News in brief from October

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News in brief from October

Sun, 11/06/2022 - 2:23am -- tim

Vermont PUC grants GlobalFoundries petition to become its own utility

GlobalFoundries (Nasdaq: GFS), a global leader in feature-rich semiconductor manufacturing, has been issued a Certificate of Public Good (CPG) from Vermont’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC), thus approving the formation and operation of GF Power LLC as the electric utility for GF’s facility in Essex Junction. GF, which consumes more electricity than the City of Burlington, will not retail or distribute energy like a traditional utility. Due to its size, GF is the only transmission class customer in Vermont, meaning it takes service at a higher voltage than all other GMP customers in addition to owning, maintaining, and investing in its own transmission and distribution system. This uniquely positions GF to take on the responsibilities of becoming its own utility, directly serving only the facility’s needs.

 

Tax revenues well ahead of targets despite T-Fund results

Vermont tax revenues for September were good and bad. The General Fund receipts were over 14% ahead of projections, pushing the entire first quarter to over 12% ahead. However, the Transportation had the opposite result, as revenues lagged 14% below expectations for the month and were nearly 4% below for the quarter, as both fuel taxes and vehicle sales, especially, faltered. The Education was just below breakeven for the month and is nearly 4% above expectations for the year-to-date.

Overall, the State’s General Fund, Transportation Fund, and Education Fund receipts in August were a combined $314.9 million, or 8.4%, above monthly consensus targets. For the first quarter of the state’s fiscal year, combined revenues across all three funds were 8.3% above target.

The GF results were paced by two income tax sources – personal income taxes and corporate income taxes. Both sources registered substantial gains, enough to bury minor misses in estate taxes and health care revenues. PI is by far the most important GF revenue source. The sales tax was just ahead of targets and the tourism-related rooms & meals tax was just under.

 

Vermont’s unemployment rate holds at 2.1% in September

The Vermont Department of Labor has reported that the seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate for September was 2.1 percent. This reflects no change from the last two months’ revised estimates. Vermont is tied for the second lowest rate in the nation. Minnesota is lowest at 2.0 percent. New Hampshire is at 2.2 percent, tied for fourth. Illinois (4.5 percent) has the highest rate. The civilian labor force participation in Vermont was 61.8 percent in September, no change from the prior month, after edging up the last few months. The labor force, total employed and total unemployed all increased slightly. The US rate in September was 3.5 percent, a decrease of two-tenths of one percentage point.

 

Hydro-Québec to acquire 13 hydropower generating stations in New England

HQI US Holding LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Great River Hydro, LLC, which owns 13 hydropower generating stations with a total installed capacity of 589 megawatts along New England’s Connecticut and Deerfield rivers in the states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Great River Hydro is being sold by affiliates of ArcLight Capital Partners, LLC for a value of approximately US $2 billion. The facilities are located along the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers. Hydro-Québec was already the largest single supplier of electricity to Vermont.

 

CityPlace Burlington Construction to Begin in Nov

Partners behind the CityPlace Burlington redevelopment announced at the Burlington City Council meeting on October 17 said they expect to break ground in mid-November. Plans for Phase 1 will focus on about 430 units of housing, of which  85 will be affordable. The ground floor will feature retail and the project will include a 420-space parking garage and a rooftop restaurant. The developers of the project are local business owners David Farrington of Farrington Construction, Al Senecal of Omega Electric Construction and Scott Ireland of SD Ireland. The affordable housing piece is being developed with Champlain Housing Trust.

The site is the part of the former Burlington Town Center Mall, which was demolished in 2018. The original plans, unveiled in the spring of 2016, included redevelopment of the Church Street entrance to the mall (phase 2) , which is still intact and will be redeveloped at some point and include Don Sinex, and the former Macy’s department store (phase 3) on the west side of the lot, which is now used by Burlington High School.

Financing was not released. Plans also call for reconnecting Pine and St Paul Streets, which were truncated when the original mall was built in the 1970s.

