|Trump starts morning off by slamming NFLWPTZ / 17 min. ago more|
President Donald Trump is up and tweeting, and his target is the NFL.
|Crash sends bus swerving into path of kidsWPTZ / 40 min. ago more|
Dashcam video shows the driver regaining control of the vehicle before the scary moment could have turned into a tragedy.
|Woman accused of leaving toddler in car at Disney bonds out of jail WPTZ / 1 h. 54 min. ago more|
A 37-year-old has been arrested, accused of child neglect after a 2-year-old was allegedly left in a parked car at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
|Vermont Attorney General: State immune from EB-5 investor lawsuit - vtdigger.orgGoogle News / 2 h. 11 min. ago more|
vtdigger.orgVermont Attorney General: State immune from EB-5 investor lawsuitvtdigger.orgMegan Shafritz (right), chief of the civil litigation division of the Vermont Attorney General's Office, argues on behalf of the state in Vermont Superior Court in Hyde Park on Monday, saying that Vermont is immune from liability for what happened in ...and more »
|Latest heat wave on record expectedWPTZ / 2 h. 11 min. ago more|
Cooler at the end of the week
|Video: Latest heat wave on record expected (9-26-17)WPTZ / 2 h. 24 min. ago more|
|Wedding photographer captures groom saving young boyWPTZ / 2 h. 42 min. ago more|
Clayton Cook was in the middle of taking wedding photos when he noticed a little boy struggling in a river.
|Vermont teen gets probation for rape - WatertownDailyTimes.comGoogle News / 3 h. 28 min. ago more|
Vermont teen gets probation for rapeWatertownDailyTimes.comCANTON — A Vermont teen was sentenced to probation Monday in St. Lawrence County Court after being convicted of raping an 18-year-old woman. Zachary L. Greene, 19, of Randolph, Vt., was sentenced to 10 years of probation for his May 23 guilty plea ...
|Golden retriever and rescued tortoise make the most unlikely best friendsWPTZ / 3 h. 48 min. ago more|
Larry the tortoise and Cricket the golden retriever can't seem to get enough of each other.
|World's second largest diamond sells for $53MWPTZ / 3 h. 59 min. ago more|
The diamond, weighing more than 1,000 carats, was discovered two years ago in the African country of Botswana.
|'Real Men Wear Pink' raising money for breast cancer researchWPTZ / 4 h. 21 min. ago more|
VT men wear pink, raising money for breast cancer research
|State awards 5th medical marijuana dispensary licenseVermont News / 5 h. 1 min. ago more|
Vermont officials have awarded a fifth medical marijuana dispensary and cultivation license to an applicant that will have locations in St. Albans and Bennington. The Times Argus reports the Waterbury-based PhytoScience Institute will start dispensing medical marijuana within six months after it gets full approval.
|U.S. Marines welcome first female infantry officerWPTZ / 5 h. 13 min. ago more|
The lieutenant is the first female officer complete the Infantry Officer Course since the Marines opened all military occupational specialties to women in April 2016.
|Dallas Cowboys owner, players lock arms and kneel before national anthemWPTZ / 6 h. 10 min. ago more|
Around the nation this weekend, NFL players took knees and some locked arms during the national anthem.
|Amidst protests, many question NFL's rules regarding national anthemWPTZ / 6 h. 39 min. ago more|
According to the league's game operations manual, the national anthem must be played prior to every game, and all players must be present on the sidelines when it is played.
|New York men charged with sex trafficking in VermontWPTZ / 7 h. 56 min. ago more|
Both men arrested last week
|Space agency's experiment requires volunteers spend 60 days In bedWPTZ / 8 h. 3 min. ago more|
The experiment is done to identify and combat health risks in astronauts who spend extended periods of time in space.
|Vermont Attracts Quebec Business to St. Johnsbury - U.S. News & World ReportGoogle News / 8 h. 10 min. ago more|
Vermont Attracts Quebec Business to St. JohnsburyU.S. News & World ReportVermont Attracts Quebec Business to St. Johnsbury. A Quebec business that makes among other products automatic braking systems for wheelchairs and rolling walkers has opened a branch in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom town of St. Johnsbury. Sept.
|EPA Awards $14.7M for Vermont Water Infrastructure Projects - U.S. News & World ReportGoogle News / 8 h. 10 min. ago more|
EPA Awards $14.7M for Vermont Water Infrastructure ProjectsU.S. News & World ReportThe state of Vermont is getting $14.7 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help finance improvements to water infrastructure projects across the state. Sept. 26, 2017, at 12:23 a.m.. EPA Awards $14.7M for Vermont Water ...and more »
|Vermont Milk Commission to Meet for the First Time in Years - U.S. News & World ReportGoogle News / 8 h. 29 min. ago more|
Vermont Milk Commission to Meet for the First Time in YearsU.S. News & World ReportAmong other topics, commission members will be getting an overview of milk prices, the capacity of processing plants and the health of Vermont's artisan cheese industry. Dairy remains by far Vermont's largest agricultural sector, accounting for more ...
