Regional Report
6:28 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Regional Report: Southeastern Vermont Plans For VY Closure

People in southeastern Vermont are bracing for an economic fallout once the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant closes later this year.

But Entergy, the corporation that owns Yankee, will  provide a $10 million payment to the state of Vermont to help deal with the loss of hundreds of jobs when the plant shuts down.

The question is how will the state spend the money? Howard Weiss-Tisman has been following the story for the Brattleboro Reformer and he spoke with VPR's Mitch Wertlieb for our Friday Regional Report

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The Vermont Economy
6:13 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Fairpoint Workers To Vote On Strike Authorization

Two-thousand unionized FairPoint employees across New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine will vote this weekend on whether they are willing to strike. The vote comes after two months of unsuccessful contract negotiations.

The electrical and communication workers’ contracts end August 2. Don Trementozzi, president of CWA local 1400, says FairPoint is demanding a lot of concessions, including the ability to outsource jobs that are currently union-only.

"The company wants to be able to contract any and all work and all job titles whenever they want," Trementozzi said.

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VPR News
6:19 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Donovan Finds No DCF Wrongdoing In Toddler Death

The Department for Children and Families is charged with protecting the state’s most vulnerable population – abused and neglected children.

 

Yet the department has seen intense scrutiny in recent months because two toddlers that had been in state custody died after alleged physical abuse.

Chittenden County State's Attorney T.J. Donovan asked the Vermont state police to investigate the latest case: the death of 15-month old Peighton Geraw of Winooski who died hours after being seen by a DCF caseworker.

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Vermont Edition
6:14 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Update: Mafia Involvement In Quebec

Police gather outside the house of reputed mafia boss Nicolo Rizzuto Sr., who was reportedly gunned down in his home in Montreal in November 2010.
Graham Hughes AP/The Canadian Press

When you think of the Mafia and organized crime, your mind might drift to New York, Chicago or even Sicily. Montreal, not so much.
 

But the Mafia and organized crime presence in Quebec’s largest city has been leaving a mark since as far back as the 1950s. And the role of organized crime in the awarding of provincial transportation and construction contracts prompted a recent and ongoing government inquiry.

Paul Cherry is the crime reporter for the Montreal Gazette. He provided Vermont Edition with background on the Mafia presence in Quebec.
 

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VPR News
6:02 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

State Seeking Tech Firm For Medicaid Overhaul

State data centers director Joe Ng walks through a South Burlington data center on Thursday. The Agency of Human Services is looking to upgrade its entire computer system to deliver better services.
VPR/Angela Evancie

Vermont is on the hunt for a technology firm to help with a massive overhaul of the state’s human services system. And state officials are hoping to deliver better living through computer science.

The new request for proposal is for a “Medicaid Management Information System.” It’s part of a broader project called the Health and Human Services Enterprise, which is among the biggest, and most costly system overhauls in the history of the state.

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VPR News
5:57 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Leahy Backs Constitutional Amendment To Control Money In Politics

"The Supreme Court has opened the floodgates to billionaires who are now pouring vast amounts of unfettered and undisclosed dollars into political campaigns across the country," says Sen. Patrick Leahy, pictured here in June.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has taken the first step to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow Congress to regulate the flow of money in political campaigns. Sen. Patrick Leahy is the chairman of the committee and he strongly supports the proposed amendment.  

It’s not easy to amend the U.S. Constitution in this way. First, a proposed amendment must be approved by a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate. Then it must be ratified by three-quarters, or 38 of the 50 states.

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Vermont Edition
3:31 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Baseball At The Break

The Red Sox are at the wrong end of the division as the All-Star Break looms.
Charles Krupa AP

Baseball heads into the All-Star Break with the Red Sox fading, the Yankees staying afloat and World Series dreams very much alive in Los Angeles, Oakland and Milwaukee. Milwaukee?

State Representative Kurt Wright and VPR's Mitch Wertlieb assess the season so far, size up the second half and surmise what trades might be made. We also check in with the Vermont Mountaineers of the NECBL and the New York-Penn League's Vermont Lake Monsters.

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The Frequency
3:14 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Company Rumored To Be Buying IBM Hires Former Big Blue Plant Executive

The company rumored to be on the verge of buying IBM’s chip manufacturing business announced Thursday that it has hired a former senior plant executive at an IBM facility in East Fishkill, New York.

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The Frequency
12:43 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Vermont Hospital Budgets Come In Below Targets

Vermont’s 14 hospitals have submitted budgets for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 that increase by just 2.6 percent over the current year’s budgets, the smallest annual increase for the Vermont health care delivery system in four decades.

Proposed spending for fiscal year 2015 came in at $2.229 billion, compared to the $2.172 billion approved by the Green Mountain Care Board for the current fiscal year. The 2.6 percent increase amounts to just under $57 million in new money.

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VPR News
12:14 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Vermont Gets Mediocre Grades For Rural Road Conditions

Mud goops up a Putney road in April. According to a newn report, 21 percent of Vermont's major rural roads were in poor condition in 2012, the 15th highest rate in the nation.
Miriam Honsacker

If you live and drive in rural Vermont, you probably already know that some roads are in disrepair, and may even be unsafe.  Take heed — but take comfort, too, because a new report shows that Vermont’s rural byways are not the worst in the northeast. 

The report was released by a national transportation research group called TRIP:

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