 

BTV opens $19 million airport Terminal Integration Project features single security checkpoint

The Burlington International Airport (BTV) has opened the first phase of the three-part and  long-awaited Terminal Integration Project (TIP). This terminal integration will feature a streamlined security checkpoint, expanded passenger seating, and improved amenities, while greatly reducing BTV’s carbon footprint, among other efficiencies. Passengers began utilizing the integrated security checkpoint, found on the south side of the terminal, on October 11. This $19 million project was funded by an Airport Improvement Grant (AIP) administered by the Federal Aviation Administration, which Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) was instrumental in securing.

 

State seeks $114 million for middle-mile broadband extension

Vermont joined other nationwide applicants in applying for funding from the $1 billion Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program. Vermont’s application proposes a $114 million, 1,663-mile, statewide middle mile network. The proposal was developed in collaboration with the state’s nine Communications Union Districts and the state’s major telecommunication companies. This project is supported by a $30 million state match to be included in the Governor’s budget proposal and over $16 million in cash and in-kind contributions from NEK Broadband, ECFiber, and FirstLight.

 

Burlington launches ARPA-funded $1M grant program for nonprofits

The City of Burlington is launching a grant program to support the work being done by non-profit organizations in the City of Burlington to support individuals, households, and industries that were disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant program uses up to $1 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, and grants will range in size from $10,000 to $150,000. Applicants must be registered with the State of Vermont as a non-profit organization and must use the funds for work within the City of Burlington to address public health and economic impacts on households, populations, or groups that experienced or continue to experience pandemic impacts.

 

GF gets $30 million in federal funding to advance next-gen chip making

US Senator Patrick Leahy and GlobalFoundries announced October 17 the award of $30 million in federal funding to advance the development and production of next-generation gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon semiconductors at GF’s facility in Essex Junction, Vermont. With their unique ability to handle significant heat and power levels, GaN semiconductors are positioned to enable game-changing performance and efficiency in applications including 5G and 6G smartphones, RF wireless infrastructure, electric vehicles, power grids, solar energy, and other technologies.

 

Math and reading scores of fourth- and eighth graders decline

A majority of states, including Vermont, saw scores decline for fourth- and eighth graders in mathematics and reading between 2019 and 2022, according to the latest results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation's Report Card, released by the US Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The national average score declines in mathematics for fourth- and eighth graders were the largest ever recorded in that subject.

The NAEP is administered every two years to students in grades Four and Eight across the nation. This administration comes after the postponement of the 2021 NAEP due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While still navigating pandemic conditions, 202 schools in Vermont participated in the assessment.

Grade 8 students in Vermont scored above the national average in reading and math, and Grade 4 reading and math performance was not significantly different from the national average. However, while Vermont students continued to perform at or above the national average, students showed a decline in average scale scores compared to Vermont’s 2019 results. While it is fair to conclude that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are reflected in student performance, Vermont students’ performance on NAEP has been generally declining for over a decade.

 

Maple Broadband gets $9.1 million grant to fund expansion in Addison County

The Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB) recently approved a $9.1 million grant to Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT), in partnership with Maple Broadband, to expand fiber-optic broadband in parts of Addison, Bridport, Ferrisburgh, New Haven, Panton, Waltham, and Weybridge. The source of the grant funding is the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This project will extend WCVT’s fiber-to-the-home network to approximately 2,000 additional customers in parts of Addison County in the Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom service area. The network is capable of delivering broadband speeds of up to 1 Gigabyte.

 

SoVT CUD wins $9 million grant to expand fiber in Southwest Vermont

The Southern Vermont Communications Union District (So VT CUD) recently received approval for its $9 million internet fiber construction grant from the Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB). The grant, along with a $3.3 million investment from Consolidated Communications, will cover 6,412 addresses across southern Vermont. The CUD, in partnership with Consolidated Communications, who will build, maintain and operate the network, expects all unserved and underserved residents in 14 towns in the CUD to have access to Fidium Fiber’s multi-gigabit speed internet in 2023 at competitive prices.