|Freedom March: Working to reduce high prison populationVermont News / 9 h. 18 min. ago more|
Imagine a world where the focus of the justice system wasn't on incarceration. That's one of Eesha Williams' goals.
|Vermont ski resort fraud case gets first court hearing - The Boston GlobeGoogle News / 10 h. 14 min. ago more|
The Boston GlobeVermont ski resort fraud case gets first court hearingThe Boston GlobeHYDE PARK, Vt. — A Vermont judge Monday began weighing some of the legal issues that could decide if the state can be held liable for losses in a ski resort fraud case that cost foreign investors millions of dollars and potentially the opportunity to ...Vermont claims immunity from EB-5 lawsuitBurlingtonFreePress.comall 7 news articles »
|Monday's Vermont sports scores and Tuesday's schedule - BurlingtonFreePress.comGoogle News / 12 h. 43 min. ago more|
BurlingtonFreePress.comMonday's Vermont sports scores and Tuesday's scheduleBurlingtonFreePress.comVermont sports scores and schedule for Sept. 25-26, 2017, as reported to the Burlington Free Press sports department.and more »
|'Curious sinking': Lawyers blast man whose mom lost at seaABCNews.com / 15 h. 47 min. ago more|
Insurance company lawyers are blasting a Vermont man whose mother was lost at sea, saying he made suspicious alterations to his boat and calling the 2016 sinking "curious."
|Vermont man dies after North Hudson crash | Local News ... - Plattsburgh Press RepublicanGoogle News / 16 h. 44 min. ago more|
Vermont man dies after North Hudson crash | Local News ...Plattsburgh Press RepublicanState Police say Paul Boivin's motorcycle crossed center line, collided with another head-on.and more »
|EPA Provides State of Vermont $14.7 Million for Water Infrastructure Projects - U.S. EPA.gov (press release)Google News / 17 h. 39 min. ago more|
EPA Provides State of Vermont $14.7 Million for Water Infrastructure ProjectsU.S. EPA.gov (press release)BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $14.7 million to the State of Vermont to help finance improvements to water infrastructure projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment. The funds will be ...and more »
|Fact-Checking Our Vermont Dairy Industry Discussion | Vermont ... - Vermont Public RadioGoogle News / 17 h. 39 min. ago more|
Vermont Public RadioFact-Checking Our Vermont Dairy Industry Discussion | Vermont ...Vermont Public RadioWe got questions and comments from many of you after our discussion of Ben & Jerry's social mission with Will Allen. Here's some of what we found out.and more »
|Vermont Grants Medical Marijuana License to PhytoScience InstituteSeven Days / 22 h. 59 min. ago more|
The Vermont Department of Public Safety on Friday approved a license for the state's fifth medical marijuana operation, which plans to open dispensaries in Bennington and St. Albans. PhytoScience Institute, led by University of Vermont professor William Cats-Baril, beat out four other applicants vying for a state license. According to its website, the Institute already offers testing, research and consulting services for marijuana products. While the Vermont legislature failed to legalize marijuana last session, it did pass a law that allowed for a fifth medical marijuana dispensary license. The legislation also permits each of the five licensees to operate a satellite location. Vermont currently has dispensaries in Burlington, Montpelier, Brandon and Brattleboro, and there were 4,609 registered medical marijuana patients as of late August, according to the DPS. The department noted in its press release that both Bennington and St. Albans are “underserved areas” for medical pot patients. The state used a scoring system to evaluate applicants based on factors that included their proposed locations and the strength of their business plans and security precautions. …
|Vermont Should be Investigating ItselfVermont News / 23 h. 1 min. ago more|
Tiny Vermont has the distinction of biggest EB-5 scandal in the country. EB-5 is a program which grants US residency to foreigners who invest in certified job-creating projects.
|New Readsboro Getting More Broadband ServiceSeptember 25, 2017 | 01:47AM0 CommentsVermont News / 1 d. 5 h. 51 min. ago more|
More than 150 homes in Readsboro and Wilmington will have access to broadband thanks to public/private partnerships and grants and the work of volunteers. "This work demonstrates the value of working together finding common ground to a common goal," Gov. Philip Scott said on Friday.
|Vermont's great pumpkin contest squashes all othersVermont News / 1 d. 12 h. 24 min. ago more|
Top bragging rights at the annual weigh-off went to Matt DeBacco of Rocky Hill, Connecticut for his 1,435-pound baby. Vermont's great pumpkin contest squashes all others Top bragging rights at the annual weigh-off went to Matt DeBacco of Rocky Hill, Connecticut for his 1,435-pound baby.
|Carbon tax number one at climate talkVermont News / 1 d. 14 h. 35 min. ago more|
Dr. Alan Betts, of Atmospheric Research in Pittsford, speaks at the Governor's Climate Action Commission's Public Hearing at Burr and Burton on Thursday. Local activist Theo Talcott speaks at the Governor's Climate Action Commission's Public Hearing at Burr and Burton on Thursday.
