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Vermont auditor surveying supervisory unions to assess shared services

Thu, 10/22/2009 - 7:44am -- tim

State Auditor Tom Salmon, CPA, said he has launched a survey of the 62 school supervisory unions in Vermont to determine the full range of shared services among schools that help improve services or instruction and may contain costs.
“Many schools are sharing services of one kind or another, from common bus and food service contracts, to computer specialists, language teachers or special education staff,” Salmon said, “but no one has a good handle on what everyone is doing. Our survey will help produce an inventory of possibilities,” he said.

Entergy third quarter earnings $455.2 million, down 3 percent from 2008

Thu, 10/22/2009 - 7:22am -- tim

Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) today reported third quarter 2009 as-reported earnings of $455.2 million, or $2.32 per share, compared with $470.3 million, or $2.41 per share, for third quarter 2008. On an operational basis, Entergy's third quarter 2009 earnings were $470.7 million, or $2.40 per share, compared with $487.3 million, or $2.50 per share, in third quarter 2008. Earnings for the quarter were down 3.2 percent. Year-to-date, earnings were down 12.6 percent on $8.2 billion in revenues, which was 18.3 percent lower than 2008.

NBT Bank hires Durkee as regional president in Vermont

Thu, 10/22/2009 - 6:08am -- tim

NBT Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Martin Dietrich announced that Matt Durkee has been hired as regional president of NBT Bank’s operations in Vermont. In this position, Durkee will develop and manage all of the bank’s activities in the state. The bank has opened a regional office at 150 Bank Street in Burlington, where Durkee and the team he is assembling will be based. Later this year, the bank plans to open a branch at the same location.

Vermont media company gets Woolrich contract

Wed, 10/21/2009 - 11:43am -- tim

Clothing maker Woolrich has selected Pale Morning Media of Waitsfield as its strategic public relations partner effective immediately. Woolrich is the oldest outdoor clothing company in the world, having produced high-quality, high-performance outdoor apparel continuously since 1830. The tradition began with founder John Rich selling workwear to lumberjacks and sawmill workers out of a mule cart. Since then, Woolrich has grown into an internationally recognized outdoor brand with a custom collection of apparel, accessories and home furnishings.

Union Bankshares announces increase in third quarter earnings, dividend declared

Wed, 10/21/2009 - 11:37am -- tim

Union Bankshares, Inc (Nasdaq:UNB) today announced net income for the quarter ended September 30, 2009 of $1.44 million or $0.32 per share compared to $1.17 million or $0.26 per share for the same period in 2008. Net Income year to date was $3.95 million or $0.88 per share for 2009 compared to $3.76 million or $0.84 per share for 2008.

Agriculture secretary announces over $200,000 for Vermont specialty crops

Wed, 10/21/2009 - 11:24am -- tim

Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee today announced the availability of $$204,289.94 in grants to enhance the competitiveness of Vermont’s specialty crops. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is funding through the 2008 federal Farm Bill to assist Vermont’s specialty crops, which includes fruits, vegetables, maple and honey and horticulture crops.

President Obama signs bill for $350 million in aid for dairy farmers

Wed, 10/21/2009 - 7:50am -- tim

President Barack Obama today signed legislation to provide $350 million in emergency assistance for hard-pressed dairy farmers. US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sponsored an amendment that added the dairy funds to the Department of Agriculture appropriations bill. He joined the president at the White House for the Oval Office bill-signing ceremony. The measure provides $290 million for direct support to dairy farmers.  Another $60 million will be used to purchase cheese and other dairy products for food banks and nutrition programs.

Sanders calls for extension of unemployment insurance even as Vermont's rate falls

Wed, 10/21/2009 - 7:29am -- tim

Even as the Vermont unemployment rate for September fell to 6.7 percent, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called today for immediate action by Congress to extend unemployment insurance benefits. Sanders is a cosponsor of legislation that would help the almost 2 million Americans who are in danger of losing their benefits by the year's end by extending jobless benefits for a minimum of 14 weeks in all states and by 20 weeks in states with unemployment rates of 8.5 percent or higher.

Shumlin says deal to spin off Vermont Yankee relies on too much debt

Wed, 10/21/2009 - 7:15am -- tim

Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin today addressed several concerns that Speaker Shap Smith and other legislative leaders have with the Memorandum of Understanding reached between the Department of Public Service and Entergy Corporation regarding Entergy’s petition to spin off Vermont Yankee to a highly leveraged company named Enexus. Earlier this month the Department of Public Service cited this MOU in the reversal of their position on Entergy’s petition to transfer ownership of Vermont Yankee to Enexus and decided to support the proposal.