Mt. Mansfield Union High School Teacher Wins $1,000NASDAQ National Teaching AwardLaurel Ann Butler of Colchester, a teacher at Mt. Mansfield Union HighSchool in Jericho, was one of five regional semi-finalists in the annualNASDAQ Teaching Awards competition. The $1,000 award was announced by theNational Council on Economic Education and the NASDAQ Stock MarketEducational Foundation.Butler was one of 25 teachers nationwide and five in the northeast toreceive a total of $70,000 in prizes from the competition. The awards arebased on “best practices” lesson plans that can be easily replicated inother classrooms across the country. Her lesson, Creative Dreams withEnterprising Themes, was judged based on the following criteria:· Innovation and originality;· The degree to which the activities of the lesson engaged the students;· Correctness of economic content;· The use of a variety of appropriate instructional techniques;· The ease with which the lesson or activities can be adapted for use byother teachers;· The degree to which the lessons are correlated with national and statestandards in economics as well as other subjects as applicable; and· The effectiveness of the evaluation process.Laurel Butler has taught at MMU for the past three years and before thatworked in the private business sector. Her business experience hasprovided her with a wealth of experience that she uses in her classes atMMU. In Creative Dreams, her students combined economic and businessprinciples, social awareness, and civic responsibility in a unique andinnovative way. Her NASDAQ Teaching Award is a testament to the qualityof her teaching and innovation.
Brookfield Floating Bridge Restricted to Pedestrian UseMONTPELIER – The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) announced May 15, 2008, that the Brookfield Floating Bridge along Route 65 over Sunset Lake will be closed to all but pedestrian traffic for the foreseeable future.VTrans closes the bridge to vehicular traffic each winter. When the Agency went to reopen the wooden bridge this spring, it showed a loss of buoyancy and settling into the water. The Agency determined it to be unsafe for vehicular traffic, but can remain open to pedestrian use.The 330-foot bridge, which uses 380 flotation devices to remain on top of the water, was last reconstructed in 1978 using a combination of new wood as well as material from the preexisting structure, which dated back to 1936.”The wood, some of which is now more than 70 years old, along with the flotation devices have become waterlogged to the point where the bridge is beginning to sink,” said VTrans Secretary Neale Lunderville.”Unfortunately a simple fix is not possible, and we will have to close to bridge to vehicles indefinitely.”Motorists using Route 65 will be detoured 2.7 miles along local streets, the same detour that is used during the winter when the bridge is traditionally closed.
People’s United Bank,People’s United Financial, Inc. (Nasdaq: PBCT) announced today that it completed its acquisition of Financial Federal Corporation, a $1.3 billion financial services company providing collateralized lending, financing and leasing services nationwide to small and medium sized businesses nationwide. The combined company has over $22 billion in assets. People’s United owns Chittenden Bank. The deal is valued at $738 million in cash and securities.”We are very pleased that Financial Federal Corporation is now part of People’s United and look forward to working together to continue growing our equipment financing business,” said Philip R. Sherringham, President and Chief Executive Officer of People’s United Financial. “This transaction marries the low-cost funding of our deposit base and our substantial excess liquidity with the high-yielding Financial Federal portfolio. The combination complements our People’s Capital and Leasing Corp. equipment financing business, which we have operated since 1997. It is expected to be significantly accretive to earnings and is not dilutive to capital, providing us with continued outstanding flexibility as we continue to evaluate and pursue strategic growth opportunities, including attractive acquisitions of banks.””We are delighted to join the People’s United team,” said Paul R. Sinsheimer, President of Financial Federal Credit Inc., now a subsidiary of People’s United Bank. “The transaction is a great fit on many levels, with shared conservative credit cultures and very little overlap in the sectors that we serve.”Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, former Financial Federal shareholders will receive, in exchange for each share of Financial Federal common stock, $11.27 in cash and one share of People’s United common stock.People’s United Financial, Inc. is a diversified financial services company providing consumer and commercial banking services through a network of approximately 300 branches in Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine,Massachusetts and New York. Through its subsidiaries, People’s United Financial provides equipment financing, asset management, brokerage and financial advisory services, and insurance services.This press release contains statements that may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and this statement is included for purposes of complying with these safe harbor provisions. These forward-looking statements are based on current plans and expectations, which are subject to a number of risk factors and uncertainties that