|In this Sept. 14, 2017 photo, a rail station built to be used by the Champlain Flyer, a commuter train that ran between Charlotte and Burlington from late 2000 until early 2003, sits idle in ...ABCNews.com / 1 d. 21 h. 19 min. ago more|
In this Sept. 14, 2017 photo, a rail station built to be used by the Champlain Flyer, a commuter train that ran between Charlotte and Burlington from late 2000 until early 2003, sits idle in Charlotte, Vt. Entrepreneur David Blittersdorf has a plan t
|In this Sept. 5, 2017 photo, David Blittersdorf, right, and Charlie Moore pose in Barre, Vt., in front of one of a dozen passenger rail cars Blittersdorf bought to try to jump-start a commuter rail ...ABCNews.com / 1 d. 21 h. 22 min. ago more|
In this Sept. 5, 2017 photo, David Blittersdorf, right, and Charlie Moore pose in Barre, Vt., in front of one of a dozen passenger rail cars Blittersdorf bought to try to jump-start a commuter rail system in Vermont. Moore, a long-time rail expert in
|Energy entrepreneur hopes to bring commuter rail to VermontABCNews.com / 1 d. 21 h. 22 min. ago more|
An energy entrepreneur wants to set up a commuter rail system in Vermont to further his vision of weaning the state from fossil fuels and getting cars off the highways
|Passersby pull two men from fiery crash in Vernon; driver faces numerous chargesVermont News / 1 d. 23 h. 34 min. ago more|
The Windham County Sheriff's Department and the Vermont State Police are conducting an investigation into a single motor vehicle incident on Route 142 Friday evening near Pond Road in Vernon around 7:30. Windham County Sheriff's Department officers and Vermont state troopers are investigating a single motor vehicle incident on Route 142 Friday evening.
|Substitute teacher fired for modeling Hitler salute for kidsABCNews.com / 2 d. 18 h. 54 min. ago more|
A school superintendent in Vermont says a substitute teacher has been fired after being accused of showing elementary school children how to make the Nazi salute
|Police LogVermont News / 3 d. 8 h. 5 min. ago more|
Lt. Kurt Schmidt, of the Brattleboro Fire Department, watches as liquids pour out of a box truck onto Western Avenue. Brattleboro police and fire departments responded to a tractor-trailer that was rear-ended by a box truck on Western Avenue around 12:38 p.m. on Friday.
|Walters: Radio Vet Steve Cormier Buys WDEVSeven Days / 3 d. 10 h. 42 min. ago more|
After a long search for the right buyer, Ken Squier found his man working right there next to him. In a Friday afternoon press release, Squier announced the sale of the Waterbury-based Radio Vermont Group, which includes WDEV-AM and FM, to the firm’s director of sales, Steve Cormier. “I am thrilled that after 87 years [of Squier family ownership] the station will remain among Vermonters,” said Squier in the release. Squier’s father, Lloyd, founded WDEV in 1931, and the station continues to offer predominantly local programming. Ken Squier, 82, has worked at the station since he was 12 years old; he also achieved national fame as a NASCAR broadcaster, and he is a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. In addition to WDEV, the Radio Vermont Group also operates 101 the One, which plays classic hit songs, and country station WLVB-FM in Morrisville. Squier had been quietly looking for a buyer for a couple of years. His search was first reported by Seven Days in June. At the time, he said he was looking for “a Vermonter or some Vermonters who are interested in and dedicated to local programming.” Cormier would seem to be a good fit. Before joining the Radio Vermont Group in 2015, he was station manager at WTSA Radio in Brattleboro. And that followed a 26-year run in Burlington broadcasting, most famously as cohost of the “Corm and the Coach” morning show. “Local radio, there’s nothing like it!” Cormier said. WDEV’s local-heavy format, he added, “ain’t going anywhere.” That includes Squier, who does weekday sportscasts on WDEV and the renowned “Music to Go to the Dump By” show Saturdays at 9 a.m. “I want him there every day,” said Cormier of Squier, who will serve as an advisor as well. “‘The Dump’ show, sports, until he decides he doesn’t want to do it anymore.” Cormier also plans no changes at WLVB-FM, and minimal changes, if any, at 101 the One. Cormier professed a personal commitment to maintaining WDEV’s emphasis on local programming. “I’ve worked for Clear Channel,” he said of the nation’s biggest radio conglomerate, now known as iHeartMedia. “I saw what they did. They didn’t care about their communities.” The sale is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission, which…
|Experts: Dairy's future in Vermont sweeter than maple'sVermont News / 3 d. 12 h. 28 min. ago more|
Projected changes in Vermont's climate over the next 50 years look grim for the maple industry but rosy for dairy, according to experts who presented at a community lecture in Craftsbury Wednesday. Travis Reynolds, an environmental studies professor at Colby College and family producer of maple syrup in Stannard, said Vermont's maple industry is "facing a catastrophe."
