Pat Bradley

North Country Bureau Chief

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North Country News
9:00 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Developer Closer to Vermont Wal-Mart Expansion

Credit Huffington Post Web Staff

A nearly 7-year-old plan to nearly double the size of a Wal-Mart in Bennington, Vt., has cleared a hurdle.

The Bennington Banner reports a tentative deal has been reached in which opposition groups will drop their appeal of permits.

The Vermont Natural Resources Council and a citizens' group have been appealing local and state permits to expand the store.

Developer Jonathan Levy of BLS Bennington secured permits from the town in 2006 to double the size of the Wal-Mart to about 112,000 square feet.

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North Country News
10:00 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Vermont House Committee Kills Health Tax Plan

Credit Marlith/Wikimedia

A Vermont House committee has killed legislation that would have levied a new tax on sugary soft drinks.

In a move that drew the comment "Holy Smokes!" from a member of the Senate Health and Welfare committee, the House panel voted 5-5 on the measure. The tie vote killed the bill the committee had spent weeks drafting.

The money would pay for public health education and to help smooth the transition to a health care overhaul.

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New York News
6:30 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Natural History Museum Plans Winter Mountaintop Webcast

Whiteface Mountain
Credit Mwanner/Wikipedia Commons

The Wild Center plans to broadcast a live webcast  from the summit of Whiteface Mountain Saturday with naturalists and atmospheric scientists to show the extremes of winter on the Adirondack peak.

Whiteface Mountain is known for its Olympic ski center. It is the only Adirondack High Peak with a road to its summit.  And it is the only Adirondack Mountain that hosts a scientific field station.

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North Country News
5:45 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Democratic Governors Say Cuts to Hurt State Economies

Credit James DeMers

Democratic governors meeting with President Barack Obama say their state economies will be hurt by automatic, across-the-board federal government spending cuts scheduled to begin on March 1.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, says states have seen increased employment, but that their prosperity is being hindered by "the games being played by the Republicans in Congress."

Obama met with the Democratic governors Friday. The governors are in Washington for a National Governors Association meeting this weekend.

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New England News
12:20 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

VT, NY and Quebec Seek Public Input on Lake-River Flood Plans

Credit International Joint Commission

The international organization that deals with shared waterways between the U.S. and Canada is seeking public input on designing a study to mitigate future flooding on Lake Champlain and the Canadian river it flows into.

The International Joint Commission formed the International Lake Champlain - Richelieu River Plan of Study Workgroup after record spring floods in 2011 did tens of millions of dollars in damage.

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North Country News
11:15 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Former Acting College President Kills Self

Edward H. Everett Mansion at Southern Vermont College
Credit Jared C. Benedict/Wikimedia Commons

The former acting president of Southern Vermont College has killed himself after being accused of embezzling $400,000 from the school.

Vermont State Police say James Beckwith was found dead in his home Wednesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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North Country News
9:45 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Incoming Vermont Guard Leader Says Fiscal Challenges Foremost

Credit USAF

Vermont Air National Guard Brigadier General Steven Cray is going to be the state's next adjutant general. Cray says it's an honor to be elected to the top post in the Vermont National Guard, but he's taking office at a challenging time.

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North Country News
8:40 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

3 Vermont Lawmakers Chosen for UVM Board

University of Vermont

Vermont lawmakers have elected three of their own to seats on the University of Vermont Board of Trustees, excluding the only non-legislator candidate.

Democratic Representatives Sarah Buxton of Tunbridge, Jeff Wilson of Manchester and Anne O'Brien of Richmond will fill what were three open seats on the UVM Board of Trustees.

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New England News
7:30 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

VT, NY and Quebec to Design Lake Study Plan

Credit International Joint Commission

The international organization that deals with issues in the Lake Champlain area is working to design a study to find ways to reduce future flooding in the lake and the Canadian river that drains it.

The International Joint Commission was created by the governments of the United States and Canada more than a century ago to manage waterways in both countries.

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North Country News
6:29 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Entergy to Refuel Nuclear Plant Despite Negative Financial Reports

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

Entergy has announced that the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant will be refueled this spring, despite the company facing negative financial analyses.

Entergy will not release the cost of refueling the Vernon reactor, but Vermont Business Magazine is reporting that the last process, done in October 2011, cost nearly 100-million dollars.  Vermont Yankee Spokesman Rob Williams explains that the plant is on an 18-month refueling cycle and they continue to operate based on federal licensing and favorable court decisions.

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