VPR senior reporter Steve Zind focuses on the Vermont economy and its impact on our lives. Follow Steve Zind on Twitter, post comments on the stories, and let Steve know what local economy stories you think VPR should cover.
FairPoint Communications says it will unilaterally implement the terms of its union contract offer. The company has declared an impasse in talks with the unions representing as many as two thousand workers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Under federal labor law an impasse declaration enables FairPoint to make changes to wages, benefits and employment conditions without union consent.
A company can declare an impasse if there is no prospect for a negotiated settlement.
In downtown Brandon, the Neshobe River flows over a waterfall and under several historic buildings, including the town office. During Tropical Storm Irene the river raged up and through those buildings.
Three years later, several flooded businesses have come back stronger than ever. Yet the town office and nearby park remain closed, frustrating many in the community.
Inside the Brandon House of Pizza, the exhaust fans hum as owner Sheila Gearwar slides a just-assembled pie into the oven.
A new report has been released that compares how much Vermonters with employer sponsored health care spend on their medical care compared to the national average. The study contains some encouraging news for state health care officials and it highlights some challenges for the future.
It was conducted by the Health Care Cost Institute at the request of Vermont’s Green Mountain Care Board.
It marks the first time the experience of private health care consumers in an individual state has been compared to national data.
There’s a new meat processing plant in St. Johnsbury, and that’s making it easier for livestock farmers in the Northeast Kingdom to get their goods to market. Northeast Kingdom Processing is owned by a beef rancher from Derby, and managed by an experienced meat cutter named Edmund Lessard.
For Brandon residents Tuesday’s budget vote may feel like déjà vu all over again. While the town’s school budget passed after only two votes, tomorrow will be the fifth time townspeople weigh in on Brandon's municipal budget.
Sheila Gearwar owns a local restaurant and says being the only town in Vermont without a budget is not a title she likes. “I am frustrated. I believe we’re making the cuts in the wrong places.”
A keystone in the redevelopment plan for the city of Newport has toppled. Jay Peak Resort owner Bill Stenger was counting on buying a shopping center from real estate developer Tony Pomerleau, and converting it into a convention center and marina.
But after some starts and stops, the deal has finally fallen through.
Bill Stenger and Tony Pomerleau have had an on-again, off-again agreement to transfer ownership of this waterfront plaza. Strategically located on a causeway overlooking Lake Memphremagog, Stenger says it would make a great convention center and marina.
Sociologists have been worried for a while about a phenomenon called "rural brain drain." The best and the brightest young students are leaving rural areas in search of jobs and opportunities elsewhere.
Vermont's unemployment rate rose by .3 percent to 3.7 percent in July. It's the second straight monthly increase, following a .1 percent jump in June.
In a news release, Vermont Department of Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan said the increase, “mirrors the same trend we saw last summer in Vermont and we hope this will resolve as we move forward into early fall.”
Last year, the unemployment rate rose .2 percent from May to July, remaining at a high of 4.5 percent before dropping in October.