could cause future results to differ materially from historical performance or future expectations. These differences may be the result of various factors, including, among others: (1) costs or difficulties related to the integration of the businesses following the merger; (2) changes in general, national or regional economic conditions; (3) the risk that the anticipated benefits, cost savings and any other savings from the transaction may not be fully realized or may take longer than expected to realize (4) changes in loan default and charge-off rates; (5) reductions in deposit levels necessitating increased borrowings to fund loans and investments; (6) changes in interest rates or credit availability; (7) changes in levels of income and expense in noninterest income and expense related activities; and (8) competition and its effect on pricing, spending, third-party relationships and revenues. A further list and description of risks, uncertainties, and other matters can be found in People’s United Financial’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008 and in its reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K. People’s United Financial does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.SOURCE People’s United Financial, Inc. BRIDGEPORT, Conn., Feb. 19, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/
Northstar Vermont Yankee,At just after 3 pm today, the Vermont Senate voted against relicensing the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon by a vote of 26-4. The overwhelming vote against the plant included some Republicans who, while concerned about the economic and employment implications connected with the plant, as well as the process of moving the bill quickly through the Legislature, were also concerned by questions of safety of the plant and trust in its management.Republican Senator Randy Brock of Franklin County was one of those who wanted more time to consider all the sides of the bill. But said with what he knows now, he was compelled to vote against the relicensing. Brock said that Entergy could not have done a worse job in trying to make its case.Democratic Senator Peter Shumlin, the Senate president pro tem, was the leader of the opposition. His case against the relicensing was several fold, including: The new power purchase proposal from Vermont Yankee owner Entergy would increase the price of power from the current 4 cents per kilowatt hour to 6.1 cents, while at the same time reducing the Vermont share of power produced by the plant in half; that the plant would not be owned by Entergy, but by a new entity called Enexus that would also own five other older nuclear plants and that it would be burdened by $4.7 billion in debt; that the two largest utilities in Vermont, Green Mountain Power and Central Vermont Public Service, believe the contract terms are unacceptable; that of the estimated $1 billion cleanup costs of the plant, Entergy has only $400 million, calling into question who would have to pay the rest of the decommissioning regardless of when that might happen; that Entergy has not been trustworthy; and that the safety of the plant is in question, given, among other things, an ongoing tritium leak at the plant whose source has yet to be determined, even though it was first reported in early January.The most eloquent supporter of the relicensing was Rutland Senator Peg Flory. Flory said the plant has been incredibly reliable, the cost of power has been reasonable and it is an important employer. She even put forward a motion that would have Vermont look into building a second nuclear power plant, following along President Obama’s initiative to increase nuclear as a power source in the United States.Since the first tritium finding, it was revealed that Yankee officials in 2008 and 2009 made inaccurate statements, some under oath, saying that there were no underground piping systems carrying radioactive material. Governor Douglas pulled his support for the plant until the leak is found and fixed and the company earned back the state’s trust. Douglas had been one of Yankee’s strongest supporters. In response, Vermont Yankee has changed its leadership structure in Vermont and offered a three-year deal for 25 megawatts at the current price. However, Shumlin said that offer was too little, too late.In response to the vote, Vermont Yankee issued a statement saying, “The effort to win a 20-year renewal of Vermont Yankee’s operating license is far from over. We remain determined to prove our case to the legislature, state officials and the Vermont public. The plant is a vital, safe and reliable source of clean power for Vermont and the rest of New England, and we will continue communicating to the public the substantial economic and environmental benefits of keeping the plant operating beyond 2012.”In the interim, we will remain focused on resolving the tritium issue, on operating the plant safely, reliably and securely, and on winning back the confidence and trust of the citizens of Vermont.”The plant employees about 600 people, about half of whom live in Vermont. The license expires in 2012. Entergy Vermont Yankee is seeking a 20-year extension. The Senate vote comes on the heels of the latest bad news for the plant. On February 22, the NRC revealed that a similar, though smaller, leak was found in 2005 in underground piping systems. The 2005 event came to light from a source from within the plant who told a member of the state Legislature. Vermont