JPS scraps superintendent search, for now

Jackson Public SchoolsInterim JPS Superintendent Freddrick Murray
After months of debate, Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees on Tuesday reversed its decision on how to find the district's next superintendent. After a roughly 30 minute discussion, the board voted to abandon the process of hiring a consultant to conduct a national search for the next JPS superintendent. Instead, the board decided to keep interim superintendent Freddrick Murray in place for the upcoming school year. Murray stepped in as the district's interim leader in November, after former superintendent Cedrick Gray resigned. Gray's departure came in the wake of the Jackson School District receiving an F rating from the state's accountability system, as well as a potential downgrade of the school district's accreditation status.

Motivated Vermont High School Students Invited to Attend 2017 Governor’s Institutes

News Release — Governor's Institutes
Feb. 20, 2017
Karen Taylor Mitchell
Executive Director
Eleven Exciting Summer Institutes Offer 50+ Topics, Including New Addition in Architecture, Design, and Building
All VT Cities and Towns–All Vermont teenagers in grades 9th through 11th who love to learn can be nominated for the fun and prestigious summer programs offered by the Governor's Institutes of Vermont! Applications are now open at Entering its 34th year of operation, the Governor's Institutes offer enthusiastic young Vermonters the opportunity to dive in-depth into a topic they love, meet other students who share their interests, and experience a supportive collegiate environment. Each immersive program takes learning beyond the classroom and into the outside world, giving students the resources to dive deep into what excites them and try out potential careers in that field.

Maple Open House Weekend 2017 Features Sugarhouses and Maple Partnering Businesses

News Release — Vermont Maple Sugar Makers' Association
Feb. 20, 2017
Amanda Voyer
Phone: 802-858-9444
Vermont Maple Sugar Makers' Association invites local breweries, distilleries, restaurants, inns and B&B's to participate in maple promotion during annual statewide celebration
JERICHO, VT, February 20, 2017 – Maple Open House Weekend is celebrating its 16th year by expanding the weekend's offerings and activities to include local partnering businesses who specialize in their own craft and support Vermont's maple industry by including maple in their ingredients, on their menus, and offered for sale at their locations. Sugarmakers throughout the state will open the doors of their sugarhouses on March 25th and 26th to educate and share with the public the process of making maple syrup from sap. Examples of activities offered at participating sugarhouses include sampling of syrup; tours of the sugarhouse and woods; traditional sugar-on-snow parties; and plenty of maple products to taste including maple donuts, maple cotton candy and maple creemees. In efforts to include maple supporting businesses and collectively market maple's expanding uses in beverages and dishes beyond the breakfast table, VMSMA invited Vermont companies to demonstrate how they uniquely feature maple and showcase its diversity as an ingredient.

Vermont Small Business Economic Outlook Survey Released

News Release — Davis and Hodgdon Associates CPAs and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce
February 20, 2017
Jennifer Krause
WILLISTON, Vt., February 20, 2017 – Over 100 Vermont businesses completed the latest semi-annual economic survey in January regarding the outlook of Vermont's small- to medium-sized businesses. The survey, presented by Davis and Hodgdon Associates CPAs and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, revealed that while opinions about the Vermont and U.S. economies are moving in a positive direction, there is still a great desire to see improvement in the state's business climate and tax laws. · 18% of businesses exclusive to Vermont believe the state's economy is in decline (compared to 33% in July); 18% feel it is improving (compared to 14% previously) and 61% indicate there is no change (compared to 48% previously). · 24% of businesses doing business outside the state believe the state's economy is declining (compared to 32% previously); 19% feel it is improving (18% previously); and 46% see no change (47% previously). When asked to describe the current state of the U.S. economy, respondents in both groups appeared more positive than they did in July.

Coal Is Just Too Damn Expensive

President Trump is ready to start signing executive orders that roll back Obama-era regulations on climate and water pollution:

While both directives will take time to implement, they will send an unmistakable signal that the new administration is determined to promote fossil-fuel production....One executive order — which the Trump administration will couch as reducing U.S. dependence on other countries for energy — will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to begin rewriting the 2015 regulation that limits greenhouse-gas emissions from existing electric utilities. It also instructs the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing. ....Trump, who signed legislation last week that nullified a recent regulation prohibiting surface-mining operations from dumping waste in nearby waterways, said he was eager to support coal miners who had backed his presidential bid. “The miners are a big deal,” he said Thursday. “I've had support from some of these folks right from the very beginning, and I won't forget it.”

