vt

North Country News
8:16 am
Fri May 18, 2012

VT Postal Processing Center to Stay Open

The mail processing plant operated by the U.S. Postal Service in White River Junction will remain open, saving 245 jobs.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

Senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy and U.S. Representative Peter Welch announced on Thursday that the postal service plant, which earlier had been threatened with closure, will remain open under legislation the Vermont delegation championed. 

Sanders says keeping the center open will help ensure good postal service in Vermont…

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North Country News
7:45 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Vermont Becomes First State to Ban Hydraulic Fracturing

Vermont’s governor has signed into law the nation’s first ban on the natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

There's no drilling currently happening in Vermont, which is believed to have little to no reserves of oil or natural gas.

Lawmakers passed a preemptive ban on the practice and Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin signed the law Wednesday in a ceremony at the Statehouse in Montpelier…

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North Country News
7:40 am
Thu May 17, 2012

VT Governor Signs Health “Exchange” Bill

Governor Peter Shumlin has signed into law the next step in a multi-year effort to revamp Vermont’s health care system and make it more like Canada’s.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

The bill Shumlin signed on Wednesday calls for setting up a regulated health care marketplace — or "exchange" — in keeping with the federal health reform law passed two years ago.

The Governor says it helps the state as it tries to move to a single payer system…

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New England News
8:21 am
Wed May 16, 2012

VT State Revenues Above Target, Surplus Possible

Vermont's top fiscal officer says the state's General Fund took in $10.6 million more than expected last month, making it possible for the state to end the fiscal year with a surplus.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports… 

Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding said general fund revenues were 6.3 percent ahead of expectations.

So far this fiscal year, general fund revenues are four-tenths of one percent ahead of expectations.

Spaulding says the results were largely because of strong corporate income tax filings.

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North Country News
8:29 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Investigators Hired to Handle VT Child Porn Cases

The Vermont Attorney General's office has received approval to hire a special investigator to target child pornography cases.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

Cindy Maguire of the attorney general's office tells the Bennington Banner that person will be devoted to building cases against people generating or sharing child pornography over peer-to-peer networks.

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North Country News
7:50 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Utilities See Growing 'Smart Meter' Opposition

Worries about health effects, privacy and cost are fueling growing opposition to wireless, digital "smart meters" that utilities around the country are installing on homes and businesses and touting as key energy conservation and grid reliability tools.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

Vermont appears poised to take an unusually aggressive stance. While several states have allowed utilities to charge a fee to customers who want to opt out of smart meters, Vermont's governor is expected soon to sign legislation that would allow customers to say no without paying anything extra.

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North Country News
6:44 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Vermont Deer Hearings to be Held This Week

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will hold two public hearings this month on deer management.

The topics will include the 2011 hunting results and recommendations for an antlerless permitting and youth season this year.

Last year, hunters took 12,132 deer during the archery, youth, rifle, and muzzleloader seasons in Vermont. Those totals will be discussed in detail at the hearings.

North Country News
8:06 am
Wed May 9, 2012

VT Farmers to Get Funds for Pollution Control

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making $1 million available this summer to some Vermont farmers as part of a program aimed at reducing pollution in streams.

The farmers are in the Missisquoi River watershed. A recent study has identified farm fields in the area as being at the highest risk of polluting nearby streams.

The federal government says it will pay some farmers 100 percent of the cost of making changes to the way they manage their fields.

One round of grant applications is due May 18; a second round is due June 15.

North Country News
7:02 am
Tue May 8, 2012

New Index Ranks Vermont Tops in Locally Grown Food

A new index ranks Vermont No. 1 in its commitment to raising and eating locally grown food.

The ranking is based on the number of farmers markets and community supported agriculture programs per state resident. In CSAs, customers pay a lump sum up front and receive weekly deliveries of produce during harvest seasons.

According to the Strolling of the Heifers Locavore Index, Vermont has 99 farmers markets and 164 CSAs for fewer than 622,000 people.

The other top states on the list are Iowa, Montana, Maine and Hawaii.

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North Country News
7:32 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Three VT Men Arrested with Explosive Device

Police in Newport City, Vermont, have arrested three people in connection with a pipe bomb threat that shut down Route 5 for several hours over the weekend.

Police say a witness saw three men leave a house with the explosive device, and police stopped the men a short time later Saturday night. Route 5 was closed until the state police bomb squad said it was safe reopen the road at about 10:30 p.m.

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