|Bennington College recognized for sustainabilityVermont News / 3 d. 12 h. 28 min. ago more|
Bennington College has been honored with two awards for their efforts toward making the campus more energy efficient. A group from the college accepted an Energy Leadership Award at Efficiency Vermont's sixth annual Best Practices Exchange at Killington Grand Resort Hotel earlier this week.
|Trump Nominates Prosecutor Nolan for Vermont U.S. AttorneySeven Days / 3 d. 15 h. 12 min. ago more|
President Donald Trump on Friday nominated Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan to serve as Vermont's U.S. Attorney. Nolan, a native Vermonter who graduated from the University of Vermont and Boston College Law School, would become the first woman to hold the top federal prosecutor's job in Vermont if the U.S. Senate confirms her. Both U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Republican Gov. Phil Scott recommended Nolan in June, calling her a "fair and tough" prosecutor. In a joint statement Friday, Leahy and Scott pledged to advocate for her confirmation. "Christina is a tough and well-respected prosecutor who is uniquely familiar with the challenges of our state’s opioid crisis," they said. "We were both impressed by Christina’s passion for the state of Vermont and for the mission of a prosecutor — to seek justice and improve our communities — as well as her thoughtfulness and leadership." In a statement announcing the nomination, the White House on Friday said that Nolan, along with nominees for other U.S. Attorney spots across the country, shares Trump's vision for "making America safe again." Nolan has worked as a federal prosecutor in Vermont since 2010, handling an array of cases including complex drug trafficking offenses, money laundering, firearms offenses, violent crime and crimes against children, the Trump administration said in its statement. Before taking a job as a federal prosecutor, Nolan worked for the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office in Massachusetts and at a private firm, Goodwin Procter LLP, in Boston. Nolan did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The permanent U.S. Attorney's position in Burlington has been vacant since former U.S. Attorney Eric Miller resigned in February. In his resignation letter, Miller took jabs at Trump's policies on immigration and refugees. Another longtime assistant federal prosecutor, Eugenia Cowles, has served as the acting U.S. Attorney since Miller's departure. The office has 45 employees, including 20 attorneys, and is responsible for prosecuting federal crimes and representing the federal government in civil litigation in Vermont.…
|No charges filed in drowning death of toddler in foster careABCNews.com / 3 d. 21 h. 26 min. ago more|
Prosecutors say no charges will be filed in the drowning death of a Vermont toddler who was in foster care
|School: Vermont Teacher Fired for Demonstrating Nazi Salute to Third GradersSeven Days / 3 d. 22 h. 14 min. ago more|
A Georgia Elementary & Middle School substitute teacher was fired Thursday after demonstrating the Nazi salute for a group of third grade students, according to a district official. Franklin West Supervisory Union Superintendent Ned Kirsch wrote to parents Thursday night that the incident involved a "long-term substitute" interacting with students who were walking to the cafeteria. "The children were standing with their arm out in front of them and the teacher was modeling the position," Kirsch wrote. "She then raised her arm slightly and said, 'And now we say, Heil Hitler.'" "I'm at a loss on the whole thing," Kirsch told Seven Days on Friday. "People are shocked. People I've spoken to are at a loss for words." He declined to identify the teacher. The teacher admitted she uttered the words and made the gesture, Kirsch wrote. She was "immediately relieved," Kirsch wrote, and will not return to the school of about 650 students. She was subbing for a teacher on maternity leave who was scheduled to return on Monday, Kirsch said in an interview. The teacher had taught as a substitute at the school regularly for years and had not been the subject of any complaints, Kirsch said. "It's not a pattern; [I] never had a report about her, nothing," Kirsch said. "No one can quite understand what happened." The school's principal and a guidance counselor were scheduled to visit the class this morning, Kirsch wrote to parents. "We are dedicated to ensuring a safe learning environment for our students and families," Kirsch wrote. "This incident was completely unacceptable and I apologize."…
|Welch finds post-VY economic development update 'reassuring'Vermont News / 4 d. 4 h. 24 min. ago more|
BRATTLEBORO REFORMERU.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., listens to Alex Wilson during a meeting with leaders of the regional green energy collaborative at the Brattleboro Savings & Loans on Thursday. BRATTLEBORO - U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., wanted to know what life has been like since the shutdown of the Vernon nuclear plant Vermont Yankee nearly three years ago.
