News Briefs

Vermont unemployment steady at 4.4 percent

Vermont’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.4 percent in October, according to a report released Friday by the Department of Labor. The leveling follows four consecutive months of increases in the seasonally adjusted jobless rate. The U.S. average unemployment rate ticked down one-tenth of a point to 5.8 percent. Nationwide, Vermont tied with Kansas for […]

Vermont Gas protester found not guilty of trespassing

A jury Thursday found Henry Harris not guilty of trespassing at Vermont Gas’ South Burlington headquarters at a protest in May. During the protest, the 36-year-old Plainfield man, dressed in a shirt and tie, entered the building and went up on the roof, where he dropped a 300-square-foot banner protesting the pipeline. He was arrested […]

FairPoint accuses strikers of using intimidation, vandalism

FairPoint Communications says some of its striking employees or their supporters are following replacement workers to the homes and businesses of customers in an attempt to disrupt service. FairPoint in a news release called the tactic “mobile picketing” and warned customers to be aware. “Once on site, this type of picketing can include groups of […]

Woman to be charged in Townshend double homicide

Editor’s note: This article is by the Brattleboro Reformer, in which it was first published Nov. 20, 2014. TOWNSHEND — A 62-year-old town lister was due in court Thursday to face charges related to the slaying of two men in Townshend. Robin O’Neill was to be arraigned in Windham Superior Court in connection with shooting […]

Vermont businesses land $103 million in government contracts

Vermont business contracts with government agencies are on an upswing. In Fiscal Year 2014, Vermont companies landed 519 government contracts at the local, state and federal levels. That’s nearly a threefold increase over FY12, and a 25 percent rise from FY13, according to the Vermont Procurement Technical Assistance Center, a division of the state’s Agency […]

Faith leaders host Moral Economy presentations Thursday

Vermont’s faith leaders will convene their final presentations on a “moral economy” Thursday in Montpelier, Middlebury and Brattleboro. The Clergy Caucus of Vermont Interfaith Action (VIA), which encompasses Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Unitarian Universalist, and Muslim leaders, invited all newly elected legislators to engage in a discussion about how the state’s budgeting process and other legislation […]

Entergy to lay off 165 Vermont Yankee workers in January

Entergy said Wednesday it will lay off 165 employees on Jan. 19, shortly after the company plans to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon. The Louisiana-based company filed the notice with the Vermont Department of Labor and the Town of Vernon. There were 554 active employees working at the plant as […]

Police investigating double homicide in Townshend

Editor’s note: This article is by the Brattleboro Reformer, in which it first appeared Nov. 19, 2014. TOWNSHEND — Police officials on Wednesday morning were investigating a double homicide that occurred late Tuesday night in Townshend. According to a news release from the Vermont State Police, at just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday, troopers responded […]

Campaign for Vermont, GOP lawmakers join call for Gruber’s termination

Critics of the governor’s health care reform plans seized on the impolitic remarks of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber on Monday, urging the Shumlin administration to terminate his contract with the state. The policy advocacy group Campaign for Vermont has started a petition demanding that Gruber’s $400,000 economic modeling contract for the state’s planned single-payer program […]

Secretary of State to audit more election results this year

Secretary of State Jim Condos will conduct a random audit of election results from six towns Thursday. The audit will be performed using new technology from Clear Ballot Group, Condos said in a news release Monday. The new system will allow for faster retabulation and will allow more towns to be randomly audited than in […]

Vermont Health Connect relaunch is working, Miller says

The state’s health insurance website, Vermont Health Connect, is up and running again. On Saturday, the first day of enrollment, the site, which has been plagued by glitches, was working, according to Lawrence Miller, the Shumlin administration’s health care reform guru. “We have not had any problems reported to today,” Miller said on Sunday. The […]

Legal nonprofit defends Vermont’s GMO labeling law

The Vermont Community Law Center has joined the fight to defend Act 120, Vermont’s GMO labeling law. The Burlington-based legal assistance organization filed an amicus curiae brief on Friday, defending Vermont’s law requiring food manufacturers and retailers to label certain foods containing genetically modified ingredients beginning in 2016. The first-in-the-nation law is being challenged in […]

State seeks input on Vermont Yankee decommissioning plan

BRATTLEBORO — The Department of Public Service is seeking written public comments on the Vermont Yankee Site Assessment Study and draft Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report recently published by Entergy. Public comments on the draft PSDAR received by Nov. 25 will be considered for inclusion with the Public Service Department’s comments that will be provided to […]

Fuel dealer offers heat pump lease

The Energy Co-op of Vermont announced on Wednesday it is leasing cold climate heat pumps to its customers. The northwestern Vermont heating fuel provider says it will install a heat pump for $40 a month on a ten-year lease with an upfront payment of less than $300. “Our core mission at the Energy Co-op is […]

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