Author: Michelle Monroe

Pressure grows on McAllister

ST. ALBANS — Two Franklin County Republican lawmakers have joined state leaders in calling on state Sen. Norm McAllister to resign after sexual assault allegations surfaced last week. Rep. Brian Savage (R-Swanton) and Sen. Dustin Degree (R-Franklin) agreed it would be in McAllister’s best interest to step down, while behind the scenes, area Republicans are discussing possible replacements, including former state senator and gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock. McAllister was charged with three counts each of sexual assault and prohibited acts for allegedly coercing two female employees into unwanted sexual acts. The situation came to light when a third victim...

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School taxes: How did we get here?

with additional reporting by COURTNEY LAMDIN SO. BURLINGTON – There was a lot of information about one of the state’s most vexing issues – education taxes – but no solutions at a gathering of roughly 100 municipal and school officials here last Thursday. The conference, organized by Chittenden County municipal officials, was held at South Burlington High School, explored Vermont’s education funding system and its history. Keynote speaker Steve Jeffrey, director of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, said rising education costs close out other opportunities by consuming more of the available tax base. Increases in the state’s...

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St. Albans Bay under alert for toxic algae

ST. ALBANS — The Vermont Dept. of Health has issued a high alert for blue-green algae in St. Albans Bay, where water quality is already described as “disgusting” by a watershed official. The alert is the result of state experts observing large amounts of blue-green algae along with dense scum or highly colored waters. No testing for toxins has been done, but the water is not considered safe for recreational use. Residents should stay out of the water and keep their pets away, too. High alerts have also been issued for portions of Missisquoi Bay in Quebec. A low...

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A sit-down with Shumlin

ST. ALBANS — Gov. Peter Shumlin continued to tout the work of the Vermont Legislature this biennium in an interview with The St. Albans Messenger last Wednesday. The governor spoke about education, Lake Champlain, health care and reducing prison costs while treating drug addiction. “They quietly got a lot done,” said Shumlin, adding that the bulk of lawmakers’ work will benefit middle- and low-income Vermonters. Shumlin said all of the education initiatives he proposed two years ago passed this biennium, including dual enrollment for high school students, universal preschool and the Vermont Strong Scholars Program, which repays some loan...

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IBM: What’s at stake?

IBM, the largest single private employer in Vermont, is putting its semi-conductor business up for sale, according to reports in the financial press. Frank Cioffi, president of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, however, is hopeful if the Essex facility sells, it will remain open under new ownership. The potential impact on the regional economy should IBM close would be enormous. IBM employs roughly 4,000 people in Essex with an estimated payroll of $150 million to $200 million. Those employees reside in 190 towns, particularly in Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle and Lamoille counties. GBIC estimates the company supports another 8,000...

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