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Governor Douglas appoints Butch Shaw to vacant Pittsford/Sudbury House seat

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 5:26am -- tim

Governor Jim Douglas today announced he appointed Butch Shaw to serve as State Representative from the Rutland-6 House District.  Shaw will fill the seat vacated by Peg Flory, who was recently appointed to the State Senate, and represents the towns of Pittsford and Sudbury.
“I look forward to working with Butch as we address difficult fiscal challenges and work to strengthen our economy," the Governor said.  “I am confident that he will represent the people of Pittsford and Sudbury thoughtfully and with dedication.”

State seeks citizen input on housing plan, meetings statewide

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 5:24am -- tim

State officials are hoping members of the public will turn out to give their input about Vermont’s plans for spending millions of dollars in federal housing and economic development funds.
The state is holding a series of Community Meetings as it drafts a 5-year Consolidated Plan required by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the approximately $12 million of federal funds Vermont receives from HUD annually.

Vermont receives $5.7 million in emergency dairy payments

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 5:12am -- tim

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today announced that $5.7 million in emergency support to more than 1,000 Vermont dairy farmers has been released.  The assistance, coming at a time when dairy farmers have experienced the lowest prices in 40 years, is part of a $350 million dairy assistance measure sponsored by Sanders. 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture began processing payments under the Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment program just prior to Christmas. Farmers have already begun seeing deposits.

Weekly unemployment claims jump

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 5:10am -- tim

There were 2,383 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, an increase of 981 from the week before. Altogether 14,114 new and continuing claims were filed, an increase of 1,058 from a week ago and 433 more than a year earlier. The Department also processed 4,902 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 183 fewer than a week ago. In addition, there were 2,716 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program, which is an increase of 66 from the week before.

Governor Douglas signs on to regional effort to reduce GHG emissions

Wed, 12/30/2009 - 8:32am -- tim

Governor Jim Douglas and 10 other governors  in the region took the next step toward developing a regional Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) by signing a Memorandum of Understanding that commits their states to continued participation in a regional effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fuels for vehicles and other uses.

Gates Foundation offers critical partnership for Vermont public libraries

Wed, 12/30/2009 - 8:20am -- tim

Governor Jim Douglas has announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has established a critical grant partnership with the Vermont Department of Libraries and the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA)  to help public libraries compete for federal broadband stimulus funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  VTA, in collaboration with the Department of Libraries, plans to submit an application to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) in early 2010.

GMP files performance-based regulation plan with Vermont PSB

Wed, 12/30/2009 - 8:05am -- tim

Green Mountain Power, based in Colchester, has filed with the Vermont Public Services Board a new alternative regulation plan that continues the benefits of the existing plan for another three years, and introduces new measures to encourage additional efficiency. The plan is the result of months of negotiations with the Department of Public Service.

Champlain Bridge demolished this morning

Mon, 12/28/2009 - 7:44am -- tim

With snow falling, the Lake Champlain Bridge connecting Addison, Vermont, with Crown Point, New York, was demolished in the blink of an eye at 10:02 this morning. The sequence of charges appeared to go off as planned and the superstructure of the bridge debris fell straight down into lake. Reporters at the scene were caught off guard as a one-minute warning alarm went off just a handful of second before the bridge was detonated. Smoke and snow obscured what was left of the bridge for several minutes.

Bennington's Plasan awarded additional contract for M-ATV armor kits

Wed, 12/23/2009 - 12:51pm -- tim

Plasan, a global leader in the field of combat-proven survivability and armor solutions for vehicles, airborne platforms and personal protection, today announced it has won an additional contract for the delivery of 400 M-ATV armor kits as sub-contractor to Oshkosh Defense. Plasan has already delivered 3,200 M-ATV armor kits for the $3.3 billion contract awarded by U.S. Department of Defense to a team led by Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corporation and Plasan North America to produce 6,619 M-ATVs for deployment in Afghanistan.

New home construction needs to double in Vermont to meet demand in coming years

Tue, 12/22/2009 - 11:40am -- tim

Vermont’s aging housing stock is inadequate, causing low-income households to spend more of their money on housing than they can afford, according to a report released today. The 2010 Vermont Housing Needs Assessment estimates that the pace of new home construction needs to double to meet demand in coming years and push down prices.

Founder Will Raap sells Gardener's Supply to employees

Tue, 12/22/2009 - 11:23am -- tim

Gardener’s Supply, the Burlington, Vermont-based garden products retailer, became 100 percent employee-owned as of Monday. Founder and majority owner Will Raap began selling shares to employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) in 1987. An ESOP allows all employees to earn stock and share in company profits.
Selling Gardener’s Supply to the employees keeps the business in Vermont, and gives employees the opportunity to become owners of a business they helped build, something Will Raap felt was critical when he started the company in 1983.

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