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J.A. McDonald, Inc agrees to pay $637,500 to settle allegations of False Claims Act violations

Mon, 11/29/2021 - 5:19pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont said today that general contractor JA McDonald, Inc, headquartered in Lyndon Center has agreed to pay $637,500 to the United States and the State of Vermont to resolve allegations that JAM violated the federal False Claims Act by knowingly causing the state to present false claims for payment to the United States in connection with the federally-funded construction of several bridges on Route 279 in Bennington and on Interstate 91 in Guilford. This settlement resolves allegations that, between approximately 2008 and 2010, JAM employees materially altered certain components of the bridges at issue by cutting or burning multiple sections of reinforcing steel out of the reinforced-concrete substructures that support the bridges, and that JAM employees took affirmative steps to conceal such material alterations from the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

Scott lends a saw to Vermont’s Christmas tree industry with annual tree cutting

Mon, 11/29/2021 - 4:52pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott and Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts visited Maple Hill Farm in Barton today to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season with the help of Vermont’s farmers. The trees cut during this visit will decorate the Pavilion Building in Montpelier, which houses the Governor’s Office. Maple Hill Farm is a 30-acre maple and Christmas tree farm located in the Northeast Kingdom. According to the 2017 USDA Census, there are 3,650 acres of Christmas tree production in Vermont across 70 farms with a crop worth more than $2.6 million. 

VDH: Dr Levine talks Omicron variant

Mon, 11/29/2021 - 2:37pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health today reported 237 cases of COVID-19. This is the first report since last Wednesday because of the Thanksgiving break. From Thursday through Sunday there were a total of 1,444 cases (average 361 per day, which is on par with the recent seven-day average). Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 49,801 reported cases of COVID-19 in Vermont. There have been no identified cases associated with the Omicron variant in Vermont to date.

VSP releases identities in Elmore double fatal shooting

Mon, 11/29/2021 - 2:35pm -- tim

Vermont State Police As the investigation continues into Monday morning’s fatal shooting in Elmore, the Vermont State Police is able to release the tentative identifications of the two people involved. The victim is 58-year-old Mary Lisa Kelley. Initial evidence indicates she was fatally shot by her husband, Lawrence Jay Kennedy, 61, before he shot and killed himself at their home on King Road.

Joint law-enforcement investigation leads to multiple arrests in Rutland

Mon, 11/29/2021 - 1:41pm -- tim

Vermont State Police On November 23, 2021, the Rutland City Police Department, Vermont Drug Task Force, Vermont State Police Field Force Division, and the US Department of Homeland Security (HSI) executed a search warrant at 55 Killington Ave. in Rutland City as part of a multi-agency investigation into drug trafficking by Lawrence Jackson, 50, of Rutland. The search warrant was obtained by the Rutland City Police Department Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Dr Elizabeth Bundock appointed Vermont’s Chief Medical Examiner

Mon, 11/29/2021 - 12:15pm -- tim

Takes the helm following retirement of longtime chief Dr Steven Shapiro

Vermont Business Magazine Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD has announced the appointment of Dr Elizabeth Bundock as Vermont’s Chief Medical Examiner. Bundock, who joined the Department of Health in 2007 as deputy chief medical examiner, takes over the state office that oversees death investigations, following the retirement of long-time Chief Medical Examiner Steven Shapiro, MD.

Governor makes key appointments at the NRB and Department of Liquor and Lottery

Mon, 11/29/2021 - 12:08pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced that he has appointed Sabina Haskell as the chair of the Natural Resources Board (NRB), Wendy Knight as commissioner of the Department of Liquor and Lottery (DLL), and Andrew Collier as deputy commissioner of DLL. The three appointments will be effective Monday, December 13.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids donates over $78,000 to local nonprofits on Giving Tuesday

Mon, 11/29/2021 - 11:50am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Lawson’s Finest Liquids is continuing their tradition of charitable support this Giving Tuesday with a donation of $78,500 to 32 nonprofit organizations statewide as part of the company’s Social Impact Program (SIP). Giving Tuesday is recognized on November 30th and is a global generosity movement that celebrates all acts of giving. Lawson’s Finest donation will support a range of causes across Vermont from affordable housing with Habitat for Humanity to mental health advocacy through a donation to Hannah’s House and they’ll even drive cancer research through a donation to a Vermont chapter of the American Cancer Society. Each donation of up to $5,000 is through their Sip of Support initiative providing discretionary gifts to support strong and vital communities while protecting our natural resources. 

VPR, Vermont PBS, Vermont Foodbank, VCF join forces for Giving Tuesday

Mon, 11/29/2021 - 11:40am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine VPR and Vermont PBS are teaming up with the Vermont Foodbank to provide an opportunity to support two important causes with one gift. For every gift to VPR & Vermont PBS on Giving Tuesday, the Vermont Community Foundation and additional generous supporters will donate the equivalent of 25 meals so that the Vermont Foodbank can help Vermonters facing hunger and food insecurity.

Vermont Federal Credit Union donates over $14,000 for ‘Giving Tuesday’

Mon, 11/29/2021 - 10:46am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine In recognition of the “Giving Tuesday” movement, Vermont Federal Credit Union recently donated over $14,000 to a variety of local charities and non-profit organizations.

“At Vermont Federal Credit Union, we believe it is incredibly important to support our communities, especially during these challenging times” said Jean Giard, CEO. “We are delighted to be able to provide financial support for a variety of wonderful organizations”.

Extra cash for families enrolled in Reach Up

Mon, 11/29/2021 - 9:03am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Department for Children and Families (DCF) announced today that 3,463 families enrolled in the Reach Up and Post-Secondary Education (PSE) programs have received a one-time payment of $375. This one-time payment of $375 per family is in addition to monthly cash grants families receive and will help pay for increased costs related to the pandemic. Households who had active Reach Up grants between September 1, 2021 through October 15, 2021 are eligible for the benefit.