VPR News
5:46 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Health Care Chief: Problems At Exchange Hurting Support For Single Payer

The governor’s chief of health care reform, Lawrence Miller, says the ongoing technical problems at the state’s health care exchange have undermined political support for a single payer system. But Miller says the administration has more than enough time to rectify this situation.

Gov. Peter Shumlin wants to implement a single payer system in Vermont in 2017. For this to happen, lawmakers would have to support a financing plan for the new system and the state would need to get a waiver from the federal government.

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VPR News
5:36 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Cost Overruns A Lingering Issue For Vermont Gas Pipeline

Vermont Gas is preparing to build its pipeline by staging equipment in this Williston pipe yard.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

When Vermont Gas announced on July 3 that its pipeline from Colchester to Middlebury was going to cost 40 percent more than expected, opponents weren’t happy.

The harshest critics called it a “bait and switch” and asked regulators to revoke the company’s Certificate of Public Good approving the project.

Vermont Gas spokesman Steve Wark now says company officials knew as early as March that the project costs were on the rise, and he says the company probably should have told regulators sooner.

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The Frequency
2:50 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

More Cost Increases In Vermont Gas Pipeline Plan

Vermont Gas Systems is again alerting regulators about cost increases related to the natural gas pipeline the company hopes will bring service to Rutland.

On Friday, less than a month after telling the Vermont Public Service Board about a $35 million cost increase in Phase 1 of the project, the company is telling the board that Phase 2 will also be above the cost the company originally planned on - to the tune of $10 million.

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Vermont Edition
12:00 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Health Exchange Woes Continue Unabated

Lawrence Miller, right, director of state health reform, faced tough questions from legislators.
Steve Zind VPR

Fifteen-thousand Vermonters who are enrolled in the state's Health Care Exchange, Vermont Health Connect, can't change any of their information at the website.

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The Frequency
11:37 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Vermont PBS Fined But Keeps Funding After Open Meeting Violations

Vermont PBS will not lose federal funding after a number of violations of open meeting rules last year, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting ruled this week.

Instead, the station faces a $15,000 fine, which the station “feels strongly” should not have been levied.

The ruling comes after months of investigation that stemmed from an anonymous complaint filed with the CPB in December. The complain alleged that the station’s board had held closed meetings without public notice.

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Regional Report
6:10 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Regional Report: Turmoil Continues In Thetford Over Interim Police Chief Hiring

Turmoil involving some town officials and the town’s police force has continued to roil this month.

Sgt. Bridget Tweedie filed a written complaint with Selectboard member Donn Downey earlier this month, accusing him of “blatant disregard” for Vermont’s public records law when he discussed emails between himself and the interim police chief during a public Selectboard meeting.

Tweedie also took issue with Downey providing the emails to the Valley News prior to the meeting.

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VPR News
5:00 am
Fri August 1, 2014

VTC Hopes Dairy Processing Will Improve College Farm Cash Flow

The milking parlor at VTC's dairy farm, which will begin processing milk next year.
VPR/Steve Zind

A new dairy processing plant at Vermont Technical College is slated go online in the near future.  The plant will provide  educational opportunities for students, but administrators also hope it will help the college balance its budget.

VTC’s ongoing deficit problems, which have required millions of dollars in loans from the state college system to the Randolph Center school have been largely attributed to a drop in student enrollment.  

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VPR News
6:00 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Despite Pleas To Bypass Troubled Exchange, Shumlin Stays The Course

In this 2013 file photo, workers at the Vermont Health Connect call center talk to customers in Burlington.
AP File/Toby Talbot

Ongoing problems with the state’s health care exchange have prompted renewed calls for major changes in the way that individuals and small businesses purchase health insurance in Vermont. But Gov. Peter Shumlin is resisting these changes.

Vermont Health Connect has had technical problems right from the start. For instance, the online payment system for small businesses has never worked and there’s no solution on the horizon. So the Shumlin Administration is allowing these businesses to buy their policies directly from the insurance companies through next year.

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Weekly Conversation On The Arts
4:58 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Carving Studio Brings Rare Italian Craft To West Rutland

West Rutland's Carving Studio and Sculpute Center is offering an opportunity to learn sculpting techniques unique to northern Italy.
Carving Studio and Sculpture Center

How do you take a clay model and carve it in marble two, three or even 10 times larger? Normally, you’d have to go to Italy to develop this rare skill. But The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland is bringing Italy to Vermont.

They’re offering a special six-day course in advanced Italian compass enlargement techniques.

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Vermont Edition
4:44 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Festival Celebrates Vermont's Cheese Diversity

Vermont producers are creating a wide variety of cheeses.
Catherine Hays VPR

Vermont has the most cheese producers per capita in the nation and many of them were on hand to show off the complexity of their craft at the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival this month in Shelburne. 

Cheese enthusiasts lined up at vendors’ tables to taste all the products they had to offer. And while you may think this would lead to fearsome competition, Vermont cheesemakers have banded together to expand their market as VPR's Catherine Hays learned.

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