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Workers tackle record-breaking storm, forecasters predict additional heavy snow in southern Vermont

Fri, 02/26/2010 - 12:10pm -- tim

Tired utility crews are making steady progress today in the wake of a hard-hitting one-two-punch storm system that caused 88,000 Central Vermont Public Service customer outages.  As of 5 p.m., 8,500 customer outages remained, but storm recovery is likely to extend through the weekend into Monday.  Across the Northeast, nearly 750,000 customers lost service Thursday night and Friday morning as high winds tore through the region.

Trucks now allowed on new Champlain ferry

Fri, 02/26/2010 - 11:39am -- tim

Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) Secretary David Dill and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee today announced that the second ferry slips at the Lake Champlain Ferry between Crown Point, NY, and Addison, VT, have been completed and are open for service.  Additionally, the states have lifted the temporary weight and axle vehicle restrictions imposed when the new temporary ferry opened earlier this month.

Green Mountain Coffee donates $10,000 to support wellness program

Fri, 02/26/2010 - 8:24am -- tim

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) has given $10,000 to support the South Burlington School District’s Wellness and Resiliency Program.
The program, which includes approximately 100 teachers, addresses wellness and learning through stress management and mindfulness techniques. These techniques are brought into the classroom as part of the student’s regular curriculum.

Total of 84,800 customer power outages since storm began Tuesday

Fri, 02/26/2010 - 8:12am -- tim

As utility crews whittled tens of thousands of outages down to a several thousand late Thursday, the second hit from a two-punch storm knocked out service to thousands more customers. As of 8 a.m., about 23,600 CVPS customers were without power.
Widespread outages were scattered across the state, with Addison Bennington, Orange, Rutland, Windham and Windsor counties hardest hit.

Vermont to Receive Federal Matching Funds for Electronic Health Record Incentives Program

Fri, 02/26/2010 - 8:10am -- tim

In another key step to further states’ role in developing a robust US health information technology (HIT) infrastructure, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that Vermont’s Medicaid program will receive federal matching funds for state planning activities necessary to implement the electronic health record (EHR) incentive program established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act).  Vermont will receive approximately $294,000 in federal matching funds.

Vermont sales tax holiday Saturday, March 6

Fri, 02/26/2010 - 7:36am -- tim

The next Vermont "sales tax holiday" will take place Saturday, March 6. The sales tax holiday was initiated in 2008 and has been wildly popular with retailers, consumers and politicians. All items of $2,000 or less that would normally qualify for the Vermont sales and use tax are exempt. This includes both the regular statewide sales of 6 percent and the 1 percent local option tax that most of the larger towns in Vermont also have instituted.

Vermont and Maine win $11 million federal grant for children's health care

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 10:32am -- tim

Governor Jim Douglas announced that Vermont, in partnership with Maine, has been awarded a five year, $11 million federal grant to help establish a national quality system for children s health care through Medicaid and Children s Health Insurance Program.  This grant will be used to help states implement and evaluate provider performance measures, health information technologies such as pediatric electronic health records, and other quality improvement initiatives.

Vermont Senate votes to close Yankee

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 10:28am -- tim

At just after 3 pm today, the Vermont Senate voted against relicensing the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon by a vote of 26-4. The overwhelming vote against the plant included some Republicans who, while concerned about the economic and employment implications connected with the plant, as well as the process of moving the bill quickly through the Legislature, were also concerned by questions of safety of the plant and trust in its management.