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Hartford Growth Center wins approval

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 12:35pm -- tim

The Town of Hartford now has a state-designated Growth Center, a move that will help streamline permitting for future development and pave the way for additional benefits to support development in the town.
The Vermont Downtown Development Board approved the town’s revised Growth Center plan at its meeting on Wednesday after accepting some alterations to address concerns about the boundaries of the district.

Agency of Agriculture discontinues “Vermont Seal of Quality” program

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 9:29am -- intern

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture announced this week that it will discontinue its Vermont Seal of Quality program. Agriview, a newsletter published by the Agency of Agriculture, stated that since the 1990s, budget and staffing issues at the Agency have resulted in a lack of quality standards enforced on products which bear the seal. Launched in 1982, the program originally had 14 distinct product categories with separate quality standards. According to Agriview, any Seal of Quality only has integrity with consumers if quality standards exist and are enforced.

Figure skating champion Michelle Kwan commencement speaker at Southern Vermont College

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 9:00am -- tim

Michelle Kwan, the most decorated figure skater in US history (five World Championships, nine US National titles, two Olympic medals), who is also an author and US diplomatic envoy, will add doctor to her already impressive resume, when she receives an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Southern Vermont College’s 83rd Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 8.

$2.5 million stimulus grant launches e-Vermont: the Community Broadband Project

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 8:53am -- tim

A $2.5 million federal Stimulus Grant from the federal Agency of Commerce, announced today, completes the funding to launch the $3.8 million e-Vermont Community Broadband Project. This major campaign to stimulate broadband use in 24 Vermont towns will be produced by a partnership of organizations dedicated to expanding broadband access and its practical use. The “e-Vermont Partnership” will be led by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) over the next two years.

Vermont Yankee confirms source of tritium in groundwater

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 8:51am -- tim

Entergy Corporation today announced it has identified and stopped the source of tritium leakage at its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant and has begun initial work to support the remediation of soil and groundwater at the plant site.
The successful effort to identify the source of the leakage, fix the problem and prevent a recurrence capped an intense and rigorous effort by Entergy with the oversight of state and federal regulators that began in January when elevated levels of the radionuclide tritium were detected in monitoring wells built for that purpose.

Business Roundtable First Quarter 2010 CEO Economic Outlook Survey shows optimism

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 8:42am -- tim

Vermont s leading businesses appear increasingly optimistic toward all three of the survey s metrics: sales prospects, capital expenditures and employment levels for the spring and summer months, when compared against third quarter 2009 forecasts. The mood was assessed near the end of the first quarter and released today by Vermont Business Roundtable Chair Bill Stritzler and President Lisa Ventriss.

House passes jobs bill, closes loophole used by Verizon in FairPoint sale

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 11:10am -- tim

The US House on Tuesday passed a provision advocated by Rep. Peter Welch that would close the Reverse Morris Trust (RMT) tax loophole and save taxpayers $260 million. The loophole was used by Verizon to avoid federal taxes when it sold its northern New England landline operations to FairPoint Communications in 2008.

Governor Douglas receives national award for improving health care quality

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 9:59am -- tim

Governor Jim Douglas was honored last night with a 2010 Health Quality Award from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).  Governor Douglas was recognized for his work to improve Vermont’s health care system through a focus on chronic disease prevention and management resources. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was on hand and provided the keynote address.

Vermont among top performers on national reading assessment

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 9:28am -- tim

Reading scores for Vermont students were among the highest in the country on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), released today by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center on Educational Statistics (NCES). Overall, only Massachusetts outperformed Vermont on the fourth-grade test, while no other state outperformed Vermont at the eighth-grade level.

Springfield lands $110,000 'brownfields' clean-up grant for Fellows site

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 6:32am -- tim

Governor Jim Douglas has announced that $110,000 will be granted to the Precision Valley Development Corporation to continue clean-up activities at the former Fellows Gear Shaper property in Springfield.
This proposal will help continue with the re-development of a critical downtown property, said Governor Douglas. This will not only help the town s economy, but will turn a blighted property into clean, safe commercial space, including space for the Springfield Hospital health center.