Vermont’s state employees are going to be hit with a nearly 18 percent increase in their health care premiums. The increase is taking place because more state employees than projected were treated last year for cancer and heart disease. The increase came as a shock because the VSEA plan had no increases in the past two years.

Human Resources Commissioner Maribeth Spellman says the increase is directly related to much higher than expected use of expensive health care services.

The sale of IBM’s chip-making business looks to be good news for the approximately 4,000 Vermont workers employed at the company’s plant in Essex Junction. But the change in ownership will reignite a longstanding debate over whether Vermont is doing enough to retain and grow jobs in the state.

IBM has always been a flashpoint in Vermont politics. It’s a massive employer here, by the standards of this tiny state. And policy makers frequently stop to ask: is Vermont doing enough to keep employers like Big Blue happy?

"It's been a long summer," says Frank Cioffi of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, referring the long-awaited announcement that IBM is offloading its microchip manufacturing division, which includes the IBM plant in Essex Junction, to GlobalFoundries. We look at why IBM is paying Global Foundries $1.5 billion over three years to take over that business, what it means for employees,  and the impact on the state's economy.

The deal between IBM and GlobalFoundries for IBM’s chip manufacturing and sales divisions doesn’t fit the traditional definition of the word “sale.” In a sale, the money goes to one party and some asset or commodity goes to the other.

How To Pick A Pumpkin

11 hours ago

On Halloween night, front porches across Vermont will be illuminated by the glow of hand-carved Jack-o’-Lanterns. Some will sport a classic spooky grin, while others might be a bit more intricate.

Carving a Jack-o’-Lantern that will catch the eye of your neighborhood trick-or-treaters - perhaps just enough to prevent them from smashing your handiwork – is yet another Halloween tradition.

Erin Lucey spoke to Joe Weaver, who owns Red Barn Gardens on Route 2 in Williston with his wife Carolyn. He gave us some tips on what makes a pumpkin ideal for carving.

With the announcement Monday morning that IBM is offloading its chip division, including its plant in Essex Junction, to the California-based semiconductor manufacturer GlobalFoundries, we sifted through the archives to find photographs of the plant's early days, IBM products at use in Vermont and beyond, and the shifting fortunes of the company and its local employees through the years.

Here's what the approach to the Essex plant looked like in 1958:

Publicly held companies have a financial responsibility to their shareholders: they have to make money. But benefit corporations can be responsible to the environment, their employees, and their communities. Businesses that have become benefit corporations say they are taking it into their own hands to make the world a better place.

We’ll talk to Tom Payne of King Arthur Flour and Ashley Orgain of Seventh Generation, two Vermont companies who have gone through the certification process to become benefit companies.

IBM’s chip division, including the plant in Essex Junction will be sold to GlobalFoundries, in a deal announced Monday morning.

A deal between the two companies has been rumored for months, but Monday's announcement was the first official confirmation from either company that a deal had been in the works. GlobalFoundries is a semiconductor manufacturer based in Santa Clara, California.

“St. Albans Invaded! Several Citizens Shot! Great Excitement Prevails!” Those were the headlines 150 years on Oct. 19, 1864.

What came to be known as the St. Albans Raid brought the Civil War, the great majority of which was fought in the south, to the northern hills of Vermont as confederate soldiers attacked and held St. Albans hostage. The details of the siege are told in a new book by author Michelle Arnoksy Sherburne, The St. Albans Raid: Confederate Attack on Vermont.

More and more ambulance services are needing cash transfusions to stay in business.

Volunteers are scarce, operational costs are rising, and revenues are not keeping pace. So some of the most rural services are starting to consolidate.

That includes Calex—originally named for Caledonia and Essex Counties—which now serves St. Johnsbury, Danville, and Littleton, New Hampshire.

VPR rode along on a call that may have saved a life.

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