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Leonine: Budget adjustment bill will test the powers that be

Sat, 03/18/2023 - 5:25pm -- tim

Leonine Public Affairs The budget adjustment bill was delivered to Governor Phil Scott on Tuesday. He has until Monday to act on the bill and there is much anticipation about whether he will sign or veto. He has raised concerns that the legislature included $50 million more than he had originally proposed. If he vetoes the bill, it will be the first test of the Democratic supermajority in the Legislature, and would set the tone for other disagreements between the two branches of government over spending and policy proposals currently being developed in the State House. The House Ways and Means Committee approved H.66, which would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave for workers at 90 percent of their salary to care for a newborn and some other personal matters. The program would cost $112 million to start, $117 million annually, and would be paid for with payroll tax split between the employer and the employee.

Their Futures Revealed: Medical Class of ‘23 Celebrates Match Day

Sat, 03/18/2023 - 3:18pm -- tim

by Jennifer Nachbur, The Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine, UVM Energized and costumed in “under the sea” themed outfits, headbands, and trinkets, members of the medical Class of 2023 enjoyed an upbeat, emotional, and life-changing Match Day in the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine’s Hoehl Gallery on March 17. The 113 students participating were among a record-breaking nearly 43,000* future physicians taking part in the National Resident Matching Program’s (NRMP) 2023 Main Residency Match. Of the Class of 2023 medical students participating, 42 were matched into primary care residencies (internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics). Class members matched at 77 different institutions across 29 states, with eight students matching to residencies at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

VCBB encourages Vermonters to comment on upcoming digital equity programs

Sat, 03/18/2023 - 2:46pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is seeking input on how to structure nearly $2.7 billion in grant programs to ensure everyone in America has the digital skills and devices they need to realize the full potential of high-speed Internet access. The goal of the Digital Equity Act’s $1.44 billion State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program and the $1.25 billion Competitive Digital Equity Program is to promote adoption and meaningful use of the Internet among underrepresented communities and populations, including low-income households, veterans, aging individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, rural residents, and others. The Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB) has been appointed to administer Vermont’s Digital Equity Act programs.

CLiF celebrates 25 years, names Rice executive director, moves to Waterbury Center

Sat, 03/18/2023 - 7:39am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF), a Vermont-based nonprofit, is marking three significant milestones in April. It is celebrating 25 years of service to the children of Vermont and New Hampshire under the guidance of founding executive director Duncan McDougall. It is announcing McDougall’s retirement and the selection of Laura Rice as just the second executive director in the nonprofit organization’s history. And it is moving into a new, purpose-built headquarters in Waterbury Center. McDougall founded the nonprofit in his garage in Waterbury Center in 1998. Since then, CLiF has grown into a regionally-recognized, award-winning organization that has provided inspiring, free literacy programs to 375,000 under-resourced young readers and writers in 430 communities across Vermont and New Hampshire and given away more than $10 million in new, high-quality books to children in shelters and low-income housing, refugee, foster, and migrant children, children in rural communities with limited resources, children of incarcerated adults, and many others.

Free Cone Day: Ben & Jerry's joyfully announces return of its 40+ year global celebration  

Sat, 03/18/2023 - 5:24am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Ben & Jerry's thank you to fans is back. Free scoops will be handed out across the world to thank fans for their on-going support. Cones at the ready, it promises to be bigger than ever on Monday, April 3, 2023. It was springtime in Vermont on May 5, 1979 when the two cofounders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield surprised themselves outlasting a long winter in Vermont, with an average temperature below freezing all season. To celebrate their first year in business and thank the local community for their support, the co-founders decided to open the doors and scoop free ice cream. It wasn't just a taste. It wasn't just one flavor. It was all the ice cream the duo could churn out. They called it "Free Cone Day" – and just like that… an annual celebration was born.

Celebrating hardy varietals, one woman put Vermont on the map for winemaking

Sat, 03/18/2023 - 4:01am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Dotdash Meredith's FOOD & WINE announces its 2023 Drinks Innovators of the Year, recognizing nine people leading the drinks world right now with extraordinary creativity and ambition. Some, like the winemaker making exceptional wines in a climate on the very edge of where grapes can be grown, and the distiller transforming an invasive species into bourbon, are addressing climate change with creativity and verve. ​This includes Deirdre Heekin and her winery, La Garagista​ in Woodstock, Vermont. ​​Others, like South Africa’s first Black woman winemaker, and the San Diego brewer celebrating Latino culture in craft-brewing, are bringing their life experiences and stories to the table in liquid terms. 

