News Briefs

Vermont’s energy efficiency programs above average, report says

Vermont’s electric efficiency utilities saved more money for electric customers than similar utilities across the country from in 2012, but at a higher short term cost, according to a report commissioned by the Department of Public Service. Two utilities in Vermont are designed to reduce electricity consumption, Efficiency Vermont and the Burlington Electric Department. The […]

Students, adult test positive for TB at Charlotte Central School

Seven students and one adult tested positive for tuberculosis at Charlotte Central School this week, according to Health Department officials. A positive test for tuberculosis only means a person has tuberculosis bacteria in their body, and does not mean they are sick with the disease, according to a news release from the department. There is […]

House OKs sex offender registry bill; microbead ban moves to Senate

The Vermont House gave preliminary approval to a bill that would tighten regulations on registered sex offenders Wednesday. H.16 requires sex offenders who complete their prison sentences to report to the sex offender registry before they are released. Those on probation or parole would have 24 hours after their release to report. The sex offender […]

‘No’ vote will stand in VT Early Educators union election

The Vermont Labor Relations Board will not conduct a new election for the Vermont Early Educators United American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and has answered an objection to how late ballots in a union election were handled by the board and its staff. In a decision issued Dec. 31, the state labor board issued a […]

Second public hearing on GMO labeling rules set for Feb. 4

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has scheduled a second public hearing on a proposed rule to label food products that contain genetically modified ingredients. The hearing will be held from 5-6 p.m. Feb. 4 in Room 10 of the Statehouse in Montpelier, AG Bill Sorrell said in a news release. The Vermont Legislature passed a […]

NEK development officials vote to oppose large wind projects

Economic development officials in the Northeast Kingdom recently voted against any new development of utility-scale wind projects in the region, citing concerns over community division. The executive committee for the Northeastern Vermont Development Association voted unanimously to recommend that the regional planning commission oppose future wind projects. The recommendation must be approved by the commission’s […]

Vermont requests federal disaster declaration for December storm

Vermont is seeking federal disaster relief to repair damage caused by a snow and ice storm in December. The Dec. 9-12 storm caused about $4 million in damage, according to a preliminary assessment by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Damage of $1 million or more qualifies for FEMA disaster consideration. Ten counties — Addison, Chittenden, […]

Hoffer can’t get answers on Gruber invoices

State Auditor Doug Hoffer. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

State Auditor Doug Hoffer hasn’t gotten a satisfactory explanation for two sparsely detailed invoices totaling $160,000 the state received, and paid out, to economist Johnathan Gruber, Hoffer said Friday. Gruber was hired by the state to model the impact of the governor’s shelved single payer proposal. He agreed to forgo $240,000 of his original contract, […]

Reduce unfunded education mandates to ease property taxes, VLCT chief says

Steve Jeffrey

Steven Jeffrey, executive director of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, says the state has a serious issue with rising education property tax rates. Education funding — and specifically property tax — loom large on the agenda for the House and Senate Education Committees, and Jeffrey echoed the calls of citizens across Vermont to […]

Dartmouth disciplines 64 students for cheating in sports, religion and ethics class

This article is by Rob Wolfe of the Valley News, in which it was first published Jan. 22, 2015. It has been abridged. HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth College has finalized sanctions for 64 students accused of cheating in a sports, religion and ethics class last fall, handing down punishments ranging from probation to two-term suspension. […]

Bill would expand school choice to grades 7 and 8

A bill that would expand public high school choice to grades 7 and 8 was introduced in the House on Tuesday. The proposal, H.32, has 15 sponsors, including all five members of the House Education Committee. Rep. Scott Beck, R-St. Johnsbury, a freshman on the committee, said the bill builds on previous legislation that permits […]

Investment in IT infrastructure stirs debate over capital budget

The governor’s spending plan calls for big information technology upgrades for some state departments — upgrades that many agree are overdue. But the $30 million price tag proposed to come out of the capital bill is ruffling some feathers over the source of money. At a meeting of the House Corrections and Institutions Committee on […]

Speaker seeks ideas for job growth in Vermont

House Speaker Shap Smith is inviting the public and other stakeholders to submit ideas to stimulate job growth and economic development in Vermont. “Vermonters want a business environment that fosters sustainable, good paying jobs that reward employers and workers alike,” Smith said in a news release. “I have instructed the Commerce Committee to explore policies […]

Goddard College divests from fossil fuels

Goddard College divested its endowment holdings in fossil fuel companies, the college announced this month, making it Vermont’s third educational institution to divest from the industry. At least 14 other colleges and universities have divested, including Sterling College and Green Mountain College, in an effort to pull financial capital away from the fossil fuel industry. […]

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