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Tax Dept launches $2 million grant program for digitization of land records

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 1:10pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont's municipal offices that have been impacted by COVID-19 closures now have an opportunity to digitize their municipal land records, under a grant program created under Act 137 of 2020. The Vermont Legislature passed Act 137 of 2020 to distribute Coronavirus Relief Funds to various entities in Vermont. Sections 8 - 10 appropriate $2 million to assist municipalities in digitizing land records for online public access. The Agency of Administration, through the Vermont Department of Taxes, is responsible for distributing the grant funds.

ACLU statement on seven more Vermont inmates testing positive for COVID-19

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 10:35am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine ACLU of Vermont Executive Director James Lyall issued this statement Friday morning: “We learned yesterday that six incarcerated Vermonters returning from Mississippi have tested positive for COVID-19, and that one person still imprisoned in Mississippi tested positive earlier this week. This latest news from Vermont’s Department of Corrections is disturbing, but also predictable.

Governor signs order setting Sept 8 as universal school opening date

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 10:05am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott has signed a Directive officially setting Tuesday, September 8 as the universal reopening date for Vermont schools. Originally announced on Tuesday, the directive requires all public and independent schools to open for in-person or remote instruction on September 8, with an exception for schools primarily serving students with disabilities, which can restart operations prior to September 8. The Secretary of Education will have oversight and authority in the implementation of the order and local school officials and governing bodies are required to consult with, and abide by, the direction of the Secretary of Education.

For safety, public campus-access limits coming to St Mike's

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 4:40am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Saint Michael’s College announced this week that it will be limiting public access to its campus beginning Saturday: Dear Community Members: To help ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, as well as that of our greater community, Saint Michael's College has made the difficult decision to restrict access to campus only to students, employees, contractors, and those with prior approval. Starting August 1st, the Saint Michael’s campus is not open to visitors, walkers, joggers, bikers, etc.

VDH COVID-19 Update: First death in 43 days, 57 total

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 4:50pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health today reported an additional death associated with COVID-19. This is the first Vermont death in 43 days. Vermont has the fewest number of COVID-19 cases of any state and the lowest positivity rate. There was one new case reported today for a statewide total of 1,407 and one person hospitalized.

Woodstock man arrested for possession of child pornography

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 4:28pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Attorney General TJ Donovan announced that Matthew Vince, 42, of Woodstock, was arraigned today on six felony and two misdemeanor counts of possession of child pornography.  This morning, members of the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including personnel from the Attorney General’s Office, the Vermont State Police, and Homeland Security Investigations, executed a residential search warrant and arrested Mr. Vince pursuant to an investigation that originated with the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Governor Scott: We owe it to our kids

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 3:02pm -- tim

by Governor Phil Scott Earlier this summer, my team set a goal for our state: If our positive health trends continue, let’s return to in-person instruction for our kids in the fall. Our core principle has been to help school districts safely provide every child with an education that is as good or better than before the pandemic. So, we’ve been listening to the experts and following the science – working with our Health Department, and Agency of Education, groups representing school administrators and teachers, and – most importantly – pediatric and infectious disease experts. And what we continue to hear from public health and pediatric medical professionals is a strong call for in-person instruction in areas with low positivity rates, especially for kids 10 and under. 

VDH reports Vermont's first COVID-19 associated death in 43 days

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 2:04pm -- tim

Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD It is with sadness that I report an additional death associated with COVID-19. This is the first Vermont death in 43 days, and we at the Health Department express our deepest condolences to the patients’ loved ones, friends and family. To protect the individual’s privacy, we will not be providing information about the person or the circumstances of their passing. Anyone who may be affected by their illness will have been contacted and given appropriate guidance for their health and safety.

Housing Vermont merges with NNEHIF to form Evernorth

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 1:46pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Northern New England Housing Investment Fund (NNEHIF) and Housing Vermont (HV) announced they were uniting as a single entity to serve the low and moderate income people of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont with affordable housing and community investments. The new regional organization, now named Evernorth, will build on the track record of its two nonprofit organizations by bringing together experienced professional staff to raise capital, invest in and build affordable housing, and improve our environment through energy efficiency. 

Vermont-NEA: Resumption of schools requires phased-in approach

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 1:25pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont-NEA is proposing a return to in-person instruction in four phases, in combination with distance and hybrid learning models, expanded social and mental health services, local safety-and-health committees, instructional planning to address racial and social inequities, expanded staffing to provide essential services, facility preparations, and more guidance and assistance to special educators.

Maroney: Dairy should go organic to save itself and the lake

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 11:34am -- tim

by James Maroney The new model was really a no-brainer and for early adopters, conventional farming was delivering as advertised. But predictably the model was also bringing a few unwanted side effects, chief among them over production, which would depress farm prices, which would in turn drive farm attrition, which would then drive rural economic decay. These conditions were beginning to hurt even the early adopters, known as ‘progressive’ farmers, driving them to expand and consolidate their neighbors, to acquire more land and machinery on which to apply the model. And if these side effects weren’t bad enough, the application of more toxic fertilizers and the stocking of more cows on increasingly fewer, increasingly larger farms would drive lake pollution, which the federal government was urging Vermont to control.

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