Vermont News Briefs

VTDigger’s beat reporters cover health care, politics, education, energy, the environment, business and state finances. We offer brief Vermont news stories on issues are are keeping tabs on.

Sanders’ leadership PAC pays administrative fines

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ legislative leadership PAC, Progressive Voters of America, paid $7,690 in administrative fines last May, documents first obtained by the Vermont Press Bureau show. Legislative leadership PACs can be created by current and former members of Congress and are used to raise money and make donations candidates for political office. Progressive Voters of […]

Labor leader adds to union endorsements of Sanders

Just after finishing his third and final term as president of a union organization representing 740,000 communications workers, a labor leader announced Friday he was endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders for president. Larry Cohen, outgoing president of Communications Workers of America, announced his endorsement of Sanders at a news conference in a Council Bluffs, Iowa, union […]

Addison County planners renew their support for Vermont Gas pipeline

The Addison County Regional Planning Commission voted Wednesday night to reaffirm its support for a natural gas pipeline making its way to Middlebury. According to a news release from Vermont Gas Systems, the commission voted 23-9 to support the project. The commission represents 21 towns in Addison County. The two parties had signed a memorandum […]

Bernie 2016 campaign raises $15 million in 60 days

Sen. Bernie Sanders has raised $15 million in the past two months, most of it in small donations of $250 or less. The Bernie 2016 presidential campaign said Thursday that since April 30 it has received 400,000 contributions from 250,000 people. The campaign said the average donation was $33.51 (400,000 times $33.51 equals $13.4 million; […]

Waitsfield farmer fined for open burning says more education needed

Illegally burning agricultural trash can release carcinogenic chemicals into the atmosphere and can carry a hefty fine. Disposing of it properly can cost hundreds of dollars and dozens of man hours. In an industry such as organic dairy farming, where overhead costs are high and plastic waste is omnipresent, illegal open burns are often conducted […]

Ludlow woman’s Medicaid fraud charges are second such case in two months

A Ludlow woman was arraigned last week on two felony counts of Medicaid fraud and three felony counts of false pretenses, according to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office. Jennifer Newsome, 50, of Ludlow was arraigned June 23 in Windsor Superior Court on charges that she submitted more than $30,000 in Medicaid claims for services that […]

Vermont’s out-of-state inmates arrive at Michigan prison

The Department of Corrections confirmed Tuesday that 280 Vermont inmates housed at private prisons located out of state have been transported to a prison in Michigan. The news comes the day Vermont’s current contract with the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is set to expire. It will be replaced by a new agreement with the […]

UVM campus to go tobacco free Aug. 1

The University of Vermont will become a tobacco-free campus starting Aug. 1. UVM President Tom Sullivan announced the new policy in a memo Tuesday to the UVM community, citing the known health risks associated with smoking tobacco. UVM joins 1,500 other colleges and universities by implementing the policy. The creation of a tobacco-free campus was […]

Fentanyl found in heroin that killed two brothers

Investigators found signs of heroin and fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate, at the Ward Street residence where two brothers died in the same room June 18 in Burlington. Police suspect that brothers Sean and Dennis Thibault, ages 32 and 34 respectively, died from a drug overdose. If so, they will be the latest fatalities in […]

Nurses, UVM Medical Center reach tentative contract agreement

Nurses and the administration at the University of Vermont Medical Center have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. The agreement was reached early Saturday morning after three final negotiation sessions and two rallies at which community members and politicians spoke out in favor of the nurses. Michael Carrese, spokesperson for the UVM Medical […]

Putney faces fines over misfiling of IRS forms

Editor’s note: This article is by Howard Weiss-Tisman, of the Brattleboro Reformer, in which it was first published June 26, 2015. PUTNEY — Putney is once again facing potential fines due to the town treasurer’s inability to meet filing deadlines with both the Internal Revenue Service and the state. Town Clerk/Treasurer Anita Coomes allegedly never […]

Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union ratifies two-year contract with teachers

Editor’s note: This article is by Derek Carson, of the Bennington Banner, in which it was first published June 26, 2015. BENNINGTON — After months of negotiations, the boards of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union took the final step toward a new two-year teacher contract on Wednesday, when they ratified the contract in a roundtable […]

Vermont ranks 5th for business startups in Kauffman Foundation study

The Kauffman Foundation ranked Vermont as the fifth best state in the country for business startups, according to a news release issued by the Vermont Department of Economic Development. The Kauffman Foundation is a nonprofit, private foundation focused on education and entrepreneurship. Their report, the Kauffman Index of Startup Activity, evaluated states based three criteria: […]

Caledonia North teachers, board at impasse on contract

The Caledonia North Supervisory Union (CNSU), serving the school districts of Burke, East Haven, Lyndon, Miller’s Run Unified District #37 (Sheffield and Wheelock), Newark and Sutton, announced the supervisory union has hit a second impasse with the teachers’ union this week. In a news release sent by Celeste Girrell, chair of the CNSU executive board, […]

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