 

Bank of Burlington celebrates grand opening

Vermont’s first new financial institution in three decades has opened for business. It is led by longtime local banker CEO/Chairman, Geoffrey R Hesslink. Bank of Burlington will focus on Commercial Businesses. Bank of Burlington will emphasize online and cyber banking. They boast a small organizational structure, which will enable creative lending solutions to grow small and mid-size businesses.

 

Scott releases nearly $30 million for village water and wastewater infrastructure

Governor Phil Scott and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have announced that nearly $30 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, appropriated for the village water and wastewater (VWWW) initiative, has now been committed to towns across the state. The VWWW Initiative will help municipalities develop new public drinking water systems and community wastewater disposal systems where this critical infrastructure is lacking. This grant funding will bridge the affordability gap, protect public health, increase affordable housing, support economic development, and incentivize compact growth in Vermont’s designated villages and neighborhoods.

 

UVM freezes tuition, new plan offers free tuition to some Vermonters based on income

The University of Vermont’s Board of Trustees today approved freezing tuition and fees at current rates for a fifth consecutive academic year, an initiative begun by President Suresh Garimella in 2019 to keep UVM affordable and accessible for students and families from Vermont and across the nation. To complement the frozen tuition rates, which apply to all students, the university held room and board fees level for a fourth straight year. To further reinforce UVM’s commitment to affordability and access here in Vermont, Garimella announced the “UVM Promise,” a new program that guarantees full tuition scholarships to all dependent Vermont students in households with incomes of up to $60,000. Eligible Vermonters will receive these full tuition scholarships for four years of study, beginning with the first-year students entering next fall. 

 

VCBB expands town match grant to bring broadband to all Vermonters

The Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB) will match town Local Fiscal Recovery ARPA fund contributions dedicated to broadband in an expanded town match program as part of the VCBB’s Act 71 Broadband Construction Grant Program. To be matched, the funds must be pledged to the Communications Union District (CUD) serving the town or to an eligible provider committing to build out to all underserved locations in a community if the town is not a member of a CUD. The goal of the program is to accelerate the build-out of 100/100 Mbps broadband while decreasing its cost and providing affordable service for town residents.

The VCBB also approved three grants totaling $26.45 Million to bring broadband to more than 4,000 underserved Vermont addresses. The VCBB has awarded $90.25 million in construction grants to date.

 

Citizens Business Conditions Index bounces back in Q3

The national Citizens Business Conditions Index (CBCI) from Citizens Bank rose to 56.1 in the third quarter, regaining momentum after a drop in second quarter economic sentiment prompted by inflation concerns. The index increased 1.7% this quarter in Vermont, which is an increase of 1.2% from the previous quarter and down 6.8% from last year. This quarter’s score extends the index’s streak to eight straight quarters above 50, indicating continued growth conditions for businesses. Job strength was a key factor in the Index’s rebound, as the employment market withstood the dual headwinds of continued inflation and aggressive interest-rate increases from the Federal Reserve.

 

UVM: Video gaming may be associated with better cognitive performance in kids

A study of nearly 2,000 children found that those who reported playing video games for three hours per day or more performed better on cognitive skills tests involving impulse control and working memory compared to children who had never played video games. Published October 24 in JAMA Network Open, this study analyzed data from the ongoing Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, which is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and other entities of the National Institutes of Health. Although a number of studies have investigated the relationship between video gaming and cognitive behavior, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the associations are not well understood. Only a handful of neuroimaging studies have addressed this topic, and the sample sizes for those studies have been small, with fewer than 80 participants

 

Killington fires up snow guns, prepares for World Cup

Killington Resort has fired up its snow guns to being snowmaking in preparation for the start of ski season and the 2022 Women’s World Cup races taking place Thanksgiving weekend. Killington Resort will again welcome the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Tour back to Killington, Vermont, on Thanksgiving Weekend.

 

Burlington School District to sue Monsanto

Burlington School District Superintendent Tom Flanagan has announced that the Burlington School District is planning to sue Monsanto for its role in manufacturing Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which led to the closing of Burlington High School. BHS is temporarily located at the former Macy’s in downtown Burlington. A bond request for $165 million is on the November ballot, which would mostly fund the demolition of the current facility in the New North End and the building of a new school and technical center at the same location.