Yankee has disputed at least some of the facts of that incident.The source of a tritium leak discovered at the plant in January has not been identified, but Yankee officials believe it is from an underground piping system. However, the excavation of the site has been slow because of the sensitivity of the site and the nature of the geology. Yankee officials have emphasized that the radioactive isotope has not entered any drinking water wells or the adjacent Connecticut River.Vermont Yankee has also said that a “parent guarantee” of $40 million from Entergy to the Vermont Yankee decommissioning fund has been approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A drinking water well in the general area of the test wells that have showed elevated levels of the radioactive isotope will be taken out of service as a precaution, even though it is well beneath the test wells and has not shown in testing to contain tritium.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010. “When we returned to Montpelier in January for the second half of this biennium, there was little doubt that this would be the most challenging year in recent memory.As our state and nation slowly emerge from the deepest and longest recession since the Second World War, our most critical task is to restart the engine of our economy and set Vermont on a sustainable fiscal path.The urgency of our efforts is heightened by the knowledge that many of our friends and neighbors are working longer hours for lower wages and that others are out of work altogether. The economic upheaval Vermonters have experienced has contributed to serious troubles in our state s fiscal situation. But despite these challenges, we can feel good about the work done here, under the Golden Dome, in 2010. While other states are cutting programs and raising taxes in response to the fiscal crisis, Vermont, I am proud to say, is moving in a different direction. We are looking toward the future and striving for economic success. We are reforming government through Challenges for Change; we undertook overdue changes in our unemployment insurance and pension systems; we protected vital human services programs for the most vulnerable and indeed strengthened many programs through innovation; and we ve done so while making investments in society s most critical safety net a strong economy.Reinstating the 40 percent capital gains exemption for employers sends a powerful signal to job creators that Vermont is open for business: that we are listening and we are committed to competing in the global economy.That change, coupled with the estate tax rollback, increasing the cap in the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive and the $8.7 million jobs bill enacted earlier this session with money for job training, telecommunications, small business lending, farmers and tourism is an important start on the road to full fiscal health.Putting our UI trust fund back on stable ground was necessary to return certainty to our economy and our state budget. We knew a solution would be difficult requiring compromise and sacrifice from all sides. I am proud that we worked together to achieve a solution that charts a course for solvency. Shoring up the UI trust fund this year was the right thing to do.Despite our fiscal challenges, we again renewed our commitment to the Road to Affordability, building a safe and healthy infrastructure through another strong Transportation Bill. I was proud to celebrate, just this week, a record paving budget that will improve our roads and create jobs throughout our state. After decades of hard work by many, truck weight limits on our Interstate system were finally lifted helping to get heavy trucks off town roads and out of our village centers and giving a needed boost to our economy.In addition to a robust investment in our roads, bridges and culverts, we passed a commonsense ban on texting while driving making our roadways safer for all Vermonters and those who visit the Green Mountains.A commitment to a cleaner environment is part of who we are as Vermonters. That strong environmental ethic goes hand in hand with our desire to ensure a healthy and competitive economy. Through the Capital Bill we are investing in geothermal heating at state facilities to reduce the cost to taxpayers and reduce emissions.Earlier this year Vermont secured a significant portion of our energy future through a long-term power contract with our friends to the north. That agreement benefits from the energy bill that was passed by this General Assembly, which recognizes power from Hydro-Quebec as renewable. Vermont is now positioned to reap greater benefits from our strong relationship with Quebec.Restructuring our judiciary is critical to ensuring that Vermonters have timely access to justice. I commend Chief Justice Reiber for conveying the urgency of this challenge and offering a way to achieve savings through unification of the court system. The judicial restructuring effort will ensure that our courts remain open, our system is strong and its cost is sustainable.As we struggle to do what is right for those we serve, I remain humbled by and grateful for those brave Vermonters serving our nation overseas, defending the very ideals of self-government. That is why I am proud that you have passed and I signed the Military Parents Rights Act. Ensuring that the men and women serving our country have greater certainty in their family circumstances is a small, but important