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.

Bennington Third in National Arts Vibrancy Index

BENNINGTON — Bennington boasts a vibrant community and that local color and character has been recognized for the second time by the National Center for Arts Research, ranking third in a national list of the top arts vibrant small communities. Three lists based on population are collected annually by the Center, with factors including supply, […]

Local conservation officials push lawmakers for carbon tax

Members of a dozen town energy commissions demanded greater leadership from state policymakers and asked specifically for their support for a tax on carbon dioxide pollution to replace or reduce other taxes residents currently pay. Lawmakers have proposed several bills this year in hopes of accomplishing this, including one that would eliminate the state’s sales […]

Postal workers picket Barre post office

embers of the American Postal Workers Union picketed in front of the Barre Post Office Friday morning to protest what they call major problems with post office management. The crowd of over 40 picketers included clerks and letter carriers from the Barre Post Office, APWU members from throughout New England, and members of other local […]

Vermont firm is low bidder for Bennington airport project

BENNINGTON — A Florence contractor is the low bidder for a major runway reconstruction project at William Morse State Airport in Bennington. According to figures provided by the project design firm, Passero Associates of Rochester, N.Y., Markowski Excavating Inc. submitted a low bid of $3.9 million. Other bidders included Casella Construction Inc., of Mendon, which […]

Brattleboro Retreat seeks dismissal of siblings as claimants in wrongful death lawsuit

(This story by Bob Audette was published in the Brattleboro Reformer on April 26, 2017.) RATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Retreat is asking a federal judge to dismiss from a wrongful death lawsuit two siblings of a teenager who died from injuries she sustained following a suicide attempt while at the mental health facility. The Retreat’s […]

Burlington fights ‘zombie cars’ with 48-hour limit in its garages

BURLINGTON — The city is taking steps to prevent unauthorized long-term parking, or what officials call “zombie cars,” in downtown garages. People leave cars in the Marketplace Garage on South Winooski Avenue for “extended periods, in some cases years, without any intention of moving them,” according to a news release from parkburlington.org. An amendment to […]

House passes scaled-back version of data brokers bill

The Vermont House has passed an updated version of a consumer protection bill that targets telemarketers and data brokers. The House approved S.72 in a voice vote Friday. The Senate will now decide whether to accept the changes or appoint a committee of conference to negotiate a final version. The Senate’s version of S.72 specifically […]

March unemployment remains steady at 3 percent

Vermont’s unemployment rate stayed at 3 percent in March, showing no change from February. The state’s unemployment rate is the sixth-lowest rate in the country and remains far below the national rate, which was 4.5 percent in March. The number of people employed increased by 600, and the number of unemployed increased by 100, according […]

Head of new digital services agency named

Gov. Phil Scott on Monday appointed the head of a new agency that deals with digital services. John Quinn was named secretary of digital services and chief information officer. Quinn will lead the newly formed Agency of Digital Services, created as part of Scott’s effort to modernize state government. The agency replaced the Department of […]

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 […]