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VPR pledge drive raises record $617,000 and 40,000 meals for the Vermont Foodbank

Tue, 03/24/2009 - 10:39am -- tim

Vermont Public Radio exceeded its March membership drive goal last Friday by more than $47,000, raising $617, 683 in 9 ½ days of on-air fundraising.
We are overwhelmed by this outpouring of community support, said VPR President Robin Turnau. The success of this drive sends an incredibly positive message to our listeners, other non-profits, and the public radio community nationally.  I want to thank all of our generous listeners who help make Vermont Public Radio one of the strongest and most successful in the country.

Governor appoints Lisa Warren as Caledonia County state's attorney

Tue, 03/24/2009 - 10:32am -- tim

Governor Jim Douglas today announced the appointment of Lisa A. Warren of Waterford, Vermont to be State s Attorney for Caledonia County.  Warren was most recently Deputy State s Attorney for the county.  She has also been active on the Northeast Kingdom Domestic Violence Task force as well as the Vulnerable Adults Task Force.
Lisa s experience in the State s Attorney s office, coupled with her community involvement make her a great pick for State s Attorney, said Governor Douglas.  I know Lisa will do a great job for the people of Caledonia County.

Comcast awards $30,000 grant to Spectrum Youth and Family Services

Tue, 03/24/2009 - 10:30am -- tim

Demonstrating the company s commitment to giving back to the communities it serves, the Comcast Foundation today announced it has awarded $30,000 to Spectrum Youth and Family Services, helping the organization fulfill its mission to provide transitional housing and support services to at-risk youth in Burlington.  The grant $10,000 a year over three years will enable the organization to assist local young people acquire the skills needed to obtain and retain an entry-level job.

CEO of Bennington hospital resigns amidst controversy

Mon, 03/23/2009 - 11:14am -- intern

Havery Yorke, CEO of Southwestern Vermont Heath Care for 17 yeras, said Wednesday that he would resign in order to restore confidence in the health care system's leadership.  This past week, acconting errors had reduced expected revenues by $5 million.
    Hospital officials learned the facility was facing a potential deficit of $1.3 million after overestimating Medicare payments by $3.8 million and underestimating bad debts by 1.3 million.
    Dr. Mark Novotny, chief medical officer, has been appointed interim leader for the hospital.

Vermont's NativeEnergy forms partnership with national firms

Mon, 03/23/2009 - 10:01am -- tim

Truist, the leading provider of global philanthropy solutions, recently announced a strategic partnership with Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP), the leading nonprofit dedicated solely to finding and promoting solutions to global warming, and Vermont-based NativeEnergy, an international marketer of high quality carbon offsets and renewable energy credits (RECs).

Vermont Yankee expects to have contract by Friday, House Energy Committee passes clean-up costs bill

Mon, 03/23/2009 - 9:41am -- tim

Entergy Vice President Jay Thayer told the House Natural Resources Committee last Friday that Entergy will have a proposal for the Vermont utilities by the end of this week. Thayer had previously told the Legislature that a contract proposal would be presented before the break for Town Meeting in early March. Legislative leaders have indicated that lawmakers would not take up a bill to extend the Vermont Yankee contract beyond 2012 until Entergy presented a contract. Even now, the leaders are skeptical that a bill would move forward so late in this year's session.

Oversight Panel clears Vermont Yankee to continue operation

Mon, 03/23/2009 - 9:41am -- intern

The Yankee Public Oversight panel has issued a report clearing the nuclear plant to continue operation, despite the recent cooling tower collapse and condenser leaks.  The panel reached a similar conclusion as a group of state-hired auditors.  However, the report did say that Entergy Nuclear, the owner of Vermont Yankee, needs to review its management style and have its condenser replaced.  According to the report, the plant ranks in the bottom 25% of nuclear plants nationwide.  

Blue Cross Blue Shield executive gets $7.25 million in 2008

Mon, 03/23/2009 - 9:39am -- intern

The former president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, William R. Milnes Jr, retired at the end of 2008 after taking home $7.25 million in salary, bonuses, and retirement cash.  Of that sum, roughly $900,000 was listed as salary and bonuses; the remainder, $6.3 million, was additional compensation commonly known as a golden parachute.
News of Milnes compensation package coincides with a back-and-forth battle in Montpelier on how to finance public health-care programs in the weak economy. 

7th Annual Vermont Workplace Safety Conference & Governor’s Awards

Mon, 03/23/2009 - 9:30am -- tim

Excellent professional development opportunity for HR and Safety Staff.  Topics include:  "Incorporating Safety into Construction & Maintenance Contract Documents"; Material Handling Ergonomics Tool Demonstration; Supervisors as Safety Leaders Panel;  Healthy Employees/Safer Employees: Wellness, Incentives and ROI; and the Governors Safety Awards. Sponsored by: the Partnership in Safety (Project WorkSAFE, Green Mtn. Coffee Roasters, VT Small Business Development Center and the Vermont Safety and Health Council).

Putney, Brattleboro get $700,000 in grants for housing, historic store

Mon, 03/23/2009 - 9:27am -- tim

Two grants totaling nearly $700,000 will help preserve an historic general store and create affordable housing in Windham County, Governor Jim Douglas announced Friday.
At a ceremony at the Putney General Store, Douglas announced a $200,382 grant to the Town of Putney to assist in repairing the fire-damaged building, and a $480,000 grant to the Town of Brattleboro for an affordable housing project in West Brattleboro.

Welch announces $380,000 grant for downtown St Albans

Mon, 03/23/2009 - 9:24am -- tim

Representative Peter Welch announced Monday a $380,000 grant for a comprehensive economic revitalization project in downtown St. Albans.
The federal grant, which Welch secured for the city, will help St. Albans improve sidewalks, streetlights and signage and make other aesthetic upgrades to Main Street and Taylor Park. The project is intended to make downtown St. Albans safer for families and more attractive to businesses.

Vermont receives $756K in carbon credits, governor announces $188,000 in Climate Change Grants

Fri, 03/20/2009 - 11:47am -- tim

Governor Jim Douglas today announced Vermont has received $756,000 in the latest round of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auctions and that 17 energy efficiency projects across the state have received $188,000 in the first round of funding from the Vermont Community Climate Change Grant Program.