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.

Threats lead to lockdown at South Burlington High School

SOUTH BURLINGTON — South Burlington High School went into lockdown Wednesday after school staff received threatening emails and phone calls this week. Superintendent David Young reported that threats were received Tuesday “through hacked student email accounts at the high school” and “a concerning phone call later in the day.” South Burlington police “identified both as […]

Streamlined bill on pregnancy accommodation clears Senate

The Vermont Senate has passed a revised version of a bill requiring employers to accommodate pregnant women in the workplace. The Senate passed H.136 in a voice vote Wednesday. The bill now moves back to the House, which can accept the changes or ask for a committee of conference to negotiate a consensus. The new […]

Rutland theater offers reward after laptops, Ortiz-signed ball stolen

RUTLAND — Officials with the Paramount Theatre are offering a $1,000 reward for four staff laptops stolen during a weekend burglary. In addition to the laptops, $300 in cash was taken, as well as a baseball belonging to a staff member that was signed by former Red Sox slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz. It’s the […]

Hogan walks back comments on UVM Health Network

A member of the Green Mountain Care Board has walked back comments he made during an April 13 meeting, when he said the board would open a “special” review of growth at Central Vermont Medical Center’s facility on the Barre-Montpelier Road. Con Hogan issued a statement Tuesday afternoon saying he had gotten ahead of himself […]

Senators scaling back domestic violence gun removal proposal

The Senate Judiciary Committee is paring back a House bill that would allow police to remove firearms from the scene of domestic violence incidents. Last month the House narrowly approved H.422, which would allow police to seize firearms from homes when someone is cited or arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. Law enforcement could hold […]

State hosting sessions on new opioid prescription rules

BURLINGTON — The Vermont Department of Health is hosting a series of presentations in the coming weeks to help familiarize health care professionals with new rules for prescribing opioids. A new law limiting the number of opioid painkillers a doctor can prescribe and requiring providers to counsel patients on the risk of addiction will take […]

Tax deadline is today, April 18

The deadline for state and federal personal income tax returns is Tuesday, April 18. The Vermont Department of Taxes has issued a press release reminding taxpayers that April 18 is also the deadline for homestead declarations, property tax adjustment claims and renter rebate claims. Applications for an extension for filing personal income tax returns are […]

Legislature allows Agency of Digital Services to be created

legislative panel has approved Gov. Phil Scott’s proposal for a new Agency of Digital Services that will handle the state’s information technology needs. The House Energy and Technology Committee voted unanimously Friday to allow Scott’s executive order creating the agency to go into law. Scott’s administration has told the Legislature the proposal is “budget-neutral.” In […]

Senate panel passes racial justice board bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee has passed legislation creating a panel to monitor issues of racial disparity in Vermont’s criminal and juvenile justice systems. The bill creates a 13-member panel, which includes five members from communities of color in addition to representatives from the attorney general’s office, the Department for Children and Families and others. The […]

Lawmakers on a path to early adjournment on May 6

A sure sign of spring in the Statehouse Friday: Vermont Senate committees are shutting down for the year. It’s also a sign that adjournment is not far off. Every year, committees that meet in the morning, which includes policy-focused committees like Judiciary and Agriculture, top holding meetings every year several weeks before the Legislature adjourns. […]

Police: Essex school threats were likely ‘swatting’ hoax

olice say the credibility of threats to Essex High School, which resulted in lockdowns at area schools Wednesday, has “greatly diminished” after their initial investigation. The Essex Police Department said in a statement Thursday that its “investigative efforts and analysis of the (threatening) call have found many consistencies with ‘swatting.’” Swatting is the practice of […]

Power line developer makes pitch for key energy contract

Massachusetts has officially gone shopping for 9.5 million megawatt-hours of renewable energy over 20 years, and the developer of a planned power line under Lake Champlain is offering to provide it. The Bay State earlier this month issued a request for proposals to supply the power. The energy transmission firms responding include Transmission Developers Inc., […]

Burlington tech initiative has new executive director

URLINGTON — Dennis Moynihan, who is assuming the helm of a local technology initiative, has witnessed how innovation can lead to disruption that takes many by surprise. City officials announced Wednesday that Moynihan will be the next executive director of BTVIgnite, a partnership among government, businesses and educational institutions that aims to bolster the local […]

General Fund revenue up in March

The Vermont Agency of Administration says state revenues in March were up slightly in one fund and down in two others, but there is not enough information to draw conclusions about revenue trends. The agency released the monthly revenue numbers for March. The numbers show that the state’s General Fund $18.1 million above projections, the […]