 

Vermont Working Communities Challenge releases initial report

The Vermont Working Communities Challenge (WCC) has released its Initial Report sharing the new approaches made by the eight Vermont teams over the first three years to address systemic challenges in Vermont like housing, childcare, poverty, workforce development, racial equity, and more. The report was shared with Vermont’s decision-makers and community builders on October 14 and is now publicly available.

 

US foreclosure starts up 167% from year ago, Vt lowest rate in nation

ATTOM, a leading curator of real estate data nationwide for land and property data, has released its Q3 2022 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows there were a total of 92,634 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — up 3 percent from the previous quarter and 104 percent from a year ago. Meanwhile, Vermont has seen foreclosures decrease and the state has by far the lowest rate in the nation at 1 per 22,288 housing units. Illinois had the highest at 1 per 694 HU (7,821 total). Over the last year, there have been only 15 foreclosure filings in Vermont. California (10,850) and Florida (9,284) had the most filings.

 

Vermont childhood poverty rate among lowest in US

The national poverty rate was 12.8% in 2021 but was significantly different for the nation’s oldest and youngest populations, according to a new Census Bureau report. The child poverty rate (for people under age 18) was 16.9% in 2021, 4.2 percentage points higher than the national rate, while poverty for those ages 65 and over was 10.3%, 2.5 percentage points lower than the national rate. Vermont’s overall poverty rate is 10.3%, tied for seventh lowest. The state’s child poverty rate was 10.4%, which was third lowest. And the 65 and over poverty rate was 9.1%.

 

HCRS receives $4 million CCBHC grant

Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS), southeastern Vermont’s non-profit community mental-health agency, has announced that they have been awarded the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) CCBHC Planning, Development, and Implementation grant designed to address health disparities in rural settings. This significant funding of $1 million per year for four years, will allow the mental health agency to prepare to become a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). CCBHCs are specially funded organizations that provide a comprehensive range of mental health and substance abuse services that are required to meet certain quality standards of care.

 

Kingsbury breaks ‘water’ on Mad River withdrawal improvements

Kingsbury Companies “Broke Water” on a project in Warren, Vermont earlier this summer installing an inflatable dam on the Mad River. The new dam replaces an existing dam owned and operated by Sugarbush Mountain Resort Inc., supporting seasonal snowmaking operations at Lincoln Peak, that has reached its design life and has been damaged by large storms in the past. The new dam includes modern automated controls assuring water flows support the aquatic life in the Mad River both up and downstream of the location; as well as automatically lowering during periods of high flow to allow for natural stream flows. Kingsbury Companies expects to complete this project by the winter season.

 

Specialty crop grants benefit Vermont specialty crop producers

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) has announced grants totaling $292,268 for eight projects to benefit Vermont fruit, vegetable, and value-added producers and increase consumer access to locally produced food. These grants, funded through the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), were awarded to five organizations to undertake a range of research, development, outreach, and marketing projects. The grants will leverage an additional $148,907 in matching funds.

 

Vermont groups to receive $4.5 million in national Build to Scale grants

Black River Innovation Campus (BRIC) and the Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region (CEDRR) have been awarded grants via the US Economic Development Administration Build to Scale (B2S) program. The two grants represent $4.5 million to support innovation in rural communities. BRIC and CEDRR received Venture Challenge grants of $3 million and $1.5 million, respectively, to fund innovation hubs in central Vermont. BRIC, based in Springfield, will partner with the Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation (GMEDC) to scale its programming and expand its reach to a second location in Randolph, while CEDRR will use its funds to launch Rutland’s Tech Startup Incubator.

