President Barack Obama says he will be laying out a plan Thursday to improve the immigration system. He says he plans to extend temporary legal status to more than five million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Advocates wonder how the move will help the Vermont's undocumented farmworkers.

The state is home to about 1,500 migrant dairy farmworkers, some undocumented. It's anticipated that they won't be covered under President Obama's plan.

There isn’t a single documented case of Ebola in the United States right now, let alone in Vermont. But health officials here remain on high alert nonetheless. And the state is now monitoring two people who returned earlier this month after traveling in West African countries where the disease is more widespread.

The individuals are checking their own temperature twice a day, then reporting results via phone during daily check-in with a public health nurse. They are not health care workers, according to officials, and their period of monitoring ends Friday.

Susanne Schmidt started telling stories over a year ago, during a comedy fundraiser for the lunch ladies of Vermont. “The day before the event, I was having a really hard time deciding what to do for my set, when I realized I had a story about my lunch lady when I was growing up," Schmidt says. “So I threw out my comedy set, got up in front of 200 people and told my story.” 

From that point forward, Schmidt hasn’t stopped connecting with people through her storytelling.


Burlington College's Board of Trustees has approved a deal to sell 25 acres of its lakefront land to Burlington developer Eric Farrell in order to reduce the college's debt burden, school officials announced Thursday.

Under the deal, Farrell is set to pay about $4 million to the Catholic Diocese - money the college currently owes the diocese, which sold the land to the college in 2010. Farrell will also pay $3.5 million to the college so it can pay down other debt; namely People's United Bank, which holds about $6.1 million of the college's debt.

Walk into a gallery space in Bennington right now and you'll be surrounded by a thirty-five foot long curved painting of a valley in Afghanistan outside Bagram air base. The gallery is filled with sounds from the bazaar's and villages in the valley. Interviews with local Afghans hang on the walls. It's an immersive, complicated portrait of a complicated place created by an anthropologist and an artist working together as a team.

While most Vermonters can look forward to two more years free of yard signs and political ads, Burlingtonians are headed right back into election season as Mayor Miro Weinberger's first term comes to a close.

Less than two weeks after polls closed and most (but not all) of Vermont's political races were decided, Burlington's former public works chief told Seven Days he plans to take on Weinberger.

Starting this week, over 100,000 Vermonters began getting Home Energy Reports in the mail. They came from the state's energy efficiency utility, Efficiency Vermont.
 


The organization that runs Efficiency Vermont is beginning a new kind of energy-saving venture.

If all goes according to plan, a spin-off of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation will spend more than $50 million over the next five years to conserve energy in buildings used for low-income housing and other public purposes.

But this project will have to take on some risk before it generates any rewards.

Upgrades at Union Square

More than 100 lawmakers came to the Statehouse on Wednesday to get a detailed briefing about the state's budget situation. Because a number of tax sources are not meeting projections, including the personal income tax, the state is now facing a $100 million gap in the next fiscal year.


Vermonters in the millennial generation are often seen as a success story in a state that has struggled to attract and retain young people. But cultural and economic trends mean millennials in the state are still falling short on the housing market.

It'd be hard to name any one reason why young people aren't buying homes in Vermont. Some are leaving the state, some are still too young to be expected to buy a home; others still live with their parents.

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