|Walters: Another Hat for Don TurnerSeven Days / 4 d. 15 h. 18 min. ago more|
Vermont House Minority Leader Don Turner (R-Milton) has been hired as permanent town manager in Milton. He has no plans to leave the state legislature, despite rumors to the contrary. "I am not done in Montpelier," he says. Turner, who is also a realtor, a partner in a family construction business, and Milton's fire and rescue chief, has been serving as interim town manager since March. In June, the selectboard named Turner as the sole finalist for the permanent job, but the arrangement wasn't finalized until this week. Selectboard chair Darren Adams told the Milton Independent in June that Turner's "hat question" would be an issue. Turner acknowledges that being town manager and House Minority Leader "will be a lot of work," even for a guy accustomed to wearing multiple hats. But he will carry on — at least for now. "It's in my contract that I can continue to serve [in the Statehouse]," he explains. "My understanding with the selectboard is that we will reevaluate my status after the 2018 session. We’ll see." Turner is removing a different hat: On December 31 he will step down as fire and rescue chief. He will continue to serve as a firefighter, which he has done since he was 17 years old. Also, he says, the family business, Donald H. Turner & Sons Construction, is winding down. It's owned by his 77-year-old father, and won't be taking on any significant new projects. That 2018 re-evaluation of his legislative service raises questions about caucus leadership heading into campaign season. The Minority Leader has a prominent role in fundraising and candidate recruitment. Turner says his team is ready to step into the breach if he should decide not to seek reelection. "We worked on that last year," he says. "We expanded our leadership team. I will continue to do what I can, but I won't do as much as in the past." One major effort is already underway, according to Turner. In the 2016 cycle, a small group of donors joined in a coordinated effort to write big checks to select Republican House candidates. Those donors — gas and oil magnate Skip Vallee, reclusive heiress Lenore Broughton, and Tom and Carol Breuer, who live in Massachusetts but have a second home in Stowe — gave nearly…
|Sanders: Diplomacy, human rights must drive US world affairsABCNews.com / 4 d. 16 h. 36 min. ago more|
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is blasting President Donald Trump's foreign policy but also offering a sweeping indictment of how the United States has engaged in world affairs for generations
|Tribe seeks voice in nuclear plant cleanup, land restorationABCNews.com / 4 d. 17 h. 23 min. ago more|
An Indian tribe is seeking a say in the cleanup of the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant and the future use of the land, which it says was once the site of settlements and fishing and burial grounds of its ancestors
|On a Big Stage, Sanders Counters Trump on Foreign PolicySeven Days / 4 d. 17 h. 48 min. ago more|
Two days after President Donald Trump promoted an every-country-for-itself approach in a speech at the United Nations, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called for international collaboration. Sanders, who studiously avoided discussing foreign policy during his presidential campaign, chose a high profile and historically significant venue to address the topic Thursday. He made his remarks during same event at which Winston Churchill gave his famous Iron Curtain speech — at the John Findley Green Foundation lecture at Westminster College in Missouri. Widely considered a potential presidential candidate in 2020, Sanders has cemented his role as a foil to Trump; last week, he grabbed headlines after unveiling his Medicare-for-all health care proposal. “The goal is not for the United States to dominate the world. Nor, on the other hand, is our goal to withdraw from the international community and shirk our responsibilities under the banner of ‘America first,’” Sanders told an audience of students and faculty. “Our goal should be global engagement based on partnership, rather than dominance.” Declaring that “the United States must seek partnerships not just between governments, but between peoples,” Sanders offered an example: As mayor of Burlington, he started a “sister city” program with the Russian city of Yaroslavl in the midst of the Cold War. Billed as a new vision for a progressive foreign policy, Sanders' speech largely consisted of a compendium of familiar points. He criticized the United States’ history of military intervention, railing, once again, against the Iraq War and calling the War on Terror “a disaster for the American people and for American leadership.” He made the case that “orienting U.S. national security strategy around terrorism essentially allowed a few thousand violent extremists to dictate policy for the most powerful nation on Earth.” Sanders also criticized the United States’ support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. He praised the Iran nuclear deal, which was brokered during president Barack Obama’s tenure, and which Trump is threatening to dismantle. …
|City Reveals Burlington Telecom Bids, But Questions RemainSeven Days / 5 d. 19 h. 31 min. ago more|
