Vermont's big experiment in creating a single-payer health care system is over, at least for now.
On Wednesday Governor Peter Shumlin announced he would effectively kill the plan to create a publicly-financed insurance system that was to be known as Green Mountain Health Care. "In my judgment," Shumlin said, "now is not the right time to ask our legislature to take the step of passing the financial plan for Green Mountain Health Care."
The Vermont Attorney General's office has released a draft of the rules it is writing to govern the state's first-in-the-nation law to require the labeling of food made with genetically modified organisms.
The nine pages of rules released Wednesday lay out everything from definitions of "food" and "genetic engineering" to the required disclosures on packaging that will read "Produced with Genetic Engineering."
Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 12:07 pm
From gasoline to heating oil and propane, fuel prices in Vermont are lower than they were a year ago. The decline in prices will likely mean lower heating bills and less expensive fill-ups during the coming winter.
According to Chicago-based GasBuddy.com, a clearinghouse of real time information on gas prices across the country, on Tuesday the price for a gallon of regular unleaded varied in Vermont from a low of $3.18 in Rutland to a high of $3.69 in Derby.
Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 2:46 pm
Over the past five years, law enforcement agencies in Vermont have invested more than $1 million in technology that gathers millions of data points every year about the whereabouts of vehicles across the state.
The Automated Plate Recognition Systems, or ALPRs, use high-speed cameras mounted on police cruisers that take photos of passing cars and relay them to an in-car computer for analysis. The technology keeps track of every license plate the cruiser passes and checks each against a “hot list” of vehicles, all in real time.
The Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is shutting down later this month.
The center announced in the spring that its Austine School would not be opening for the 2015 school year. Its board had hoped to keep some of its programs operating this year, and to reopen the school in two years, but at an emergency meeting last week voted to completely shut down both the school and the center.
The Beacon 10 Stirling – black, with a glowing blue light, and about the size of a large chest freezer – emits a constant low hum. And this one, in the basement of the Essex Resort & Spa, converts natural gas into electricity, enough electricity to power an average-sized home.
It’s just one of the technological innovations on offer at NRG Energy, a national company that is about to use Vermont as a testing ground for its products and services.
Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 2:00 pm
For the second time in three years, the Brattleboro Retreat faces a potential loss in federal funding because of a failed inspection. Despite the warnings, the state’s commissioner of mental health says he’s still confident that the retreat can provide quality care.
The federal warning comes after a suicide attempt at the Brattleboro Retreat in June which, after retreat staff notified the state, prompted a site visit of the facility.
Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 12:58 pm
Green Mountain Power broke ground in Rutland Tuesday on a new $10 million solar project that the utility says will not only generate clean energy, but also provide emergency back up power to parts of the city when needed.
Solar arrays are sprouting up all over Rutland County and some of the larger ones have generated a fair amount of controversy and criticism.
Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 9:22 am
Visitors to the Justin Smith Morrill Homestead in Strafford are getting a rare chance to see American icons normally found only in the National Capitol. Morrill was the U.S. Senator famous for the legislation launching land grant colleges. He’s less well-known for another accomplishment: creating Statuary Hall, where each state is represented by two statues.
Experts estimate there are nearly 300 adult loons living on Vermont's lakes and ponds, up from just a couple dozen 30 years ago.
On Saturday, more than 200 volunteers spread out across Vermont for the annual loon survey.
The results of the survey are trickling in, but Eric Hanson of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and the coordinator of the Vermont Loon Conservation Project, says there are many more birds now than just a few years ago.
He says 15 years ago there were around 100 loons and in 1983 biologists counted only 29.
Gov. Peter Shumlin has agreed to a request from the White House to investigate whether the state could house some of the undocumented children now being detained in the southwestern part of the country.
The request from the White House is the first step in a very long process.
The initial goal is to determine how much capacity each state has to house some of the nearly 60,000 children who have streamed across the border in the last few weeks.