commitment to them. We continue to pray and hope for the safe return of those brave Vermonters deployed overseas.As we end this session, I want to recognize and thank those throughout state government who work every day to better our great state. And I want to thank each of you for your dedication to the people you serve and the state we love so very much. At times we ve had our differences, but Vermonters can be proud that we conducted the people s business with a strong sense of duty, a commitment to do what is right and the civility that should always be expected from elected leaders.I first took my seat in this General Assembly in 1973 and have devoted my adult life to advancing the cause of the people of Vermont. There is always more to be done and the challenges facing our state remain daunting. I am proud of what we have accomplished, together, for those we have the honor to serve.Thank you all.”Source: Governor Jim Douglas’ office. Montpelier, Vermont. 5.13.2010###
A US Postal Service proposal to close more than 3,600 post offices and branches, including 14 in Vermont, drew opposition today from the Vermont congressional delegation. ‘Post offices in a rural state like Vermont are not just post offices ‘ they are often the heart and soul of the town ‘ and they must not be closed down,’ Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said in a letter to Postal Service commissioners. ‘Many of these post offices have been in continuous operation for over 100 years and are an essential part of the fabric of Vermont’s rural landscape,’ the delegation letter added. The post offices targeted are: Beecher Falls; Cambridgeport (town of Rockingham); East Ryegate; Florence; Gilman; Granville; Highgate Springs; White River Junction, Lyman location; McIndoe Falls (town of Barnet); North Thetford; Rupert; Stockbridge; Websterville (Barre Town) and West Newbury.They also questioned the legality of this regulation citing a provision in federal law that says the Postal Service ‘shall provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining.’ The law also says, ‘No small post office shall be closed solely for operating at a deficit, it being the specific intent of the Congress that effective postal services be insured to residents of both urban and rural communities.’ Businesses and individuals from throughout Vermont have contacted members of the congressional delegation about the threatened closures. ‘We have heard from residents across our state concerned about the loss of their post office and the harm it will have on their community,’ the letter said. ‘Additionally, many small business owners have contacted us to express their serious concerns about the negative economic impact this regulation would have on their businesses if their local post office is closed.’ The letter acknowledged that the Postal Service faces serious budget challenges, but suggested other measures that would save more money than shuttering rural post offices. WASHINGTON, July 29, 2011 ‘
NRG Systems Inc,NRG Systems,in Hinesburg V, manufacturer of measurement systems for the renewable energy industry, has signed a collaborative agreement with TechnoCentre Ã©olien that allows NRG Systems to install and validate its patented condition-based turbine health monitoring system known as TurbinePhD. The system was installed on a Repower MM92 wind turbine at the TechoCenter’s northern wind energy research center location in RiviÃ¨re-au-Renard, Quebec last month.The TurbinePhD health monitoring system allows operations and maintenance professionals to dramatically lower their costs by accurately predicting when components in the turbine’s drive train are likely to fail months in advance. Maintenance and crane calls can then be scheduled at the most optimal time, such as during the low-wind season.Adapting advanced technology from the aerospace industry, the TurbinePhD differs from traditional condition monitoring systems in that it delivers a single readily understandable health indicator for each component in a turbine’s drive train’and accurate predictions of their future health’straight to the desktops of operations and maintenance professionals.‘This system will completely change the way we understand condition monitoring,’ said Larry Jacobs, product manager at NRG Systems. ‘It allows any operations and maintenance professional to accurately predict and schedule repairs months in advance of a failure’all without relying on diagnostic engineering support.’‘TechnoCentre Ã©olien is proud to work with NRG Systems to develop this innovative product. That kind of project is part of our mission as a research facility,’ said Frederic CÃ´tÃ©, TechnoCentre Ã©olien general manager.The turbine health monitoring system is patented under US Patent No. 8082115.NRG Systems is an independently owned company that has served the global wind energy industry for 29 years. Its wind measurement systems and turbine control sensors can be found on every continent in more than 145 countries, serving electric utilities, wind farm developers, turbine manufacturers, research institutes, government agencies, and universities.Founded in 2000, the TechnoCentre Ã©olien is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to contribute to the development of a made-in-QuÃ©bec industrial wind energy network that can compete on North American and world stages while promoting the GaspÃ©sie-Ã les-de-la-Madeleine region as central to this emerging niche of QuÃ©bec’s economy.