Updated at 6:57 p.m. Burlington officials publicly revealed details Wednesday about three bidders for Burlington Telecom, a sale process that previously had been shrouded in secrecy. Schurz Communications, a telecom company based in Indiana, put forward the highest bid, a cash offer of $30.8 million. The Toronto-based Ting, which is owned by Tucows, offered $27.5 million in cash. The locally based co-op, Keep BT Local, put forward a bid of $12 million, including $10.5 million in cash; the city would retain a $1.5 million interest in the utility. The announcement came Wednesday at a press conference where the city released a thick packet of information about the bidders and their offers. The information was also made publicly available on the city website. Not everyone, however, is happy with the process. A promised fourth bidder withdrew its offer at the behest of the Mayor Miro Weinberger — without input from the city council, according to Councilor Max Tracy (P-Ward 2). Burlington Telecom Advisory Board chair David Provost indicated in August that the fourth bidder was a private equity investor "with valuable local relationships and extensive telecom experience." The mayor's office notified the council that the final bidder was no longer interested just hours before a city council meeting Monday, during which the council discussed the bids in executive session, Tracy said. He called it a "dog and pony show public process" that "seems to indicate [the administration] already have a favorite in the process." Kurt Wright (R-Ward 4) said that the council had expressed "significant interest" in the fourth bidder. He called the mayor's communication to that bidder a "serious breach of trust" between the administration and the council. After the press conference Wednesday, Council President Jane Knodell told Seven Days that she agreed that the councilor's trust had been violated. "The council was not involved in certain decisions that I believe we should have been involved in," she said. Weinberger called a second, spur-of-the moment press conference Wednesday afternoon and denied any wrongdoing. He said the time crunch surrounding the decision-making had not allowed for as much notice to the council as he might have liked. Weinberger said he had "concerns" about the fourth bidder, and maintained that he had shared those concerns with the council before notifying the bidder. He refused to…
|EB-Fail: Jay Peak Is Part of a Troubling PatternSeven Days / 5 d. 22 h. 51 min. ago more|
Vermont's EB-5 scandal is generally seen as the biggest fraud scheme in state history and in the 25 years of the federal EB-5 program. Unless there's a stunning courtroom reversal, the fraudulent investment vehicles created under the Jay Peak Resort umbrella will add up to tens of millions in pilfered funds and an estimated $200 million in funds diverted from legal purposes. And you know what? It's worse than you think. Well, the fraud itself may not be that much worse. But the failure of the state officials responsible? Newly assembled details are downright appalling, and much information has yet to be made public. Just ask Anne Galloway, founder and editor of VTDigger.com. Her team has spent years uncovering the scandal. And yet, "We are nowhere near finding out exactly what happened," she says. Many documents have been withheld from public disclosure due to pending court cases, and Galloway's efforts continue to be hamstrung by Vermont's exemption-riddled public records law. There have been recent developments in the EB-5 case. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ordered the shutdown of Vermont's EB-5 Regional Center. And the state Department of Financial Regulation released a report on the history of the Vermont center that lays out, in a matter-of-fact way, a truly distressing narrative that merits further attention. A bit of background. The EB-5 program was created in the early 1990s. Vermont established its own regional center in 1997, which was a rarity in the EB-5 system. Most regional centers were privately operated, while Vermont's was overseen by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. (Regulatory authority transferred to the DFR in 2014, a move akin to locking the barn door after the horse has been stolen.) The report finds that the commerce agency's regulation was sorely lacking in three critical areas: resources, enforcement authority and financial expertise. At first, that wasn't a big deal. "It was a very sleepy program," says DFR Commissioner Michael Pieciak. "We didn't have our first project until 2006. Only when the Great Recession hit and capital was hard to come by did the EB-5 program take off nationally and also in Vermont." As the program grew, the commerce agency's oversight remained in sleepy mode. The bulk of EB-5's expansion was generated by the Jay Peak boys, Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros. Their first application, filed in 2006, sought to raise $17 million. By 2013, Jay Peak had…
|A Student Shortage at Saint Michael's College Leads to Existential QuestionsSeven Days / 5 d. 22 h. 51 min. ago more|
Liz Hogan and Emma Valeri shared a café table in the state-of-the-art student center at Saint Michael's College on a recent rainy Wednesday morning. Typing on their MacBooks, the Pembroke, Mass., natives were just two weeks into their first year at the Catholic liberal arts school in Colchester. Valeri chose the small college after visiting the campus. She noted that St. Michael's pays prospective students to visit by reducing their tuition $1,000 a year if they enroll. Financial aid swayed Hogan. Fordham University was her first pick, but "I got more money to go here," she said. St. Michael's courted both women with more than financial incentives; they even got cards from the college on their birthdays. While Hogan and Valeri ultimately chose St. Michael's, they are members of the smallest group of freshmen in at least 15 years; at 465, the class size is down nearly 10 percent from last year. That drop in enrollment is one sign of St. Michael's struggle to meet the serious challenges facing small liberal arts colleges across the country, as the number of high school graduates declines and students turn away from the humanities. In response, the college has simultaneously stepped up its efforts to recruit students and begun to shrink its faculty and staff. While its leaders insist that the college has a healthy future, St. Michael's expects to end the current year with a deficit — its third in a row. The school has given "separation packages" to 53 faculty and staff to reduce expenses, and a new round of buyouts is under way. The downsizing reflects the philosophy of the college's departing president, John "Jack" Neuhauser, who warned that St. Michael's should prepare for a future in which student bodies will inevitably shrink. "Somewhere along the line, we've got to be 20 percent smaller in what we do," Neuhauser said in 2013. Demographic trends support the president's prediction. The number of high school graduates in the Northeast has been declining since 2009. It will continue to drop from 610,600 this year to 562,500 by the year 2031, according to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Many of those graduates want a degree that leads directly to a job, rather than a liberal arts education that offers no future financial guarantee. Of the 20th century "golden age" of a wide-ranging higher education, Neuhauser said simply this month: "It's over."…
