Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced the appointment of Chris Herrick as the commissioner of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Herrick will lead the department responsible for the management and conservation of fish, wildlife and their habitats. For the last five years, Chris has served as deputy commissioner at the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and prior to that he served two and a half years as director of Vermont Emergency Management within DPS.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) announced today a new grant program that aims to support and stabilize the state’s child care industry — a sector hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Child Care Stabilization Grants, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, will help regulated child care providers: Cover unexpected business costs associated with the pandemic, and stabilize their operations so they can continue providing care.
Vermont Business Magazine The Acting United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Craig Cowles, 53, of Richmond, Vermont, was sentenced today in United States District Court in Burlington to five years of probation following his guilty plea to federal income tax evasion. Chief District Judge Geoffrey Crawford ordered that Cowles pay restitution totaling about $262,000 to the IRS for unpaid taxes. Since pleading guilty, Cowles has already paid the IRS more than $80,000 toward this restitution obligation.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health today is reporting another swing today in COVID-19 cases, with 236 (up 85 cases) after falling by 176 on Thursday. In the last four days, the VDH reported two days with under 200 cases and two over, with one of those (327) just three off the all-time record. This continues a pattern of wild swings in the number of daily cases. Previous swings have been blamed on the timing on when results are returned to the VDH or on a super-spreader event, which does not appear to be the situation this week. The VDH also today reported one additional death for 343 statewide. There are 45 people hospitalized (down two) with 12 in the ICU (down seven).
Public Assets Institute The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), passed in March 2021, earmarked $76.6 million for Vermont’s local governments, and another $121.2 million for county government. Because Vermont counties have limited roles, the feds redirected the dollars to towns. Towns can use money through the end of 2024 to help pay for government services; direct assistance to households, small businesses, and non-profits for COVID-related costs; premium pay to essential workers; and infrastructure investments.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott announced today that construction of a new treatment center for Vermonters with high-level mental health needs has begun in Essex. The new facility, a 16-bed step-down recovery residence, will provide care for those who are no longer in need of inpatient care in a hospital, but who still need services in a secure setting that often exceed the capacity of community health providers.
Vermont Business Magazine On November 2nd, the Burlington Board of School Commissioners will be voting on a contract extension for Superintendent Thomas Flanagan and they want to hear from the community. The vote will happen at the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, at 6 pm at the Sustainability Academy. Between now and October 28, the School Board welcomes input from community members through taking a survey or sending thoughts via email to the Board at (email@example.com).
UVM researchers team up with Casella to uncover the suitability of packaged food waste for organics recycling.
Vermont Business Magazine More than one-third of food waste in Vermont is still packaged—a sticky situation when it comes to mandatory diversion of food waste away from landfills under the state’s new Universal Recycling Law. Act 148 banned food scraps from landfills beginning in July 2020. Researchers at the University of Vermont (UVM) have partnered with Casella Waste Systems to test the efficiency of a new de-packaging system at the company’s recycling facility in Williston.
Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont’s Class of 2025 is the largest and academically best-prepared undergraduate cohort in the university’s 230-year history—a testament to UVM’s ascending position among public higher education institutions across the country. More first-year students also hail from other regions of the US than any previous class. UVM attracted 38 percent more undergraduate applicants compared to last year, which resulted in more than 25,500 applications, a record high. The previous record was 25,275 in 2015. The new class—made up of 2,932 first-time, first-year undergraduate students—is the largest in UVM’s history.
Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power (GMP) is partnering with the Bristol Energy Committee to give Vermonters the opportunity to check out the benefits of electric vehicles at the EVenture Ride and Drive and parade on Saturday at the Bristol Green. GMP is visiting communities across the state with EVenture Ride and Drive events, which provide an opportunity for customers to talk with EV drivers and GMP experts in a no-pressure environment, ask questions, and learn about the benefits of electric vehicles – from the financial and carbon savings you get when you switch to driving electric, to the zippy ride that a battery-powered car offers on the road.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, Congressman Welch, and Department for Children and Families today announced that Vermont has received an unprecedented amount of Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding this year. Thanks to the hard work of Vermont’s congressional delegation, the program received $49 million in LIHEAP funding, augmented by a one-time block grant increase authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Department for Children and Families typically receives approximately $20 million each year.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health today is reporting a steep drop in COVID-19 cases, with 151 down 176 from yesterday. In the last three days, the VDH reported two days with under 200 cases and another near the all-time record. The VDH also today reported two additional deaths for 342 statewide. There are 47 people hospitalized (down two) with 19 in the ICU (up five). Cases in the southern four counties continue to be relatively high.