 

Mamava celebrates manufacturing in Springfield
To celebrate National Manufacturing Day (October 7th) and the one-year anniversary of Mamava’s acquisition of its manufacturing operations based in Springfield, Vermont, Mamava Manufacturing hosted an open house. Attendees were invited to interact with Mamava’s line of lactation space solutions and to tour the facility’s operations to see how Mamava pods are made. Among those in attendance were Dan Smith, CEO of Vermont Community Foundation; Will Stevens, Business Outreach for Senator Sanders; and Mickey Wiles, CEO of Working Fields, who each spoke about the importance of manufacturing in Vermont.

 

ANR updates job qualifications as it readies to hire 42 staff

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), part of the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), has updated the minimum qualifications for all Environmental Analyst positions. The DEC made the updates as it prepares to hire over 40 positions in the next few months. New staff will direct nearly $600 million in federal funds for water infrastructure and environmental remediation.

 

Cathedral Square launches $1 million capital campaign with $500,000 match

With generous support from the families of Holly & Bob Miller and Lois & J. Warren McClure, Cathedral Square has launched a $1 million capital campaign to ensure the future of Memory Care at Allen Brook, a Williston-based residence for very low-income Vermonters on Medicaid. The two families, known for their philanthropic support of worthy Vermont causes for decades, are matching every donation to the campaign dollar for dollar up to $500,000. Cathedral Square hopes to meet the $1 million goal for the Campaign for Memory Care at Allen Brook by the end of the year.

 

Ag Agency urges dairy farmers to access USDA and state support programs

The deadline is approaching to enroll in the 2023 USDA Dairy Margin Coverage Program (DMC).  The Vermont Legislature approved $2,600,000 to reimburse Vermont dairy farmers enrolled in the DMC for 2022 and 2023.  The reimbursement program is currently underway and estimates DMC reimbursement allocated to-date for 2022 at $1,500,000.  It is estimated that there will be $1,100,000 remaining to provide reimbursement for the Tier I premiums in calendar year 2023. USDA has announced the sign up for the 2023 Dairy Margin Coverage Program with a deadline for enrollment as December 9th, 2022. All interested dairy farmers should contact their county USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Office as soon as possible.

 

Apply for the Dairy Food Safety & Certification Grant

Are you looking for technical assistance related to dairy food safety? Or are you wanting to develop a dairy food safety plan but don’t have the necessary resources? The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC), hosted by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, is currently accepting applications for the second round of the Dairy Food Safety and Certification Grant. This funding opportunity offers support to dairy farmers, processors, and/or producer associations in all Northeast states to improve the safety of dairy products.  Awards will range from $10,000 - $40,000 with a 25% required match commitment. 

 

Construction begins on new affordable housing in downtown Bristol

Co-owners and developers, Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) and Evernorth, have announced that construction is underway at the $8.6 million Firehouse Apartments which will serve 20 low- and moderate-income households in downtown Bristol. The Firehouse Apartments represents a critical component of a public/private partnership bringing municipal services, business incubation, and mixed-income housing to the growing community of Bristol on the Stoney Hill property. This partnership between the Town of Bristol, private developers, and housing nonprofits ACCT and Evernorth leverages the investments in municipal infrastructure and job creation to serve 20 households in a community where there were previously only nine non-age-restricted affordable housing apartments.

 

Casella reports 3Q 2022 results and updates fiscal year 2022 guidance

Casella Waste Systems, Inc (NASDAQ: CWST), a regional solid waste, recycling and resource management services company, has reported its financial results for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2022. For the quarter, revenues were $295.3 million, up $53.3 million, or up 22.0%, from the same period in 2021, with revenue growth mainly driven by: the roll-over impact from acquisitions along with newly closed acquisitions; positive collection and disposal pricing; higher solid waste fuel cost recovery fees; and higher pricing, recycling processing fees and volume within our Resource Solutions operating segment; partially offset by lower recycling commodity prices. 

Net income was $22.7 million for the quarter, or $0.44 per diluted common share, up $6.8 million, or up 42.9%, as compared to net income of $15.9 million, or $0.31 per diluted common share, for the same period in 2021. Adjusted Net Income, a non-GAAP measure, was $23.1 million for the quarter, or $0.45 Adjusted Diluted Earnings Per Common Share, a non-GAAP measure, up $5.6 million, or up 31.9%, as compared to Adjusted Net Income of $17.5 million, or $0.34 Adjusted Diluted Earnings Per Common Share, for the same period in 2021.