|Saint Michael's Students Embrace Grown-Up Fire and Rescue RolesSeven Days / 5 d. 22 h. 51 min. ago more|
Saint Michael's College junior Jamie Schwab drives flashy red wheels around campus that attract plenty of attention. Especially when he turns on the siren. The 21-year-old business major from Cleveland, Ohio, is a volunteer first lieutenant with St. Michael's Fire and Rescue. When he isn't studying accounting, he sprays water at burning buildings, administers Narcan to overdosing heroin addicts and steers a $500,000 fire truck — a pumper known as Engine 9 — to emergencies throughout Chittenden County. "It's every little kid's dream to drive the fire truck," explained Schwab, who was dressed in a shiny black helmet, red suspenders and a two-piece firefighter suit for a training exercise on September 8. "It's awesome when you're just driving down the road and you pull on the siren, and it's one of those, Wow, I'm actually doing it moments." Even in a rural state with plenty of volunteer fire and rescue departments, St. Michael's looks different. That's because the volunteers who fill the barnlike emergency building across from the main campus on Route 15 in Colchester are so young. The 50 regulars are undergraduates between the ages of 18 and 22. Yet they respond to very adult situations: structure fires, car crashes, suicides, overdoses and heart attacks. Some of the calls hit close to home emotionally. When an apparent heart attack took the life of Rev. Michael Cronogue on campus last year, students who knew the Edmundite priest and campus minister were among the first responders. Most of the squads' emergency runs are in a service area that encompasses Colchester, Winooski, St. George and Hinesburg. The volunteers also respond to other departments' calls for auxiliary aid. For example, a St. Michael's crew helped put out a blaze at a University of Vermont building in August. The rescue squad was involved but did not play a crucial role in the wrong-way car crash in Williston in 2016 that took the lives of five teens. The two St. Michael's squads respond to a total of about 3,150 calls annually — 2,400 for the rescue unit and 750 for the fire unit. "I think that it's a stigma that the students overcome every single day — that an 18-, 19- 20-year-old can show up to potentially save your life, or put out the fire at your house, or render an unsafe situation to no longer be an emergency," said Leslie Lindquist, who serves…
|Food Fight: Burlington-Area Grocers Spar for CustomersSeven Days / 5 d. 22 h. 51 min. ago more|
The parking lot is paved, the exterior is nearly complete and construction workers are hard at work finishing the City Market/Onion River Co-op store expected to open in November on Flynn Avenue in Burlington's South End. "We'll have a lot of elbow room," said John Tashiro, the market's general manager. The 33,000-square-foot building will be substantially larger than the cramped City Market on South Winooski Avenue. That downtown store is known for its crazy-busy parking lot — the butt of many jokes but, ultimately, not an obstacle to the store's remarkable $42 million in annual sales. The new store will open just two miles away, near larger competitors. While downtown would be a grocery desert without City Market, the South End area is teeming with grocery retailers. Price Chopper, Shaw's and Hannaford all have a presence along the Shelburne Road corridor in Burlington and South Burlington, where they duke it out for their own bite of the heavy traffic that whizzes by. Can the marketplace bear the expansion as the grocery wars heat up? The players are confident. City Market has done its homework, and its new store will succeed, predicted Tashiro. "The demand for local is strong; the demand for having a community-owned, member-owned grocery store is strong," he said. At least one of the big-box stores is planning an expansion that could help it remain competitive. Hannaford intends to shutter its store on Hannaford Drive and open a new, 60,000-square-foot location at the boarded-up, decrepit Kmart plaza nearby. The prominent South Burlington parcel on the west side of Shelburne Road has long been considered an eyesore. Signs warn against overnight parking in the pockmarked lot. Last Friday, litter festooned a fence along one side of the vast concrete expanse, which fronts the empty one-story building. "We've certainly gotten feedback that people want that area to be developed, to be more vital," said Mike Norton, a spokesman for the Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford Brothers, which has 17 stores in Vermont. Once complete, the new Hannaford and City Market will turn the area into even more of a shopping cart mecca that'll feature some 250,0000 square feet of foodstuff space. Norton is confident that there's enough consumer appetite. "We feel really good about the investment," he said. "We move carefully." The existing stores may have to "reinvent themselves to try not to let City Market steal their lunch," said Yves…
|Conquering Climate Change One Business at a TimeSeven Days / 5 d. 22 h. 51 min. ago more|
