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Man dies after ATV falls through ice in Swanton

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 10:13pm -- tim

Vermont State Police The victim in this incident is identified as Donald P. “Jonesy” Jones, 82, of Richmond. He died Monday evening at Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans. His body will be transported to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death. Per standard protocol, the death is being investigated by a detective trooper with the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations. The death is not considered suspicious. Emergency crews responded to a call at 2:17 p.m. for a report of a man through the ice several hundred feet offshore in the vicinity of the intersection of Church and Hance roads. Rescuers including the Swanton Village Fire Department located the victim, an 82-year-old man from Richmond, and brought him to shore about 30 minutes after the initial call.

M&A activity push February tax revenues 15.4% over targets

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 3:58pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Secretary of Administration Kristin Clouser today released Vermont’s revenue results for February 2023. For the fifth month in a row, both the General Fund and the Transportation Fund ended with revenue above target. The Education Fund bounced back from its prior month miss to surpass the February target by $1.3 million. Year to date, all three funds remain ahead of their respective targets as adopted by the Emergency Board at its January 17, 2023 meeting. The state’s General Fund, Transportation Fund, and Education Fund receipts in February were a combined $203.6 million, or 15.4%, above monthly consensus expectations. This continues the trend of the first eight months of the fiscal year, where combined revenues across all three funds were 6.3% above the consensus target set at the July 2022 Emergency Board meeting.

Guarino: Early childhood educators have the courage to care

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 2:26pm -- tim

by Kelsey Guarino As early childhood educators, our work always focuses on the children, and we honor the unique and wonderful stage of early childhood. We’re highly trained and we center our practice around play-based, developmentally-appropriate learning. We’re grateful to do this work every day – but we’re not sure if we can continue. Right now, many early childhood educators are barely scraping by. Most early childhood educators are women, and chronic under-funding of the child care system as a whole, has suppressed our compensation for decades – disproportionately affecting women of color. A bachelor's degree in early childhood education leads to the lowest paying career of any college major.

Statement from Goddard College on UAW staff union strike

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 2:21pm -- tim

Goddard College is deeply committed to the well-being of its UAW (Local 2322) Union staff and respects the right of the Union to engage in concerted activity, including the right to strike. However, we are disappointed by the decision by the UAW Staff Union to strike on Friday (March 24, 2023) as we believed that the Union and the College had made significant progress in negotiations over the past week and seemed very close to a final settlement. Goddard College had been working closely with the Union to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement since the Spring of 2022. The existing CBA eventually expired on June 30, 2022. The College offered a 3% salary increase to take effect January 1, 2023, but the Union was unwilling to agree to language regarding management rights that is standard in almost every CBA in the United States. The College has also repeatedly invited the Union to use the facilitation of a federal mediator to settle our differences, but the Union has consistently refused.

Gasoline prices still trending lower

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 9:55am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Average gasoline prices in Vermont fell 2 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.37/g today. Prices are down 7 cents from a month ago and down 84 cents/g from the same time last year. The cheapest price in the state is $2.99 in Middlebury and the most expensive is $3.69 in Derby. The national average price of gasoline has fallen 2 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.39/g today. The national average is up 7 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands 84 cents per gallon lower than a year ago, according to GasBuddy. The national average price of diesel has fallen 5.9 cents in the last week and stands at $4.19 per gallon.

Copeland Hanzas holds inaugural meeting of Town Clerk Advisory Committee       

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 9:25am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Secretary of State Sarah Copeland Hanzas held the first meeting of the newly reconstituted Town Clerk Advisory Committee (TCAC) at the Hartford Municipal Building in White River last Tuesday.  Reconvening the committee, which has not actively met for over a decade, was a priority for the secretary as she settles into her first term in office. The committee make-up aims to be representative of clerks across the state. The 13 clerks that sit on the committee hail from both big and small municipalities and include both veteran clerks and those new to the office. 

