Vermont News: Top Stories

Latest Vermont News

Quiros sues insurer for $2 million, and counting, in legal fees

Ariel Quiros
The Jay Peak owner faces a potential $1 billion in losses under the fraud allegations against him unless the insurance company puts up the money for his defense, his lawyer says.

 

Hospital, housing trust partner to convert motel to housing

The Champlain Housing trust is partnering with the University of Vermont Medical Center to convert the Bel Aire Motel into housing for the chronically homeless. Photo by Morgan True / VTDigger
UVM Medical Center will use $1.6 million of surplus funds to purchase and renovate the Bel Aire motel on Shelburne Road into eight apartments for people who are homeless and have high health needs.

 

Call for new dairy model in Vermont sparks debate

Dairy
A coalition says farmers could charge more if the state adopted healthier dairy practices. The governor-elect doesn't support what he sees as a call for the whole state to go organic, his spokesman said.

 

Vermont Gas gets go-ahead for pipeline construction through Hinesburg park

Vermont Gas
Vermont Supreme Court lifts a stay for last section of the 41-mile Addison natural gas pipeline, which a company official says should be pumping gas within 15 weeks. The court will still hear the case and provisions are in place to reverse construction if the plaintiff wins.

 

Feds say they overpaid for Vermont Health Connect

Campaign finance reports were due to on Friday. Photo by Kevin Rawlings
The state should refund millions it received based on the assumption that every Vermonter would use the exchange, according to an inspector general’s report. The state says federal officials accepted that assumption.

 

‘Raise the Wage’ effort undeterred by governor-elect’s concerns

minimum wage
Despite reservations from Republican Phil Scott, more than a dozen Vermont spiritual and social justice groups want state lawmakers to boost minimum pay to $15 an hour.

 

Garza accused of being ‘mastermind’ in bitcoin fraud scheme

Josh Garza
According to a motion to dismiss filed Dec. 6, Joshua Garza and Stuart Fraser collected roughly $19 million in revenue from investors. In effect, noted the plaintiffs, the two companies — GAW Miners and ZenMiner — were nothing more than components of a Ponzi scheme.

 

YWP: ‘In the City, In the Night’

Eliza Goodell, 16, is a junior at Oxbow High School. Courtesy photo
This week's Young Writers Project entry is "In the City, In the Night" by Eliza Goodell, 16, of Newbury.

 

SCOV Law Blog: Defining ‘reasonable doubt’

Gavel
Besides appealing on probation conditions, a defendant convicted of simple assault says the judge's instructions on reasonable doubt were faulty.

 

Autopsies indicate Newbury couple died of homicide-suicide

Photo by Tom Brown/VTDigger
Townspeople grappled with the news and described the pair as kind and popular longtime members of the community.

 

Mount Snow sees light at end of EB-5 tunnel

Mount Snow
Resort administrators believe they may soon have approval to access $52 million in foreign investment money, which would allow upgrades at the Dover mountain to move forward.

 

Support staff at UVM Medical Center seek to unionize

John Brumsted
The workers are seeking to have the hospital hire more staff and to pay a base wage of $15 per hour, among other things.

 

Senators propose limiting powers, role of state education board

Dick Sears
Sens. Dick Sears and Brian Campion, both Bennington County Democrats, say they were responding to rule changes the board is weighing for private schools. The senators would hand rulemaking over to the Education Agency.

 

Burke ski season banks on new hotel, more snowmaking

Burke Mountain
A management company running the resort and hotel, which was completed just a month before its owners were charged with investment fraud, is hoping for a robust season with increased skier visits.

 

Special Reports and Projects

EB-5 fraud at Vermont's Jay Peak

Read about the latest developments. Check out the investigative stories VTDigger has published about Jay Peak, Q Burke and AnC Bio Vermont over the past several years.

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Medicaid by the Numbers

About 35% of Vermonters have some kind of Medicaid benefit. Meanwhile, state spending on the program for low-income residents has increased by 73% since 2008.

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Legislative bill tracker, 'Inside the Golden Bubble'

Find all of our coverage on important legislation and oversight issues on this microsite, and follow stories about bills listed by topic — education, energy, judiciary, the economy, health care, and the budget.

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One child's allegations: ‘This never ends for him’

A young boy tells stories about being sexually abused by his mother’s boyfriend. Four years later, the allegations persist, and there is no legal resolution. The case raises questions that experts say are common when child sex assault is suspected.

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In a life of drugs and prison, treatment is elusive key

Chris Dezotelle has spent his adult life in and out of prison because of his addiction to opiates. Now he wants to change. But his struggle shows how the cycle between prison, the outside and treatment can be complicated.

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Turbine sound and fury aggravates neighbors

A recent legal filing from the state lays out a path for individuals to sue over noise from wind farms. Experts say there is no public health threat from the sound of turbines spinning, but neighbors are still seeking relief. 

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The stories about Bernie

Part one of five: Ingest all the up-close-and-personal profiles the national media is producing about Bernie Sanders and you’ll find they start with the same fact: The presidential candidate hates up-close-and-personal profiles.

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Vermont hospital CEOs average $500K a year

The data show that hospital CEO pay is more than double what CEOs in other industries in Vermont make each year. The average CEO compensation was $162,210 in 2013, and the median was $141,050 that year, according to data from the Vermont Department of Labor.

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Pepperspray, pornography and two bad apples

Police officer sues over racial discrimination in the Rutland City Police Department.

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Tax breaks fuel Vermont's solar gold rush

The combination of state incentives and an impending deadline for federal tax credits is making the Green Mountain State a preferred destination for solar energy developers.

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Inmate took his own life after mental illness treatment needs went unmet

Prison was not the place for Fennessey to receive treatment for mental illness, but he returned to a cell several times because the state and community partners could not coordinate what they deemed a suitable re-entry plan before he took his own life.

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Former Rutland Mental Health CEO’s poor leadership may have put clients in danger

Officials cite a pattern of shortcomings in the care provided by the agency that contributed to a client’s overdose, a client being sexually exploited and several others being placed in neglectful or abusive situations, according to documents obtained by VTDigger. Poor management may have also contributed to one client’s untimely death.

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Quote of the Day

“It’s a mystery. You’re not going to miss a 1,200-pound Hereford.” — New Haven farmworker Amber Whittemore, on the disappearance of said animal, being investigated as a theft.

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