justice package

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 5:12pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine House Speaker Mitzi Johnson said, “Systemic racism stacks the rules and expectations of our society against Black, Indigenous and People of Color. In order to build a truly just and equitable society, we must be committed to breaking down structural racism. It is incumbent upon all of us to recognize it, name it, fight it, and right the centuries of wrong. People of all races, genders, and identities should feel welcome and at home in Vermont, yet in order for this to be true, there is work to be done. 

High school sports can start competition Saturday

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 4:39pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Education Secretary Dan French announced today that when providing in-person instruction, all Vermont schools will operate at Step III effective September 26, 2020. This change in step level does not change the decision-making authority of a school district to offer in-person instruction or not, but if a district decides to do so, it must operate in-person instruction at Step III. This also means that this Saturday, fall school sports may resume competition. 

HCRS supports food shelves

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 3:05pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS), southeastern Vermont’s non-profit community mental health agency, announced today that they provided over $8,000 in support to local food shelves this summer. In response to learning that many of their clients were struggling with food insecurity and that the shelves of local food centers were running low as a result of the pandemic, the agency undertook a successful campaign to raise needed funding to support the food needs in southeastern Vermont.

Secretary of State issues statement on National Voter Registration Day

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 2:30pm -- tim

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos “Today is National Voter Registration Day – a day we use as a reminder to encourage eligible Americans across the country to register to vote so that we can collectively be prepared to participate in our democratic process, from local budget elections all the way up to choosing the next leader of this country. Unfortunately, for too many Americans, discriminatory voter laws designed to restrict access to the ballot box have made the work of National Voter Registration Day even more important. Fortunately, in Vermont we have taken a different approach.

Address of Senator Leahy on the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 2:08pm -- tim

Senator Patrick Leahy I stand here today with an incredibly heavy heart.  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – a tireless, legendary champion of equality who reshaped our society for the better – passed away on Friday, the first eve of Rosh Hashanah. Adherents of the Jewish faith believe that a person who passes away during the High Holidays is a person of great righteousness. Truer words couldn’t be spoken of Justice Ginsburg.

Berkshire Bank Foundation contributes to COVID-19 relief

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 12:01pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Berkshire Bank Foundation announced today that due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic it has contributed more than $1 million to collaborative efforts supporting nonprofit organizations responding to community-based needs. The organizations supported in Vermont through Berkshire Bank Foundation’s contributions include Black River Good Neighbor Services, Inc, Arlington Food Shelf, Inc, Community Food Cupboard, Inc and Rutland Community Cupboard, among others.

VPR/VTPBS Poll: Scott popular, vaccine not, LT race tight

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 10:58am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Republican Governor Phil Scott is coasting to reelection and has become more popular than the three Democrats who serve in Vermont's Congressional delegation, according to a new poll from VPR and Vermont PBS released today. Meanwhile, six weeks from Election Day, the state's lieutenant governor's race is a statistical dead heat, and fewer than 50 percent of Vermonters say they are eager to take a COVID-19 vaccine in the next year.

Burlington reaches separation agreement with police sergeant

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 8:47am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Monday night, the Burlington City Council voted 11-1 to approve a separation agreement with Burlington Police Department Sergeant Jason Bellavance. Mayor Miro Weinberger and his administration developed the separation agreement. The mayor said he would not advance similar agreements with two other police officers whose previous actions in use of force actions are also the source of contention among Burlington protesters. The deals pays Bellavance $300,000 plus other benefits. Councilor Ali Dieng was the lone dissenter.

McClaughry: Free exercise and faith-based schools

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 4:19am -- tim

by John McClaughry Vermont tax dollars may soon be going to faith-based elementary and secondary schools, if a case filed last week in federal district court succeeds. The case is styled Valente v. French. The lead plaintiffs are Mt Holly parents who send their son to the Roman Catholic Mount St Joseph Academy in Rutland. French is the Secretary of Education.

Castleton launches Master of Science in Nursing

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 3:49am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Castleton University will help meet regional healthcare employers' needs by offering a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), beginning in the spring 2021 semester. The program offers a Clinical Nurse Leader concentration and a Nurse Educator concentration. It is designed for working nurses with a bachelor's degree who wish to advance their careers. Castleton is now accepting applications for the spring semester.

Convicted sex trafficker Brian Folks sentenced to over 22 years in prison

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 4:33pm -- katie

Vermont Business Magazine The Honorable William K. Sessions III sentenced Brian Folks, 45, to twenty-two years and six months in prison today, followed by ten years of supervision upon release. A federal jury in Burlington, Vermont, previously found Folks guilty of 13 federal felonies after a nearly three-week trial back in May 2019. Evidence presented at trial showed that Folks ran an extensive and violent sex and drug trafficking operation that sold heroin and cocaine base throughout the greater Burlington area and forced young, drug-addicted women to prostitute. Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Christina E. Nolan for the District of Vermont, and DEA Special Agent in Charge-Boston Brian D. Boyle announced the sentence.