Business & Economy

Fiber advocates trash state’s 10-year Telecom Plan

Public Service Commissioner Chris Recchia (from left), telecommunications director Jim Porter and infrastructure specialist Corey Chase of the Department of Public Service listen as John Bloch gives testimony. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

Critics of the proposed state telecommunications road map wrong to focus on getting all addresses up to 4 Mbps upload speed and 1 Mbps download speed by 2020. Proposal is obsolete from the start, they say.

FairPoint recruits workers as strike contingency

A Fairpoint Communications truck makes its way down State Street in Montpelier. VTD/Josh Larkin

Online advertisements seek qualified telecommunications workers willing to cross a picket line. Company, which halted union negotiations Wednesday night, says it needs to have backup workers in the event of a strike.

Retired Vermont teachers now have fossil-free investment option

Vermont teachers now have the option to invest in a mutual fund that excludes fossil fuel companies. The state Teacher’s Retirement Board of Trustees recently approved the addition of a fossil fuel-free mutual fund investment option for its 403(b) plan, Treasurer Beth Pearce said in a news release. The board approved the addition of the […]

FairPoint ends talks, imposes contract on workers

A Fairpoint Communications truck makes its way down State Street in Montpelier. VTD/Josh Larkin

Unions file complaint with National Labor Relations Board over declaration of impasse. Strike still on the table.

USDA chief announces $45 million to help farmers curb runoff

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced federal funding available for agricultural conservation practices at a news conference Thursday at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visits state to tout program aimed at reducing phosphorus runoff into Lake Champlain. Nutrients from manure and fertilizer trigger annual blooms of toxic blue-green algae.

Story and slideshow: Three years after Irene, Waterbury complex stretches for higher ground


The $125 million project got underway one year ago, just after the two-year anniversary of the flooding that ravaged state offices and the psychiatric hospital in Waterbury.

VTDigger’s 5th anniversary celebration


You are invited!! Come help us celebrate our landmark birthday at Vermont College of Fine Arts, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17.

New business lobby group to support family issues

Lawmakers and supporters join Gov. Peter Shumlin to sign the minimum wage bill Monday at the Red Hen Bakery in Middlesex. Photo by Katie Jickling/VTDigger

A coalition of small business owners is banding together to speak for themselves in support of universal, single-payer health care and mandatory paid sick leave.

Lawyer for Dollar General developer tweaks Bread & Puppet for skit, says opponents are “wealthy elitists”


In a YouTube video of a Bread & Puppet performance, the victor knocks a Dollar General puppet to the ground and mutely suggests a “Boycott.”

Keurig Green Mountain partners with Kraft coffee brands

Waterbury-based Keurig Green Mountain Inc. has added Kraft Foods to its list of marketing partners. Starting this fall, Kraft coffee will be sold in portion packs compatible with Keurig brewing systems. Kraft coffee brands include Maxwell House, Gevalia, Yuban and McDonald’s McCafé. Keurig brewers started as single-serve machines; the product line will expand to pot-sized […]

Towns must meet state criteria for disaster relief money

The state’s share will drop to 7.5 percent for towns that don’t meet four basic criteria: participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, adoption of the state’s most current (2013) road and bridge standards, annual updated emergency operations plans and local hazard mitigation plans.

State to take public comment on 10-year telecom plan

Jim Porter, telecommunications director of the Vermont Public Service Department. Photo by Hilary Niles/

Public comment on the state’s telecommunications plan will be taken Aug. 25 through Aug. 28. The Legislature has set its sights on broadband speeds of 100 Mbps by 2024, but telecom director Jim Porter says it’s too early to predict steps for reaching that goal.

Business outlook neutral to mildly optimistic

Lisa Ventriss, president of the Vermont Business Roundtable. File photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

Health care uncertainty and hiring difficulties challenge mild optimism among Vermont’s business leaders.

Keurig Green Mountain coffee prices to increase 9 percent in November

The Waterbury-based company said in a press release the price hike responds to increased costs of green coffee and cocoa, plus the rising expense of packaging materials, energy and transportation costs.

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