 

UVM joins regional collaboration to study climate change resilience for mobile homes

The University of Vermont is part of a new regional collaboration to study the climate-related vulnerabilities of mobile home park communities. With funding announced today from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)’s Climate Adaptation Partnership’s program, the project brings together researchers from the Universities of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, as well as all three northern New England State Climatologists. Mobile home communities are an important part of the region’s affordable housing landscape but are more likely to be impacted by risks posed by climate change such as high winds, flooding, and extreme temperatures. Previous research from the University of Vermont found more than 20% of mobile home communities in the state are at least partially located in FEMA-mapped floodplains.

 

Mascoma wins fifth New Markets Tax Credit allocation for $55 million

Mascoma Community Development (MCD) has awarded $55 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) authority from the US Treasury's Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund. The NMTC program allows MCD to direct capital to underserved communities through financing high-impact, mission-focused projects nationwide with a primary focus on New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, New York, and Massachusetts. Mascoma Bank has branches in Vermont.

EPA’s clean school bus program delivers $4.3 million for four Vermont school districts

The Biden-Harris Administration announced the Fiscal Year 2022 recipients of the EPA's Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, awarding $4,345,000 from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to four school districts in Vermont. The grants will help school districts purchase 11 clean school buses that will accelerate the transition to zero emissions vehicles and produce cleaner air in and around schools and communities. The investment will also drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, boost domestic manufacturing, and create good-paying jobs.

 

Advisory Council endorses early childhood policy recommendations for 2023

On October 24, Vermont’s State Advisory Council (SAC) formally endorsed the Policy Recommendations of the Vermont Early Childhood State Advisory Council Network for 2023. These recommendations represent the most pressing priorities and challenges identified by early childhood stakeholders and are part of the SAC’s state and federal charge to advise the Governor, Administration, and legislature. The recommendations seek to identify the current gaps and needs in policy, promote and monitor action in strategic areas for the coming year, and move Vermont toward a more equitable early childhood system.

 

Bennington College launches No-Loan Initiative for Vermont residents

Bennington College has announced a new “No-Loan Initiative” for Vermont residents. The No-Loan Initiative builds on Bennington’s established merit- and need-based aid programs and its interest in supporting college access and affordability for Vermont residents. Under “The No-Loan Initiative,” Bennington will meet up to 100% of demonstrated need, covering any remaining direct costs of tuition, fees, room and board for first year and transfer students whose families live in Vermont and are eligible to receive need-based financial aid.

 

Samantha Kolber acquires Rootstock Publishing

Rootstock Publishing, a Vermont-based book publisher, announces the transfer of ownership from founding co-publishers Stephen McArthur and Rickey Gard Diamond, to Samantha Kolber of Montpelier. Kolber is the company’s former marketing director and poetry editor, and has previously worked for Bear Pond Books of Montpelier, Goddard College in Plainfield, and Tupelo Press in North Adams, Massachusetts. She has extensive experience in book publicity, editing, sales and marketing, customer relations, and publishing.  

 

COTS names Johnathan Farrell executive director

The Committee on Temporary Shelter announced the appointment of Jonathan Farrell as the organization’s next Executive Director, effective November 17th. Rita Markley will step down next month after 30 years of service to the non-profit organization.

 

Ledyard Financial Group declares quarterly dividend

Ledyard Financial Group (Ticker Symbol: LFGP) has announced a regular quarterly dividend of $0.21 payable December 2, 2022, to shareholders of record as of November 18, 2022. Ledyard Financial Group, Inc., headquartered in Hanover, New Hampshire, is the holding company for Ledyard National Bank, with a branch in Vermont. Ledyard National Bank, founded in 1991, is a full-service community bank offering a broad range of banking, investment, and wealth management services.

