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VDH: COVID cases down, four deaths, get boosted

Mon, 05/16/2022 - 2:40pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health today is reporting 166 cases of COVID-19 for Sunday (197 Saturday; 414 Friday). VDH also reported today four additional deaths from the virus. The total death toll is 652 lives lost. All four were at least 80 years old. There are 13 reported deaths in May so far. There were 18 deaths in April, which surpassed March's total (17). March saw the fewest COVID deaths since last July. Fatalities and hospitalizations increased the last part of April. According to health officials, nearly all recent deaths have been of the very elderly and/or people with underlying health conditions and "not up to date" on their vaccines, meaning that if eligible to have received a booster. 

EPA announces record $4.8 million brownfields investment in Vermont

Mon, 05/16/2022 - 1:38pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a $4,870,000 investment in Vermont, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to revitalize communities across the country by cleaning up contaminated and blighted sites and redeveloping them for productive uses. The funds will support under-served and economically disadvantaged communities around the state in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties and are part of a historic national EPA investment in Brownfields remediation. The Vermont projects are in Addison and Lamoille counties. 

Pulitzer Prize winning poet Jericho Brown to deliver 2022 commencement address at Bennington College

Mon, 05/16/2022 - 12:30pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Bennington College today announced the selection of Pulitzer Prize winning poet Jericho Brown as the commencement speaker for the Class of 2022. The faculty speaker will be Elena Demyanenko, a faculty member in dance. The senior student speaker will be Sofia Pacheco Pardo ‘22. Jericho Brown will address the 87th graduating class at the conferring of degrees on Saturday, May 28, at 10 AM. The student speaker will address the class at a Senior dinner on Friday, May 27th at 7:15 pm, and the faculty speaker will address the community at both events. Jericho Brown has had a long and meaningful relationship with the college. In February, 2020 he delivered the 49th Bennington Writing Seminars Commencement address.

FEMA reimbursing Vermont $11.6 million for COVID testing

Mon, 05/16/2022 - 11:45am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sending more than $11.6 million to the State of Vermont to reimburse the costs of providing testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The $11,640,655 in Public Assistance grants will go to the Vermont Agency of Human Services for contracting to provide testing services for the public at large and for those who needed tests to access state facilities.

Community Bank, NA completes acquisition of Elmira Savings Bank

Mon, 05/16/2022 - 11:37am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Community Bank System, Inc (NYSE: CBU), the parent company of Community Bank, NA, with branches across Vermont, announced today that Community Bank completed its merger with Elmira Savings Bank, a New York state chartered savings bank (NASDAQ-CM: ESBK) on May 13, 2022. Community Bank acquired Elmira in an all cash transaction representing total consideration valued at approximately $82.8 million. The merger added eight branch locations across a five-county area in the Central New York and Southern Tier markets. With completion of the merger, Community Bank System has over $16.2 billion in assets and over $13.8 billion in deposits.

Norwich receives DARPA grant to study effect of cockpit noise on pilots

Mon, 05/16/2022 - 9:25am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Norwich University, in partnership with Spotlight Labs, has been awarded a three-year $371,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to continue work on the Impact of Cockpit Electro-Magnetics on Aircrew Neurology (ICEMAN) project. This grant will fund research on Phase II of the ICEMAN project after Norwich and Spotlight completed Phase I of the study.

Vermont Democratic Party hires Dandeneau as interim executive director

Mon, 05/16/2022 - 8:44am -- tim

​Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Democratic Party announced that they've hired Jim Dandeneau as the Party’s Interim Executive Director. Dandeneau is a familiar figure in Vermont political circles who is widely respected as an able and effective leader. He joined the VDP as House Campaign Director in 2017, leading the effort to recruit, train, and run more than 120 candidates for the Vermont House of Representatives. Democrats picked up 12 seats, resulting in a supermajority coalition that was able to override gubernatorial vetoes on key issues. 

VAHHS: Health care bill review as lawmakers go home

Mon, 05/16/2022 - 8:30am -- tim

by Devon Green, VP of Government Relations, VAHHS Ding, dong, the 2021-2022 legislative biennium is dead! Or, on life support until we see if the governor issues any more vetoes and calls a special session. It’s been a long two years, as reflected in the number of legislators leaving, including Bill Lippert, Chair of the House Health Care Committee. I will never forget that day in March of 2019 when he asked health care providers what they needed during the pandemic and then passed supportive legislation in about 24 hours. Thank you.

Working Lands Enterprise Board announces $3.1 million 2022 impact grants

Mon, 05/16/2022 - 3:08am -- tim

Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food & Markets The Working Lands program continues to increase its historic funding for those who make their living off the land. This May, the program awarded $3.1 million in grants that will help grow agriculture and forest businesses in Vermont. New Supply Chain and Market Level Impact specific grants will help businesses leverage supply chain partnerships at a significant scale, with awards of up to $250K. Please follow the link in each category to view the individual businesses receiving 2022 program funds.

Saint Michael’s graduates hear Catholic environmentalist Dan Misleh as a rainy day turns sunny

Sun, 05/15/2022 - 9:03pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine A spirit of deep gratitude and joy should animate each person joining the overwhelming but urgent work of tackling climate change, a leading Catholic environmentalist told nearly 480 Saint Michael’s College 2022 graduates on a rainy Sunday morning for the College’s outdoor 115th Commencement on May 15. “We must all do our part to save the earth from our own selfishness and our own foolishness,” said Dan Misleh, founder of Catholic Climate Covenant and longtime activist to address global warming.

Vermont's dairy farms: Which way forward?

Sun, 05/15/2022 - 4:47pm -- tim

by C.B. Hall, Vermont Business Magazine Each year, the people who study such things inform us that our state's dairy farms, so emblematic of what makes Vermont, Vermont, continue to dwindle in number. According to the state's Agency for Farms, Food and Markets, Vermont had 973 cow dairy farms in 2012. Five years later, there were 796 — 18% fewer. By the first quarter of this year, the number stood at 564, a further decline of 29%. Thirty-eight farms — one or two a week — disappeared in the seven months between May and December 2020, following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which occasioned a major decline in demand as schools and restaurants shut down. In three months, the average price that Vermont's dairy farmers received for their product through the federal milk market system plummeted 27%, to $12.82 per hundredweight of raw milk, according to the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service.