The evolution of a chocolate truffle: Forty years at Lake Champlain Chocolates

Sat, 03/18/2023 - 3:59am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Family-owned company Lake Champlain Chocolates (LCC), known for their award-winning chocolate confections and commitment to Fair Trade ingredients, is excited to release their new Plant-Based Truffle Bars, free of palm oil, artificial ingredients, and GMOs. These vegan truffle bars offer all the creaminess of milk chocolate without the dairy. The Plant-Based Truffle Bars are available in five flavors including Cinnamon, Cold Brew Coffee, Sea Salt Caramel, Raspberry, and Peppermint. Born from a dare to do better, Jim Lampman founded Lake Champlain Chocolates, beginning the journey of making hand-rolled, creamy truffles crafted with local Vermont ingredients. Fast forward almost 40 years later, and Lake Champlain Chocolates' truffle-making is still going strong and has evolved to include plant-based truffle bars that everyone can enjoy.

VDH: COVID cases, hospitalizations fall

Fri, 03/17/2023 - 5:21pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health reported March 15, 2023, that COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations were down from last week. COVID-19 activity remains in the "Low" range, according to the VDH. Hospitalizations decreased by 9 cases to 34 last week (they were as low as 30 last fall). Total cases fell to 311 (from 346). There were 3 COVID-related deaths in the last week for a pandemic total of 932 as of March 11. Of the total deaths to date, 739 have been of Vermonters 70 or older. There have been 3 deaths of Vermonters under 30 since the beginning of the pandemic. There were 28 deaths in February; there were 24 in January, as data was adjusted based on more information. Only 2 deaths have been reported so far in March. Deaths are not spiking this winter as they have the previous two.

SVHC introduces real estate developer for former college campus

Fri, 03/17/2023 - 3:38pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) announced they have entered into a purchase and sale agreement of the former Southern Vermont College (SVC) campus to Alfred Weissman Real Estate, LLC (AWRE) in a press conference this morning at the historic Everett Mansion. The real estate agreement between Harrison, NY-based AWRE and SVHC is for the acquisition of the former college campus, including the Everett Mansion, dormitories, gymnasium, soccer field, and 366 acres. SVHC will retain the lower baseball field consisting of five acres. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Vermont Senate gives final approval to S37, abortion and gender-affirming 'shield bill'

Fri, 03/17/2023 - 3:22pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today the Vermont Senate gave final approval to S37, known as the “shield bill,” which would provide protections to patients and providers who administer or receive reproductive and gender-affirming care in Vermont. The bill will now move to the House for further consideration. This bill would safeguard providers who provide abortion care and gender-affirming care, prevent insurance companies from raising rates for providers who provide abortion care and require pregnancy centers to adhere to Vermont’s consumer protection laws meant to protect patients from deceptive advertising.

Youth Lobby calls on lawmakers to pass carbon reduction bill

Fri, 03/17/2023 - 3:12pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, young Vermonters from Youth Lobby, the Sierra Club, and Sunrise Chittenden left their schools for the Vermont Youth Lobby Day at the State House. The event was organized to demand climate action and a brighter future for Vermont. During the day, the youth activists had the opportunity to meet with their representatives, Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, and the Climate Solutions Caucus to express their concerns and advocate for solutions to the climate crisis. In particular, young Vermonters are calling on their legislators to pass S.5, the Affordable Heat Act. The event also featured a press conference, where the young activists shared their stories and urged policymakers to make bold, equitable action to protect the planet in line with Vermont’s 2021 Climate Action Plan.

Governor appoints Melanie Carpenter to Lamoille-2 House seat

Fri, 03/17/2023 - 1:30pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced that he has appointed Melanie Carpenter, of Hyde Park, to the vacant Lamoille-2 seat in the House of Representatives. Carpenter replaces former Democratic Representative Kate Donnally, who resigned last month. By tradition the governor appoints a person of the same party to fill a vacated seat. Carpenter currently owns and operates Zack Woods Herb Farm in Hyde Park, where she employs many local Vermonters. She previously served as principal of Stowe Middle School from 2008 to 2013. She was also a 7th and 8th grade teacher and literacy specialist at Peoples Academy Middle School in Morrisville from 2000 to 2008.