When Paul Costello and his team of organizers started putting together a conference on climate change a few months ago, they decided this one wouldn't be about politics or public policy. Instead, they opted to celebrate entrepreneurs who are trying to combat climate change while also generating jobs. They dubbed the event Catalysts of the Climate Economy: A National Innovation Summit. The event attracted a swarm of burgeoning businesses from Vermont and around the world that have found ways to put waste to work, encourage carbon-friendly consumer habits and solve electric grid challenges. Attendees spent three days earlier this month listening to talks about the economic opportunities climate change presents and grilling entrepreneurs about new products. "It's that next generation of entrepreneurial vision that are really the heroes," said Costello, executive director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development. Here's a look at three Vermont-based emerging enterprises that took the stage during the September 6 to 8 conference at the University of Vermont. Each offers climate solutions — one water heater, scooter or compost heap at a time. Packetized Energy By the end of the year, 100 Green Mountain Power customers will have a small blue box attached to their electric water heaters. With the help of a Wi-Fi connection, the device will prompt the heater to draw electricity at times when energy is most abundant, without requiring any human intervention. Packetized Energy, the brainchild of three University of Vermont electrical engineering professors, created the gadget and the software behind it. Their goal: to even out demand on the electric grid to better accommodate intermittent power provided by wind and solar projects, according to cofounder and UVM associate professor Paul Hines, who collaborated with colleagues Jeff Frolik and Mads Almassalkhi. "If you don't have flexibility in the system, you're not going to be able to use wind and solar," Hines said. "We're making the grid more reliable." Packetized has so far focused on water heaters, but Hines said the company is adapting its technology to other appliances, including air conditioners and electric car chargers. A car charger draws six times the power of a typical home, Hines said. If five families in a neighborhood have cars plugged in at the same time, "you could have some serious problems," he said. Using its internet connection, the device reads information from the utility about its power supply. When demand is high, it…
|Merci! French Soccer Team Ships Misspelled Jerseys to MontpelierSeven Days / 5 d. 22 h. 51 min. ago more|
Montpellier Hérault Sport Club, a professional soccer team in the south of France, will send a batch of jerseys with a misspelled logo to the Green Mountain State's Montpelier. If you haven't already guessed the error, read the previous sentence more closely. The missing L was enough to prompt the club to ditch its threads and donate them to the Montpelier High School boys' and girls soccer teams. "It's maybe a centimeter mistake, but, in the big time, that's a major mistake," said Matt Link, the school's athletic director. Montpelier officials got wind of the donation last week after the pro club announced the decision — in French — on Twitter. Montpellier's mayor, Philippe Saurel, eventually sent a letter of explanation across the pond to Montpelier Mayor John Hollar. "The starting point of our story is that our both cities have almost the same name," Saurel wrote. Montpelier City Manager Bill Fraser said Monday that he was working up a letter of acceptance that he will have translated into French. "It's an exciting and kind gesture on their part," said Fraser. "They could have just dumped them." It's not known how many shirts are en route, because it's unclear if the error made its way onto the players' jerseys or the replicas sold to fans. If it's the latter, there could be many. Link said he'd like to have his players wear them in a game or two this season. Any extras could be raffled off to benefit the school or a local organization. "It's going to be like Christmas morning opening up that box and saying, 'What do we have here?'" a grateful Link said. "It's a fortuitous mistake for us, I suppose." The original print version of this article was headlined "Merci Beacoup!" …
|Letters to the Editor (9/20/17)Seven Days / 5 d. 22 h. 51 min. ago more|
'Racism in These Hills' [Re "Reward Offered After NEK Farm Tagged With Racist, Nazi Graffiti," September 11; Last 7: "Hate Hits Here," September 13]: I was appalled by the racist graffiti created in Glover last week but not surprised. A friend of mine who is a person of color receives a Black Lives Matters sign riddled with bullet holes delivered to his porch several times a year. A neighbor can't have a conversation without regressing to talk of niggers and how they are ruining the world. There is racism in these beautiful hills. There is so little ethnic and cultural diversity in northern Vermont that I sometimes wonder if these sentiments come more from complete ignorance than actual hate. Like many Vermonters, I live a privileged life free of prejudice. But imagine living here as a minority. Being a minority in northern Vermont gives a whole new meaning to the term "minority"; there just aren't very many. The vast majority of us who believe we are not racist but who don't have to actively engage in these issues could do a lot more to make our place more welcoming to minorities. Befriend a migrant farmworker — they are engaged in the same struggle to make a better life for their family that your ancestors likely went through in the not-very-distant past. Engage with people of color and recent immigrants and find a way to help them feel welcome. Sometimes a smile and a friendly greeting go a long way. Showing love and compassion to the brave folks who are willing to come and live in one of the whitest parts of our country is the best way to combat the ignorant thugs. Pete Johnson Craftsbury Johnson owns Pete's Greens. Hate on Both Sides You are accurate to point out the local white nationalist who participated at Charlottesville, Va. [Off Message: "Hood's Off: Burlington White Nationalist Attended Charlottesville Rally," August 15; Last 7: "Hood's Off: A Vermonter in Virginia," August 16]. However, was it deliberate that you left out the fact that it was a nonwhite South Burlington High School teenager who made the bomb-threat phone calls during the Rebels mascot controversy in South Burlington, as other media outlets reported? No question that any and all forms of racism and hatred are totally unacceptable! But "Hate Hits Here" [Last 7, September 13] gives the impression that Seven Days is trying to…