Will this put miners back to work?

Vermont Technology Alliance Lunch & Learn: Mills to Maker Spaces: Reinventing Manufacturing in New England

News Release — Vermont Technology Alliance
Feb. 20, 2017
The Vermont Technology Alliance is presenting “Mills to Maker Spaces: Reinventing Manufacturing in New England,” featuring Jacob Long, CEO of American Woolen Company on March 3, noon to 1:30 p.m. at Generator in Burlington. For the first half of the 20th Century, the American Woolen Company dominated the woolen textile industry in New England. During that time, American Woolen Company's mills in Winooski became the largest employer in Vermont, until closing doors in 1954. In this Lunch and Learn session, Jacob Long, investment banker and CEO of American Woolen Company in Stafford Springs, CT., will share how he has brought this historic company back to life.

Study ‘The Art of Natural Cheesemaking’ at The School of the New American Farmstead

News Release — Sterling College
Feb. 21, 2017
Media Contact:
Christian Feuerstein, Director of Communications, Sterling College
802.586.7711 x164 •
February 21, 2017 • Craftsbury Common, VT • Home cheesemaking can seem daunting, and home cheesemaking without packaged, powdered cultures and synthetic rennets can seem well-nigh impossible. However, it is well within reach to make cheese that is inspired by traditional practices and based on the ecology of raw milk. The home cheesemaker can be liberated from commercial additives and empowered to cultivate their own starter cultures and growing the fungi that ripen cheeses. Author and cheesemaker David Asher will demystify the process and teach how to make natural and delicious farmhouse cheese in an upcoming course at the School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College.

Board puts off private school rules amid talk of political sway

Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe answers a question from State Board of Education member William Mathis during the board's meeting Dec. 20, 2016, at U-32 in East Montpelier. Photo by Andrew Kutches/VTDigger
" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" src="" alt="State Board of Education" srcset=" 610w, 125w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 2000w, 3000w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" data-recalc-dims="1">Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe answers a question from State Board of Education member William Mathis during a December meeting. File photo by Andrew Kutches/VTDiggerThe State Board of Education postponed a vote on contentious draft rules for private schools after the chairman struck a deal with the governor that spotlighted the jockeying that has gone on. Many expected the board Tuesday to approve the newest version of the rules that would change the way private schools are approved by the state to accept students using public tuition dollars.

Winter Fest Activities at Rutland Regional Cancelled Due to Weather

News Release — Rutland Regional Medical Center
February 21, 2017
Media Contact:
Peg Bolgioni, Rutland Regional Marketing & Public Relations, 802.772.2843
Rutland, VT- Due to the mild temperatures and loss of snow pack, Rutland Regional Medical Center has cancelled its Winter Fest activities scheduled for Friday, February 24, from 4:30pm-8:00pm ,on the Rutland Regional campus. A special thanks to those staff and leaders at Rutland Regional who supported this event. We look forward to beingback at it next year. There are still other Winter Fest activities happening in the Rutland Community this week. Go to for more information.

Vermont Television Network Launches Independent Original Vermont Content

News Release — Burlington Telecom
February 21, 2017
Abbie Tykocki
Burlington Telecom
Home-grown VT programming now available to Burlington Telecom cable customers
In partnership with Burlington Telecom, Vermont Television Network (VTTV) is announced the Burlington launch of their independent, Vermont-based television programming. Locally-owned and operated in Wilmington, Vermont, VTTV strives to deliver programming that inspires interest in the unique culture, diverse history, recreational attractions, and business opportunities that exist in the Green Mountain State. The network features popular, locally-produced content such as: The Visitors Guide to Southern Vermont, which takes viewers to unique destinations to eat, sleep, and play; Green Mountain Estates, which showcases amazing properties for sale in Vermont; as well as local and regional event coverage on The Valley Buzz. VTTV also delivers pinpoint local and regional weather at the top and bottom of every hour. As VTTV expands statewide, so too will their content!