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VDH COVID-19 Update: Cases stay low, no deaths, get 'Chanjo'

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 5:28pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine As part of Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff’s visit to Burlington Wednesday to learn about vaccination efforts, our friends and partners at the Association of Africans Living in Vermont hosted a performance about vaccines. On stage at the O.N.E. Community Center, AALV case manager and artist KeruBo and a member of the Health Department’s Health Equity Team, Ruth Baldasty, performed the original song “Chanjo” — Swahili for vaccine. After the song, they spoke with Emhoff about the importance of reaching community and helping to address misinformation through music and creative outlets. Emhoff shared his appreciation for this work and how this aligns with the nationwide efforts to expand vaccine access. The VDH is reporting 78 new cases of COVID-19 today and no new deaths, which are holding at 243. Every Vermont adult is now eligible to sign up to get vaccinated.

State officials warn Vermonters about false hellebore

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 5:18pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Wild leeks, also known as ramps (Allium tricoccum), are a wild edible that many Vermonters enjoy each spring. If you are foraging for them, be careful to not mistake the ramps for a poisonous lookalike plant called false hellebore. The young leaves of American false hellebore (Veratrum viride) are often mistaken for ramps. False hellebore contains poisonous chemicals called alkaloids, and eating false hellebore can make people very sick, enough to hospitalize them.

Vermont to pay farmers for tackling phosphorus

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 4:13pm -- tim

University of Vermont researchers are partnering with Vermont officials on a new $7-million program that takes a unique approach to protecting watersheds: paying farmers to reduce phosphorus pollution. The pilot program, informed by UVM research, will test a new tool—financial incentives for farm performance—to advance the state’s phosphorus reduction efforts. Until now, the focus has primarily been on inspection, enforcement, and pay-for-practice financial assistance programs.

Schneiderman: Join us in taking the Vaccine Pledge

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 4:08pm -- tim

by Dawn Schneiderman Blue Cross employees are taking the Vaccine Pledge. To support Vermont public health goals, encourage our friends and neighbors to get their COVID vaccinations, and contribute to our overall community health goals, our employee Worksite Wellness Program is donating $100 for each employee who commits to be vaccinated when their group is approved by the state. These donations in the employee’s name will go to their choice of three local community service organizations. Employees have enthusiastically joined the movement, boosting their overall wellness, and supporting our local community organizations.

Union Bankshares reports earnings gain, declares dividend

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 3:47pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Union Bankshares, Inc (NASDAQ - UNB) has announced results for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and declared a regular quarterly cash dividend. Consolidated net income for the first quarter was $2.9 million, or $0.64 per share compared to $2.2 million, or $0.49 cents per share, for the same period in 2020, an increase of $680 thousand, or 30.9 percent. Union Bankshares, headquartered in Morrisville, Vermont, is the bank holding company parent of Union Bank.

Cross Vermont Trail Assoc advances goals with grant from VNRC

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 12:32pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Natural Resources Council awarded a Small Grant for Smart Growth to the Cross Vermont Trail Association to further its goal of connecting villages, schools, and conserved natural areas in Central Vermont. CVTA is working to build out a network of trails that serve the upper Winooski Valley, from Montpelier to the Groton State Forest, winding through East Montpelier, Plainfield and Marshfield, providing a way for pedestrians and cyclists to conveniently access the outdoors. The basis of the Cross Vermont Trail lies in an old railbed formerly used by the Montpelier & Wells River Railroad, which for many decades was used as an informal public trail.

CFES Brilliant Pathways offers $1.5 million college readiness program to Vermont, Northern NY schools

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 12:09pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine It’s well known that low-income students in urban schools face significant challenges in attending college. But rural students go to college and remain there at even lower rates than their urban counterparts. A new initiative, the North Country Brilliant Pathways Program, aims to address this under-recognized gap for students at 20 elementary, middle and high schools in rural Vermont and northeastern New York by providing them with a multi-faceted, comprehensive college readiness program. 

AOT takes action to protect the Monarch butterfly

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 11:47am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine In recognition of Earth Day, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) today announced that it has joined the effort to protect the Monarch butterfly by enrolling highway right-of-way lands throughout the state in a voluntary nationwide conversation program. The eastern Monarch population has declined by approximately 77 percent since 1995.

Moore: The challenge of optimism on Earth Day

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 10:56am -- tim

Nature Notes by ANR Secretary Julie Moore I recently finished Bill Gates’ new book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. It was a worthy read. I was particularly struck by one of his concluding remarks: “I hope you will spend more time and energy supporting whatever you’re in favor of than opposing whatever you’re against.” I am an optimist by nature, and so perhaps it is for that reason this quote spoke to me.

Welch introduces bill to stop the labeling of non-dairy products as ‘milk’

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 10:49am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Representatives Peter Welch (D-Vermont) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), and Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) today re-introduced bipartisan legislation that requires the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take enforcement action against manufacturers labeling non-dairy products as dairy. The DAIRY PRIDE Act would stop the use of dairy terms such as milk, yogurt and cheese on the labels of non-dairy products made from nuts, seeds, plants, and algae. The legislation does not prevent the sale of non-dairy products, only their mislabeling as dairy products.

GMP named a 2021 Environmental Champion Utility on Earth Day

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 10:42am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Customer reviews earned Green Mountain Power top spots on the 2021 Environmental Champion Utility List, joining 30 other utilities from around the country as ‘best-in-class’ for dedication to the environment. GMP earned the No. 1 spot among utilities in the east region and the No. 6 spot overall. The study of customers was conducted by Escalent, a behavior and analytics firm, which released the list in conjunction with Earth Day.

OneCare Vermont designated as a 501(c)(3) organization

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 10:36am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine OneCare Vermont has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a 501(c)(3) organization operated for non-profit purposes. OneCare filed an application with the IRS seeking 501(c)(3) status, in recognition of its commitment to supporting Vermont’s health care delivery and payment reform efforts. This designation by the IRS that OneCare and its provider partners are acting in furtherance of non-profit purposes is a major milestone for the organization, and a testament to the organization’s commitment to transparency and value based reform efforts.