 

Cabot yogurt wins Reserve Champion at national competition

Cabot’s Triple Cream Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt earned the Best Yogurt title and the Reserve Chairman’s award at the National Milk Producers Federation’s (NMPF) Annual Cheese & Yogurt Contest held earlier this week in Aurora, Colorado. The local cooperative had 9 top-three awards for its cheeses and yogurts. The annual contest recognizes the best cheese and yogurt products produced by NMPF’s member cooperatives. This is the first year that yogurt was included in the competition. Overall, the contest received 216 entries in 24 classes submitted by 13 NMPF member cooperatives. 

 

Whetstone Beer launches eco-friendly can label wrap with peel off sticker

A shared love of beer, travel, art, and the great outdoors united three partners – Tim Brady, Amy Brady, and David Hiler - to open Whetstone Station Brewery in Brattleboro in 2012. The spirit of exploration and discovery through rail travel underpinned the concept behind the establishment housed in a former train station building. A decade later, they've rebranded to Whetstone Beer Co. and reimagined packaging to celebrate their love of adventure and respect for the environment with fully recyclable cans and labels with a surprise inside: a keepsake peel-off sticker on every can. The custom labels, imagined by Whetstone Beer Co co-owner Tim Brady, were developed over a year-long process with a USA label manufacturer. They are the first to incorporate a built-in, removable sticker within a fully recyclable beer can label.

 

UVM Firestone Medical Research Building celebrates grand opening

The University of Vermont has dedicated UVM's newest building - the Firestone Medical Research Building - with a formal ceremony, including special remarks, a ribbon-cutting and building tours. This new facility will ensure that UVM and the Larner College of Medicine can continue to foster not only the leading-edge research of today, but also the next generations of biomedical scientists, who will be educated in this building. This building represents an investment in the Larner College of Medicine's distinctive research strengths, will help ensure student success, and fulfills the University’s Land-Grant mission.

 

iSun executes $10 million transaction for Vermont projects

iSun, Inc (NASDAQ: ISUN), a leading solar energy and clean mobility infrastructure company based in Williston, has sold 6.1 MWs of solar assets for $1.7 million to Fusion Renewables of South Carolina and executes EPC contracts for $8.3 million to complete the development and installation of those assets.

 

Ledyard Financial reports third quarter and year-to-date earnings

Ledyard Financial Group, Inc (ticker symbol LFGP), the holding company for Ledyard National Bank, has announced financial results for Q3 2022 and Q3 2022 YTD. The results confirmed the strength and resiliency of the company’s core businesses. ROA, ROE, and key capital ratios all exceeded figures for comparable prior periods. Net income for Q3 2022 was $2.08 million or $0.64 per share compared to $1.97 million or $0.61 per share for Q3 2021, an increase of $105 thousand or 5%. Net income for Q3 2022 YTD was $6.20 million or $1.90 per share compared to $5.77 million or $1.80 per share for the comparable prior year period, an increase of $429 thousand or 7%.

 

AG resolves claims of deception by caregiver staffing agency

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has reached a settlement with a New Hampshire-based staffing agency that employed a temporary caregiver to multiple Vermont long-term care facilities despite knowing that the caregiver had financially exploited at least two older Vermonters while employed on the agency’s watch. The settlement requires SSVT to pay $100,000 to the State of Vermont, with $60,000 of the penalty suspended based on SSVT’s cooperation with the Attorney General’s investigation and inability to pay. The settlement also requires SSVT to overhaul the processes by which it (1) conducts employee background checks and (2) communicates background check results to its long-term care facility and individual clients.

 

COVID level raised to medium as cases, hospitalizations increase

The Vermont Department of Health reported October 12 that COVID-19 cases rose and hospitalizations increased from 48 to 73. COVID-19 infections are now considered “Medium” after being at the “Low” level for the last few months. Total cases increased from 623 to 662. Hospitalizations have been edging up over the last few weeks (from a low of 30). However, there have been fewer COVID-related deaths so far in October. There were 19 COVID-related fatalities in August, 11 in September and 8 so far in October, for a pandemic total of 734.

 

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