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Tourism Day at the State House, centers on the visitor economy and stewardship

Wed, 03/22/2023 - 3:45pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Following a pandemic hiatus, Tourism Day at the State House returned for the first time since 2020. Over 150 tourism and hospitality industry leaders were present throughout the day to engage with legislators and raise awareness of the collective contributions of these industries to the Vermont economy. The day was centered on the Vermont visitor economy and destination stewardship and management. Business and policy leaders connected throughout the day during a coffee hour with Governor Scott, a joint hearing on the visitor economy with the House Commerce and Economic Development and the Senate Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs Committee, and an evening reception.

Bill to make cocktails-to-go permanent passes Vermont House, moves to Senate

Wed, 03/22/2023 - 2:40pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Yesterday, the Vermont House of Representatives passed H470 which would make cocktails-to-go permanent. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. Currently, cocktails to-go are set to expire on July 1, 2023. H470 removes the sunset date and allows on-premise licensees to sell cocktails to-go for carryout with a food order. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 18 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to permanently allow cocktails to-go, and 14 others have enacted laws that allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis. Numerous states are still considering cocktails to-go legislation. 

Vermont DOC reports death of inmate at Springfield prison

Wed, 03/22/2023 - 2:33pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Corrections (DOC) is conducting internal administrative and medical reviews following the death of an incarcerated individual on Wednesday. Romeo Reome, 53, of Brattleboro, VT, was found unresponsive in his cell at SSCF in Springfield early Wednesday morning. Vermont DOC and medical staff immediately began life-saving measures and called for emergency medical services (EMS). Life-saving efforts were unsuccessful. The official cause of death will be determined by the Vermont State Medical Examiner but is not considered suspicious at this time.

USDOL: Fair Labor Standards Act does not allow Bimbo Foods’ countersuit against drivers

Wed, 03/22/2023 - 10:19am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The US Department of Labor has requested that a federal court in Vermont allow the department to intervene and seek the court’s dismissal of a counterclaim that Bimbo Bakeries USA Inc. – one of the nation’s largest baking companies – has asserted against its own workers who are seeking the overtime compensation that they are allegedly owed. In October 2022, bakery distributor drivers who work for Bimbo Bakeries USA Inc. and Bimbo Foods Bakeries Distribution LLC filed a private lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Vermont alleging they were misclassified as independent contractors, rather than employees as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act. They claimed that, as employees, the companies owe them overtime back wages.

Welch travels to Mexico to meet with President López Obrador over mutual security challenges

Wed, 03/22/2023 - 10:02am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Earlier this week, Senator Peter Welch (D-Vermont) returned from a congressional delegation (CODEL) to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his cabinet to discuss maintaining the strong partnership between the United States and Mexico. “The United and Mexico face many of the same challenges—drug and arms trafficking, irregular migration, and an increasingly competitive Chinese government,” said Welch. “We can’t address these issues in isolation. This trip was a meaningful step to maintain and strengthen our relationship with the Mexican government and develop effective, collaborative solutions for the problems impacting Mexicans and Americans alike.” 

HELP Committee to hold hearing today on Moderna COVID-19 vaccine pricing, CEO to testify

Wed, 03/22/2023 - 9:52am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, chaired by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), will hold a hearing this morning, March 22 at 10 am ET entitled, “Taxpayers Paid Billions For It: So Why Would Moderna Consider Quadrupling the Price of the COVID Vaccine?” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel – who became a billionaire during the pandemic after US taxpayers gave his company billions of dollars to research, develop, and distribute its COVID-19 vaccine – has agreed to appear, and a panel of experts will also give testimony.

VMEC meets DC's public policy Hill Day

Wed, 03/22/2023 - 9:45am -- tim

Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center Washington, DC boasts many “Hill Days” and this year, for the first time in many years, VMEC headed south to our nation’s capital to attend the March 7 and 8 Hill Day. This annual event, with a focus on public policy, is an opportunity for various groups and institutions to get more involved in the political outreach program as well as educating lawmakers on current issues faced by manufacturers. The Hill Day agenda is designed to provide attendees with a peek into the future of the sector as well as the most recent and comprehensive update on the latest federal events and sector research.​ 

VCS Trustees: We have confidence in Vermont State University faculty, staff, leaders

Wed, 03/22/2023 - 4:48am -- tim

by The Executive Committee of the VSCS Board of Trustees 10 years from now, we believe Vermont will have a state-wide hybrid university that supports access and aspirations of students from across the state’s rural communities, strengthens Vermont’s workforce, and demonstrates sustainable quality. We are confident of this because of what we have seen faculty, staff, and leaders of the future Vermont State University already accomplish in just a few short years. We pivoted in the emergency of the pandemic. Classes and meetings on Zoom. New and new uses of digital resources and technologies for student advising and collaboration. In the challenges of that time, people came together, sharing resources and expertise across campuses. In a time when interaction was of necessity primarily virtual, human relationships across distance were maintained, and new connections formed.

Norwich University hosts its first Medal of Honor Day event

Wed, 03/22/2023 - 3:11am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Norwich University announced today that it will host its inaugural Medal of Honor Day on Wednesday, March 22, 2023. The day will consist of a series of curated events that pay homage to the Norwich alumni who have gone on to receive the coveted US Medal of Honor award. The Medal of Honor is awarded by the sitting President of the United States to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their own lives above and beyond the call of duty while: engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

Sanders statement on Biden administration refusing to lower price of vital cancer drug

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 8:18pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, on Tuesday issued the following statement after the administration rejected a march-in rights petition to lower the price of a vital cancer drug: "I am extremely disappointed that the Biden Administration denied a petition by prostate cancer patients to substantially reduce the price of Xtandi. This is a drug that was invented with taxpayer dollars by scientists at UCLA and can be purchased in Canada for one-fifth the U.S. price. The Japanese drugmaker Astellas, which made $1 billion in profits in 2021, has raised the price of this drug by more than 75 percent to over $166,000 per year."

Hoffer releases report identifying risks to Vermont’s universal broadband efforts

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 4:42pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine State Auditor Doug Hoffer released a new report today highlighting potential risks to Vermont’s unique strategy to achieve universal broadband access. The Vermont Community Broadband Board is overseeing the distribution of approximately $350 million to extend high speed internet to every unserved address in the state. At the local level, ten communications union districts (CUDs), which have been formed by groups of Vermont towns, are receiving the funds and partnering with private telecommunications companies to extend fiber to residential and business addresses and to provide service. The report identifies 10 risks the VCBB needs to mitigate to increase the likelihood that every Vermonter will have access to 100/100 Mbps service. The risks range from supply chain issues, to federal spending restrictions, to contract and governance oversight concerns.

Woman struck and killed by Amtrak train identified

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 3:38pm -- tim

Vermont State Police On 03/17/2023 at approximately 1955 hrs., the Vermont State Police along with the Waterbury Fire Department and Waterbury Ambulance Service were called to a report of a person who had been struck by a northbound Amtrak passenger train on the railroad tracks adjacent to the Waterbury - Stowe Amtrak Station. The victim was found to be deceased. The victim in this incident is identified as Ariel Cunningham, 26, of Waterbury, Connecticut. An autopsy was performed at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington. The cause of death was identified as blunt force trauma to the head and neck, and the manner of death was determined to be suicide. No further details are available about this case.