Pat Bradley

North Country Bureau Chief

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WAMC News
5:30 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Vermont Legislative Panel Ponders Immigrant Licenses

A special Vermont legislative panel has put off issuing its final recommendation, but appears strongly in favor of allowing immigrant farmworkers in the country in violation of federal law to get state drivers' licenses.

The panel of nine, including lawmakers and people representing farm, immigrant and human rights groups, put the finishing touches Thursday to a report that's to be given to lawmakers as they convene next month.

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WAMC News
5:20 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Vermont to Receive $1.1m in Flood Grants

Credit Patrick Donges/WAMC

Vermont communities and businesses are receiving $1.1 million in flood recovery grants.

The awards announced Thursday by Governor Peter Shumlin represent the second round of funding made available from $21.7 million in community development block grant disaster recovery funds. They were allocated to the state from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development following Tropical Storm Irene.

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WAMC News
12:20 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Vermont’s Governor and Local Officials Travel to Florida to Listen to Jet Noise

F35
Credit USAF

The U.S. Air Force is considering basing its newest fighter jet - the F35 - at the Burlington International Airport.  But opponents are concerned about the noise level of the planes.  Vermont’s Governor and other officials traveled to Florida on Wednesday to listen to the planes.

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New England News
6:20 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Seven States Plan to Sue EPA Over Lack of Methane Regulations

New York’s Attorney General is leading a group of seven states that plan to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over methane emissions from oil and gas drilling.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a notice of intent to sue the EPA, claiming the agency violated the Clean Air Act. Environmental Protection Bureau Assistant Attorney General and lead attorney for the case Michael Myers says the lawsuit is an effort to control a potent greenhouse gas.

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WAMC News
5:45 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Vermont Still 1st in Peace Corp Volunteers

Peace Corps officials say Vermont is continuing its ranking as the top state for the per capita production of Peace Corps volunteers.

Since the Peace Corp was created more than 50 years ago, 1,453 Vermonters have served as volunteers across the world.

Only the District of Columbia has a higher per capita ranking.

Officials announced the rankings Wednesday.

The same rankings found that New Hampshire ranked fourth and Maine eighth.

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WAMC News
5:15 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Vermont Governor in Florida to Hear F-35 Noise

F35
Credit USAF

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin was in Florida Wednesday to get a firsthand opinion about how loud the F-35 fighter jet is compared to an F-16.

The Burlington Free Press reports that the governor flew to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida Wednesday with the mayors of Burlington and Winooski so they could listen to the two types of aircraft.

The Air Force is considering basing F-35s at the Vermont Air National Guard base at the Burlington International Airport. Some area residents are worried about the noise from the planes.

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WAMC News
12:20 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Groups Lobby Governor to Sign Environmental Funding Bill

New York environmental groups are ramping up their lobbying to convince Governor Cuomo to sign a new funding bill for the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.

The New York Legislature passed the Environmental Protection Fund Enhancement Act earlier this year, to provide additional money for land, air and water protection and conservation. That bill has only recently moved to the Governor’s desk and New York Public Interest Research Group Senior Environmental Associate Laura Haight is concerned whether it will be signed.

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North Country News
6:20 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Health Care Financing Proposal Released

Credit Vermont Workers' Center

A Vermont labor advocacy group has released its own plan for how the state should finance a universal health care system.
    
The Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign, a project of the Vermont Workers’ Center, released their health care financing plan on Monday. VT Workers Center President Mary Gerisch says the goal is equity in cost sharing and access.

Mary Gerisch explains that their plan uses  income taxes as the primary funding source.

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WAMC News
5:45 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Southern Vermont Gets 470k for Irene Recovery Planning

Hurricane Irene
Credit Courtesy NOAA

Two southern development organizations are getting $470,000 to boost long-term recovery efforts following last year's Tropical Storm Irene.

The state's congressional delegation says the Windham Regional Commission and the Bennington County Regional Commission will use the funds to work with businesses and encourage public and private approaches to promote job creation.

Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Bernie Sanders and U.S. Representative Peter Welch say the money will speed the recovery of many southern Vermont communities still recovering from Irene.

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North Country News
5:30 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Vermont Environmental Official to Natural Resources

The deputy commissioner of Vermont's Department of Environmental Conservation is going to become the deputy secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources.

The appointment of Justin Johnson was announced Tuesday by ANR Secretary Deb Markowitz.

Johnson will replace Chris Recchia, who is leaving ANR to become commissioner of the Department of Public Service.

Johnson has 18-years of experience in local, state and federal government in both the United States and Australia.

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