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VDH: COVID cases, hospitalizations, deaths fall

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 4:00pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health reported June 22 that COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline and are considered "Low." Levels are at their lowest since a surge in cases that began last August. Deaths attributed to COVID-19 stand at 682. There have been 10 deaths in June attributed to COVID so far after 32 in May. May saw an increase in fatalities from April and March. Vermonters are reminded that all state COVID testing sites will close by Saturday, June 25. PCR and take home tests will be available until then and also through doctors' offices, pharmacies and via mail from the federal government. 

Leahy: Urgent need for additional COVID funding

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 2:52pm -- tim

Senator Patrick Leahy As Senators prepare to return to their home states for the July 4th holiday, it is frustrating that we have once again kicked the can down the road on providing the needed funding to address the ongoing COVID pandemic.  For months, the Administration, scientists, and health care experts have raised the alarm that we do not have the resources we need to stay ahead of this virus.  And with COVID, if you are not staying ahead of it, you are slipping behind, to the detriment of all Americans. To keep our recovery afloat, we have robbed Peter to pay Paul.  Earlier this month, the Administration announced that it is repurposing $10 billion appropriated by Congress to help purchase additional vaccines and additional therapeutics because our stocks were running low. 

Highest July 4 gas prices ever unlikely to curb American appetite for road trips

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 12:34pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Drivers will be facing the most expensive July 4th at the pump ever this year, though the news isn’t all bad. According to GasBuddy, the leading fuel savings platform saving North American drivers the most money on gas, U.S. gas prices are expected to drop 10 to 20 cents by Independence Day. After months of fireworks at the pump, culminating in a $5 national average recorded for the first time just weeks ago, drivers will feel a bit of relief, though many were already determined to get out on the road despite high prices. Gas prices on average fell 6 cents per gallon in Vermont since last week to $4.98 and fell 8 cents nationally to $4.93. This is still about $2 per gallon higher than one year ago.

AOE supports summer programs, mentoring for Afghan students

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 12:19pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Education has committed $200,000 to support two national refugee non-profits with a presence in Vermont to ensure that refugee students and their families are provided with access to summer programs and community mentoring. The AOE will also leverage an existing partnership with the WIDA Consortium to offer targeted professional learning opportunities for teachers serving Afghan students and other multilingual newcomers. As of spring 2022, Vermont is now home to over 100 school-aged Afghan children and more families are expected to arrive in summer 2022. The AOE will use $200,000 in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to create the Afghan Refugee Partnership Grant.

UVM gets $5.5 million to launch integrative health center

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 12:15pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont announced a broad, new initiative today that will deliver innovative, transdisciplinary, evidence-based healthcare practices to our region. Funded by a $5.5 million grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Osher Center for Integrative Health at UVM will dramatically advance whole patient care, research, education, and health policy centered on treatments that incorporate proven methods from a variety of fields complementing allopathic medicine.

ISO New England investigated as part of FERC allegations against MA power plant

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 11:26am -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine As the independent administrator of Vermont's and New England’s wholesale electricity markets, ISO New England runs an annual forward capacity auction to ensure sufficient resources will be available to meet the region’s expected future reliability needs. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Enforcement (FERC OE) is currently investigating whether there were violations of ISO’s tariff and a fraudulent scheme related to said violations by a project developer that participated in a previous auction. While FERC OE has alleged that the project developer engaged in a fraudulent scheme to deceive the ISO and the market, and failed to provide the ISO with complete and relevant information, this investigation also includes the ISO’s role in administering the capacity market. ISO New England said it has cooperated fully with the investigation.

VPR and Vermont PBS are now Vermont Public

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 9:36am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, VPR (Vermont Public Radio) and Vermont PBS have changed their name and brand to Vermont Public. This reflects the unified mission of the state's public media organization, which officially merged last year. “Our new name pays homage to our past while signaling a new mission for the future,” said President and CEO, Scott Finn. “Across TV, radio, and digital platforms, we will engage a broader and more diverse audience, through stories that bring our community together.”

Union Mutual selects One Inc digital payments platform

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 9:35am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine One Inc, the leading digital payments network for the insurance industry, announced today that Union Mutual, a Vermont-based personal and commercial insurance company, has selected the One Inc Digital Payments Platform to provide both inbound and outbound digital payments. This is part of an overall effort to streamline and transform the carrier's customer experience. First established in 1874, Union Mutual Companies have been a quality insurance provider for nearly 150 years. From what started as a fire insurance company in Vermont, the carrier has expanded regionally with several personal and commercial product lines available. Union Mutual will continue to focus on maintaining long-term relationships with its policyholders and agents.

Halitra wins DeltaClimeVT Energy 2022 climate economy business accelerator

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 6:39am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine After three months of intense focus, camaraderie and both virtual and in-person learning, The DeltaClimeVT Energy 2022 climate economy business accelerator announces Halitra as the winner. Sixteen entrepreneurs from seven start-ups focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the acceleration of electrification graduated from the DeltaClimeVT Energy 2022 climate economy business accelerator during an awards ceremony at Burlington Beer Company June 16. At the event, each company presented their final pitch and shared their plans to scale their start-up companies. 

New laws on coyote hunting with dogs, recovery of game and furbearers, and trapping best management practices

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 4:33am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says three new hunting or trapping related laws passed by the Vermont Legislature during the 2022 session are going into effect. Under the new laws: hunting coyotes with dogs and training dogs to hunt coyotes will be temporarily banned in Vermont starting July 1; the retrieval and use of game and furbearing animals by hunters and trappers are now required with some exceptions; and the Fish and Wildlife Department is beginning a process with the Fish and Wildlife Board and Legislature to identify and implement new best management practices for trapping in the state.

Farm Night events at Earthkeep Farmcommon

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 4:09am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Earthkeep Farmcommon is rolling out its first-of-the-season farmer’s market event, “Farm Night at Earthkeep Farmcommon,” on Thursday, June 23, from 4-7 p.m. at 1211 Ethan Allen Highway. Formerly known as Nordic Nite Out, the event features goods produced sustainably on-site by the Earthkeep Farmers’ Collective. Members of the collective and fellow Vermont food vendors will come together to offer diverse, organic and locally made products every Thursday from 4-7 p.m. from June 23-Oct. 13. 

VTF&W provides new Streambank Management Area maps

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 3:42am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is providing new maps on its website of lands it owns along streambanks. Fish and Wildlife staff have developed maps for Streambank Management Areas for over 200 parcels spanning nearly 100 miles of streambanks statewide.  These newly created maps depict streambank areas providing public access for perpetuity.  A user-friendly overview map has narratives describing the stream sections and their associated fisheries.