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GE Volunteers donate $2,000 to the Starbase Vermont youth program

Mon, 07/13/2009 - 8:16am -- tim

For the second year in a row, GE Volunteers have donated $2,000 to the Starbase Vermont youth program to help teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to elementary school students in Vermont.  Starbase offers students in grades 4 through 6 an exciting activity-based curriculum conducted over 5 days (25 hours) with a goal to inspire students in STEM fields.  The Starbase program typically occurs over a 5-week period and it is free of charge.

Vermont seeks $125.6 million to fund rail upgrades

Mon, 07/13/2009 - 7:01am -- tim

The Vermont Agency of Transportation has announced the submission of two preliminary applications for federal stimulus money to fund $125.6 million in rail-bed upgrades. If approved, the upgrade projects would enable faster and expanded passenger train service across the state.
The first application seeks $50.9 million to improve the rail line running from Swanton to Massachusetts through Essex and White River Junction, with the objective of increasing passenger train speeds to 59 mph, or even 79 mph through certain sections.

Legislation would bolster successful SBA loan program

Mon, 07/13/2009 - 6:40am -- tim

Rep. Peter Welch unveiled legislation Monday morning aimed at freeing up credit to small businesses by expanding a successful Small Business Administration loan program. At Burlington s Chittenden Bank, Welch and members of Vermont s business and banking communities outlined details of Welch s bill, which is intended to bolster the popular SBA Express Loan Program. By increasing the SBA Express program s current cap of $350,000 to $2 million, the legislation would significantly increase access to credit for Vermont s small businesses.

VTrans gets $10 million in stimulus funding for local transportation projects

Mon, 07/13/2009 - 5:51am -- tim

Governor Jim Douglas today announced that The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will award more than $10 million in Federal Economic Stimulus funds to improve roadways, sidewalks, bridges and other transportation infrastructure owned by 30 Vermont municipalities and non profits. The money will be distributed in three ways: 10 communities will receive paving grants ranging from $300,000 to $750,000, eight communities or non profits will receive transportation enhancement grants ranging from $52,000 to $240,000, while the Vermont Agency of Transportation will expend up to $5

Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center receives national award

Mon, 07/13/2009 - 5:49am -- tim

Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center has been recognized as one of the 2009 recipients of the Step I National Quality Award presented by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). This year 664 nursing and assisted living facilities from across the nation applied for the quality award at this level. Awards will be presented during AHCA/NCAL’s 60th Annual Convention and Exposition, October 4-7, 2009 in Chicago.

CVPS proposes renewable energy upgrades, grants

Mon, 07/13/2009 - 5:32am -- tim

Continuing a tradition of renewable energy innovation that goes back decades, Central Vermont Public Service has proposed a variety of projects to further clean energy development in Vermont. The CVPS proposals, filed with the Vermont Public Service Board, include seven renewable projects and studies at a total cost of about $350,000.  In a letter to the PSB, CVPS noted that the Vermont Department of Public Service, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Renewable Energy Vermont, the Conservation Law Foundation and the Biomass Energy Resource Center support the company’s proposals.

Vermont in line for $17 million for weatherization

Fri, 07/10/2009 - 9:35am -- tim

U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today announced $6.7 million in federal grants for home weatherization projects in Vermont, with another $8.4 million to come later.
The funds, secured in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, will help weatherize more than 1,800 Vermont homes, cutting energy costs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating green jobs across the state.

The Message for the Week in Chester, Vermont, stops publishing

Fri, 07/10/2009 - 9:24am -- tim

All employees at Twin State Valley Media Network, which includes the daily Eagle Times in Claremont, NH, the weeklies The Message for the Week out of Chester, Vermont, the Connecticut Valley Spectator out of Lebanon, NH, and The Weekly Flea, received an email Thursday, July 9 at 3:32 p.m. telling them that when the doors closed at 5, everyone was to leave their keys, take their stuff, and they were all laid off. 

VFHA gets $10.3 million for affordable housing projects in Vermont

Fri, 07/10/2009 - 8:40am -- tim

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced today nearly $10.3 million in funding to the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) to spur development of affordable housing in Colchester, Montpelier and Windsor, Vermont. The funding, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will allow the VHFA to provide sufficient equity funding to complete ongoing construction projects in Windsor, Colchester and Montpelier.

Recovery act changes to SBIC program mean increased funding for small businesses

Fri, 07/10/2009 - 7:07am -- tim

Effective today, small businesses that would otherwise have difficulty securing private equity or venture capital may find funding easier to get as a result of changes made as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Investment Company program.

Red Cross responds to last night's fire in St Johnsbury

Fri, 07/10/2009 - 5:19am -- tim

Late Thursday night Red Cross Disaster Services volunteers responded to Main Street in St Johnsbury to meet the needs of at least 9 families displaced by a late night, four-alarm fire that raged through the residential/commercial building where they lived. The responding personnel are all members of the Northern Vermont Chapter s Disaster Action Team program. The fire appeared to have started in a convenience store on Main Street before spreading to three other buildings. There were no injuries reported.

Welch seeks to increase and index to inflation MILC payments

Thu, 07/09/2009 - 7:49am -- tim

US Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont) on Thursday introduced legislation that would index to inflation Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program payments to dairy farmers.
The Dairy Fairness Act of 2009, which is co-sponsored by eight Members of Congress, would amend the Farm Bill to tie MILC payments to the Consumer Price Index, thereby increasing payments to farmers each year. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) is introducing companion legislation in the Senate.