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.

Obama nominates Eric Miller as U.S. Attorney

-+*Burlington attorney Eric Miller has received the president’s backing to be Vermont’s next U.S. Attorney. President Barack Obama nominated Miller on Thursday. Obama described the attorney’s career as “distinguished and impressive” in a statement. “I am confident that, as a U.S. Attorney, he will be relentless in his pursuit of justice and serve the people […]

Mental Health Commissioner Paul Dupre to step down next month

-+*Department of Mental Health Commissioner Paul Dupre is stepping down June 12, he said Wednesday. A spokesman for Gov. Peter Shumlin said Agency of Human Services Secretary Hal Cohen is in the process of interviewing candidates to replace the outgoing commissioner. Cohen said Wednesday that over the past few months he’s been “putting out some […]

Shumlin signs physician-assisted suicide bill with Maggie Lake’s family

Gov. Peter Shumlin signs the updated physician-assisted suicide bill at a store owned by Katy Lesser, the sister of Maggie Lake, who used a lethal prescription to end a long battle with cancer earlier this year. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger

-+*SOUTH BURLINGTON — Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law Wednesday a bill that makes permanent a series of protections in the state’s physician-assisted suicide law. Physician-assisted suicide passed the Legislature in 2013 and became Act 39, but the procedural requirements and additional safeguards in the bill were set to sunset in 2016 without legislative action. […]

Tobacco ads in stores aimed at children, Health Dept. survey shows

-+*Youth smoking rates are declining but a recent Vermont Health Department survey shows that marketers continue to place tobacco ads at eye level with young children. Since the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers, requiring companies to make annual payments to state to combat smoking, the youth smoking rate in Vermont has dropped from […]

Stratton base lodge to expand

-+*Editor’s note: This article is By Chris Mays, of the Bennington Banner, in which it was first published May 13, 2015. STRATTON — Stratton Mountain Resort officials recently announced an $8.5 million project that will “literally raise the roof” on the base lodge. “It’s been part of the plan for quite some time,” said Stratton […]

Six companies contact state about VEGI funding

-+*Six companies have expressed interest in the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive program in recent months. Under the program, known as VEGI, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development gives cash to companies after they create new jobs or make capital investments in Vermont. The agency released several emails last week between companies that are considering […]

Vermont Health Connect insurers request premium increases

-+*The two insurers participating in the Vermont Health Connect insurance exchange are seeking rate increases from state regulators for next year’s plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont is seeking an 8.4 percent increase and MVP Health Care is seeking a 3 percent increase over their 2015 rates, according to filings with the Green Mountain […]

Steve Dale retires as head of school boards group

-+*The Vermont School Boards Association on Monday announced the retirement of executive director Steve Dale. Dale has served as head of the VSBA since 2011, and will leave his position at the end of August, the association stated. VSBA general counsel Nicole Mace will replace Dale on Sept. 1. The VSBA is an organization representing […]

Man accused of threatening to kill Bennington prosecutor

-+*Editor’s note: This article is by By Keith Whitcomb Jr., of the Bennington Banner, in which it was first published May 15, 2015. BENNINGTON — A man serving a 25-year-to-life sentence for sexual assault, who deigned not to show up at the trial where he was convicted, is now facing federal charges alleging that he […]

Lawmakers look to lure Quebec companies with cash incentives

-+*Both legislative chambers gave a final seal of approval to the economic development bill Saturday. The final package included a last minute addition: $100,000 from the enterprise fund to lure in Quebec companies that are looking to expand across the border. The new section came in late Friday night, according to Rep. Sam Young, D-Glover, […]

Final version of telecom bill creates new division

-+*The Senate and House have given final approval to legislation that creates new oversight for how the state will handle broadband buildout. The legislation, H.117, creates a new Division of Telecommunications and Connectivity under the Department of Public Service. Under the legislation, the E-911 Board would be required to transfer $300,000 from the universal service […]

Amended consumer protection bill expected to become law

-+*The Senate passed a consumer protection bill Thursday after removing an online dating provision and limiting the consumer litigation moratorium to one year. The Senate bill, S.73, is expected to get approval in the House. The bill contains protections in six general categories: rent-to-own regulations; a yearlong moratorium on settlement loans; phony discount memberships; home […]

Burlington area designated as U.N. sustainable development center of expertise

-+*The greater Burlington region has been designated as a leader in sustainable development by the United Nations University Institute for Advanced Studies of Sustainability. In an announcement Thursday, the University of Vermont said the Burlington area was designated as a Regional Center of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development. The designation means Burlington will join […]

Keurig to alter its strategy, will bring back My K-Cup

-+*Editor’s note: This story is by staff at the Waterbury Record, where it was first published May 14, 2015. In a major about-face, Keurig Green Mountain says it was wrong to prevent users from brewing their own coffee and trying to steer them only to Keurig-licensed single-serving pods. It’s bringing back the My K-Cup reusable […]

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