Farm to School & Early Childhood Vision Grant Now Accepting Applications

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 4:46am -- tim

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets Farm to school and early childhood is a broad term. It defines a variety of efforts aimed at educating and engaging children and young adults on the connections that exist between agriculture, nutrition, community and health. The Vision Grant is designed to support innovative projects that engage youth in exploring those connections and addressing contemporary problems such as climate change, food insecurity, food sovereignty, health disparities, and racial injustice. A total of $150,000 is available through this competitive funding opportunity. The minimum award is $5,000 and the maximum award is $50,000. Schools, school districts, early childhood educators, afterschool programs, and non-profits working in partnership within the Vermont Farm to School and Early Childhood Network are eligible to apply.

Sanders' HELP Committee staff scorn Starbucks labor policies

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 3:50am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The US Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee (HELP), chaired by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), released the following report by its majority staff: "Over the past 18 months, Starbucks has waged an aggressive and illegal union-busting campaign. That campaign has been directed and led by Howard Schultz, the multi-billionaire CEO and founder of Starbucks. Under Schultz’s leadership, Starbucks has adopted an aggressively anti-union stance that is reflected in Schultz’s public statements, the company’s communications to workers, and its scorched-earth approach to blocking unionization activity."

The Taxpayers’ Best Friend: Vermont State Auditor Douglas R Hoffer

Sun, 03/26/2023 - 5:26pm -- tim

by Joyce Marcel, Vermont Business Magazine If you’re in state government and your agency or program is running well, State Auditor Douglas R Hoffer’s work is an affirmation that you’re doing a good job. If your agency or program isn’t running well, he’s the last person you want to see. And if you’re a taxpayer — and aren’t we all? — you can thank your lucky stars for Hoffer and his staff because all of us want our hard-earned tax dollars to be spent wisely and well. The mission of the auditor’s office “is to hold state government accountable by evaluating whether taxpayer funds are being used effectively and identifying strategies to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse.”

Vermont 100+: Holstein Association USA

Sun, 03/26/2023 - 3:07pm -- tim

by Joyce Marcel, Vermont Business Magazine The Holstein is the perfect cow, says the Holstein Association USA, Inc the nonprofit membership organization that has anchored the south end of Main Street in Brattleboro since 1903. There are Holstein Associations in other countries throughout the world. Holstein Association USA is a member of the World Holstein Friesian Federation. However, the U.S. is generally recognized by other countries as having sought-after Holstein genetics. The association, which has been in Brattleboro for 137 years, is dedicated to managing the genetics and improving the profitability of the Holstein cow. They like to say they're “The for Holsteins.”

The Richards Group named one of the 2023 Best Places to Work in Vermont

Sun, 03/26/2023 - 1:45pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Richards Group was recently named one of Vermont's Best Places to Work for an 8th consecutive year. This award was created by Vermont Business Magazine, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the Vermont Department of Economic Development, the Vermont Department of Labor, and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – Vermont State Council and Best Companies Group. This statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best places of employment in Vermont, benefiting the state's economy, workforce, and businesses.

Leonine: Lawmakers move important bills, wait and see for Scott

Sat, 03/25/2023 - 5:50pm -- tim

Leonine Public Affairs The House and Senate worked feverishly this week to meet Friday’s crossover deadline for money bills. Long floor sessions, committees scrambling to vote on bills and the narrowing of legislation slated to pass in 2023 gave week 11 a hint of the high octane home stretch of the legislative session. Spring-like weather and longer days added to the late session feel and Democratic priorities picked up steam as high profile legislation such as paid family and medical leave and a gun violence prevention bill hit the floor. The week started with speculation as to whether Governor Phil Scott would sign H.145, the FY2023 Budget Adjustment Act. By Monday evening the governor’s office announced he had allowed H.145 to become law without his signature. Governor Scott had concerns about the spending levels in the bill, which exceeded his budget adjustment proposal, but he ultimately decided to let the bill become law.